Archive for July, 2006

burn’s firefight

July 30, 2006

so i step off the plane into beautiful and open montana, proud of the beautiful landscape i’m honored to call home, only to discover that my junior senator called the firefighters that protect our lands lazy. this, obviously, given the 300+ comments on the Gazzette story, was a stupid thing to do. and 2-1, his apology hasn’t earned forgiveness. but it has made it into his wikipedia entry. along with his other greatest hits (abramoff, the raghead quote,… strangely nothing is in there on his policy record)

it is rare anymore to find out what a candidate really thinks, when their media advisor isn’t around. so i take this to be insightful. for an example of what it’d have loved the senator to have said instead: compare-and-contrast with an old report on firefighting in montana from the Red Cross.

Comparing this kind of firefighting to a war is not a stretch. The fire crews live in tents at base camps part way up the mountain, where they eat and sleep for a few hours before heading out to fight again. They wear uniforms of fireproof yellow material and brandish shovels and axes. When they return, exhausted, medical workers tend to their injuries — mostly blisters and smoke inhalation.

fire sign
Thank-you signs for the fire crews hang all over the valley.

Down below in the towns of the valley, residents may not see the firefighters, but they are well aware of their presence. Thank-you signs are posted everywhere, on houses and roadsides and restaurant marquees, praising the hard work of the crews in the mountains.

“We Love You, Firefighters!!!” reads a hand-painted poster along a cabin-lined portion of Highway 93. “Firefighters Rock!” exclaims a brightly lit sign at the Applebee’s restaurant in Hamilton. Fire crews that stop by one local gas station can get “free unlimited soda,” according to the sign outside. That offer won’t get many takers this week — few firefighters can be spared from the fire lines.

so that is what montanans think. and you can bet, that with summers getting hotter (and drier) we’ll be relying on firefighters more and more. lets hope we’ll have a senator who will share our sentiments.


montana pride

July 30, 2006

i get this stare of wonderment whenever i tell someone i’m from montana. you know, like when aliens disembark from the mothership and everyone is surprised when they are liberals and can speak english. ok, the liberal part is just about montana. though, martians with a respect for JS Mill would be cool.

some of it is exposure. in college, we had more students from both singapore and turkey, so we were a prized minority or something. i twisted it, of course, by convincing a california girl that montana bordered on mexico. (no, it really doesn’t). as a result of our minority status, we created a homeland group. though, the plans for steak meetings never came through.

some of the stereotype is my fault, i suppose. in nyc, i started asking for directions with “hi, i’m from montana, and lost, do you know how to get to…”. and i do get inordinately irate when jerks do jerky things back home, which can’t help our state image.

on a related note, being east, some things continue to baffle me. like v, i was surpised to discover that they charge for WiFi in DC (it is free in virtually every bozeman coffeeshop). i mean, really? or debates about health insurance. our state offers free/low cost insurance to all children. but others can’t afford it? we really aren’t the land that time forgot. sure, we’re more personable and friendly, but that doesn’t make us naieve. just, you know, nice people.

i think this shirt sums it up, and i’ll be the guy in dc wearing one of them. though, at the moment, i’m back in the homeland, wandering up a mountain or the like.

i have to wonder what % of this is junk

July 26, 2006

huh.  so i’m a political science / philosophy dual major – minor in stats.  so i pretty much covered my top 3.  but 88% in HR?  huh?  problem is, i was also briefly a teacher in nyc (81%) and love doing tech work (44%).

welcome to friday cat blogging, on tuesday, yes, it is that kind of week.

You scored as History/Anthropology. Related majors that match your highest scored category: African and African-American Studies, Anthropology, Chinese, Classics, Cultural Studies, Economics, English, French, Geography, German, Greek, Hebrew, History, International Studies, Islamic Studies, Jewish Studies, Medieval/Renaissance Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Spanish, Women’s Studies.Consider all majors in your OTHER high scoring categories. The right major for you will be something 1) you love and enjoy and 2) are really great at it. Consider adding a minor or double majoring. Please post your results in your myspace/blog/journal.


created with

pork or policies?

