Saturday, December 24, 2016

Cab Thoughts 12/24/16

"I have no child for whom I could wish to make a provision-no family to build in greatness upon my Country's ruins." --Washington

In 1950 George Bernard Shaw died at the age of ninety-four. One young journalist who had interviewed Shaw on his 90th birthday, and had said he hoped to interview him again on his 100th, was told: "I don't see why not; you look healthy enough to me." In his decline, a visitor, attempted to console Shaw by telling him to "think of the enjoyment you've given, and the stimulus." He replied, referring to his famous literary prostitute: "You might say the same of any Mrs. Warren."

If it is true that having more people in the world implies that there will be less for each person – because of diminishing returns, for example – then the highest possible per capita wellbeing would come about in a world with only one person – Deaton
There are four types of nursing facilities in the U.S., Skilled. Independent, Assisted and full time nursing units.

Skilled Nursing Facilities  are relatively short stay, high care level facilities used for rehabilitation after a surgery and other such events. There are 15,700 Skilled Nursing Facilities in the US.
Independent Living Facility are where the patient does not receive daily care from the facility and they live in a house or apartment on the facility grounds; there are 245,000 ILF residents in the U.S.
Assisted Living Facility are for residents are who independent but require regular visitation from the facility staff for services such as medication management; there are 835,200 ALF residents in the U.S.

Who is....Ri Sol-ju?

Hardy received such criticism over his novel Jude the Obscure ( What "Swinburne planteth, Hardy watereth and Satan giveth the increase," said one; "What has Providence done to Mr Hardy that he should rise up in the arable land of Wessex and shake his fist at the Creator?" asked another. The Bishop of Wakefield advertised that he burnt his copy; an American reader mailed Hardy the ashes of his. Even Hardy's wife complained about the book.) that he gave up prose and wrote only poetry afterwards. "Perhaps I can express more fully in verse ideas and emotions which run counter to the inert crystallized opinion -- hard as a rock -- which the vast body of men have vested interests in supporting.... If Galileo had said in verse that the world moved, the Inquisition might have let him alone."

Metro Detroit Airport now has  a new way to allow people to move seamlessly through airport security. Certified as a “qualified anti-terrorism technology” by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, CLEAR has been used more than five million times to move travelers quickly through airport security lines at 16 other airports. “They validate their identity using a knowledge-based quiz, they use a government identification that’s validated using technology, and then we link it to their bio-metrics — we take 10 fingerprints with a digital reader, we take a scan of their iris, and we take a high-res photo of their face,” said CLEAR spokesperson David Cohen. Now the hook: "Membership" to use CLEAR costs $179 per year. Apparently terrorist don't have the $179. Or maybe they have bad iris scans.
But voter ID is offensive/dangerous/discriminatory/microaggression/something.

“Crime fiction,” from Edgar Allan Poe to Hannibal Lecter, owes a debt to Thomas De Quincey. A small, arrogant man--at Oxford, De Quincey disdained the final oral exams because they were not, as advertised, conducted in ancient Greek--he grew up rich and led a life of dissipation and, in some ways, horrid perversity. He was a drug addict--laudanum--of prodigious proportions, was enamored with Wordsworth and spent years as an acolyte in his shadow. Despite his infirmities, his production was considerable, especially his essays. He is best known for Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (1822) and On Murder Considered as one of the Fine Arts (1827).

The "States Rights" debate, aka "popular sovereignty," creates strange bedfellows. As the Mormons expanded into Utah, Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which overturned the Missouri Compromise and opened the territories of Nebraska and Kansas to slavery should their residents so choose. In shepherding the bill through Congress, however, the Mormons' political ally Stephen Douglas inadvertently opened up unbridgeable sectional divides in both of the two major parties. Southern Whigs abandoned their party to support the expansion of slavery, whereas many anti-slavery northern Democrats found the Missouri Compromise's repeal a pill too bitter to swallow. Out of that political chaos, an assortment of Know-Nothing nativists, Whigs, and anti-slavery northern Democrats coalesced into a new Republican Party. In 1856, the Republican platform linked slavery and polygamy together as the "twin relics of barbarism," the unholy fruit of popular sovereignty.
Democrats, however much they disliked polygamy, correctly understood the Republican position on polygamy as a backdoor attempt to regulate territorial slavery. Thus, many southern Democrats opposed anti-polygamy efforts.
Among high-school students who graduated in 2014 and took the ACT college-readiness exam, here's how various racial/ethnic groups fared when it came to meeting the ACT's college-readiness benchmarks in at least three of the four subjects: Asians, 57 percent; whites, 49 percent; Hispanics, 23 percent; and blacks, 11 percent. However, the college rates of enrollment of these groups were: Asians, 80 percent; whites, 69 percent; Hispanics, 60 percent; and blacks, 57 percent.

There be thoughtful anarchists! The main issue that anarchist economist David Friedman identified in his book The Machinery of Freedom as the problem area for anarchists is the fear that an anarchist society would not provide enough defense against a powerful foreign government.

Apple is  unveiling a new TV app that will allow users to find and watch streamed and live TV in one place.

Golden oldie:

Of the top four nations in the world for private gun ownership -- the United States, Yemen, Switzerland and Finland -- the No. 3 and 4 spots belong to small nations with a minutemen-style civilian call-up as a defense strategy or with a history of partisan war.

