Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

It’s not your imagination, people are really getting dumber.

April 19, 2019

That’s the conclusion from a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The researchers that the  increase in population intelligence observed throughout the 20th century has peaked and has now gone into reverse.

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More specifically…

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More Disney: How does Mickey fingerprint me?

April 17, 2019

The tech behind biometric fingerprints

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In prior posts, I gushed over the technology applications at Disney World … and recounted the plausible explanations for why Mickey digitally records guests’ fingerprints when then enter the park.

Ostensibly, the purpose is fraud protection – keeping folks from passing along their partially used tickets for reuse.

Of course, there are other sorts of uses for digital fingerprints (e.g. catching bad guys) … and ways that the information can be misused.

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With my curiosity aroused, I did some digging re: digital fingerprints.

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More Disney: Why is Mickey fingerprinting me?

April 16, 2019

A plausible “why” and a very interesting “how”.
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In a prior post Seriously, why not outsource TSA ops to Disney? , I gushed over the technology applications at Disney World … the Magic Bands than let me into my hotel room & the park, Fast-Passed me to the front of lines, and “personalized” my family’s experience with real-time greetings and photos.

I noted that I was digitally fingerprinted when I entered the park and asked if anybody could tell me why.

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A couple of loyal readers clued me and provoked some digging.

Here’s what I learned …

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Seriously, why not outsource TSA ops to Disney?

April 15, 2019

Disney’s technology applications are impressive (and effective)
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Last week, I took a  fact-finding trip (aka. family vacation) to Disney World.

Once again, I was blown away by the park’s technology and security operations ….

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No surprise, there was a huge rush of “guests” entering the Magic Kingdom when the gates opened at 8 a.m.

The crowd measured into the thousands … all needing to be security-screened.

All bags and strollers had to be hand-checked … all kids – big & little – had to be ushered through metal detectors.

Nightmare, right?

Maybe at the airport, but not at Disney.

Our wait & processing time: less than 10 minutes.

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Then came the good part…

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What do colleges have in common with Kohl’s?

April 8, 2019

I oft say that anybody who pays sticker price at Kohl’s should look over their shoulder to make sure that Darwin isn’t chasing them.

Maybe the same should be said of parents who pay list price tuition to fund their kiddies through college.

Lots of talk re: how college costs are soaring.

According to the WSJ

Published tuition rates have soared in the last decade, but only a small percentage of families actually pays full freight.

Between grants to needy students and merit scholarships to entice other desirable candidates, schools these days are giving back nearly 50% of gross tuition revenue in the form of aid and awards.

In other words, list prices are going up, but more stuff is being sold at sale prices.

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Increasingly, colleges are using pricing methods previously the domain of airlines and discount retailers …

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Teachers with conservative views don’t make the cut.

April 2, 2019

Last week, we looked at the ACTA college ratings. They evaluate a school based on whether (or not) they require that students take courses (or demonstrate proficiency) in core subject areas such as math, science, and critical thinking.  And, ACTA reports scores on how well schools deliver on freedom of speech and diversity of thought. 

See Have colleges watered down their curriculums? and If your kids are college bound…

Bottom line: few schools receive stellar grades.

Wonder why?

Here’s one plausible explanation….

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GREAT article in the WSJ from MSB’s own John Hasnas – MSB Professor of Policy & Ethics: The One Kind of Diversity Colleges Avoid

His central point: When recruiting faculty, universities seek diversity by gender, race and nationality … but, not ideology.

In many instances, conservatives and libertarians need not apply.

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That conclusion probably doesn’t surprise many of you who already see the elephant in the middle of the room.

But, Prof. Hasnas provides some texture and “inside scoop”

Here are a couple of highlight snippets from the article … (more…)

In praise of math, logic, and Latin … say, what?

April 1, 2019

Classical educators argued that these disciplines are the building blocks of reasoning, problem-solving and critical thinking.

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The courses that I taught contained a heavy dose of problem-solving skills.

Early on, I’d assert my belief that that problem-solving skills can be taught – and, more importantly, learned – and set about to prove the point.

 

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I’ve been doing some summer reading on the topic of reasoning & problem-solving and learned:

“For twenty-six hundred years many philosophers and educators have been confident that reasoning could be taught.”

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A bigger college scandal than the recent admissions bruhaha…

March 26, 2019

Employers say that 9 of 10 college grads are poorly prepared.
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According to the WSJ

9 out of 10 business owners surveyed by the American Association Colleges and Universities said that recent college graduates as poorly prepared for the work force in such areas as critical thinking, communication and problem solving.

“Employers are say that they don’t care about all the knowledge you learned because it’s going to be out of date two minutes after you graduate … they care about whether you can continue to learn over time and solve complex problems.”

 

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Are employers being too critical?

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Some “interesting” SAT results …

March 21, 2019

Since SAT scores  are in the news, here’s some perspective.
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The College Board publishes a “Total Group Profile Report” for  college-bound seniors.

Browsing it, a couple of sets of numbers caught my eye ….

Let’s start with math scores.

Two big takeaways:

(1) The gap between boys and girls narrowed from the 40 point difference in the 1970s to about 25 points … but has remained fairly constant at that level for about the past 20 years

(2) Scores for both boys and girls have been falling for the past dozen years or so.

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OK, boys outscore girls in math, but girls do better on the verbal part of the SATs, right?

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How to get your kids into good colleges … without cheating or bribing.

March 20, 2019

There’s a sure-fire method, but it isn’t easy.  It’s called parenting.

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Last week – in the wake of the college admissions scandal –  we posted about how Asian-American students are being admitted to highly selective (aka. ” elite”) high schools at increasingly high rates.

Why?

Because they are academic achievers.

Why?

In part because Asian-American parents place a high priority on education, drive their children to excel (especially in STEM academics) and provide their kids with extensive  extracurricular learning experiences (well beyond SAT prep classes).

And, oh yeah, they’ve probably gone to college … providing good role modeling and ready tutoring capabilities.

To that point …

The College Board published a  “Total Group Profile Report” for recent college-bound seniors …

One set of numbers caught my eye:

SAT scores by the student’s parents level of educational attainment.

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Note that about 2/3’s of the college-bound seniors taking the SAT came from homes with a degreed parent – either associate, bachelor or graduate.

Only about 1/3 came from homes with parents having only a high school education or less.

