My toxic relationship with “the truth”

I admit that I have difficulty getting along with people. There are many reasons for that and one of my quirks is my relationship with “getting it right”.

Example: there was a recent complaint about a black woman being locked out of a Waffle House while people were inside eating..white people. My immediate thought: “was it a case where the place closed their doors just before she got there but customers currently in the store continued to eat? I’ve had similar happen to me.

I was told that this place was 24 hour place and I thought ..oh, this does sound bad.

Yep…you see, for me, when discrimination is claimed, the null hypothesis is that the claim is false, be it a white conservative claiming that they flunked due to their conservative views, etc. I need evidence to reject the null hypothesis.

But for people like this other professor, what to accept as the null hypothesis depends on who is making the claim; it is a bit of Bayesian reasoning (and yes, right wingers do that too). I am “frequentist” to the core..though I understand that is probably inappropriate in many cases; false positives do exist..a LOT of them.

But I have trouble “going to along just to get along”..even if it means being at odds with “my team”.

Here is one case: Trump uses a motion to mock flustered people ..and to this day, many on “my team” think that he mocked someone BECAUSE of his disability. That does not appear to be case:

He certainly mocked the reporter, but not because of his disability.

This toxic relationship with the truth hurts me in my personal relationships too.

Example: someone shows a photo of their kid/grandkid/greatgrandkid and says “have you ever seen something so…” or “isn’t that beautiful ..” and, in my head, I am thinking “that is really pretty ordinary..average…you see thousands of similar photos on Facebook.

A kid makes an A in calculus. Parent goes on and on as if the kid is a genius. Uh…they probably aren’t. They did well in an elementary math course.

Someone who is in their late 30’s or early 40’s brags about a 10 minute a mile pace on a run. Uh..yeah, that would be fast for me ..NOW…but when I was that age that was my “I ran a marathon last weekend shuffle pace”.And mind you, though I ran a 3:40, the winner beat me by well over an hour..I was a pretty dreadful runner even when I was at my best.

I even went as far as to post a public FB comment to the effect that “when I give your kid/grandkid” photo a “like”, it is because I like YOU ..I only care about your kid because YOU do.

I’ll never be fit company.

Workout notes: weights plus a 2 mile walk outside; usual PT, usual weight routine; pull ups were better than average and my bench presses: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, incline: 10 x 140, decline: 10 x 155. No shoulder pain. That is good. plank (2:30) sucked as bad as it always does. Weight: 199.8…THERE SHE BLOWS!

April 30, 2018 Posted by | social/political, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Michelle Wolf and selective outrage

Yes, these people are just outraged that a comedian told a few harsh jokes during the White House Correspondents Dinner.

Her routine is 20 minutes:

Frankly, it wasn’t that good nor that offensive, though her shot at the media at the end (for basically creating Trump to begin with, at least as a viable political figure, and then making a ton of money off of him) was very good.

But hey, what about all of the other stuff Trump and his supporters said?


Oliver Willis has remarked that we liberals sometimes act as if there is some universal judge or referee that will judge and reward logical consistency. There isn’t.

For one, humans tend to be hypocritical (condemn lies on the other side; soft pedal lies on our side…to the degree that we acknowledge them at all) and there is the partisan press that is always working on us to get us to mistrust negative negative stuff about our side (yes, I allowed myself to be fooled when I voted for Blagojevich for reelection in an Illinois governor’s race; very stupid of me. I literally decided right IN the voting booth to pull for him. I should honor any extreme reluctance to vote for a D as a huge warning sign). Here is an example of a lie our side won’t let go of. Trump mocked a reporter..that is clear..but given that his motion is is “mocking of anyone” motion, it is also reasonable to assume that he was not mocking him for HIS DISABILITY. He used that motion before with other non-disabled people (e. g. Ted Cruz).

And so it goes. Yes, Trump has said terrible things and gotten a pass..or was even praised for it.

April 30, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political | | Leave a comment

Two games, two teams, very different results.

First, I did walk 8 miles today (slowly; 16-17 mpm or thereabouts). It was in the high 30’s F when I started (perhaps 1-2 C). Like yesterday: no stop watch. I didn’t want to know. Saw a massive groundhog and this sign:

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Seen on my walk. 😆

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I never knew that dogs being on marijuana was such a huge problem. 🙂

This was the course; it was a nice mix of hills and flat ground; adding another loop should make it a decent Steamboat simulation.

Now the games.

Yesterday: dominant pitching, plus a home run robbing catch in the outfield gave Bradley a hard earned 2-0 win over a strong Missouri State team. It got tense in the 8’th when Missouri state loaded the bases. But BU came up with some plays and a strikeout to end the threat. The starting pitcher went 6 2/3 innings, struck out 11 and allowed 2 hits; he faced 18 batters in the first 6 innings (one hit, but that batter was caught while trying to steal second).

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8th inning action. Go Braves!

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You can watch me getting excited (behind the plate..but in two different locations) here:

The spectacular catch here:

Then came today’s game:

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Go Braves! I found a buddy for this one.

