Wednesday’s Forum

Hump day.

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. 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. EddieInCA says:

    That debate was….

    1. Dissapointing
    2. Disheartening
    3. Sad
    4. Amazing (for the wrong reasons).
    5. All of the above.

    ?

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    There was a debate last night?

  3. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Well, something took place on a stage in So. Carolina last night.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: A food fight?

  5. Scott says:

    ‘Mad Mike’ wasn’t trying to prove ‘flat Earth’ theory on ill-fated homemade rocket launch

    Read this a couple of days ago and wanted to comment. Reading this gave me such a swirl of emotions. Sadness. Admiration. Envy. Happiness. Far better writers than me (including most of those who write here) can be far more articulate.

    Let me just say, I am glad there are people like this in the world.

  6. Scott says:

    Trump’s DHS head has a brutal exchange on coronavirus — courtesy of a GOP senator

    I watched this exchange. I normally have no patience for “gotcha” questions. But since this was Republican on Republican action, I’ll allow it. But still. Sen Kennedy is such an bloviating (fill in the blank).

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  7. Kathy says:

    The future is here, and it’s putting more people out fo work.

    This is not so much revolutionary, as a continuation of a trend. Next time you’re at a bank, grocery store, or supermarket, cunt how many teller/cashier positions there area, and how many are staffed.

    This tiny bank near my office has four teller windows, and I’ve never seen more than three, and usually two, providing service, even when there’s a long line.

    So now we can do away with cashiers entirely, and Mr. Bezos can pad his mattress with a few more millions.

    Mind, as a customer, this sounds great. Especially those times you’re in a hurry (but then maybe the line to scan the app will be too long?)

  8. Teve says:

    @ChrisHayes

    Really fascinating to watch right-wing media wrestle with coronavirus. The reactionary instinct (on display w Ebola) is to fearmonger about diseased foreigners, but that might hurt Trump, so they’re trying to tamp down those fears or spin some anti-Trump conspiracy.

    @zeddary

    They’re waiting for an outbreak in Central America or a Syrian refugee camp so it can fit in nicely with their standard fear and racism playbook. By the Summer it will all be Soros’s fault.

    @lyleleander

    ‘By the summer’. Ha. You spelled ‘By Saturday’ wrong.

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  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy:

    Mind, as a customer, this sounds great.

    Not to me. This hillbilly doesn’t like working for free.

  10. Mu Yixiao says:

    I’ve had a question nagging me for a while. I’ve seen several people say that after Trump leaves office, the next administration should pursue criminal charges against him. Assuming that would happen–and that he’d be convicted… what happens to him?

    Can you (realistically) put a former (US) president in prison?

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    NYT: Earth’s Deepest River Conceals an Evolutionary Mystery

    In 2007, fishermen living along the lower Congo, the deepest river on Earth, brought Melanie Stiassny a fish. It was six inches long, ghostly white and eyeless. Like most fish held out of water, it was dying. What surprised her was what was killing it.

    “There were nitrogen bubbles forming under its skin and gills,” said Dr. Stiassny, an ichthyologist with the American Museum of Natural History in New York. It was a clear sign of decompression sickness, an often-fatal ailment that results when animals are rapidly depressurized. In humans, the buildup of nitrogen bubbles in the blood during a rapid ascent from deep water is called the bends.

    “I thought, could this thing really be dying of the bends?” she said. “And if that was the case, how deep is the water here?”

    The Congo River runs for 2,500 lazy miles through Africa’s equatorial basin, coiling like a snake through the jungles of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Then, 186 miles from the ocean, it drops into a dangerous series of gorges, sinking 12 feet every mile. The swirling waters of the Kongo Central province, bordering the Republic of Congo and Angola, contain 30 percent of the river’s fish diversity and have long attracted ichthyologists.

    Dr. Stiassny works with The Congo Project, a partnership among the University of Marien Ngouabi in the Republic of Congo, University of Kinshasa, in the D.R.C., and the A.M.N.H. that studies the unique fish and environment of the lower river. Their research, presented in January at the American Geophysical Union, has revealed a river landscape more bizarre than previously imagined. Its hostile currents and depths of more than 700 feet are an incredible natural laboratory for studying convergent evolution, or how diverse species develop similar environmental adaptations.
    …………………………..
    Luckily, all of the kayakers returned in one piece. The data gathered by the white water team revealed a harsh underwater landscape: huge towers of rock, stripped bare of sediments and plants by fast currents that run both upstream and downstream.

