Dem Vs Trump: How are we doing?

Spread the love

There is a new poll pitting various Democrats against Trump. Before you complain to me that we should not be looking at polls because it is not election day, think again and take note of the fact that polls are data and I’m a data-oriented scientist, so don’t even say that to me. (I’m working on a post that will serve as an answer to that complaint every time it comes up on Facebook)

Anyway, this is a Quinnipiac University poll taken in Pennsylvania. Quinnipiacis a good poll. Details are here. Also note that I’m not posting this poll because its results show something I want to push, or use to cause your hair to burst into flames. I’ve not looked at the results, yet here I am writing this blog post. I will now look at the results, figure out a good way to show them to you, then finish the post. brb.

The poll has a LOT of interesting data that will figure as important down the road as the number of candidates cull out and we get to see the results of a bunch of natural experiments (like, which non-dropping out candidate tends to accrete which demographic as they drift away from dropper-outer-candidates).

But here is what the head to head shows:

These results vary considerably when adjusting for age, gender, and race. Note that in this sort of matchup, reaching above 50 is considered by pollsters as a sort of magic number. Only Biden does that here, but Sanders is (obviously) vert close.

I think the most important message here is this: The candidates do not vary much in this very early indication of their electability, even if they vary a great deal in how they rank among Democrats.

Putting aside the head to head and looking at some of the other data, among registered democrats, Biden has 39% support, Sanders has 13% support, with Harris, Warren at 8%, Buttigieg at 6%, Booker at 5%, O’Rourke at 2%, and Klobuchar at 1%. Nobody else registers. Someone else has dropped, interesting, to an apparent low at 2%. I’m thinking people realized, “no, no, NOT someone else, pleasssseee!!!”

Again, that varies by age, gender, race, etc. Among the young, Biden and Sanders are essentially tied (Biden just ahead, 29-27), while among the old, Sanders barely registers and Biden swoops (Biden: 47%, Sanders 4%). Putting both Biden and Sander aside for a moment, and digging into the demographic weeds, Harris, Warren, and Buttigieg pop among those with higher incomes (Sanders gets very little support there, Biden plenty). Harris pops among older folks, Booker and Buttigieg do a bit better with younger folks. Liberals like Buttigieg and Warren.


Spread the love

Speaking of Tolkien and Cannibals… cheap books

Spread the love

Perhaps prompted by the news of a Tolkien biographical movie, this book — J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography — is suddenly cheap on Kindle.

And as long as I’m mentioning cheap Kindle books, and since cannibalism is a common theme here, see: Man-Eater: The Life and Legend of an American Cannibal.

And I know some of you like Sue Grafton, so S is for Silence: A Kinsey Millhone Novel for two bucks is nice.


Spread the love

Update on Mechanical Keyboards

Spread the love

All keyboards are “mechanical” in some sense, or at least most of them, in that something moves. But what we call a “mechanical keyboard” is one that has individual switches under each key cap, instead of some sort of silly squishy membrane. This gives the keys a different tactile sense, and often, a sound.

This post — Mechanical Keyboards What Are They And Which One Do You Want — is a little, but not too much, out of date. The basic information is correct. There are one or two more kinds of keys than described, and there are emerging manufacturers that may or may not be making good switches, and there are many more offerings of el-cheapo keyboards. And, still, the DasKeyboard is still one of the better (and more expensive) options.

My Avant Stellar keyboard finally broke in enough places (I’m tough on keyboards) to require major repair or replacement. I looked briefly at really old Northgates (20-30 years old?) on ebay, bid on a few, but was outbid and decided not to spend an exorbitant amount of money on a decades old untested machine. I also realized that I have two computers sitting next to each other, and when I change between them, it feels wrong, because they have two entirely different kinds of keyboards. But, I realized, if I get a new DasKeyboard for my Linux machine, since I have a Mac DasKeyboard on the Mac, then I would quickly become accustomed to switching back and forth and all would be well. So, I got the Das Keyboard Model S Professional Cherry MX Blue for the Linux to match the Das Keyboard Model S Pro for Mac, and now everything is good.

Except possibly one thing. You may recal that I had earlier complained about the font used on the key caps on the DasKeyboards. At the time, I used stick on labels to upgrade the DasKeyboard to how I like it. For some reason, as I sit here typing on the new DasKeyboard with the small typeface that I don’t like much, I’m not bothered by it, so I may not make that change. We’ll see.

So now all is well in keyboard land, and my pile of no longer in use keyboards available for spare parts grows.


Spread the love

Tolkien, The Movie

Spread the love

I’ve been reading Huxley (9) LOTR. The other day we got through Gandalf’s long soliloquy on his problems in Isengard, and Huxley went more or less off to sleep. Later, I heard him singing from the bedroom, “Frodo and Bilbo sitting in a tree … K I S S I N G.”

Anyway, vaguely apropos of that, there is this:

Should be interesting and, of course, highly controversial, as are all things LOTR.


Spread the love

The Mueller Report As A Searchable PDF File

Spread the love

This is imperfect but, well, here it is, in several parts.

This is the scanned part with the searchable text along side it. It is split into many files because the original scans are so large. You can search across several files using a variety of searching tools on any given computer system. Adobe Acrobat may work for you on some OSs.