And, the performance differentials are substantial between the groups …

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#3 – Why I’m lukewarm to climate change…

March 13, 2019

Reason #3: The “97% of scientists” baloney

For the record: I’m neither a denier nor a zealot …  so, according to British writer (& phrase-coiner) Matt Ridley, I’m a “lukewarmer”.

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Since AOC rolled out her Green New Deal, I’ve heard many left-leaning pundits spouting the oft-repeated but unsupported claim that 97% of scientists agree that climate change (nee, ‘global warming’) is real, man-caused and catastrophic.

Reason enough to flashback to our long ago post debunking the 97% malarkey.

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In a prior posts, I covered:

Reason #1Unsettling Science … I’ve gotten  cognitive whiplash from “Ice Age” u-turning to  “Global Warming”  …  which was slowed by an “18-year Pause” … and then wrapped in a catch-all “Climate Change”.

Reason #2Al Gore and his doomsday prediction …  in 2016 we passed his point of no return towards a true planetary emergency  … without the planet melting or exploding … and with Manhattan still above water (I think).

Let’s move on…

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My 3rd reason: The “97% of scientists” baloney.

This claim really gained traction when former President Obama tweeted:

“97% percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.”

Case closed, settled science, right?

Not so fast …

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Let’s start with a simple smell test:

Can you think of any issue that garners 97% agreement?

My bet is that 97%% of “scientists” don’t even agree that smoking causes cancer.

Pick your issue … 97% … really?

Doesn’t smell right to me, but maybe climate change the exception to the rule.

So, let’s deep dive the claim…

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The politics of the Supreme Court…

March 12, 2019

Conservatives are fretting (rightfully) that Roberts is trending liberal. 
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Let’s put SCOTUS political leanings in context….

Political scientists Andrew Martin and Kevin Quinn developed  a measure to calibrate how liberal or conservative SCOTUS justices are … based on their rulings.

As near as I can tell, the measure is uncontested by either ideology.

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Source

First, let’s pull some takeaways from the chart…

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Trump may be wrong about the U.S. going socialist…

March 4, 2019

… AOC may be holding the matches, but the GOP tax reform provided the kindling. 

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Last week, I whined that – though I’m getting a tax refund this year – my income taxes went up in 2018.

I’m ok with that since I conclude that the corporate cuts turbo-charged the economy and the stock market … and my IRA account gains are much larger than my additional taxes.

But, I do have a mega-concern that I started touting way back in 2017 when the GOP tax reform was being crafted, debated and passed.

My mega-concern is the long-run tilt in voting dynamics, in the new age of the Green Dream, Medicare for All and Guaranteed Minimum Income (for those who are unable or unwilling to work).

Let’s start with a flashback…

Remember Mitt Romneys ill-timed observation about “47% of Americans”.

No, they weren’t Hillary’s “deplorables”, they were simply the folks who pay no Federal income taxes.

Well if the GOP tax plan got enacted … the 47% is still alive .. and now on steroids..

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Source

Let’s drill down on the data…

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America’s “Exhausted Majority”…

February 28, 2019

Can they muscle up to pull us together?
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A lot of punditry these days about American Tribalism … categorizing people by common interests …  usually with a demographic slant (i.e. race. gender, and location – urban, rural; coastal or Heartland).

Those “tribes” are usually characterized as warring factions with little in common.

The result: sharp differences and apparently intractable political polarization.

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An organization called More in Common did some research that takes a different cut at the situation.

Their study – America’s Hidden Tribes – identified seven distinct groups of Americans. These are our Hidden Tribes of America: distinguished not by who they are or what they look like, but what they believe. (Below – at end of this post – are descriptions of the groups)

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The study reached three fundamental conclusions…

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Maybe there is a political middle…

February 21, 2019

In the old days it was called the “silent majority”
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yesterday, we reprised a post: America’s political polarization in 3 charts …

That analysis ended in 2014 … showing a double-humped distribution that had been separating over the past decade or so.

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New data is now available, so let’s advance the picture to 2017

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Source: WaPo analysis of Pew data

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The humps have spread further apart … indicating sharper polarization.

The peaks are higher … especially the one on the left,

Also, note the vanishing middle (the dark blue on the graphic).

Now, let’s drill down another level…

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America’s political polarization in 3 charts …

February 20, 2019

The hardening political divide in Washington remindsme of an interesting analysis that NBC’s Chuck Todd did a couple of years ago.

So, let’s flashback:

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It’s no secret that American politics has become increasingly – and maybe, irreversibly – polarized.

Of course, Obama lays blame on Trump and his band of ignorant deplorables.

Let’s look at some inconvenient facts from Todd’s analysis…

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As Meet the Press host Chuck Todd puts it:

Polarization is no longer just polluting the system — it’s paralyzing it.

The deepening divide between the right and the left has largely hollowed out the center of American politics.

Gone are the politicians who once occupied the large “middle” and the voters who once gravitated to them.

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The Pew Research Center has tracked party identity and ideology for decades.

One way they do it is by scoring the Republicans and Democrats on a 10-item scale of political values.

Based on the latest Pew data (from 2014), here’s where we stand:

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What the chart means …

Democrats cluster to the left, Republicans cluster to the right.

There is less than 10% in each party leaning ideologically to the left (or right) of the other party’s median.

That’s where we are.

How did we get here?

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Sen. Amy Klobuchar: “I have grit!”

February 19, 2019

What is this “grit” that she’s talking about?
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Announcing her presidential candidacy (in a snow storm), Sen. Amy “Minnesota Nice” Klobuchar declared:

“I don’t have a political machine. I don’t come from money. But what I do have is this: I have grit,” 

I doubt that Klobuchar was intentionally trying to channel Donald Trump, but …

You may remember that In his first SOTU, President Trump gave a shout-out to “American grit.”:

Together, we can reclaim our building heritage.

We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways across our land.

And we will do it with American heart, American hands, and American grit.

So, what is this “grit” that they’re talking about?

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Nums: A world of battling algorithms…

December 24, 2018

Many pundits say that the recent stock market volatility and steep decline are at least partially attributable to algorithmic trading … complex analytical models with decision rules executed in real time by computers … think: flash trading.

The current relevance prompted me to flashback to a very cool 15 minute TED Talk … my all time favorite.

In the talk, tech entrepreneur Kevin Slavin tells how algorithms have reached across industries and into every day life.

