Thursday, October 15, 2015

SAR #15288

The most surprising thing about The Market is the number of competing explanations there are for its every move and the frequency with which they are wrong.
Mistakes Were Made: Political commentators claim that the most serious mistake Bernie Sanders made was treating his fellow candidates with dignity and respect. Hillary may have won the debate, Bernie won the voters.
Back To The Future: The US Naval Academy is reinstating the study of celestial navigation, just in case the Russians Chinese take out our GPS satellites.
Rules of Order: The chaos currently disrupting half our two party system is what happens when the majority party is really a very loose combine of minority special interest parties. We've become Italy.
Undue Hardship: If you are considering getting a student loan, go to your local loan shark or pay-day lender. They're easier to deal with than the government, which will lend you the money to pay for-profit schools for an education that won't land you a job paying enough to pay back the loan, and then will hound you to the grave. Literally. A 65 year old filed for bankruptcy to discharge his student loan debt and was told by government lawyers that he should “emain employed at or past normal retirement age,” they said, even though “his income may top out or decrease” and “further employment opportunities may be limited... that is part of the bargain” unless they can prove a “certainty of hopelessness,” said the government’s lawyers.
Ins & Outs: In September, a third of all the containers shipped out were empty – as in not carrying American made export goods. Seems our customers in China, aren't.
Them & Us: A bunch of Christians in upstate NY beat a kid to death in church because he wouldn't confess his sins. A Catholic hospital in MI (part of the largest Catholic health network) refused to treat a woman with a brain tumor because it went against their religious doctrine. And in India, Mother Teresa's Center closed its orphanages so they wouldn't have to let single, separated or divorced individuals to adopt children. I've never read such things about a bunch of atheists.
Democratic Socialism, Act II:In that “the greatest threat to America is not some foreign power but home-grown financial terrorists wielding trillions of dollars in high-risk derivatives in taxpayer-insured banks on Wall Street,.” maybe Sanders is the better choice. He's not quite FDR, but then neither was FDR.
Another Nobel Prize Move: Obama to deploy 300 US troops to Cameroon to fight Boko Haram. Anybody optimistic?
Factors: Walmart, expecting “relatively flat” revenues this year and predicting earnings declines through 2017 of 6 to 12%, blamed $1.5 billion of the loss on paying an increased minimum wage. They also mentioned the stronger dollar cost them about $15 billion and that they were going to spend $20 billion on share buybacks to ward off “activist investors.” Sooner or later expect the downward spiral to include significant job cuts and store closings. It's an old scenario, long foreshadowed by Walmart's stock outages.
Porn O'Graph: Education.


McMike said...

re wrong explanations: it's the marketplace of bad ideas.

re the Navy: they should also teach semaphores while they are at it.

re WalMart: does that mean we get our Main Streets back?

McMike said...

Some quotations, possibly of interest:

Lancet Editor-in-Chief: “A lot of what is published is incorrect.”

“A lot of what is published is incorrect.” I’m not allowed to say who made this remark…. Because this symposium—on the reproducibility and reliability of biomedical research, held at the Wellcome Trust in London last week—touched on one of the most sensitive issues in science today: the idea that something has gone fundamentally wrong with one of our greatest human creations.

The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness. As one participant put it, “poor methods get results”.

-- Dr. Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet. Offline: What is medicine's 5 sigma?

NEJM Editor-in-Chief: "It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published"

Similar conflicts of interest and biases exist in virtually every field of medicine, particularly those that rely heavily on drugs or devices. It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.

-- Drug Companies & Doctors: A Story of Corruption, by Marcia Angell, former Editor-in-Chief for The New England Journal of Medicine,

A professor in disease prevention and epidemiology at Stanford University School of Medicine: "There is increasing concern that most current published research findings are false"

There is increasing concern that most current published research findings are false… Simulations show that for most study designs and settings, it is more likely for a research claim to be false than true.

-- John P.A. Ioannidis, Professor, Standord School of Medicine, Why Most Published Research Findings Are False

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

McMike - love it when research comes over the transom already researched. Even if it's research that suggests research is useless...

McMike said...

Alas, this not not just research suggesting... (last piece excluded)

The editors-in-chief of two leading medical journals express unambiguous alarm, by writing public essays that state in stark terms that the medical research and publication system is deeply broken, is producing mostly flawed results, and is probably widely corrupt.

In other realities, in other times, that would be headline news and Congressional-inquiry worthy.

AlanSmihtee said...

Sanders isn't FDR. He's Kucinich with a better line of patter.


Why is the DNC Sending Out Pro-Bernie Sanders Emails?

The fact that the DNC wants the appearance of a robust debate, while doubling down on the Hillary coronation, seems obvious but where do Sanders’ motivations fit into all of this? After all, he decided to run as a Democrat and has promised he won’t challenge the Democratic establishment from outside its walls. Here’s the Sanders in an ABC News interview with George Stephanopoulos from May 3:

STEPHANOPOULOS: So if you lose in this nomination fight, will you support the Democratic nominee?

SANDERS: Yes. I have in the past.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Not going to run as an independent?

SANDERS: No, absolutely not. I’ve been very clear about that.

Ironically, it seems that the DNC and left-critics of the Sanders campaign agree on a very important fact: they believe Sanders will attract a number of young voters and activists, then dutifully tell them to vote for Hillary when he drops out. The DNC sees that outcome as a win and leftists see it as a loss, but both perceive his dropout as inevitable.

Hope for Change, suckers!

kwark said...

RE "Factors": Walmart has already closed 5 stores this year. . . because of "labor activism". HA! Heavens, what could be worse! I'm sure the filthy stores, empty shelves, and surly workers had nothing to do with revenue problems . . . although when even my elderly parents no long shop at Walmart for those reasons ya' have to wonder . . . but I'm SURE they're an anomaly.

Anonymous said...

"The case against science is straightforward:"

Actually what was expressed wasn't a case against science, but a case of pseudo-science using money to push (good) science away from the table, off the platform and out the door. The principles of science are still sound, it's the principles of the people who claim the mantle of "scientist" that one has to watch with care, particularly when loads of money are being thrown around.

One of the reasons I have reasonable trust in the scientist who have worked out much of the science of climate change is that the data is accessible and repeatable, the tests are falsifiable(and therefore testable), unlike some of the claims in medicine, and finally the other side pays so much better that getting this many people to fly in the face of all that money.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

The research researched was "medical clinical research" not all science.

Anonymous said...

Exactly; and the quoted comment from the article makes the mistake of assuming "medical clinical research" is science, when it often isn't science based, just as "intellegent design" isn't. Both are just profit driven drivel designed to beguile those who's varied bias leads them to want to believe.