Friday, July 11, 2014
Why is it so hard for us to recognize the statistically unlikely?
Speaking For The Record: Because a high court ruled that the current practice of the UK government and police agencies in intercepting and logging phone calls, texting and internet sites visited is illegal, the UK parliament has introduced an new 'emergency' law that would require telephone and internet providers to record and keep the data the government cannot. Then the government can get it with a 'closely worded' warrant. And the customer gets to pay a bit more each month towards the cost of being surveilled.
Location Number Uno: Housing sales in Phoenix, poster city for speculative real estate investment following the housing bust, are down 11% y/y in June and the lowest for June since the 2008 collapse. Cash sales – the tell-tale signature of investment purchases – were down 40%. The party is over and the fat lady's called a taxi.
Interesting Times: Earth's magnetic field, which protects the Earth from deadly solar radiation has switched North/South every few hundred years, first weakening then flipping - a process thought to generally take a couple of thousand years. But currently it no appears to be weakening about ten times faster than expected. How this will affect electric power grids, and communications networks seem very vulnerable. Stay tuned.
Modern Times: While the Supreme Court says that corporations are people, the Justice Department says the prisoners at Guantánamo are not.
Thought Experiment: If a state decides that marijuana is a recreational drug and licenses its sale to adults, what should become of all those previously incarcerated for possessing small amounts of the drug or growing it? How do we walk back the cat?
Collateral Damage: The Israeli army says the killing of eight Gazan family members in a reprisal raid was an error. They only meant to kill seven.
Posted by Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III at 7:20 AM