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Stayin' Alive 09/18/2019 09:29
It seems to me that the politicians, pundits and people in general are largely overlooking the most important implications of the recent attack on Saudi oil processing facilities. I can't judge the credibility of recent U.S. and Saudi claims that the attack was launched from Iranian territory, but I will accept that Occam's razor supports the conclusion that the perpetrator was some faction allied with Iran, with or without the endorsement of Ayatollah Kahmenei. Let's leave that aside for the moment. Here's the geography:. Notice that if the attack was launched from Iranian territory, the devices flew over the Gulf (called the Arabian or Persian Gulf depending on which side of it you are on) over U.S. naval vessels equipped with the , which
Stayin' Alive 09/16/2019 13:27
A reader suggested I consider discussing . To summarize, it's a prospective cohort study of U.S. adolescents, that examines the association between time spent on social media and reports of behavioral problems. Contrary to the way this has frequently been reported in popular media, the outcome measure isn't diagnosable mental illness. Rather, it's self reports of so called "internalizing problems," such as social withdrawal and anxiety, and "externalizing problems" such as vandalism and bullying. The investigators find a consistent "dose-response" relationship between time spent on social media and internalizing problems, and co-morbid internalizing and externalizing problems. They don't find a consistent relationship with externalizing pro.
Stayin' Alive 09/15/2019 08:06
So God is dictating a detailed legal code to Moses. At this point in the fictitious history, it seems to be looking forward. It is more suitable to the settled people the Hebrews will become than the nomads of Genesis. We haven't been told anything about life in Goshen, but the people were not evidently self-governing. Currently, the people are camped out in the desert subsisting on manna. Moses was judging disputes, apparently based on his personal intuitions, until Jethro dropped in to suggest he delegate, at which point presumably his delegates made it up as they went along. So now we're finally getting the statutes. Where all this came from is not definitely known, but as we've mentioned many times Exodus was written down in the 6th Cen.
Stayin' Alive 09/10/2019 13:57
I'm going to defer any comment on the raging insanity around us and discuss a matter of direct importance to me. As government -- at all levels really -- has an allergy to any rigorous investigation of whether policies actually work as intended. (Sorry if you've spent your free NYT chits for the month, I'll summarize a bit of it.) Health policy is part of my portfolio, and it's undergoing massive experimentation and innovation. Policy makers are struggling to address the rising cost of health care, the fragmentation of services, and the gaps in coverage, financial burdens and complexity faced by most of us. Many ideas to improve health care organization and finance seem intuitively compelling, you never know what's really going to happen ti.
Stayin' Alive 09/05/2019 13:40
I don't necessarily recommend that you read Jurgen Habermas. His writing is almost impenetrably dense, grinds ideas into nanoparticles, and slays entire forests reviewing the ideas of obscure German social philosophers at nearly as much length as the original writings. Nevertheless I commend to you an idea at the core of his Theory of Communicative Action. It isn't really original -- he harks back to Plato in his discussion, and he also owes a debt to his mentor John Searle. But he recontextualizes it and builds on it. Habermas proposes three "worlds" of "criticizable validity claims." If people are to communicate effectively, whether they are trying to cooperate or are debating, they need to mutually understand what world they are in. The
Stayin' Alive 09/04/2019 10:13
. One of the best ways to win arguments is to be so completely wrong that there's no way anyone could feasibly correct you without teaching three entry level college courses in the process. This is known colloquially as a "Shapiro.". The reference is presumably to Ben Shapiro but there are other possible eponyms. A more complex way of stating this idea is , as one of the commenters on the original tweet points out:. Fractal wrongness is the state of being at every conceivable scale of resolution. That is, from a distance, a fractally wrong person's is incorrect; and furthermore, if you zoom in on any small part of that person's worldview, that part is just as wrong as the whole worldview.. . . The term "fractal wrongness" may also be used to
Stayin' Alive 09/01/2019 11:33
Administrative note: I'm switching to the Revised Standard Version because I find the NIV does too much fudging of the potentially embarrassing stuff. Exodus 20 is where we encounter what is usually called the Ten Commandments, although the actual concept of Ten Commandments isn't articulated until later, and at that time they turn out to be different from these. Yes, there are two different sets. Also, the only thing that sets the ostensible Ten Commandments apart from the dozens of additional commandments that follow is a brief description of how the people are experiencing the signs and wonders (or volcanic eruption) on the mountain. They aren't identified as more important than the rest of the law. Finally, as I have mentioned before, t.
Stayin' Alive 08/30/2019 11:11
As most readers know, who is best known for his reconstruction of global temperatures over the past thousand years, showing a sudden sharp increase following the industrial revolution. It's known as the hockey stick graph. Here is a recent version. Climate change deniers have consistently attacked this research, but it has withstood every assault. This is a very long story . Anyway, a Canadian named Tim Ball accused Mann of perpetrating a hoax so Mann sued him for defamation. In a message posted to its website, the Frontier Center apologized for publishing “untrue and disparaging” comments about Mann. “Although the Frontier Center for Public Policy still does not see eye to eye with Mr. Mann on the subject of global warming and climate chang.
Stayin' Alive 08/28/2019 14:24
The news that somebody at a West Virginia VA medical center was is the latest reminder of a phenomenon that occurs disturbingly often. The denominator of all the medical professionals in the world is obviously very large, so the dozens who have been identified as serial killers don't mean you are at notable risk, but still. Actually there must be many more since one of the perks of being a physician or a nurse is that you can get away with being a serial killer pretty easily. The most notorious is probably the British GP Harold Shipman, . He started out killing elderly women who did not have a long life expectancy, and perhaps he told himself he was acting out of mercy. But as time went on he relaxed his standards and started killing perfec.
