Thursday assorted links


Re #3 - What is the ultimate fate of those sheep? And will Anthony Kiedis care?

Here's an additional suggested item for your list:

USA wins 2016 IMO ! South Korea second, China third.

Leader: Po-Shen Loh Deputy Leader:Razvan Gelc
Tsc, tsc, tsc.

Shameful display by the Chinese team. Lowest score since 1996 and it was in 1988 that they last failed to recover first after not coming first the previous year.

2. I'd be curious to see the data on the connection between exports to the Philippines from China and exports from the Philippines to (for example) the U.S. Are the Philippines just a stopover for exports to the U.S. (and elsewhere). Of course, this is connected to the political issue regarding expansive jurisdiction over adjacent waters in the South China Sea, as passage of goods from China through the Philippines resolves the issue of open sea lanes to the east. I wouldn't put too much of my money into Vietnam at this point, as China seems to be well ahead of the curve.

#2 - was a non-story. Since the Philippines is a fast growing area for SE Asia lately, naturally their imports from China have increased, yet, if you look carefully at the graph, the trend is slightly downwards since 2012.

Since you reside there, is it possible (politically, economically, etc.) for the Philippines to collaborate with China in order to facilitate the shipment of goods from China through the Philippines and then on to the east and thereby avoiding the potential for conflict in the South China Sea and the much longer route to the south? I suppose it's not surprising that the Philippines would be at the center of a rising China, since it was the Philippines that was at the center of a rising Japan. You may recall my previous comments that my maternal grandfather was an army surgeon in the Philippines during both the Spanish American War and the Philippine American War that followed. The Philippines was our colony (the outcome of the Philippine American War), a relationship that's difficult to forget. If the Philippines won't collaborate with China, China's route to the east becomes much more difficult.

It is easier to use Mexico (a member of NAFTA) as the intermediary.

"""How China crashed the Nafta party """

It is the trade from the other end that favors Philippine. Brazil has many post-panamax bulk carriers some of which were manufactured in China but the Chinese companies did not have them. So they promptly banned the post-panamax carriers. So the Brazilian had to reload to smaller carriers at Philippine with extra cost of $5 per ton to flow into the Philippine economy. The ban is now lifted. Still Philippine makes a good half way point between China and Brazil. That is why Philippine is a eager partner in AIIB hopefully to improve the port infrastructure.

6. Didn't read the whole piece but the gist seems to be that police reported numbers are not reliable because they're police reported. That may very well be the case, but its not clear to me that police would be biased to under report use of force with blacks more than with whites.

You should have read the whole article, as it basically does not explore black/white disparity at all. It merely points out, using numerous examples, that police reporting needs to be treated extremely carefully when attempting to determine what is legal and justified, what is not legal and not justfied, and what is legal but not justified (as Balko points, 'justified' in this case is not meant as a legal term) when it comes to American police killing people.

I agree. While I agree with Balko on the problem of self reported data, there is no reason to think that this considerably weakens Fryer's conclusions.

Libertarians don't like the state, straight up, even in its nicer forms. So you can imagine their views on the police, whom they believe to simply be a better organized mafia. They're a very ideological bunch, and this taints their analyses.

They wouldn't necessarily. And the problem (as Balko has been reporting on for years) is not simply police use of excessive force with minorities, it's excessive use of force in general. Treating this as exclusively (or even primarily) as a racial issue is obscuring that. This dead kid, for example, was white. How long is it between the time the cop comes screeching into Hardees and the kid is shot in the head from point blank range? 15, 20 seconds maybe? Care to guess whether the officer was charged and convicted of excessive use of force?

Like my parents always told me--we were white, middle-class kids growing up in the 60s, and my grandfather was a policeman--"If you attempt to run from a policeman, he can and he will shoot you and kill you. Any time a policeman confronts you, you keep your hands where he can see them, you stand still, you look him in the eye, and you call him 'Officer.' Anything else will get you killed."

