Thursday, August 28, 2008

nude cover/video

i just found an amazing video/cover of "nude" by radiohead

check it out


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

funny numbers, faulty logic and the "liberal media"

being an econ major as well as somewhat of a stats/math geek, i enjoy the way statistics are portrayed in arguments. take for example the following post the weekly standard arguing an apparent increase in the liberal media bias.

"THE ARGUMENT over whether the national press is dominated by liberals is over. Since 1962, there have been 11 surveys of the media that sought the political views of hundreds of journalists. In 1971, they were 53 percent liberal, 17 percent conservative. In a 1976 survey of the Washington press corps, it was 59 percent liberal, 18 percent conservative. A 1985 poll of 3,200 reporters found them to be self-identified as 55 percent liberal, 17 percent conservative. In 1996, another survey of Washington journalists pegged the breakdown as 61 percent liberal, 9 percent conservative. Now, the new study by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found the national media to be 34 percent liberal and 7 percent conservative.

Does this affect coverage? Is there really liberal bias? The answers are, of course, yes and yes. It couldn't be any other way. Think for a moment if the numbers were reversed and conservatives had outnumbered liberals in the media for the past four decades. Would President Bush be getting kinder coverage? For sure,
and I'll bet any liberal would agree with that. Would President Reagan have been treated with less hostility if the national press was conservative-dominated? Yes, again. And I could go on."

so according to his data, the ratio of liberals to cons has increased from just above 3 to 1 in 1971 to almost 5 to 1. however, lost in his numbers argument is the fact that the percentage of those polled who declared neither liberal or con has increased from 30% in 1971 to 59% at the time of the poll. that 59% outnumbers the current "liberal media" by a ratio above 2 to 1. if, to simplifying this argument, we to assume that each of the parties stick up for their beliefs in equal proportions. i.e. that all have different views exert equal influence in using their media power to propagate their political agendas, then it would seem that what we see is not an increase in left-winged media but a substantial increase in media which shares neither a left nor right wing bias.

on a personal note, the economist in me that attempts to measure what people do more than what they say they do finds some potential flaws in this form of data. at times there seems to be trends where it is not correct to admit to certain beliefs which are strongly held, for example witness the change in the discussion of faith in politics over the last 15-20 years. but i didn't write this to criticize the accuracy of polls in portraying true public opinion, but rather to show how numbers were being manipulated to portray a political point.

regardless of you political persuasion, i hope you see the errors in what was argued in the post.


the full article

Monday, August 11, 2008

giambi's stache cont'd...

a couple of weeks ago i posted about jason giambi's stache. here is a video of him discussing his stache w/ esquire magazine. check it out.

giambi's stache

Sunday, August 10, 2008

john mayer's a tool

so i was watching youtube videos of john mayer last night playing the guitar. he is a well trained musician. he seems to have pretty good technique, some of his solo compositions on the john mayer trio album are fairly interesting. but face it the dude is a tool!

before i start w/ the spitting and the vitriol, let me here give my best definition of what i think a tool is. i believe a tool is a person who acts disenegenuous. they are somewhat who allows themself to be just another tool or cog in the giant capitalist machine. now i understand that they may personally benefit financially from these deciscions, but the romantic in me abhors. what about the desire to create something unique? what about personal views that you really want to express? everyone has to have something that is uniquely theirs, why do you subdue them in order to financial or politcal or popularity etc. gains? it's like the business school kids who wear suits to class everyday. why on earth do you wear a suit to your sophomore intro to marketing class? why not go in pajamas, or try not shaving for a week? you are in college, enjoy yourself, it may be the last time you have.
although many business students seem to be in the throngs of tooldom, what perplexes me even more is artists who give into the pressures of tooldom and make "conservative," calculated, shlock that appeals to the lowest common cultural denominator. it seems like if anyone should want to think outside the box and express THEIR OWN ideas it should be artists, more than lawyers, businessmen, doctors etc. This brings me to my beef w/ jm's toolbox status.

my first bone to pick is his guitar tone. maybe it's because i dont like stevie ray vaughan and every new blues guitarist who has made it after him seems to idolize him and his corny texas rodeo blues tone. it just sounds like jm is following in the long streem of contemporary blues guitarist who have aped srv's tone. i really wished that the texas blues tone had died in the 80's after clapton stopped playing it. so that is my first argument, that he ape's srv, a musician who spent his entire worshipping the music made by hendrix instead of expanding his vision onto new horizons as hendrix certainly would have. i'm sorry, but jm's attempt at copying srv who try as he might, was unable to succesfully plagarize hendrix reeks of the kind of unoriginal musicianship which tools in the music industry posses.

second, the guy dated jessic simpson? i mean yeah guys like attractive women, but REALLY? call me naive, romantic and somewhat idealistic about what goes on between the ears of artists, musicans etc., but i like to think that most of them are deeper than the average joe six pack. i hope that they do more than just sit around and mutter to themselves nonsensical ramblings of "dude she's hot......i could get her.........she's" but jm and jessica simpson's fling seems to prove me wrong. i guess he is somewhat of a pop music tart himself, but she is a bubble gum musician, seriously? i really am speechless at what an intelligent or thoughtful man would want in her, she doesn't strike me as the kind who thinks a lot about non-hair care products.

lastly, i will bring this backc to my original reason for writing this, the youtube video. watch the little dance at 1:39 into it. it sickens me. the dance is shameless. it makes me feel dirty inside just like chris farley's chippendale act. not only does the dance sicken me, but it is the willingness to be what the fans want him to be which apauls me. it seems to be a complete nod to entertain the females in the audience. compare the shrieks before and after the "move." do you think he is ignorant of his female crowds desires? it doesn't seem like a logical progression from the dirty blues riff he is playing, but rather an expression of his desire to appeal to the lowest common denominator. this smacks of tooldom. this is why i believe that john mayer is a tool

well i hope that my diatribe has been enlighten, or at least partially entertaining.

here's a link to someone else who agrees that john mayer is a tool