    “Almost as if you’ve got two rivers in the same channel,” Dr. Stiassny said.

    The complexity and power of the currents are the key to the evolutionary richness of the lower Congo, she said. This hostile environment keeps breeding populations of fish separated in isolated pockets of water, and resulted in the evolution of new species.

    “We’d get populations diverging on either side of a rapid,” Dr. Stiassny said. “Maybe they’re only separated by a kilometer, yet it’s as if they’re 50,000 miles apart.”

    Interspersed with shallow rapids are canyons deep enough that the team had to use measuring equipment designed for the deep ocean to study them. Parts of the Congo River measured around 720 feet deep, almost as far down as the twilight zone of the ocean. Immense vortices of water plunge up and down the canyon walls like underwater waterfalls.

    I had no idea. Apparently until ’08-’09, neither did anybody else.

  12. Scott says:

    @Kathy: The local Credit Union just closed the branch office I used (rarely) and opened up a small storefront operation manned with one person. You interacted with tellers remotely through a video screen. Where they were physically located, I don’t know.

  13. @Mu Yixiao:

    Can you (realistically) put a former (US) president in prison?

    Realistically? Almost certainly not.

  14. Scott says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Probably not. Exile on St Helena would suffice.

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: I doubt the Brits would take him. How’s about Mt St Helens and pray for a 2nd eruption?

  16. Teve says:

    It’s still too early to say that millions of Americans will be killed by the new strain of coronavirus, but if millions are killed and millions more put in the hospital at ruinous expense, I think that would accelerate Medicare for All plans.

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  17. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    So… if he was convicted, what would happen to him?

  18. Kathy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I share the sentiment. I’ve never used a self-checkout lane in the store.

    But this concept by Amazon is different. You just put items in your cart, bag, purse, or pockets even, and walk out. The tally and billing is automatic.

  19. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Can you (realistically) put a former (US) president in prison?

    It’s like the question faced by the winning side in the English Civil War: can you execute the king?

    The English managed. Perhaps the Americans will as well.

    BTW, the rationale for not indicting a sitting president rests, in part, on the impeachment process as a remedy for misconduct. as we have seen, this is a curious remedy that will only work when the other party controls the House and Senate, the latter with a super majority. Otherwise it will not, and cannot, amount to much.

    So that part of the rationale no longer applies. Worse, now there’s really very little, if anything, holding off misconduct by a president, or Trump.

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  20. Jen says:

    I have several friends losing their minds about the “Born Alive Act” being defeated in a US Senate vote. It continues to astonish me how malleable conservative voters are. They don’t take two minutes to think “wait a minute…” they just react. Predictably. Every time.

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  21. @Jen: I saw a freak-out on Twitter this morning about this.

    I reminded a friend of mine that the vote was wholly symbolic and that McConnell only scheduled it to help rile up Evangelical voters.

  22. (It is just a way to try and convince Evangelicals that they have to stick with the GOP).

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  23. Teve says:

    @Jen: chumps.

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  24. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Can you (realistically) put a former (US) president in prison?

    Lord, I hope so. It’s not a good remedy but with only one Republican Senator willing to hold Trump accccountable, we obviously have no other mechanism to restrain corruption.

  25. Kit says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Not to me. This hillbilly doesn’t like working for free.

    If I remove self-checkout cashier, IKEA assembler, and travel agent for my various trips, I’m afraid that my resume starts to look rather thin.

  26. CSK says:

    Trump seems to think we are afflicted by the “Caronavirus.” Well, that’s how he spelled it in a Tweet.

    He will be speaking about this “Caronavirus” at 6 p.m. today.

  27. CSK says:

    Clyburn has just endorsed Biden.

  28. Teve says:

    To quote a meme going around, when the MAGA people ask how we’re going to pay for Medicare for All, we should just tell them Mexico is going to pay for it. 😀

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  29. wr says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: “Can you (realistically) put a former (US) president in prison?” “Realistically? Almost certainly not.”

    Does that mean we can move directly to the death penalty?

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  30. Kathy says:

    I may have found a buyer for the Kindle oasis I talked abut a few weeks ago, but now I feel guilty asking for the money it’s worth.

