Implied Dissent

Sunday, April 28, 2013

What's that Upton Sinclair Quote?

This is remarkably stupid. Let's see, the federal government, due to sequestration, has some spending cuts. At the same time the Federal Reserve takes a somewhat more aggressive stance on fueling the economy. While this is happening the economy mildly accelerates. However, because the consensus had been for more acceleration than we saw, this proves that the Fed can't offset the impact of fiscal stimulus/austerity. Even leaving aside the problem of revisions (the data is still subject to significant updating up or down), it's a really high degree of confirmation bias in action.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Well-Meaning and Awkward

This would totally be me.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

My 2012-13 NBA season predictions in review

See my prediction post here, and the actual results here. To sum it up, I nailed two (Utah and Sacramento), was off by 1 on four (Indiana, Detroit, Washington, Orlando), off by 2 or 3 on three each, and blew it on five (Philadelphia, Memphis, Golden State, LA Lakers, New Orleans). Average miss was 5.8 (ugh), but I got the over/under right on 21 of the 30, and, even better, got all 6 of my favorite calls right. Interestingly (at least to me), New Orleans was one of my worst calls, but was also one my favorites on the over/under.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

NBA Playoffs 2013

The Eastern Conference champ is almost a foregone conclusion, though you never know. The Western Conference is going to be really interesting. 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).

Round 1
Eastern Conference
#1 Heat against #8 Bucks. The Bucks might get a monster game from Ellis to snag one win, but I'm going sweep. Heat 4-0.
#2 Knicks against #7 Celtics. I'm thinking the Celtics win one road game, so if they hold serve they win in 6. Unfortunately I expect the Knicks to also nab a roadie. Knicks 4-3.
#3 Pacers against #6 Hawks. The Pacers are scuffling a little, but are still better than the Hawks. I could see this being an all home wins series. Pacers 4-3.
#4 Nets against #5 Bulls. I'm assuming no Derek Rose, but that Joakim Noah is basically fine. The Nets are playing much better lately, to the point that they have an outside shot in Round 2. Nets 4-1.

Western Conference
#1 Thunder against #8 Rockets. Got to love Harden up against OKC, and I like how the Rockets have positioned themselves going forward, but the Thunder are quite a bit better. I figure the games in Houston are basically to toss-ups, the games in OKC will be blowouts. Thunder 4-1.
#2 Spurs against #7 Lakers. It'll be an 8-on-5 series (refs), at least to help the Lakers to nab a W or 2, hoping they don't mess up the rightful winner of the series. Spurs 4-3.
#3 Nuggets against #6 Warriors. Another all home teams series. Nuggets 4-3.
#4 Clippers against #5 Grizzlies. Vinny Del Negro in the playoffs and the Grizzlies' strength in the half-court make me go with the Grizz. Grizzlies 4-2.

Round 2
Eastern Conference
#1 Heat against #4 Nets. I do give the Nets a chance, given how they're playing lately and their strength inside, but it seems unlikely. Heat 4-1.
#2 Knicks against #3 Pacers. If the Knicks make it through the Celts, they'll be ready to take on the physical Pacers. Knicks 4-2.

Western Conference
#1 Thunder against #5 Grizzlies. The Thunder are too athletic for the Grizz, but it will be a good one. Thunder 4-3.
#2 Spurs against #3 Nuggets. With the injuries they've had, the Nuggets won't be able to compete with the Spurs, but would beat the Lakers if that's the matchup instead. Spurs 4-1.

Round 3
Eastern Conference
#1 Heat against #2 Knicks. Hot shooting and Chandler controlling the paint could be enough to topple the Heat, but again, unlikely. Heat 4-3, but not really that close.

Western Conference
#1 Thunder against #2 Spurs. A rematch of last year's conference finals. Probably a similar result. Thunder 4-3.

NBA Finals

Heat with home-court against the Thunder. Also a rematch from last year. The Heat are better, the Thunder are slightly worse. Heat 4-2.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Warning, Awfulness

So, apparently there's a trial of an abortion provider who killed numerous babies, post-birth, in some particularly gruesome ways (hat tip MM); read the link for details if you want them. How in the world has this not been front-page news? How is it possible that I just now learned about it? You don't need to be a pro-life zealot to see this as atrocious and extremely newsworthy, and anything less than a pro-choice zealot should see it that way; a zealot might take the trial itself as atrocious, but even that I doubt.