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Nice day for a double play. Still 2 to 0 Mo. State.

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And it was competitive, for the first 4 innings. It was 2-0 and the Missouri State pitcher was pitching very well; he was to face 25 batters in 7 innings, allow 1 hit and strike out 6.

But then came the nightmare 5’th and 6’th inning which saw Missouri State blow it open; 4 Bradley errors didn’t help (though 1..I thought was a hit..a hard line drive to the shortstop that left him shaking his glove hand out.) It ended 13-2 after 7, when it was called after the “mercy rule”.

But Missouri State is a strong team and Bradley got 1 of the 3. And two of the 3 games were thrillers.

April 29, 2018 Posted by | baseball, walking | | Leave a comment

PF and outdoor running

I had a flare up of plantar fasciitis in my left foot this February and restarted light running in March. But I’ve kept it on the treadmill (walking outside, but running on the mill) until today, where I went outside and shuffled my hilly 8.1 mile course at a “I am so damned slow I don’t want to know” pace. Weather: glorious; sunny and 40’s. And I had no problems; minor discomfort on the final went away during my final flat mile. That’s it.

My guess is that the quicker (ok, somewhat less glacial) pace on the treadmill bothers it more than pavement. I still need to pick up the pace some; today was about finishing the “run”.

April 28, 2018 Posted by | running | , | Leave a comment

BU comes up short in series opener vs. Mo. State..5-4

Well, Bradley outscored Missouri State 4-1 in the part of the game that I got to watch. But due to a commitment, I showed up after the second inning and BU was down 4-0. The Braves fought back gamely but stranded too many runners (including 3 in one inning) though, to be fair, the Bears also stranded a few.

This game featured a towering home run, bunts, key strikeouts, double plays and some thrilling catches; I wish BU would have won but it was a very entertaining game to watch.

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Bradley down 4-1 early..playing Missouri State.

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It is tough to come back from 4-0 down..and doubly tough against a strong team like Missouri State.

There are two more games left in this series.

April 28, 2018 Posted by | baseball | | Leave a comment

“Will our country stand up for the poor, the elderly and disabled?” I doubt it…

The following is my current opinion, which is subject to change as I learn more. And let me be clear: I am not advocating for indifference to the poor. I am merely predicting what I think will happen.

On Twitter and other social media sites, I see some version of “Will our country stand up for the poor, the elderly and disabled?” Being asked. My guess: unless things get horrible for far more people, the answer will be “no”.

Remember the New Deal? Well, then the unemployment race was 25 percent! Many suffered, and it was all but impossible to be shielded from it. Yes, I do remember some attempts (“Great Society”).

But I think about my current day to day life. I know in MY life, I rarely associate with anyone who has a different educational level or income from my own; ok, one of my friends makes a great deal more than I make. And the poor people I know? Well, aside from one who is mentally retarded and lives in a clean, safe apartment with a room mate and is part of a program, most of those who lack money came from reasonably affluent parents (or at least as well off as my parents) and made a series of very stupid life choices …and in some cases (most?) continue to make stupid decisions.

So, while “structural poverty”, while real, is not part of my day to day world. And what we are willing to go to the mat for are things that clearly affect our day to day lives (think: teacher’s strikes..parents know about their kids schedules being interrupted …the teachers have some leverage here).

And yes, I agree that fighting structural poverty” is the right thing to do and will, in the long run, provide some economic stimulus to the economy and possibly reduce future poverty levels.

But people in such situations do not vote in great numbers AND they just aren’t that visible to many of us who vote at the greatest rates.

So, my prediction is “no”; standing up for the most vulnerable in our society will not be a winning political issue, unless things get significantly worse for far more of us.

Sorry to be so cynical.

I welcome correction from those who know more.

April 27, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political | Leave a comment

Trump, Korea and Utility Theory

Imagine the following: you were to play a game in which you had one roll of a die that was scientifically proven to be fair. If it came up “1” you lost 200,000 dollars (or your belongings up to 200,000) . If it came up 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, you’d win 1,000,000. Now the expected value: (-200,000) (1/6) + 1,000,000 (5/6) = 800,000 . So, mathematically speaking, you’d play. BUT, unless you are reasonably wealthy, losing 200K would either bankrupt you or seriously damage you financially.

Someone who was worth several million would certainly play; most of us would not.

Now imagine running a factory. Say there was, oh, perhaps a 1 percent risk of a major accident (over, say a 1 year period) which might claim lives if you didn’t do an expensive upgrade..and upgrade which is expensive enough to seriously dent your profits. So if you decided against the upgrade, you’d attain that higher profit and *probably* get away with it. Is that a good decision?

And THAT is how I am viewing the news about North and South Korea potentially officially ending their long war and working toward a nuclear weapon free Korea (there was a cease fire in 1953, not a truce). Some have claimed that Trump’s behavior was reckless and unpredictable enough to be a credible deterrent.

That might well be, but what about that (small, but credible) risk of an absolutely horrible outcome which might have claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands? Was that risk worth it? This is where utility theory comes in.