A couple of lines caught my attention:

  • There are more than 2,000 physicists working on Wall Street developing operational algorithms
  • Massive scale speed trading is dependent on millisecond read & respond rates …
  • So, firms are physically literally locating right next to internet routing hubs to cut transmission times … or, setting up shop right at the exchanges.
  • And, of course, there isn’t time for human intervention and control
  • “We may be building whole worlds we don’t really understand, and can’t control.”

Obviously, Slavin comes down on the side of the quants.

It’s worth listening to this pitch … a very engaging geek who may be onto something big.

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Follow on Twitter @KenHoma >> Latest Posts

How do you feel about the country’s direction?

November 5, 2018

Here’s a variant of the question: Are you better off than you were 2 years ago?
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According to the mainstream media, America is going to hell in a handbasket.

Evidence: Only 40% of Americans think that the country is on track and  moving in the right direction.

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True, but let’s put that number in perspective…

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Nums: A world of battling algorithms

February 7, 2018

Some stock market pundits are charging algorithms – or more precisely, algorithmic trading –  for the  recent extreme stock market swings.

That brought to mind a very cool 15 minute TED Talk.

Tech entrepreneur Kevin Slavin tells how algorithms have reached across industries and into every day life.

A couple of lines caught my attention:

  • There are more than 2,000 physicists working on Wall Street developing operational algorithms
  • Massive scale speed trading is dependent on millisecond read & respond rates …
  • So, firms are physically literally locating right next to internet routing hubs to cut transmission times
  • And, of course, there isn’t time for human intervention and control
  • “We may be building whole worlds we don’t really understand, and can’t control.”

Obviously, Slavin comes down on the side of the quants.

Worth listening to this pitch … a very engaging geek who may be onto something big.

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Follow on Twitter @KenHoma >> Latest Posts

Debate Commission: “Yep, there was a problem with Trump’s audio”

September 30, 2016

This election campaign gets wackier by the day.

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After the debate, Trump complained  that his microphone wasn’t functioning properly at the debate.

“And they also had, gave me a defective mic … My mic was defective within the room.”

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Of course, Team Clinton jumped on that:

According to CNN: Trump’s Democratic challenger, Hillary Clinton, mocked Trump the day after the debate for complaining about his mic:

“Anybody who complains about the microphone is not having a good night.”

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I agree that it was a bad nite for the Trumpster, but …

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Are more folks employed in manufacturing jobs or government jobs?

September 21, 2016

Of course, the answer is government jobs.

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Interesting analysis by Terence Jeffrey of CNS News

According to the BLS, government employees in the United States now outnumber manufacturing employees by almost 10 million.

Federal, state and local government now employs 22,213,000 people: 2,790,000 federal employees, 5,120,000 state government employees, and 14,303,000 local government employees.

The manufacturing sector now employs 12,281,000.

A difference of almost 10 million.

 

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Note on the above chart that manufacturing employment peaked in the late 1970s at just under 20 million.

Government employment has been on a tear since the mid-1940s.

The lines crossed in the late 1980s.

While government employment has leveled off, manufacturing jobs continue to disappear.

So, the gap keeps widening and soon government employment will be twice manufacturing employment.

Think about that for a moment.

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#HomaFiles

Follow on Twitter @KenHoma            >> Latest Posts

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Is Princess Elsa an anti-Semite?

July 10, 2016

She looks very innocent ….

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But, Team Trump had to raise the controversial question…

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Comey folds!

July 5, 2016

FBI Director Comey spent 14 minutes laying out the case against Hillary Clinton:

Extremely careless handling of classified material (a felony) that in high likelihood has fallen into the hands of sophisticated enemies of the state.

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Then, he spent less than 1 minute explaining that since there was no direct evidence of wrongful intent, the FBI is recommending that no criminal charges be brought against Clinton.

A total non sequitur.

The last honest man just lost his title.

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Next time you’re stopped for doing 70 in a 55, jest tell the cop that you didn’t intend to speed.

Surely, he’ll let you off since he would have no direct evidence of your intent to speed.

Let me know how it goes.

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P.S. We called this one … See our prior post AG Lynch: “Depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is …”

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Click for a transcript of Comey’s remearks

#HomaFiles

Follow on Twitter @KenHoma            >> Latest Posts

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High frequency trading: A world of battling algorithms…

August 27, 2015

The extreme market volatility this week,  at least partially fueled by the algorithm-based high frequency traders, reminded me to reprise a very cool 15 minute TED Talk that is stashed in the HomaFiles archives.

Tech entrepreneur Kevin Slavin tells how algorithms have reached across industries and into every day life.

A couple of lines caught my attention:

  • There are more than 2,000 physicists working on Wall Street developing operational algorithms
  • Massive scale speed trading is dependent on millisecond read & respond rates …
  • So, firms are physically literally locating right next to internet routing hubs to cut transmission times
  • And, of course, there isn’t time for human intervention and control
  • “We may be building whole worlds we don’t really understand, and can’t control.”

Obviously, Slavin comes down on the side of the quants.

Worth listening to this pitch … a very engaging geek who may be onto something big.

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Follow on Twitter @KenHoma >> Latest Posts

Sparkling water … but, no brown M&Ms !

June 15, 2015

This came up in conversation over the weekend, so I thought a reprise was in order …

Awhile ago,, I was invited to do a radio interview on NPR.

When I told my daughter-in-law, she suggested that I request sparkling water and green M&Ms.

M&Ms

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I thought that was pretty funny, but didn’t know the story behind it (more…)

Nums: A world of battling algorithms

April 28, 2015

In my Strategic Business Analytics course, we were covering decision rules .. specifically, the current day importance of decision-making algorithms.

Reminded me to flashback a cool 15 minute TED Talk.

Tech entrepreneur Kevin Slavin tells how algorithms have reached across industries and into every day life.

A couple of lines caught my attention:

  • There are more than 2,000 physicists working on Wall Street developing operational algorithms
  • Massive scale speed trading is dependent on millisecond read & respond rates …
  • So, firms are physically literally locating right next to internet routing hubs to cut transmission times
  • And, of course, there isn’t time for human intervention and control
  • “We may be building whole worlds we don’t really understand, and can’t control.”

Obviously, Slavin comes down on the side of the quants.

Worth listening to this pitch … a very engaging geek who may be onto something big.

