The NFL overtime solution

Keep sudden-death, just give the ball first to the team with fewer penalties. Not penalty yards, penalties.

Scientific consensus = false

The fraud and deception of the “scientific consensus” on anthropogenic global warming/climate change continues to pile higher:

The IPCC made a prominent claim in its 2007 report, again citing the WWF as its authority, that climate change could endanger “up to 40 per cent” of the Amazon rainforest – as iconic to warmists as those Himalayan glaciers and polar bears. This WWF report, it turned out, was co-authored by Andy Rowell, an anti-smoking and food safety campaigner who has worked for WWF and Greenpeace, and contributed pieces to Britain’s two most committed environmentalist newspapers. Rowell and his co-author claimed their findings were based on an article in Nature. But the focus of that piece, it emerges, was not global warming at all but the effects of logging.

A Canadian analyst has identified more than 20 passages in the IPCC’s report which cite similarly non-peer-reviewed WWF or Greenpeace reports as their authority, and other researchers have been uncovering a host of similarly dubious claims and attributions all through the report. These range from groundless allegations about the increased frequency of “extreme weather events” such as hurricanes, droughts and heatwaves, to a headline claim that global warming would put billions of people at the mercy of water shortages – when the study cited as its authority indicated exactly the opposite, that rising temperatures could increase the supply of water.

I’ve been a total skeptic from the beginning and even I think this is beginning to get ridiculous. They haven’t gotten ANYTHING right! By the time this round of exposes is done, I half expect to be told that Al Gore and the climate change “scientists” are humanoid aliens from Europa who require a frozen climate to live comfortably.

Mailvox: Surmounting Gamma

An anonymous reader has a request:

Your recent posts on the whole alpha/beta scale and specifically your post “Hierarchy test: the answer key” fits right into somethings I have been pondering in my life. In it you write “Gammas constantly sabotage their efforts to reach their goals because they want them so badly.” and “Gammas always engage in preemptive rejection.”

I have an IQ that is well above average and a somewhat rounded skillset/abilities but despite that I don’t find success and have determined that I am somehow self-sabotaging. Its an unconscious “gift” that I would really like to be rid of and something I have been pondering of late. And while I hadn’t thought of it previously I think that “preemptive rejection” ties right into it.

Now I realize that your post was more to do with Game but that isn’t really what I am looking at. Sure it would be nice to do better with women, but I have a child to take care of and so my focus is more on life in general and I was wondering what advice you might have for those of us who find far too much of your description of Gamma in our lives.

As I have been repeatedly attempting to tell the Deltas, Gammas, and Omegas who wish to identify themselves as anything but what they are, the first step is to recognize clearly where you are perceived on the social hierarchy. Ask five women and five men if you want to get a more objective perspective on it. Others usually view us more clearly than we are able to see ourselves.

The first thing a Gamma has to do is stop seeking the approval of others. Gammas are often easy to identify because when they talk, there is usually an unspoken question in their voice. This can be indicated by hesitancy or a rising tone at the end of the sentence. It’s not a coincidence that this is also how children talk, it’s an indication of instinctive approval-seeking. Like Demosthenes getting rid of his stutter with his stones at the beach, this may require an amount of practice to eradicate. Also note that rather like someone who normally represses his temper tends to lose it with a bang, the Gamma usually overdoes it when he attempts to speak with more authority; inappropriate overemphasis is a dead giveaway of low social status.

But that’s just the outward manifestation of the inner problem…. more later. In the meantime, those of you with positive suggestions might consider offering them.

Voxiversity IV

I’m getting more than a little tired of economics after four months of writing RGD and more than thirty interviews in two months, so I think it makes sense to accede to the will of the readers and go with the Inferno portion of La Commedia Divina, which beat RGD by a vote of 133 to 128. I’d previously been leaning towards Commentarii de Bello Gallico, but that finished a distant fourth with only 28 votes. Here is a link to the Cary translation; those who prefer Longfellow or Norton translations may be interested in this three-way comparison site. For simplicity’s sake, I’ll use Cary supported by the bilingual edition that features Robert Pinsky’s translation.

Ironically after all that, the translation with which I’m most familiar, and which inspired my economic satire, was Lawrence Binyon’s. But I think it’s best to work with the freely available texts. Start reading Canto 1 for next Saturday.

Hierarchy test: the answer key

The most popular fraternity on campus is inviting you to a rush party on a Greek-dominated campus. You’re assured that there’s a very good chance that you’re in. Do you:

a) Show up, be excited, and join. Both Alphas and Betas will answer this way, as being sought by the best group only confirms their self-regard. The Alpha, however, will likely be an officer at some point in the next four years. Remember, you can’t be at the top of the social hierarchy without being a part of it.

b) Show up, be nervous and join. This is the Delta answer. Who wouldn’t want to belong to the most popular fraternity on campus? And yet, the Delta is quite conscious of the difference between “probably” and “definitely”.

c) Show up, make an ass of yourself, and be rejected. This could be either Alpha or Gamma. Alphas are always in competition and Gammas constantly sabotage their efforts to reach their goals because they want them so badly. Desperation is seldom attractive.

d) Don’t show up and don’t join because fraternities are lame organizations for insecure people. The genuine Gamma answer. Gammas always engage in preemptive rejection. Even if they have given up trying to belong to the popular set, deep inside they would still very much like to. If you see a guy wearing a GDI sweatshirt, he’s definitely a Gamma.

e) Don’t show up and don’t join because you forgot. This is the Sigma answer. The real Sigma doesn’t feign indifference, it truly doesn’t matter to him. While I was quite pleased to be invited to rush by Delta Upsilon, it wasn’t a big deal one way or another and I just completely forgot about it. They invited me back anyhow, but by that time I was over the idea. Remember, Sigmas aren’t only strange, they tend to be unpredictable.

f) Don’t show up because you suspect a joke being made at your expense. Omega baby! It’s amazing how incredibly narcissistic losers can be. And yet, it’s not entirely impossible. Paranoia doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you and no one knows better than the Omega how cruel people can be.

g) Show up and give one of the brothers a blow-job in the bathroom. And that would be Lambda, obviously.

Voxiversity IV poll

I’d encourage those who have participated in past Voxiversities or are seriously contemplating taking part in the next one to vote. If you’re not, don’t bother.

GDP grows 5.7 percent!

The BEA’s Q4-2009 Advance report:

Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — increased at an annual rate of 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009, (that is, from the third quarter to the fourth quarter), according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 2.2 percent.

Given that the last report went from 3.5 percent down to 2.2 percent, what are the chances that this impressive number – more than double the average rate of economic growth over the last 50 years – will hold up? Even Wall Street isn’t pretending to take the GDP reports seriously any longer. Note that at $14,463.4, US GDP is now reported to be larger than it ever has been before.

Apparently the 89.7 percent of workers who still have jobs are exceedingly productive. As far as I’m concerned, this claim of economic growth at a 5.7% annual rate does nothing but demonstrate the increasing disconnect between the macroeconomic statistics and the actual economy.