A Forum for Monday

Please follow and like us:
FILED UNDER: Open Forum
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. CSK says:

    It’s worth repeating: In a now-deleted Twitter post, Trump congratulated “the great state of Kansas” on winning the Super Bowl.

    I wonder who pointed out to him his error?

    Claire McCaskill called Trump a “stone cold idiot” for so doing.

    4
  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Misery just gets no respect.

    1
  3. sam says:
  4. Kurtz says:

    @CSK:

    Where was Pompeo with a blank map this time?

    1
  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kurtz: Hiding it. Remember what happened the last time trump got close to a map with a sharpie?

    1
  6. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Boycott the SOTU.

    1
  7. CSK says:

    @Kurtz: @OzarkHillbilly:

    I have seen no mention of this gaffe on any pro-Trump site. How very odd.

    1
  8. sam says:
  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: They probably don’t know that half of Kansas City, the prosperous half*, isn’t in Kansas.

    *I read that somewhere, no idea if it’s actually true.

  10. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I’m waiting for member of Cult45 to claim that because Trump said it was the state of Kansas, it is the state if Kansas. But it will probably just be ignored. You can’t be a member of Cult45 without suffering from severe cognitive dissonance.

  11. Stormy Dragon says:

    @CSK:

    To be fair, I didn’t know Kansas City wa in Missouri until about eight hours ago either.

    2
  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Well, you aren’t the President of the United States either. I would bet donuts to dollars you would know that if you had spent almost 2 years campaigning in all 50 states.

    1
  13. CSK says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    There is indeed a Kansas City, Kansas, but I would expect a president and an alleged football fan to know the difference between it and KC, Missouri.

    I absolutely believe that Trump still has no idea of how to find Ukraine on a map. I forgive this failing in my 5-year-old niece.

    2
  14. Sleeping Dog says:

    Found this website interesting: https://www.socialprogress.org/

    Of course the authors don’t give the US credit for the number of guns per person, nor our mass murder population control efforts. Not to forget the number of individuals that we incarcerate and our squalid education system.

    1
  15. CSK says:

    Trump spent a goodly chunk of Sunday whining to Sean Hannity about how unfairly he’s been treated ever since he “came down from that escalator” in June 2015.

    Came down from??? What did he do–bungee jump off it?

    3
  16. Stormy Dragon says:

    The admiral who clashed with Trump over the discipline of Eddie Gallagher has decided to retire early and will likely be replaced with another admiral who has a history of encouraging SEALs to commit war crimes:

    https://theintercept.com/2020/02/01/navy-seal-collin-retire-green-eddie-gallagher/

  17. Jax says:

    Zerohedge has been permanently banned from Twitter for….wait for it….doxxing a chinese scientist and spreading misinformation about the coronavirus. No mention about all the other misinformation they’ve spread.

    But now we know what Jack’s limit is! Spread misinformation about a potentially global pandemic, and you get the boot!

    Poor Guarneri. I’m sure it won’t stop him from going there and regurgitating it here, but it’s a step.

    3
  18. MarkedMan says:

    @sam: Thanks, that’s actually a really interesting set of experiments, although truth be told I had to power through the first section due to the “everybody else is an idiot” tone the author starts of with.

  19. CSK says:

    I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that Trump thinks the state of Kansas won the Super Bowl. After all, he did on Oct. 23, 2019 claim to be building a a big beautiful U.S.-Mexico border wall in…Colorado.

    1
  20. Slugger says:

    I was thinking about impeachment. I know, I shouldn’t obsess about stuff that I can’t change, but sometimes I can’t help my emotions. When I meet a problem, I try to recall a similar situation in my past to see if I had a good answer or need a new approach. I remembered a time when I felt the same…when OJ was acquitted. The knowledge that the karma wheel eventually got OJ comforts me.

  21. Teve says:

    When Elon Musk secured $1.3 billion from Nevada in 2014 to open a gigantic battery plant, Jeff Bezos noticed. In meetings, the Amazon.com Inc. chief expressed envy for how Musk had pitted five Western states against one another in a bidding war for thousands of manufacturing jobs; he wondered why Amazon was okay with accepting comparatively trifling incentives. It was a theme Bezos returned to often, according to four people privy to his thinking. Then in 2017, an Amazon executive sent around a congratulatory email lauding his team for landing $40 million in government incentives to build a $1.5 billion air hub near Cincinnati. The paltry sum irked Bezos, the people say, and made him even more determined to try something new.