July 26, 2006

back home in montana, senator burns appears to be running on the “i bring home pork” platform. looks like he’s stopped letting the little things (like an ideology of small goverment and low taxes) get in the way of his being a senator. as wulfgar notes in the comments,

New airport lights in Butte, new baseball park in Billings, new ice rink in Bozeman, federal hand-outs to the YMCA in Dillon …? It’s just Burns doing what he knows best, trading favors for votes. That’s what he did for Abrahmoff, and now he expects us to follow suit.

what bothers me isn’t just that this drives up the deficit. or that i’ll have to pay that deficit off later. it suggests burns isn’t working on his moral compass, that he isn’t acting on principles. our senators were supposed to come up with broad policies that help the whole country. we’re facing real problems – and the best montana’s republican senator can point to is an ice rink? no offense or anything, but make me one of the 100 most powerful in government, and i’m pretty sure i could do better. what has he been doing for the past 20 years?

its a shame that burns’ wikipedia page lists pork as his primary accomplishment. and time considers this his primary justification as well.

or, as bret put it on leftinthewest

Having solved all of the nations problems Senator Burns has brought a skating rink, baseball field, and lights!!!

oh wow, turns out he can’t even deliver on this last round of pork.

[via leftinthewest]


July 26, 2006

from andrew sullivan

Ahmadinejad’s gambles are as much a function of his internal weakness as his growing regional strength. That’s why continued outreach to Iranian civil society – and financial and emotional support to Iran’s democratic forces – is a vital component of a successful long-term strategy in the region.

the standard practice of iran’s leaders has been to demonize or provoke the west to solidify their legitimacy. hence the fight over iran’s nukes. but the strategy doesn’t appear to be working this time.

census estimates

July 24, 2006

on july 21, 2006 dc got 31,528 new people.  well, at least if you’re the US census.  the methodology used?  the washington post article notes

the city submitted building permits from 1999 to 2005, Phillips said, in addition to school enrollment figures showing that public charter schools had absorbed much of a decline in the number of students attending public schools. The city also submitted data showing that the number of people filing taxes in the District had remained steady between 2004 and 2005 and that Pepco was serving an increasing number of residential units.

but you’d think that if this was done in DC, it’d be standard practice for all cities.  i’m actually kinda surprised the census didn’t incorporate these figures already.  but the .pdf i could find didn’t mention anything.

the more i look at these figures, the less i trust them.  lies, damn lies,…

email naming conventions and marriage

July 24, 2006

from my friend group’s forums:

many of us have emails, mainly gmail, that we plan to keep for…well, indefinitely.  and these are often some combination of first name and last name.  i feel like we’re around the first generation getting these things before marriage.  will people who change their names change their emails as well?  Will fewer people change their name b/c of things like email and online identities that are already established?

this is certainly part of a general trend of having a more established adult identity before marriage.  we’re getting married later, farther into our careers, more settled into our lives, and so every change has a new depth to it.  you hear snippets of the light side of this – whose apartment?  whose couch?  its the substance of sitcoms.  and then there are the biggies – whose city?  whose career move?  enter feminist literature and marriage counselors.

but marriage and last names have this special significance.  it is part of identity.  rejecting the idea of becoming mrs “john smith”, my mother kept her maiden name.  but we kids got dad’s surname.  moving another step, my roommate has a hyphenated last name.  which, i hope, is a one-generation solution (because nancy abravanel-greer-…-hoffman is unwieldy).  two of my friends picked a new last name to start their family with, neither being terribly happy with the ones they had.  almost instinctively, upon hearing this, everyone questions their relationship with their families.  i know a few people with their mother’s surname.

of course, on the forums, things had to get more complex:

Guys out there, how open to that idea would you be if your wife proposed [using her surname for the children]?  Some of the guys I’ve talked with seemed to think that was too radical and preferred the patriarchal naming scheme “because it’s traditional”

d’oh.  my instinctive reaction was shock.  i have a strong family identity around our name.  it symbolizes a lot to me, a sense of togetherness that unites a family separated by thousands of miles.  we’ve traced the family back generations (even finding a 15th century relative in italy).  we have an interesting family lore about the name changing when great-grandpa immigrated from greece.  i feel that it is part of our story.

of course, there is no reason that this story should just be traced through the men.  and its sort of delusional, i suppose.  family reunions have at least four (major) last names, and i don’t share a surname with some of the relatives i feel closest to.

in the end, i wish i could say i would be totally fine with it, but i really don’t know.  it isn’t quite as simple as ‘whats in a name’. 

