Smilodon Missed

Yesterday was hospital day. It served as a stern reminder that for any given sample the likelihood of it being negative, zero mean, of course, is the same as being positive. And regenerated the outlook that putting things at risk are unavoidable and hence we need to accept a certain level of risk to exist. 

Nothing – I hope – permanently wrong but it was rather stressing for several hours. Largely due to some hardware failures. Which led me to reflect on the differences between the FDA and the Yankee army. Not saying one is better than the other, but instructive nonetheless.

No gym nor constitutional today. Just fatigue. Physical and mental.


Alienation or Prevarication?

Which is worse: a journalist interviewing another journalist on a technical subject; or a journalist interviewing a STEM on that subject? Bear in mind that the STEM has to recast his knowledge in what he thinks is understandable by his visualization of Joe Public, and that the second journalist has taken what a STEM has told him/her and cast into journalist-speak.

This question arises because this morning when I listened to an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” that covered the health perils of sedentaryism, the moderator did this by interviewing another journalist. Not a physician, nor a physiologist, or any STEM. A journalist.

The response to his questions varied from a cacophony of cliche to astounding inaccuracies. The most egregious was the definition/description of what an accelerometer is. If I had not know the definition before, I would not know now. I was unsure for several minutes whether to weep or laugh. I finally selected the former.

This is not news. The vast preponderance of observational data replicates this abysmal situation. In the mode, journalists are STEM incompetents and are destructive in representing STEM to the public. 

The other side is not without peril. Most STEM try hard to communicate with the public and fail miserably. They either cannot simplify or simplify too much, in either case alienating their audience. 

But the question is, which is worse, alienation or error? 

This is a great unpleasantness. When I was a bairn I read several quite good STEM books written by journalists. No more, at least that I can find. Evidently competent journalists are an extinct species.

Wasted Youth

Much grrr brrr about the appearance of Luna. Harvest moon last night. Amazing what the bogs choose to miswonder about. Not that I suspect they wonder very much. Denial seems to be adamantine. But the news mongers on the electromagnetic audio-visual receiver probably needed some positive filler to divert from the failure of the nation’s political system. 

We now have a fairly strong hypothesis that politicians are anti-democracy. Every test in the last couple of years has been resoundingly positive. Amerika is now a dictatorship of the partei

But not much I can do about that, any more than the weight bouncer bullies that were happily sparse in gym this morning.

There is also some indication on why the bogs are so irrational and wayward. Work at Boston U indicates that difficult scientific concepts – they used natural selection as an example which is a bit mystifying since it isn’t difficult – should be taught children at an early age, age 5-8 rather than 13-18. This is academic confirmation of something the nerds have known for quite a while. Bogs pretty well quit learning after the third grade. Especially the jocks and the other gammas and deltas. 

So can we expect  the educationalist system to change and incorporate this. No. Resoundingly NO! Because most of the teachers don;t know what natural selection is and if they did they wouldn’t teach it because it violates their religionist delusions. So the only place this is going to do any good if in furrin countries where there is some rationality and smarts in the schules. At least on the back side of the desk up front.

Saturnine Humor?

Heavy haze this morning. The average bog would call it a fog but I think the visibility is a bit better than a kilometer. If nothing else the particles are large enough to see so there aren’t enough to really cut the visibility down. 

But there’s no wind and the heat capacity of the air is quite high so I got a bit heated during my walk. Of course, as I noted yesterday, the lack of wind is part of why there’s aerosol. 

Despite this, there is quite a bit in the tabs to inform and amuse. First, I find out [Link] that Alibam failed to make the list of “The most abnormal states in America”. Mississippi made it, but not Alibam. That seems abnormal in itself, especially that the term abnormal is misused in both instances.Mostly because the authors – MegaHard types – don’t talk about how they configured their effort to be statistically sound, which likely means it isn’t. Read TRASH and STERCUS!

Next, and this one [Link] is so funny that I hurt from rolling on the floor, McDougal’s is transforming itself into Burger Monarch. Sounds like the military: if you can’t beat them, become them. Sorry, guys, but I don’t do either, Don’t do McDougal’s because back when SCPdatter was a bairn the only “restaurant” she would eat at was them. And I apologize for the abuse of the word “restaurant”. But someone might be upset if I used the term “swill trough”. And I have decided to not ever visit Burger Monarch again since they have decided to do a tax bug out and commit treason. So until the corporate executives face a firing party, they are off the visit list. Not that I will be missing much: excessive sodium; excessive cholesterol; excessive fat; inadequate taste; excessive free radicals;…..

And lastly, a cartoon: [Link]

I have to admit I don’t see the problem with the NFL part. After all, as Fitzgerald would note, they are hardly gentlemen, and aren’t they mostly gay these days? At least that’s what the media is portraying in their coverage. And the violence is either angst or compensation? 

