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Comment: Re:Propaganda won't help this time (Score 0) 502

by guacamole (#47482351) Attached to: Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet

I really wonder what you mean by Ukraine won't. Do you really believe, or what me to believe, that Ukraine is not engaged in a hard information war, just like Russia against Ukraine. Please. The current Ukraine is America's puppet state in East Europe, together with Poland and Latvia.

Likewise, your speculation about what's considered an "accident" is laughable. Do you know how many civilian aircraft have been shot down flying over war zones over the last 30 years? More than 10, according to CNN, including an Iranian flight with 290 on board in the 80s shot down over the Persian gulf by Americans. Shit happens during the armed conflict. The question is why was a civilian airliner flying over a war zone?

Comment: Re:A sampling of hot button economic issues (Score 1) 305

by guacamole (#47357887) Attached to: How Often Do Economists Commit Misconduct?

There are a lot more hot button issues:

Minimum wage laws: The economic theory very clearly concludes that imposing a minimum wage will increase unemployment, and yet the economists couldn't have consistently pinned this effect down in the empirical studies. As a result, a whole bunch of high profile economists supported the last federal minimum wage hike.

Monetary policy: These days a lot of economists have less to say about monetary policy than a janitor who works at a Federal reserve bank. A very vocal and influential wing of macroeconomists embarked on a research agenda trying to build models of economy where "money doesn't matter" in the 70/80s. This resulted in the famous Real Business Cycle model (RBC) of the 70s and 80s, for which Prescott and Kydland have won a Nobel prize. While today a lot of economists disagree with the notion that money doesn't matter, a whole lot of leading departments still churn out macro economists who can't say anything intelligent about the monetary policy. In my opinion, a couple of decades down the road, the Federal reserve may be recruiting people with a non-economics background because of this.

Macroeconomic stabilization issues in general. What to do during the recession? AKA Keynesian economics (more spending/less taxes) vs monetarists (loose monetary policy) vs the do nothing vs lower all taxes crowd.

Corporate Taxes. Many economists argue that corporate taxes hurt the economy, and the conservatives love this idea.

Agricultural Policy: Another hot button issue. Most economists would argue that in the long run the agricultural subsidies and import tariffs and other protections hurt consumers and are costly to the government. And yet, farm bill after farm bill, the US Congress, in non-partisan manner, is happy to send generous portions of pork to the agricultural states.

Comment: Re:Slippery slope (Score 1) 431

by guacamole (#47256839) Attached to: Chinese-Built Cars Are Coming To the US Next Year

The only time the consumers can distinguish between German and Mexico-built cars is when the models built at the two plants are different. I know there are some fetishists who preferred the German built Golf and GTI to Mexican built Jettas (same thing with a trunk), but that's because the Golf had IRS. This year, both have IRS and will be built in Mexico.

As for Volvo, I am not sure what you mean better than American cars? Anyone who hangs around on car forums and blogs knows well European cars have on average a pretty bad reliability record and terrible resale values, while the Americans have gone a long way to improve both the technology and reliability.

Comment: Re:Once you go electric, you never go back :-) (Score 1) 377

by guacamole (#47249973) Attached to: Are US Hybrid Sales Peaking Already?

The Volt is still extremely expensive. The base MSRP is 40 grand and you can buy it cheaper only due to the government subsidies. If I had some 35K grand burning my pocket, I'd personally look at getting a Honda Accord hybrid. This car beats diesels in both torque and fuel economy, and unlike Volt, you can take it on a long trip.

Comment: Re:My experience driving a Prius (Score 1) 377

by guacamole (#47249901) Attached to: Are US Hybrid Sales Peaking Already?

Your information is out of date. The 2012- Prius uses a bigger 1.8L engine and a CVT transmission. The throttle response is excellent for a zippy commuter car. Thanks to well calibrated CVT transmission there is never a hesitation and jerkiness in shifts you can experience with the automatics. So, in my personal opinion, the 2012- Prius nails the drive train pretty well. It's an excellent car. The only issue right now is the price. For 24-25K you get a base model with very low equipment, even seat adjustments are manual.

Comment: Re:Wow, that's quite a smaple size! (Score 1) 211

by guacamole (#47145941) Attached to: Study Finds Porn Exposure Associated With Smaller Brain Region

Indeed. In small enough samples, the power of the test (the probability of rejecting the wrong null hypothesis) can be ridiculously low. Having said that, you can't seriously make statements about how big the sample should be from the top of your hear. The power of the test as well as the consistency of hypothesis testing for a given sample size is dependent on the actual data generating process, which we normally can't observe.

The second best thing you can do is to _impose_ the assumption of the data generating process, and then run a monte carlo simulation to study the properties of the test you want perform on real data. People often simply use normal distribution, but if they know so properties of data, then can use other distribution as well. This is less perfect, but can shade some light on the sample size you need to make your tests valid. I'd disagree with the "10,000" minimum sample size requirement. Such large sample size is usually required only in certain types of tests involving time series. Cross-sectional data can do with much smaller sample size. For regression based tests, some studies have shown that 300 observations can be enough, while for simple location studies (means, etc) smaller samples could work pretty well.

Comment: Re:That's not it. (Score 1) 126

Perl was designed by people and for people who were fond of the Unix shell scripting syntax, all the unix tools, and the C language, which were the primary tools of coding unix in the old days. Unfortunately, Perl looks cryptic to anyone without a background in that sort of Unix environment. Most people don't learn unix shell scripting and C, before jumping into a scripting programming language. They jump straight into scripting language. As a result, Python has a huge advantage with this crowd. Then there is the issue of TMTOWTDI, which a lot of companies and programmers want to avoid these days.

"The pyramid is opening!" "Which one?" "The one with the ever-widening hole in it!" -- The Firesign Theatre

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