    At Amazon, it goes for around $280 and I was asking $250. that’s ok when sold to someone who knows the device and has money to spare. it’s not ok for a newbie who may not know what they’re getting, and who happens to be a coworker (her kid actually wants it). I feel I’m ripping her off.

    So instead I’ll ask for $150, after letting her kid use it for a week or two. That way they know what they’re getting, and it likely won’t be a kid’s instant fancy with a device.

  31. CSK says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    Were Trump to suffer extreme personal humiliation on being convicted, I’d be pleased. But I fear he’s so well insulated by the bubble of self-aggrandizement he lives in, he might not feel it. And there will always be Cult45 to shore up his feelings.

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  32. CSK says:

    Trump Tweeted that Elizabeth Warren–whom he referred to as Pocahontas–is a “chocker.” I’m aware that this is Brit/Australian slang for “full” or “fed up,” but what does Trump think it means? Choker?

    He seems to have trouble with “oke” words. Didn’t he spell “smoking” as “smocking?”

  33. just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: I wouldn’t count on that working in that most of the dead and financially ruined will most likely still be poor and minorities. We talk about disease being equal opportunity, but I don’t see much evidence that it really works that way. The rich really DO have better health.

  34. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Washington state doesn’t want him either. Find your own volcano.

  35. Teve says:

    @MarshallCohen

    Rush Limbaugh and right-wing fringe sites are attacking Dr. Nancy Messonnier, a top CDC official handling the coronavirus response, because she is Rod Rosenstein’s sister. They’re spreading the lie that she’s part of the deep state and trying to tank the markets to weaken Trump.

  36. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    @Teve: God, the stupid, it hurts.

    Maybe if Rush’s fans believe that it’s just a hoax or something to hurt Trump (even though Trump will be addressing it tonight apparently) natural selection in the form of Darwin awards will take over?

  37. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Since Tiny and his cult view him as a god, perhaps crucifixion would be an option.

  38. Sleeping Dog says:

    Clearview AI, the facial recognition company that broke Facebook and other social media websites, terms of service is reporting that their entire client list has been stolen.

    My first thought was the turnabout is fair play and my second is to congratulate them on their system security.

  39. Teve says:

    The complete idiots at Prager “University” sued YouTube for not publicizing and monetizing some of their videos, claiming it was a violation of their First Amendment rights. In 2017, a federal judge in California said fuck off YouTube is not the government you dipshits. Prager appealed, and today the ninth circuit court said fuck off YouTube is not the government you dipshits.

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  40. CSK says:

    @Just Another Ex-Republican:
    Limbaugh is proposing that the coronavirus is nothing more than the common cold virus, and that all the hype about it has been created purely to bring down Trump.

  41. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I have a friend who testifies that Adak in the Aleutian Islands is a really swell place. /s

  42. Michael Reynolds says:

    In a rational world we’d look at this virus and think that we need more co-ordination with the rest of the world. We need to agree on neutral health observers on-scene, with unfettered access to everything. We need international responses to international problem. Including climate change, human trafficking, arms smuggling, piracy both intellectual and high seas varieties.

    Unfortunately a totalitarian one-party state rules the most populous nation on earth, the second (maybe first by now) most populous nation is run by a fanatical religious bigot, and the world’s most powerful nation is run by an idiot. So we aren’t going to deal with pandemics, and we aren’t going to deal with climate change, or anything else requiring intelligent international efforts.

    You know those movies where aliens attack earth and all the world governments come together to defeat them? That would never happen. We’d all be looking to make deals, to act as the aliens’ enforcers, or wallow in lunatic conspiracy theories. Hmmm. There’s a book in that.

  43. Michael Reynolds says:

    @CSK:
    Totally true. Except the cold doesn’t kill people. Minor discrepancy, nothing more.

  44. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Oh, but of course.

  45. CSK says:

    The Trump campaign is suing the New York Times for defamation, claiming that the paper is engaging in “a systematic pattern of bias” to forestall Trump from winning the presidency this November.

  46. Jen says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    We’d all be looking to make deals, to act as the aliens’ enforcers, or wallow in lunatic conspiracy theories.

    That was one of the better aspects of the movie “Arrival,” I thought. Different governments working separately and a breakdown in communications/separate agendas was a lot more believable than everyone working together.

  47. Mister Bluster says:

    aliens

  48. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    If memory serves, in Clarke’s “Childhood’s End,” the aliens, who were not exactly invading, had to kind of force the world’s governments to unite.