Stayin' Alive 08/26/2019 13:57
I've written about the rule of rescue quite a bit, but not recently. is an occasion to revisit the topic. Some of the best discussion of this is in the , but it's behind a paywall for many of you so I'm providing alternative links. SMA can have slow onset, but for many it means death in early childhood without treatment. There is a previously approved treatment, which costs $375,000/year. The newly approved treatment is thought to require only a one-time infusion, which may provide life-long benefit, but it costs $2.1 million. argues that the new treatment (onasemnogene abeparvovec, band name Zolgensma) should be covered by insurance. Nathan Yates writes:. We should not put a price tag on life, though. “$2.1 million is too much to spend for
Stayin' Alive 08/25/2019 08:42
We are now heading into an extensive bout of lawgiving. I won't start in this chapter, which is just the warmup. Let me take a brief aside to refer you to the . We obviously won't get to Samuel for a while so this will give you a taste of what's ahead once the Israelites have kings and all that. As I often note here, the parts of the Bible they teach in Sunday school, and the parts that get preached about, are highly selective. In fact Tufts professor Daniel Dennett when they went to the theological seminary and actually read the damn thing. Since they had invested in their education and don't have any other marketable skills, many of them are still preaching and leading congregations even though they know it's all a fraud. Anyway, let's ge.
Stayin' Alive 08/23/2019 13:59
David Koch, one of history's greatest monsters is dead. and were, in fact, largely responsible for the origins of denialism. Remember that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was founded in 1988, and the Framework Convention on Climate Change signed in 1992. The Kochs’ key role in stopping congressional action on climate change is well-known, but longtime environmental activists, such as Kert Davies, the director of the Climate Investigation Center, credit Leonard with discovering that the Kochs played an earlier and even more central role in climate-change denial than was previously understood. In 2010, Davies authored a report, for Greenpeace, that labelled the Kochs “The Kingpins of Denial,” but he told me that he hadn’t realiz.
Stayin' Alive 08/22/2019 11:18
The New England Journal of Medicine, to their credit, . A good part of the value-added from these is that they demonstrate the synergy among some important issues that aren't often considered together, and don't get a lot of attention in the corporate media. discuss an epidemic that is largely ignored in the United States. Agricultural workers in tropical climates are experiencing radical increases in the incidence of chronic kidney disease and renal failure. While the cause is not fully understood, it appears to be linked to rising temperatures resulting in heat stress and dehydration. This is one more indication that the climate emergency will reduce agricultural production, and render large areas of the planet unsuitable for agriculture
Stayin' Alive 08/21/2019 10:42
The (ostensible) President of the United States cancelled a state visit to Denmark in a hissy fit over the country's refusal to sell Greenland. He also that the 70% of American Jews who vote Democratic are either ignorant or "disloyal." Disloyal to what, exactly? Then he re-tweets that says the Israelis think he's the King of Israel and the second coming of God -- please note that Jews do not believe in the first coming of God -- :. [W]as a leading proponent of the conspiracy theory that President was not born in the United States. At one point, Root falsely claimed that Obama was not a student at ; at another point, in an interview with , Root said that he believed that Obama was a “foreign exchange student” at Columbia. Root has described
Stayin' Alive 08/20/2019 10:22
U.S. political culture sacralizes the Constitution. The United States was actually somewhat unusual in that a bunch of people sat down and consciously wrote a blueprint for government of a newly founded nation. European governments evolved, and many do not have any written constitution at all. Written constitutions are the norm for newly liberated former colonies, although many of them have gone through military coups or other upheavals that resulted in wholesale replacement of the document, often more than once. , the Constitution of the United States is not an object that anyone should hold sacred or even particularly admire. The occasion for his essay is the and the long shadow it casts today. It seems that many conservatives are objecti.
Stayin' Alive 08/18/2019 08:16
We've had a bit of lawgiving so far -- the Passover commemoration and keeping the sabbath, in particular. The lawgiving is about to get going big time, but before God starts rolling out the edicts, we interrupt the story for a blast from the past, offering some avuncular advice. This story seems a bit of an awkward grafting, as did the previous episode featuring Zipporah, and one wonders if this might be imported from a separate story that was really about the Midianites. Anyway, it seems anodyne but it raises some interesting questions. Here goes. Now Jethro, the priest of Midian and father-in-law of Moses, heard of everything God had done for Moses and for his people Israel, and how the. Lord. had brought Israel out of Egypt. 2 After Moses
Stayin' Alive 08/15/2019 10:28
I worked for 15 years at a community based organization in Boston that was founded as a public health agency targeting the Latino population. We eventually had offices in Boston, Lowell and Brockton, and began to offer behavioral health and clinical case management as well as community health promotion programs. I was one of the few Anglos who worked there, but I don't know that I was exactly more of a minority than everybody else. My co-workers were of Puerto Rican, Dominican, Mexican, Ecuadorian, Venezuelan, Argentinian, and eventually also Haitian and Brazilian ethnicity as we expanded the communities we served. We didn't discriminate of course, we had non-Latino clients, but the mission was to offer culturally and linguistically compete.
Stayin' Alive 08/12/2019 13:27
. . . but the corporate media in the U.S. haven't noticed. I looked at the web sites of every major news outlet today and saw absolutely nothing about this. . Sure, the Brits have their own problems but they can still stop gazing at their own navels long enough to notice this. A spate of huge fires in northern Russia, Alaska, Greenland and Canada discharged 50 megatonnes of CO 2 in June and 79 megatonnes in July, far exceeding the previous record for the . The intensity of the blazes continues with 25 megatonnes in the first 11 days of August – extending the duration beyond even the most persistent fires in the 17-year dataset of Europe’s satellite monitoring system. The smoke cloud covers 5 million square kilometers -- larger in area than

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