Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for May 31st, 2014

Definitely worth a click and a read: “Your Newfangled Media Algorithms are Bullshit”

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Read it here.

Written by Leisureguy

31 May 2014 at 2:06 pm

Posted in Media, Writing

It’s very premature to call US a “post-racist” society

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Take a look. South Carolina’s governor believes it’s important not to have large numbers of African-Americans on the beach. She did not mention any similar concern for large numbers of whites on the beach.

Written by Leisureguy

31 May 2014 at 1:24 pm

That Old-Time Inequality Denial

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Paul Krugman has a good blog post:

Brad DeLong links to the now extensive list of pieces debunking the FT’s attempted debunking of Thomas Piketty, and pronounces himself puzzled:

I still do not understand what Chris Giles of the Financial Times thinks he is doing here…

OK, I don’t know what Giles thought he was doing — but I do know what he was actually doing, and it’s the same old same old. Ever since it became obvious that inequality was rising — way back in the 1980s — there has been a fairly substantial industry on the right of inequality denial. This denial didn’t rely on any one argument, nor did it involve consistent objections. Instead, it involved throwing many different arguments against the wall, hoping that something would stick. Inequality isn’t rising; it is rising, but it’s offset by social mobility; it’s cancelled by greater aid to the poor (which we’re trying to destroy, but never mind that); anyway, inequality is good. All these arguments have been made at the same time; none of them ever gets abandoned in the face of evidence — they just keep coming back.

Look at my old article from 1992: every single bogus argument I identified there is still being made today. And we know perfectly well why: it’s all about defending the 1 percent from the threat of higher taxes and other actions that might limit top incomes.

What’s new in the latest round is the venue. Traditionally, inequality denial has been carried out on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal and like-minded venues. Seeing it expand to the Financial Times is something new, and is a sign that the FT may be suffering from creeping Murdochization.


Written by Leisureguy

31 May 2014 at 11:06 am

Liquidating the US

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The GOP seems to be involved in an effort to liquidate the US. Rather than support the institutions and services that made the US what it is, the effort seems to be to cut government services to the bone so that the wealthy will not have to pay taxes—and the wealthy already pay very little in tax compared to the recent past.

Even the liquidation makes no sense: cutting postal services for a decade to pay for one year of highway maintenance. So next year the postal service be be cut for another ten years?

I am dismayed to see all the support our country once offered its citizens decimated simply to provide more support to the wealthy. The GOP does not have a problem with this—the GOP is the party of the wealthy—but it shows how quickly a country can decline.

Curtis Tate reports in McClatchy:

With the federal highway trust fund set to run out of cash in August, House Republicans are circulating a proposal to pay for a one-year extension by cutting back most U.S. mail delivery to five days a week.

The highway fund, which pays for highway and transit projects in all 50 states, is supported by a federal motor fuels tax that Congress hasn’t increased in more than 20 years and never indexed to inflation. Increased construction costs as well as higher fuel efficiency have eroded its buying power.

Rather than raise the tax or find some other stable source of revenue, Congress has borrowed $54 billion in general funds since 2008. The House Transportation Committee projects that as much as $15 billion would be needed to extend the highway fund for just one year.

The Republican proposal would eliminate the delivery of first class and bulk mail on Saturdays. Packages, priority and express mail deliveries would continue, and post offices would stay open on Saturdays. The plan would save $10 billion over 10 years _ funds that would help offset a one-year extension of surface transportation programs. . .

Continue reading.

Obama also supports cutting postal services, but Obama has been in thrall to Wall Street and Big Business from the start.

Written by Leisureguy

31 May 2014 at 9:34 am

Diet notes

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The Wife has joined me in the low-carb diet. I have been having sort of a plateau, and in looking at total daily calories, I can see why. The low-carb menu includes many foods I had more or less avoided because of their fat content—but those foods contain zero (or very few) carbs, so are appropriate to my current diet. But I had become accustomed to eating such foods on at feasts of one sort or another, so I lapsed into the “feast” attitude when they appeared on my daily menu.

Not good. Keeping carbs low is well and good (yesterday’s net carbs was 12g), but it’s also important to keep total daily calories at a reasonable level. (Yesterday’s totaled 2175—I should be keeping total daily calories below 1500 to meet my goal of 175 lbs on Dec 23).

So I’m doing a little reset and checking amounts more carefully. My goal is to do a week where each day is less than 20g net carbs and less than 1500 calories.

In spite of setbacks, I am still no longer obese, merely overweight: BMI this morning of 29.7.

UPDATE: I just checked. The meals following the gap are my meals since I returned from Phoenix. The line is the upper limit on daily calories to achieve goal (the right-most data point is today, and I’ve entered what I ate for breakfast along with what I plan to eat the rest of the day):

Screen Shot 2014-05-31 at 11.08.23 AM

I find it interesting to look at how the initial efforts are erratic and then it smooths out—I’ve seen that pattern repeatedly, which is the pattern of learning. The upsurge on the 12, 13, and 14 of May was due to some chocolate truffles I shared with The Wife. I had trouble pacing the consumption. The gap is when I was away, and I kept no track of meals then.


Written by Leisureguy

31 May 2014 at 9:11 am

Another try at Stirling Soap

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SOTD 31 May 2014

I have not been able to get a good lather from Stirling Soap, but I know it’s possible because of the frequent praise for the soap I see posted on Wicked Edge. It occurred to me that perhaps the praise was coming from those who use a lathering bowl, which I no longer do, and that my attempts at face lathering were the source of the problem. I recall the problems I initially had with Mike’s Natural, an excellent shaving soap that simply requires a lot more water than what I was using.

So this morning I brought forth my old lathering bowl—made of soapstone (naturally)—and with the Omega brush shown made another attempt. No success. I loaded the brush at length—longer than I do with other soaps—then moved to the lathering bowl and tried to produce a good lather. No matter what I did, the lather remained looser and foamier than a good shaving lather. I was able to get one pass, but that was it. I reloaded the brush with another soap and finished the shave.

I used the Stealth so I did get a BBS result, and Coachman is a very pleasant and manly aftershave.

I think that, for whatever reason, I simply cannot get a good lather from Stirling shaving soap. I am mystified, but the experience speaks for itself. I think at this point I should give it a rest and recognize that it seems to work well for some, but not for me. (Nothing in shaving works for everyone.)

Written by Leisureguy

31 May 2014 at 8:51 am

Posted in Shaving

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