this week i

updated our analysis of plans available in the privatized medicare advantage market.

worked at the dutch institute for mathematics and computer science.  they make laptop analysis of census microdata possible.  this one is mine..

..these others are not.  that corner of the houseboat usually streams the iss view.

hope to be obsolete.

spent one day around rotterdam, untrustworthy wifi on the train.

intended to see this, and did.  the painting, the series, the museum, it was good.

wrote down some tips.

"take a screenshot of someone's desktop, set it as the background.  temporarily remove all the shortcuts.  they come click around, it does not work"

"when looking for cafes in a new city, google image search"

biked to utrecht.  pulp fiction-famous dutch fries on the way.  and dutch word for salmon? zalm

hope the nsa leaves a time-capsule to the civilization 2,000 years in the future.  they would have a blast listening to us all.

wonder how big, really, are earth's nuclear weapons?  if the world's nuclear arsenals simultaneously launched at the ten thousand largest population centers around the globe, i doubt that the fallout would end our species.  yes, 99.9% of us might perish, but i always assumed that mankind's current stockpile couldn't possibly have the geographical reach to kill every last pair of us.  the world is pretty massive.  question:  is there a fault in the armour, a heel of achilles, is there any target on earth's surface - a volcano or a techtonic fault line, maybe - that, if bombed by thousands of warheads, would ripple into destruction and chaos (pause for effect) ending with one more uninhabited rock rolling around our solar system?  tl;dr do we have the military capacity to end life on earth, or just to murder most of us and launch the survivors into a polluted dystopia?

continued listening to jordan peterson.

the religious stories are the fundamental narratives.  if you think of behavior or drama as having a grammar, the grammar of behavior and drama is religious..the archetypal human being is a hero voluntarily confronting the unknown

what we know about consciousness you could put in a thimble.  we know nothing about consciousness.  we haven't advanced in our understanding, in fact we may have gone backwards over the last four hundred absolute mystery

if you miss a gorilla while counting basketballs, god only knows what you're missing while you're wandering around day to day

you see how you could act towards something before you consciously perceive the object, which is why you can jump out of the way of a snake before you're conscious of the snake

i noticed in my clinical practice that for the majority of people, life is what happens to them.  and they react to events as they come along.  and they don't really have a good sense of what the hell they're doing or why


this week i

received a promotion.  hannes released version 1.0.0 of his database connectivity software after months of testing.

landed in amsterdam two days later.  they hooked me up with kick brakes, first of my adult life.

floated a private canal tour.

had a little taste of houseboat culture..'s hannes's.

talked about vectorization.  "r is the only language that treats a number and a million numbers exactly the same way, and for me that is the ultimate innovation that this language has.  and this is why i like it."  also he has a pet duck, notice the pet duck.

saw this clothing store, thought it was a dry cleaner.  look, there's a windmill.

thought of a website where people who are bored and also good at r programming can sign on then be randomly matched to others trying to solve some problem with r, call it statroulette.  on motivation: "if internet explorer can ask to be your default browser, then you can ask that girl out."

formalized why survey research cannot distinguish between one-out-of-ten-thousand and out-out-of-a-million probability events.

re-read the catcher in the rye, a book about insincerity - notably, the narrator's.  the influence behind ordinary people, ferris bueller's day off, and stanley kubrick's most famous scene whether any of them admit to it or not.

they didn't even bother to pull their shades down.  i saw one guy, a gray-haired, very distinguished-looking guy with only his shorts on, do something you wouldn't believe me if i told you.  first he put his suitcase on the bed.  then he took out all these women's clothes, and put them on.  real women's clothes-silk stockings, high-heeled shoes, brassiere, and one of those corsets with the straps hanging down and all.  then he put on this very tight black evening dress.  i swear to god.  then he started walking up and down the room, taking these very small steps, the way a woman does, and smoking a cigarette and looking at himself in the mirror.  he was all alone, too.  unless somebody was in the bathroom-i couldn't see that much.  then, in the window almost right over his, i saw a man and a woman squirting water out of their mouths at each other.  it probably was highballs, not water, but i couldn't see what they had in their glasses.  anyway, first he'd take a swallow and squirt it all over her, then she did it to him-they took turns, for god's sake.  you should've seen them.  they were in hysterics the whole time, like it was the funniest thing that ever happened.  i'm not kidding, the hotel was lousy with perverts

i danced with them all-the whole three of them-one at a time.  the ugly one, laverne, wasn't too bad a dancer, but the other one, old marty, was murder.  old marty was like dragging the statue of liberty around the floor.  the only way i could even half enjoy myself dragging her around was if i amused myself a little.  so i told her i just saw gary cooper, the movie star, on the other side of the floor.  "where?" she asked me-excited as hell..some people you shouldn't kid, even if they deserve it

then she left.  the navy guy and i told each other we were glad to've met each other.  which always kills me.  i'm always saying "glad to've met you" to somebody i'm not at all glad i met.  if you want to stay alive, you have to say that stuff, though