    And so, when Amazon launched a bakeoff for a second headquarters in September 2017, the company made plain that it was looking for government handouts in exchange for a pledge to invest $5 billion and hire 50,000 people. The splashy reality-television-style contest generated breathless media coverage, attracted fawning bids from 238 cities across North America and ended with Amazon deciding to split the so-called HQ2 between New York and Virginia. Then progressive politicians attacked the $3 billion in incentives offered by New York, and Bezos pulled out.

    Amazon was widely ridiculed for its failure to court New York politicians. To understand why that happened, Bloomberg interviewed 12 people familiar with Amazon’s effort. Their story, outlined here for the first time, depicts a team that became the victim of its own hubris. Bezos’s frustration with what he deemed meager government largess prompted executives to scrap lessons learned through the years in favor of an unapologetic appeal for tax breaks and other incentives.

    The richest guy in the world got pissed off because he wasn’t getting even more free taxpayer cash. Fuck these fucking people. Warren’s wealth tax is too low.

    Bloomberg

    8
  22. Teve says:

    @AmandaMull

    There’s some polling out there on this (although all that I’m aware of is people 18 and older) and even when libertarian think tanks do it, they find that the majority of young adults in America feel positively about socialism. GOP called everything good “socialism” for too long.

    4
  23. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Teve: I don’t tend to get too exercised about Jeff Bezos. I’ve been a Silicon Valley guy since about 1980, and from what I can see, he’s one of the better ones. There are some terrible people here in leadership positions … terrible. And some pretty decent ones, too.

    They all act in a way that gives their organization an edge and makes it more profitable. If they don’t do that, they don’t hold the job. The better ones have lines they won’t cross. The worse ones, well sometimes they have lines of white powder. (I know of at least one executive, whom I worked “for” that that was a literal truth, not hyperbole.)

    But, you see, that knowledge is what makes me support Warren’s wealth tax. We need structural change.

    3
  24. DrDaveT says:

    The House Science, Space, and Technology committee held hearings the other day on how the US is falling behind China is science and engineering and key technologies, and what can we do about it?

    The three expert witnesses were Eric Schmidt, formerly of Google/Alpha, the head of the National Science Council, and the VP for research at Georgia Tech. The discussion split roughly in thirds:
    1. Immigration policy
    2. Federal research funding
    3. STEM education

    They spent a surprising fraction of the time talking about immigration policy — how the US has traditionally depended on attracting smart foreigners to come here for an education and then stay, and how we’re now shooting ourselves in the foot in that regard. And about how federal research funding was nearly 2% of GDP in 1960, and is about .7 percent of GDP now.

    What they did not spend much time on is why US kids are so mediocre at math and science. The NSC witness did manage to sneak in the two key points, though: that we are wasting the talents of our disadvantaged subpopulations, and that locally-controlled education (and funding for education) is crippling us. I wonder if the (generally supportive) Republicans on the committee picked up on that…

    4
  25. Teve says:

    @Jay L Gischer: oh, I like both Musk and Bezos much more than bigger creeps like Jobs and Ellison. But we do definitely need to rebalance shit.

  26. Mister Bluster says:

    February is Black History Month
    Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.
    Malcolm X

    5
  27. DrDaveT says:

    @sam: This is one reason why I get frustrated when people want to introduce trolley problems into discussions of AI and autonomy, such as self-driving cars. There are no useful lessons to be learned from them, nor policy implications to be gleaned.

    The article you linked is a useful reminder, though, that human cognition involves lots of parallel processes, most of which we don’t have conscious or introspective access to. Just changing the required response from verbal to physical makes it an entirely different situation, as far as your nervous system is concerned.