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Follow on Twitter @KenHoma >> Latest Posts

Nums: A world of battling algorithms

December 10, 2014

In my Strategic Business Analytics course, we were covering decision rules .. specifically, machine learning and algorithms.

Reminded me to flashback a cool 15 minute TED Talk.

Tech entrepreneur Kevin Slavin tells how algorithms have reached across industries and into every day life.

A couple of lines caught my attention:

  • There are more than 2,000 physicists working on Wall Street developing operational algorithms
  • Massive scale speed trading is dependent on millisecond read & respond rates …
  • So, firms are physically literally locating right next to internet routing hubs to cut transmission times
  • And, of course, there isn’t time for human intervention and control
  • “We may be building whole worlds we don’t really understand, and can’t control.”

Obviously, Slavin comes down on the side of the quants.

Worth listening to this pitch … a very engaging geek who may be onto something big.

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Follow on Twitter @KenHoma >> Latest Posts

Nums: A world of battling algorithms

October 3, 2014

Recently I gave a pitch that touched on whether quants (left-brainers) or poets (right-brainers) were on the rise.

Reminded me of a cool 15 minute TED Talk.

Tech entrepreneur Kevin Slavin tells how algorithms have reached across industries and into every day life.

A couple of lines caught my attention:

  • There are more than 2,000 physicists working on Wall Street developing operational algorithms
  • Massive scale speed trading is dependent on millisecond read & respond rates …
  • So, firms are physically literally locating right next to internet routing hubs to cut transmission times
  • And, of course, there isn’t time for human intervention and control
  • “We may be building whole worlds we don’t really understand, and can’t control.”

Obviously, Slavin comes down on the side of the quants.

Worth listening to this pitch … a very engaging geek who may be onto something big.

* * * * *
Follow on Twitter @KenHoma >> Latest Posts

Sparkling water … but, no brown M&Ms !

August 14, 2014

Awhile ago,, I was invited to do a radio interview on NPR.

When I told my daughter-in-law, she suggested that I request sparkling water and green M&Ms.

M&Ms

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I thought that was pretty funny, but didn’t know the story behind it (more…)

Nums: A world of battling algorithms

April 16, 2014

Recently I gave a pitch that touched on whether quants (left-brainers) or poets (right-brainers) were on the rise.

Reminded me of a cool 15 minute TED Talk.

Tech entrepreneur Kevin Slavin tells how algorithms have reached across industries and into every day life.

A couple of lines caught my attention:

  • There are more than 2,000 physicists working on Wall Street developing operational algorithms
  • Massive scale speed trading is dependent on millisecond read & respond rates …
  • So, firms are physically literally locating right next to internet routing hubs to cut transmission times
  • And, of course, there isn’t time for human intervention and control
  • “We may be building whole worlds we don’t really understand, and can’t control.”

Obviously, Slavin comes down on the side of the quants.

Worth listening to this pitch … a very engaging geek who may be onto something big.

* * * * *
Follow on Twitter @KenHoma >> Latest Posts

Nums: A world of battling algorithms

September 11, 2013

Yesterday I gave a pitch that touched on whether quants (left-brainers) or poets (right-brainers) were on the rise.

Reminded me of a cool 15 minute TED Talk.

Tech entrepreneur Kevin Slavin tells how algorithms have reached across industries and into every day life.

A couple of lines caught my attention:

  • There are more than 2,000 physicists working on Wall Street developing operational algorithms
  • Massive scale speed trading is dependent on millisecond read & respond rates …
  • So, firms are physically literally locating right next to internet routing hubs to cut transmission times
  • And, of course, there isn’t time for human intervention and control
  • “We may be building whole worlds we don’t really understand, and can’t control.”

Obviously, Slavin comes down on the side of the quants.

Worth listening to this pitch … a very engaging geek who may be onto something big.

* * * * *
Follow on Twitter @KenHoma >> Latest Posts

Florida could make it an early night …

November 6, 2012

Surprised to see Florida deadlocklocked with over half the vote in …  Romney has been gaining, and may pull it out … but it shouldn’t be this close.

If Florida goes to Obam, it’s lights out.

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On;ine tracking

Real Clear Politics is  the best vote tracker I’ve found  online ..  way better than the TV data flashes and screen crawlers

7.9%

November 2, 2012

In October there were 171,000 new jobs added.

Most of the job creation came in the services sector, with a gain of 150,000.

The unemployment rate moved higher to 7.9 .

Economists had been expecting the report to show a net of 125,000 new jobs and a steadying of the unemployment rate at 7.8 percent.

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What Homa Files Predicted

Earlier this week, we posted Re: Friday’s big number … what to expect (if the BLS doesn’t hide-the-weinie).

We said …

My bet: They’ll report on time that the unemployment rate clicked up to 7.9% …  it’s the best “managed” number …. let’s Obama crow that it’s under the magic 8% … and, let’s Romney point out that it’s going in the wrong direction.”

Bingo !

Flash: BLS Commissioner’s post vacant since January … previously headed by Bush appointee.

October 11, 2012

That’s right, the BLS Commissioner’s position has been vacant since January 2012.  A Deputy Commissioner has been doing double-duty — running his department and overseeing day-to-day ops for the entire BLS.
BLS org chart

Question: Has Labor Secretary Hilda Solis been providing the “quality control” of the numbers coming out of BLS this year?

So, during an important time period, BLS has either been (a) under-supervised, or (b) more aggressively managed from above by one of the President’s cabinet members.

Either way, sounds like what we in b-school call “sub-optimal”.

Hmmm.

Imagine if  Jack Welch catches wind of this one.

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Story Line

Dr. Keith Hall was the Commissioner of the BLS from January 2008 to January 2012.

He was appointed by George W. Bush (uh-oh) and approved by the Senate to serve a 4-year term

When his term expired, President Obama cut him loose, and still hasn’t filled the position.

Since January,  the entire Bureau of Labor Statistics has apparently been managed more directly by Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, with day-to-day ops handled by Deputy Commissioners.

The Labor Secretary, of course, is a cabinet member reporting to President Obama

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Resume: Hilda Solis

Hilda Lucia Solis is the 25th United States Secretary of Labor, serving in the Obama administration.

She is a member of the Democratic Party and served in the United States House of Representatives from 2001 to 2009, representing the 31st and 32nd congressional districts of California.

She gained degrees from the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) and the University of Southern California (USC) and worked for two federal agencies in Washington, D.C.

