[I'm leaving this sticky, since this plan is going to dominate my blogging life for the next six months. So, the more commentary, the better! --lambert]
My center is giving way, my right is retreating, situation excellent, I am attacking.
Something I've been noticing lately is that there's too much news to react to. Ferguson; Gaza; ISIS; Iraq; Ukraine; NSA; and the ongoing clusterfucks of ObamaCare, permanently high disemployment, the failure to prosecute criminal banksters. And that's before we get to campaign 2016 (already underway), as well as the 2014 skirmishing. MR SUBLIMINAL Hillary! Warren! Also too climate change.
It's almost like the elite is gaslighting us, isn't it? If we've got too much to think about, we won't think at all, right? Worse, as a blogger, I'm reacting. I'm being pushed around, and there's no chance to push back. So I want to push back. I want to go on the offense.
Things become simpler when we know what we want. Let's take all the news stories I listed above and reorganize them: Read below the fold...
[And if you have your own experiences to share, and especially screen dumps, please add them in comments or contact me. Either Federal Exchanges, or state exchanges. I'm especially interested in Covered California! Thank you! --lambert]
email@example.com from Maine had a registration #FAIL at step 3. Here's the screen dump:
Optionally specify an alternative URL by which this node can be accessed. For example, type "about" when writing an about page. Use a relative path and don't add a trailing slash or the URL alias won't work. Read below the fold...
Ferguson, Missouri has been turned into a war zone.
The police use inappropriate force, such as tear gas and rubber bullets, to overwhelm and intimidate residents who are legitimately protesting a police murder of a fellow, unarmed resident.
There is also a “keep moving” rule constantly imposed on residents and journalists on the sidewalks of Ferguson. It is not a real law but nevertheless was and still is constantly spouted by the police. This “rule” is anti the First Amendment and now being challenged by the ACLU. Read below the fold...
The months in jail, and the prospect of trying to fit back into a society that he had abandoned was troublesome to Knight.
“I don’t know your world,” he told Finkel shortly before he was released from jail in November. “Only my world, and memories of the world before I went into the woods. What life is today? What is proper? I have to figure out how to live.” ....
“Sitting here in jail, I don’t like what I see in the society I’m about to enter,” Knight told Finkel. “I don’t think I’m going to fit in. It’s too loud. Too colorful. The lack of aesthetics. The crudeness. The inanities. The trivia.”
And eventually, Knight — who said he was never ill during the 27 years spent in the woods — shared his secret for survival in the Maine woods.
“Get enough sleep,” he told Finkel.
He's not the only one.... Read below the fold...
So, how many lives did former Big Tobacco shill Malcolm Gladwell ruin with his bogus "10,000 hours" talking point?
The 10,000 hour rule—first proposed by a Swedish psychologist and later made famous in Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers—states that exceptional expertise requires at least 10,000 hours of practice. The best of the best (the Beatles, Bill Gates) all amassed more than 10,000 hours of practice before rising to the top, Gladwell argued. So greatness is within virtually any person's grasp, so long as they can put in the time to master their skill of choice.
A new meta-analysis, however, indicates that the 10,000 hour rule simply does not exist. As Brain's Idea reports, authors of the new study undertook the largest literature survey on this subject to date, compiling the results of 88 scientific articles representing data from some 11,000 research participants. Practice, they found, on average explains just 12 percent of skill mastery and subsequent success. "In other words the 10,000-Hour rule is nonsense," Brain's Idea writes. "Stop believing in it. Sure, practice is important. But other factors (age? intelligence? talent?) appear to play a bigger role."
While this is the largest study to date to arrive at this conclusion, it's not the first.
So who exactly did Gladwell hurt? Read below the fold...
At TPM, of all places! A fine interview:
Let's talk about the study. If you had 30 seconds to sum up the main conclusion of your study for the average person, how would you do so?
I'd say that contrary to what decades of political science research might lead you to believe, ordinary citizens have virtually no influence over what their government does in the United States. And economic elites and interest groups, especially those representing business, have a substantial degree of influence. Government policy-making over the last few decades reflects the preferences of those groups -- of economic elites and of organized interests.
Shocker, I know, but it's nice to hear a scholar come to that conclusion backed by hard data (you know, data other than my whole life). Read below the fold...
In the zip code that encompasses Ferguson, half (49 percent) of homes were underwater in 2013, meaning the home’s market value was below the mortgage’s outstanding balance.
This condition (also called “negative equity”) is often a first step toward loan default or foreclosure, according to the recent report, “Underwater America,” from the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at the University of California, Berkeley.
Mortgage lenders targeted predominantly black and Hispanic areas for the highest-risk, highest-cost types of mortgage loans, such as adjustable-rate mortgages and loans with high prepayment penalties.
This led to higher-than-average default rates, according to the Housing Commission established by the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C.
Many of the families that were sold risky mortgages had good credit, decent incomes and everything else necessary to qualify for traditional long-term, fixed-rate loans. Yet, they were not offered those kinds of loans, but instead “steered into exotic and costly mortgages they did not fully understand and could not afford,” the commission said.
This “deliberate targeting of minority areas for the sale of risky and expensive loans,” as the commission described it, wreaked havoc on the financial wellbeing of affected families and undermined the stability of entire neighborhoods.