  28. Sleeping Dog says:
  29. Fortunato says:

    I sometimes wonder if I’m too harsh in my opinion re Bernie and the Bernie Bros. I mean, his is a message of a government for the people, a model diametrically opposed to the Dollarocracy firmly ensconced in our highest branches of government at the moment.
    I sometimes wonder if the Bros maybe aren’t as ribald and radical as I imagine? And, even if Bernie can’t pass into law anything he’s proposing (which is a certainty), maybe he’ll be able to move us in a meaningful way towards a better, more equitable model?
    Then I read in today’s NYT an article (What’s the Word from Iowa?) penned by Robert Leonard, a long time Iowa news/radio pro and a politics insider. Here’s his take, having observed Bernie & the Bros. up close and personal for an extended period of time:

    Bernie Sanders’s scorched-earth campaign in 2016 continues today and will hurt not only him but us all. Most of his supporters are good, well-meaning people, but the “Bernie Bros” are real, pernicious and legion. They carry their litmus tests everywhere they go and harass non-Sanders supporters in real life (and at the events of other candidates), on social media, in their phone calls and in texts.

    I want nothing to do with this guy.
    I fully support the DNC, HRC and everyone else in publicly exposing Bernie and his Bros. for who they are. I support the DNC ‘rigging’ whatever needs rigged to result in the best possible candidate the Dems can produce.
    A candidate that can not only beat Donald Trump, but expose and humiliate him in the process. A candidate that can then deliver on behalf of the American people.
    And that’s not Bernie Sanders.

    3
  30. Michael Cain says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I would bet donuts to dollars you would know that if you had spent almost 2 years campaigning in all 50 states.

    But once he got in office… I don’t know if it’s still true, but for the first couple of years in office, Trump had visited more foreign countries than he had visited states west of the Mississippi River. Aside from Florida, his view of the country seems remarkably like the famous New Yorker cover.

    2
  31. Gustopher says:

    @sam: I was not aware that anyone thought the trolley problem was predictive of behavior — that’s just stupid. It is predictive of what policies one would support, and what trade-offs you’re willing to justify, but not what you would do.

    And the guy threatening to electrocute mice… I’m surprised no one attempted to damage his equipment to prevent any mice from being tortured. If he had the budget for puppies, I’m sure someone would have taken the laptop with the countdown and smashed it on the floor.

    2
  32. Scott says:

    @Teve:

    they find that the majority of young adults in America feel positively about socialism.

    My tea party congressman was whining about the rising National Debt that we were leaving to his children and grandchildren. So I suggested we claw back all the taxes that were cut while we were spending trillions on the last 18 years of war. And also asked what he was willing to sacrifice to prevent leaving his children and grandchildren in the lurch. He didn’t have an answer, of course but it got me thinking this question: Just what do the candidates think they are offering the young people of this country. Debt, wars, declining prospects. No wonder there are some latching on to Bernie’s socialism. What other alternatives being offered for their future?

    3
  33. DrDaveT says:

    @Fortunato:

    I sometimes wonder if I’m too harsh in my opinion re Bernie and the Bernie Bros. I mean, his is a message of a government for the people, a model diametrically opposed to the Dollarocracy firmly ensconced in our highest branches of government at the moment.

    Bernie himself I think of as the crotchety family doctor who is really good at diagnosis, but you’d be insane to let him treat you.

    His purity-obsessed followers are the left-hand mirror image of #Cult45. Fortunately, there really aren’t that many of them in total.

    3
  34. Teve says:

    @Fortunato: i just put the word Bernie on my mute list on Twitter. Nine out of 10 times I see that name it’s some obnoxious bullshit fight, possibly even paid for by Russia. If he gets the nomination I will fight off jaguars to vote for him, but in the meantime I don’t wanna see any of that shit.

    Warren would be a great President, and that’s who I’ll vote for in the primary.

    2
  35. sam says:

    About the Trolley Problem, sort of.

    Many years ago in one of my previous lives, I taught at MIT in the philosophy department. Judy Thompson was in the department then, and she and I went to hear a talk on probability. The young fellow who was giving the talk (he was from the Statistics department, I think) said that there were no absolutely certain propositions. Judy raised her hand, and said, “Well, how about this: ‘I think I smell a rose’.” It wasn’t quite up there with Russell’s letter to Frege, but I do recall there was a long period of silence after the question. Poor fellow had never heard of first-person avowals, I guess.

    1
  36. Jax says:

    I wish I could show you guys pictures of this snowstorm we’re experiencing right now. Wyoming is closed, every single state highway and Interstate is either outright closed or shut down to Level 1 chain laws and No Unnecessary Travel.

    But not our school district, man. Oh no, you gotta get those precious little darlings into town in a blizzard, so we can release school early and make you come back and get them because the buses aren’t gonna run due to the roads being too bad!!!