She was elected to the Rio Hondo Community College Board of Trustees in 1985, the California State Assembly in 1992, and the California State Senate in 1994. She was the first Hispanic woman to serve in the State Senate, and was reelected there in 1998.

Solis was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000, where she focused mainly on labor causes and environmental work.

She was reelected easily to four subsequent terms.

In December 2008, President-elect Barack Obama announced his intention to nominate Solis as the next United States Secretary of Labor.

She took office after being confirmed by the United States Senate in February 2009, becoming the first Hispanic woman to serve in the U.S. Cabinet

Source

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Resume: Dr. Keith Hall

Keith Hall received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Virginia and M.S. and Ph.D. in Economics from Purdue University.

Prior to his government service, Dr. Hall was a full time-faculty member in the economics departments at the Universities of Arkansas and Missouri.

Dr. Hall had over 20 years of federal service with the Department of the Treasury, the International Trade Commission, the Department of Commerce, the Executive Office of the President, and BLS.

Prior to becoming BLS Commissioner, he served as Chief Economist for the White House Council of Economic Advisers, where he analyzed a broad range of fiscal, regulatory and macroeconomic policies and directed a team that monitored the state of the economy and developed economic forecasts.

He served as the Chief Economist for the U.S. Department of Commerce for four years. In that role, he was the principal economic adviser to the Under Secretary for Economic Affairs and served as a special adviser to the Secretary of Commerce.

Dr. Hall previously served as a Senior International Economist in the Research Division at the U.S. International Trade Commission, an independent agency that investigates any matter involving tariffs, international trade, and competition between U.S. and foreign industries.

In 2007, President George W. Bush nominated Dr. Hall to be the 13th Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. He was confirmed by the Senate in December 2007 and officially sworn in to office in January 2008.

Source

* * * * *
Recent Developments

From Watchdog.com

“Ex-BLS chief says unemployment data flawed”

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ method of calculating unemployment is a “flawed measure” that contains “real problems,” the agency’s former commissioner, Keith Hall told the Wisconsin Reporter on Tuesday.

He said: “The monthly unemployment data is an imperfect tool”.

Appointed by former President George W. Bush, Hall served as commissioner for much of Obama’s term in office (until January of this year).

Hall said he understands, even agrees with, some criticism of BLS unemployment data.

Among his concerns:

  • The unemployment rate is “artificially low” because only people who are actively seeking employment are counted as “unemployed.” People who got frustrated and stopped looking for work aren’t technically “unemployed,” according to the data.
  • The rate does a poor job measuring “underemployment,” those people who are working but not at the level or to the extent they should be, based on their education and experience. “If you worked one hour (in a given month), and got paid at all, you’re employed,” according to BLS data, Hall said
  • The payroll survey, conducted by interviewing businesses and government agencies, gives a good, broad overview, but not a lot of information. The household survey gets a lot of information from households about their earnings, hours of work, demographics, etc. But Hall said the sample size probably needs to be larger for the statistics to be more accurate.
    “And that’s the one that probably should be larger than it is,” he said. “It’s a cost thing.”

“There’s no one best single indicator that tells you about the health of the labor market,” Hall said.

“You have to look at a number of things.”

* * * * * *

Bottom line: In January, Obama sends an experienced, highly qualified BLS Commissioner packing.  For the past 8 months, the BLS has been reporting to the Secretary of Labor – who has a deep political background, but no particular expertise in economic statistics.  For the past 9 months (as frequently reported here in the HomaFiles) the BLS data has been arousing curiosity, culminating in last week’s incredible (i.e. not credible) pre-election unemployment report.

Hmmm.

See also “Why would anybody distrust the BLS?”

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Are people well enough informed to vote?

October 11, 2012

In his book The Ethics of Voting, MSB prof Jason Brennan argues that all adult citizens have the right to vote … but that they shouldn’t exercise that right unless they are informed, rational, and aiming for the common good.

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Regarding how informed citizens are, Prof. Brennan, referencing other research and studies, writes

Overall levels of political knowledge are low.

For example, 79% of Americans can’t identify their state senators.

During election years, most citizens cannot identify any congressional candidates in their district.

And, political knowledge is distributed unevenly.

The top quartile (of informed citizens) knows much, but the bottom quartiles knows hardly anything.

Ballparking, political scientists conclude that less than half of voters are informed; some put the number as low as 10%

Against that backdrop, I was pretty encouraged when Nielsen reported that over 67 million households tuned into last weeks Presidential debate.

To put that number in context, about 125 million people voted in the 2008 Presidential election.

That means that over half the number of people likely to vote this year watched the debates.

And, the 67 million was almost evenly divided between those over and under 55 years old.

Interestingly, Pew Research reports that over 80% of Romney supporters have given the election a lot of thought … not so much for Obama supporters … 1 in 3 of them have not given the election a lot of thought.

Hmmm.

Too bad all voters aren’t required to watch the debate before voting …

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Darden increases class size …. to 50,000!

October 11, 2012

According to Fortune

UVA’s Darden School has joined up with Coursera and plans to launch its first B-school class in January.

In a typical year, Professor Ed Hess figures he teaches no more than 300 students in his courses on managing smaller enterprises and the challenges of business growth.

When Hess walks into the classroom this January to teach Smart Growth for Private Businesses, however, as many as 50,000 people are expected to have signed up for it — more students than Darden has graduated since its founding nearly 60 years ago and in all probability the largest single audience ever assembled for a business course.

The professor will be the first to deliver a so-called MOOC (a massively open online course) for Darden to anyone with a computer and an Internet connection.

The free online class is part of a partnership with Coursera, an online education startup.

Since it began six months ago, Coursera has enrolled 1.57 million students in a wide range of courses taught by professors from Princeton, Stanford, the University of Pennsylvania, and other prominent schools.

Very few of those courses, however, have been in business.

Mostly, students have gravitated to classes in computer science, math and engineering.

For Prof. Hess, it means learning an entirely new way to teach.

Like other MOOC courses, his course will be broken into manageable chunks, with short video modules, PowerPoint slides, and interactive quizzes.

An online forum will allow students to ask questions, get answers, and collaborate in learning teams by industry sector, work backgrounds, or geography. “This is like going to Mars,” he laughs.

Hess also plans two live webinars in addition to the five class sessions, one to give students real time access to him and another with an entrepreneur to help students create a growth plan.

