Wednesday Highlights

Good morning.

  1. So are screw ups the exception or the rule?
  2. Why the adjective, female? Beauty matters … it’s just that human physical beauty is not the most important category of beauty.
  3. A bet.
  4. Movement left by a group with a suggestion as to why … which also one might suggest implies that the more we move lef the less healthy our society is. 
  5. For the election season, a signage salvo.
  6. In a piece on “percentages” it’s odd that he quotes 3% as the Gay population in the wake of last weeks CDC announcement that that 3 is 1.5
  7. Some thoughts on Wienergate.
  8. Vouchers in a different venue. I wonder if the same people against school vouchers would be for these. If so, why the difference?
  9. Yuck, evil evil evil.
  10. Kyoto II and Mr Obama … holding the Bush line faithfully. Happy now?
  11. Some praise for a selection of Mr Obama’s.
  12. A good post on climate.
  13. Why
  14. I think Church-as-hospital is one of the better metaphors.

14 Responses to Wednesday Highlights

  1. A bet.

    Funny, I’ve offered to bet on a number of things and you’ve always ignored them. I like the idea of prognosticators betting on their predictions, although I know from poker that it doesn’t mean they’ll be more accurate. It just means that those of us who aren’t in denial as often get to profit from it.

    As for this bet, it seems relatively uninteresting. The time period is too short, the variables are far, far too many, and the metric is arbitrary. (Why only deaths, which will be affected as much by chance and improved technology as by number of events? Why only American deaths?) Your expected value for taking either side of this bet is very close to 0.

    Why?

    Why don’t you try to come up with an honest answer yourself? The right has been pushing a lot of dishonest claims about this issue and now you link to a blog which doesn’t even bother to make the dishonest claims, but just implies them. Well, think for yourself. Do some research.

    I’d do it for you, and I have already given you a good link, but you wouldn’t believe me and probably never read that link.

  2. I think Church-as-hospital is one of the better metaphors.

    “If I would see with my own eyes a bishop, a priest or a monk in a sinful act, I would cover him with my cloak, so that no one would ever see his sin.”

    Think that attitude explains the coverup of all the rapists?

  3. 6.In a piece on “percentages” it’s odd that he quotes 3% as the Gay population in the wake of last weeks CDC announcement that that 3 is 1.5.

    It’s odd that your blogger asserts that ‘over 50%’ of TV characters seem to be gay. Over on First Things Joe Carter has an interesting post on gay TV characters and it appears that 3.9% of TV characters are gay (including bisexuals as gay for these purposes).

    Anyway the original study is here http://www.aoiusa.org/blog/2011/05/centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention-study-says-only-1-4-of-population-homosexual/. Table 30 and some others are intereting in that they show there really isn’t much of a difference between 1.5% and 3%. For example, among men 18-44 2.3% identify themselves as gay. 2.2% assert they are attracted either to ‘only or mostly’ the same sex. In terms of activity, though, 6% of men and 12% of women report at least one same sex experience…..

    So the question of how many people are gay is an inherently fuzzy one. This study, for example, was based on self responders so it would not pick someone up as gay who didn’t want to say he was and if a non-gay person wanted to pretend he was it would pick that person up as gay. But IMO it’s probably more likely that you had more gay oriented people who assert they aren’t gay than straight people pretending to be gay so that would make 1.5% a lower bound of whatever the true value is.

    Long story short, just about any percentage you want to use that’s greater than 0% but below 5% is probably quite reasonable and non-biased.

  4. 9.Yuck, evil evil evil.

    It sounds like a type of torture to me and it demonstrates that repressive regimes utilize torture for many purposes other than just gathering intelligence. Here I believe the purpose was intimidation and pschologically damaging the ‘enemy’. This lessens the impact of your utilitarian argument regarding whether or not torture ‘works’ by citing repressive regimes that utilize it. They use it for purposes that we would not want to use it for, therefore at least a portion of their ‘success’ with torture is not success we should be seeking.

  5. JA,
    I’ve been busy, but I don’t recall a link to an explanation for why waivers and why said waivers are concentrated (if so) in union and pro-Democratic industries. The last link was to the Fowler thing. Any number of things are wrong with that situation, including un-charitable behavior by putative Christians as well as a bad Constitutional ruling that insists that religion must be a private affair.

  6. JA,
    So if doctors have suppurating wounds and infections they shouldn’t cover up or be recused?

  7. Boonton,
    I’m not depending on the veracity of the 1.5% vs 3%. I just though the juxtaposition of the one study which concluded one thing in the context of a recent study which offered another. Mr Kuznicki, if I recall, offered that unsupported percentages were likely wrong … and he provided no support for his 3% claim.

    And yes, torture is used by repressive regimes for reasons other than information gathering. That doesn’t mean that torture also works to gather information. Did you read “No Way In” yet?

  8. I’ve been busy, but I don’t recall a link to an explanation for why waivers and why said waivers are concentrated (if so) in union and pro-Democratic industries.

    I was referring to this link which first lays out the propaganda push on this story and then goes through several of the claims and demonstrates that they are untrue.

    The last link was to the Fowler thing. Any number of things are wrong with that situation, including un-charitable behavior by putative Christians as well as a bad Constitutional ruling that insists that religion must be a private affair.

    I’m glad you are willing to criticize the behavior by “putative” Christians. They certainly weren’t asking themselves WWJD.

