Monday, August 27, 2012

Election predictions

When did this model get created? All the stories suggest that this was created and used in the past. Now if the model existed prior to the 1980 election and had been used prior to the election of 1980 and each subsequent president election since 1980 then I might give it some credence. If it used past elections to develop the model, then I would expect if it did not give accurate results of the past election it would have been worthless.

If the model was developed recently, then we are begging the question. Since the model would have been developed by analyzing past election results, economic factors and any other factors used. So when you say it is accurate, because of predicting the past elections, which were used to create it in the first place, you are begging the question.

I want more info on this, I would like to know when it was truly first used.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

As We Know It we know it.

I hear this once in awhile. Someone will say “Its the end of …as we know it.” What its the end of will vary, but I find my self annoyed by this statement. When used on talk shows, I would like the moderator to ask “So they are going to end 'it'? 'It' won't be there any more?” Because when it's used I don't believe they mean it is going to be eliminated. But I suspect they would like people to believe it is being eliminated. Instead it suggests that 'it' is being changed. But you never have to address the changes if everyone panics at the news of 'it' ending.
If you want to use it, lets talk about the changes being made.


When I watch the Rachel Maddow, I hit pause as I go to the computer and check if the information presented is true. Some things just are odd. For example on June 13th 2012, we are listening to Ezra Klein. Here is the transcript of his opening statement:
>> Biggest oddities in all professional sports. You ready? The great state of New York has three, count them, three different professional football teams. There’s the Buffalo Bills, the New York Jets and the New York Giants. One state, three football teams. Now, there are 22 states that don't even have one NFL team. I come from an hour south of L.A., which is not in itself a state but it also does not have a football team, quite to our annoyance but the great state of New York is blessed with three of them. The odd part, of the three New York NFL teams, only one of them plays in New York. The buffalo bills play in orchard park New York, right outside of buffalo. The jets and giants play not in New York but rather in New Jersey. That’s right. The New York Jets and the New York Giants are both based out of New Jersey.
I hit pause after he said “Now, there are 22 states that don't even have one NFL team.” I had to pause it because It seems like I recall hearing Chris Christie saying how one of the recent teams should be called the New Jersey Giants or Jets. So I looked it up to see that as a matter of fact, New York only has one football team. Despite keeping the New York in their name, the Jets and the Giants do not play or even have a their headquarters in New York, so it seems strange to complain about how New York is blessed with three, when as a matter of fact they have only one. Then he discusses how they do play in New Jersey, and does say they are ‘based’ in New Jersey.
This beginning was a bit misleading. I wondered what his point was. Why this complaint? Well this monologue was to lead mentioning of a water mane break out in front of MetLife stadium home of the Giants and Jets then to a discussion on focusing on infrastructure.
Here are his reasons.
We have construction workers who aren't productively employed. the unemployment rate in that sector is about 14%, it's a depression. The global slowdown has meant a slowdown in construction costs because raw materials are cheap because countries like china and India aren't using as many of them. We have factories lying dormant that could be making those materials and employing people to make those materials and we have money that is on the table to borrow for essentially less than nothing. let's be clear -- putting this stuff off is not fiscally responsible. it's like a dollar of borrowing, a dollar to pay later. when you delay the maintenance, that dollar today can become 50 tomorrow as a bridge you were going to fix has now collapsed. so we need to do it, it cheap to do it and it gives people jobs. it is an unbelievable deal. in any world we should be doing it and yet we're not. there be are some things in American politics and policy we should be having real armies about.
What I don't see here is any mention of the unemployment rate for civil engineers. It takes more than just the construction workers. Tear up a road and you will need adequate detours. It may require pre-construction in order to have detours ready. It is also pointless to tear up the road, if you will go back a few years later, in order to have more construction to deal with traffic issues. So you would first examine what changes could be made with traffic flow. Does the road need to be widen? Or does it need to be narrowed? You would need to prioritize projects, you won't be able to do all the projects at once. So you would need to study what roads need changing, then design it, get some government approval, and public feedback on the projects, besides getting financing, so it may be years before a project is shovel ready.
Oh and remember New York only has ONE football team.