But nerds have always been cool. Geeks are cool too, but less so, just because there are about an order-of-magnitude more of them and so the cool is diluted. It’s the bogs who haven’t been cool, except among themselves, and that is entirely angst or compensation. So yes, bogs are obsolete but necessary. Society will always need deltas and even gammas to do the nasty things that have to be done to keep the machinery working. So the only real question is why are we wasting medical resources on an individual whose mental defects can’t be cured? 

Inverse Volume

To the edge. Edge of week in, that is. Gym week is over so this morning after arising and abluting I set out for the park for a constitutional. As seems to now be the mode on Freya’s day, the parking lot was full of young suburban women’s motorcars, monstrous to hulking SUVs that today, with a fog emerging, loomed like the aliens in a C SF movie. 

Are there any more A SF movies? I cannot recall any in the last few years.

Anyway, the walk was fair. Accompanying the aerosols was an absence of wind, else the optical barrier would like not have formed. The wee particles of water encapsulated dust and microbes would have collided and their numbers diminished below the perceivable. But the absence of wind made for a warm walk, and a fast one, relatively speaking, and hence I was one starting-to-ache ORF when I finished. 

The podcast is the start of an episode of “The Pen Addict” [Link] which has moved to new quarters but still suffers the same grammar egregiousness and has added a rather nasty problem with the naming of the podcast episodes. Magnetic inductance force  mentioned this to me and I have discovered it is rather a nuisance of the second water. Not as bad as recalling the times for medicine doses but requiring continued modification to keep from losing information. 

Speaking of losing, I ran across a cartoon [Link]

over the last weekend and my attention span finally returned to it.

I should remark that I did carry a knapsack (Army surplus) in my grammar schule days but by the time I was in high schule I had switched to a briefcase. And I continued to carry a briefcase through my working years. Only recently have I ceased except when I am on a gallop or such and need to take along more than I want to keep up with unbundled. 

But the behavior of note is the same. Briefcases (and packs) do accumulate gibble. I was recently going through a messenger bag that I received as a gimme for attending some conference, which I attended for social reasons – to show that the Yankee army was a supporter of the discipline – and discovered several other gimme items and notes from the conference that I had mentally (and physically) misplaced. 

Perhaps I should also remark that the obvious nonsense about having more stuff in the bag than its exterior volume reminds me of one of Robert Heinlein’s later novels, whose title eludes me at the moment. There is something about a structure that is larger on the inside than the outside that evokes mystery and not a little evil. 

Briefcases, on the other hand, can be quite good, and even serve as an effective anti-mugger device. 

Chocolate Lactose

Survived the trip to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill yesterday. And the gym was sparse this morning although some of the weight bouncers were pulling their favorite trick of doing prone exercises in the middle of the walking path. Oh well, that’s how you get stepped upon, especially by ORFs with shaky balance. And the podcast, an episode of “Linux Luddites”, was diverting if not particularly helpful. 

Whatever happened to podcasts that actually had some value other than diversion. Have they all succumbed to organizational chest thumping? The helpful podcasts, the ones with how-to-do or how-to-get information that you got immediately after listening from the show notes seem to have all evaporated. The best that are left are educational, cognition provoking, or associative and that is a pale shadow of being actually helpful.

Speaking of helpful, I ran across an article [Link] about some work at Cornell U on the disaster of removing chocolate milk from schule lunch rooms. The idea was, well, not good, but at least bearable when the diet gestapo started screaming about obese kids and fat laden foods. And the idea was that chocolate milk was one such. Don’t know for sure. I am not an addict of chocolate. But I do know milk has lots of fat. Comes that way out of the factory. And it’s a natural child foodstuff. But we do want the wee bairns to grow up strong and healthy to not be too much of a burden on the successful people, so lets do away with it along with soda and snacks.

Well, seems that when they took away the chocolate milk, the sales of unchocolate milk dropped precipitously And the fraction of kids skipping lunch entirely doubled (approximately.) So the question arises, is that bad or good? Obviously the consumption of fats in the lunch room is down, but the lunch room is not the universe. And one suspects that those kids made up some other way which wasn’t under the draconian control of the obesity gestapo. So that had to be bad.

I call it stupidity. Kids are going to eat what they want unless adults – parents and teachers, not obesity gestapo – that they trust make them eat “well”. But that kind of thinking is alien to the mind of gestapo and bureaucrats and politicians. And I wonder just how ell those parents are eating themselves?

But I can understand the milk being avoided. I never liked milk as a kid. Horrible taste. And once I hit adolescence I quit secreting lactase and had to find ways to avoid being forced to drink milk at schule. Yes, Qadgop, we had food gestapo in those days too. Most were athletic coaches who had to do something useful to get their pay. And harassing students was always considered useful and coaches were the best at that.

So I don’t disagree with the kids. I also didn’t like eating schule lunch. Horrible stuff generally. Mostly I brought my lunch. Which the food gestapo hate. Because then they can’t keep you from eating “bad” stuff without running afoul of parents. Who hire lawyers these days. When I was a kid they just told the food gestapo to lay off or suffer the consequences in the parking lot after schule 

Perhaps we need something of that sort now?