[update: for women in academia, how possible is it to change last names, once your work is known under the maiden name?  given paired names, i suppose one could check how difficult ‘making a name for yourself’ can be, based on citation patterns… hmm.  i know doctors experience lots of red tape for name changes.]

[update2:  doing more reading, and something bothers me.  all this ‘it is easier for the children‘ stuff is junk.  mom and dad have different last names.  never felt like less of a family.  we even have different religions, races, birthparents… still a family.  generally, seems like the consensus is vanity / clerical.  odd, no?  still seems complex to me.]

more statistics!

July 24, 2006

statNotes: topics in multivariate analysis

statisitical resources at the UMichigan

statistics jokes!

county and city data tables
oh my, i love coupling – “i’m not that easy, but show me a muscular blond who can control the weather and this girl is on all fours”

poverty & the middle class

July 24, 2006

the la times has a piece on the growing gap between rich and poor, and the shrinking neighborhoods of middle-class families.

“The retailers in the two neighborhoods are very different,”… “It’s the difference between a Whole Foods and a corner grocer, or Citibank and the local check casher. They’re not competing, and in the end, you have higher prices for all basic goods and services.”

urban centers are becoming the domain of the richest and the poorest, as the middle class is increasingly moved to the suburbs.  this limits the upward mobility of the poor, cutting off moving into a better neighborhood, going to better schools, or maintaining social contacts.

you can bet i’ll be reading the brookings report later on.

[update:  a rich discussion over at feministe]

israel, updated

July 23, 2006

the matthew kalman piece, observing that israel’s invasion of lebanon has been planned for some time.

and now – predictably – dershowitz is arguing that civilians killed in lebanon may not be so innocent. frighteningly enough, i heard this same argument on the train to newark last week. (with a subtle twist – by not kicking the terrorists out of their neighborhoods, the civilians were themselves involved in terror. the israeli message is something like “force the terrorists out – or else.”) which is a curious set of standards.

i suppose one of the reasons this scares me – and one of the reasons i can’t tell what israel is doing or how they justify it – is that it isn’t clear who they are fighting. nobody thinks hezbollah will be destroyed – and i still don’t know what bombing beruit has to do with that. apparently the brits see things similarly. of course, my confusion is probably a form of denial, given what juan cole’s take on events.

[update:  look at the photo in the washington post – worse here – moments like this make me wonder about humanity]

[update2:  others are drawing interesting parallels between the logic of the ira, even al qaeda, and dershowitz]

[update3:  genius response to dershowitz – i mean absolutely spot-on]

textMap, so so cool – but how does it work?

July 22, 2006

i am the absolute worst when it comes to methodologies and titles (titles, you probably guessed from these posts).  but it is becoming increasingly apparent that these are at the core of great statistics / information display / research.  take textmap, an engine to analyize the geographic and temporal distribution of news.  it is really quite cool, and something i’ve wanted to do for a while, but it always seemed like there were too many problems to be overcome, before the idea became workable. so i was psyched fo find the site.

-but a problem-

playing with the ‘function of location’ charts has me worried.  montana has a relatively few news sources, and therefore never shows a strong reading.  the east coast, however – particularly the metropolitan corridor – is a sea of red (more news sources in the area).  so, there is variation in both areas, but it isn’t entirely clear what the map is measuring, because comparing across regions is no longer intuitive.  i couldn’t find the methodology on the site (boo!) – and so it isn’t clear what intensity of red indicates.

this isn’t to say the site isn’t worthwhile – the mexico map shows an intuitive trend

Mexico TextMap

but i have to wonder if this is an artifact of paper coverage – why the band between n. florida and s. georgia? – and wonder about coverage in relation to associated thoughts.  (what is the unit of analysis, btw – census tract?)

there is also the old baseline problem: what is the ‘noise’ associated with a given concept (background usage not associated with events)? – and what is the median frequency of ‘related’ terms – its cool if mexico usage went up, but if that was a function of world cup news or a function of immigration news makes a big difference.

hm… actually, with this data set, you could probably look at news conglomeration::variety of media sources, if the answers to above were clear… ooh, shiny.

Hello world!

