Saturday assorted links

1. What is machine learning?

2. Ruined dog breeds?

3. There is a great Dulles mobile lounge stagnation indeed retrogression.

4. How the Thaad deployment is strangling South Korean politics.

5. Cynthia Ozick’s poem about the marketplace, a response to a critic of her volume.

6. A short Japanese baseball meditation on status in America; “…what I’ve noticed is that in America, when people feel like a person is below them, not just in numbers but in general, they will kind of talk you up. But then when you get up to the same level or maybe even higher, they get in attack mode; they are maybe not as supportive.”

7. Gender Matters: An Economist’s Perspective, a new blog and by rising, well-regarded female economist S Anukriti.


0 comments? What is that?

a protest against the rotten punctuation in #3

I will try and summarize each of these save you time.

1/ very badly written, attempts to explain machine language but is either too basic for me or too complicated for you. Skip.

2/ Ruined dog It's worse than I thought. Just look at the first picture. I (we, my hot 20-something half my age Filipina gf and her kin) own a miniature bull terrier, popular in the Philippines, and except for the long body, it has no health problems insofar as I can tell; we also own a bastardized retriever and had a Jack Russel terrier until it got run over and then eaten by a poor person.

3/ Much ado about nothing (IAD's people movers). Dulles airport is rather sweeping in looks, and was designed by Eero Saarinen, who was apparently from what I can tell a precursor to Gehry and Calatrava (which in Greek means: Good [Cala] -Pull [Trava], with pull often being a euphemism for masturbation), but with the difference Saarinen was a student of the German school of "Form follows function", whereas today's superstars are into 'arbitrary curvy forms just for fun.

4/ "Ms Park came under fire for agreeing to deploy the Thaad anti-missile system from the United States, which angered the Chinese who see it as an attempt to put their military facilities within the reach of US radars" - and this caused some conservatives to turn against her (for reasons I cannot fathom, maybe the Chinese bribed them?) and also the electorate voted against her party. I really don't see the connection between Thaad, China sentiment, and voters turning against Park. Bonus trivia: everybody in Korea is named either Kim or Park or one other name, after a famous trio of historical clans.

5/ a clever letter to the editor in verse. Bonus trivia: <--contains the line 'beauty is truth, truth beauty' and yes, George. W. Bush was right, 'Grecian' *is* a proper word. Obsolete, but proper.

6/ This woman reporter for the NY Times, Hiroko, is attractive to western eyes. But, if you ask a Japanese man whether she's attractive, he will probably say not, due to some facial feature like her large (by JP standards) nose. It's absurd. Yet if you ask the Japanese man to pick an attractive Caucasian woman, he'll pick some hideous peroxide blonde with augmented body parts as the archetype of American beauty. I kid you not. You expats living overseas know what I'm taking about.

7/ an Indian female economist who writes about gender issues. I'm sure she's got some colorful anecdotes re India that she probably leaves out of polite conversation with westerners, who would think she is weird if she mentioned them. One of them is the historic right of a landlord to deflower an untouchable woman tenant before she marries her husband; the other day I saw how one caste killed a married untouchable couple (with kids) over a 22 cent debt, and of course mass rape with impunity is common. But the cow is sacred. Go figure.

Too harsh on #1. It's simple, easy to read and gets to the gist of it which was the point

Forget it, Jake^H^H^H^H stephan, it's (Ray Lopez)-town

@stephan - I don't doubt that you get it, but it's because you already knew the answer. I doubt anybody who doesn't already know calculus and likes math will understand it. It's like higher education--the entire article is not so much to teach you anything as it is signaling: if you understand the article, you pass the test and can pat yourself on the back.

7/ The indian economist is talking about skewered gender ratios in India due to sex selective abortion. It's a significant issue when talking about abortion rights, especially in India. (
"One of them is the historic right of a landlord to deflower an untouchable woman tenant before she marries her husband" No such right exists or has existed.

Yes, the right to deflower goes by a French name and exists historically in India; the practice may have been dialed back a bit modernly.

I will try and summarize each of these articles


(article about Ichiro and Pete Rose) This woman reporter for the NY Times, Hiroko, is attractive to western eyes.

Have you considered killing yourself for the good of humanity?

The next insight to be gained...

Baseball bat

I have

He doesn't

>Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said that the move "caused harm to the mutual trust between the two countries".