    Of course, they had their failures.

  49. Michael Cain says:

    I was looking at 538’s model’s probabilities for Bernie winning in each of the Super Tuesday states and noticed California 89%, Utah 87%, and Colorado 83%. Those are on the order of double his probabilities in non-western states. Bernie also did quite well in the West against Clinton in 2016, winning several states and making a respectable showing in the rest (41.1% in Arizona was his worst result).

    Offered without comment.

  50. Michael Reynolds says:

    Bernie has his own cult of personality and like the Trump cult, will carry the day and win the nomination.

    Then, if Bernie loses, the Democratic Party will tear itself apart. And if Bernie wins his entire agenda will be dead-on-arrival and the Democratic Party will tear itself apart. Bernie’s not a leader. He’s not a uniter. He’s a scold in love with his own Jeremiads, ranting and roaring and stabbing his finger in the air and imagining that because he’s made some correct diagnoses, he also has the cures.

    I don’t see a path to a happy outcome. I think the country is fucked, and a year from now we’ll either have fascism triumphant or paralysis. Note to all the self-righteous Bernie Bros who despise compromise: You don’t have a prayer unless millions of us compromise, hold our noses and vote for paralysis.

    And before one of our resident Bernieholics attacks me as a naysayer, I have two words for you: Joe Manchin. We have 47 Senators. Jones is toast, so in reality we have 46. We need to pick up four net seats plus Veep to organize the Senate. Which means we need former astronaut Mark Kelly who supports a public option, Sara Gideon who supports expanding Obamacare, Hickenlooper who opposes M4A, and a fourth to be named if we ever find one, all to win.

    And Joe Manchin will still be in the driver’s seat.

  51. Jen says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Agreed. And I’m not sure Mark Kelly will win if Sanders is at the top of the ticket.

  52. Guarneri says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Perhaps you should travel to Washington and offer your sage advice, seeins how you’ve got all the answers. Save the world! Wait, all I saw was bitching and moaning.

    Never mind.

  53. Jax says:

    So I’m guessing the White House staff has been busily dusting off all the cobwebs that have gathered in the Briefing Room for Trump’s big briefing on the coronavirus? I mean, when was the last time it was used? 😉

    What’s the over/under on him staying with the prepared speech and not spouting any conspiracy theories?

  54. An Interested Party says:

    Wait, all I saw was bitching and moaning.

    You should be more than familiar with that, as that is all you did when Obama was president…

  55. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: you would think that Trump didn’t understand the concept of discovery

  56. MarkedMan says:

    You see the animal cunning in Trump in putting Mike Pence in charge of the Coronavirus. I’m sure conventional advisors are telling him that he needs the Evangelical votes so treat Mikey with respect. But Trump says to hisself, “I gotta get rid of this guy and replace him with a total loser and my best plan is to tie him to everything that looks like it could be a loser.

    And, truth be told, Pence is as dumb as Trump, but without the cunning, so he signs onto everything Trumps sh*ts on him…

  57. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:
    I don’t think Trump’s lawsuits ever get as far as discovery. And in this case, it’s the Trump campaign that’s suing, so discovery might not apply to Trump himself.

    @MarkedMan:
    I could be wrong, but I think that at this point, Trump could shoot Pence on Fifth Avenue and still keep the Evangelicals.

  58. Sleeping Dog says:

    @CSK:

    Remember those lawsuits by women suing Tiny for various perversions? Well, his argument that as President he’s too busy to trifle with such matters, just took a fatal hit.

  59. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Ah, but his excuse will be that it’s his campaign that’s suing. He himself is still far too busy to engage in frivolous litigation with those women.

  60. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    And to think he passed on Christie.

  61. Kurtz says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    “self-righteous,” “in love with his own Jeremiads, ranting.”

    For a second there, I thought you had learned a little self awareness. But alas, you will likely never realize that those descriptors apply to you.

    The first step of successful negotiation is to ask for more than you think you can get. You don’t start with the worst offer you’re willing to take. But your Sanders has no accomplishments line is like many of your arguments–stumpy punditry.

    Your Senate argument is quite right. But it doesn’t seem like any of the candidates will get Dems over the hump. Sabato only lists two toss-ups, NC and AZ.

    And pretty much any significant agenda is likely to die in the upper chamber regardless of who wins.

    But be won’t be able to make a semi-educated guess until public polls start coming for the Senate races.