July 22, 2006

Woo! falling_upstairs is migrating over from blogger, we lost an understore, but now – at last – tags. Oh, this makes me happy

moral weights

July 21, 2006

do you kill one person to save ten?now this is a standard question in moral philosophy, one whose meaning has been explored by kant (no), the utilitarian (yes/maybe), and just about every uppity philosophy 101 student. it has many forms and variants (recently cropping up in organ harvesting – no pun intended), and is one of those things whose answers aren’t really all that interesting, but whose justifications are the real substance.

so why the phil spew? because i think some people’s weighting systems have gone a bit unbalanced and it is a good way to re-center them. from my dear conservative friend, on lebanon-israel:

conservative: part of me is scared shitless this is gonna escalate more than it has. but part of me, though, is sorta glad we’re seeing the extremists emerge here

me: yeah, that one requires some explaining

conservative: at least now we know what we’re really dealing with, ya know. before, it was the easy way of fixing the problem, hope a strong man who you can coerce or cajole fixes it for you. its like the argument you dems always make about s. america — [stop] funding the contras, fix the underlying causes and the contras won’t be needed. well, US foreign policy has for years favored the contras in the ME (ie arafat, assad, mubarak, prince __ of saud, etc) as opposed to fixing underlying causes.

now that we see what those underlying causes can result in we’re a step closer to fixing the problem. is that completely cracked out? its like the argument against rent controls in cities if the signal of how valuable the property is doesn’t get sent, then you will end up with less housing than you actually need.

hm. lemme check whats on cnn – troops at the border, families fleeing, civilians dead and wounded… ok, the washington post has a roundup: more civilian casualties… and the guardian has a piece on children killed and how ineffective the bombing has been… so if that is reality, then what in the world is he seeing? because ‘knowing the mideast has big problems’ doesn’t really count as an upside here. most of us knew that already.this isn’t just my friend – this is what the president thinks:

“The president believes that unless you address the root causes of the violence that has afflicted the Middle East, you cannot forge a lasting peace,” said White House counselor Dan Bartlett. “He mourns the loss of every life. Yet out of this tragic development, he believes a moment of clarity has arrived.”

this (confirmed with this) is a dangerous shift from our “camp david” policies. ‘root causes’ here clearly doesn’t mean dependence on oil (that finances this conflict). or a history of mistrust (fueled by recent conflicts). it means the existence of hezbollah in lebanon. to them, the conflict is an opportunity to kill terrorists – a long term plus. between now and ‘the long term’, of course, we lose our role as an honest broker. predictably, the conflict can/will has escalated without us.but i started with the moral point. to even consider killing one to save ten, ‘we’ (philosophers, ordinary people) require a clear idea of what is lost and what is gained. the more vague, the more abstract the argument becomes (kill an undefined number now to potentially save more lifes in the future), the more we – rightly, i think – become unsettled. but in the fight between between israel and hezbollah (and by extension, lebanon), nobody has made even a vague case. to infer from actions, killing 306 to save 2 seems a bit unbalanced. accepting ‘collateral damage‘, to kill others (hezbollah) isn’t what i’d call a justification, either. as i understand it, this isn’t a game of counterstrike, where there are only so many terrorists we need to kill. these groups are always recruiting, and – unlike us – i imagine this conflict only fills their ranks (see the guardian reports, above). just killing and destroying isn’t an endgame. it is probably counterproductive. and it definitely won’t build peace. i could ramble on, but i think this makes the point.

i’m not saying don’t respond. i’m saying respond intelligently. think it through. philosophers may not agree on the answer (or even the question), but at a minimum a clear articulation is required. otherwise, it is running straight into misery. (there are, of course, additional benefits to clear statements in the field of public policy.)

[update: no, nevermind, my friend thinks this is all terrible and we need to address inequality in the region. see, now if everyone i know is being reasonable, why can’t the international community just do the same?]

data makes me do the happy dance

July 21, 2006
datamining has an interactive map of the blogosphere. the map layout is a “variant of the force layout approach to graph layout. There certainly is meaning to the location of nodes in the image: proximity indicates a tendancy for mutual citation.” meaning: the map is more than just a pretty face. the place of nodes has actual social meaning.

but this is even more sexy, as a suggestion:

Time stability is an interesting problem. One way to do this is to fix nodes in location (or certain nodes). Alternatively, you could allow nodes to become more lethargic in movement according to how long they have been there. This seems like a good idea. Are you going for some form of animated representation?

dangit, where is my programming computer when i need it!

