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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:05 pm 
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Too bad you got so huffy about a little exaggeration. If you'd kept reading you'd have seen me write about how intelligence is multifaceted. That's a reference to eq, among other things.

There's a difference between a straw man and (admittedly snide) exaggeration. It's not exactly like you always argue against what I'm saying. Sometime you argue against an extreme version of what I'm saying. It's not like I believe anybody literally worships money.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:09 pm 
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Valkenar wrote:
you got so huffy

Van taught me proper Sanchin breathing. :-P

Valkenar wrote:
It's not like I believe anybody literally worships money.

I can only go on what you say. I can't and won't assume what you think.

Valkenar wrote:
There's a difference between a straw man and (admittedly snide) exaggeration.

Fair enough.

A good deal of this thread is about people's behaviors and the consequences thereof. Or whether or not there is such a thing as observable/persistent behavior and non-random outcomes from said behavior.

Lots here to ponder, Justin!

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:40 pm 
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I think everyone agrees (Yes, including Obama) that success correlates with hard work and intelligence. It is non-random. What I would say is that it's certainly non-random but there's a significant amount of noise in the signal. There is a random (more like chaotic, really) factor to it, such that meeting the right people, being in the right place at the right time makes things happen. And being in the wrong place at the wrong time can make things not happen. Across a population, statistically, the noise averages out, but on an individual level there is an element of luck that impacts at least the magnitude of one's successes.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:57 pm 
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In my line of work, Justin, we don't just give that lip service. We quantify the amount of variability we explain, and feel comfortable with the fact that not all variability is accounted for. But understand that if - for instance - we can explain 20 to 50 percent of the variability with a future medical cost model, that's good enough for folks like the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (a.k.a. CMS) to rely on those models to steer billions of dollars to health care practitioners and entities based on how sick people are and are expected to be.

The "chaotic element" - if you in fact mean mathematical chaos - comes into play only in special situations. It's there in Nature only when nonlinear systems are operating in special domains.

The "random element" is often that which we choose not to account for. Sometimes that's intentional. Other parts are things we knowingly can't quantify.

The point is that hard work matters, and being smart matters. On the flip side, being a bum matters, and being stupid matters. When you look at it on the extremes, it makes perfect sense. The "unexplained" part of variability in predicting success in this case wouldn't be so much what general place you fell on the success vs. failure spectrum, but rather in being precise about quantifying it. Horse shoes and hand grenades... Doing well - or not - is something that should pass a sniff test, and not be subject to 5-digit precision measurement. I don't expect a healthy, industrious college grad (who majored in something reasonably relevant) to be begging on the streets, and I don't expect a high school dropout stoner to win a Nobel Prize.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:18 am 
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More mileage from Obama's foot-in-mouth moment.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:31 pm 
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I think the analysis in the first clip of Obama's way of thinking is spot on--the attack on individualist thinking wasn't developed, nor was it needed to support the thesis that some functions are better performed by government and that these functions support business and help to create opportunities. However, I'm pretty sure the "you didn't build that" refers to roads and bridges there, and he screwed up the delivery by inserting "if you've got a business". A Freudian slip of sorts? Who knows? But even as a Republican I reserve the right to roll my eyes at the way the clip is edited and used.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:51 pm 
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mhosea wrote:
I think the analysis in the first clip of Obama's way of thinking is spot on--the attack on individualist thinking wasn't developed, nor was it needed to support the thesis that some functions are better performed by government and that these functions support business and help to create opportunities. However, I'm pretty sure the "you didn't build that" refers to roads and bridges there, and he screwed up the delivery by inserting "if you've got a business". A Freudian slip of sorts? Who knows? But even as a Republican I reserve the right to roll my eyes at the way the clip is edited and used.

Nicely, done, Mike.

My only quibble is with the chicken-and-egg thinking.

  • A fiscal liberal thinks government creates infrastructure that leads to job opportunities, and that in turn justifies "progressive" taxation policy. A fiscal liberal also tends to think that private enterprise is inherently evil, and must be regulated to protect "the people" that it serves.
    ...
  • A fiscal conservative likes to remind government that the money to build roads and bridges in-between the businesses they built on their own - no thanks to government - exists only because independent businesses were able to make a taxable profit. Thus lower taxes and less regulation more often that not maximizes revenue for the government and private business alike. And even if it didn't, government is inherently evil and must be reigned in to protect "the people" that it serves.

No amount of debate will pull people steeply entrenched in one camp into the other without putting said individual into the shoes of someone who benefits from said paradigm.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:31 pm 
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Bill Glasheen wrote:
My only quibble is with the chicken-and-egg thinking.


Good point.

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