Thursday, October 28

Admit it. You freaked out, or despaired, after one of the last two presidential elections, didn't you?
Maybe you joined a tea party in '09.
Maybe you thought about moving to Canada in '04.
You might be very worried, stressed out even, about the election next week.
Don't be.
Seriously, ask yourself how much has it mattered, these last two elections? Has your opinion of where this country is going swung wildly up or down? Does this match reality, or just your team affiliation?
Relax. That election day is less important than the candidates want us to believe is a good thing.

Wednesday, October 27

You see a barefoot young man join the fight. He pins the teacher against a wall and stands over him. The teacher raises his hands to shield his head, but it does not work. The barefoot man's right fist is tireless. He clocks the teacher six times before the camera turns away. Later you see the teacher's face covered in blood.
You see an older man fighting too. He is thick at the middle, balding, wearing khakis. He punches a woman while the barefoot man holds her arm. He assists in the thrashing of the teacher. You see his right hand whooshing through the air, connecting with flesh, and you look for his left hand but it is gone.
In its place is a metal hook.

Wednesday, October 13

Summary of common economic misconceptions among economics students. Examples:
When asked about profits as a percentage of sales the median student guessed 30% (actual rate, closer to 4%).
When asked about the inflation rate over the last year (survey was in 2009) the median student guessed 11%. Actual rate: much closer to 0%. Note, how important such misconceptions could be to policy.
When asked by how much has income per person in the United States changed since 1950 (after adjusting for inflation) the median student said an increase of 25%. Actual rate an increase of about 248%, thus the median student was off by a factor of 10.
Link to study and some comments here. Is there a study of politicians knowledge? as a group they didn't do so well on this test.

Tuesday, October 5

Follow-Up: Federal Prosecutors Rarely Sanctioned for Misconduct

Follow up post...
And more still prosecutor misconduct revealed.
"This latest study again confirms what we’ve seen in similar reviews: prosecutors are almost never sanctioned for misconduct, even egregious violations that lead to wrongful convictions."