Monday, 12 October 2015

Big Government Is Your Destiny

Despotic altruism with other people's money is baked into the pie.  Lefty policy keeps coming out of the oven and is always inedible.  You can blame having more parents per kid than ever before.   Where two parents may have cared for four kids, now it's possible for four parents to be caring for one kid (on alternate weekends), an eight-fold increase in supervision.  Kids hardly play without a controlling adult present and enter college ready to cry about micro-aggression, choosing tattling over managing.  That ratio of supervising adults to children is trending higher for the foreseeable future.  Today's children will become adults who think it normal for the state to micromanage all citizens, treating them as children.
Baked in
Policies that give government more say will be popular with them.  It's baked into the demographic pie.

Remember too that singleton children grow up differently than we did.  They don't run around squabbling, building forts, taking turns skipping rope, playing pick-up baseball, and learning how to get along with dozens of other free-range kids in the neighbourhood.    Instead they went to T-ball and art class and swimming lessons in Mom's car.  They were sent to summer school, tutored and taken on escorted tours to Europe for spring break.  In China, because of enforced abortions, they raised a generation known as "Little Princes".  We're next, producing an entitlement generation that will vote for entitlement politics, preferably using someone else's money to secure their own comfort.

"Demographics is destiny".  There is a hopeful corollary.  These same new adults are going to be extraordinarily long-lived with 130 being a normal life-span.  They are going to be more conservative voters because they'll have something worth hanging onto: a little property, a network of relationships and values they have counted on for decades.

Does despotic altruism with OPM work?  It's baked into the pie for the foreseeable future and will continue to emerge and re-emerge whether it works or not. 
There you have it: two conflicting trends, both arising from demography and more deep-seated than questions of High-Information-Voters versus Low-Information-Voters.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Making shit up and calling it Behavioural Science

Of 100 published papers recently tested, only one third could be reproduced.   One of the duds had been cited 2000 times.  Replication is the bedrock of science and it is sand in Behavioural Sciences.  Data from tiny sample sizes of white American college students (often paid to participate) is massaged to find significant correlation by professors who vote 95% Democrat, occasionally cheat, and gain nothing reporting negative results.

Over 270 researchers, working as the Reproducibility Project, had gathered 100 studies from three of the most prestigious journals in the field of social psychology. Then they set about to redo the experiments and see if they could get the same results. Mostly they used the materials and methods the original researchers had used. Direct replications are seldom attempted in the social sciences, even though the ability to repeat an experiment and get the same findings is supposed to be a cornerstone of scientific knowledge. It’s the way to separate real information from flukes and anomalies. These 100 studies had cleared the highest hurdles that social science puts up. They had been edited, revised, reviewed by panels of peers, revised again, published, widely read, and taken by other social scientists as the starting point for further experiments. Except . . . Nearly two-thirds of the experiments did not replicate, meaning that scientists repeated these studies but could not obtain the results that were found by the original research team.”

Statistical significance works in large random samples but not in small non-random ones. You can always find some connection, like "sixteen amazing parallels between Abraham Lincoln and John F Kennedy", if you keep sorting for significance.  This is like the joke that  an infinite number of monkeys typing forever would eventually tap out the entirety of Shakespeare.
More than 70 percent of the world’s published psychology studies are generated in the United States.  Two-thirds of them draw their subjects exclusively from the pool of U.S. undergraduates, according to a survey by a Canadian economist named Joseph Henrich and two colleagues. And most of those are students who enroll in psychology classes. White, most of them; middle- or upper-class; college educated, with a taste for social science: not John Q. Public. This is a problem​—​again, widely understood, rarely admitted. College kids are irresistible to the social scientist: They come cheap, and hundreds of them are lying around the quad with nothing better to do. Taken together, Henrich and his researchers said, college students in the United States make “one of the worst subpopulations one could study for generalizing about Homo sapiens.”

Publication bias, compounded with statistical weakness, makes a floodtide of false positives. “Much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue,” wrote the editor of the medical journal Lancet not long ago. ..... The literature, continued the editor, is “afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance.”

The WeeklyStandard article is well worth reading in full.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Elections Canada Cock-Up - Six times slower

You've seen Canada-wide reports of long lineups for the early bird polls.  It's an enormous cock-up brought on by Elections Canada rule changes.  A poll worker told me that last election, 30 seconds would advance one voter but now it's three minutes.  That's a six-fold reduction in efficiency for a phantasmagorical gain in security.  Yesterday my aunt stood in line for three hours.  An older neighbour drove to the poll station three times Friday and five times Saturday before giving up and joining the line up.  Since I had to vote early, I picked a quiet time on Saturday and stood in line for an hour and a half.  Thirty people managed to vote in that time.

