Saturday, June 14, 2014

I Just Have To...

Say something nice about Matt Yglesias.

He has become a more influential and extremely productive voice in our information sphere since commencing collaboration with Ezra Klein. Vox has become the go to sight for many folks. Matt has always held controversial positions, but he seems to frame them better, nowadays. I'm going to give him enough rope to hang the right people.

Where's the Money?

"I’m [JB] working on a longer-term wage project and made the figure below as part of it.  It’s from a principle components analysis of five different and pretty diverse, compensation/wage series:
Employment Cost Index: Hourly Compensation
Employment Cost Index: Hourly Wages
Productivity Series: Hourly Compensation
Median Weekly Earnings, Full-time Workers
Average Hourly Earnings, Production, Non-Supervisory Workers
The plot shows the first principal component of the five series–a technique to summarize a bunch of related data series in a way that pulls out their common signal..."

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Bye Goerge! When Will He Go?

Tell The Washington Post: Fire George Will

UPDATE: The Washington Post just doubled down on rape culture. After a barrage of criticism over George Will's weekend column, the newspaper published an article titled "One way to end violence against women? Stop taking lovers and get married." The Washington Post has to stop. That starts with firing George Will.  ----

The Washington Post actually just published an opinion piece mocking sexual assault survivors and saying that women want to be raped.
The author, conservative columnist George Will, goes so far as to write that colleges are making "victimhood a coveted status" by taking public steps to curb sexual assaults on campus.
He even implies that non-consensual sex is not rape, when in fact it's the very definition of rape!
George Will makes his living writing columns that many people disagree with. But his latest column has gone too far. Rape is a serious crime--accusing women of making it up and arguing schools shouldn't be addressing sexual assault puts both women and men at risk. By publishing George Will's piece, The Washington Post is amplifying some of the most insidious lies that perpetuate rape culture. It's not just wrong--it's dangerous.

Tell The Washington Post:
"Rape is real. No one wants to be a victim. Fire George Will."

Click the pic and sign the petition

and stop the madness

Ants? A Lesson in Co-operation

From The Scientific American;

Secrets of Ant Rafts Revealed

Jun 12, 2014 |By Emma Marris and Nature magazine

To negotiate floods and cross streams, fire ants band together — literally — linking together to form rafts and bridges in a feat of social cooperation and biophysics...David Hu, a mechanical engineer at the Georgia Institute of Technology...and his team found that the ants had grabbed hold of one another with adhesive pads on their legs, which they stretched out to create pockets of air. They also tended to orient themselves perpendicularly to one another, distributing their weight and creating a light, buoyant structure. The formation seems to take advantage of the ants’ different sizes, with smaller ants slotting neatly in between larger ones to add more connections. Each ant averaged 14 connections to fellow ants. The study is published today in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

ant rafts

Fire ants cluster together after a heavy rain. 
Credit: Junglecat via Wikimedia Commons

Seems like some of the political denizens of DC could learn a thing or two from these intrepid creatures. Or maybe not.

Democrats and Republicans More Ideologically Divided than in the Past