In evaluating this genuinely good, genuinely welcome outcome, one cannot ignore the risk that was involved and how catastrophic a bad outcome would have been.

Workout notes weights and a 2 mile walk in glorious morning weather.

usual pt, pull ups: 2 sets of (4 x 5), 1 set of 10 (4 sets of 5 with 10-15 seconds rest between sets; the pull up quality is better in these, but oh my goodness, do these sets hurt)

bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 185 (shoulder is ok), incline: 10 x 135, decline 10 x 135. I need to continue cautiously, but it looks good.

military: standing dumbbell: 10 x 50, 15 x 45, 20 x 40

rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer

abs: usual twist crunch (50, 24), yoga leg lifts (10, 10), moving bridge (as a rest), headstand, front plank (2:30..this always sucks), side plank.

Feeling off again…not sure what is going on.

Weight: 198.9

April 27, 2018 Posted by | walking, weight training, world events | , | Leave a comment

Something of a social/political change

You’ve probably heard about the “intolerant left”. That usually applies to people on college campuses, students, liberal arts professors and the like. But until relatively recently, the mainstream rank-and-file Democrats have wanted their lawmakers to reach compromises whereas the Republicans have stressed “our way or the highway”.

Well, a combination of Trump, The Turtle and noxious right wing media have lead to a change of attitude:

You know: if you keep reaching out only to get your hand bitten off (as Obama did) and to have the Republicans act so horribly, well, there are consequences.

And yes, there has always been an intolerant right wing…

(and no, I do not like it)

The results of this Pew Poll are interesting. Though there is certainly a correlation between belief in a type of deity and belonging to a religion, there ARE atheist Catholics and believing “none of the aboves” and “atheists who accept some sort of higher power”. A lot of belonging to a religion is ..well…social.

Workout notes

Kind of tired; last night: I went to the 5:30 core strength class instead of the 6:30 yoga class (Ms. V. put us through a good ab routine).

This morning: swim (low intensity): 500 free, 250 of fly drill/fly (fins), 250 of free/back, 250 of breast/free, 250 of side/free (last 50 side), 250 of 3g/free (fins) 250 pull then 100, 50 back, 50 free (strained in vain to keep up with Jason)

weight: 199.1 before, 197.5 after.

Then running: 2 miles of .25 froggy: 5.1-5.8, then 1 mile at 5.8 (10:20 pace), retreat to 5.1-5.4 (43:50 at 4 miles), last mile in 10:35 (54:25 for 5). No foot pain. Not that hard; not in the mood to push.

April 26, 2018 Posted by | Democrats, political/social, politics, politics/social, running, social/political, swimming | , , , , | Leave a comment

Progress: local, and non-linear

After having a few “I feel great” days, I had a more typical one. It happens. But the old injuries don’t hurt so that is good.

I was amused when I read about someone’s joy about getting stronger in running. Her feat, while not very good (she has done much better in the past), was an improvement from where she had been recently. And I “get” it; I really do.

So, I am someone who enjoys the workout posts, be they good (they uplift me) or bad (hey, I am not the only one who has a bad workout from time to time).

Workout notes: weights plus an easy 2 mile walk outdoors.
weights: usual PT
pull ups: 3 sets of 10, one 5-5, one 10 (not as good as Monday)
bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 180 (getting there; no pain in the left shoulder but still being oh-so-careful)
incline press: 10 x 140
military (standing, dumbbell) 10 x 50, 15 x 45, 20 x 40
Hammer rows: 10 x 200
usual abs; headstand was easy
The 2:30 plank: I reeeeally wanted to skip this one today. Really.

April 25, 2018 Posted by | walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

What to read; what to skip

Obviously, one doesn’t have the time to read everything that they see a headline for. And yes, much of what I see written online is absolute garbage; it seems as if people have made up their minds about what they think *must* be true and look for ways to advocate for their point of view rather than to examine all relevant evidence; anything that might diminish their point is deliberately ignored or not even considered.

I wonder if this is a product of modern “education” or just the nature of modern online publications: articles that attempt to look at an issue with any nuance are simply not that popular. Perhaps that people just read to get their viewpoint reinforced.

So, what do I decide to read and what to skip? Well, for one, if the article is from a source that has a high percentage of sloppy, shallow articles, I skip (e. g. Salon, The Nation, Breitbart, Newsmax).

Also the use of commands and buzzwords in a headline puts the article on my “skip” list (e. g. Why we MUST talk about misogyny NOW, Dear White People.., Why we HAVE TO talk about White privilege…This HAS TO

Yeah, I skip right wing stuff as it is almost always awful.

Twitter: yeah, it is dreadful. I read it for the articles (often Washington Post and New York Times articles are good; Vox, while shallow, isn’t that bad, and once in a while Slate is ok). But mostly, it is people ranting insults. I am making a pledge to NOT respond unless I can do so politely.

And I use it to follow is fun to get stats at a game.

April 25, 2018 Posted by | social/political | , | Leave a comment