Monday assorted links


8. And how about that Super Bowl?

There needs to be a recount. And it was probably the Russians hacking the scoreboard.

Progressives accomplished a minor miracle- they made me care about who won. If they don't wise up quickly, I am going to die of schadenfreude poisoning.

So, maybe we can mark the occasion with a National Day of Patriots Devotion?

Hillary Clinton was on CNN after the game to report that the Falcons should obviously be declared the winner, because they had more tackles.

Please report to your nearest town common and pick up a pre-printed sign to protest this outrage. We need to modernize the NFL bylaws and get rid of this antiquated "points" system from a bygone era.

Illegal immigrants scored most of the Patriots' touchdowns. Both teams should be disqualified for using their hands during a game of so-called football. Make the game footlball again!

I watched the MLS cup version of your "football" this year, and the Seattle Sounders "won" despite not having a single shot on goal.

The correct terminology is Third World Kickball.

'Third World Kickball'

Because Germany is obviously a famous third world country.

Because Germany is obviously a famous third world country."

The word you were looking for was infamous.

Win a World War and you can be Second World.

God damn it.

Maybe whales leap because they think they are Tom Brady?

"Scientists finally figured out why whales leap into the air."
I thought they were happy, and I was happy in the knowledge they were happy. Do we only need more insights on whale psychology if an alien probe threatens Earth and the only way to avert Mankind's destructions is by answering its message, a thing only whales can do.

"The authors say these patterns suggest breaching and slapping play a role in both long-distance and close-range communication. By slamming their massive bodies into the water, the resulting sounds, like a drum, can travel enormous distances."

So, at the end, all we know is that whales don't have iPhones (I don't have one, but I used once a friend's device and its the only cell phone I have ever seen that seemed to be made for normal hands). We still don't know what they are saying ("So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish", maybe?) and how we should reply to the alien probe. We woukd be wiser investing this money in a time machine program to send an intrepid crew to the 20 th Century to recover a couple of whales before the species become extinct to answer the message. And maybe make the whales pay for the whole project.

"And maybe make the whales pay for the whole project."

After the Trump Presidency, the whales are going to be huuuge!

"Make whales great again" is a slogan I can support.

1. When my buddies and I were 12, we often discussed ways to have virtual sex, since none of us had any possibility of having actual sex. My buddy Harrison's ideas come close to what's offered at Blowcast. I haven't seen Harrison in 50 years. I wonder if he is the brains behind Blowcast. If so, I think I deserve at least one free blowjob. Anyone else notice that many if not most of the ideas developed in the "tech" world resemble the ideas that we had when we were 12.

Dude, I think you should just tell Harrison how you feel and how you've always felt, face to face.

"face to face."

I'm not sure he's looking for exactly that position.

Of course, when my buddies and I were 12, there was no internet, no PCs, no smart phones. Radio and television, but that was it. What Harrison had in mind would come in a can, and could be purchased at the store. I'm not sure why he envisioned the product coming in a can (to protect the contents from harmful bacteria, perhaps, certainly not that the product would have a long shelf life since it likely would never make it to the shelf), but it was his idea. We never got around to discussing what store would stock the item, but this being long before pornography and such was widely available, I assumed in the can vegetable section at Piggly Wiggly.

Mrs Gorsky: "Blowjob? You will get a blowjob when the kid next door walks on the moon."

Years later on the Moon ...

Neil Armstrong: "Good luck Mr Gorsky."

#5 I agree strongly with Adam's piece and Tyler's caveat. We're not just going to just dole out taxpayer dollars in the form of vouchers without defining what counts as a "school." This is where I, unlike a lot libertarians, see a very limited role for the Department of Education. And while I support expanding vouchers and choice, I find the total neglect of other potential areas of reform to be troubling. Vouchers do a lot to help poor minorities in cities, which is great, but what exactly do they do for poor rural whites, the kind of people that voted for Trump? We need to think about how to reform public schools as well, since they are unlikely to be privatized any time soon. Maybe we should consider expanding apprenticeship and vocational opportunities, akin to the German education system.

+1 to apprenticeship and vocational improvements

Wouldn't verifying that the schools were acceptable be better handled at the state/local level than at the federal level?

Yeah education seems to be one of those areas where a federalist approach works well, letting states try competing methods so we can see what works best.

The thinking on Charter Schools is that parents are making the choice to send their kids to the school. They are also allowed to pull their kids if they are dissatisfied. Parents are assumed to know what is good for their own children.

This is different than public schools, where parents have no choice in where their kids go to school, other than moving.

