Month: July 2021
On the flight from Houston to Oaxaca, not everyone took off their masks to eat and drink, as they would on most internal U.S. flights, even if only for “faux mask removal-motivated drinking” [FMRMD].
You have to fill out some forms, through an app, on your smart phone in advance. When you arrive they ask: “Did you fill out the forms?” Say yes if you did.
They let you in, no test required, no other questions asked. They do check your baggage tag against the bag you take away.
Nearly everyone in central Oaxaca city wears a mask all the time in public, including outside. It is like San Francisco at its mask-wearing peak.
They spray the sides of the parks with something that smells like hand sanitizer.
If you wish to enter a store, you have to accept some hand sanitizer. This is perhaps an efficient tax on browsing. Toward the end of the day, however, they dispense with the tax.
Some establishments spray your clothes when you enter, maybe it is water? Some spray you front and back. Staff compliance does not seem to be grudging, rather the “Mexican petty bureaucracy” seems to be mobilized and out in force and with real enthusiasm.
There is a place along the local highway where they stop all cars, and have everyone get out to accept a dose of hand sanitizer.
I wonder how the equilibrium operates. Of all the above measures, perhaps only the masks stand a chance of helping? Does the rest of the security theater make it easier for them to largely stay open?
The use of the word, sir, is very common in Indian officialdom.
During a government meeting, Prof Basu recounts, he decided to keep a tab on how many times the word was said.
A senior official, he counted, was saying sir, “on average 16 times every minute (there was a minister present)”.
Assuming it took her half a second to say the word, Prof Basu calculated that 13% of the official’s speaking time was spent saying sir.
Professor Basu found it is “impolite to knock” in officialdom. “Either you have the right to enter a person’s office or you don’t.”
So if you have the right, the “norm is go right in”.
“It has taken me a while to adjust to this custom, it being such a strict norm in the West to knock before entering,” he writes.
But he faced a small problem, adjusting to the new norm.
“What made the adjustment harder is that, given the high humidity in India, many doors are swollen and jammed, and so one needs to push against them for them to open,” he writes.
“The upshot is that not only do you not knock when entering someone’s office, but you often end up entering the room like a cannon ball, as the door suddenly gives way.”
Here is the full story, via Malinga Fernando.
Here is a very good thread from William Hoenig, recommended.
Here’s a regression puzzle courtesy of Advanced NFL Stats from a few years ago and pointed to recently by Holden Karnofsky from his interesting new blog, ColdTakes. The nominal issue is how to figure our whether Aaron Rodgers is underpaid or overpaid given data on salaries and expected points added per game. Assume that these are the right stats and correctly calculated. The real issue is which is the best graph to answer this question:
Brian 1: …just look at this super scatterplot I made of all veteran/free-agent QBs. The chart plots Expected Points Added (EPA) per Game versus adjusted salary cap hit. Both measures are averaged over the veteran periods of each player’s contracts. I added an Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) best-fit regression line to illustrate my point (r=0.46, p=0.002).
Rodgers’ production, measured by his career average Expected Points Added (EPA) per game is far higher than the trend line says would be worth his $21M/yr cost. The vertical distance between his new contract numbers, $21M/yr and about 11 EPA/G illustrates the surplus performance the Packers will likely get from Rodgers.
According to this analysis, Rodgers would be worth something like $25M or more per season. If we extend his 11 EPA/G number horizontally to the right, it would intercept the trend line at $25M. He’s literally off the chart.
Brian 2: Brian, you ignorant slut. Aaron Rodgers can’t possibly be worth that much money….I’ve made my own scatterplot and regression. Using the exact same methodology and exact same data, I’ve plotted average adjusted cap hit versus EPA/G. The only difference from your chart above is that I swapped the vertical and horizontal axes. Even the correlation and significance are exactly the same.
As you can see, you idiot, Rodgers’ new contract is about twice as expensive as it should be. The value of an 11 EPA/yr QB should be about $10M.
Ok, so which is the best graph for answering this question? Show your work. Bonus points: What is the other graph useful for? Holden points to Phil Birnbaum’s helpful analysis in the comments.
More puzzles at cold-takes.
In the last decade, and especially after the 2013 Virginia court case of Ross and Ross v. Hatch, there has been a dramatic increase in knowledge, use, and legal recognition of supported decision-making (SDM) in the United States. SDM is a methodology in which people work with trusted friends, family members, and professionals who help them understand their situations and choices so they may make their own decisions and direct their lives. After the Hatch case, in which a young woman with Down syndrome defeated a petition for permanent guardianship by demonstrating that she uses SDM, this methodology has increasingly been considered and used as an alternative to guardianship to enable people to retain their legal rights and make life choices to the maximum extent possible. This article reviews the guardianship laws of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Using criteria we developed, in light of the findings and values expressed in Hatch, we assessed the extent to which those laws recognize or encourage the use of SDM as an alternative to guardianship and as a means to enhance self-determination for people in guardianship. We then offer recommendations for future SDM research, policy, education, and advocacy efforts.
As late as 1750, Portugal had an output per head considerably higher than those of France or Spain. Yet just a century later, Portugal was Western Europe’s poorest country. In this paper we show that the discovery of massive quantities of gold in Brazil over the eighteenth century played a key role for the long-run development of Portugal’s economy. We focus on the economic resource curse: the loss of competitiveness of the tradables sector manifested in the rise of the price of non-traded goods relative to traded imports. Using original price data from archives for four Portuguese regions between 1650 and 1800, we show that a real exchange rate appreciation of about 30 percent occurred during the eighteenth century, which led to a loss of the competitiveness of national industry from which the country did not recover until considerably later.
