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Someone managed to put together some before-and-after pictures -- "Antes y después del huracán María." Looks like much of San Juan got through with just broken windows and garbage everywhere. The hotels will probably be ready for tourists again before half the population potable water or electricity again.


La Perla got trashed though. La Perla has been a ghetto for hundreds of years - its built outside Old San Juan's fortress walls, right on the edge of the water, by freed slaves and other homeless riff-raff who weren't allowed to stay in the city at night at the time.


Most houses in Puerto Rico (that I saw, anyway) are concrete or cinderblock construction, and if they weren't in disrepair should have made it through the storm without structural damage. However it also looked like the farther from a touristy beach, the more houses were cinderblock shells with plywood and corrugated tin keeping the weather out.

PR didn't get hit as badly as St Martin, Barbuda, or Dominica. St Martin is French and Dutch -- they will get a lot of the aid they need to recover from Europe. Barbuda and Dominica are worse off -- they're on their own. Puerto Rico has 40X the people as the biggest of those three, if it had any sane governmental status it would be able to take a punch and stand back up. But no. And they're in their 12th consecutive year of economic depression. They could have restructured their debt and started recovery a decade ago if they were either sovereign or a state. It pisses me off. If Puerto Rico turns into a humanitarian crisis with a million homeless living in mud, it's because they've been our pigeon-toed step-child since we grabbed the island from Spain.

I wanted to do this simulation when I read the book. I started, but then I got bogged down trying to optimize the integrator and never finished. Kudos to him for actually doing it.

I enjoyed the first half a lot more than the second half.

So working your way up the chain to the big guys soundslike a good idea. But it doesn't work in practice because of a handful of reasons, it will cause terrible side effects the whole way, and it costs a ton of dough and you'll never finish so we will have keep paying for it forever as well as paying to fix problems you cause...

...and that sounds like the generic conservative argument.

ThurberMingus  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: September 20, 2017

Life's pretty good, but seems a bit boring. Mostly that's because I spent the past few weeks doing some failure analysis and reports, which took forever and could have been summed up with "try not to break it this time", but the analysis had to be done for CYA reasons mostly. Anyway, on to more interesting stuff at work now.

I sometimes think I should be doing something more important with my life. Or at least find a more interesting and meaningful hobby.

Also I'm restless because I want the heat to end and get some fall weather already. Running in the heat sucks, and I haven't been running often enough to make much progress.

A good read.

It's an interesting idea that we might be moving backwards in education. That we aren't using technology to raise kids who use technology to think better, just using technology as more engrossing TV.

He mentioned Kahneman's system 1 and system 2 thinking -- that media consumption can fill system 1 thinking so much that system 2 can hardly be used at all.

It reminded me of quote by someone I have forgotten, who said he achieved all his success while only having a real thought about once a week, but that most people are lucky if they really think more than a couple times a year. His idea of "real thought" was similar to Kahneman's system 2 thinking.

I don't think worms are much more nuanced than sanitation -- I think even with good health care practices a number cases would happen, given their living conditions. The abstract linked in the article says Lowndes County was chosen specifically because of previous hookworm problems, high poverty, and bad sewage management. My takeaway was that we have people in our country living with 3rd world sewage sanitation, and 1/3 of the people tested have hookworm because of it.

I agree with your points, I just wanted to defend going barefoot a bit.

    I know two people who do walk barefoot everywhere they go and I have told them "That's literally a way to catch worms" and they don't care.

I like going barefoot a lot. Maybe I ought to get some moccasins so I can feel the ground but still be shod. But I'll still run around barefoot on nice days though. It's not so risky here 'cause there isn't open sewage around me.

Anyway, shoes won't cut it for those people, if a storm can turn the trailer park into a swamp and mix the sewage around. Everyone needs waders (or actual sewers).

The strikethrough is unicode characters, not html. It might not be available in the default font on your device.

Hopefully Puerto Rico d̶i̶d̶n̶'̶t̶ doesn't get a direct hit. They have so many other problems they don't have the resources to rebuild:

    "Despite the economic challenges Puerto Rico is facing, the approved budget has $15 million for the emergency fund,” Rosselló said in a statement.


    Ricardo Ramos, the director of Puerto Rico’s power company, predicted the storm could leave some areas of the US territory without electricity for four to six months.

    The power company’s system has deteriorated greatly amid Puerto Rico’s decade-long recession, and the territory experienced an islandwide outage last year.

    Governor Ricardo Rossello, echoed the concerns, saying: “It’s no secret that the infrastructure of the Puerto Rico Power Authority is deteriorated.” Rossello has activated the National Guard, cancelled school for Tuesday and declared a half-day of work.


Recently I've been limiting myself to 1 dessert per week (I'm not vegetarian though). I've been doing this since mid summer. Over those couple months I've noticed I'm less likely to feel tempted by available sweets or candy, and when I do eat my weekly dessert, a smaller portion is satisfying.

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