Daily Reading #6D

Just the thing to readon the day of Trump’s inauguration. The Archdruid is excellent on social analysis and nails the situation that elected Trump. He is certainly not a Trump supporter, is a pretty good Progressive of the ‘running out of energy means the end of this civilization’ school of thought. This guy does consistently good analyses of society, tho I don’t think much of his futurology, as it is based on obsolete science :


And the second thing is this excellent article printed by HighTimes, I think the leading cannabis industry publication, which I found in yesterday’s NakedCapitalism linklist.  Google says the event was sparsely reported. The meeting happened on 6 January, WSJ reported it on 13 Jan, EL PAIS 9 Jan, HighTimes 17 January, I found it on the 19th, meaning the mean link path and mean link speed for good analysis are as good as legacy media ever achieved and the total number of articles filtered vastly larger. It is another aspect of the general scaling in our social information flows, and the various open source investigations are another :


At the recent 2017 Allied Social Sciences Association (ASSA) meeting in Chicago, Nobel Laureate Angus Deaton described the American healthcare system as “optimally designed for rent-seeking and very poorly designed to improve people’s health.”

Yes, ‘perfectly designed for rent seeking’, and the exact reason the FDA and CDC exist, to protect the profits of companies like Purdue Pharma. I have read several other discussions of Purdue’s marketing strategy and vast profits, expansion internationally, family running everything, etc., but this is the first link of all that to the structure of the industry and a general statement about the entire health care system. This Nobel Laureate lives up to expectations in dealing with reality.

This deals with the opioid epidemic also, sort of, from a foodie pov, sort of :


Yesterday I had a first appointment for PT for my right shoulder. The Gargantuan For-Profit Health Provider I went to expected me to fill out an evaluation questionnaire before anything else. The first 3 questions were all variations on ‘what can’t you do?’ in grades of 1-5. But I couldn’t answer those, and doubt most people could, because the problem isn’t what so much as ‘what happens next?’ and ‘what proportion of the time?’. I could not answer their question meaningfully, same as all the questionnaires I get at GFPHP.

Any question whose answer requires a complex balancing is biased to overall feeling. Combined with the impossibility of their assessing what your original condition was, it meant that comparing beginning and ending responses, you would self-assess as ‘improved’ by the treatment so long as you liked your PT. I told the guy I did not cooperate with facade, that questionnaire couldn’t possibly be useful for the intended purpose. He claimed it was used nationally, put out by the PT profession, I think he said.

Hunter S. Thompson’s obituary of Richard Nixon. I can’t decide whether this shows that good journalists can have strong opinions and express them freely while nevertheless transmitting enough context to allow judgement. I should go look for a positive opinion of the character of Nixon  :


So I did, because Nixon was just a man, after all, and was limited by government to the same extent that it enabled him and magnified his faults. On the possibly-good side :


Of those, ending the draft enabled the endless wars with no loss among relatives of the elites. I don’t have an answer wrt Thompson. He was very good at laying out a pov clearly, and those are useful in themselves, can’t have too many in trying to understand reality.

The election of 2016 was a historic shift in working class understanding, not at all what the elites represent it as being :


Here is one of the reasons the working class left — the DNC is dominated by corporate lobbyists :


Another means to longevity, vigorous physical activity every day :


I had not paid much attention to RealClearPolitics. Some very good articles, e.g. I didn’t anything about Priebus :





This is a more conventional framework of analysis, and still doesn’t match the rhetoric wrt ‘bitter-enders clinging to religion and rifles’ or ‘white, un-educated working class’ voting against their economic interests.


I like Russell Brand, he uses plain words to say what he thinks, and also focuses on reality, even if in a very leftish framework of explanation :

Mainstream always has barbs for General Flynn, it seems to me :


This is a very hopeful view of Trump’s revolution. I am so hoping it is real :


Symptom of a world that has lost common sense. College president fired after he allows a homeless kid to stay in the library overnight :


Davos wonders how they got it so wrong? Group think, maybe? Believing their own propaganda? Not even realizing it was propaganda? Massive confirmation bias with positive feedback ? So many bad habits in thinking, they all had :


The effects of policy on the already overstressed by a shitty system little people is not much discussed :


Cooperation is an evolutionary advantage from lowest levels of biology through the highest levels of culture :


Better ways to grow tomatoes in the city :


Single unit recordings are improving understanding of brain functions at a high rate because of the miniaturized equipment and radio that make it possible to monitor freely-moving un-anesthetized animals. This is impressive confirmation of what we knew had to be, judging from the behaviors :


A definition of ‘more money than brains’ :


No kidding, popularity, which is what Google’s link ratings amount to, are no substitute for Truth, and need continuous adjustment by humans. So far as I know, there is no algorithm for discerning truth, the most sophisticated scientific and philosophical societies are often at internal odds on many questions :


SAT scores as a measure of a person’s worth, and the Flynn Effect showing ever-rising levels of abstract thought in the entire culture, were not always so. People were intelligent in the necessary ways from the beginning, still are in every culture, a point racists don’t grasp :


4000 years ago, there was a large cultural event that mixed the genetics of Indians, driven by powerful males. That cultural event mixed N and S Indian genetics, the Dravidian cultures which are not related to any other languages in the world, there are no longer any pure old lineages. 2000 years ago, another cultural event installed the caste system. 4000 years ago was when the IndoEuropean language family began. This is adding the genetics information to the archaeology and linguistics evidence in making sense of the movement of people around the world. Good talk, and the ability to read archaic genomes is a major new scientific instrument, new measurements lead to new understandings, e.g. new mixtures of population measures :



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