Friday Highlights

Goooood morning.

  1. Mr Krugman caught lying with statistics.
  2. S;peaking of the skewering of NYTimes punditry.
  3. Anti-Semitism and racism.
  4. Showing its demographic weakness, so who is supposed to be buying these things, besides the rich wanting to badge as green?
  5. Stupid academic folly, more here.
  6. Continuing the folly of the non-exceptional status of man.
  7. Climate and cycles.
  8. Vice or virtue?
  9. Mr Obama as neo-con?
  10. Billionares and the left, a question.

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  1. Boonton says:

    Mr Krugman caught lying with statistics.

    I’m not seeing any actual lie cited. The author makes a more sophisiticated examination of the stats than Krugman did in comparing Wisconsion to Texas but Krugman didn’t lie about the numbers.

    Maybe I have to read it again but I think there’s a problem with the analysis. OK I get his point, Texas has a different ethnic makeup than Wisconsion so that means that even if the two states are exactly the same, they may have different outcomes in education. So the author then looks at outcomes by major racial groups (White, Hispanic and Black) in each state and Texas comes out on top….

    But wait a minute, if Texas does better in every ethnic category than Wisconsion, shouldn’t it’s overall average be better?

  2. Mark says:


    But wait a minute, if Texas does better in every ethnic category than Wisconsion, shouldn’t it’s overall average be better?

    Uh, no. Whites in both states do better than ethnic groups, and Wisconsin has higher percentage of the group that does better.

    So … Krugman didn’t lie, he’s being naive. Look either he’s very smart (and new he was being deceptive) or he’s not smart, in which case …. he’s not very smart. Yet he has this Nobel thingee in a field which uses statistics as its main tool. He’s not realizing that the demographics matter is not very tenable. Therefore the idea that he’s being intentionally deceptive is the likely one.

  3. Boonton says:

    The map chart is good but it’s testing 8th grade science results. I found this table with grad. rates ( This is probably more relevant since what good is it that if a kid is good in 8th grade but ends up dropping out of HS later on?

    Overall Wis. has a grad. rate of 85% compared to TX 67%. It’s lead is clearly in terms of whites where 92% grad. while only 76% of Texan whites graduate. In terms of Hispanics both states are tied at 56%. Texas does beat Wis. in graduating Blacks 59% to 40%. But Wisconsion is not a very racially diverse state from my impression so let’s look at a few other states that have stronger unions than Texas but are larger and more diverse.

    CA springs to mind first. Their rate overall is 68% to TX’s 67%. They tie Texas on black rates (59%) and trail on Hispanic slighly (55% to 56%). Whites CA is slightly better as well, 78% to 76%.

    NJ clearly beats TX. 75% to 67%. Blacks NJ is 66% to 59%, Hispanics 60% to 56% and finally Whites 86% to 76%.

    NY beats TX 70% to 67%. But TX is better on blacks (59% to 51%), better on Hispanics (56% to 53%) but much worse on whites (76% to 82%).

    I’m not sure statistical sign. is a factor here. That applies when you’re taking samples and trying to make inferences about population from them. The graduation rate of an entire state, though, is not a sample but is the population.

    I don’t think this is enough to make a case that strong teacher unions are the key to good outcomes in education but it does argue against the case that Texas achieved anything great by not having strong unions. Texas does seem to do a bit better than some other states with Hispanic students but I’d be curious to know if the causative factor there might be that many Texan Hispanics are indigenous to Texas while other states have higher portionsof immigrant Hispanics.

  4. Boonton says:

    Billionares and the left, a question.

    A bold question considering that Fox News gives Soros full ‘Protocols of Zion’ treatment for having the gaul to be a billionare who *sometimes* supports left wing causes.

  5. Mark says:

    Soros sometimes supporters right wing causes? Huh?

    And how does Fox News enter into a question put to liberals?

  6. Boonton says:

    Supporting democracy in Eastern Europe when it was under communism was a left wing cause? OK, we’ll take it from you if you don’t want it on your side.

  7. Boonton says:

    As for how does Fox News enter into the question? Is not Fox News the main stream media? Have you not argued previously that the mainstream media is liberal? That would seem to answer the question of whether or not billionaires are ever criticized for supporting left causes…..

  8. Boonton says:

    #4’s link seems to be wrong, you ended up linking to your blog. I’m guessing you’re talking about electric cars?

  9. Mark says:

    It was this.

  10. Ed Darrell says:

    Before we write down that IowaHawk is a racist, did he bother to compare the rates in California, Arizona, and New Mexico?

  11. Ed Darrell says:

    And, who is to say it’s race, and not unionism, that makes the difference?

  12. Boonton says:

    True the rich will buy them as well as some upper middle class people and people who are just into electric cars. (Who, BTW, buys Corvettes? ) This is the early adopters phase of the industry, though.

  13. Mark says:

    Nobody who needs the car as their car-to-use will be buying the Leaf with its limited range and refill time. That won’t change with “later” adopters for all electrics for quite some time.

  14. Boonton says:

    I thought the Leaf has a backup gas engine if you happen to run out of range. As a daily ‘car to use’ then it would seem to work. You charge it at home overnight, drive it to work, drive it home. You’re either burning no gas (if its possible to charge at work) or very little gas. It’s not going to be a million cars on the road tomorrow but they said the same thing about hybreds when they first came out.

  15. Mark says:

    The GM car has a backup gas engine. The Leaf does not.

  16. Boonton says:

    According to wikipedia the Leaf is about $32K which is not an impossibly expensive price for a car (Corvettes are inexcess of $55K). It’s range is nearly 100 miles with the worse case being 41 miles in ‘heavy stop and go’ traffic. With the option to recharge at work using a standard outlet at a rate of 5 miles per hour it seems like it could be a viable commutting car… If they could get the range up to maybe 150 miles and some real options for public charging it could be fine.

    I agree that swappable batteries would be better, but maybe its better that they get the battery as good as they can first. Swappable batteries work best if the market uses a single standard battery, otherwise ‘fueling stations’ would have to keep huge inventories of different batteries.

  17. Mark says:

    Yes, swappable batteries requires industry standards. I’m not sure that “getting it optimized” is required prior to standards.

    But for now a $32k car that has limited functionality (that is can only be used for specific purposes), means it’s not your primary car. Getting the range to 150 (even with public 5hour charging cycles) isn’t going to help.

    Plus there’s the additional problem that if this does catch on (that is e-cars become more popular) we don’v have the electric generation capacity to fuel them.

    Again, toys for the rich who want to seem green (even though with their high consumption they usually aren’t).

  18. Boonton says:

    The electric generation issue is not a problem IMO. If we get to a point where electric cars are widely used then battery tech. will also be widespread. If it’s economical to tote around heavy batteries on vehciles then it would be even more economical for utilities to build even more massive stationary battery facilities to store power from off peak hours. Since most would opt to charge over night you’d just be tapping baseline generation capacity that isn’t being used anyway.

    I’m not sure why 150 mile ranges aren’t going to work. It’s a very rare and busy day that I put anywhere near 150 miles on my car. Assuming you plug it in every night or every other night you’ll almost always be fine. Maybe once a year I’ll do a longer road trip but for that I often opt to rent a car, which can be very cheap if you’re only doing it for a few days.

  19. […] Other bloggers who should know better, or at least should be struck by the repugnance of the claim that race is the problem, spread the claim, including Paul E. Peterson at EducationNext and Mark at Pseudo-Polymath. […]

  20. Mark says:

    Apparently, that correlation does not imply causation is a lesson that some people either haven’t learned or assume others didn’t learn. Whatever.