    2
  37. Teve says:

    @Jax: post them to imgbb.com, or share them on a google drive?

  38. Stormy Dragon says:

    @sam:

    The Trolley of Theseus Problem:

    There is a track with five people tied to it. In one hour a trolley will come and hit them. There is a switch that you can flip for the next five minutes (afterward it will be permanently locked in) that will shunt the trolley onto a track where it will only hit one person. However, in 30 minutes, a group of engineers will come through and replace all of the tracks and the switch mechanism with new ones in the exact same configuration as the current ones. Are you still responsible for what happens?

    5
  39. Michael Cain says:

    @DrDaveT:
    When this type of discussion comes up, and includes engineering education, I always switch to engineering employment. China does well at finding engineering jobs for their engineering graduates — more so than the US. Nor do they appear to toss engineers away when they get older. As lots of older engineers will tell you, if you’re 50 and lose your engineering job, finding another job as an engineer will be difficult. If engineering graduates in the US were all finding stable well-paid long-term engineering jobs, the education end of things would take care of itself.

    1
  40. sam says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Moral luck is the shoal upon which the ship of ethics founders

    1
  41. Kit says:

    My #1 reason for opposing Bernie was the impression that he would never be able to work with Congress. They make laws which the President can simply ignore, while he gets busy pushing his own Executive Orders. They have the power of the purse, which the President redirects as he will. They have no oversight power. It’s all just the naked play of power, and Congress doesn’t have the necessary equipment to play ball. If this is the new normal, then maybe Bernie is not the President we deserve but the one we need. It depresses me to even contemplate it, but if the new rules are an imperial Republican presidency followed by a Milquetoast Democratic one, then I’d just as soon go down swinging.

    1
  42. Kathy says:

    So, the series finale of The Good Place…

    Spoilers ahead.

    You’ve been warned.

    I was a bit disappointed. Yes, it was a good ending for the characters and their arcs, but I was expecting a last twist and didn’t get it. Past that, the bit with Michael at the end fell flat to me. after all, we’ve never seen him as anything other than human. Sure, we’re told he is a fire squid or something, but we never see it. I had to resort to a mental rewrite and call what he becomes “mortal” rather than “human.”

    The series as a whole I found enjoyable, thought-provoking, and sometimes funny. I think of it, to use an outdated term, as “dramedy“: a comedy with real drama (drama in the classic sense). a good example of the genre was “Sports Night” (though that was more melodrama).

    Anyway, the show did tackle philosophical and ethical questions, albeit many which hardly have any practical application. Like, for instance, would eternal happiness get boring?

    But that is a question I find most interesting.

    Immortal beings go back to the dawn of civilization, and likely precede it. Most deities are immortal (yes, not the Norse ones, I know) and ageless. In fiction it’s a common theme to have beings with very long lives (I include legends in fiction) which either age very slowly or are also ageless.

    And yet, do you ever wonder what people who live hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of years do with their time? What would a whole civilization of immortals do?

    Vampires don’t seem to do much, except keep a low profile and drink blood. In the DC universe, Vandal Savage seems to have spent an inordinate amount of time trying to rule the world, and failing just like The Brain. In Babylon 5, the Vorlons, have been nursing an ideological grudge against the Shadows (and viceversa) for millennia.

    No one seems to invest, study, travel, or do research. Going back to an earlier question I’ve asked, it seem to me a civilization of immortals would know everything that can be known about the universe.

    A more practical question raised in the finale, as we see each character in turn walk through the door (except Tahani; I said there’d be spoilers), is this: can one want to stop living?

    I don’t mean can one want to end one’s life. I can see many reasons for that, form infirmity to constant pain. But if you were reasonably healthy at an advanced age, and reasonably fit, would you want to stop living?

  43. DrDaveT says:

    @sam:

    Poor fellow had never heard of first-person avowals, I guess.

    Yeah, “I thought I was in pain, but I was mistaken” somehow doesn’t work.

    I had an undergrad philosophy TA who tried to argue that cogito ergo sum isn’t valid because you don’t know that YOU are doing the thinking, only that thinking is happening. We weren’t buying it.

    1
  44. Kathy says:

    @sam:

    About the trolley problem:

    1) If you hit the switch, do you get sued for wrongful death?

