Wednesday Highlights

Wooh. Light at the end of the tunnel … one more day of silly hours (then travel and work Saturday). Ain’t life grand?

  1. Unemployment measured before the thought police got put in charge of the government. Kinda like how the census just “happened” to change how it measured important Obamacare metrics so the next data set will not be comparable with past ones for judging the effectiveness of the program (or should that be programme).
  2. Speaking on Obamacare, here’s how it’s bending that cost curve. First of many would be my prediction.
  3. Other news on that front here.
  4. Two on the Sterling kerfuffle, here and here.
  5. Wonder why bike racing is awesome? Go no further and just watch.
  6. Oy vey! The mountains are moving because of global warming  (Yikes! Catastrophic! Skary!)…. uhm wait. A 6000 foot mountain has a measureable .. 1-3 millimeter height variation (out of a seasonal 2cm shift) and that’s something that is …. well, move on. Nothing to see here (literally). (and by the by, the “human” cause of that  … just unsubstantiated rubbish).
  7. More climate news here.
  8. Country or not-country?
  9. Yikes.
  10. Drug tests.
  11. “Russia had serfs long after everyone else had abandoned serfdom” … uhm, Russia freed the serfs concurrent with the start of the Civil War. I mean, there are lots regrettable things that you can pin on Russia in her history (see 20th century) but the mock serf thing at a time when you had slaves? That makes no sense.
  12. Well, to be honest, physicists have been returning (absent evidence) to super-symmetry for 50 years so far … not because of new evidence but because it is (a) cool and (b) solves a lot of vexing problems.
  13. Hmm. I thought the saying was “out of the mouths of babes … come all manner of things.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Boonton says:

    #1. Since the unemployment rate is a derived metric, it may make more sense to fall back on a direct measure of employment. So take raw jobs:

    There appears to be no decrease in actual jobs associate with either passage or implementation of Obamacare…esp. since the increases in new jobs seem greater the closer you get to Obamacare milestones….nice try.

  2. Boonton says:

    kindof grasping at straws aren’t we with Obamacare at this point?

  3. Boonton says:

    re #12

    True, but nonetheless the distinction between religion and science remains. Super-symmetry, like ether, is ‘cool’ and seems to solve problems but will be fully discarded the moment evidence is produced that disproves it. Likewise unless it can make testable predictions that later pan out, it will always be ‘tainted’ no matter how much physicists may be rooting forit.

  4. Mark says:


    Likewise unless it can make testable predictions that later pan out, it will always be ‘tainted’ no matter how much physicists may be rooting for it.

    OK. Do you have a prediction for how long a theory remains in vogue without making a testable prediction and people move on? Because String Theory has been around since about 1976 without a prediction. Super-Symmetry for longer.

    What prediction/claim made by religion is proven false but still believed?

  5. Boonton says:

    Isn’t this analogous to conjectures in mathematics; things mathematicians suspect are true but no actual proof has yet been found? As popular as these may be they still suffer a taint from not yet being proven.

  6. Mark says:

    In mathematics conjectures which are suspected to be true but haven’t been proven are the most interesting things of all. They are prized. It is one of the primary things the sharpest mathematicians work on. Super-Symmetry and String theory attract the best and brightest in the absence of any prediction because they are the only known ideas for solving many of the problems for which there is no current answer.

    So. No. In maths there is no “taint” for interesting conjectures, much the opposite. Physics, especially experimentalists, would wish that Super-symmetry and String theory would be tainted, but they suffer from somewhat from the fact that theoretical physicists are a lot like mathematicians and are have a similar attraction to interesting conjectures.

  7. Boonton says:

    But suspected to be true isn’t as good as proved true. Tomorrow someone can just as easily prove a conjecture is false.

  8. Boonton says:

    #6 you seem to have misread the post. The study asserts humans have caused the Sierra Nevada mountains to rise because irrigation and other water use has drained water from the mountains making them lighter. Global warming doesn’t appear to be cited as a direct cause.

  9. Mark says:

    Look at recent history. I don’t think the word “taint” means what you think it does. Fermat’s Last theorem was proven in 1994 by Andrew Wiles. It was tainted until then? How? What does that even mean?

  10. Mark says:

    You missed the final paragraph “pretty much any projection for what climate is going to look like in California in the future …”

  11. Boonton says:

    Fermat’s Theorem. Say in 1993 you had worked out a long and complicated proof. However one of the steps in the proof required assuming Fermat’s Theorem to be true. Despite your best efforts, no way around that step can be found and you are unable to do what Wiles did a year later. Your proof would indeed be tainted.

    missed the final paragraph:

    It reads:

    And given that “pretty much any projection for what climate is going to look like in California in the future involves an increasing need for groundwater,” Amos says “we can expect the phenomenon to continue.”

    The concern the article explores isn’t the mountains moving but whether or not the mountains moving would weaken nearby fault lines.
    It seems the very use of the word ‘climate’ is causing to immediately jump to global warming.