[update 1]: ok, i heart datamining. this visualization method is pretty darn inspiring, and pretty straightforward to understand (compared to other methods i’ve read)

we start by giving some amount of money to some user (initiator) in LJ network telling him to evenly distribute it among his friends, then his friends are performing the same action among their friends and so on. Obviously, if these guys are the members of some clique it will not take too long until all of them have an equal amount of money (thanks to small-world property), meanwhile only some small part of the initial amount will leave this community. So the amount of money of a particular user defines his thermodynamic distance from the initiator. If we have two initiators – we can plot the figure like the one shown here.

expect more updates as i read through the whole archives this weekend.

[update 2]: don’t run too far through the links. i accidentally made it to ‘linked’, a book that makes me angry. hulk angry

et tu, brute?

July 21, 2006

82.37 cups of betrayal-y goodness.

three laws safe

July 21, 2006

unintended complications from i, robot may have infested my work computer. this may be a sign.

totally stealing the best sentence idea soon.

you’ve spun yourself into immorality when…

July 20, 2006

i understand the need to put your best foot forward in politics. it doesn’t make sense to lose an argument, simply because the wrong words were chosen, or because the wrong argument was made at the wrong time. thats reasonable, and those are valid roles for media experts. but… this…?!?

…the reason the United States has been so slow in evacuating its citizens from Lebanon is that the public diplomacy (i.e., P.R.) issues raised by evacuating under Israeli assault are so complicated. Individuals within the State Department, I am told, have been reluctant to create an impression that the Israeli assault on Lebanon is as bad as it is or that civilian U.S. citizens are being threatened by U.S. ally Israel. If a conflict this severe had broken out in, say, Indonesia, the American embassy would have been shut down the next day and its personnel and families rapidly brought to safety. That’s how things normally work. (See Laura Rozen on the evacuation from Albania here.) In this case, however, the diplomatic message sent by shutting down the U.S. embassy in the face of Israeli bombing would have contradicted the U.S. government message of support for the Israeli mission against Hezbollah terrorists, which, when added to the general concern within lower-level diplomatic circles about ever creating a Fall of Saigon-style visual for the news media, have led the Americans to be slower than they could have been about getting U.S. citizens out of harm’s way.

if this thought has even crossed the minds of those in power, i’d say we have a real crisis in goverment. there is, of course, a chance that this is katrina-style failure. which is equally disturbing in my mind. either way, can someone in the media/congress look into this, its kinda important. (and a friend from college is there…)[whee – reading the comments from above, someone cites the Lavon Affair. since when did reality become a Tom Clancy novel / episode of 24? (the comment also cites the USS Liberty Incident, but i can’t make sense of that one.)]
[via shakespeare’s sister]

patriarchy claims another

July 20, 2006

a husband suspects his wife had an abortion and lied, and the advice given is outright amazing:

These are problems of emotion and hope and living, human problems, rather than a problem of whether she did something wrong or not. And this work may require you to think of the connections between your life up till now and your relationship with your wife; things that you consider unrelated may come up unexpectedly. You will need to make a good-faith effort to see how these things are related.

and then it makes it onto pandagon, where it becomes a bit nasty, i think.what purpose does this post serve on pandagon? i don’t know more about feminism as a result of it. its not deep enough for that. this certainly isn’t newsworthy. it isn’t quite a parable. its a witch hunt. a chance for the faithful to stone someone, to affirm who they are. there really isn’t enough here to assume (as some commenters do) that he’s a jerk, and responses seem to be more about assumptions than anything else. its like a slightly skewed rorschach inkblot.

i know communities do this all the time. i have a sense of the psychological functions it serves. still, a little disheartening. at some point, it looks like we’re defining ourselves and our goodness by who we exclude, rather than who we care for and the kindness we offer. i appologize if this post violates my own rules.

[full disclosure: this sounds like a trust/communication issue to me, with a whole debate being grafted onto that.]

this message brought to you by facts

July 20, 2006
From C&J on DailyKos:

CHEERS to breaking the spell. (via Raw Story) Congressman Gil Gutknecht (R-MN) on Iraq June 15:

“Members, now is not the time to go wobbly. Let’s give victory a chance.”

