Robert Young's Blog – September 2015 Archive (11)

I'd Rather Be Lucky Than Good

There's an article on SA, that starts with Abraham Wald, a Brit stat who, during WWII defied the generals. Not a team player, he. The issue was how to re-armor aircraft in order to save them and, more importantly, the flyers. The generals looked at the bullet holes, pointed, and said, "there". Wald also looked and said, "not so much".

What's of interest, beyond the…


Added by Robert Young on September 30, 2015 at 6:25am — 5 Comments


No, this is not a missive about a soon to premiere TeeVee show. Hardly. No, more musings on the evident reaching of the asymptote of human understanding of the physical world. More specifically, the glass is 99.44% full, not 10% as it was in the 19th century. Don't tell the Rightists, their heads will explode.

More confirming reporting…


Added by Robert Young on September 27, 2015 at 4:34pm — 10 Comments

ZPOP [update]

It's been mentioned in these endeavors a few times: 99.44% of macro-economic data is from surveys, rather than census. The sole prominent number is weekly unemployment; that should be a census of all recipients of UI. Other than that, it's sample data mostly run by various parts of the Census Bureau for BLS or whoever. I've admonished gentle reader, on occasion, to read footnotes to the unemployment report, to see:

1) there's not just one unemployment rate

2) the CI of those rates…


Added by Robert Young on September 23, 2015 at 9:00am — 2 Comments


So much interesting news today, but I'll limit this missive to two topics driven by Apple that have been discussed here, more or less, in the past.

First, the advert world is falling!!! Now, I'm more than willing to admit that I'm mostly a Luddite with respect to smartphones: I only use it as a telephone, rather than an entertainment/distraction device. I've…


Added by Robert Young on September 19, 2015 at 12:08pm — 9 Comments

The Rent Is Too Damn High

Just shows how much I keep track of certain things. I caught a bit of SNL one time in the last few years, and I thought "The Rent Is Too Damn High" guy was some cast member playing a fictitious nutball. Turns out, not so much. Which brings us to today's topic, Drug Prices Are Just Too Damn High!!

Lots of folks have been making noise about drug prices, but not offering much in the way of fixes. Too much lobbying…


Added by Robert Young on September 15, 2015 at 1:38pm — 5 Comments

A Quotidian Day

There's just too much in today's "Times" to cut&paste with commentary, so I'll just give the link, title, and pick a quote (may be two). You do the rest.

Are Western Values Losing Their Sway?

The Chinese vision is not universalist but mercantilist, and Beijing is interested less in remaking the world than in protecting itself from vulnerabilities of…

Added by Robert Young on September 13, 2015 at 5:44pm — No Comments

Canary Sing to Me, Part the Second

Recognizing when the Canary flies past whilst digging in the coal mine is more art than science.  With Apple's announcement regarding "renting" iPhones, we see a Yellow Bird of Peril flit by.  Just as auto makers are turning to 84 month notes to shift product, so too is this move by Apple.  Maintaining the iPhone's silly GM leaves Apple little choice but to hide behind "monthly payment" being within the 20% household's budget.  Good luck.

Added by Robert Young on September 11, 2015 at 10:50am — No Comments

The Best Show on the TeeVee

If you're not watching "Parts Unknown" on CNN, you're a moron. It's, hands down, the best show on the TeeVee. Bourdain's first one, on FoodTV, "Cook's Tour" was 30 minutes and OK; the snark was there from the start. It was mostly a food show.

He then moved to Travel Channel for "No Reservations", and began to find his footing. In August, 2006 there was supposed to be an episode on Beirut, but a couple of days in to the visit, Israel beat the shit out of the city, along with Bourdain…


Added by Robert Young on September 10, 2015 at 7:25pm — 4 Comments

A Thing of Beauty

If you didn't watch the Serena-Venus match last night, you missed a thing of beauty.  You also missed, in a subtle way perhaps, an object lesson in experience.  I kind of hoped the match to be three 7-6 sets, maxing out on The Girls.  A few points into the first game told me how wrong I was.

Back when I got out of school, the USofA was in the worst recession in decades, so I ended up in a job that was not, shall we say, all consuming.  Which fact lent me ample time to fill.  I was…


Added by Robert Young on September 9, 2015 at 6:50am — 2 Comments

May The Force Be With You

Pundits have been claiming that the dropping unemployment rate is due to dropping labor force participation, which in its turn is due to geezers (and near geezers) quiting work.

Wrong. Here's the BLS data and note that the geezer end of the table is increasing. One can't live on Social Security, and there's no pensions to be had any longer. And, here's this months data.…


Added by Robert Young on September 4, 2015 at 4:32pm — 3 Comments

From The Mouths of Bambinos

The Donald prates about the Mexicans, while Carson is hot on his heels. Who would have thunk it? You can look it up, but net migration from Mexico to the USofA has been falling for years, and remains 0, more or less. While Carson pulls yet closer.

There has been, may be gone, the Mexico Moment which was supposed to last longer than, well, a moment.

Turns out,…


Added by Robert Young on September 2, 2015 at 6:45pm — 1 Comment


Pen for Hire ( Bathos, Pathos)

Posted by J.P. Hart on June 19, 2019 at 11:23am 3 Comments

Always Out Front.... Anyway

Posted by Robert B. James on June 19, 2019 at 8:34am 1 Comment

One Flew Under Radar

Posted by J.P. Hart on June 18, 2019 at 3:15pm 0 Comments

Tolerance and Bigots

Posted by alsoknownas on June 18, 2019 at 2:20pm 6 Comments

Where Jaws was Filmed

Posted by J.P. Hart on June 18, 2019 at 11:19am 3 Comments

I’m Not A Buddhist

Posted by Robert B. James on June 18, 2019 at 7:42am 5 Comments

2 Questions for Kosh and Jon

Posted by Ron Powell on June 18, 2019 at 2:30am 9 Comments

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