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b_b's profile

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following: 116
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hubskier for: 3684 days

When not in real life, I spend my time here.

recent comments, posts, and shares:
b_b  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: In which Mike Pence asks Dan Quayle if he's *sure* VPs can't overthrow the government

What you find when you grow up in a family like mine is that there's what you do in public and there's what you do in private and the two don't have to align at all. We're Church of England types, and you could be moved to tears by some of their words in church...Then you go on a golf trip or whatever and there are more booze and whores than you can shake a stick at. Piety and charity is an act but it's an important one for the club to see that you're not one of those people, however defined.

b_b  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: In which Mike Pence asks Dan Quayle if he's *sure* VPs can't overthrow the government

Probably false. Trump is the candidate they were waiting for their whole lives. Growing up, hearing the n-word was a very regular occurrence at family gatherings. They like money the best and white people the second best. So I think DeSantis fits that mold better. They would vote for either over any democrat under any circumstances, even if the republican was a child molester who had a stroke and can no longer perform any normal daily functions.

b_b  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: In which Mike Pence asks Dan Quayle if he's *sure* VPs can't overthrow the government

If the story is to be believed, he consulted with the Speaker, and he told the chiefs that the chain of command includes the Chairman, so they aren't allowed to do anything without the blessing of the chairman. I think he actually toed a line pretty goddam well, considering the circumstances. Can't say anything publicly, so he just has to take a media whipping while he does his thing in the background. No one is perfect, but I am having a hard time finding fault here.

b_b  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: In which Mike Pence asks Dan Quayle if he's *sure* VPs can't overthrow the government

    (1) Trump won the election

    (2) Vaccines are bad.

I have a lot of republicans in my family. They're of the rich white asshole variety, not the poor white trash variety. None of them likes to talk about it, but they're all vaccinated. It's easy to be a prick on Facebook, but it's a lot harder to put your money where your mouth is.

b_b  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: In which Mike Pence asks Dan Quayle if he's *sure* VPs can't overthrow the government

"I don't want to be your friend anymore."

b_b  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: ‘Never Forget’ Is Breaking America

I've argued to many people, almost entirely unsuccessfully, that W was a worse president than Trump. For all his bluster and missteps, the lasting policy consequences of the Trump administration are mostly containable. The Afghan war to a certain extent and the Iraq War to a major extent are foreign policy fuckups that have been producing results for two decades with no end in sight. He paints now. Great. He is friends with Michelle Obama. Cool. He fucked our country worse than any president since Hoover. Awesome.

b_b  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Norm

Man, that's sad. I always thought he was the best Weekend Update guy ever.

b_b  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Effect size is significantly more important than statistical significance.

I'm not normally a stay-in-your-lane kind of guy. I went to grad school for physics and now I run the pharmacology department at a small drug company. Never cared much for staying in my lane. That said, this dude should stay in his lane.

There's a big difference between P-value manipulation and a small effect size. He is confusing the two things pretty starkly. When you design a study, you take everything you know about the data a priori, which is usually something about the delta between, say a pristine sample and your perturbed cohort, and also something about the variance of either or both cohorts. Then you make an assumption about what effect size you would count as significant, and you calculate how many subjects you need to study to observe the effect with, say, an 80% chance of success if the effect you assumed is real. That is how good stats is done. And the assumed effect size was chosen precisely because you chose it to be meaningful.

Finding a true mean difference that is so small as to be meaningless often requires more subjects that is feasible to study. So I think in the case when stats are done correctly (which is to say prospectively not retrospectively), effect size and statistical significance should be simpatico.

That said, there is a who other topic of relative vs. absolute risk, and of course there are policy tradeoffs that can't be settled by stats. All one can say is here's what I set out to measure and here's what I actually measured. Then it's up to society to figure out what to do about it. If that's, e.g., a new cancer screening tool and it reduces deaths from some specific cancer by 70% because it catches it early, you'd say great, why not mandate it. But then you find out that only 1/10,000 people develop that type of cancer, so that "70%" actually means less than 0.0001% of the population. Well now you have to think about (a) how much does the test cost; (b) how invasive is it; and (c) what is the false positive rate?

I guess my point is that there's no simple way to judge what the tradeoff between effect size and statistical significance is, because we live in a world where nothing exists in a vacuum. Each new study of each new intervention needs to be evaluated on its own terms in its own reality. Making blanket statements that A matters more than B is plainly wrong.

b_b  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A New Company With a Wild Mission: Bring Back the Woolly Mammoth

Some of the dumbest people I know are highly accomplished surgeons. The longer I've been in science the more I've come to think that scientists are as fucking dumb as everyone else. If you ever want a very dull but informative read, the Mismeasure of Man is a great one. It chronicles the saga of trying to use science to keep the whites on the top of the heap after the fall of slavery (proto-eugenics, say). This science was done by the greatest luminaries of the time, led by the chief of zoology at Harvard.

Science, fact gathering, knowledge, etc, are very often used as the basis to do really nefarious and dangerous stuff, but they know how to couch their actions in such esoteric language that makes it seem as if it can't be captured in simple terms such as "torture an elephant in hopes of torturing a mammoth."

People love to mistake "science" for "truth", when in fact science is nothing more than a systematic way of asking and attempting to answer questions. It's a tool. Period. One can use one's hammer to build a house for the homeless, or one can use it to smash skulls. It isn't the hammer's fault either way.

