blueollie

A bit of statistics

Ok, how can we draw statistical inference when we cannot run a controlled experiments? After all, correlation and causation are not the same. This is a useful guide as to the how and when. Basically: is the correlation strong, and is there some “plausible reason” for such a correlation? This paper lists 7 points.

Simpson’s paradox You can see a discussion here.

Think of it this way: say 1000 women and 1000 men apply for admission to graduate school. 656 men get admitted, whereas only 260 women get admitted. Does this mean that things are biased against women?

But then we see that there are two very different graduate programs. The very selective graduate program admitted 8 percent of all male applicants but 10 percent of all women applicants. The other graduate program..the “easy to get into” program admitted 90 percent of female applicants and 80 percent of all male applicants. So: we see that the women outdid the men in both programs. Yet, we also see that 800 women applied to the “difficult to get into program” and only 200 men did. On the other hand, 800 men applied to the easy program but only 200 women did.

Check it out: women: 800*.1 =80 admits to the hard program, 200*.9 = 180 admits to the easy program, so 260 total admits. Men: 200*.08 = 16 admits to the hard program, 800*.8 = 640 admits to the easy program, or 656 total admits.

This isn’t just some “trick” either. When social scientists analysed the “stand your ground” defense law in Florida, they found that whites were more likely to be convicted than non-whites. BUT this was because whites were more likely to be accused of assaulting a white victim; it turns out that the probability of prosecution was higher if the victim was white than if the victim was non-white. You can see the details here.

workout notes: 4 mile walk after weights: rotator cuff, 5 sets of 10 pull ups, bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 185 (strong), 10 x 170, incline: 10 x 135 (very easy), military: 10 x 50 standing, 20 x 50 seated supported, 10 x 200 machine, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 single arm. head stand, 2 sets each of 10 yoga leg lifts, 12 twist crunch.

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November 29, 2016 Posted by | science, social/political, statistics, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

The Deplorables are going to be deplorable…

On Facebook, a conservative complained about Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” comment (which really only referred to the most extreme Trump supporters; she should have said “some” rather than “half”. Evidently this remark sent some “undecided” voters over the edge to Trump.

So, how is this going to work for them? Well, some of those benefiting from the “head of household” income tax deduction could see that go by the wayside and see their own taxes go up. And those who are benefiting from Obamacare could see that go away as well. Hey, no skin off of my nose, right?

Ok, ok, since I think that our economy is actually stimulated from the bottom, I don’t want to see the lower income people, including those who voted for Trump, get screwed over as that will put a drag on our economy.

November 29, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, social/political | , , , | Leave a comment

building back up…

Workout notes: treadmill: 10 minutes of warm up (4 at 5.2, 4 at 5.3, 2 at 5.4), then 20 at 6.7, 6 at 6.8, 1:52 at 6.9, 15 minute mile walk to cool down (52:52).
Technically: 3.128 miles in 27:52 or 8:54 mpm, very close to what I averaged for the race this past Thanksgiving.

But it was easier as it was indoor (0.5 elevation) and I started out a bit slower.

Then I did some light leg stuff, (goblet squats, dumbbell lunges); some of the stuff I discussed with Mama T this past Sunday. My left hamstring has a very minor ping.

What should my goals be? A 24:00 5K at 49 years of age (my 2009 best) translates to 25:38 at 57; I was in the 25:50’s this year at my best. Ah…that is doable. Going under 25 …ugh..going to have to work hard for that.

November 28, 2016 Posted by | running | , | Leave a comment

Trump’s deplorable strategy: lie and distract

trumptweets27november

Yes, these are genuine tweets. That will be his MO to distract: tweet outright lies. Hell, almost half of the public will believe him, and the media will not call him out on it.

And almost half of the voting public will believe him.

November 28, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social | , , | Leave a comment

Fun, social weekend

Ok, my football teams did not do well; in the NFL the Bears and Colts lost; in college: Texas, Notre Dame, Illinois all lost big; Illinois State lost a heartbreaker playoff game..but Navy rolled by a basketball score like 75-31 over SMU.

But workouts were fine: Saturday I walked 2 miles of the FOLEPI course with Barbara and then 4.5 more miles on my own. Sunday; weights then a nice run/walk with the lovely Mama T; that was a real treat for me.

Weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10), inline (10 x 135, 10 x 150, 10 x 135), military: 2 sets of 10 x 50 standing dumbbell, 10 x 180 machine, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 single arm.

Photos: First two from the FOLEPI walk
babsfoelipibutt

babsfolepifront

Barbara with Mama T at lunch today.

babsmamat

Barbara, Jennifer and Me after the Second City Improv. Production at ICC last night.

mejenbabs

bradleywomeneureka2016

The Bradley Women actually trailed D-3 Eureka after 1 quarter and lead by only 8 at the half. The third quarter saw Bradley go on a 31-8 run and BU won going away 103-58; however it was a competitive game for a half.