Some exchanges between the two sides have been cancelled as a result. China's Qingdao city pulled out of a beer-and-chicken festival in Daegu, its sister city in South Korea.

The horror.

[ #3 ]:

“Said more simply, they {air travelers} tend to resent being captured for an additional period of time... when all they want is to be let free to be on their way."

ya think. thanks TSA-- for making modern air travel a nightmare POW experience!

I can see the Social Sciences going for "Machine Learning" in a big way. No need to do any data mining yourself, just program your PC to detect "inequality" and let it rip - Profit!

Generally you are more likely to see criticism of the method than deployment of the method in most social sciences. People are reminded of the way things like stepwise regression were deployed during the quantitative revolution of the 60s and are understandably wary that once we train up enough people with critical orientations to use machine learning methods that those people will start finding serious problems with the inferences drawn.

4. "And while ties with Japan have improved significantly after the inking of a deal on the issue of comfort women, South Koreans are not entirely happy with the deal, as it entails removing a statue of a comfort woman outside the Japanese embassy in Seoul." Speaking of comfort women, Roger Ailes' behavior makes women uncomfortable. Reminds me of Chauncey Gardiner, who liked to watch.

I've been on them countless times, and I had no idea they were called "mobile lounges". I thought they were just buses, designed in that 60s/70s style to look futuristic but which just looks crummy and incredibly dated.

Right, that article makes me think of them in a whole different way.

The original idea apparently was that the mobile lounge would take the passengers directly to the door of the airplane, i.e. no need for a jetway. If they operated that way now, their difference from a bus would be instantly obvious. But that seems like a slow and inefficient way to embark passengers on the plane: each busload (lounge-load) of passengers would have to wait until the preceding one emptied, and then carefully connect its doorway with the airliner's doorway.

So it's probably better that they operate as glorified buses. For long distances, they're better than the moving sidewalks at places such as O'Hare, which are slow and do not do much to reduce how much one has to walk. Better than either are the frequent-service trains at places such as Seattle and Dallas, which arrive every two minutes. I think Atlanta's Plane Train also is supposed to arrive every two minutes.

7. Why would sex-selective abortion be objectionable but life-selective abortion not? My view is that abortion is objectionable or it is not. Full stop. Creating exceptions to a general prohibition makes no moral sense: the fetus either does or does not have a right to be born. My son was born in 1970 when I was a child myself. He may never have been born in 1974. If my son had not been born in 1974, did he ever exist? He wasn't not born in 1974, therefore I know he exists. As for the economics of abortion/childbirth, in the ancient world every woman needed to have at least 6 or 7 childbirths just to maintain the population, so many infants and mothers died in childbirth. Think about the morality of encouraging behavior that results in so many deaths.

I don't think anyone is really " comfortable" with abortion but sees it as a "necessary evil" since illegal abortion is worse. In that light, piling on another social cost on top of it ( skewing the gender ratio) is not a good idea. Now can anything be done about in these cultures, I don't know.

I don’t think anyone is really ” comfortable” with legal drugs but sees them as a “necessary evil” since illegal drugs are worse. Thanks Tricky Dick.

Yeah, ripping fetuses out of a uterus is lot like rolling up a plant and smoking it. Which I'm going to do just as soon as I get to the bottom of this thread.

"Ruined dog breeds?"

Animal breeding was a huge triumph of 19th Century applied science in part because elites like Charles Darwin were into it.

Since then, elites have lost interest in animal breeding and the masses have Kardashianized it.

Actually, animal breeding for specific purposes predates Darwin by a long, long time. English foxhounds, border collies and varieties of terriers were well developed long before Darwin, as were many breeds of English cattle and chickens. Since dogs have become more pets than assistants, their conformation no longer coincides with their original roles. Cattle, on the other hand, now fulfill economic roles that require them to produce the maximum amount of milk or meat with the minimum input. That's why almost all dairy cows are now Holsteins while Guernseys, Ayrshires, Brown Swiss, Jerseys and others have become rural oddities. The same is true of chickens, horses and hogs.

#6: Woitinsky famously said that Americans military officers in occupied Japan were much nicer to Japanese shoeshiners than the Japanese themselves ever were.