Note that I say all of this as someone who makes a living torturing small animals in hopes of making medicines that will end a lot of grief for a lot of people. It would be very easy to construct an argument that I'm the bad guy. It's a matter of perspective, values, and relative value of, say, mice vs. humans.

b_b  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A New Company With a Wild Mission: Bring Back the Woolly Mammoth

I'll take that as a compliment. Remember, he was the one who was right! Nature did find a way.

b_b  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A New Company With a Wild Mission: Bring Back the Woolly Mammoth

If they succeed in creating this chimera it is going to be one seriously tortured soul. Supposing mammoths are anything like elephants a large part of their behavior is learned. Can =/= Should

b_b  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Andrew Yang to launch a third party

Two things I loved about Yang's candidacy for president, and the reason I was a supporter, even though I remain skeptical of UBI (though admittedly less so after hearing him out--and I've not read the books you have on the topic), are (1) he was the only guy out there shouting about how bad our tax system is. Not about how taxes are too high or too low, but that they collected in an anachronistic and inefficient way that stifles dynamism and keeps the classes in check. And (2) he was the only guy posing questions like, "Why are there more people on disability than unemployment?" Obviously that last bit was pre-pandemic, so even if the numbers have changed to make it not technically true anymore, the sentiment is still very true. Instead of this actual thinking man we get Kamala Harris. Cool. Really disappointed Uncle Joe didn't give him an impactful job like Labor or Treasury.

b_b  ·  9 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Are We Wearing the Wrong Masks?

N numbers don't actually mean much in the real world if people aren't using masks (a) all the time, and (b) that fit perfectly. And everyone is different, but nobody follows both of those rules all the time. My guess is that you do it better than the average person. I'm close to 99% sure of that assessment. Most people are some combination of uneducated and lazy, so imperfect as the study is, I think they were trying to measure what happens in a real-world scenario, as opposed to a laboratory setting, whence the N's. I agree with most of your critiques, but I think simply pointing to N numbers is too simplistic.

b_b  ·  9 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Are We Wearing the Wrong Masks?

Overinterpreting of a single study also led to the whole HCQ debacle. It's almost as if we've learned nothing about science in the last 18 months!

One of the things about this study that makes it hard to interpret, beyond the low total case numbers, is that they don't actually have data about whether for an individual masking did anything. They only talk about populations, and rightly so, because that's the study design. But within that relative risk reduction of 11% or whatever, what's the effect size among strict mask adherents? We don't know.

What can be said about this study is that when absolute case loads are low, and mask wearing is lax generally, then wearing a surgical mask is a little better than not wearing a surgical mask. Not sure any other conclusions can be drawn. I don't know what hand the authors had in overinterpretation of their study, but I don't think they can be totally held accountable for how the media portrays it. Science journalism is bad, because if it wasn't bad no one would read articles about science. They would be too boring.

b_b  ·  10 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: September 8, 2021

It's been a long time since I've played a fretless consistently. Now I'm gonna have to put some effort into relearning to play with decent intonation. Fretlesses can sound really great, but they can sound really bad too!

b_b  ·  10 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: September 8, 2021

You're a superhuman to me, buddy. Hang in there.

b_b  ·  10 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: New Studies Find Evidence Of 'Superhuman' Immunity To COVID-19 In Some Individuals

I've heard others talk about it, but I didn't see any data. I guess the other good question is whether it works in the other direction, too. Like if you had an mRNA vaccine then you get covid or a virus vaccine, do you get the same immunity? Really fascinating stuff.

b_b  ·  10 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: September 8, 2021

Fun weekend project. I've had this bass since I graduated high school in 2000, and I recently bought a vintage Modulus to replace it. So I decided to turn it fretless. My local luthier wanted $400, and I thought that was too expensive. I couldn't buy an off-the-shelf P-Bass fretless neck, because this Japanese made "Lyte" model was discontinued in the early 2000s and the neck pocket is 1/8" narrower than a standard P-Bass (and anyway they cost ~$250 plus you still need to do a set-up). So I decided to do it myself.

Here's the before:

Took the neck off, ripped the frets out, and gave it a rough sand:

Glued some thin strips of maple veneer into the fret slots (I chose maple so the lines would really pop against the rosewood):

Trimmed and sanded the fretboard with 150 up to 2500 grit:

Finished it with linseed oil:

And then bolted it back on with a new set of flatwound strings, no set-up required:

Plays beautifully, and only cost me about $80 ($50 in supplies plus $30 for a heat gun and a pair of flush cut pliers).

b_b  ·  10 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: New Studies Find Evidence Of 'Superhuman' Immunity To COVID-19 In Some Individuals

I think the obvious question is whether we should be taking a "hybrid" approach to vaccination. That is, a deactivated virus followed by an mRNA vaccine. I'm due for a 3rd Pfizer shot in less than 2 weeks, and I'm wondering if I can convince the CVS people to give me J&J. Probably isn't so easy, but I'm going to ask.

b_b  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Untitled in E


That bassline was a workout to play. Thought it would give it some motion, but it just sounds busy.

b_b  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: When You Look Real Close

I really love this song. It's super 90s but weirder. I really like your guitar tone in the outro, too. Do you run through an amp or is that direct?

b_b  ·  13 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Head in the Sand -- for b_b to add to

Just wrote a simple intro/outro. Hope you like it. Great song, btw.

b_b  ·  17 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: September 1, 2021

Lol. Welcome to the club.

If you think Phoenix has good long term potential then you deserve to lose your money even more than a Game Stop trader.