    No ruling insist that religion be a private affair. It insists that you can’t use public institutions to push your religion.

    Do you agree with me that it’s at least obnoxious (if not also illegal) to have Christian/Judeo-Christian prayers at the start of public functions where a portion of the public is neither Christian nor Jewish? Why do you have to be so pushy? Would you like it if the Senate or House began with a declaration that God does not exist? Or a prayer to Allah?

    So if doctors have suppurating wounds and infections they shouldn’t cover up or be recused?

    WTF?

  9. I’m not depending on the veracity of the 1.5% vs 3%. I just though the juxtaposition of the one study which concluded one thing in the context of a recent study which offered another. Mr Kuznicki, if I recall, offered that unsupported percentages were likely wrong … and he provided no support for his 3% claim.

    Well say you assert that 40% of marriages end in divorce and a mad woman comes up to you screaming you’re sugar coating the destruction of the family you’d ask her why? If she said the true number is 41.5% and by lowering it to 40% you’re an enemy of the family….well you’d probably consider her mentally ill. 1.5 points is still 1.5 points whether it’s at 1.5% of the population or 40%.

    I do think, though, that about 1.5% is a lower bound because when you’re asking people to self respond you’ll get more cases of gay people who falsely assert being straight than straight people who falsely assert being gay. On the other hand I think the 6% of men figure who have had same sex contact is an upper bound because there are straight men who have had experiences and while I suppose there’s some gay men who never have sex it’s not a huge figure. So between 1.5% and 6% 3% seems pretty reasonable and if you page thru the CDC study you can probably come up with any number you want in that range depending on things like whether you’d want to include people who ‘mostly’ or ‘sometimes’ are attracted to the same sex in the category of gay or not.

    It’s also probably greatly context dependent. I’m sure, for example, your wife would be greatly disturbed if you told her you were ‘sometimes’ attracted to members of the same sex or had a same sex encounter whereas the right wing advocacy group would seek to classify that as totally not gay.

    JA
    No ruling insist that religion be a private affair. It insists that you can’t use public institutions to push your religion.

    Kind of variable here. You can use a public institution to push religion if there’s essentially an ‘open mic’ where people are invited to speak on whatever they want to speak.

    Why do you have to be so pushy? Would you like it if the Senate or House began with a declaration that God does not exist? Or a prayer to Allah?

    He might say that if this is what the majority wants so be it. It would be no different than a school in Texas inviting Sarah Palin to speak because a majority likes her versus a school in NYC inviting Noam Chomsky. I do think, though, that the Constitution clearly prohibits the establishment of religion. The gov’t may not endorse a religion whereas it may endorse some philosophical positions like ‘racism is wrong’ or “ask not what your country can do for you but you can do for your country (bit hit for JFK but it drove Ayn Randians nuts).

    I think the establishment concept is somewhat fuzzy, though, and simply inviting a famous religious thinker to share his thoughts is not quite the same as an endorsement of it.

  10. JA,
    I’ve held that corruption would increase and be a part of healthcare for longer than the bill has been in existence. So your suggestion that “propaganda”, which by the way is a pretty good description of the mediamatters posts, influence this idea that this bill opens the way for partisan corruption is mistaken.

    I’m not (fortunately) prescient. So accusing me of being “influenced” by propagana in this matter cannot be correct. So, the waivers hold until well after the next election cycle … and therefore they are meaningless.

    It’s an odd thing that the “Pelosi was not connected” to the particular Bay area waivers was first seen to me on those right wing propaganda sites and not your left wing mediamatters post. But don’t let go of your propaganda belief if it helps you get through the day. Just don’t expect anyone to credit as other than fantasy.

    What are you confused about with asking about doctors and covering? I’ve said that church-as-hospital. You said wanting to separate from leaders who are ailing was coverup? I asked if a doctor (see … hospitals have doctors in their employ) was contagious would separating him from patients be seen as a coverup? If not, then why is it different if the church wants to separate but not dismiss from membership a church leader who is ailing/sinning?

  11. Boonton,
    1.5 -> 3 -> 6 are doublings. Yes +/- 1.5 is small compared to 40. Back a zillion years ago when I was T/A for Physics courses, I (we?) took of points if any experimental number was used in lab work that lacked error bars. Perhaps citations of “percentages” are equally suspect if they lack error bars (and there is of course the problem with polls that they their statistical error bars are normally dwarfed by systemic uncertainty).

  12. You said wanting to separate from leaders who are ailing was coverup?

    Where did I say that?

  13. JA,
    To recap:

    You:

    “If I would see with my own eyes a bishop, a priest or a monk in a sinful act, I would cover him with my cloak, so that no one would ever see his sin.”

    Think that attitude explains the coverup of all the rapists?

    Recall this is in the context of me pointing to “Church-as-hospital”

    Me:

    So if doctors have suppurating wounds and infections they shouldn’t cover up or be recused?

    You: “WTF”

    Me: You said wanting to separate leaders was cover-up.

  14. I said “cover him with my cloak, so that no one would ever see his sin” is a cover-up. I didn’t say anything about separating anybody.

    Note also that while the Church did in fact cover up for priests, they rarely separated them from children. (Maybe children in town A, but not all children.) What they did was like moving diseased doctors to other hospitals and refusing to warn anybody about them.

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