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Pilings from former piers extend out into the Hudson River.

Change continues, and you have to catch up. The pier that used to be on the lower set of pilings was where the Swiss used to celebrate their national day, on August 1. I was there for it at least twice, as we had a Swiss au pair. Chelsea, Manhattan.


 

 

Me: Frank Lynch. These are my daily rants, mostly political. For something less spontaneous, I maintain The Samuel Johnson Sound Bite Page (over 1,800 Johnson quotes), perhaps your best online resource for insight into his thinking.

DISCLOSURE: I work for Abt SRBI. We do polling, public policy research, surveys, etc. My opinions should not be construed as representing those of my employer.

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first: frankplynch at gmail dot com; now delete the 'a' in my name

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Bio: Born 1957, raised in Florida, moved to New York area in 1982; now live in Brooklyn. I work in marketing research for Abt SRBI. My opinions should not be construed as representing those of my employer.

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Word blogging...

Monday, May 23, 2016

Was "The New South" just marketing hype?

It might only have been due to the fact that I was at work that I didn't do a full "What: Huh?" over a 7-1 ruling the SCOTUS issued today, over the obvious exclusion of blacks from a jury in Georgia. (To be clear, SCOTUS ruled the jury selection was unfair; and you should read the article to see the extent of how serious and blatant it was.) And I'm like, this made it all the way up to the Supreme Court? This wasn't obvious from the get go?

I've never really felt like I was in the diaspora; I chose to leave the South. But I have some close friends who are still there, and whenever they ask me when I'm coming back to visit, I'm total Henry David Thoreau, asking Waldo why he hasn't left yet. But not really, because I know they are fine people, and no region can afford to be without fine people.

But seriously: the NC bathroom bill, the personhood amendments, Rick Scott, the Oklahoma bill making it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion. (Just make the law less vague and I might sign it, the governor said. Oh, she also said it was unlikely to withstand a Constitutional challenge [good], but it's not like she said it was wrong and stoopid.)

Ah, the New South. Hustlin' round Atlanta in them alligator shoes.

(Yes, I know the narrator has a legitimate point about racism in the north. But the narrator is using that as a salve.)

Link | Comments | 7:43 PM
 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Exactly.

This was a very, very good thing for Donald Trump to say about the election of the new mayor of London, a Muslim he might let in:

"I was happy to see that," Mr. Trump said of Mr. Khanís election. "I think itís a very good thing, and I hope he does a very good job because frankly that would be very, very good."

The man is never at a loss for words. In fact, he knows lots of them. Tons. Very good tons. like, totally very good tons of very goodness.

Link | Comments | 10:30 PM
 

Monday, May 9, 2016

How not to report science?

Not sure if you saw John Oliver last night, but his weekly rant was about problems with how scientific experiments are conducted (too few replication studies to confirm results, as it's not newsworthy or underfunded; too small sample sizes; relies on tests with mice) how it's reported in press releases (over simplified or dramatized), and how it's chewed out by popular journalists (no examination of the viability of the methodology, just running with a tidbit which will generate eyeballs).

I can personally relate to some of what Oliver points to (my thesis advisor wanted me to delve into my data to find some stray way of reducing the error term and increasing the statistical significance of my results from 90%, good enough for my degree, to 95%, good enough for publcation, ooh baby). But I'd also love to know what proportion of the published results really deserve his mockery. I'm sure the number is high, but the number of studies in the journals etc and research experiments where this doesn't happen is probably also very high.

From my own, singular experience (singular meaning I have zero degrees of freedom, that being n minus one, where n equals one) we did not gussy up our findings on our study of truck drivers and harassment a bit. Not only did we fail to reject the null hypothesis (which says OK we found a difference -- we said we didn't) we also did what we could to make sure a difference wasn't hidden by other factors.

Further, the trucking industry publications reported our non-results dutifully, directly quoting our major conclusion that we didn't see anything substantial. None of them did anything to contradict what we'd written, even though there was a section of the report on the study's limitations.

Link | Comments | 10:00 PM
 

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