That may be true, but it's in no possible way an acceptable way for police to operate. There was no danger in the situation (except what the cop created himself), no reason to to believe that the suspect were armed and dangerous. So take the license plate. Follow the car. Radio for help. And it's not even clear that the kid driving the car realized it was a cop before he was killed. The girlfriend in the passenger seat set up the pot buy. The car was unmarked and the cop was in plain clothes -- the kid may have thought he was about to be robbed. Or maybe he just panicked. Either way, it was a summary execution for 'failure to respect mah authoriah' pure and simple.

I certainly wasn't condoning the cop's actions, just pointing out that it has always been that way, and it applies whether you're black or white. I didn't know the backstory, that it was a pot buy, so I can see why the kid panicked. What a shame. But my parents gave good advice.

My version of an enlightened doctrine regarding the use of force for police:

1) the standard should be the use of force as a last resort (of course) in which the officer's personal safety is secondary to citizens', including those the police are apprehending. If force is used primarily to protect the officer, this should disqualify the officer from carrying weapons.

2) an independent civilian agency should write police reports involving force and be rewarded (incentivized) for decreases in a PD's use of force.

3) officers should be better compensated: Equivalent or better pay, more time off, non-policing duties (social work, community integration type stuff), and mandatory on-going mental health services.

4) 1-3 predicated on a) an end to the drug war: rehabilitation of the 14th ammendment, decriminilization of drug use, outlaw/disincentivize escalating tactics (see #2), demilitarization of police and b) criminal justice reform: outlaw prosecutorial discretion (not sure how exactly!), outlaw use of paid/incentived/coerced informants), outlaw mandatory sentencing, introduce a title IX-like funding for prosecutorial and public defense resources, allow defense to present evidence regarding the validity of forensic evidence and witness testimony.

That's my platform.

If police use of force is restricted to self-defense, that means that if a 250 lb. man is walking down the street, groping women and grabbing purses, a policewoman on the scene can ask him to stop, but if he tells her to get lost, her only recourse is to radio for six or eight men as backup, while the criminal continues his depredations, and maybe leaves before the backup arrives?

Specifically, once the cop has shot someone, he has quite a strong incentive to paint the situation as one in which his only reasonable choice was to shoot. That doesn't make Fryer's data or the Washington Post's data useless, but it does suggest that we need to keep in mind that there's probably some level of overstatement of the threat posed by the person who got shot, on average, in those reports.

#6. Wondering if it's possible to detect lying. I'm thinking of the way statistical analysis was used to detect that teachers had changed student answers on standardized tests.

There are several points to think with the Fryer study:

1) It is limited to Houston not across the nation.
2) The measurement of shooting is based on individual stops not the population. If African-American are stopped 3x as much they still have more shootings in total. The study focused on behavior during the stop.
3) The null hypothesis was not disproven and thus we should analyze on that reality. Did the study miss something? Can we include other cities? Should BLM protest all police shooting cases? (I assumed African-American population have more empathy for the victims than white population in general.)

It's hardly the only study of this. Others reach similar conclusions

If BLM retires from the streets, who will step up to protest?

BLM should protest any suspicious police shooting cases. Whether or not there is a racial bias in police shootings, fewer shootings should lead to fewer black deaths from said shootings. There isn't supposed to be an implied 'only' at the front of BLM. Similarly, NRA should say a lot more in support of Philando Castile. There shouldn't be an implied 'white' at the front of NRA.

The courts should be the ones suspicious of all police violence-- and treat individual policeman exactly as any other citizen involved in a violent incident, with the same level of inquiry and application of legal standards.

The courts do not do that. Police almost always get highly preferential treatment and enjoy various levels of formal legal immunity for their actions. Everyone is equal before the law in America, except if you work for the government.

He also had data from Florida and New York City, and nationwide data from a survey of people who'd had encounters with the police. His paper was not only based on data from one city.

