Friday
Oct192018

Ugh. CNN Reports Spin News.

Link: index.html "Police officers in the US were charged with more than 400 rapes over a 9-year period"

This really sounds bad, even a police rape epidemic.  Far too many traffic stops resulting in victimization.  But how do police compare in this regard to the remainder of the population? 

CNN reports 405 rapes over 9 years by law enforcement officers.  Given a estimated US population of 327,445,198 (Google) people, and an estimated police force of 422,869 officers (Statistia US employment records) by my estimation there were total 153809 successfully prosecuted rapes in the last rolling calendar year in the United States.  This is a dismally low portion of the total number of rapes, but please accept that the number can not reasonably be argued to be even lower than the values that follow.

If police were committing this crime at national rates, roughly 1892 events would be recorded in the 9 year period.  So I conclude law enforcement is not offending at a rate higher than the general population in this regard.   Even if the police force is taken to be the 120,000 full time officers they offend at rates similar to the general population - which is actually still better than average men given strong male bias toward both the crime and the law enforcement career choice.

By in large, the police mostly suck because their job sucks.   My last happy interaction with one was "help find a likely teen suicide in a large park but if alive report to the professionals and do not engage" and I did and despite a long blood trail, it was not completely terrible until the teen's father showed up, and in random dark moments that father still haunts my memory more than his child.  I can't constrain what I saw into words, and won't judge.  Praise the Lord that isn't my day to day.  Police suck because far too many people suck.  But police don't suck because they commit rape at a rate higher than the general population.  

Saturday
Oct062018

The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter

Very nice book, full of good omens.  Highly recommended.  In an effort to chanel Agnes, I got this:
 
Kavanaugh, in victory dress, moves the court toward self enscribed rectitude.
Phyrric need named the crime and the deed, truth or lies are nobody's guess. 
Justice will take blindfold and weights, and hand down many a rule.
Remember her name, the rage and the shame, a burden for many more years.  
  
Hmm... I didn't explode... so maybe I didn't actually chanel Agnes.   I clearly channel the Nutter not, for my words are  those of this century and not 1672.  Still don't know why she let the town folk burn her as a witch when she had the foresight to pack her peticoat with gunpowder...   
Tuesday
Oct022018

Where in I Harp About Evolution Algorithms 

Reading comments posted to a unnamed websitemade me think most americans don't understand evolution.

Here's my TLDR on evolution:

(1) Evolution isn't about you.  Or even the fittest individual.  Its about the the fitness and diversity of the entire population that share genes as it faces many unpredictable* like challenges over many generations. 

(2) Sexual evolution is a problem solving algorithm powered by lives.  In a large diverse population almost nothing is left to chance.  In small homogeneous population, much more is left to long odds.  

(3)  Not knowing how evolution did something should not automatically be better than knowing it was done by design with Crispr or similar technologies.   

* unpredictable:  Besides just cranking out babies, try evolution's expansion pack featuring live play with 5 Million Trillion Trillion other indiviuals on levels like famine, disease, war, hunting, hunted, times of plenty, invasion, supernova radiance, parasites, habitat change, city sanitation, sinking islands, volcanic winters, plant biotoxins, animal venoms, rare energy sources, and of course meteor impacts.

Monday
Sep242018

Alcoholism and the Supreme Court

Why do alcoholics typically get a free pass?  

In my mind, the most disturbing thing around Brett Kavanaugh's high school activities is not under any dispute:  His self declaired high school treasurer/founding of a "100 Kegs or bust" high school drinking club.   

Certainly encouraging youthful drunkenness may have been legal back in his youth with laws since changed*, but was it ever the right thing to be doing?   I don't know, but have a hard time imagining "yes, in this situation poisoning fellow youth with alcohol built a better community and hundreds of better lives" turns out to be the right answer.  

Certainly Kavanaugh appears to have improved his life despite alcohol, but what a dismal statement of his formative character.   His year book page speaks volumes about him as a young man, and not much of it hits at the character, qualification and integerty expected in a life time appointment to the supreme court.   His vulgar and insensitive yearbook seems particularly at odds with justice for all.   

Small miracle youths didn't die drunk after attending one of the many keg parties in Northern Bethesda MD.    As a job interview, his answers around his alcohol use appeared evasive and deflecting.  Am I the only one to see lifetime appointment to the court of a likely alcoholic as less than ideal?

Maybe.  My wife has complained to me about this post - that I'm being apathetic to women’s issues, sexual abuse and victim defamation.  My point: it doesn't matter if you believe he-said or she-said, the outline of a boozy character stain in all narratives is reason enough to look elsewhere.  This is a job interview for life. 

Conservatives want a court majority and that should not be denied.  The court seat should be filled without excess delay- the conservative majority has every right to make appointments as they see fit.   

This particular appointment might well go down smoothly and leave justice with a hangover.  

*my mistake, under 21 drinking was not legal in in 1983 MD.

Tuesday
Sep182018

The beautiful thing that is "Bracket Pair Colorizer"

Son of mine, off in school, this post might be for you:  Microsoft Visual Studio Code: not at all bad.   With the right plugin extensions and settings it borders on greatness.  Like several Microsoft products it encourages personalization to a fault - so many really poor choices can be yours.  Here are some hints.    

First, the font:  I read about 'Fira Code' (Github tonsky) months ago and went "ligatures that change what I type so it looks like something I didn't type.  No way!"  Turns out, I was wrong.  A font that creates the illusion that "->" is a perfectly typeset arrow helpfully reduces visual clutter.    

Super One Dark Theme (VSCode Marketplace - Sean Sassenrath):  Must have.  Easy on the eyes.  Super comfortable for long blinkless code contemplation.

Language specific extensions:  Use them! Turn VSCode into whatever editing tool you need.  For rust, rust-lang.rust built by RLS team is perhaps the strongest choice, it will complete code, colorize by code anatomy and highlight errors.

Bracket Pair Colorizer (VSCode Marketplace 1.0.60 by CoenraadS):  A beautiful thing - this plugin is the difference between sometimes getting caught in a parenthesis-bracket-brace maze and not even being able to find the maze anymore because the structure color cues are so obvious.  Thank you CoenraadS, "Yellow", "SpringGreen" and "Cyan" cured my parenthesis dyslexia with tacky neons.