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By gzt (Fri Jan 07, 2011 at 04:48:42 PM EST) gzt, chess, skat, texas, quiverfull, psi, statistics, cowtipping, inside job (all tags)
We watched Inside Job last night. It was all right, I think it was a very clear explanation of the financial crisis with minimal grandstanding and propagandizing (more than the Enron documentary, far less than a Michael Moore documentary).

But this reminds me that we should see films at the Siskel more often. It's right by work (and the train) and we have a membership.

One thing that I wasn't terribly fond of was the way the interviewer at times asked people questions that they couldn't answer as a way of grandstanding. Congress does this in their hearings, too, and it's terribly annoying. I also think that regulating executive compensation isn't quite the way to go after these things. Yeah, there are perverse incentives at play the way things are currently run from top to bottom. People were rewarded in the short term for making short term gains with no thought of long term risks. But making a law is the most inefficient and ineffective way of attacking this problem (I'm not a libertarian, I'm not opposed in general), especially since corporations are now somewhat forced to see that this is not in their best interests. I do think that there needs to be some legislation regulating certain types of derivatives contracts and think going back to some of the old rules enacted in the Depression might be a good idea. I mean, if you're basically making an insurance contract, you really need to treat it like insurance (a regulated product), with proper reserving and what-have-you. If you're going to privilege ratings agencies (which we do by regulating what kinds of securities pension funds can invest in), they need to be tightly regulated. I would have liked to have seen more about Iceland, because it's an interesting story and they opened with it. I was going to send an article I remembered about it to my wife, but it's no longer available on the net ( I'm sure there are others out there. I think that's the article I was thinking of. It could have been something in Salon or The Atlantic or something.

It would be cool to have a ship in a bottle. It's not worth the effort of making and it seems a little lame to buy one unless it's an antique or something.

The wifing unit has me reading Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement, which is... interesting. It helps me understand some aspects of the upbringing she had. Apparently living with me is making her think back about her youth and how weird it was in comparison to my sanity. I'm pretty sane! I think that's sanitary enough for public consumption.

Anyway, that got me to thinking once again about the relation of rhetoric to logic. Tradition, bias, etc. Semiotics, philosophical hermeneutics, Gadamer, Ricoeur. Holy crap, this is digging back to my early time on K5. Like those pictures hulver posted. Anyway, this is just sort of a placeholder reminding me to look at this stuff again, because we all need to develop a better critical apparatus. This is philosophy from a practical standpoint, quite fortunately, not just ------- in each others' shoes. When you stay on the practical level.

Per the recent xkcd comic, I looked at the wikipedia page on common misconceptions. Some of them were BS. For instance, the linked paper "proving" cow-tipping was impossible without 4 people is just wrong. Look: typical training weights for tire flips are 600-1200#. Yeah, somebody doing the top one is pretty strong, but that definitely suggests that one man can tip a cow. Two definitely could, by the math in that paper. So OMG now on wikipedia "cow tipping" is impossible just because of some bad maths.

I really like the punchline to this:

The "psi" paper is showing why you need to have a statistician on the peer review of any paper, or at least any controversial paper. Here's the appropriate response: "YOU USED THE WRONG TESTS." Not, "We'll publish this." Here's the editorial published along with it, which, by the way, indicates why it shouldn't be published, so why publish both??? I'm printing that off for my file of papers and other things warning about the pitfalls of doing statistics poorly. I have a rather good collection. This is, by the way, a large part of why I dislike a lot of social science work. By the prevailing standards, this paper is a-okay.

Energy drinks: Just slick marketing.

Poor Texas: You fail at budget!

I really should try playing skat on the internets. The computer program I'm playing against is not adequate and it's not worth it at this point to purchase a good one (Siegfried, by the way, is the good one). It doesn't even work right; it doesn't value up "hand" games appropriately and often crashes during "null" games.

I was just glancing through my recommendations on and noticed that there have been a lot of very good chess books published in the last year or two. Respected authors making new editions of books that are 50% bigger and have completely-redone positions, respected authors continuing magisterial and definitive series, respected authors starting magisterial and definitive series (if the new series lives up to the old's standards), etc. Well, good to know, though I already have too many chess books and I'm not playing these days. EDIT: Updated to do the full title of the book I'm reading.

< Yey for letters. | It's been a really interesting day >
crazy stuff | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden)
Quiverfull? by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #1 Fri Jan 07, 2011 at 05:16:01 PM EST
Oh my.

they were influenced by it by gzt (2.00 / 0) #2 Fri Jan 07, 2011 at 05:25:28 PM EST
they weren't quite there.

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So you don't have 100s by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #3 Fri Jan 07, 2011 at 05:31:33 PM EST
of nieces and nephews on your wife's side.

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no by gzt (2.00 / 0) #6 Fri Jan 07, 2011 at 09:06:48 PM EST
who knows how many kids the siblings-in-law will have, but I don't expect more than an average of 2 per.

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Ugh by Gedvondur (2.00 / 0) #4 Fri Jan 07, 2011 at 08:52:51 PM EST
It's hateful movements like Quiverfull that make it hard for me to be fair and equitable about religion. 

I keep telling myself that if these people were not God-crazy they would be just as crazy and toxic about something else.

Glad your wife got out of it.  Good on her.

"Adrenaline dumbs pain" - xth
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they all got out by gzt (4.00 / 1) #5 Fri Jan 07, 2011 at 09:02:58 PM EST
including parents.

there's plenty of crazy in the world. but, yeah, a lot of God-crazy, and, yeah, I do think that tends to be a bit worse than a lot of other crazy. I mean, the other types of crazy that are as bad or worse can be formally described as religions, I have the totalizing ideologies in mind, like communism. communism is definitely the worst offender. though these ideologies are better described as merely political.

damn, i hate communism.

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ORLY? by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #7 Fri Jan 07, 2011 at 10:08:46 PM EST
Dude, get the wife to start an account here. Immediately.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

I could always give her one of my dupes by gzt (2.00 / 0) #8 Fri Jan 07, 2011 at 10:54:50 PM EST
because creating accounts is so expensive.

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Cool. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #9 Sat Jan 08, 2011 at 03:44:47 AM EST
This is gonna be k-rad!

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

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man by gzt (4.00 / 1) #10 Sat Jan 08, 2011 at 10:09:02 PM EST
I was hoping some random long-time poster would hop on the joke...

[ Parent ]
crazy stuff | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden)