29 November 2018

Carlsen Repeats in World Championship, Calls into Question Kasparov's Psychological Theory about "Nerves"

I was hoping Caruana could pull it off, but forcing twelve draws in a row against the World Champion seems OK enough.  May the chess career of Fabianus Cunctator continue for a good while.

28 November 2018

Does Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Oregon) struggle with dissociative identity disorder?  This is my only stab at making sense of this article -- which I guess was somewhat informative ... but made me feel like Emperor Palpatine reading an intelligence report. 

"The anti-Pelosi forces have been struggling to regain their footing in the past several days after the longtime Democratic leader picked off two of their members, including a potential challenger ..."

"Another rebel source said of the group’s ringleaders: “They don’t know what they’re doing,” the source said, adding that their strategy has been disjointed from the start.  The latest trouble for the rebels started when ..."

Stay tuned for what a shrill-voiced protocol droid was overheard saying in an antiquated battle station room.

Full disclosure:  I am a warm supporter of putting Seth Moulton in senior leadership. 

27 November 2018

A fine article on who should earn what by the estimable Travis Sawchik.

Note that no team that paid more than 22% of payroll to one player even got to the playoffs this year.  Why this cannot be a new corporate best practice, at least for baseball-team-sized companies like Facebook,* I don't know.  It could be called the Ryan Braun Salary Index (RBSI -- the perfect complement to the MMPI in corporate analytics....)


*I'm envisaging Facebook five or six years in the future, of course, when it's operating out of a former bordello in the Nevada desert, and Joey Votto is the only full-time security guard.

26 November 2018

Buio d'inferno e di notte privata
d'ogne pianeto, sotto pover cielo,
quant' esser può di nuvol tenebrata,

non fece al viso mio sì grosso velo
come quel fummo ch'ivi ci coperse,
ne a sentir di così aspro pelo,

che l'occhio stare aperto non sofferse
onde la scorta mia saputa e fida
mi s'accostò e l'omero m'offerse.


Io sentia voci, e ciascuna pareva
pregar per pace e per misericordia
l'Agnel di Dio che le peccata leva.
Pur Agnus Dei eran le loro essordia...

Verses 1-9 and 16-19 of Canto XVI of Dante's Purgatorio.  The canto heading in Allen Mandelbaum's translation begins:  "Still the Third Terrace: the Wrathful.  Their sin punished by dark smoke."

For Robert Morlino

08 November 2018

Panegyrical* Poem for Lucy McBath

Rising phoenix-like from ashes of grief,
Teaching the nation the letters of morality
As the Phoenicians taught some complacent Greeks
The letters of their alphabet,

You were chosen and another was not,
You are to represent the rage of every son,
Every daughter, every high school buddy,
To you is given a voice of mighty love.

A seat of honor in a room with gilded fasces,
Dishonored by venality in recent times,
Awaits.  Speak for us there, or be quiet,
As the time suggests.  

Set the course of law with your compeers.
(Remember, American, this will be your art.)


*panegyric   (Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary):  a eulogistic oration or writing, also:  formal or elaborate praise

06 November 2018

The best thing about FiveThirtyEight's Election Day liveblog so far has been Seth Masket's takedown of self-flagellating liberal old-guard journalism:
Reduce partisan cues. It’s not enough to say, “Trump says voter fraud occurred, Democrats disagree.” To most readers, that means either side could be right and the parties are just disagreeing as usual. If Trump’s claims need to be debunked, it can be done in an authoritative and nonpartisan manner*.

If Trump does make claims along these lines, there’s a good chance Fox News will repeat and amplify them, which Trump will may then cite the next time he repeats his claims, creating a Trump-Fox feedback loop. But other news organizations don’t have to add to that. And they certainly don’t need to lend credence to baseless claims just to appear unbiased.

*For example:  "The President lied."