I’ve done other threads, by draft year (2014, 2015 and 2016). I don’t really like that format, as I now prefer having just one long thread, making it easier to find previous comments. The idea, as I explained in those other threads, is to create a repository of comments and ratings from draft experts and track them over time. (For what it’s worth, I’m far more interested in the accuracy of the comments than looking just looking at the grades.) Please post comments from analysts of players that you’d like to track.
This thread is inspired by thisAtlantic Monthly (which I would think Mitchell would enjoy, if not Don as well).
1. Favorite Billy Joel album
2. Favorite Billy Joel song
3. Bill Joel Song(s) you hate
4. Best memory/anecdote involving Billy Joel
5. The musician that accompanied your life (especially childhood and teen years) better than Bill Joel.
Bonus questions (for discussion):
Where does Billy Joel rank among other rock/pop musicians?
What is your opinion about Joel as to whether he is a serious (versus strictly commercial) artist?
I wrote a post about why good work often isn’t valued in government, pointing to the nature of the consequences that occur as a result of performance, both individually and organizationally. What happens if the individual or organizations performs well or poorly? What types of behaviors get a strong response–negative or positive; and which behaviors don’t get much of a response at all? The answers to these questions will tell you a lot about the performance of the government agency and the individuals within it, especially over a long period of time. Moreover, if individuals want reform an agency, the consequences must also be in line with specific changes being made. To give a broad example, suppose the work of an agency is met with a great deal of indifference; that is, whether the agency performs well or not, the agency faces the same consequence–namely, virtually no consequence. An attempt to make big changes to improve the agency will be incredibly difficult, and almost certain to fail (assuming the objective is changes that aren’t temporary). No compelling incentives exists, which would leave a lot of disincentives to improve. Change is hard and uncomfortable without a compelling reason to change, change–meaningful and lasting change— won’t happen.
What I’m saying doesn’t just apply to government, but any organization. If you want to understand the performance of an organization and the behavior of the people in it, study the response to performance. Once you understand the response, you will understand the performance and behaviors in the organization. I want to apply this approach to the U.S. press, focusing on this video critique of CNN from Vox: Continue reading ‘Problems Relating to Government Apply to the Press’
On the past few Good Fridays, I’ve spent part of the day listening and reading Bach’s St. John’s Passion. I’ve been thinking about other types of music I could also listen to on that day. This also got me thinking music I could play for my kids on other holidays, with the objective of teaching them about the holiday, possibly getting them an appropriate frame of mind, and exposing them to culture and stimulating ideas. Given that context, I’d like to discuss possible music to play on the major holidays. And actually, I’d be open to expanding this to include movies, books, and other art forms. Here are a list of the holidays I’m choosing: Continue reading ‘Music For Every Major Holiday’
Brian Kenny’s Ahead of the Curve: Inside the Baseball Revolution was published last July, and I had it marked as a pre-order, but I had to put myself on a little restriction from new books in the second half of last year, so I didn’t get to read it then. I’m finally getting to it now, and it’s a fun read. Fun mostly because Kenny is coming out with his dukes up, and he knows what he’s talking about. I thought I’d put a few notes here, and maybe they’ll spark some discussion or maybe they won’t. My notes are mostly so I can keep track of some of the arguments presented in the book, since the book I’m really looking forward to is Keith Law’s Smart Baseball, which comes out in three weeks.
There’s a chance I’ll change the title of this post later, depending on how things move.
From the publisher’s website:
Most people who resist logical thought in baseball preach “tradition” and “respecting the game.” But many of baseball’s traditions go back to the nineteenth century, when the pitcher’s job was to provide the batter with a ball he could hit and fielders played without gloves. Instead of fearing change, Brian Kenny wants fans to think critically, reject outmoded groupthink, and embrace the changes that have come with the sabermetric era.
Rejecting outmoded groupthink is what I’m all about, so here we go.