"what'sa matter?" she said.  "nothing's the matter." boy, was i getting nervous. "the thing is, i had an operation very recently."  "yeah? where?"  "on my wuddayacallit-my clavichord"

the best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was.  nobody'd move.  you could go there a hundred thousand times, and that eskimo would still be just finished catching those two fish, the birds would still be on their way south, the deers would still be drinking out of that water hole, with their pretty antlers and their pretty, skinny legs, and that squaw with the naked bosom would still be weaving that same blanket.  nobody'd be different

certain things they should stay the way they are.  you ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone

finally, though, the jerk noticed her and came over and said hello.  you should've seen the way they said hello.  you'd have thought they hadn't seen each other in twenty years.  you'd have thought they'd taken baths in the same bathtub or something when they were little kids.  old buddyroos.  it was nauseating

anyway, i'm sort of glad they've got the atomic bomb invented.  if there's ever another war, i'm going to sit right the hell on top of it.  i'll volunteer for it, i swear to god i will


this week i

finalized our open source replication of how to stack multiple years of complex sample survey data then calculate statistically significant trends.

woke up to snow-cover.  beer for breakfast to feel more like jim morrison.

find none of youtube's famously caustic comments on old videos of ray charles.  a sentiment analysis would detect only positives.

read love in the time of cholera a dozen years ago.  every page of one hundred years of solitude reminds you why life is worth living.

sir francis drake had gone crocodile hunting with cannons and that he repaired them and stuffed them with straw to bring to queen elizabeth

poems inspired by remedios, which he had taken with him when he left, and those he had written later on during chance pauses in the war.  "promise me that no one will read them," he said.  "light the oven with them this very night."  ursula promised and stood up to kiss him good-bye.  "i brought you a revolver," she murmured.  colonel aureliano buendia saw that the sentry could not see.  "it won't do me any good," he said in a low voice, "but give it to me in case they search you on the way out."  ursula took the revolver out of her bodice and put it under the mattress of the cot.  "and don't say good-bye," he concluded with emphatic calmness.  "don't beg or bow down to anyone.  pretend that they shot me a long time ago"

victorious in villanueva, defeated in guacamayal, devoured by motilon indians, dead in a village in the swamp, and up in arms again in urumita

shook him as hard as they could, shouted in his ear, put a mirror in front of his nostrils, but they could not awaken him

you can't do that to a poor aunt unless you have a special dispensation from the pope

at twelve o'clock, when aureliano jose had bled to death and carmelita montiel found that the cards showing her future were blank, more than four hundred men had filed past the theater and discharged their revolvers into the abandoned body of captain aquiles ricardo.  a patrol had to use a wheelbarrow to carry the body, which was heavy with lead and fell apart like a water-soaked loaf of bread

aureliano segundo opened the door and saw the courtyard paved with rabbits, blue in the glow of dawn.  petra cotes, dying with laughter, could not resist the temptation of teasing him.  "those are the ones who were born last night," she said

colonel aureliano buendia could understand only that the secret of a good old age is simply an honorable pact with solitude.  he would get up at five in the morning after a light sleep, have his eternal mug of bitter coffee in the kitchen, shut himself up all day in the workshop, and at four in the afternoon he would go along the porch dragging a stool, not even noticing the fire of the rose bushes or the brightness of the hour or the persistence of amaranta, whose melancholy made the noise of a boiling pot, which was perfectly perceptible at dusk, and he would sit in the street door as long as the mosquitoes would allow him to.  someone dared to disturb his solitude once.  "how are you, colonel?" he asked in passing.  "right here," he answered

the history of the family was a machine with unavoidable repetitions, a turning wheel that would have gone on spilling into eternity were it not for the progressive and irremediable wearing of the axle

pilar ternera died in her wicker rocking chair during one night of festivities as she watched over the entrance to her paradise.  in accordance with her last wishes she was not buried in a coffin but sitting in her rocker, which eight men lowered by ropes into a huge hole dug in the center of the dance floor.  the mulatto girls, dressed in black, pale from weeping, invented shadowy rites as they took off their earrings, brooches, and rings and threw them into the pit before it was closed over with a slab that bore neither name nor dates, and that was covered with a pile of amazonian camellias.  after poisoning the animals, they closed up the doors and windows with brick and mortar and they scattered out into the world with their wooden trunks that were lined with pictures of saints, prints from magazines, and the portraits of sometime sweethearts, remote and fantastic, who shat diamonds, or ate cannibals, or were crowned playing-card kings on the high seas

think about hard problems for a living, currently from a city that unpretentiously exceeds every expectation.