Implied Dissent

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Problem? Or the Solution?

I’m not calling him a saint by any means, and he could learn some lessons in how to express ideas better, but where others see a problem, I see the solution. Well, most of the solution. Change doesn’t generally happen because people in power are super nice, it happens because it gives someone an advantage. Branch Rickey hired Jackie Robinson partly because he was less racist than others, but largely because he was looking for a way to get ahead. After a while it became obvious to everyone that their racist “thinking” was hurting them, and baseball as a whole changed.

When companies hire programmers in India for less than they’d make here, but more than they’d make otherwise, is that immoral? I’m sure Thornley saw people (women) at other companies he wanted to hire, figured out what he had to offer to bring them over, and offered that. In a sexist industry that means they’ll still make less than they should, but more than they would have. I wish we could snap our fingers and make prejudice disappear, but it doesn’t happen like that.

Tabarrok is good on this also.

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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

NFL Predictions 2014

Here are my predictions for NFL wins, team-by-team, plus the playoffs. The important parts should be fairly straight forward, but explanationof columns: Team, Wins-Losses, Las Vegas Hilton Over/Under, moneyline for betting the Over, moneyline for betting the Under, and what I calculated those moneylines imply for what "Vegas" thinks a team's chances of going over are.

NFC EAST Over/Under Over Under Implied Likelihood of Going Over
Philadelphia 11-5 9 +115 -135 45%
Dallas 7-9 8 -110 -110 50%
NY Giants 7-9 7.5 -135 +115 55%
Washington 6-10 7.5 +125 -145 43%
NFC NORTH
Chicago 10-6 8 -140 +120 56%
Green Bay 9-7 10 -145 +125 57%
Detroit 7-9 8 -150 +130 58%
Minnesota 6-10 6 +105 -125 47%
NFC SOUTH
New Orleans 10-6 9.5 -150 +130 58%
Carolina 9-7 8 -130 +110 54%
Tampa Bay 8-8 7 -120 Even 52%
Atlanta 8-8 8 -130 +110 54%
NFC WEST
Seattle 11-5 11 -120 Even 52%
San Francisco 10-6 10.5 -120 Even 52%
Arizona 8-8 7.5 -120 Even 52%
St. Louis 6-10 7.5 -110 -110 50%
AFC EAST
New England 11-5 10.5 -135 +115 55%
NY Jets 8-8 7 -125 +105 53%
Miami 6-10 8 +110 -130 46%
Buffalo 5-11 6.5 -130 +110 54%
AFC NORTH
Cincinnati 9-7 9 -135 +115 55%
Baltimore 8-8 8.5 -120 Even 52%
Pittsburgh 6-10 8.5 -120 Even 52%
Cleveland 6-10 6.5 -150 +130 58%
AFC SOUTH
Indianapolis 10-6 9.5 -150 +130 58%
Houston 8-8 7.5 -145 +125 57%
Tennessee 7-9 7 -130 +110 54%
Jacksonville 5-11 4.5 -150 +130 58%
AFC WEST
Denver 11-5 11 -140 +120 56%
San Diego 10-6 8 -120 Even 52%
Kansas City 9-7 8 -120 Even 52%
Oakland 4-12 5 +130 -150 42%

NFC division winners: #1 seed Philadelphia, #2 Seattle, #3 Chicago, #4 New Orleans. Wild cards San Francisco, Green Bay.

AFC division winners: #1 seed New England, #2 Denver, #3 Indianapolis, #4 Cincinnati. Wild cards San Diego, Kansas City.

AFC Championship Game: New England over Denver.
NFC Championship Game: Philadelphia over Seattle. (Yep, both #1s over both #2s)

Super Bowl: New England over Philadelphia. (Yes, I'm a homer, but Revis Island and Gronk seem like they'll be enough to do it)

Favorite Overs: Philadelphia, Chicago, San Diego.
Favorite Unders: St Louis, Pittsburgh, Miami, Buffalo. I'd add Washington, but that's a stay-away team.

