Monthly Archives: February 2018

Nerducation

Nerds are a special breed. Not all of us discover we are one at an early age. Some may even deny it for a long time.

So the late bloomers who discover they are a nerd have a lot of catching up to do.

Step one: What do you love? Make wishlists.

Step two: Work your way through the lists.

Step three: Just understand that you are an individual and likely finicky. Just because it was recommended does not mean you will love or even like it. Feel free to skip something that turns out to be not enjoyable.

From Nerducation published February 26, 2018 at 07:41AM.

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Firearm stocks under Trump

Talking about gun regulation causes increased gun sales. People buy out store stocks seeking to get them while they still can. So in that regard, President Obama was terrific for gun stores and manufacturers. For all the talk needing to do something, there was little done. The talk was enough to spike gun sales.

Sales and stock prices of firearms makers slumped after Trump’s unexpected election victory was seen as reducing prospects for curbs on gun ownership… But tweets and comments by Trump on Wednesday and Thursday that he supported raising the age limit for purchases of some kinds of guns, as well as other measures, turned up the heat on the gun control debate, and boosted gunmakers’ shares.” (Reuters) Trump also advocates arming some schoolteachers, which would also likely boost gun sales.

This chart is interesting. There were about 3 million a year manufactured under President George W Bush. There were about 8 million a year under President Obama.

Statistic: Number of firearms manufactured in the U.S. from 1986 to 2015 | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

From Firearm stocks under Trump published February 24, 2018 at 09:37AM.

Fell through the cracks

In terms of dealing with Nikolas Cruz, there were lots and lots of opportunity for early intervention. People “saw something, said something” multiple times over the past four years.

  • 2014: Cruz was accused of shooting a chicken four years ago. It was confirmed he owned and used an airsoft rifle, but he denied shooting chickens.
  • 2016: The sheriff’s office for Broward County, Florida, was told third-hand that Cruz had guns. They determined he had knives and a BB gun. The School Resource Officer was a sheriff’s deputy assigned to the school was informed.
  • 2016: Cruz was investigated by the SRO for ingesting gasoline and cutting himself in a suicide attempt. A counselor advised he did not meet criteria for involuntary commitment for the mentally ill.
  • 2016: Florida’s social services agency looked into Cruz after he posted on social media about self-harm and assessed him not at risk of harming either himself or others.
  • 2017: The FBI got a tip five months ago about a profession school shooter comment on Youtube. There are dozens of people with this name all over the country and almost a dozen in Florida. I’d think the only way to pursue it would be to get a warrant, but before the incident, this is not a warrant many judges would grant.
  • 2018: The FBI got a tip one month ago about Cruz specifically talked of committing a school shooting which it did not investigate.
  • 2018: The SRO deputy was not near the building when Cruz started shooting. And waited outside.

It seems like for every person claiming this kid was bad news there were a couple dismissing the concerns as overblown. I mean, his mother died a couple months after the Youtube “profession school shooter” comment. The couple who took him in knew he owned multiple guns but felt he was safe and happy and thought they had the only key to the gun safe. They also had no idea about his social media use.

From Fell through the cracks published February 23, 2018 at 09:22PM.

Actions > Words

Sitting at a restaurant reading while I eat is a normal thing for me. People know me as that guy. They make assumptions like that I only read paper or Kindle then ask when I show up using the other.

Last week a guy sat next to me and kept me from reading due to his need to talk. He was bragging about being a slow reader. That he only reads dense academic history with more endnotes than text. And switched to talking about the Olympic skating needing a 100m event. He never read while I was there and interrupted me when I tried to return to reading.

All the while I was thinking the reason he cannot as much as he wants is he is easily distracted.

From Actions > Words published February 19, 2018 at 07:32AM.

Fake News

There is an article floating around with a title, “Fake news sharing in US is a rightwing thing, says study.” I have not clicked on it because it sounds like fake news. The Guardian typically has clickbait titles.

Also, I am annoyed because if I wanted to do a study on how susceptible liberals are to fake news, then putting out a fake study like this is exactly how I would gauge how much they share because it would go super viral.

From Fake News published February 09, 2018 at 07:43AM.

Goodreads Page Stats

The better metric for tracking how much I have read, in my opinion, is the number of pages. The number of books is okay, but the reality is reading a 50-page novella is not nearly the same commitment as a 1,500-page tome. (I might prefer a statistic for words when looking at my daughter’s reading counts.)

Unfortunately, Goodreads used to include the stats page in the challenges, but they removed the link to it. It is still there. (For now.) You can build the link to it by:

  1. Go to your profile. In the top right corner is your user photo in a circle. Click it.
  2. Click the Profile link.
  3. Replace the URL up through show/ with “https://www.goodreads.com/review/stats/”.
  4. Add “#pages” to the end.
  5. You should have a URL that looks like: https://www.goodreads.com/review/stats/999-name#pages

The page has buttons for books, pages, and publication year.

  1. Books: The number of books read broken down by year.
  2. Pages: The number of pages read broken down by year.
  3. Publication Year: A graph with year published in the vertical axis and year read in the horizontal axis.

From Goodreads Page Stats published February 06, 2018 at 05:57PM.

The Golden Rule

Listened to a video about a potential candidate for National Science Advisor where Dr. David Lewis mentioned his belief in the Golden Rule will help him in the job. Thankfully, he stated it immediately after just as I was thinking, “Wait, which one?”

  • Whoever has the gold, makes the rules. Wizard of Id
  • Do to others as you would have them do to you. – Luke 6:31 (New Testament)
  • Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful. Udana-Varga 5:18
  • Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself. Baha’u’llah

I know, I live in a majority Christian country, so I should just assume the Christian one. But, the Wizard of Id one best matches Trump’s personal belief system, so it deserves weight too.

From The Golden Rule published February 01, 2018 at 06:59PM.