November 28, 2016 Posted by | basketball, Friends, running, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Keeping Facebook friends that you don’t like….

First, I should talk about MY Facebook behavior. Yeah, I’ve had a dear “IRL” (In Real Life) friend complain to me about it; this is someone who I’ve had several “friendship outings” with.

Yes, I post a lot: political, social issues, spectator sports (football, basketball, baseball), outing photos (via Instagram), running/walking/weightlifting/swimming posts, “playing with my troll friends” posts (inside jokes that I want selected people to see) and, every once in a while, a spandex/butt joke/photo (not as often as people think).

So, if someone wants to unfriend me, I completely understand and am not offended at all. Unfriending me means “you are tired of my BS” and I don’t blame you! No offense but I’d rather run off Facebook friends than my wife or my IRL friends. 🙂

And yes, I’ve unfriended people. One large group of people I unfriended were a large subset of my Naval Academy classmates; while I don’t mind competing points of view, so much of their social commentary was “bumper sticker like” and full of hidden assumptions. Honest, fact based critiques of my ideas are fine; chanting slogans and cliches gets tiresome. And yes, I’ve unfriended some idiotic liberals too..for similar reasons.

I’ve unfriended a few scolds who didn’t like that rare spandex shot or an anti-religion post. No one tells me what is permissible to post on my wall.

And yes, I did get very angry with a “formerly closer IRL” friend who didn’t treat me well; they got unfriended and blocked for several months. But this individual can be fun and thought provoking; some people I can enjoy online but perhaps not in person.

But the purpose of this post is: why do I keep some people that I have interactions with (on my wall) that I really do not like, and quite frankly, disrespect? Note: I am not talking about the smart successful person who has went through (or is going through) a rough time that affects their personality. I am talking about something else.

And I wonder: do I keep at least a few people because they, well, feed my ego? If so, how ethical is that?

On the flip side: Facebook has been very positive for me. I’ve reconnected with people I haven’t seen in 40-45 years and found out that they are interesting, “fun to talk to” people. I’ve also met a few people who I look forward to talking to on almost a daily basis; one turned out to be a special gem.

Interestingly enough, people have thought about FB relationships and the emotions of breaking them: here, here, and here.

November 26, 2016 Posted by | social/political | , , , | Leave a comment

Congratulations to us for not being out there shopping…

Yes, that is what one lady said as she ran past me out on the Riverfront trail. I was out for an easy 5 mile walk on a gray, but seasonal day…after lifting weights.

One my way back to the locker room, I heard two Trump supporters talking; one mentioned that he hoped that Trump’s 35 percent tariff would “bring back manufacturing”.

The walk: I was thinking about running but my legs said “no way”. Building back up is going to be a long process.

The gym was not crowded at all.

Bodyweight (after weights, before walking) 191.7 on the Riverplex gym scale

Rotator cuff, pull ups (4 sets of 10, then one 5-5 where I switched grip)
bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 185, 10 x 170 (strong)
incline press: 10 x 135
military presses: 2 sets of 8 x 50 dumbbell (standing), 10 x 180 machine.
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 each arm.
headstand (shaky), 2 sets of 10 yoga leg lifts, 12 twist crunches

Running: from yesterday’s waddle:

cantcatchthem

I wanted to catch these two women who beat me by 11 seconds (by the clock, 3 seconds by the chip). And I wanted to catch the gray beard (10 years older than I) who beat me by a few seconds. No dice.

chocolateturkey20161

What gives? I haven’t done those 1:30 runs that give me strength, nor those steady, good effort 1-1:10 runs. Everything, save one little tempoish run a week has been at recovery pace, and not much of that.

Plans: I think that it is time for me to focus on getting some 5K “speed” back and not worry about distance for a while.

November 25, 2016 Posted by | running, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

I was clueless…so was Paul Krugman who now admits it…

Yes, I know, I read the warnings. I knew that there was a very real possibility that we might see a decent sized popular vote victory/Electoral College loss by Hillary Clinton. But I chose to mostly focus on the betting line leads and the fact that most models had her somewhere between a 70-90 percent favorite.

And to be honest, Trump’s message and strategy didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

There was this: America, on the whole, is not the GOP. I really thought that Trump’s crudeness and vulgar rhetoric would turn many people off.

Yes, some of Trump’s statements, mannerisms and the like were seen as, well, not good, but not disqualifying either. I had forgotten that for the past 25 years, I have worked in a college environment along with snowflake students and even snowflakier faculty. In such an environment, getting offended can be seen as a virtue, and there was a culture to see just how sensitive one could be. The more easily offended one was, the more virtuous one is.

