; but the chances of the poll averages being wrong in this case were incredibly small.
I'm not sure that's exactly knowable. Sure, the numbers are way better than contradictory pundit guts, but for instance, we had no way of knowing if a "Bradley Effect" would have been in play. Response rates for polling firms consistently came in below 10%. Polling is getting harder and harder in an age where fewer people have landlines and polling cell phones is restricted. As of now, state polls are good guides. They will be right up until they aren't, and then the science will change.
I'm not saying that the probability of systematic error is large, just unknowable. It was a perfectly reasonable and scientific position for a Republican to say "Romney's chances are equal to the probability of error in the polls, and I hope that probability is large."
In Oklahoma, the rate of M >= 3 events abruptly increased in 2009 from 1.2/year in the previous half-century to over 25/year. This rate increase is exclusive of the November 2011 M 5.6 earthquake and its aftershocks.
A twenty-five-fold increase, that excludes the largest outlying event, in the number of earthquakes would seem to be statistically significant of something.
Cutting up a cake might not sound like an important problem but if you rephrase it as sharing resources or territory, then you can quickly see that it has lots of practical applications.
This seems like a pretty interesting game, fit for nerd parties and the like. Solving territorial or resource disputes? Not so much. You and your friends are basically equal. State actors, ethnic groups, etc. tend not to be perfectly equal. For example, I doubt the Sunni insurgency in Iraq would have submitted to such an auction. The same goes for the actors in the South China Sea, Israel Palestine, really any territorial dispute of note.
I could see something like this being useful for divvying things like mineral resources that crop in international waters, like all those manganese nodes on the ocean floor.
... despite the fact that in my grandfather's day only the rich paid federal income tax.
Your grandfather must have lived in the roaring twenties then. Through most of the middle of the 20th century that wasn't the case, but, surprisingly, income taxes are more generous to the bottom quintile. The income tax rate in America has gotten more and more progressive over the last few decades with the introduction of the EITC, as the bottom quintile receives more and more money
Well, if indeed it is legal, then there's nothing wrong with it.
The article says that the UK government is investigating, but if Amazon is found to owe these taxes, it would be a matter for the European courts to decide. I have a feeling this is sort of a novel issue. Obviously I'd have to defer to someone that had the relevant case law or EU regulation handy. Either way, this is not something the UK just gets to declare legal or not.
Almost anything derogatory you could say about today's software design would be accurate. -- K.E. Iverson