#1 great link.

#3: Anyone notice the whale blood soaked Che Guevara t-shirt? I'm not sure what political statement that is making.

I like that the photo intended to show "dramatic scenery" is a terrible Photoshop.

"Anyone notice the whale blood soaked Che Guevara t-shirt? I’m not sure what political statement that is making."

Truth in advertising?

#1: But why, Corbo and colleagues wondered, had evolution not opted for the perfect regularity of a grid or “lattice” distribution of cones?

Anyone with some familiarity with information theory will know that uniform sampling, while optimal in some senses (Nyquist theorem), have a problem where you get false information, a condition known as aliasing. You can see this when you get jagged edges in digital images or when rotating wheels in film and video appear to be spinning backwards.

Sampling techniques somewhat similar (but not exactly the same) to what's mentioned in the article have been known to computer graphics people since at least the 80s as jittered sampling. In statistics, similar techniques are known as stratified sampling. From an information theoretic point of view, this is reducing the chance of false signals (aliasing) at the cost of some noise.

5. Africa might get a free trade "agreement" but what it needs is infrastructure to actually move goods from country to country and less corruption so that traders moving across borders aren't subject to police harassment/extortion.

They really should have an African Union, with elaborate headquarters, a transnational "parliament," an army of salaried, pensioned bureaucrats, a 1,000 page constitution, shelves and shelves of regulations, a bunch of Marxist baby boomer perverts in charge, lavish expense accounts. These are the sine qua non of free trade.

6. This was not really about the Fryer study. It was Mentioned at first and then went in its own direction

1. An interesting sociological and linguistic phenomenon is that in the 19th century, most scientists knew at least rudimentary Latin and Greek, and would never have coined words like hyperuniformity or superhomogeneity, which mix roots from the two languages.

What about "homosexuality" and "Sociology"?

Good catches! There are a few exceptions. Note that "homosexual" is a very late 19th century coinage.

I guess you are right and people really were more careful to avoid hybrid words back in the old days (and, yes, it probably has to do with the knowledge of some Greek and Latin) Or as a Housman says in Stoppard's "The Invention of Love":
"Homosexuals? Who is responsible for this barbarity? (...) It’s half Greek and half Latin!"
I, for one, think mixing different languages' words lend some flair to communication. If the word "iceberg" didn't exist, it would have to be coined.

#6 a little off topic but:
In my experience anyone above blue collar manual laborer, including supervisors and professionals have given extra support and forgivingness to blacks are my experiences unusual?

My opinion has always been that the Eurozone has failed at an economic level. What monetary policy can you apply when Greece is at 26% unemployment and Germany is at 4%?

I understand that job mobility was supposed to help coordinate economic cycles, but it is becoming increasingly clear the idea has failed. Either the cultural/language barriers remain too high, or Eurozone leaders have irreparably fractured the union by by scapegoating individual countries to preserve their own image.

I think it says a lot when Europeans would rather import low-skill immigrants than hire their own neighbors.

I haven't seen this argument brought up recently so I assume there is some hole, but I can't figure it out myself.

#6: I can't access that article, but the funny thing about Fryer's study is the vitriol and dismissiveness towards its results by people who accept studies with similar designs without comment when they confirm their world view. Moreover, all of them seem to be convinced that the direction of the bias is towards understating brutality against blacks, even though it's easy to come up with hypotheses of biases in either direction.

Note that the Fryer study concluded that:

a. The police shootings in his data did NOT show a bias toward police being more willing to shoot blacks than whites.

b. The other data about police interactions with civilians DID show a bias toward police being more willing to use force, on average, with blacks than with whites. (All uses of force recorded in his data were rare, but the police were more willing to handcuff you or push you to the ground or pepper spray you if you were black than if you were white, even when all the recorded details about the interaction were taken into account.)