I had forgotten about the more socially conservative environment in which I grew up (Air Force bases, Texas high school, football, the Naval Academy then the Navy) and in such places, people did tell racist and sexist jokes, “in private”. I figured “that was long ago; the country has moved on”…but maybe not?

Now one might say: “hey wait a minute; aren’t conservatives themselves a super sensitive lot?” Of course they are; notice how they lost their minds over the “basket of deplorables” remark. But they are sensitive if they feel that you are looking down ON THEM. Looking down on others? Well, “suck it up, buttercup”. On the other hand, liberals are quick to bleed over slights to people who aren’t like them (e. g. gays, transgendered people, Muslims, etc.). Remember that in 2008, the Clinton campaign attacked us all over the place.

Ironically, the very voters that voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primary are the ones that deserted her in 2016.

But still, I was fooled by something else. I read the following by Paul Krugman:

But when Mr. Trump portrays America’s cities as hellholes of runaway crime and social collapse, what on earth is he talking about? Urban life is one of the things that has gone right with America. In fact, it has gone so right that those of us who remember the bad old days still find it hard to believe.

Let’s talk specifically about violent crime. Consider, in particular, the murder rate, arguably the most solid indicator for long-run comparisons because there’s no ambiguity about definitions. Homicides did shoot up between the early 1960s and the 1980s, and images of a future dystopia — think “Escape From New York” (1981) or Blade Runner (1982) — became a staple of popular culture. Conservative writers assured us that soaring crime was the inevitable result of a collapse in traditional values and that things would get even worse unless those values were restored.

But then a funny thing happened: The murder rate began falling, and falling, and falling. By 2014 it was all the way back down to where it was half a century earlier. There was some rise in 2015, but so far, at least, it’s barely a blip in the long-run picture.

Basically, American cities are as safe as they’ve ever been. Nobody is completely sure why crime has plunged, but the point is that the nightmare landscape of the Republican candidate’s rhetoric — call it Trump’s hellhole? — bears no resemblance to reality.

And we’re not just talking about statistics here; we’re also talking about lived experience. Fear of crime hasn’t disappeared from American life — today’s New York is incredibly safe by historical standards, yet I still wouldn’t walk around some areas at 3 a.m. But fear clearly plays a much diminished role now in daily life.

So what is all of this about? The same thing everything in the Trump campaign is about: race.

And he went on:

If you want to feel good about the state of America, you could do a lot worse than what I did this morning: take a run in Riverside Park. There are people of all ages, and, yes, all races exercising, strolling hand in hand, playing with their dogs, kicking soccer balls and throwing Frisbees. There are a few homeless people, but the overall atmosphere is friendly – New Yorkers tend to be rushed, but they’re not nasty – and, well, nice.

Yes, the Upper West Side is affluent. But still, I’ve seen New York over the decades, and it has never been as pleasant, as safe in feel, as it is now. And this is the big bad city!

The point is that lived experience confirms what the statistics say: crime hasn’t been lower, society hasn’t been safer, in generations. Which, of course, leads us to the Trump gambit from last night. Can he raise 1968-type fears in a country that looks, feels, and is nothing like it was back then?

I wish I were sure that he can’t. A lot of Republican-leaning voters apparently believe that the economy is terrible in the teeth of their own experience – that the pretty good job market they see is a local aberration. And “crime” may not really mean “crime” – it may just be code for “brown people.”

My guess is that it won’t work,

And though I am anything but affluent, this is what I saw. I frequently run in a very pleasant partk, regularly attend minor league baseball games in a sparkling stadium, walk along the river and sometimes use a nice public health club (which has subsidies for the poor). Often I find myself thinking “hey, this is pretty nice”. I’ve seen similar things in other locations. So I found myself agreeing with Paul Krugman, though others accused him (and me?) of “living in a bubble“.

And yet Trump won the Electoral College, though he will lose the popular vote by around 2 million votes (two frigging MILLION votes) and by about 1.5 percent (CNN has it at 1.8 million and 1.4 percent…and the gap is growing)

And so I wonder about the models and about the why..as does Krugman:

Consider eastern Kentucky, a very white area which has benefited enormously from Obama-era initiatives. Take, in particular, the case of Clay County, which the Times declared a few years ago to be the hardest place in America to live. It’s still very hard, but at least most of its residents now have health insurance: Independent estimates say that the uninsured rate fell from 27 percent in 2013 to 10 percent in 2016. That’s the effect of the Affordable Care Act, which Mrs. Clinton promised to preserve and extend but Mr. Trump promised to kill.

Mr. Trump received 87 percent of Clay County’s vote.

Now, you might say that health insurance is one thing, but what people want are good jobs. Eastern Kentucky used to be coal country, and Mr. Trump, unlike Mrs. Clinton, promised to bring the coal jobs back. (So much for the idea that Democrats need a candidate who will stand up to the fossil fuels industry.) But it’s a nonsensical promise.