    1.1) If you don’t hit the switch, do you get sued for wrongful death?

    2) Think of this problem: You can use a new weapon against two enemy cities, which will kill a lot of people, but might cause the enemy to surrender. Otherwise you have to invade the enemy’s territory, which may kill many more people but is a more certain way to obtain a surrender. Although the enemy has fought literally to the last man in previous campaigns, so you can’t be sure. Also, your allies are moving troops to deal with enemy troops occupying another country, and might assist your invasion later on.

    2.1) No moral problem exists in isolation from a myriad other moral issues. That’s why all philosophical moral problems seem contrived and artificial: they are contrived and artificial.

    2
  45. DrDaveT says:

    @Michael Cain:

    If engineering graduates in the US were all finding stable well-paid long-term engineering jobs, the education end of things would take care of itself.

    I disagree. It would help, but we still have an enormous problem with the large majority of our high school grads being essentially incompetent in math and science, never mind the ones who never graduate. I’ve tutored math at high school and middle school, and the root problem is that they are incompetent in arithmetic coming out of elementary school. You simply can’t learn algebra (or probability, or any other kind of math) if basic arithmetic is difficult for you. I don’t see how the career situation in engineering could be driving elementary school outcomes.

    1
  46. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:
  47. Teve says:

    , but we still have an enormous problem with the large majority of our high school grads being essentially incompetent in math and science,

    Were you teaching in a Louisiana swamp or something? I’ve tutored elementary school math through calculus two in Florida and North Carolina over 20 years, and that’s not true at all. The vast majority of high school students pass algebra, geometry, biology, and chemistry. Also the completion rate in every math and science class is up from 30 years ago.

    I would argue that a whole bunch of high school math is useless archaic garbage like synthetic division and difference of cube nonsense.

    2
  48. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Cain:

    China does well at finding engineering jobs for their engineering graduates

    This may be true but it might not mean as much as you think. When I was hiring Engineers for an R&D center in Shanghai, we realized that the government run firms (in this I include nominally private firms that were created for the benefit of a party official) might have a 6 to 8x pay differential between the lowest and highest paid people for the same job, in the same location. It turns out that they never fired anyone but instead simply never gave them a raise. Annual inflation eventually drove them out.

  49. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Limbaugh announces advanced lung cancer.
    https://thehill.com/homenews/media/481234-limbaugh-says-he-has-advanced-lung-cancer
    I wouldn’t wish that hell on anyone…I hope he can manage to recover.

    2
  50. Teve says:

    “There is no conclusive proof that nicotine’s addictive… And the same thing with cigarettes causing emphysema, lung cancer, heart disease.”

    -Rush Limbaugh

    9
  51. Teve says:

    Usually by the time lung cancer is caught it’s already metastasized. If he’s saying advanced I’m guessing it’s metastasized. 5% chance he makes it to 2025, according to the medical literature.

    1
  52. DrDaveT says:

    @Teve:

    Were you teaching in a Louisiana swamp or something?

    DC suburbs. So, different kind of swamp 🙂

    The stats you link to show mostly that first exposure to various math topics has pushed left from college to high school. Algebra 1 shows the least change, and I am perfectly willing to attribute the small growth there to relaxation of standards for a passing grade unless I see evidence otherwise.

    Given the insatiable demand for “data analytics” from many industries, including lucrative financial industries, I find it hard to believe that lack of career prospects is keeping kids out of STEM writ large.

  53. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    I hope he recovers and that the experience is the Road to Damascus moment that turns him into an advocate for cancer research and expanding medical care for the indigent.

    5
  54. Stormy Dragon says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Given the insatiable demand for “data analytics” from many industries, including lucrative financial industries, I find it hard to believe that lack of career prospects is keeping kids out of STEM writ large.

    As someone with two comp-sci degrees: one of the big limiting factors is that “computer science major” is practically an low grade autism-spectrum disorder.

    5
  55. just nutha says:

    @DrDaveT: No, because, unlike the NSC, the GOP Congress People realize that every job that a wKLANG, nKLANG, gKLANG, or tKLANG gets is a job that one of their kids won’t get. Priorities. And “faith in the wisdom of the public.”

    2
  56. Teve says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I have a friend who retired to South Florida after a lifetime of programming COBOL. She will very clearly tell you that if she didn’t have full-blown autism there’s no way she could do that job.

