Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Mormon Flow Chart

This is a piece of brilliance

Mormon Flow Chart For your Soul

On Scalia's Legacy

From Gin and Tacos comes this observation
Scalia in particular has turned himself into Cruella DeVille over the last few years. Does he believe that future generations will look at him as a hero? I suppose some people will, in the same sense that some people look back at Madison Grant or George Wallace or Joseph McCarthy as heroes. But other than being a perennial favorite to neo-Birchers, evangelical extremists, and the White Power crowd, there won't be many tears shed for Antonin when he departs this mortal coil.

On lying with statistics - Cancer Treatment Centers of America Edition

From Reuters 

CTCA reports on its website that the percentage of its patients who are alive after six months, a year, 18 months and longer regularly tops national figures. For instance, 60 percent of its non-small-cell lung cancer patients are alive at six months, CTCA says, compared to 38 percent nationally. And 64 percent of its prostate cancer patients are alive at three years, versus 38 percent nationally.
Such claims are misleading, according to nine experts in cancer and medical statistics whom Reuters asked to review CTCA's survival numbers and its statistical methodology.

On the usefulness of big data

From here  comes this insight.
Working with multinationals as a management consultant, I have chased big data insights all my life and have never found them. What I have learned, however, is that local data has a lot of value. Put another way, big data is pretty useless, but small data is a rich source of insights. The probability of discovering new relationships at a local, highly contextual level and expanding it to universal insights is much higher than of uncovering a new law from the massive crunching of large amounts of data.

As someone that has been a little skeptical of "big data" I find this confirms what I have seen as well.

On Those Lazy unemployed in North Carolina

I see that this happened

North Carolina is losing eligibility to the federal program because of a new law, signed by the governor in February of this year, which reduces the number of weeks that unemployed people are eligible for state-funded benefits and cuts the maximum weekly benefit amount by roughly one third, from $535 to $350.
350 a week. For 19 weeks.

That is not exactly living big in my book.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

On Asylum and Edward Snowden

Someone please explain to me how Edward Snowden looking to Russia for asylum makes any sense whatsoever if his motivation was whistleblowing on a country that was spying on its own citizens. That is kind of like moving from New England to Alaska because you think new England gets too much snow.

This story is getting weirder and weirder every minute.

And yeah, if his final destination is Cuba or Argentina, as I have seen posited, then this really isn't a lot better. Cuba is .. well .. Cuba .. and Argentina doesn't exactly have a long history of democracy.