What I have below is a compilation of various articles and quotes about foreign policy issues/stories that may have relavance during the Trump administration. (I probably should have started the thread a while ago, but I didn’t. I’m starting it now because I want to address the Syrian situation, involving the recent use of chemical weapons.
Someone observed (and I can’t remember who now) that Presidents who were governors from small states often have a very rocky transition. I vaguely remember the troubles Bill Clinton had initially, and I drew some conclusions from that. For one thing, Continue reading ‘“But This Time It’s Different”’
Anybody went to the new tonkatsu place in Kapahulu? In the past, I’ve expressed a blase attitude about tonkatsu restaurants (although the kurobuta tonkatsu did intrigue me). But I saw some pictures of this new place, and it looked good. You know how Japanese tempura (versus local okazu style) is spiky? That’s how these looked.
Also, has anyone gone to the new Uzbek restaurant downtown? It looked good. (Don, the food looked like something you would like.)
When future generations look back on this time period, I believe they will be critical of the press coverage of Trump. “Why were they overlooking the dangers? Why weren’t they ringing the alarm bells?” I’ll try to share some of my thoughts on this in this thread. Continue reading ‘The Press is Failing the American Public’
Guys, I realize that I’m posting a lot about Trump, and I’m feeling a little bad about that. I think it’s becoming too excessive, and yet, I want to both express my thoughts about this topic, as well as create a repository for articles and other information.
Rebellion Brews but But American ‘Deep State” is a Myth is an article by John Schindler, a former NSA analyst. I don’t take Schindler’s word as gospel (really, I don’t take any journalist’s world as gospel), but Schindler is credible to me. Having said that, some of his tweets, chiding Trump for insulting the Intelligence Community (IC) have unsettled me a bit. These tweets are warnings that suggests if Trump insults the IC, the IC would get their revenge. In the article above, Schindler not only attempts to debunk the notion of a Deep State rebelling against Trump, but also ostensibly defend the leaks. He doesn’t do that great of a job, in my view, as I think can be seen in this section: Continue reading ‘Thoughts on the Government Leaks That Have Been Going On’
DID YOU KNOW . . . that using a plunger to dislodge mint stems in your kitchen sink does not work? Even if you alternate plunging between the two sides of the sink for 20 minutes. It is; however, a decent cardio workout.
reid: my mind
Facebook Reports on How Outside Actors Tried to Influence the U.S. Election
I strongly recommend thisAtlantic Monthly article about Facebook's report on the way outside actors manipulated information on FB to influence U.S. (and French) elections. Itt's at least important to be aware of the possibility that this is going on. (The article is short and completely accessible.)
Facebook acknowledged more broadly that it has a problem with what it calls “information operations,” government-run efforts to use Facebook to manipulate public opinion, distort domestic or foreign political sentiment, and influence the outcome of elections.
In many cases, such information operations are aimed at gaming Facebook’s algorithm, using tactics like the mass creation of fake accounts and the creation of groups populated by those accounts.
Fake accounts and misleading groups then carry out coordinated campaigns designed to amplify a message: They do this by simultaneously sharing and liking the same Facebook posts en masse, rapidly posting the same information across multiple groups at once, and spreading sensationalistic or heavily biased headlines as a way to distort facts and fit a narrative. These groups can be hard to detect because they often post legitimate and unrelated content, as well, “ostensibly to deflect from their real purpose,” Facebook says.
Facebook says it detected several “subtle and insidious” kinds of coordinated attempts to harm the reputation of “specific political targets” during the 2016 campaign, describing “malicious actors leveraging conventional and social media to share information stolen from other sources, such as email accounts, with the intent of harming the reputation of specific political targets.”
Also, this (emphasis added):
...the problem isn’t just that the Kremlin may be spreading bad information on Facebook as a way to influence the outcome of U.S. elections. It’s that governments are manipulating ordinary Facebook users by getting them to act as unknowing agents of propaganda.