Saturday, May 11, 2013

Math is hard - part 2020

This is from a piece about some new cable unbundling legislation (not a bad thing in and of itself). What I am offended by is this statement

If McCain's legislation gets enacted, it could save users a nice chunk of change by arresting the alarming increases in monthly cable bills. Right now, customers pay an average of $86 a month, but if cable companies continue to raise prices at a rate of 6 percent a year, the cost could skyrocket to beyond $200 a month by 2020, according to the consumer market researcher NPD Group.

Now, most folks will not click through the link to the Huffington Post much less go the the source  , they will just take the number at face value. Basic math says that it cannot be correct.

Let's assume that the average rate in 2012 was $86.00.

6% added to that gives us $91.16 at the end of 2013
6% added to that gives us $96.63 at the end of 2014
6% added to that gives us $102.43 at the end of 2015
6% added to that gives us $108.57 at the end of 2016
6% added to that gives us $115.09 at the end of 2017
6% added to that gives us $121.99 at the end of 2018
6% added to that gives us $129.31 at the end of 2019
6% added to that gives us $137.07 at the end of 2020

it takes until 2027 for it to pass $200.

What am I missing except for the fact that innumeracy is rampant in this country?

Note that I am not saying that the number from the market research firm is incorrect. It is just that it cannot be based on the information that they shared with the world.

On Rand Paul and the run on tinfoil in Kentucky

From a fundraising letter signed by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)
But looking at previous attempts by the UN to pass global gun control, you and I can get a good idea of what’s likely in the works.
You can bet the UN is working to FORCE the U.S. to implement every single one of these anti-gun policies:
***  Enact tougher licensing requirements, making law-abiding Americans cut through even more bureaucratic red tape just to own a firearm legally;
***  CONFISCATE and DESTROY ALL “unauthorized” civilian firearms (all firearms owned by the government are excluded, of course);
***  BAN the trade, sale and private ownership of ALL semi-automatic weapons;
***  Create an INTERNATIONAL gun registry, setting the stage for full-scale gun CONFISCATION.
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you this is NOT a fight we can afford to lose.

I don't even know what to say to this except...
Proceed Senator.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

On Clinton and Sanford

I should note that it is my considered opinion that Bill Clinton should have resigned. Not because he cheated on his wife but because he did it with a subordinate.  That is a firing offense for management in many organizations and he had a VP that was perfectly capable so there would have been no constitutional crisis.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Do not try this at home

How To Lose 20-30 Pounds In 5 Days: The Extreme Weight Cutting and Rehydration Secrets of UFC Fighter

A fascinating look at how fighters "make weight"

On economics and morality

It is not the case that because something is justifiable according to an accepted economic theory it is also the morally correct thing. The world isn't just about the efficient allocation of goods and services. It just can't be.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

A fun New Blog to Follow

"Heteronormative Patriarchy For Men" could be a good time.
This blog is dedicated to exploring gender issues from a male perspective, unshackled from any dogmatic ideology. Ally is often accused of being a feminist lapdog and an anti-feminist quisling; a misogynist and a misandrist; a mangina and a closet MRA, and concludes that the only thing found in pigeonholes is pigeon shit.

On Tolerance

I am very tolerant of folks that have different opinions than I do as along as their opinions do not include rhetorically stomping on people that are less wealthy or a different color or happen to love people that are of the same sex.

I do not tolerate sexism, racism, homophobia(we need a better word for that because they are NOT afraid) and a lot of other stuff that I consider hateful because well I consider it hateful. I have kicked people out of my house for dropping n-bombs in a context that showed they seriously thought that people with more melanin in their skin were inferior.

I don't think that makes me intolerant.

If you do then I think you have redefined the word.

This little jabber was inspired by this.

On Skepticism and Atheism

After reading PZ Myers' post about a certain kind of skeptic I have to wonder as well. Is it really possible to consider yourself a skeptic and still be a person of faith. I have to think not.

I would love hear someone explain to me how it is possible to have an overall skeptical stance and yet exclude religion from consideration.

A question about evolution on a sunny Sunday morning

I know that I have some readers that do not believe in evolution.

How do you explain this?

In June 2008 the popular science magazine New Scientist printed a story about Professor Richard Lenski's twenty-year project examining the evolution of E. coli.[1] They reported that, as a result of several beneficial mutations, his organisms had acquired the ability to metabolize citrate - or more correctly an ability to transport it through the cell wall prior to metabolizing it. This was an entirely new ability for this species - an increase in complexity provided by a beneficial mutation. This beneficial trait was then fixed in the population by natural selection.
It is also important to notice that before acquiring this ability the bacteria acquired a previous potentiating mutation which, although it was not clearly beneficial at the time, subsequently allowed the descendants of that potentiated group the ability to process citrate after a further mutation. Furthermore frozen descendants of that group, and only the frozen descendants of that group, retained the ability to re-evolve that favorable trait.
His group did not use genetic engineering to modify the organism (to design it), it was produced entirely by the evolutionary process.
If you say, "they are still the same KIND of thing (a bacteria)" then you have to explain in detail what you mean by the word KIND.

if you  say "well that is micro-evolution and not macro-evolution" then you have to explain in detail where the dividing line between the two concepts lies.

Vague hand-waving will not suffice for either of these two things.

If you cite someone, please include a link to a description of their work and a simple Google search on their name with the word "debunked" added to the end shouldn't bring up thousands of hits.

I will talk about any answers I get in a subsequent post