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Hapless? Austerity? Hapless Austerity Maybe

Lol. A nice two-fer. Krugman (column and post) goes on at length about how France's problems stem (at least largely) from their austerity. I don't see it in the data.
France Government Spending
source: tradingeconomics

Admittedly they've also raised taxes a decent amount. Perhaps that's what he meant. Perhaps it would be nice somewhere in there for him to acknowledge that he was quite supportive of those moves.

Later, he talks about how Europe's problems are that its left is hapless, unlike the US. Really? You can seriously look at how European governments act regarding their economies and claim the left there isn't far more powerful than here? I agree that the European Central Bank's monetary policy has been too tight for years (more than the US Fed), and I'll admit there is some left/right divide on that issue. However, their left are more powerful/influential/hap-full than the US left on at least 80% of economic issues. YMMV on whether that's good or bad, but it's clearly the case.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

More HL

When the government actively requires people to take actions it will inevitably run up against deeply and sincerely held moral beliefs. They may be wrong, irrational, annoying, and/or anachronistic, but at some point they will be your beliefs that are put on the spot. "Government that is big enough to give everything you need and want is also strong enough to take it away." I'm no fan of Hobby Lobby, and don't like that religions are getting special treatment, but these types of conflicts are inevitable given the direction policy has and is going.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Hobby Lobby

I find it odd that a lot of people who often and loudly (often correctly) complain about sexism are characterizing this as men on one side and women (and some men) on the other, when there are numerous women who think this was decided correctly, and/or that contraception isn't really what insurance should be for. Also, I object to the name-calling I see because I don't think the government should be deciding who gets what benefits, whether that's women or men. Someone (e.g., me) can be pro-woman, pro-contraception, a-religious, and anti these mandates. I'm unsure if this was the right decision, but I hope it causes people to think about some important issues, such as that when the government actively requires people to do things, it will necessarily start running up against deeply held moral beliefs of all sorts. Also, what is the proper role of insurance and how should we be getting it?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Or maybe it's the other way around

I love how Democrats' arguments for hiking minimum wage laws mirror the Bush administration's arguments for invading Iraq. "If you disagree with me, then you're [anti-poor/pro-terrorist]!"

Thursday, June 05, 2014

NBA 2014 Finals

Well, finally got one all right, at least on winners. Sweet.

So we've got the San Antonio Spurs with home-court advantage over the Miami Heat. Remember that they switched back to the 2-2-1-1-1 format this year. It will either be Spurs in 7, or Heat in 6. I think the wily old legs prevail. Spurs 4-3.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

NBA Playoffs 2014, Round 3

All high seeds won in round 2, so it's #1 vs. #2 in both conferences. I called 3 out of 4 winners correctly, one in the right number of games. Onto Round 3.

Round 3
Eastern Conference
#1 Indiana Pacers against #2 Miami Heat. The Pacers are definitely looking better, but not enough. The Heat are looking great. How long it goes depends on when Miami gets one in Indy. Heat 4-2.

Western Conference
#1 San Antonio Spurs against #2 Oklahoma City Thunder. Both teams are worthy. Tony Parker's injury makes me a little nervous to take the Spurs, but the Thunder are a little too hit-or-miss and dependent on their stars. Spurs 4-3.

NBA Finals
Spurs with home-court against the Heat. I think the Western champs are most likely to win it all, but that the Heat are the team most likely to win. Reversing my philosophy from a round ago, taking the Spurs due to home-court. Spurs 4-3.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Happy Star Wars Day

The 4th will be with you, always.
Also, for the record, I invented that. Not "May the 4th be with you", but rather calling it Star Wars Day.

NBA Playoffs 2014, Round 2

That was a great Round 1 (from an on-the-court perspective). I called 6 series winners right (one in the right number of games), and the two I had wrong I had going 7 games. Onto Round 2.

Round 2
Eastern Conference
#1 Indiana Pacers against #5 Washington Wizards. Hibbert did look a lot better in game 7, so there's a flicker of hope, but I have little confidence in the Pacers right now. Wizards 4-2.
#2 Miami Heat against # 6 Brooklyn Nets. It will be closer than it looks in retrospect. Heat 4-1.