#6: I love Ichiro, but the notion that he's somehow subtly put Rose in his place with those comments is a bit of a joke. For all Rose's faults, he's the all time hits leader in the major leagues by a wide margin. Ichiro can hold his jock strap when he gets 1250+ hits or whatever it will take him to catch up.

The guy spent his first 9 years of pro ball in Japan. He's obviously not going catch Rose--nobody who only started playing in the MLB when he was nearly 30 years old could. Ichiro hasn't been going around claiming the record or anything, so Rose's dig was defensive and childish.

This back and forth between Rose and Ichiro is all in the context of the ridiculous notion that Ichiro's Japanese baseball hits should somehow be combined with his MLB hits. Rose is Rose; he's frequently a blowhard, and he's been blacklisted (rightly or wrongly) from the Hall of Fame, but I don't blame him for spitting on the whole conversation about the combination of hits thing. Give the guy his due: his hits were all in the only league that matters when we talk about best baseball in the world. The guy has pride in his accomplishment, it's all he pretty much has to hold on to, and it's a legit accomplishment. If Ichiro passes him in hits in MLB, then Rose should give him his due, but he sure as heck shouldn't be ridiculed or "cleverly" put in his place for mocking the concept of combining Japanese baseball hits and MLB hits. I think everyone basically feels it's open season on Rose because of his public failures (the tweet above exemplifies that), but I say give the guy a break on this one. He's the best at hits by the only measure we have. Ichiro isn't.

We use technology to attack each other, mostly.

It is because "it is harder to crack a prejudice than an atom."

I think Ichiro's statement holds true for Republican presidential candidates. See John McCain running against Bush versus running against Obama. Or how people are saying sorry to Mitt Romney.

It is a universal reaction. When I was a child, a Brazilian magazine mentioned that Republicans hated Hillary Clinton (then "First Lady candidate" ) more than any other Democrat would-be First Lady because they hadn't been able to destroy her the way they destroyed other ones (they mentioned a Democrat would-be First Lady wro drank ether when the husband lost).

THiago - when talking up Brazil it might be best not to mention the factually and morally incorrect things you appear to remember Brazilian magazines having posted when you were young. Anyway, good luck with your Olympics! I hope that they turn out as well as you hope they do!

We don't need luck for the same reason our forefathers didn't need luck to crush to crush the savage aggressor and eliminate 90% of Paraguay's male population. We are strong and we have God on our side.

"In 1989, [Kitty] Dukakis was briefly hospitalized after drinking rubbing alcohol. In 1991, Dukakis published her memoir, Now You Know, in which she candidly discussed her ongoing battle with alcoholism." --

OK, it was rubbing alcohol (probably ethanol unsuitable for consumption ), then, not ether, I misremebered that. Still bad, right? If only Clinton were such a mess, I guess Republucans would like her better.

Thiago - those who humbly pray to God have God on their side, as the Bible tells us (both Old and New Testaments). Yes it was Kitty Dukakis and I knew dozens of Republican voters at the time (and hundreds of Democratic voters - I am a conservative most of whose friends are liberals) and nobody hated her. Not a single person. And, for the record, in America it was reported as nail polish, and the drinking had nothing to do with her husband winning or losing. It just was what it was, alcoholism can happen to those we love and those we do not love, and it is evil to rejoice in the suffering of others. To be fair, American reporting on Brazil is equally inaccurate - since you know more amusing examples of that than I do, I will not bother to list any of them. August 5 is the Feast Day of Our Lady of the Snows - I hope that refreshing fact comforts you! Every Brazilian I have ever met has been polite or kind to me and I wish you the best on August 5!!!

"Thiago – those who humbly pray to God have God on their side, as the Bible tells us (both Old and New Testaments)."

Those who do God's work have God on their side. It is us. This is the sole reason our Emperors were called "Emperors by God's Grace and the peoples' unanimous will". When outnumbered by the invader, our soldiers would rather die than surrender. Even after six years of Brazilian soldiers facing the most terrible war mankind has ever seen, fighting in swamps against a savage enemy who used its own kids and wifes as soldiers, Brazilian mothers made it clear to the Emperor that they should rather have all their sons buried in Paraguay with honor than having them back before the final victory was achieved. This is why we prevailed against all odds against the invading hordes.

