this week i

rolled out syntax for the american national election studies.  the antidote to the low-sample, news-grabbing polls that exhaust our airwaves.

noticed the slow-zooming-out effect that cable news channels now use when they only have a still image to display.  more illness on tv.

said it first: data can prevent revolutions, but not cause them.

tried out a few hashtags.  you'll see.

find the best visualizations by accident.

never miss an episode.  "you look like what happened when former new jersey governor jon corzine fucked the grumpy cat"

landed in old santa fe.

short-term rented an apartment.


bought a fifty-nine dollar bike on craigslist.

rode along the tracks.


broke the chain. #weakassburro

coasted home at dusk on my makeshift scooter.  downhills are okay.

ate #bachelordinner.  i'm sorry, it's five thirty and the sun's already down?  i am going to sleep.  see you in the morning.

fixed that chain for half the cost of the bike.

captured some potential energy on the trip up this hill.  splurged it all on a rocket trip back down.

learned how to webcam or, at least, used it more than i have in the past.  first up: kristina's cobra impersonation.

listened to george dyson speak about turing's cathedral at the santa fe institute.

"easier to write a new code than to understand an old one" - john von neumann

visited the state capitol..

..and the public library.

read a bunch..

(1) bloviating about spreadsheets
excel is a crutch for analysts who can't write code

(2) the  kurdish place in the world

turkey contains the most - an estimated 15 million - while iraq and iran are thought to have five and seven million respectively, and syria between two and three million

(3) an unbalanced look at iranian government
washington pocketed whatever cooperation tehran extended

wild comparisons (including from israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu) of iran to nazi germany

photographs of a grieving ahmadinejad in caracas clasping hands with hugo chavez's mother have been altered by the iranian authorities to suggest the illicit presidential embrace - no physical contact between unrelated men and women is allowed in the islamic republic - was in fact with a man

the real test to the system will come in engineering a succession to khamenei, the seventy-three-year-old supreme leader, but no one can say when that will happen

(4) austerity no

programming mistakes, data omissions, and peculiar statistical techniques suddenly made a remarkable number of prominent people look foolish

the existence of the modern welfare state put a floor on total spending

austerity economics is in a very bad way

the way policymakers turned their back on practically everything economists had learned about how to deal with depressions, the way elite opinion seized on anything that could be used to justify austerity - was a much greater sin

(5) syrian stalemate

the war is entering its third year and the insurgents have succeeded in capturing just one of the 14 provincial capitals.  (in libya the insurgents held benghazi and the whole of the east as weell as misrata and smaller towns in the west from the beginning of the revolt.)

youtube can't tell you who is winning the war

the protracted conflict that is now underway in syria has more in common with the civil wars in lebanon and iraq than with the overthrow of muammar gaddafi in libya or the even swifter regime changes in egypt and tunisia at the start of the arab spring.

neither the opposition nor the regime can finish the other off

(6) the globalization of disease

alternative routes and different stopping points have been proposed for the black death, but traders always make an appearance; commerce is a constant

vessels were to be detained for as many as forty days..quarantine, after jesus' forty days in the wilderness

even a rudimentary notion of the common medical good has been centuries in the making and is still far from universally accepted