If your car put out one sixth of normal power, you'd have it towed to a mechanic.  How can you tow Elections Canada anywhere?  I've never in my life heard anyone talk about illegal voting in Canada and never in my life have I for a moment thought there were dirty tricks in the polling booth I attended.   How can this new layer of handwritten copying and a rule that the voter ahead must  vote and leave before you can check in  be justified?  How can this possibly be that you are not allowed to check in before the person ahead has finished and left.   Fast food drive-throughs have had this figured out for half a century.  You check in at one location and do your at a second station.

If we were talking about our American neighbours, this would make more sense.  Many jurisdictions ask for no ID,  there are stuffed ballot boxes,  dead people voting,  out-of-date voting rolls that let people vote from two different addresses, entire precincts in Philadelphia that vote 100% for one candidate only.  We're not America, thank God.

Unfortunately, we are what we are.  The polling booths I heard about near Victoria had only one ballot box and the same complaint.  If you're lucky, come October 19th there will be six times more staff manning the ballot boxes than last time.  Keep Hoping.  And do vote.

School rules are a joke on most reserves.

First Nation kids get a bit more school funding than other Canadians but, except in Nova Scotia, their parents may not get value for it and are liable to being ripped off by Band politics.  Wouldn't you want your kids to graduate?  The Fraser Institute has this (shocking to me) summary:
Many Canadians would be surprised to learn that schools on First Nations reserves are not statutorily required to provide the same services and functions as provincial public schools in Canada—they do not have minimum number of attendance days, no requirement for teacher certification, no required curriculum, and they are not governed by overarching legislation or a school board that allows students on reserve to achieve a recognized high school diploma following the completion of Grade 12. This lack of structure and comparability with provincial public schools has resulted in a system on reserve that is failing First Nations children.

Average per student funding on reserves: $13524
Average per student funding off reserves: $11646

Read more at the Fraser Institute link

Nova Scotia just renewed their agreement.  Words about culture and consultation are less effective than rules for finance and governance.  PEI has an agreement, too, but it seems to be the squishy stuff.
Yukon First Nations school graduates 2009
Wouldn't you want your kids to graduate?

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

President Obama Wins Participation Award

Unearned:  The Nobel Peace Prize
Earned:  Participation award.

Obama voted the USA "Present" and the bullies are taking over.
The blood of innocents begins to flow.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Business Would-Be-Presidents Are The Only Ones Getting Bang For Their TV Buck

The outsider crowd leading Republican polls spent next to nothing on TV but own 49 % of the republican vote (see below).  I picked up this story from people examining the butt end, namely who had spent the most.  I'm looking at the head end of a revolution where strong candidates capture the news cycle instead of buying it.

The two executive types burnt through 1/10th of 1% of the TV total. Revolutionary.  The neurosurgeon spent a bit over 1%.  Half of the thirty million came from Clinton, Bush, Rubio and Christie. (Even Kasich spent almost triple the front runners.)

Real Clear Politics polls average Sept 30th:

Saturday, 26 September 2015

LIV Voters Are The Feature, Not The Bug.

If you can't sell your vote, it's not really yours.  Twenty two countries including Australia and most of South America make it illegal NOT to vote.   That's because your vote is money in someone else's bank.  A big reason you and I have a vote is precisely because most of us are LIV.  Universal suffrage empowers new elites to compete with the traditional potentates.  

From Wikipedia
The old got their position through family ties, violence and wealth.  The new got influence  through OPM (other people's money) but not as much as they wanted.  This includes political parties and the civil service,  the tenured,  the people who find themselves running companies but not owning companies, all meta-jobs, and the new highly educated class whose opinion of their merit can exceed their accomplishment.  In my view, these very smart elite people weren't doing us a favour with near-universal suffrage. They were making it easier for themselves to steer the ships of state, adding the threat of our uninformed disapproval to their wisdom.

A feature, not a bug.
Is this too simple a story, a progression from a dominant warlord, to a magna carta cartel of regional strongmen to all propertied gentlemen, to all men, to all men and women over 21 years of age, to all over 18 years of age?  Why stop at 18?  Why not 12 or 6?  There is some residuum of common sense.
If most of us become well-informed voters, the present party system of government will be disabled.  LIV voters are a foundational building block for the status quo.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Lizzie May Is Back

The signs are clear: Elizabeth May will be back in parliament with more votes.  For the first three weeks in Saanich-Gulf Islands, hers were the only signs on private lawns and public intersections.  Lots and lots of private signs right from the get go.  Was the Green Party the only one reading the papers about the coming election call?  The Also-Ran parties have signs up now.  You think the conservatives, at least, would have been ready.  At a wonderful weekend on one of the Gulf Islands (Galiano), May signs owned the stage as if Green was the only party in existence.   I've seen some vandalized signs but none were green.