"Yes it was Kitty Dukakis and I knew dozens of Republican voters at the time (and hundreds of Democratic voters – I am a conservative most of whose friends are liberals) and nobody hated her. Not a single person."
Of course not. Do you hate the bugs you abstractedly tramples on? How much lovable Hillary Clinton (or George W., to be fair) would be if she had self-destroyed.
"And, for the record, in America it was reported as nail polish, and the drinking had nothing to do with her husband winning or losing."
Well, nail polish can contain ethers. Whatever it was, I doubt the presidential election did wonders for her mental health. She survived Massachusetts (what a name!), but did not scape the 1988 presidential election unscathed.

"It just was what it was, alcoholism can happen to those we love and those we do not love, and it is evil to rejoice in the suffering of others."

If Americans really believed that, neither Democrats would have rejoiced in Goldwater's youth breakdowns story nor Republicans would rejoice in Bill Clinton's indiscretions (and associated pain to his family-- Chelsea Clinton was just a kid when Republicans were looking for his former lovers in 1992).

"August 5 is the Feast Day of Our Lady of the Snows – I hope that refreshing fact comforts you!
It is fresh enough here now with the Winter and all. Little snow though. Anyway, I am sure God will lead us to victory now as He led our forefathers in their time.

" Every Brazilian I have ever met has been polite or kind to me and I wish you the best on August 5!!!"
Thank you very much.

By the way, only those who humbly pray to God have God on their side. Only one verb in that sentence. God loves us the way we are but loves us too much to let us stay that way! Even Dante was happy to think that in heaven he - the real Dante, not the almost psitacossistic versifier he sometimes saw himself as - would find out he was wrong about much! You need the prayers of people of every country for the success of your Olympics, and I hope you do what you need to deserve those prayers!

"OK, it was rubbing alcohol (probably ethanol unsuitable for consumption ),"

Ethanol isn't unsuitable for consumption unless it's been poisoned to meet US government requirements. The US government, fixated on the collection of the maximum in taxes on liquor, mandates that ethyl alcohol whose use is not intended for consumption be adulterated with poisons that cause blindness and perhaps death. This is in an attempt to discourage its use as a refreshment by those without the means of purchasing the more expensive, heavily taxed product. Such is the charity of the federal authorities.

"You need the prayers of people of every country for the success of your Olympics, and I hope you do what you need to deserve those prayers!"
I am pretty sure God is not limited in what He can achieve by a lack of consensus. He is not a secretary-general of the United Nations.

"By the way, only those who humbly pray to God have God on their side. Only one verb in that sentence."
Two verbs. To pray and to have.

Anyone remember anyone ever saying anything negative about Republican president's wives?

1) Machine learning

Optimize the machine senor inputs to decode the actions required with a minimal decoding tree yielding the correct probability of actions.

Interesting - different strokes for different folks. Nobody else commented on #2 - which is the only one of this batch I even found interesting. And I have to say I am grateful for the link - very interesting stuff, afaic.

And, that blog has some other posts that are MOST pertinent here! Such as this one, wherein the author discusses intellectual honesty, rhetorical techniques, and logical fallacies:

Or these TWO, where the author discusses simple rules that can account for wolf hunting behavior - and if hunting for food is not economic at its core, I'll eat my hat. He talks about wolfen free riders, for gosh sakes!

Sailer commented.

I checked out 2 - fascinating stuff; it has long been my belief that people who understand dogs prefer, on average, mutts. I have read lots of dog experts and I am not sure any of them understand dogs (Jack London excepted); would love to be wrong!!! 5 - Cynthia Ozick is an interesting person - of course she is a political naif, but the link to her comment had nothing to do with politics - so I would not go on record as denigrating link 5 for political reasons (of course!). As for link 3, I was in Dulles a few years ago on a trip to Boston and the "mobile lounge" moved so slow that I missed my flight to Boston - which worked out in the end, because the short 4 hours I spent in Boston were all quality hours (Jaleo, vintage Tennysonian - even Housmanian - trees - and that river and the very late morning descent of the plane over those cold ocean waters with those lonely rocks - and of course two or three immortally friendly Bostonians - God only knows where they are now...) - four hours of that is better than eight hours in the same city without that, as we all know. 1 - I don't care what machine learning is. I tried to read - in that I spent several hours of my life trying to read - a blog by a "machine learning" academic. I can see why he had succeeded in his academic life, and he is clever, but he does not understand humans or machines very much. Sorry but he doesn't. Back to 2 - definitely a blog worth checking out, if you care about dogs. Lots of people don't care about dogs, and if you are one of them, don't waste your time. If you are, or think you might be, ignore anti-mutt propaganda! You won't be sorry!

