Campaign Finance

This is from the front page of the NYT online, about a week ago.

“Money is no longer a barometer of success.”

Was it ever? Lots of evidence suggests that the amount of money a campaign raises and spends is irrelevant to the outcome of elections.

Campaign finance reform anyone? Not only a is it a violation of free speech, but it’s also not even necessary.

money is not a barometer

-JD Cross


Get out the vote: be careful what you wish for

I almost never vote, and the reason I don’t vote is because in most elections, my vote doesn’t matter. That my vote doesn’t matter is a mathematical fact; almost no elections are decided by 1 vote and the margin of error of counting votes is typically much larger than 1 vote anyway. So…math.

What if I did vote? Well, for the people who are typically so adamant about getting others to vote, if I voted, I would actually, probably, typically, be voting against their cause.

What do I mean?

From the NYT:

State Auditor Adam Edelen, a Democrat who lost his re-election bid this year, told Joe Sonka, a Louisville journalist. “And he simply said, ‘People on Medicaid don’t vote.’ ”

I’m not on Medicaid. To the extent that Medicaid is used in this context to mean poor (bottom 20% income bracket), what the State Auditor is saying is that poor people don’t vote. If that’s true – and the article provides reasonable evidence to suggest that it is true – then if you want a more representative electorate voting, you don’t need more middle-class white guys voting. That is, to the extent that I do vote, I make it that much harder for the electorate to be representative of the population.

So, yes, you can thank me for not voting.

-JD Cross


Will on Safe Spaces, PC Principals

South Park is in the midst of parodying this (with essentially all of Sesaon 19) and, here, George Will chimes in.

My favorite is his last paragraph:

On campuses so saturated with progressivism that they celebrate diversity in everything but thought, every day is a snow day: There are perishable snowflakes everywhere. The institutions have brought this on themselves. So, regarding the campuses’ current agonies, schadenfreude is not a guilty pleasure, it is obligatory.

-JD Cross

This is democracy…

Donald Trump in Iowa, speaking about Ben Carson and the intelligence of Iowans and Americans. You gotta watch the video embedded in the story.

I so hope that come next summer we’ve got a Trump vs. Sanders showdown. Oh, democracy…

-JD Cross

The 2%

One of the themes of Evolve is that the watchmen are or can be corrupt. In the realm of science, the watchmen are the scientists. 2% of them are corrupt.

“Every day, on average, a scientific paper is retracted because of misconduct,” Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus, who run Retraction Watch, wrote in a New York Times op-ed in May.
” Two percent of scientists admit to tinkering with their data in some kind of improper way. That number might appear small, but remember: Researchers publish some 2 million articles a year, often with taxpayer funding. In each of the last few years, the Office of Research Integrity, part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, has sanctioned a dozen or so scientists for misconduct ranging from plagiarism to fabrication of results. Not surprisingly, the problem appears to get worse as the stakes get higher.”

Science – as conventionally understood as an interplay between experimentation and theorizing – is absolutely the best way to understand and conquer the world. But there are those who cheat.

And yes, it is not at all surprising that as the stakes get higher the problem gets worse. This is true of all systems – the larger they become the larger their associated problems become.

A solution?

Seek to curtail large systems whenever possible. How would that work in this case? One thought would be to curtail government funding of research.

-JD Cross

Designer immune cells

A possible new cancer therapy from genetic engineering. Very exciting. Evolve is evolving to be real.

“this is a landmark in the use of new gene engineering technology”

I do take issue with this doctor’s quote:

“Her leukemia was so aggressive that such a response is almost a miracle,” Paul Veys, Layla’s lead doctor, told Reuters.

It’s science, not a miracle.

-JD Cross

Free isn’t free

I saw this poster in a hallway yesterday.

grand canyon free

It’s not free…it’s taxes (and admission fees which are now charged but which may not have been charged then).

-JD Cross


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