    I’m skeptical of the claims of BernieBros and the BernSkeptics as far as claims of coattails. I can conjure a couple different scenarios that would support either side. But again, we won’t know where to stab until a few public polls come out.

  62. Teve says:

    Actual customer today, with a big fucking cross hanging outside his T-shirt, “Man it’s true what they said about coronavirus. I saw a YouTube video on it. If you look on the back of Lysol bottles from years ago it says will kill coronavirus, they knew that shit was coming.”

  63. Kurtz says:

    @Teve:

    of course they did it’s a drirun for when they release the real pandemic they added a new compound to the chemtrails developed from gay frog dna to see if they can weaken the immune systems of white people its the global (((elites))) trying to wipe out trump’s base bc lizards need need the swamp to live #Q #WWG1WGA #KAG #TrumpTrain #jussiesmollettwasafailedfalseflag #saynotofluoride #freemanafort #freestone #deportomar #deportobama #lockherup #kanyestansince2016

  64. Teve says:

    @Kurtz: THEIR TURNIN THE FROGS GAY!!!!!,!11A1

    I was a little obnoxious about explaining to him how coronavirus is a very old family of viruses that usually causes the common cold and he shouldn’t listen to YouTube videos, but I don’t give a shit because out of eight sales people I’m number two and my boss doesn’t really care about anything other than the numbers.

  65. Gustopher says:

    Good news!

    Unknown origin case of Covid-19 in the US. Neither the man, nor any close associate of the man, has travelled to affected countries.

    (The news is good if you are Covid-19, looking to spread your genes)

  66. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Kurtz:

    The first step of successful negotiation is to ask for more than you think you can get.

    I wonder how many negotiations you’ve been part of because I think that’s a rather childish notion of negotiation. Maybe if you want one cookie you start by asking mommy for three. But you don’t open a negotiation on a raise by asking for double your current salary. Because then you just look like an idiot. You don’t walk into the car dealership demanding the price be cut in half. Maximalist demands are simply rejected out of hand.

    But hey, don’t believe me because you know, I write in such a cocksure style, so I must be wrong. November isn’t that far off. You’ll be able to show me how wrong I was by pointing to all the bills Bernie passes if he wins. Or I’ll be able to say, ‘I told you so.’ Care to put any money on it?

  67. Kurtz says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    That’s a good point. But it’s not about that, Michael. You’re correct that you don’t ask for everything. But the issue here is that there isn’t a ton of middle ground to stake between mfa and robust modifications to ACA. The caveat is that I think the GOP knows they will probably not be able to get rid of it, which may make it easier to fix it.

    A better example to illustrate your point is the issue of student debt. It would be dumb to start with legislation to forgive it all. But there is a lot of space between that and doing nothing to find a reasonable starting point.

    As far as M4A, that would likely be ideal economically, but overhauling 20% of the economy all it once is probably a terrible idea. Better to take a gradual approach. In the longer term, discussing it as an option publically makes it seem more feasible.

    In general, you lump me (much like you do with Trump voters) in with a group that is in many ways, the opposite of who I am. It irritates me a bit, because I make pretty clear what I think about the world. But I’m also careful about recognizing that we have 300 million plus people that have vastly differing experiences. So even if I was 100% correct, it wouldn’t matter.

    If you read what I write carefully, you will see I rarely make certain statments, especially about future events.

    It’s rich that you made the accusation that my view is childish–it actually is nuanced and specific to the state of healthcare.

    The most childish viewpoints are the ones that ignore uncertainty. The most childish response to being correct is to say, “I told you so.”

    I shook my head yesterday, because you decried Manichean thinking, a practice you often employ. Which is fine, because perfection is impossible. But you don’t seem self-critical enough to realize you’re doing it.

    In the same thread, you criticized Sanders by saying he “doesn’t think [Castro] is a monster.” Not only would this require telepathy, but is exactly the type of reasoning that you criticized–ignoring the existence of gray areas.

    One more recent example. Cheryl Rofer responded to one of your arguments by discounting Evolutionary Psychology. Teve, who moderates a Biology forum, pointed out that he spoke to a few Biologists who desribed EvoPsych as “trash.” You doubled down.

    Even before evaluating the argument itself, one can point out the dangers of taking firm stances built upon EvoPsych. Why? Because Psychology itself suffers from empirical gaps when studying people who are alive now. Our knowledge of early bands of humans isn’t flimsy, but it also isn’t detailed. And it requires inferences that are likely to form an incomplete picture.