Where did Appalachia’s coal mining jobs go? They weren’t lost to unfair competition from China or Mexico. What happened instead was, first, a decades-long erosion as U.S. coal production shifted from underground mining to strip mining and mountaintop removal, which require many fewer workers: Coal employment peaked in 1979, fell rapidly during the Reagan years, and was down more than half by 2007. A further plunge came in recent years thanks to fracking. None of this is reversible.

Is the case of former coal country exceptional? Not really. Unlike the decline in coal, some of the long-term decline in manufacturing employment can be attributed to rising trade deficits, but even there it’s a fairly small fraction of the story. Nobody can credibly promise to bring the old jobs back; what you can promise — and Mrs. Clinton did — are things like guaranteed health care and higher minimum wages. But working-class whites overwhelmingly voted for politicians who promise to destroy those gains.

So what happened here? Part of the answer may be that Mr. Trump had no problems with telling lies about what he could accomplish. If so, there may be a backlash when the coal and manufacturing jobs don’t come back, while health insurance disappears.

But maybe not. Maybe a Trump administration can keep its supporters on board, not by improving their lives, but by feeding their sense of resentment.

For let’s be serious here: You can’t explain the votes of places like Clay County as a response to disagreements about trade policy. The only way to make sense of what happened is to see the vote as an expression of, well, identity politics — some combination of white resentment at what voters see as favoritism toward nonwhites (even though it isn’t) and anger on the part of the less educated at liberal elites whom they imagine look down on them.

To be honest, I don’t fully understand this resentment. In particular, I don’t know why imagined liberal disdain inspires so much more anger than the very real disdain of conservatives who see the poverty of places like eastern Kentucky as a sign of the personal and moral inadequacy of their residents.

(emphasis: mine).

My guess is that people really need someone to feel superior to. I remember in the military, many enlisted saw officers, especially the younger ones, as privileged sissy college boys who wouldn’t last in their world. So, you might, deep down, realize that your life will never change for the better, no matter who you vote for (and this sentiment is not unique to one class of people). But hey, you can always give “the middle finger” to those limp wristed morons who lack common sense…who tell you that you are a bigot because you don’t want women to share a locker room with people with male genitalia among other irrelevant stuff.

Add to that: many working class voters are NOT poor; things like minimum wage and other issues championed by the populist wing of the Democratic party really aren’t relevant to you.

Now Trump doesn’t have solutions to these issues; in fact, it is entirely possible that no solution exists.

But that doesn’t matter; that is what Trump ran on in enough key areas to tip a few formerly Democratic states his way. Hence we lost Wisconsin for the first time since 1984 and Pennsylvania for the first time since 1988, albeit by agonizingly small margins.

I really don’t know jack, do I?

November 25, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social | , | Leave a comment

One thing different about this election…

So often, Presidential elections break down by income. Not so much this time (via CNN)

trumpclintonbyincome

Now about education: you can see what the map looks like by “college” vs. “non-college”

Those with college degrees (via Survey Monkey; you can check out the map with various demographic groups here)

ifonlycollegegraduatesvoted

Versus “no college”:

ifnocollegevoted

This also explains my “bubble” as the vast majority of people I routinely interact with are either college students or people with advanced degrees.

The details are further laid out here.

November 24, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social | , | Leave a comment

Damned course keeps getting longer every year (Chocolate Turkey run)

Ok, I did the Peoria Chocolate Turkey Race again, and did it slower than ever: 26:54 for 3 miles: 8:48, 8:47, 9:20. Yes, that last split was for a mile, not 1.1 miles. I faded; I could tell by how much I got passed. Oh, I could make an excuse; I was tracking a MILF who was rocking some cute VPLs and she stopped to tie her shoe..and that took away some of my spirit. But mostly, my legs were getting heavy.

chocolateturkey2016

My place wasn’t terrible; almost upper 1/3 of my 50-59 age group (I am 57), just better than half of all males and a bit better than upper 1/3 overall. That is what happens at large races.

And yes, this was simply a glorious day to run (high 30’s, no rain, usually that means a fast time for me).

Highlight of the race: as I was warming up, a nice looking lady yelled “nice ass” as I ran past. Those who know me well know who yelled that.

2013 24:56
2014 24:53
201526:02
2016 26:54

Note: the race has grown steadily; over 800 finishers this year; just 187 the first year, then 400 then 610.

No, it isn’t all age; I’ve gained a few pounds…and am lifting heavier weights than I could a few years ago. Bodyweight: 193.0 Bradley gym; 194.5 home digital.

The other factor is that in the two “slower” years, I did a marathon in the fall. I did NOT do one in the two “faster” years (did a spring marathon or longer instead).

November 24, 2016 Posted by | running | , , | Leave a comment