Students who complete the course with passing grades will receive a certificate of completion.

>> Latest Posts

AMS Concept: Disruptive Innovation

May 4, 2012

In every market, there are two trajectories—the pace at which products and services improve and the pace at which customers can utilize the improvements.

Customers’ needs tend to be relatively stable over time, while the offerings improve at a much faster rate.

Therefore, over time, products and services that once were not good enough for the typical customer ultimately pack in more features and functions than the customer can use. These are sustaining innovations. Whether they are simple or breakthrough improvements, they help industry leaders make better products that they can sell for higher profits to their best customers.

Industry leaders—or incumbents—almost always win battles of sustaining innovations, regardless of how technologically challenging they are.

Industry leaders stumble, however, when they face disruptive innovations.

A disruptive product or service is not a breakthrough improvement — in fact, it’s actually not as good as the item the industry leaders are selling. Because of this, existing customers won’t use it, and the leaders ignore it.

But these disruptive innovations are more threatening than industry leaders realize.

They transform complicated and expensive products into simpler and more affordable ones, so they appeal to consumers who previously lacked the money and skill to own and use the leaders’ products.

And little by little, the disruption predictably improves, until the disruptive products serve a much wider audience better and more affordably.

As a result, everyone is better off—except for the disrupted companies.   Consumers abandon more expensive and less accessible old-line products, and the incumbent companies that produced these go out of business.

The dynamics of disruption play out in virtually every industry, from electronics to transportation. The personal computer disrupted mainframes and minicomputers. Southwest disrupted the major airlines. Toyota disrupted the Detroit car companies.

Excerpted from BizEd, “On Innovation”, Clayton Christensen, May / June 2008

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Microsoft tries to stay relevant

December 23, 2010

TakeAway: As personal computing moves away from desktops and laptops to smartphones and tablets, Microsoft has yet to establish a foothold in either.

Its new smartphone platform offers the best chance get to gain market share but there are some steep challenges to overcome.

Developers don’t want to develop apps for the platform until sales justify doing so, but people won’t buy Windows 7 phones without compelling apps.

Not only that, but the platform won’t work on Verizon until next year, when Verizon is expected to launch the iPhone.

* * * * *

Excerpted from Bloomberg Businessweek, “Microsoft is Pinning Its Hopes on Windows Phone 7,” by Peter Burrows and Dina Bass, October 14, 2010

In an interview shortly after he unveiled Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 mobile software on Oct. 11, Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer declared a new era for Microsoft. “This is a big launch for us—a big, big launch,” he boomed.

Ballmer, never known for understatement, may be lowballing this one. Gartner expects smartphone sales to surpass PCs in 2012. Microsoft remains immensely profitable thanks to its aging PC monopoly, and it will remain so even if it never figures out the smartphone market. …

By almost any measure, Microsoft is nearly out of the mobile game. Its market share fell to 5 percent from 22 percent in 2004, says Gartner. Customer satisfaction of Windows smartphones is 24 percent, according to ChangeWave Research; it’s 74 percent for iPhones and 65 percent for handsets powered by Google’s Android. …

… With Apple and Google each activating more than 200,000 customers a day, according to those companies, handset makers, carriers, and app makers have far larger audiences than Microsoft offers. …

… While AT&T and T-Mobile will offer Windows Phone 7 devices, the software won’t work with Sprint or Verizon Wireless until next year. (Apple’s AT&T-only iPhone may be on Verizon by then.) …

Holding share in such a fast-growing market could require sales of about 20 million units in 2011, no easy feat. That’s how many iPhones Apple sold in its debut year. …

Microsoft’s to-do list doesn’t end with Windows Phone 7. It has no tablet software that can match the iPad. Failing in smartphones would be bad. Failing in tablets, which users expect to run office software, would be catastrophic …

* * * * *

Full Article
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_43/b4200042877975.htm?campaign_id=magazine_related

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Barack Obama: “Elections have consequences”

November 3, 2010

Let’s see if he’ll man-up and say that in his press conference this afternoon.

Some quick morning after thoughts:

1) The sheer number of GOP wins in the House sent a clear message, for sure.

2) GOP control of the House is key b/c revenue bills originate there and there’s supoena power to call hearings

3) Rep. Issa will kick butt from his chairmanship of the House Oversight Committee … that’ll be fun to watch

4) I really did want Reid to survice as Senate majority leader … I hope he gets a lot of visibility as Obama’s sidekick over the next couple of years … helps GOP in 2012

5) When does Pelosi have to turn over the keys to her mega-Air Force passenger jet?

6) Hooray for John Kasich in Ohio … the only candidate that got $$$ from me …  the sweep of governor seats — especially in the Midwest — is huge !

7) Sorry, but there are 2 Americas … New York & California (& maybe Illinois) … and the rest of the country … that’s a problem.

8) Luckiest gal: Meg Whitman … that state is unmanageable … nobody can get the public employees’ unions under control … the unions showed their muscle in CA and NV

9) Angle, O’Donnell, Raese, Miller stirred things up …  if only they were stronger candidates

10)  My bet: Obama didn’t hear the message and will dig in his heels after some faux conciatory rhetoric.

Those ungrateful CEOs …

September 24, 2010

An economic recovery depends on the private sector … and the private sectors is run by CEOs.

Does the Prez really think that demonizing business leaders is a way to get their support?

Interesting article in the New Republic.

Here are some snippets …

* * * * *

From the New Republic …

Valerie Jarrett, the president’s chief liaison to the business community stresses: “Our goal is to foster an environment where companies invest and innovate and grow and expand their employment base in a way that will be good for the country and good for business.”

The business community has spent the past few months locked in an increasingly public squabble with the administration.

Alternately sounding like an outraged populist and a free-market cheerleader, Obama’s balancing act serves mostly to confuse people. He is bashed simultaneously as a market-hating socialist and as a bloodless elitist, uninterested in the suffering of regular Americans. This betwixt-and-between stance is Obama’s trademark brand of thoughtful, noncommittal pragmatism.

To connect with business chieftains at their annual gathering in Washington. the president came with a teleprompter and a prepared speech that was more lecture than invitation to engage. He said his piece, took no questions, and decamped with impolitic alacrity — leaving behind a roomful of disgruntled chief executives still anxious about the White House’s policy aims and unaccustomed to such high-handed treatment. Far from feeling courted, or even understood, some members felt they’d been used as props.