Between testing and the internet, people know what the good schools are these days.

I find it odd that the parents and children are imagined to be the only clients of public schools. I, the taxpayer who supports the public schools, am also a client. And as a tax-paying supporter of the school system, I want a say in how the school is run, the curriculum, the management, etc. This is why I oppose charter schools. Insufficient control by the local governing authority.

If you (the parent) want control and input into the school curriculum, management, outcomes, extracurriculars and other school related decisions without my input, the there are plenty of private schools available. But if you want my money, you get my input.

"Vouchers do a lot to help poor minorities in cities, which is great, but what exactly do they do for poor rural whites, the kind of people that voted for Trump? "

The average Trump voter was not poor, nor rural. Hillary won the poor vote, by a large margin. Trump won bot the Suburban/Small city vote and the rural vote.

"Maybe we should consider expanding apprenticeship and vocational opportunities, akin to the German education system."

On that, I think cultural views need to change before we can realistically expect such changes to be more generally accepted.

I went to a rural school, and we had kids who participated in "BOCES", which was pretty much vocational-type programs, mostly held at another location. It was usually the less intelligent and worst-behaved students that were involved in such programs, and "BOCES kids" was used as both a descriptive term and a term-of-abuse. I think most parents would have been skeptical of any attempt to expand the program to include more students, because it seems like the kind of thing designed for people who are destined for a fairly low socioeconomic station in life.

As long as anything "vocational" has that sort of baggage, I think any attempt to significantly expand the programs will be a tough uphill slog.

I've been having some real problems with properly replying. Meant this in reply to pyroseed13. Seems I need some commenter vocational training.

Agreed, but the idea would be to expand the opportunities while trying to make a cultural shift happen to. Not saying it's easy, but isn't a big part of the Trumpian voter backlash about championing lower-educated people, people who actually work with their hands and know how to build and fix stuff? Couldn't we build on that and say "yeah why bother going to those liberal colleges anyway, do this instead, it's for 'real Americans' "?

A lot of those people have been sold the line that more education is always the answer. It could just as easily feel like you're shoving off some BS second-class program on them, while giving the fancy people nice educations and nice jobs. What you ultimately need is for the well-off/"elites" to treat these kinds of jobs and programs with respect, to the extent of actually sending their own average intelligence kids there.

My dad grew up dirt poor in Appalachia, and his parents told him "if you don't want to end up like us, get an education." And he did, and he didn't end up dirt poor. But he was also smart, thanks to the luck of the genetic draw. That same advice is often given to kids regardless of intelligence, because the well-off/"elite" do the same for their own kids, and can often manage to backstop them when it turns out that a 2.1 in history isn't the ticket to a great job. No one wants to sell their kids short, so we end up in this cycle of extolling the virtues of pure education, and looking down on mere "vocational" programs, even when the results are bad.

Agreed, but it's worth trying to change it. Smoking used to be cool too.

I guess the upshot of what I'm saying is that if you want to change it, the most effective route is probably to start at the top of the socioeconomic ladder rather than the bottom. If the "best" schools where the kids of the most well-off people go start to implement extensive vocational programs, you will be a lot more likely to get buy-in from people lower on the socioeconomic ladder than if you try to start from the bottom up.

If instead we end up with well-credentialed, well-off people extolling the virtues of vocational programs but not sending their kids to a school where they might end up in one, the effort is likely doomed.

Good idea. If we are going to get vocational schooling going, it should be at all schools, or as many as possible. Apprenticeships are a separate thing, you can have apprenticeships in white collar work too like lawyering. Maybe some professions can be remade where an 18 year old kid apprentices to learn the trade rather than spending 4 years figuring it out in college.

" What you ultimately need is for the well-off/”elites” to treat these kinds of jobs and programs with respect, to the extent of actually sending their own average intelligence kids there."

We are headed in the opposite direction. You have a well educated elite that publicly proclaims their sympathy for the poor but then sneeringly dismisses anyone below their station as dumb, redneck hicks.

The "Maker" movement is doing exactly what you prescribe. Working with your hands, DIY is "cool".
Also working with your hands is relevant to robotics so can be combined with education, or work in synergy with highly-educated industries.
Robots are physical things and require skilled labor -machinists, welders, electricians, technicians, to produce.

Yep, exactly. Robotics has become a cool thing for kids in affluent high schools to do...there are clubs that compete statewide, etc.

#3 - I want to know whether or not whales know they are wet. Anyhow, whales leap out of the water because they can and because they're elated that corrupt, incompetent Hillary is not president.