Reported by Just Facts, the Pentagon in 2009 estimated that 65 percent of 17- to 24-year-olds in the U.S. were unqualified for military service because of weak educational skills, poor physical fitness, illegal drug usage, medical conditions or criminal records. 65%!

In early 1977, to celebrate its seventy-fifth birthday, the TLS ran a special issue in which a score of literary luminaries was asked about the authors who, in their opinion, were most underrated – and overrated. The responses were suitably forthright, provocative, amusing. Hugh Trevor-Roper considered “the whole Bloomsbury group – excepting only J. M. Keynes – to be the most overrated literary phenomenon of our times” – and Lytton Strachey to be its charlatan-in-chief.
Rebecca West dismissed Leo Tolstoy for the “sheer nonsense” of Anna Karenina; Larkin chose D. H. Lawrence, mostly on the basis of Women in Love (“boring, turgid, mechanically ugly”). Readers were treated to a gnomic Bob Dylan (“Overrated and underrated: the Bible”), a paranoid Karlheinz Stockhausen (“for security reasons I cannot name the book which I consider to be ‘the most over-estimated.’”)
In the “overrated” category, several authors were selected more than once: J. R. R. Tolkien, Ezra Pound, Arnold Toynbee, Sigmund Freud. E. M. Forster was chosen both by Anthony Powell, for his “bland self-satisfaction”, and Anthony Burgess, for his lack of “creative potency”. André Malraux cropped up three times.
Cobb also scorned James Joyce as “arrogant, unpleasant, and above all, quite unreadable”. Those under attack, by a tacit gentlemanly agreement, were all dead – though not necessarily for long. Malraux had been in the grave for barely two months; Isaiah Berlin’s choice was Hannah Arendt, who died in late 1975.

Today, approximately 26% of major league baseball players are foreign-born, a more than five-fold increase from the 1940s. In the World Series, the Chicago Cubs have 6 foreign-born players and the Cleveland Indians have 5 foreign-born players on their rosters. Salaries and talent, of course, are up. “Unsophisticated economic theory sees a larger pool of workers as a drag on wages,” said Boudreaux from George Mason in a recent article in "Forbes." “Correct theory, in contrast – dating back to Adam Smith – understands that productivity, wages, and prosperity are enhanced by a deeper division of labor made possible by a larger supply of the ultimate resource: human effort and creativity. The data demonstrate this principle at work in major league baseball.”

North Korea’s first lady, Ri Sol-ju, has vanished from public view for the past seven months. That can mean bad things in North Korea.

The guy who creates Dilbert writes: "In order for us to be here today, our predecessors only needed to survive and procreate. They had no need to understand reality at any basic level. And we have no such need either. That’s why you might believe you are reincarnated from a monk and I might believe my prophet flew to heaven on a winged horse but we can both get through the day just fine. Many different interpretations of reality are good enough for survival."  He has said this as an analysis of the election but it works anywhere.
This is a theme in Dyson's writing, that a narrative is more important than the reality.

Obdurate: adj: 1. unmoved by persuasion, pity, or tender feelings; stubborn; unyielding.
2. stubbornly resistant to moral influence; persistently impenitent: an obdurate sinner.
Usage: "Still, Michael was unforgiving. Stubborn as a balking goat. When, after they'd become engaged, Corinne had wanted to see her friend one final time to explain what had happened, Michael was obdurate in opposition: no."-- Joyce Carol Oates, We Were the Mulvaneys, 1996 ety: 
Obdurate comes from the past participle of the Latin verb obdūrāre, a derivative of the the adjective dūrus "hard." In Classical Latin obdurare meant "to harden, be hard," and also "to hold out, endure." In Late and Christian Latin, the verb meant "to harden the heart (against truth or God)." It entered English in the mid-1400s

The population of Florida grew by nearly a million people in the four years since the last Presidential election.

From an article in the NYT titled "Spooked by Russia, Tiny Estonia Trains a Nation of Insurgents:" " Since the Ukraine war, Estonia has stepped up training for members of the Estonian Defense League, teaching them how to become insurgents, right down to the making of improvised explosive devices, or I.E.D.s, the weapons that plagued the American military in Iraq and Afghanistan. Another response to tensions with Russia is the expansion of a program encouraging Estonians to keep firearms in their homes." And 25,400 volunteers turn out occasionally for weekend military training sessions--that is four times the size of the Estonian 6,000 man army.

Police arrest more people for marijuana use than for all violent crimes combined.

The poet Wilfred Owen was killed just one week before the Armistice, 1918. As his parents in Shrewsbury listened to the bells of the local church ringing to celebrate the event, they heard the door chimes announcing the telegraph which brought news of his death.

It seems to be nothing more than simple and obvious wisdom to compare social institutions as they might be expected actually to operate rather than to compare romantic models of how such institutions might be hoped to operate.  But such simple and obvious wisdom was lost to the informed consciousness of Western man for more than a century.  The socialist mystique to the effect that the state, that politics, somehow works its way toward some transcendent “public good” is with us yet, in many guises, as we must surely acknowledge.--Nobel Laureate James Buchanan

AAAAAaaaaaannnnnnnddddddd.....a color coded voting map:

No comments: