about being liberal or conservative anymore y'all. That is a hype offered by the fascist whores who want to confuse the people with lies while they turn this country into an aristocratic police state. Some people will say anything to attain power and money. There is no such thing as the Liberal Media, but the Corporate media is very real.
I am currently teaching my pre-calc students Logarithmic and Exponential Functions.
One thing that a lot of people (students being younger people) have trouble understanding is the scale of compounded percentage rates of increase -- or exponential growth. So when numbers (or data values from a population being measured) grow, the idea that something looking small in the immediate short-term might become huge in the long term doesn't register.
Think of 50% growth, or adding half as much to the total as you have now. Which is a 1.5 multiplier. 1, 1.5, 2.25, 3.375, 5.0625, 7.5938, ....
Let's say this is a rate per day. If you start with 2, how many days will you think it takes to reach 1 million? Less than 36 days, or more than 36 days?
Precisely 32.36373 days. At which point 50% of 1 million will add another 500,000 towards the day after.
Even if the rate of increase was just 10%, going from 2 to 1 million would take 137.66 days (roughly 2/3rds of the year -- 8 months).
We've gone from "just 2 cases" ("known" cases) of COVID-19 in latter January 2020 to 1.2 million on May 4th, 94 days later.
Update: honestly I think those first 2 cases were actually in December 2019. Enough said.
I was inspired here by a blog from a law professor who assessed the exponential intuition of his students in a different manner.
A few months ago, I gave my law students a quick quiz, which you can take yourself if you want (I emphasized to them it was anonymous and therefore not subject to grading, in case you’re wondering about exam pressure).
Here it is. They were given 30 seconds total to answer the two questions (Note that at the time Mike Bloomberg had a reported net worth of $64 billion).
Today’s date is February 20, 2020.
One million seconds from now, the date will be March 2, 2020
One billion seconds from now, the date will be September 23, _____.
64 billion seconds from now, the date will be March 25, _____
. . . .
. . . .
. . . .
The mode for answers to the first question was 2020 (9 of 41 answers). The median was 2024.
The mode for answers to the second question was 2021 (8 of 41 answers). The median was 2089.
I’m convinced that an important factor in the relative lack of serious social dissent against our plutocracy is that we’re just not very good at math.
One million seconds equals 11.6 days. Obviously one billion seconds is a lot more than that, but how much more? Honestly if I had had to give a snap impressionistic answer to this question I probably would have said something like a year and a half. I mean that’s an immensely longer span of time than eleven days after all. The correct answer is 31.7 years.
Even more interesting, to me, was the wildly incorrect answers that people gave to the second question even in the context of their answers to the first one. For example, some people who gave roughly accurate answers to the first question — putting one billion seconds 25 years in the future for example — would then put 64 billion seconds something like 120 years in the future (31.7 years times 64 is 2028.8 years).
Even highly intelligent and extensively educated people [insert lawyer jokes here] have a great deal of trouble grasping what a thousand times more than a million actually means in purely mathematical — let alone social and economic — terms. As for what 138.5 times more than a thousand times more than a million is — fuggitaboudit.
[SOURCE:Paul Campos | lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com | 4 May 2020]
Monday, 4 May 2020 at 15h 19m 36s
How Sweden compares to other Scandinavian countries
This does not include Iceland.
Sunday, 3 May 2020 at 13h 16m 26s
Cases, Deaths, and Estimated R
Click here for the policylab ap provide by (of all places) the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in collusion with the University of Philadelphia.
Here's the projection of the estimated R under 5 scenarios.
Sunday, 3 May 2020 at 12h 22m 17s
Those flu deaths
Turns out, Flu deaths are based upon statistical estimates, not hard data.Click here for the article in Scientific American.
The 25,000 to 69,000 numbers that Trump cited do not represent counted flu deaths per year; they are estimates that the CDC produces by multiplying the number of flu death counts reported by various coefficients produced through complicated algorithms. These coefficients are based on assumptions of how many cases, hospitalizations, and deaths they believe went unreported. In the last six flu seasons, the CDC’s reported number of actual confirmed flu deaths—that is, counting flu deaths the way we are currently counting deaths from the coronavirus—has ranged from 3,448 to 15,620, which far lower than the numbers commonly repeated by public officials and even public health experts....
The question remains. Can we accurately compare the toll of the flu to the toll of the coronavirus pandemic?
To do this, we have to compare counted deaths to counted deaths, not counted deaths to wildly inflated statistical estimates. If we compare, for instance, the number of people who died in the United States from COVID-19 in the second full week of April to the number of people who died from influenza during the worst week of the past seven flu seasons (as reported to the CDC), we find that the novel coronavirus killed between 9.5 and 44 times more people than seasonal flu. In other words, the coronavirus is not anything like the flu: It is much, much worse.
[SOURCE:Jeremy Samuel Faust | Scientific American |28 April 2020 ]
Saturday, 2 May 2020 at 16h 50m 0s
Oh but I thought
I thought that COVID didn't affect children?
Saturday, 2 May 2020 at 12h 41m 16s
I make a comment on a neighborhood blog
Wow. You guys are still arguing about this. Honestly, as spirited as the above discussion is, none of us are going to "solve" this problem by arguing on nextdoor. This is the residue of a dysfunctional political economy.
Now before you pull the typical SF parochial response, I was born on 6th and Geary in 1969. The old French hospital.
Rigid people see the world through the prism of their own existence and only want to justify their ideology rather than remain open minded and introspective of potential confirmation bias.