    1
  57. Gustopher says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: Are they sure it’s not colon cancer?

  58. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Manchin now calling for Censure.
    Meaningless. Symbolic.
    Probably the best that can be hoped for.
    Will still piss Trump off to no end.

    1
  59. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Gustopher:
    They did not mention that diagnosis…but I think they may have found Trumps watch up there.

    1
  60. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    And it will prevent Trump from claiming exoneration.
    I seriously wonder if any Republicans will go along with this? I would think they’d have to give it serious consideration.

    1
  61. Mister Bluster says:

    @Teve:..Usually by the time lung cancer is caught it’s already metastasized.

    I was in the hospital room when the doctor told my friend Joe that his recently diagnosed lung cancer had metastasized and was stage 4.
    “There’s not much we can do for you now.”
    After the doctor left Joe said: “Dead man walking.”
    Sort of ironic coming from someone who was striken with the polio virus as an infant and never took one walking step in his entire life.
    He was dead in four weeks.
    He was 58.

    2
  62. Teve says:

    @Mister Bluster: Limbaugh is 69. In December 2 months ago my 69 yro dad keeled over from a massive heart attack. Dead in moments.

    1
  63. Gustopher says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: I’m just worried they couldn’t tell which end was which.

    ——
    And no, I have no sympathy for a man who has been a hate monger for most of my life.

    To the extent that this diagnosis causes those who love him distress I suggest they reassess the life choices that led them to love him. (Except Wonder Woman — she loves everyone, and that’s cool)

    1
  64. gVOR08 says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Limbaugh announces advanced lung cancer.
    https://thehill.com/homenews/media/481234-limbaugh-says-he-has-advanced-lung-cancer
    I wouldn’t wish that hell on anyone…I hope he can manage to recover.

    Now there’s a moral dilemma more difficult than the trolley problem.

    1
  65. Fortunato says:

    Only Roger Ailes has had a more profoundly negative effect on our nation.

    In all seriousness, can there be any doubt that between the two them they’ve brought about the undue suffering and even death of quite literally MILLIONS of Americans?!

    Any doubt at all?!

    Where do you imagine our nation would be right now without having been subjected to a quarter century of Fox ‘News’ and more than 3 decades of Hate Radio?

    Sorry, albeit silent and solitary, I’m going to have a private little toast this evening.

    5
  66. Mister Bluster says:

    @Teve:..Dead in moments.
    My condolences to you and yours.

    2
  67. Teve says:

    @Mister Bluster: thanks. we didn’t get along. People like Rush Limbaugh and Donald Trump damaged his brain and made him a meaner person than he used to be. But it still sucked.

    1
  68. Teve says:

    My friend Sara used to really have a good relationship with her dad. Then he retired, and started watching Fox News all day every day. Now he’s an asshole and picks fights with everybody all the time and insults people by calling them Nancy Pelosi and shit like that.

    2
  69. MarkedMan says:

    @Guarneri: I’ve been paid as an engineer for 40 years now (counting college co-op blocks). Truth be told though, I was born an engineer. There are all kinds of things I love about the profession but the number one thing by far is debugging. In the real world if you want to solve mysteries forget being a PI or a cop. The professions that require real sleuthing are few and far between. Servicemen for capital goods expensive enough to be worth repairing; physicians (but not surgeons); and engineers that have made a mess of things. That’s about it.

    5
  70. Teve says:

    Holy shit I just looked it up and the median life expectancy for metastatic lung cancer is eight months.

  71. MarkedMan says:

    I don’t have any moral dilemma when it comes to Limbaugh. He is a toxic, toxic man, and most probably a pederast and worse. But I don’t wish suffering on anyone. I don’t want him to continue to spew his bile, but I also don’t want anyone to suffer what he is going through now. I don’t know if those things are exclusive or not, but I don’t care, it’s who I am. And, as the Olympia Dukakis character says in “Moonlight” when asked, “Why not?”, “Because I know who I am”.

    For some perspective, I’ve been in a lot of operating rooms and gotten to know a fair number of thoracic surgeons, and they have one of the most difficult jobs I know of (and all too often, show it in their personal lives). Every cut they take to improve outcome or longevity results in more suffering as the patient struggles to breath. Unlike most surgeries there is no victory. Worse, there is not even a clear cut “good” and “bad”.

