Assorted Links (10/21/2013)

Here’s a list of articles that I have been reading and videos that I have been viewing lately:

Q&A: Nate Silver on China and the New FiveThirtyEight

“FiveThirtyEight Editor-in-Chief Nate Silver talks about how he uses data to eliminate bias, and how data from China can come from unexpected sources.”

New, Improved Obamacare Program Released On 35 Floppy Disks

“WASHINGTON—Responding to widespread criticism regarding its health care website, the federal government today unveiled its new, improved Obamacare program, which allows Americans to purchase health insurance after installing a software bundle contained on 35 floppy disks.”

What the New IPCC Global Warming Projections Should Have Looked Like

“The top panel shows the projections as portrayed by the IPCC in their Fifth Assessment Report. The lower panel shows what they would have looked like had the climate models better reflected the latest science.”

IPCC Graphs

 Lawyers, beware lawyers

“More than half the men who signed the Declaration of Independence had a legal training. But a legalistic approach to politics is no longer serving America well. Today’s budget wars are deeply political. They reflect unresolved debates that divide the country: over equality and redistribution, risk-taking and safety nets, and the role of government itself.”

ABYSSINIAN MASS: A Solo by Wynton Marsalis

OFFERTORY: THE SON Abyssinian: A Gospel Celebration Featuring Wynton Marsalis October 11, 2013 Augusta, Georgia- Good Shepherd Baptist Church

The Charmed Life of the Unbelievers

“It’s a charmed life for non-believers, because when you basically believe in nothing, you can watch history pass you by, and chalk up monumental shifts and changes in sociopolitical life to whatever cause you want. All you have to do is find a way to make history, and the ever-shifting tectonic plates of society, spell out the need for the end of religion.”

Foster Campus for Business and Innovation officially approved by Regents

“While Baylor Regents had previously approved initial funding for design work on the facility, it wasn’t until this past weekend at Homecoming that the Board officially approved construction of the new $99 million Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation that will house the Hankamer School of Business.”

Unlikely results

“Why most published scientific research is probably false. Scientific findings are considered sound if they are unlikely to have happened by chance. But statistical logic shows that errors are rampant.”

unlikely results

Is Obama really talking about a tech ‘surge’ to fix Obamacare? | What we learned about Obamacare today: Oct 21, 2013

56% of Americans say Obamacare’s “website problems are part of a broader problem with the law’s implementation,” while 40% view them as an “isolated incident.”

Obamacare’s Website Is Crashing Because It Doesn’t Want You To Know How Costly Its Plans Are

“A growing consensus of IT experts, outside and inside the government, have figured out a principal reason why the website for Obamacare’s federally-sponsored insurance exchange is crashing. forces you to create an account and enter detailed personal information before you can start shopping.”

How Washington Handcuffs Tax Reformers

“Scott A. Hodge and Stephen J. Entin write in the Wall Street Journal that revenue-neutral rules are bad enough. Even worse: the assumption that lower taxes will have no effect on GDP.”

The critique offered here concerning dynamic versus static scoring is of critical importance. Dynamic scoring of tax law changes allows policymakers to consider likely (negative as well as positive) incentive-related effects associated with tax reform. Static scoring ignores incentive effects and instead simplistically treats the analysis more like an accounting problem. See the Wikipedia article entitled “Dynamic scoring” for more details (@

Wall Street Billionaire Stanley Druckenmiller Is Blowing the Whistle on Generational Theft

“In The Wall Street Journal, James Freeman interviews renowned money manager Stanley Druckenmiller about the debt limit, entitlement reform and why the young should be demanding action… One of the great ironies of the Obama presidency is that it has been a disaster for the young people who form the core of his political coalition. High unemployment is paired with exploding debt that they will have to finance whenever they eventually find jobs.”