Congressman Gil Gutknecht on Iraq after actually visiting the place:

“The condition there is worse than I expected. I have to be perfectly candid: Baghdad is a serious problem. […] Baghdad is worse today than it was three years ago. […] We learned it’s not safe to go anywhere outside of the Green Zone any part of the day. […] All of the information we receive sometimes from the Pentagon and the State Department isn’t always true. […] What I think we need to do more is withdraw more Americans”

Welcome to the reality, kiddo. Ain’t it a kick??

and this is exactly why the bush administration has to censor all the facts, and filter out the bad stuff. this is why the media’s seeming inability to get behind the story, and do substantial analysis, this is why that matters. a congressman shouldn’t have to go to iraq and see reality firsthand to get the facts.

satire (the end of it)

July 12, 2006
between the dead baby jokes, racist stories, and sexist comments, my group of friends is pretty hard to understand. for us, every bit of it is satire. the anti-semitic jokes come from my friend who is deeply in love with the daughter of a rabbi (and strongly jewish herself). the sexist comments come from the guys who head to marches for women’s rights and are NOW members. while our weekly thursday party in college was called ladies night, we all understood it as a joke. sure, by senior year it was a pick-up party for both sexes, but we named it sophomore year, when it was 9 guys getting drunk and watching cartoons of talking fast food.

so meeting us now is a bit like jumping in mid-conversation. without the history, none of it makes sense. this happens in all conversations, of course. wandering around town, i pick up bits and pieces of conversations, and its not uncommon to hear just the wrong thing at just the wrong moment, and really start to wonder. especially if you have strong expectations.

on a related note, reading through pharyngula today, i found out that one man’s satire is another man’s reality. i think there is actually much more going on here than is discussed. way back, i wrote an article on hell houses where i inappropriately cited a satirical site as a real hell house (i can’t find the old article). the satire, to me, looked entirely believeable as authentic. it was just one step further than everything else i’d read. at this point, reading the real stuff about hell houses, i was too shocked. it looked like nothing was outside the realm of possible anymore. [i’ll admit, i was also being a lazy writer and should have source checked the article – the fault really is mine, but even my editors and peer reviewers thought it was authentic, which says something about the universality of being blindsided by something so alien .]

i imagine something like this happened to this pete fellow at march together. a bit worse, since most of us know what the onion is. [side note: maybe he’s too close to it, but why not say “honest mistake” and move on? (he didn’t)]. i just wish the whole affair was a bit tempered. as-is, comments are like pointing at a train wreck and laughing.

but this just keeps happening. my college roommate and i have a longstanding debate about Maxim. i think its satire. i just can’t read that junk at face value. he thinks its offensive. i read the articles and laugh, because they’re preposterous from my point of view. i understand that people read them seriously, and i haven’t got a clue what the editor thinks, but its not the material thats offensive (to me), its how people read it that bothers me. if everyone read it and laughed, i’d be quite content. (he thinks its inherently offensive, and that i’m not actually reading it and laughing, but that at some level it reinforces my latent sexist worldview – even though he accepts that i’m a feminist. its a complex argument, with a very different idea of thinking, as i understand him).

i can’t claim to have insight from The Book (of erdos) that locks this one up, but pieces keep falling into place. in college, the super-self-involved theatre crowd became obsessed with the notion of “post-ironic”. not being in the conversation (and thinking they were all pompous jerks anyway), i mocked the very idea of the term. but thinking it over, its a workable concept. more than a few people i know date the death of irony sometime around when henry kissinger was awarded the nobel peace prize. its not just that the joke can’t be topped. we’re just too shocked. most english classes shrug off swift’s a modest proposal. today’s cheers and jeers starts with a letter about the flag and i can imagine it stated earnestly. or this liberty with a cross statue, which is the sort of thing used to mock someone, not something they go and build themselves. same deal with the homosexuality conversation referenced below.

the size of the shock betrays the real cause. when the premises of perspectives radically differ, and when they’ve been developed in isolation from other conversations, satire is effecively DOA. i wonder what other forms of communication are killed too. (abrupt ending, i know, but this is an unwieldy post as-is)


two notes:
(1) the same is pretty much true of contemporary art. unless you trace the conversation the artisitic community is having with itself since WWI (debateable starting point) –> the present, it really looks like senseless garbage. ‘postmodern’ authors are in the same boat (i think).
(2) nothing about this means to say i don’t think some premises belong exclusively to yahoos.