Seven weeks in, the Green Party still has the most private lawn signs up.  They use photos in key spots. This appears to be a technical breakthrough others haven't heard about.  Based on the sign below, I'm predicting the Greens will grow their vote share in the entire Victoria area.
Great (photoshopped) ad conjuring up a team for the Victoria region.
Elizabeth has a cheery smile and doesn't make herself look like Numero Uno.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Your vote: If you can't sell it, it's not really yours.

Votes are rationed, one each. If it's yours, how come you can't sell it?  The surface story is that votes are rationed to protect voters from themselves because voters will make stupid deals with their vote. The real issue is power, not trust,because voters who group their votes or sell them up will push a candidate to represent them and not the party.  Politicians say "Trust me" to make deals but this is about protecting party power, not trust. They fight with party troops, selectively target voters with propaganda and promises, and give tax discounts to anyone who will fund their deal making.  I want to sell my vote.

We're lucky in Canada that parties aren't evil incarnate and do a bit of good. A little listening happens.  But they play to win and they win at the expense of you and me having someone to speak for us instead of the party. When's the last time you were polled or consulted by your MP?

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Utlimate Tree Of Life: First appearance of everything that ever lived on earth

Ten thousands of DNA branching charts have been integrated for the first time to show a timeline of all life on earth.  Each branch point is the "last common ancestor".  The middle of the chart is the beginning of time and the perimeter is today.  The passage of time runs counter-clockwise, starting at Archaea near the centre.  It's an arbitrary graphic choice to force this into a single flat image that runs 360 degrees and puts our recent emergence next to Archaea.

Another graphic from 2008, less accurately detailed with a comma shape, more labels and some major extinctions noted.

Much Better Than The U.S.A. Vote Conservative to keep Canada that way.

Canada looks pretty good when Gallup polled us about freedom from corruption.  We stand 13th in the world while the USA has drifted to 25th.
Gallup corruption poll
Click to read.
Three quarters of Americans are pretty sure government is corrupted while only 46% of Canadians have that opinion about our own operation.   (46% isn't good enough.  In Sweden almost everyone thinks government plays by the rules except for the 14% tin hat brigade).

P.18 Fraser Institute report|
on Economic Freedom.
Click to read.

Considering Economic Freedom measured by the Fraser Institute in 2015, we are at #9 and the US at #14.  (Page 18 at the link).

P.25 Happiness Survey
Click to read.

And under a third criterion, "How happy are the citizens?", we look good. (Page 28 at the link). Canadians rank 5th while Americans rank 15th.

It's a pattern.
We're better.
Vote Conservative. Keep what we have.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Down on Low Information Voters? Suck it up.

One adult citizen= one vote
means LIV and HIV types count the same.
This is a rationing solution.
Suck it up unless you have a plan B.
Plan B is to make voters unequal.
You can make a market so voters who want something the most pay the most to get it.  Or make a rule that smart people like yourself should have more votes than conservative retards.  Or use state controlled schools and media to change voters from LIV to approved High Information Voters.

Say "Goodbye" to democracy.

The superior sort of person explains things.
Give me the marketplace of ideas.  Let "high information voters" persuade "low information voters".   We're all ignorant of stuff until we see the point in learning. 
Motivate me.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Falling Prices Should Be The Norm

If I'm prospering as the first guy in this part of BC to build 4x2 floor trusses, pretty soon my competitors will be selling them too and the price has to drop. If prices aren't dropping over time, something's wrong with the market.

From John Mauldin: "Ever-lower prices are the natural result of a market economy. As people learn to produce more with fewer resources, competition, especially in the form of Schumpeter’s creative destruction, forces prices downward.  In a truly free and competitive market, it is only the debasement of the currency that allows the conditions for prices to rise. All things being equal, if the price of something is not falling over time, it raises my suspicions about competitiveness."

There you have it.  Every year the dollar will buy more in a healthy economy. When it doesn't, your government is siphoning off spending money by debasing the buck.  (Tweaked by fractional reserve banking and the speed of money).

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Hello. My name is Ken and I am a Trumpaholic.

I'm addicted to the Donald.  Pundits warn me but I don't want to quit.  I'm getting a buzz from freedom of speech that drowns out balanced budget.
I'd like one more drinky poo

Liberty is my drug of choice and if a swig of Donald will damp down the suppressive chorus for prescribed opinion and bicycle helmets on everything, I'm for a weekend bender.

He's an ice breaker.  An ice breaker gets the party rolling by starting the conversation.  An ice breaker cuts paths through frozen seas.  Trump fits both roles.

I don't like him and may have a hangover.  Here's to Donald!
Ice-breaker signature
Goes through, not around.

Follow this link for comic relief

Do lawyers have a special sense of humour?  Follow the link to Powerline for more.
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