    2
  72. Kathy says:

    @Gustopher:

    You know people not on the right of politics are never supposed to wish anyone ill, no mater how deserving.

    So, as to Limbaugh, I hope he doesn’t suffer long.

    2
  73. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mister Bluster: A friend of mine got short of breath at the Grand Canyon. Cut their vacation short and came home. Cancer diagnosis the next day. Dead 4 days later.

  74. OzarkHillbilly says:

    When it comes to Limbaugh, a man who spread misery and lies everywhere he could and laughed about it, I’ll just say what I’ve always said about him: “Fuck him.” I don’t see why I should say anything different now just because he has lung cancer.

    1
  75. Mister Bluster says:

    Two minutes and counting for the Iowa Circus to begin.
    Here’s my scoreboard.

  76. Teve says:

    Montana State rep Rodney García

    In his question after a speech by former Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, who was Montana’s representative in the U.S. House for two years, Garcia said he was concerned about socialists “entering our government” and socialists “everywhere” in Billings, before saying the Constitution says to either shoot socialists or put them in jail…

    On Saturday, a reporter asked Garcia to clarify his remarks.
    “So actually in the Constitution of the United States (if) they are found guilty of being a socialist member you either go to prison or are shot,” Garcia said…

    “They’re enemies of the free state,” Garcia said. “What do we do with our enemies in war? In Vietnam, (Afghanistan), all those. What did we do?”

    Asked if that was an appropriate response to his opponent from the last election cycle, Garcia said “according to the Constitution, I’m telling you.”

    “I agree with my Constitution,” Garcia said. “That’s what makes us free. We’re not a democracy, we’re a Republic Constitution.”

    Billings Gazette

  77. @Teve: Yeah. I actually wrote about that yesterday and somehow the browser ate it and I never got back to it.

    a Republic Constitution, dontcha know.

    1
  78. Teve says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: dumb libtards like me just don’t get it. 😛

    On another topic, AOC just said, “ Whoever gets the nomination, we have to rally around them.” Good for her.

  79. Teve says:
  80. Teve says:

    I’m probably a bad person but I admit I laughed when I just saw on Facebook “Breaking News: cancer has just been diagnosed with Stage 4 Rush Limbaugh”.

    3
  81. Kurtz says:

    @DrDaveT: @sam:

    Until there is a truly descriptive theory of neurobiology, all of the social sciences will be unreliable at best. That’s not to say ignore them–for example, experimental psychology contributes to neurobiological knowlege.

    But scientific discoveries are typically quite narrow; big ideas that pan out are rare. The problem in these sorts of studies goes beyond the replication crisis. It is that the weight given to the results is way too much for the conclusion to hold.

    1
  82. Jax says:

    @Teve: We have officially reached dark times when The Onion has articles that sound like they were written about real Trumpsters. People around here actually say that shit out loud.

    2
  83. Kurtz says:

    @DrDaveT: @Teve: @Guarneri:

    Teve, you and I had a similar exchange recently. You’re making a couple mistakes here.

    Your tutoring experience is anecdotal, and may not be indicative of much. Calculus II is certainly difficult. But if someone made it that far, I would hope that they would have developed a workable process for problem solving and learning. Maybe they did, and just needed a different style of instruction. But it makes me wonder about their preparation before reaching that course.

    Passage rates are probably not all that indicative of ability, knowledge, or skill.

    Of course, this Guarneri quote suggests that standardized tests may not be indicative of much either:

    I only scored in the upper 10% in math, but top 1% in verbal. Top 10% isn’t exactly running with the gazelles. Kind of average.

    I understand this forum is informal, but come on, Drew.

    At any rate, Goodhart’s law applies to standardized tests, and to some extent, grades as well.

    Social and economic factors, particularly in high school, put pressure on schools to pass students to the next grade regardless of performance. Grade inflation seems to be a real phenomenon in both high school and college.

    Standardized test scores in primary and secondary schools go up partially because school funding is tied to performance.

    Testing for entrance to college, graduate programs, and professional schools are skewed by test prep companies.

    Both of those structures place a premium on being good at taking tests rather than developing thinking skills and honing a learning process.

