Random rants (empty inside, etc.)

Well, yes, it appears that we are getting another wave

New York Times. Fortunately football does not appear to be driving it, but I am still masking up for personal protection. (KN-95)

But though I am doing more than I did in 2020, I admit that my normally “not that charitable” attitudes have become worse; my “cup of care” is basically empty.

From the above NYT link, the vaccinated are 5 times less likely to get COVID and 13 times less likely to die from it (when one adjusts for age)

This chart is local and does not adjust for age; it does distinguish boosted from non-boosted. And even sans age adjustment (54 percent vaccination rate among the population), well, look for yourself.

But, none of this has any effect on the hard core anti-vax morons. “See: you can still get it and spread it”, they say. Yes, sober people get in car wrecks, non smokers get lung cancer, and fit people can get heart attacks.

Of course, they miss that point entirely, and frankly I am sick of it. And arguing is a waste of time.

Wokeness I made a small mistake of entering into a woke pile on…and encountered the following gem:

Look at the last line: that, IMHO, is what wokeism is about: the null hypothesis (base assumption) is the said figure is indeed a bigot (whatever flavor) and the burden of proof is on those who would refute the claim.

I always believed that the burden of proof was on the accuser (“the null hypothesis” is “not guilty”) but, IMHO, this is a distinguishing characteristic of a “woke.” If you want proof of guilt, or at least compelling evidence, I don’t consider you to be a woke.

General stupidity

Student loans came up and, more than once, I’ve seen college graduates complain that they regularly paid on loans and the amount owed never went down..or even went up. (yep, probably the same “mashed potatoes for brains” that tell me that I don’t understand logic or reasoning..but I digress)

Simple fact: loans come with interest, and every period of time (usually a month at a time) that you keep the money, interest accrues.Example: suppose you take out a loan of 100,000 dollars at 3 percent annual rate.Each month, the interest on the loan is 100,000 (0.029596/12) = 246.63.

That is, if you pay exactly 246.63, you would have paid the interest ONLY and not made the principle (the amount borrowed) go down at all!!!

If you paid 250 that month, you would have knocked off a whopping 3.37 off of that 100,000 dollar amount.If you paid 200 dollars, then you’d know owe 100,046.63 on the loan. The amount you now owe has gone UP, not down.

I remember back in 1985: I went to the “graduate student orientation” at the University of Texas. We were warned to be mindful of the debt we might accumulate. We were told something like “If you are getting a master’s in electrical engineering, you’ll make enough to pay it back. But if you are getting some sort of arts degree, you might not be able to, so watch what you borrow.”

But yes, you are supposed to take them seriously.

Extra Burdens And of course, I see all types doing “self advocacy.” Here is where I think much of this goes wrong: right now, people are mostly overburdened and overstressed. If you want something from them (more time, more effort, etc.) you have to explain why it is in their interests to make such an investment; something like “I deserve it” isn’t going to convince anyone.

It is as if activists and advocates think that if their cause is righteous enough, it should win, even without salesmanship or convincing. And it does not work that way. At least, I don’t think that it does, and I haven’t seen evidence that it does.

The inability to discuss anything non-technical on twitter…

I found this thread on the Steele dossier to be useful:

The TL;DR: this was raw intelligence, which included stuff that is unlikely to be true for many reasons, and extracting information from it requires competent analysis, and by “competent” I mean “skilled in this type of intelligence”. Being smart and having “common sense” is insufficient.

OF COURSE, the author was attacked to supporting Trump, not going by Rachel Maddow’s “connect the dots” analysis because she is a woman, etc.

Now, this is technical, but RadiofreeTom was attempting to explain the situation to non-experts. Good luck with that.

Other stuff:

It is common to try for success in your dream field/profession and to come up shorter than you had hoped you would. That leaves this interesting question:

Yes, aptitude matters. I’ve seen people fail out of stem programs because they lacked the sufficient aptitude to attain the level of success that they wanted. You might even said that was true of me; after all, I am not full professor at MIT (and shouldn’t be). And I certainly failed spectacularly at sports.

Now, of course, one can get into this whole aptitude thing: are we talking about genetic aptitude (yes, it exists), or aptitude due to environmental factors (e.g. fetal alcohol syndrome people, or some sort of physically or mentally debilitating injury, or lack of development due to illness, poor early nutrition, or perhaps retarded development due to early environmental factors…) Yes, it is very complicated.

Still…interesting issue, and no, I have zero desire to discuss this with a woke.

The Big Ten and SEC teams are starting play and let the excuses and rationalizations begin: