Archive for January, 2014

Butterflies And Bullets

Posted in Musings on January 31st, 2014

Chaos ButterflyButterflies and bullets – There’s not much in common between the two in most people’s minds. Most people, however, are quite wrong because butterflies are a lot like bullets. Much like you’ll never hear the bullet that kills you, you’ll never see the butterfly that takes you and/or your carefully crafted predictions and plans out either.

That’s life, folks.

Chaos is life, life is chaos – or a deeper order that we cannot fully perceive. Either way, it’s a deterministic nonlinear system with a sensitive dependency upon far too many and too diverse and separated initial conditions for us to come even close to predicting what will happen with any certainty at all.

Related Reading:

Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life
Life and Other Near-Death Experiences
Chaos Theory: Two Essays on Market Anarchy
Beyond Belief: Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life: finally, a daily reflection book for nonbelievers, freethinkers and everyone
A Widow's Musings

2014 SOTU Buzz

Posted in Politics, Technology on January 30th, 2014

Microsoft fired up it’s Bing Pulse tool for the second year in order to record real-time audience sentiment during Obama’s fifth SOTU speech. The online voting tool allowed viewers to share their opinions about the speech using a smartphone, PC or tablet.

This year, Microsoft is added some new functions to the tool, including an annotated graph feature that allowed viewers to click on spikes and/or dips in the real-time graphs to see the issues being addressed during the speech that have prompted major reactions.

SOTU Buzz

BING PULSE – 2014 SOTU

Last years SOTU Bing Pulse registered 12.9 million votes, according to Microsoft, and this year’s should have been at least as popular so these are the broadest political polls in existence at this time. The re results are also quite interesting.

Speechcrafting

Firstly, I have to give credit where credit is due. Whatever team of writers developed Obama’s 2014 SOTU speech did a very credible job.  The Overall Intensity Graph show a solid curve of interest that builds well, peaks, and drops off at the end, indicating a good denouement. The pacing of the peaks and valleys of engagement also shows a good pace to the speech.

A Telling Response

The listeners’ responses, broken out by political beliefs, is very telling indeed. There’s a huge and stark disparity between how Democrats viewed Obama’s speech and how both Republicans and Independents did so. It’s quite a dramatic difference.

Democrats held largely uniformly positive views of each of Obama’s talking points, only dipping below the 50% mark on the issues of the War on Terror and continuing to support Israel.  They’ve approval didn’t waver much throughout the speech either, showing far less mean difference in approval rating and engagement from one talking to point to the next than either Republicans or Independents. For the most part, however, while differing in amplitude, Democrats showed the same peaks and valleys of approval as both Republicans and Independents.

Republicans and Independents conversely were, by and large, quite disapproving  of Obama’s talking points during his speech, rising above 50% only when it came to the War on Terror and providing medical benefits to veterans. They were, in fact, both more disapproving of it than the Democrats were approving of it.

One point to make specific note of is that Republicans and Independents responded to the talking points in Obama’s 2014 SOTU speech almost identically. There was almost no statistical variation between them, whereas both differed greatly from the Democrats’ responses.

Women’s Needs

Interestingly, despite the constant contention that women have different needs and priorities than men, the responses and engagement of the respective genders was, talking point by talking point, almost identical. This largely held true even on those parts of Obama’s speech which would normally be considered “women’s issues.”

Related Reading:

The Best Reasons to Vote for Democrats: You haven't had enough of them
Reasons to Vote for Republicans: An Incomprehensible Guide
The Politics Book (Big Ideas Simply Explained)
America
America: A Narrative History (Brief Tenth Edition)  (Vol. 1)

Income – It’s Unequal!

Posted in Politics on January 29th, 2014

creepy-screamerThe current cause célèbre or, at least, shouted slogan of America’s domestic enemies is “income inequality.” Right now they’re appearing as if they are really incensed that the poor in America, who are now a permanent portion of the population, haven’t had their average incomes increase as much as the wealthier have.

That’s right; they’re complaining that the poor aren’t improving their lot as much as the wealthier are, not that the poor are poorer.

And so, of course, they’re yammering for the government to force those who’ve made more money to pay that money out to the poorer people through taxes and various and sundry laws and regulations designed to to give the poor a bigger slice of the mythical pie.

Do not bother to lie to others or yourself; these plans and proposals are all governmental confiscation of private property in order for redistribution. Yet what crimes have the successful committed to deserve having their property confiscated? Have they stolen this wealth from the poor? Have they committed some heinous act beyond being more successful than some of the other residents of the nations?

The simple answer is no, the wealthy have done nothing wrong nor have they stolen their wealth from the less successful fractions of the American population. They have simply adapted to- and succeeded in navigating the shifts in wealth generation in these modern, global times.

Related Reading:

America: Imagine a World without Her
The Simple Path to Wealth: Your road map to financial independence and a rich, free life
How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes
The Production of Money: How to Break the Power of Bankers
Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy: Third Edition