Western Conference
#1 San Antonio Spurs against #5 Portland Trail Blazers. Color me impressed with Beervana, but still sticking with SA. Spurs 4-2.
#2 Oklahoma Thunder against #3 Los Angeles Clippers. If they could make it through the Sterling fiasco, they can make it through anything, so definitely have them as a legit contender, just not the favorite. Thunder 4-3.

Round 3
Eastern Conference
#2 Miami Heat against #5 Washington Wizards. This will be easy. Heat 4-1.

Western Conference
#1 San Antonio Spurs against #2 Oklahoma Thunder. I'll take Spurs because they're more likely to be there, but could easily see any of three make it out of the West, and could be talked into the 4th.

NBA Finals
Spurs with home-court against the Heat. Another case of taking the team most likely to get there, but home-court could definitely be an issue. Heat 4-3.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

2013-14 NBA season predictions in review

Yuck. See my prediction post here, and actual results here. Big letdown from the previous year.
Overall I went 11-19 picking the over/under. On my favorite picks, 1-4. I can blame bad luck, but I know I had some good luck last year, so the two-year totals are probably fairly representative. That would be 32-28 total, and 7-4 on my top picks.
I nailed two teams exactly (Indiana and Boston), was off by 1 on two (Cleveland and Atlanta), and was off by 2 or 3 on four. I wildly blew it on New York, Milwaukee, Toronto, Charlotte, Denver, Portland, and Phoenix. Average miss was an atrocious 8.5.

Friday, April 18, 2014

NBA Playoffs 2014

I'd say the Eastern Conference is a 1.5 team race, and that there are 4 teams that could win the West. Like before I'll give predictions for all rounds now, but only take my Round 1 picks at all seriously (and even those don't take very seriously). I don't think any of my picks are particularly surprising, but maybe I'm wrong (hopefully only on that dimension).

Round 1
Eastern Conference
#1 Pacers against #8 Hawks. The Pacers are scuffling a bit, but are definitely better than Atlanta. Pacers 4-1.
#2 Heat against #7 Bobcats. Big Al might win them one game, but the Heat cruise. Heat 4-1.
#3 Raptors against #6 Nets. An interesting matchup. Old vs. young. Kidd's first playoff coaching experience. The Nets played well the last couple of months, the Raptors have played well since excising Rudy Gay (clearly they weren't ready for a Gay player. Thank you, I'll be here all week, folks). Nets 4-2.
#4 Bulls against #5 Wizards. Don't overlook either team. Bulls 4-3.

Western Conference
#1 Spurs against #8 Mavericks. The Spurs are much better, all due respect to Captain Dirk. Spurs 4-1.
#2 Thunder against #7 Grizzlies. The Grizz have played really well lately, but I'm still a Durantula believer, and Westbrook is close to his old self. Nice matchup of different styles. Thunder 4-3.
#3 Clippers against #6 Warriors. This will be the most fun series, expect a ton of scoring. No Bogut, though, means no Warriors advancing. Clippers 4-1.
#4 Rockets against #5 Trail Blazers. I may be selling them short, but I don't totally buy the Trail Blazers. Rockets 4-3.

Round 2
Eastern Conference
#1 Pacers against #4 Bulls. Wouldn't be shocked at all if the Bulls win this. Pacers 4-3.
#2 Heat against #6 Nets. Probably the toughest opponent in terms of matchups for the Heat. Still the Heat are better. Heat 4-2.

Western Conference
#1 Spurs against #4 Rockets. I give the Rockets a very real chance, but they have to show it. Spurs 4-3.
#2 Thunder against #3 Clippers. Thunder 4-3.

Round 3
Eastern Conference
#1 Pacers against #2 Heat. Maybe the Pacers will get it together by this point and win it, but it sure doesn't look that way now. Heat 4-2.

Western Conference
#1 Spurs against #2 Thunder. Very conflicted about this matchup. I'll go with the Spurs, due to the slightly easier path. Spurs 4-3.

NBA Finals
Spurs with home-court against the Heat. Rematch. Heat are more likely to make it, so I'll take them, but it's close to 50-50 for this series or for a Heat-Thunder one. Heat 4-3.