Obama officials, in turn, suggested business was being overly sensitive, unrealistic in its demands, and more than a little ungrateful for all that government had done to stave off an economic apocalypse

There is, in the words of one Democratic strategist, “a cultural dissonance” at work here.

“I don’t think anything will honestly happen before the election to change the dynamic,” says one administration official. “The business community by and large is sitting and waiting and hoping that we learn a lesson in the election.”

New Republic: Executive Indecision – Obama and the CEOs: He loves them, he loves them not,  September 10, 2010 http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/magazine/77394/obama-and-the-ceos-executive-indecision?passthru=Yzc1MWI5ODI2NjFiMWI2MTA3YjdlNDFmZDNjYzIzZjQ

Jersey Boys pulls professor out of Five-O funk …

September 23, 2010

I’ve been slowed all week by my lingering disappointment over the Hawaii Five-O premiere — which, incidentally, drew almost 14 million viewers.

I’m pleased to report a bounceback.  Trekked into NYC yesterday to finally see Jersey Boys.  Man, was it good — nice storyline and great oldies.  The 2-1/2 hours flew by.

If you haven’t seen it, you should — even if you’re too young to know who the Four Seasons are.

Happy Fourth of July !

July 4, 2010

Kick back … enjoy your families … be thankful for our freedoms.

How Beef-Loving Voters Can Get Tofu for President

November 2, 2009

Ken’s Take: This is from my archives – one of my favs.  The original article was inspired by Clinton’s win over elder Bush (the Perot factor), younger Bush’d win over Gore (the Nader factor), and Jesse Ventura’s gov win in Minnesota.

There’s current news in the article since the independent in NJ may allow Corzine to sneak thru, and the Conservative may prevail in NY 23 as the party cadidates split the liberal vote. It’ll be interesting to watch … and (I think), the article is a fun read.

* * * * *
Excerpted from WSJ:  How Beef-Hungry Voters Can Get Tofu for President, March 14, 2003

Those odd ducks who scrutinize returns, calculate how each additional candidate affects the others’ chances and analyze strategic voting are hard at work. I refer, of course, to mathematicians.

Yes, there is a mathematics of elections.

Research has identified various voting systems world-wide in which, paradoxically, becoming more popular can make a candidate lose, abstaining gives your preferred candidate a better chance, and picking a winner means accepting someone a majority of voters don’t want.

This last paradox characterizes the U.S. system of plurality voting (vote for one; the top vote-getter wins). It works fine when there are two candidates, but with three or more, plurality voting can come up short.

For a democracy, the mathematicians’ most robust result is chilling. “It’s surprisingly difficult to identify a voting system that accurately captures the will of the people”.

* * * * *

The Election

So as not to inflame passions with current political examples I’ll illustrate his point with food.

You and two colleagues are planning an office party, and the caterer offers chicken, steak or tofu. You poll 17 invitees:

5 people prefer chicken to steak to tofu.

2 people prefer chicken to tofu to steak.

4 people prefer steak to tofu to chicken.

4 people prefer tofu to steak to chicken.

2 people prefer tofu to chicken to steak.

One organizer tallies the ballots by the plurality method, counting only first-place votes. Chicken wins (7 votes), while steak is last (4 votes).

A second organizer uses “approval voting,” in which voters mark all acceptable choices (everyone’s top two choices are acceptable). Now steak wins with 13, tofu gets 12 and chicken is last with 9.

The third organizer uses a point system that gives their first choices 2 points, second choices 1 and last picks 0. Now tofu wins with 18, steak gets 17, chicken 16.

The ‘winner’ changes with the choice of election procedureAn ‘election winner’ could reflect the choice of an election procedure” rather than the will of the people.

* * * * *

It gets better. Thanks to a mathematical property called nonmonotonicity, in some voting systems, ranking a choice higher can defeat it.

In a plurality-with-runoff system, the two candidates with the most first-place votes face one another in round two.

This time, we invite other departments to our office party, and get this first-round result:

27 prefer chicken to steak to tofu.

42 prefer tofu to chicken to steak.

24 prefer steak to tofu to chicken.

Chicken (27 votes) and tofu (42) reach the runoff. Assuming steak fans maintain their preference and give their second-round votes to tofu, tofu wins the runoff.

That seems fair.

But what if four people in the group of 27 chicken lovers are last-minute converts to vegetarianism and, in round one, prefer tofu to chicken to steak, like the group of 42?

Now steak (24 first-place votes) and tofu (46) make the runoff, in which steak beats tofu 47 to 46. Tofu’s late surge turned its win into a loss.

* * * * *

Such paradoxes tend to occur under specific but far from unusual circumstances.

With plurality voting, the most common is when two centrists face an extremist. The majority splits its vote between the centrists, allowing the fringe candidate to squeak in. In Minnesota’s 1998 governor’s race, Hubert Humphrey got 28% of the vote, Norm Coleman 34% and Jesse Ventura won with 37%, even though most voters ranked him last.

* * * * *

Thanks to such outcomes, scientists say what’s most needed is “a way for voters to register their second and third choices … especially in primaries, where there tends to be a large field.” Both a ranking system (give candidates 4, 3, 2 or 1 point) and approval voting accomplish that.

The U.N. chooses a secretary-general by approval voting. “It is particularly appealing in elections with many candidates … If your favorite candidate is a long shot, you can vote for both him and a candidate with a better chance without wasting your vote on the long shot. Approval voting would do a lot to address the problem of presidential-primary victors not being the choice of most voters.” Approval voting could well make more people (especially supporters of long shots) feel their ballot matters.

Still, no system is perfect. As Nobel-winning economist Kenneth Arrow proved mathematically in 1951, no voting system is guaranteed to be free of paradoxes in a race with three or more candidates, except one — a dictatorship.

Ring, ring, ring … want a couple of bucks off?

October 28, 2009

TakeAway:  Mobile coupons delivered directly  to  smartphones are catching on, spurring impulse purchases. 

* * * * *

Excerpted from CNBC, “Coupons Via Cellphone: Whipping Up the Impulse Buy,” By Christina Cheddar Bank, October 15, 2009

To date, the concept of receiving coupons on your cell phone has been more theory than practice. This is despite a resurgence in coupon use and an increasing dependence on cell phones.

