Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Still Competitive

We were well on the way to having the rainiest year on record at Sacramento Executive Airport (which has been measuring rainfall since 1941). Then, we had a month with virtually no rain. "There goes the record," I thought. But we are still competitive, despite the month-long break in rainfall. We'll be close!


Buyer's Remorse

Really? How is it people are so stupid? What did you THINK was going to happen?:
Moss trusted Trump.

"I truly believe from the heart that (Trump) is going to do everything he can. He's going to create treatment centers for the kids," he said last year.

But last week, Moss read about the proposed American Health Care Act. The Republican bill would end the Obamacare requirement that addiction services and mental health treatment be covered under Medicaid in the 31 states that expanded the health care program -- which include Moss' home state of New York.

"This bill would devastate efforts to address the opioid crisis," said Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, director of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. "There's no question this legislation in the House of Representatives would cost American lives."

David Trott's Hot Mic Moment

This would be hilarious, if it wasn't so sad:
At around the 6-minute mark in the video below, you can hear Trott’s aide say, “We’re going to take that part where they’re booing funding the military and I’m gonna get somebody to write a story and we’re going to promote the shit out of that. It’s un-American crap.” He’s referring to the fact that the crowd booed him when he called the American military “the weakest it’s ever been” and for saying he supports increased military funding immediately after saying how much he enjoys meeting with groups like the Rare Diseases Association who are all asking for more funding (see video in Update 3 below.) Later in the video, Trott asks if they “bounced” any questions. His aide confirms they did.

Trump is Owned by Putin-Connected Russian Mob Bosses

This is what it all boils down to:
Human rights lawyer Scott Horton, whose work in the region goes back to defending Andrei Sakharov and other Soviet dissidents, has gone through a series of studies by the Financial Times to show how funds from Russian crime lords bailed Trump out after yet anther bankruptcy. The conclusions are stark:
Among the powerful facts that DNI missed were a series of very deep studies published in the [Financial Times] that examined the structure and history of several major Trump real estate projects from the last decade—the period after his seventh bankruptcy and the cancellation of all his bank lines of credit. ...

The money to build these projects flowed almost entirely from Russian sources. In other words, after his business crashed, Trump was floated and made to appear to operate a successful business enterprise through the infusion of hundreds in millions of cash from dark Russian sources.
He was their man.

Silly Brain

My sleeping brain wants to entertain me with a little-known Alfred Hitchcock movie set in the empty lobby of a San Francisco hotel. My brain doesn't know much about either Alfred Hitchcock or San Francisco, so it's making up a lot of shit about Cary Grant, casinos, blondes, and dirt bikes.

Grabbing With Many, Tiny Hands

Don't Be Like Arizona

Art Censorship

An atmosphere of fear:
Cuban artist and creative director Erik Ravelo is used to having his artwork censored. He was, after all, the man behind United Colors of Benetton’s UnHate campaign, which featured doctored photos of world leaders making out.

Yet his newest project, a personal artwork unrelated to his career as a creative director, has managed to spark even more controversy “I had people writing me, threatening me,” he said in a phone conversation with the Huffington Post. “At first the project was fun but it got a little out of hand.”

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Multiplication Trick

I guess Twitter is useful for something.

Glaciers Shudder in the Anthropocene

No Question, I'm A Nerd

I'm way over on the right.
geek - An enthusiast of a particular topic or field. Geeks are “collection” oriented, gathering facts and mementos related to their subject of interest. They are obsessed with the newest, coolest, trendiest things that their subject has to offer.

nerd - A studious intellectual, although again of a particular topic or field. Nerds are “achievement” oriented, and focus their efforts on acquiring knowledge and skill over trivia and memorabilia.

Stupid Baby

Academia Ails

Trying to get back to common sense:

As I say, this is well known. There’s even a term for it in social theory: reflexivity. And yet we persist in doing idiot things that can only possibly have this result:
  • Assessing school-teachers on the improvement their kids show in tests between the start and end of the year (which obviously results in their doing all they can depress the start-of-year tests).
  • Assessing researchers by the number of their papers (which can only result in slicing into minimal publishable units).
  • Assessing them — heaven help us — on the impact factors of the journals their papers appear in (which feeds the brand-name fetish that is crippling scholarly communication).
  • Assessing researchers on whether their experiments are “successful”, i.e. whether they find statistically significant results (which inevitably results in p-hacking and HARKing).

What’s the solution, then?

I’ve been reading the excellent blog of economist Tim Harford, for a while. That arose from reading his even more excellent book The Undercover Economist (Harford 2007), which gave me a crash-course in the basics of how economies work, how markets help, how they can go wrong, and much more. I really can’t say enough good things about this book: it’s one of those that I feel everyone should read, because the issues are so important and pervasive, and Harford’s explanations are so clear.
In a recent post, Why central bankers shouldn’t have skin in the game, he makes this point:
The basic principle for any incentive scheme is this: can you measure everything that matters? If you can’t, then high-powered financial incentives will simply produce short-sightedness, narrow-mindedness or outright fraud. If a job is complex, multifaceted and involves subtle trade-offs, the best approach is to hire good people, pay them the going rate and tell them to do the job to the best of their ability.

Shadow of Contrail Above on Cloud Deck Below

The cloud deck is thick enough that you can't see the contrail. You have to infer its presence.

They Call Me Mr. Gumby

"The Fool On The Hill"

Just Right!

A River's Humanity

Long revered by New Zealand's Maori people, the river's interests will now be represented by two people.

The Maori had been fighting for over 160 years to get this recognition for their river, a minister said.

"I know the initial inclination of some people will say it's pretty strange to give a natural resource a legal personality," said New Zealand's Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson.

"But it's no stranger than family trusts, or companies or incorporated societies."

The Whanganui River, New Zealand's third-longest, will be represented by one member from the Maori tribes, known as iwi, and one from the Crown.

The recognition allows it to be represented in court proceedings.

Funny How That Works

Throw Care To The Wind!

When You Know Too Much About a Subject

I don't believe there's a bus station west of Santa Fe: