Unlimited Executive Power is Mine!!!

My campaign speech:

“While I have no experience in Hall Government, I will not allow my incompetence and naivte to prevent my administration from being a swamp of incompetence and corruption. I promise a reign of tyranny and an inevitable recall.”

The result:

tdaxp is the new President of his dorm!

The President hereby declares that He has unlimited life-and-death power over the residents of Husker Hall.

I’m the freakin pater familias, baby!

The Only Text at UNL So Far Worth Anything

rules_of_the_world

Rules for the World provides an innovative perspective on the behavior of international organizations and their effects on global politics. Arguing against the conventional wisdom that these bodies are little more than instruments of states, Michael Barnett and Martha Finnemore begin with the fundamental insight that international organizations are bureaucracies that have authority to make rules and so exercise power. At the same time, Barnett and Finnemore maintain, such bureaucracies can become obsessed with their own rules, producing unresponsive, inefficient, and self-defeating outcomes. Authority thus gives international organizations autonomy and allows them to evolve and expand in ways unintended by their creators.

Barnett and Finnemore reinterpret three areas of activity that have prompted extensive policy debate: the use of expertise by the IMF to expand its intrusion into national economies; the redefinition of the category “refugees” and decision to repatriate by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; and the UN Secretariat’s failure to recommend an intervention during the first weeks of the Rwandan genocide. By providing theoretical foundations for treating these organizations as autonomous actors in their own right, Rules for the World contributes greatly to our understanding of global politics and global governance

Buy it

On the Limitations of Science

Most scientific papers are probably wrong,” by Kurt Kleiner, New Scientist, 30 August 2005, http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn7915 (from Slashdot).

Quoted in full:

Most published scientific research papers are wrong, according to a new analysis. Assuming that the new paper is itself correct, problems with experimental and statistical methods mean that there is less than a 50% chance that the results of any randomly chosen scientific paper are true.

John Ioannidis, an epidemiologist at the University of Ioannina School of Medicine in Greece, says that small sample sizes, poor study design, researcher bias, and selective reporting and other problems combine to make most research findings false. But even large, well-designed studies are not always right, meaning that scientists and the public have to be wary of reported findings.

“We should accept that most research findings will be refuted. Some will be replicated and validated. The replication process is more important than the first discovery,” Ioannidis says.

In the paper, Ioannidis does not show that any particular findings are false. Instead, he shows statistically how the many obstacles to getting research findings right combine to make most published research wrong.
Massaged conclusions

Traditionally a study is said to be “statistically significant” if the odds are only 1 in 20 that the result could be pure chance. But in a complicated field where there are many potential hypotheses to sift through – such as whether a particular gene influences a particular disease – it is easy to reach false conclusions using this standard. If you test 20 false hypotheses, one of them is likely to show up as true, on average.

Odds get even worse for studies that are too small, studies that find small effects (for example, a drug that works for only 10% of patients), or studies where the protocol and endpoints are poorly defined, allowing researchers to massage their conclusions after the fact.

Surprisingly, Ioannidis says another predictor of false findings is if a field is “hot”, with many teams feeling pressure to beat the others to statistically significant findings.

But Solomon Snyder, senior editor at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins Medical School in Baltimore, US, says most working scientists understand the limitations of published research.

“When I read the literature, I’m not reading it to find proof like a textbook. I’m reading to get ideas. So even if something is wrong with the paper, if they have the kernel of a novel idea, that’s something to think about,” he says.

Now, if only some one would have already said this….

Ice Cream Pie Recipe

From mother-of-tdaxp

The receipe calls for you to melt 1/2 cup peanut butter with 1/4 cup brown sugar on stove top (keep stirring takes only a minute or two) and then you just stir that into about a quart of softening icecream – not runny soft though. Actually I have adapted and used much less of the concotion and it tastes just as good and is healthier – you could go the same amount of p. butter and brown suger to a whole half gallon of vanilla ice cream. Then pour it into a graham cracker pie shell and freeze hard – or just pour it into glasses and drink like a blizzard. After freezing the pie you drizzle on some fudge topping (might have to warm the fudge topping in microwave to make it soft enough)

UNL Extremists React Negatively to South Dakota Stories

Some are already familiar with the wonder of “South Dakota Stories” — tales with no final conclusion that prove no point and teach no lesson. Reacting to a “South Dakota story” that involved simultaneously insulting and praising a friend through text messages, my fellow residents reacted thusly

quote_md

Dave: “That story has no moral and no point. I want those three minutes of my life back.”
Cecilia: “Canadians have no patience in this particular case.”

An Unfinished Novel By a Rising New American Blogger-Novelist

An excerpt from chapter 23

Bree, Anthony, and Alby arrived at the hospital around ten o’clock in the morning, and they found Paul sitting by Lila’s bed. There were no parents, aunts, uncles, or cousins in the vicinity; it was just Paul and Lila, alone in the tiny private room.

She had deflated somewhat, but not all the way. Her hair was pulled back, and she looked older, almost her own age.

“I invited Alby for breakfast the other day,” Anthony said, anticipating Paul’s question. Except, that morning, Paul didn’t look like he wanted to ask anybody anything.

“How’s it going?” Anthony asked, moving closer to Lila’s bed.

“Tired,” she answered. “Lots of painkillers.”

“So let’s let you sleep,” Bree said.

“There is no sleeping.” She closed her eyes for moment as if she was trying to regain her sense of reality – although, Alby reminded herself, it wasn’t like she ever had one in the first place. “You should see the babies. They’re in incubators down the hall.”

“I’m amazed you can say ‘incubators’. What’d you name them?”

“The incubators?”

“Your children.”

“Aradia, Brigid, Cerridywn, and Diana. I’ll put that on the birth certificates when I’m feeling more sane tomorrow.”

Start from the beginning