But with the focus on mobile coupons as a marketing tool on the rise, is the industry heading to an inflection point? A new Harris interactive survey … of more than 2,000 adults … found that 42 percent of those who were between 18 and 34 years old, and 33 percent of those 35 to 44 years old are at least somewhat interested in receiving opt-in alerts on their cell phones for specials at their favorite establishments …

This type of technology is even more impressive when one considers how many purchases consumers make on the fly … 9-in-10 Americans have made an impulse purchase when they were out shopping in a store based on a sale or a special that was going on around where they were … Among adults who own a cell phone, nearly a quarter — some 22 percent — make this type of purchase at least once per week or more often …

1020 Placecast  has designed a system to use digital marketing and mobile devices in an attempt to drive consumers to specific locations.  Using their systems, a restaurant or retailer can send an alert to a customer’s phone whenever the person is nearing its location

Coupons.com … developed applications for the Apple’s iPhone and other devices to help consumers sort through coupons and pair them with their grocery lists … also trying out a system that allows shoppers to browse through coupon offerings on its Web site, then load the offers on to a key tag. Once at the store, shoppers can wave their key tags over the scanner during checkout in order to get the credit.

Both companies caution this is still early days for these technologies.

However, with the number of smartphone users on the rise … penetration is about 15 percent in the U.S. today (about 40 million phones) … most forecasts call for that number to at least double by the end of 2011 … coupled with the yet untapped interest, there may be significant opportunities for a technology that is simple enough for consumers to understand and appreciate …

Still, at this time, the reality is there is still more buzz about mobile coupons than people actually using these offers. But as retailers look to hone in on how they can improve relationships with their customers it seems the demand for this type of service is there.

Edit by TJS

* * * * *

Full Article
http://www.cnbc.com/id/33244923

* * * * *

About that 4 year old who bought her 1st home and got the $8,000 tax credit … call me suspicious

October 26, 2009

Ken’s Take: The finding of extensive fraud in the new home owners’s tax credit program can not possibly surprise anybody. But, I am a bit startled by the magnitude — likely to be in the billions when the dust settled.

Just wait until the analysis is done on Cash for Clunkers.  My bet: will make this look like chump change.

* * * * *

Excerpted from WSJ: Home-Buyer Credit Tempts Tax Cheats, Oct. 23, 2009

The Treasury tax-oversight office told Congress that “tens of thousands of people” submitted suspicious — and possibly fraudulent — claims for a federal tax credit meant for first-time home buyers. 

The credit, adopted as part of the February stimulus bill, modified and expanded on a tax credit that was first passed by Congress in 2008. The current credit is available only to first-time buyers who purchased a primary residence since April 9, 2008. The full credit is available to individuals with incomes of less than $75,000 and $150,000 for married couples.

The IRS is conducting more than 100,000 examinations that could require filers to give back the credit and pay civil penalties.

At least 19,000 filers who hadn’t bought homes claimed $139 million in tax credits and were reimbursed.

An additional 74,000 tax-credit claims, valued at $500 million, for people who previously owned a home. 

More than 500 people under the age of 18, including a 4-year-old child, also had their names on applications for the credit, which has no minimum-age requirement. Most of the claims involving children were made by parents who purchased a home but were ineligible for the credit because their incomes were too high.

The authorities blamed a lack of safeguards, including lack of documentation requirements, for the extent of the problems.

* * * * *

Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. (R., La.) said the problems show the dangers in creating refundable tax credits that give money to filers even if they didn’t owe any taxes. “Every time Congress creates a new refundable credit…the incentive for fraud is magnified,” he said.

The credit’s main sponsor, Sen. Johnny Isakson (R., Ga.), said he is “cautiously optimistic” that an extension — with procedural safeguards added — can move in the Senate next week. “Just because someone used fraud [to claim the credit] doesn’t mean the credit is a bad idea, it means there are some bad folks running around,” he said.

* * * * *

Full article:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125622884824101553.html

The housing glut … peaking, but still high — very high.

October 6, 2009

There are still a record number of houses on the market — 9.4 months’ worth of existing homes for sale, according to NAR data.

The backlog is usually under six months.

And, based on current and projected delinquencies, nearly seven million housing units will eventually enter foreclosure … that could add 1.35 years’ worth of inventory to the market.

[housing supply]

Source: WSJ: Housing Recovery Obstacle: So Many Houses, Sept 24, 2009http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125374552378835617.html#mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsTop

* * * * *

Ironic twists as Hurricane Bill heads for Bermuda

August 21, 2009

1) Bill & Hillary Clinton are vacationing in Bermuda.  Imagine Hillary dealing with 2 Hurricane Bills simultaneously.

2) Wouldn’t it be justice delivered if the 4 terrorists who got relocated from Gitmo to Bermuda got their clocks cleaned ?

* * * * *

Marketing to retiring boomers …

August 18, 2009

For many Boomers “aging is not about the inevitable end, but rather about the evolving self.”

It seems this age group is redefining retirement as “a time of growth when identity is broadened, expressed, and completed through consumption.”

Researchers scoured the current literature on aging and lifestyle, observed seniors in a wide range of communities and life situations, and concluded that a boomer retirement is:

  • A dynamic life stage full of self-evolution and identity work.
    Marketing hint: Emphasize making a mark, leaving a legacy (take heed, nonprofits).
  • A culture in which “identity experimentation” is increasingly acceptable and common.
    Hint: Keep it in mind as you market that those in this age group are rediscovering their true selves. “It’s finally time for me!”
  • A culture that emphasizes staying busy and traveling.
    Hint: Forget frailty. Assume they’re tough and ready to explore!
  • A time when consumers favor consumption.
    Hint: Don’t rule out any product as not fitting this generation. They’re ready to buy—once they’re shown a little respect.

Don’t treat today’s seniors like they’re old and frail. Instead, market to them as the vital, active individuals they think are.

Extracted from: Marketing Profs, Now Is the Time for Me, Baby!, July 29, 2009

Source: “Consumer Identity Renaissance: The Resurgence of Identity-Inspired Consumption in Retirement,” by Hope Jensen Schau, Mary C. Gilly and Mary Wolfinbarger. Journal of Consumer Research, 2009.

* * * * *

Presidential Legacies …

August 14, 2009

image
FDR: The New Deal

 

image 
LBJ: The Great Society

 

image 
BHO: Cash For Clunkers

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