The way I read it, he seemed to think the explanation for this was that some police were more eager to use force on blacks than whites when it was relatively costless, but not to shoot them (where there would be significant costs--at least, an unpleasant formal investigation and maybe a lawsuit).

This has been my favorite part of the reaction to the Fryer study. The hypocrisy of the left knows no bounds and they are so wrapped up in their ideology that they don't even realize it is happening.

Sadly, the media is, almost to a person, solidly leftist and they don't call out this reprehensible behavior.

Are you referring to Balko specifically? I dont recall him accepting a study with similar designs, but i dont follow him so closely that i can say for sure. I suspect his skepticism is based on the fact that he covers the police brutality beat and has probably seen enough misrepresentation of the facts by the police to assume that this is a problem.

You have to bring in the domestic unemployment rate to understand the issue

For example, Germany first brought in Turkish labor to fill areas of labor shortages

In the UK they do not seem to have problems with foreign skilled financial types in the city.

English folklore stories always seem to be about Polish plumbers -- a very skilled occupation.

Apparently British plumbers do not seem to have a problem with the Polish plumbers.

"English folklore stories always seem to be about Polish plumbers — a very skilled occupation."

The Polish plumber meme actually started in 2005 in France. So, I don't think it's normally classified as English folklore.

6. It seems things are coming full circle in an unexpected way. It wasn't that BLM was wrong about unnecessary deaths, it was that they didn't see the whole problem. Their argument was correct, but not complete.

ALM, if it wants to be a movement, has to double back and include all victims of overzealous policing. They can no longer assume that it is police vs thugs.

As part of that, we should probably medicalize the drug problem, and reduce the need for SWAT raids on drug users.

As albatross notes above: Fryer study concluded that the police shootings in his data did NOT show a bias toward police being more willing to shoot blacks than whites.

BLM WAS wrong about unnecessary deaths

Combine it with Balko, we have unnecessary deaths, some of which were white, some black, ..

Or do you think 93 year old women are *necessarily* shot in nighttime SWAT raids?

I think your initial post could be read two ways. I see your intent now and I'll agree. The no-knock invasions seem to cause most of the damage.

Is there a good way to find out what fraction of police shootings were on no-knock raids? I didn't see an obvious way to get that from the Post database without going through and reading all 990 summaries myself.

If you are interested in this issue (regardless of your feelings about BLM), I very strongly recommend The Washington Post's database of police shootings from 2015. They have a nice frontend that lets you ask a lot of obvious questions like "how many police shootings had an unarmed black victim?"

The database isn't perfect--this is the best effort of the Post staff to piece together what happened in these cases, and I'm sure they got some stuff wrong. One obvious potential source of bias is that they depend a lot on police reports, and a policeman who has just shot someone is almost certainly going to write a report on the incident that justifies the shooting. But it's still enormously better than what we had before. I think you can learn more by playing with that data for half an hour than by watching TV news coverage of BLM and police shooting protests for a week.

Police shootings are a complex subject but the striking thing is that in the 21st century, when humans can send equipment to the farthest reaches of the solar system and receive information from it, the only effective way of making someone do what is desired is to threaten them with technology from the fourteenth century and if that should fail use a rapid chemical reaction to drive small metal pellets through their body until they expire. It appears that humans actually enjoy killing one another.

Rockets are an ancient technology powered by a chemical reaction, radio waves are a type of electromagnetic radiation, and people have been using EMR to see for all time; your meme is trivially true.

It seems like we probably don't have a particular problem with police violence directed specifically at black people. We very well may have a problem with police violence in general. Success in highlighting this would focus on the universality of the issue to all people who interact with the police and general reforms which would help to alleviate these issues. Most of the BLM related activities seem to want to frame this as a solely black issue. I'm not sure that is true and I'm fairly sure its not the best way to actually succeed in implementing reforms.

Without BLM would we have as many police body cameras?

Without MADD would we have as many dashboard cameras?

"Narrow" focus groups can bring broader benefits.

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