    As I have pointed out several times here, to seemingly wide agreement, Americans don’t seem to have a grasp of how to use thinking tools designed to help one solve problems and evaluate information.

    4
  84. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jax: I lived in Spokane, WA in the early 90s. At the time, only high school students (maybe a few middle school students, too, but not many) took busses to school, almost everyone else lived within walking distance of the school they were assigned to. During a particularly cold period of the winter and for the first time in the district history IIRC, the Spokane district closed schools–but only after the police requested it because the wind chill factor was so low that doctors verified that it would be possible for children to suffer frostbite and/or freeze to death walking to school.

    Kids are just too coddled these days, that’s all.

    2
  85. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Michael Cain: Everybody keeps forgetting that many of the “education initiatives” that happen here are for the purpose of creating skills gluts that serve to depress wages in aggregate. At least that’s how it seems to me.

    1
  86. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @DrDaveT: On the other hand, there’s the old joke about the student who, troubled by reading Schopenhauer (I think), asked his philosophy professor “Do I exist?”
    To which the professor answered “Who wants to know?”

    Remember to tip the waitresses, they work hard.

    5
  87. Mister Bluster says:

    Hey Iowa Democrats! It is almost 10:00 pm local time.
    Do you know where your caucus results are?

  88. Jax says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Our district buses in students from smaller, satellite communities up to 25 miles away. It drives me nuts that they’ll even run buses when the WYDOT website clearly says “No Unnecessary Travel” on these highways at 7 am. Then they get them to school and say “Oh, whoops, no buses this afternoon, sorry ’bout your bad luck, better find a way to pick up your kids!”

    School is really NOT that important when the roads are bad like this. I didn’t even bother, not many of the other parents who live this far out on dirt roads did. Probably won’t tomorrow, either, it’s still snowing and there’s a 4 ft drift I’ve named Edna who is still growing next to my car. 😉

    2
  89. Teve says:

    The most important political and economic in fact of our time is that over the last 30 years, the richest 1% of Americans grew 22 trillion $ richer, while the bottom 50% of Americans grew 900 billion $ poorer.

    -Nick Hanauer

    6
  90. Gustopher says:

    @DrDaveT:

    I had an undergrad philosophy TA who tried to argue that cogito ergo sum isn’t valid because you don’t know that YOU are doing the thinking, only that thinking is happening. We weren’t buying it.

    Sounds like the TA was learning about Buddhism.

    1
  91. Gustopher says:

    @Slugger:

    I remembered a time when I felt the same…when OJ was acquitted. The knowledge that the karma wheel eventually got OJ comforts me.

    Didn’t he beat the shit out of someone after he was acquitted for murdering his ex-wife?

    Seems like karma requires a huge sacrifice.

  92. Gustopher says:

    @gVOR08:

    Now there’s a moral dilemma more difficult than the trolley problem.

    Sometimes I think the problem with the trolley problem is that we need more trolleys.

    1
  93. wr says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: “I wouldn’t wish that hell on anyone…I hope he can manage to recover.”

    You are a much better person than I am. I tried to default to this position, as I generally do, but it wouldn’t stick. I don’t believe in an afterlife, and so I want him to suffer as greatly and for as long as possible. I know that’s a rotten thing to think and feel — I’ll live with the shame.

  94. Kurtz says:

    @Guarneri:

    In a discussion about standardized tests, you identified top 10% as “kind of average.”

    1
  95. Teve says:

    @Kurtz: that was downright intelligent compared to the other stuff he says.

    2
  96. Kit says:

    @Kurtz:

    In a discussion about standardized tests, you identified top 10% as “kind of average.”

    I took him to mean that those were middling results given his field. Then again, one might have expected just a shade less ambiguity from someone rocking a top 1% vertical score.

    2
  97. Kurtz says:

    @Kit:

    I took him to mean that those were middling results given his field. Then again, one might have expected just a shade less ambiguity from someone rocking a top 1% vertical score.

    Exactly.

  98. Kit says:

    @Kurtz: Maybe not exactly: vertical score?! Damn you, autocorrect, and damn my inability to proofread.

    1
  99. just nutha says:

    @Kurtz: That actually makes sense as he also seems to believe that the top 10% economically are “middle class,” too.

    1
  100. Kurtz says:

    @Kit:

    You have earned the benefit of the doubt. Guarneri, not so much

    1