    Then your specific argument about hunting is erroneous. Men didn’t go out everyday to hunt–the hunts were likely to be organized and much less frequent than gathering. Using an incomplete depiction of ancient life to explain a complex modern phenomenon requires that you beg the question to fill in the missing gaps. The fallacy is slightly obscured, but it’s there.

    Again, the problem here is your irrational certainty overwhelming your process. It leads you to make absolutist claims about things you cannot know.

    Your cocksure style is great for readers, but it inevitably leads to a faulty logical process. Your tendency to filter every disagreement through your own process results in a defensiveness and arrogance that keeps you from fully engaging ideas.

    It also leads you to accuse me of claiming things that I do not claim–the genius remark comes to mind here. It also means you read my reasoning and evaluate it by whether you agree with it rather than whether it tests your conclusions. That’s a bad process.

    Your wager challenge is missing the point. I’m not making claims with certainty, in fact, I rarely do. I’m not even saying you’re wrong–I’m saying that you may be correct, but you cannot be sure of it. I have acknowledged that my view of the electorate and Sanders may prove to be incorrect. Nothing is more childish than claiming something in the future is certain and calling it something other than what it is: faith.

    I don’t decide whether to chase a straight without evaluating the odds. You’re the guy who draws to an inside straight, because “you know that 10 is coming.”

  68. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Kathy:

    Modeling for staffing is wicked hard.

    Kathy, your inherent response is not terribly honored in the modeling. Sorry to say.

    If you get ticked if you have to wait two minutes, those folks kinda care, but not that much. That there is a an unmanned window is by design.

    It provokes a contest. Those that object; those that accept.

    Those that object are customers that eat up customer service resources disproportionanlly. They are likely not to be highly valued customers.

    Not likely to be directed into profitable exchanges.

    Those that accept are exploitable. Born moneymakers.

    Businesses winnow for exploitative customers. I feel so evil I now know that I participated when I should have known to object.

    Late stage capitalism. It fools with your head.

    It fooled me. I was an idiot.

  69. de stijl says:

    @Kurtz:

    I think we can safely agree Reynolds oversubscribed to earlier, much less accurate descriptions of early Human behavior patterns.

    It wasn’t A or B.

    It was both and more.

    It was some of A, plus a smidge is B, we also happened on some C we will bring back to camp.

    It is more complex than pop versions of evo-psych allow.

  70. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    A / B testing is used by every large company.

    Usually in an e-ad response test, but also in just UX layout experiments.

    It arguably seems creepy, but it measures how people react and respond to one layout over another which is immensely useful.

    I was tasked with squaring away upper management’s sales performance front end.

    Undifferentiated here was yesterday, here was last week, etc. scored much more poorly than here was last week compared to last year’s same week. This October compared to last. Click here to see more.

    Month over month and Ytd vs. Ytd comparisons always drew more clicks. Regional managers super drilled in. Those folks were crazy for the info.

    I proposed to buy weather condition data to smooth because 63 and sunny is a different instance chance than 29 and snowy.

    Figuring out how to incorporate weather data is a hard nut to crack. We eventually did it as an overlay, so the consumer could interpret as they would.

    A / B testing has gotten much more sophisticated since.

    That was a fun gig.

  71. de stijl says:

    People prefer graphs over spreadsheets. But you have to show the raw numbers if someone in the minority wants to drill down.

    The appropriate graphical depiction of data is as key a skill as storing data appropriately so it can be displayed.

    Edward Tufte has been superseded to some extant (I prefer recontextualized and expanded upon based on new research), but he was *the* dude back when.

    Figuring out how to present data in a useful manner is really difficult and extremely rewarding.

    I would beg colleagues to participate. Pretend you are north central sales manager. What do you want to see?

    IT folks are bad guinea pigs. They always want to know how you did that rather than what you did or why. We are a tree oriented folk more so than forest as a group.

    Straight up developers responded for it better and were decent regional manager analogues. They understood what feedback I wanted.

    But gave way too technical fredback.

    I relied upon friends who knew nothing about the company. Asking them to pretend to be north central sales manager worked substantially better.

    Obviously, the best feedback was from the actual north central sales manager, but she wanted a CSI effect interface that was not just beyond spec, but flat out undoable.