Mueller Report Searchable Part 01

Mueller Report Searchable Part 02

Mueller Report Searchable Part 03

Mueller Report Searchable Part 04

Mueller Report Searchable Part 05

Mueller Report Searchable Part 06

Mueller Report Searchable Part 07

Mueller Report Searchable Part 08

Mueller Report Searchable Part 09

Mueller Report Searchable Part 10

Mueller Report Searchable Part 11

Enjoy!


Spread the love

Here is the Mueller Report (with redactions)

Spread the love

The report is huge because, instead of being a searchable PDF file, it is a file of 448 pictures of a report. For the record, AJ Barr is pretty much of a dickhead for releasing the report in this form. From a technological point of view, that is obstruction of public justice.

Anyway, here it is in 11 bite size parts:

Mueller Report Part 1

Mueller Report Part 2

Mueller Report Part 3

Mueller Report Part 4

Mueller Report Part 5

Mueller Report Part 6

Mueller Report Part 7

Mueller Report Part 8

Mueller Report Part 9

Mueller Report Part 10

Mueller Report Part 11

Enjoy! I’ve only started to read it, but boy, is it interesting. Every page so far.

There is a lot more to come in this saga. I recommend, if you are reading this on the first day or two of the report’s release, try to ignore what everyone is saying. Give the experts a chance to actually read the damn thing, rather than being forced by their producers to say something interesting about a VERY DENSE 448 page report when the printer is still hot.


Spread the love

Notre-Dame de Paris has burned

Spread the love

To my friends and loved ones in and of Paris, and of France, I am so very very sorry.

Notre-Dame de Paris has burned. This is a real tragedy. Time will tell how bad the damage is, but we already know enough to say that if this structure stands again on the Île de la Cité, it will be mostly as a reconstructed, not restored, cathedral.

There is a mere handful of sites that if destroyed by fire would be as tragically destroyed, because of its architecture and history. The building was built between 1163 and 1345 and served as a keystone center for the same exact civilization so many of us, on this day and in this year, strive to save and also change for the better.

I am a member of a large community of atheists, and I’m sure the vast majority of my atheist friends join in lamenting this loss. For the small subset who will find this to be not a tragedy, because the building is merely a building, or because it has housed the high ceremony of European oppression, or because anything Catholic is simply worthy of disdain, please read this post about the significance and the sanctity of the Dead Sea Scrolls to an atheist such as myself, and you can substitute a centuries-old iconic Catholic church in Paris for a library of ancient writings on the Dead Sea.

Vive La France.


Spread the love

The rat in the can effect

Spread the love

To find out more about the rat in the can effect, you can read this book: The Tangled Wing: Biological Constraints on the Human Spirit by Mel Konner, where I think it is described. Here, I will summarize it, in simplified form. If you seriously need to know about this in more detail, do more research and don’t rely entirely on what I say here. Continue reading The rat in the can effect


Spread the love

Books you will want, in Kindle form, cheap

Spread the love

Here they are, but I’m not sure how long the prices will last.

The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate by Robert Kaplan.

Leonardo da Vinci by Jay Williams.

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly.


Spread the love

Shocking revelation: Trump Cheats At Golf

Spread the love

As revealed in the shocking new book, Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump, by Rick Reilly

“He cheats at the highest level. He cheats when people are watching and he cheats when they aren’t. He cheats whether you like it or not. He cheats because that’s how he plays golf … if you’re playing golf with him, he’s going to cheat.”*

Reilly has been with Trump on the fairway, the green, and in the weeds, and has seen first-hand how the president plays–and it’s not pretty. Based on his personal experiences, and interviews with dozens of golf pros, amateurs, developers, partners, opponents, and even caddies who have first-hand experience with Trump on the course, Reilly takes a deep and often hilarious look at how Trump shamelessly cheats at golf, lies about it, sues over it, bullies with it, and profits off it.

From Trump’s ridiculous claim to have won eighteen club championships, to his devious cheating tricks, to his tainted reputation as a golf course tycoon, Commander in Cheat tells you everything you need to know about the man.


Spread the love

Stacey Abrams, POTUS Candidate and her New Book

Spread the love

I assume Stacey Abrams is a candidate for President, though she has not officially declared.

The point has recently been made that three southern candidates came with a very small margin of beating their unbeatable Republican opponents in the last election. One of them was white, two black, and the only real difference among them candidate-wise is that everyone is falling all over themselves to elevate the white guy to the status of High Candidate, while the two African American candidates have, at best, been suggested for a subservient role.

That got me thinking, “has Stacey Abrams written a book by any chance” and yes, she has! Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change by Stacey Abrams.

Leadership is hard. Convincing others?and yourself?that you are capable of taking charge and achieving more requires insight and courage. Lead from the Outside is the handbook for outsiders, written with an eye toward the challenges that hinder women, people of color, the working class, members of the LGBTQ community, and millennials ready to make change. Stacey uses her hard-won insights to break down how ambition, fear, money, and failure function in leadership, and she includes practical exercises to help you realize your own ambition and hone your skills. Lead from the Outside discusses candidly what Stacey has learned over the course of her impressive career in politics, business and the nonprofit world: that differences in race, gender, and class provide vital strength, which we can employ to rise to the top and create real and lasting change.

And here is a short video on the book:


Spread the love