4. The problem is that the US wants to put the THAAD in Korea to counter the Chinese, and the Chinese don't like it. But you can't just say that, because that makes it clear that Korea is a football being tossed about between major powers, and boy does that trigger the Korean inferiority complex.

The US claims that while the Patriot PAC-3 (operated in different areas inside Korea by both American and Korean forces) can intercept any currently feasible North Korean strategic missile launch directed at the South, the THAAD (which is a more capable system) can also intercept possible future Northern missiles that can boost to a very high altitude outside of the Patriot's engagement envelope and then fall back to their targets too fast for the Patriot to intercept. The THAAD battery on Guam can provide some protection, but the intercept probability of a battery in South Korea itself would be higher. The North would really like to be able to nuke the South, the THAAD basically makes that impossible to do with missiles, QED. This just so happens to allow the THAAD to observe and, possibly, intercept a hypothetical Chinese strategic missile launch in the boost phase. Think the Jupiter missiles in Turkey during the Cuban missile crisis, except the THAAD isn't anything remotely like a nuclear weapon so there is less room for complaint by the Chinese. In this light, Park's approval for deploying the THAAD isn't just in response to the Northern nuclear test in January (as stated), but to Chinese inability to rein in the North. A twofer.

The Chinese don't want this because it would require them to spend a LOT of money to adjust their land-based nuclear forces around this counter, and of course it would make it more difficult for them to attack US Pacific forces at all should that become necessary. It is highly likely that they have ginned up the "usual suspects" among Korean Communist-sympathizing leftists (I'm not trying to say this derogatorily). The anti-THAAD talking points so far are that the battery--which would be emplaced in more or less the middle of nowhere--would destroy pristine Korean wilderness; this silly argument has mostly been abandoned in favor of the next. Which is that the THAAD radar will cause cancer, with undertones of foreign influence destroying the pure Korean bloodline. Also it would reverse (albeit pretty trivially) the general trend in decreasing American military presence in South Korea.

As for the "conservative" case against THAAD, I think it boils down to three things, about which I am less certain. The first is the ridiculous idea that whatever capabilities the THAAD provides can be covered by an indigenous "K-THAAD", total nonsense because the THAAD is among the most advanced missile systems in the world and even South Korea's very respectable arms industry won't be able to produce anything like it for the foreseeble future, on the order of decades, and the US isn't going to let them buy it like with the Patriot. The second is simply that Park is nearing the end of her term, the THAAD project is her baby, and there's no reason to get mixed up in the whole business if it's already happening and Park can't do anything else for them politically. A conservative successor could simply treat the THAAD deployment as a fait accompli, mollify the lukewarm THAAD opponents by making some noise by e.g. denouncing Park, and ultimately do nothing. The third, and more ominous, is a sense that perhaps some day South Korea might end up a client of China rather than the United States -- and best to start hedging one's bets now. This attitude is certainly encouraged by China through various means.

Interesting comments. +1

Pete Rose is probably the best baseball player ever and the most under estimated. Indeed some talented pitchers have "won" more games but pretty much all they are is a throwing arm. A good catcher can make outs where they really count. But Pete Rose was on his game every second, every minute that he played. His game was always god his athleticism was always outstanding and his record for hitting and home runs was unparalleled. Watching him play first base or at bat was as good as the game ever gets.

Regarding the female economist. It is inexplicable that a gender or race centric "expert" in their field always sees everything in terms of their centrist activism. It's virtually a disqualifying trait. It would be like allowing a rapper to select the hymns for Sunday service or having a Vegan cater a Texas barbecue. These 'activist first' experts do themselves a disservice. You can quickly identify that their agenda trumps facts and truths and their real purpose it to make everything about them and their belief system.

Yeah, we should never pay attention to people who are dedicated to an issue and become knowledgeable about them. Instead, we should ensure to get all such perspectives from people it doesn't relate to at all - preferably men who understand that the place of a woman is in the kitchen, no? Because otherwise I fear there may be "activists" at play.

Thank you for your display of bias which confirmed my statement.

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