Via Ilya Novak. Oh Thiago!
Beds to be installed in Tokyo Olympic Village will be made of cardboard, this is aimed at avoiding intimacy among athletes
Beds will be able to withstand the weight of a single person to avoid situations beyond sports.
I see no problem for distance runners,even 4 of us can do😂 pic.twitter.com/J45wlxgtSo
— Paul Chelimo🇺🇸🥈🥉 (@Paulchelimo) July 17, 2021
2. The culture that is Dutch: “Dutch Queen, robot involved in opening of 3D-printed bridge in red-light district.”
4. How Giannis could shoot free throws better (of broader performance relevance too, NYT).
The sale of passports is the largest source of revenue for the Vanuatu government, with analysis by Investment Migration Insider finding it accounted for 42% of all government revenue in 2020.
In June 2021, the government reported a budget surplus despite the Covid-19 pandemic, largely thanks to the continued demand for citizenship, and the government has used the profits to pay down debts.
Vanuatu issued roughly 2,200 passports in 2020 through these programs – more than half (around 1,200) were to Chinese nationals. After Chinese, the most common nationality of recipients was Nigerian, Russian, Lebanese, Iranian, Libyan, Syrian and Afghan. Twenty people from the US, six Australians and a handful of people from Europe were also among those who applied.
Here is the full story, via Shaffin Shariff.
Born at Easton Piers, march twelfth, 1621, about sun-rising: very weak and like to die, and therefore christened that morning before prayer. I think I have heard my mother say I had an ague [fever] shortly after I was born.
1629: about three or four years old, I had a grievous ague. I can remember it. I got not health till eleven, or twelve: but had sickness of vomiting for thirteen hours every fortnight for…years…This sickness nipped by strength in the bud.
1633: eight years old, I had an issue (natural) in the coronal suture of my head, which continued running till twenty-one.
1634: October: I had a violent fever that was like to have carried me off. ‘Twas the most dangerous sickness that ever I had.
About 1639 (or 1640) I had the measles, but that was nothing: I was hardly sick.
1639: Monday after Easter week my uncle’s nag ran away with me, and gave a very dangerous fall.
1643: April and May, the small-pox at Oxford; and shortly after, left that ingenious place; and for three years led a sad life in the country…
1646: April — admitted of the Middle Temple. But my father’s sickness, and business, never permitted me to make any settlement to my study…
1655 (I think) June fourteenth, I had a fall at Epsom, and broke one of my ribs and was afraid it might cause an apostumation [abscess]…
1656: December: Veneris morbus [venereal disease]
1657: November, twenty-second, obiit domina [died Lady] Katherine Ryves, with whom I was to marry; to my great loss
Nor were those the end of his troubles…
That is all from John Aubrey’s Brief Lives, the autobiographical section, an excellent book more generally. Progress Studies!
By 1978, Han constituted 42 percent of Xinjiang’s population, up from a mere 6 percent in 1949. The flow was reversed in the reform era, as many Han who had been forcibly relocated to the province returned to China proper. In 1990, the Han share of the population was down to 37.5 percent, and official estimates of the time projected a decline to 25.0 percent by 2030.
That is from Adeeb Khalid’s excellent Central Asia: A New History from the Imperial Conquests to the Present.
“Take it from one of the best living novelists that people’s personalities are not interesting,” she said in a dry voice unlike the voice she uses with me as a rule. “Except,” she added, when you are in love with them.”
And more from the diary of Charles, the lover:
Would I ever have fallen for her if it hadn’t been for her books? I very much doubt it. But now I can’t separate her from her literary self. It’s as if the woman I ‘love’ were always accompanied by a companion spirit infinitely more exciting and more poetic and more profound than E herself…When it comes to writing, well I had a letter from her the other day so blunderingly expressed, so repetitive, that the least of the characters in one of her books would never have been guilty of it.
2. Push to free Britney gains traction on Capitol Hill (NYT): ““We don’t even know how many people are in conservatorships and guardianships,” said Zoe Brennan-Krohn, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union’s disability rights program. “We don’t know how long they’ve been there in them. We don’t know whether they want to be there. We don’t know why they’re there. We don’t know whether they have their own lawyers.””
3. David Brooks column on foreign policy (NYT).
4. “A Brisbane man with no formal medical qualifications who filmed himself performing “backyard” consensual castration surgeries on two men has been handed a suspended sentence and will be released from jail on probation.”
Narrative accounts of classroom instruction suggest that external interruptions, such as intercom announcements and visits from staff, are a regular occurrence in U.S. public schools. We study the frequency, nature, duration, and consequences of external interruptions in the Providence Public School District (PPSD) using original data from a district-wide survey and classroom observations. We estimate that a typical classroom in the PPSD is interrupted more than 2,000 times per year and that these interruptions and the disruptions they cause result in the loss of between 10 and 20 days of instructional time. Several findings suggest that there exists substantial scope for reducing interruptions. Administrators appear to systematically underestimate the frequency and negative consequences of interruptions. Furthermore, interruptions vary widely across schools and are largely caused by school staff. Schools might reduce disruptions to the learning environment by creating a culture that prioritizes instructional time, instituting better communication protocols, and addressing the challenges posed by student tardiness.