In order to calm your ideological nerves, we have to niggardly spend our collective tax revenues mitigating the anti-social effects of our economy by filtering it through banks, corporations, large & small firms/businesses, and wealthy investors, thinking they are supposed to be incentivized from tax cuts. What actually happens however is that we inefficiently address our social dysfunctionalism, and at great cost, because only a fraction of the "incentives" ever "trickles down."
Rather than seeing the homeless problem as the canary in coal mine of our economy dysfunction, we blame them, or moralize them, or get upset because of the results like drugs/violence/decrepitude/filth. This is a distraction from the larger reality.
They say that Government doesn't produce wealth, and that is supposed to be the grand motif behind which this ideology becomes justified. This is not only wrong, but also a complete misunderstanding of government's role in the first place. Government investments and various agencies lower the capital costs of businesses and increase the ability of entrepreneurs and small investors to remain profitable. Doesn't that indirectly "produce wealth" ?
Also: reducing the upfront costs of young persons, addressing mental health and drug issues early saves lots of money in the future down stream. Even if only 5% of the homeless can be saved, that is still a cost benefit on the initial investment. This why I say the moral reaction is a distraction from the larger macroscopic issues.
Furthermore, the role of government is to manage society and balance out the innate tendencies of society to slide towards oligarchy, which stymies wealth creation and funnels the profits of the economic system into fewer and fewer hands while creating the establishment of an aristocracy.
Sadly this is an ideology that is well funded by those who benefit of course, and that is why this bunk ideology is so permissive. It wants to seize your mind and make you vulnerable to it's propaganda.
Unfortunately even well-meaning good people can succumb to these deceptions.
Saturday, 2 May 2020 at 12h 15m 43s
I'm sick of these stupid ideological battles with rigid people
Rigid people who only want to justify their ideology rather than remain open minded and introspective of potential confirmation bias. Here's what I want to say to these people.
In order to calm your ideological nerves, we have to niggardly spend our collective tax revenues mitigating the anti-social effects of our economy by filtering it through banks, corporations, and wealthy investors, thinking they are supposed to be incentivized by tax cuts. What actually happens however is that we inefficiently, and at great cost, address the underlying conditions that are supposed to be ameliorated.
You say that Government doesn't produce wealth, and that is supposed to be the grand motif behind which your ideology becomes justified. Which is not only wrong, but also a complete misunderstanding of government's role in the first place. Government investments and various agencies lower the capital costs of businesses and increase the ability of entrepreneurs and small investors to remain profitable. Doesn't that indirectly "produce wealth" ? Furthermore, the role of government is to manage society and balance out the innate tendencies of society to slide towards oligarchy, which stymies wealth creation and funnels the profits of the economic system into fewer and fewer hands while creating the establishment of an aristocracy.
It's an ideology that is well funded by those who benefit of course, and that is why this bunk ideology is so permissive. It wants to seize your mind and make you vulnerable to it's propaganda.
Saturday, 2 May 2020 at 9h 17m 58s
Cool info graphics on COVID
Click here for information is beautiful. It's an awesome site if you are a stat nerd like me.
Friday, 1 May 2020 at 17h 31m 15s
Now this is sarcasm
Sometimes truth can be spread effectively by the subtle use of sarcasm, Jonathan Swift style.
Friday, 1 May 2020 at 14h 31m 44s
I wrote a letter to editor today
My local monthly district newspaper has an ancient state politician who ran against Diane Feinstein for Mayor back in the day. He gets to publish his opinion every month, often an opinion that is out of touch with a large segment (if not majority) of the residents of my district.
And it's not even good writing. He tends to basically toss into his articles whatever he got from scurrilous highly partisan sources, and thinks sprinkling his sentences with bits of poised erudition makes his arguments reasonable, rather than a fumigation technique, to prop up his tossed about ideas -- which tend to wither upon any close scrutiny.
Out of respect I didn't call him out by name.
I was saddened after reading the recent Commentary in the May 2020 issue.
However one feels about affirmative action, no reader comes away having a better understanding of the issues or policy choices after reading the column. Instead the reader is bombarded with legislative jargon, lots of strung together aggrandizing sentences and quotes, including a quotation by Edmund Burke and some obscure comment from some unnamed “college student” in the Dartmouth Review. Honestly it’s not clear how Burke’s statement about “justice” applies towards having an understanding of affirmative action, except as a sophistic embellishment that the vague premise is supported by one of the great legal scholars in history. I guess. Burke said so, so that’s that.
Okay fine, but then we are told the absentee ballots are bunk because the author culls some statement Jimmy Carter made from a 2005 Commission, which we are assured is legit because? Because Carter is not a Republican or a “bone spurs” President? Really? Oregon and Washington State have been doing absentee ballots for years without problems. And why not source more recent bodies of research other than a politically appointed Commission in 2005 or some random quote from a politician who wrote something in the Wall Street Journal. You don’t stir the pot of research with a toothpick.
How about recent studies by the Brennan Center, or MIT? Why did you also contemporaneously ignore the largest study to date on vote-by-mail — written about in the 16 April 2020 Washington Post? That study was done by Daniel M. Thompson, Jennifer Wu, Jesse Yoder, and Andrew B. Hall from Stanford University with the conclusion that there was no partisan advantage.
You are a Californian. You know about Stanford University. How come you gotta reach way back to the Bush administration and use some random politician’s quote to contrive a slanted argument?