Oh come now. We all know that the whales leap out of the water in protest of the Trump Administration. ;)

I stand corrected. It is highly improbable that the whales are ecstatic about the crushing defeat of Crooked Hillary. They are Australian whales.

I thought Australia was America's #1 ally. We just fought with America against Hitler, supplied much needed military bases and raw materials and helped Americans to defeat the Dominican Republic.

That is correct. Australia was America's #1 ally.

So, it is not anymore. So behaves a country with a culture of disposable goods, disposable principles, disposable allies. Sad.

8. There is no great pancake stagnation.

And it comes in Red! But I expect the wife would veto the purchase at that price. I wonder if her Cricut can be modified for pancakes.

The opponents of the Border adjustment tax are correct that it will hurt them and incorrect that it won't help American workers. Ask any beneficiary of a concocted plan to benefit them at the expense of another if that concocted plan should be "fixed" or the playing field leveled and of course they will object. What more proof do you need that the border tax is right???

Perhaps this is the grumbling of a Go (and computer simulation) amateur, but I always found AlphaGo, implementation-wise, to be less than impressive. Media reports give wild claims of it having solved the computational issues surrounding Go, but the details of the implementation as I understand them are that it cheats by basically using an impractical amount of computing power to pre-compute the most statistically viable moves before a given match; the core innovation is just the ability to store all of the resulting scenarios in a set of Markov matrices rather than as an enormous tree.

"the foregone innovation": you mean the forgone innovation. Different word, different meaning.

#6 was great. One of the last sentences may be a harbinger of many things to come:

"After humanity spent thousands of years improving our tactics, computers tell us that humans are completely wrong,"

Best link of the day, and IMO, the most important by far.

I dunno, man. "The iTunes of Blowjobs" has a real ring to it...

It is all fun and games until you go to play some oral-sex-appropriate music like Sade and hit Slayer by mistake.

Typical breathless journalistic hype. Japanese were famous for the balanced exchange style attributed there to AlphaGo until Koreans came around in the 90s with their hyper-aggressive, tactical style based on very deep calculation of local sequences. The Japanese at that point had lost their direction as a people, their players failed to adjust and ceded the summit in professional Go. Now the Koreans are having trouble adjusting to AlphaGo's style. Also notice there are very few repeat matches. Lee Sedol himself used the first two games of his 5-game show match just to begin to learn how AlphaGo plays (he played these two games with two very different styles from his normal style), and so he was able to win one. On top of that, you know what they say -- AlphaGo's power is 10MW, but a Lee Sedol uses just 30W.

#2, file this one under r/dataisugly

Italy is about 12% of the EU's GDP so if they account for half of the VAT collection gap, that means they are over indexing by 2-1 but that doesn't help you analyze the rest of the list.

I'd have much preferred a chart that compared each country's share of the VAT collection gap against its share of EU GDP. That would tell us which countries have a tax collection problem and which do not.

Knock yourself out.

#5 Modeled Behavior on school regulation. That all said, I do think those costs need to be weighed against the forgone innovation from overly strong, legally sanctioned accreditation standards.

It is really hard to judge the quality of schools, a population that is good at PISA test is not the only goal. For example one could judge a nations schools by the nations:

GDP Growth
Crime level
Level of inventiveness

#1. I'm wondering if the coming superintelligent machine will be able to give itself superior blowjobs.

1) 1st envisioned by William Gibson 31 years ago, in: Hint: Bobby Newmark's playmates

'The future's already here, its just unevenly distributed'

#5 Federal or state school regulation.

Unfortunately this has become very political. Contrary to most opinions, the rural poor Rep states tend to have more intelligent students, as I had shown previously on Nov 13 for the Rep vote margins RepMargin,

RepMargin = -3.46*PctDeg +99.53; n=51; Rsq=0.66; p=5.269e-13

RepMargin = +0.090*SAT14 -90.64; n=50; Rsq=0.17; p=0.002817

i.e. higher % of degree holders tends to favour Dem and Rep states tend to have higher average SAT scores. From the results I predicted that to reconsile these conflicting trends, there should be a population movement of the high achieving students from the Rep states towards the universities and knowledge based jobs in the Dem states, draining the potentially Dem voters from the Rep states and concentrating them in Dem states such that the values of their votes were diminished with respect to the number of electoral college votes.

Interestingly I only recently found out this trend was confirmed by Bloomberg on 14 Dec 2016,

"""Brain Drain Takes a Toll in Trump Country"""

It is unlikely that the Rep states will actively try to reverse these trends. The Dem states might want to build walls to prevent this inflows :)

Comments for this post are closed