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official research miscellany

(c) DCLCQ (2014)

I made a Markov chain of my social media data recently. Here are my cherry-picks (out of perhaps 300 seeds):

  • What an option for underhand comments made as just data.
  • I'm being a first-world problem?
  • I think the inevitable is still on loan from the History Department. will smash them.
  • ran out of your 'reality' bullshit.
  • We're the lowest of others; we continue in our children, and in Libya.
  • scratching a certain region of spacetime. gee thanks bud.
  • Ah, my cruelty.
  • I am currently reading Robbie Williams' thought-provoking autobiography...
  • metaphysics really want us to perve.
  • A city full of men die like dogs, for telling your name, sacred music in the matter. I think, too
  • account for the softer tribes living in the missing beats.
  • I'm moving closer to you, but it never fully comprehend woman's concrete situation. my epaulettes, ripped off
  • While desire focuses on the line of flame that characterizes the universe in terms of bogon sources such as the other class, they mean when it feels hot to you, but I wonder what they won't trouble you
  • Some economists, admittedly, survive the baws.
  • Well, let's be patient and say I don't listen so to enjoy the masterpieces of the left.
  • Renowned/notorious Oxbridge iconoclast who deserves a boot. one mornin' the sun was reused firstly for their probable zero turnout.
  • poetry is weathered away by sea air, tree roots shatter concrete.
  • economics tutorial trying to convince everyone he loves women it's done.
  • being told about rationality. it's about not being checked out of the question?
  • Free riders get the fuck out of credit


I am very disillusioned with higher education at the moment. But one indispensable* use occurs to me: I use formal education when I need to bully myself into learning superficially boring things.

Many fields – including all the formal ones – are hard to get into from a standing start; the average scholar (me) finds it difficult to get over their barriers to entry. (These barriers are so galling because they are cognitive rather than economic or social: learning the formalism, coming to knowing the silent conventions of proof and basic reuse, slowly building up a sense, against so much evolutionary moment, of the impalpable-yet-real. A usual reaction to being limited, rage, feels out of place where the cognitive is involved. One can rage about being too poor to get something, or too discriminated against to be allowed something, but it would be strange to get angry that one is too stupid for something.)

* Yes, ok, I could very easily use Beeminder for my problem, unmodified and at a tiny fraction of the cost of higher education. But economics sings me to sleep.


Words I enjoyed or hated recently:

  • Banausic (adj. pej.): Menial, crushing, deformative. Like, or befitting, a βάναυσος.

  • Pallard (n.): Person of pallor; white person. Neologism of Asimov's.

  • Cepstrum (n.): A spectrum transformed by log and inverse Fourier. (This word is onomatomathematical!: the first syllable is the 'spec' of 'spectrum', backwards.)

  • Quefrency (n.): The y-axis of a graphed cepstrum; the inverse of 'frequency'.

  • Lifter (n.): A cepstral filter.

  • Tocqued (adj.): Of hats, brimless. Of people, wearing a brimless. Strongest implication is of a cartoon chef's hat.

  • Democtator (n.): democratically elected dictator; controls their country through graft, electoral fraud, constitutional amendment, and abuse of law, rather than murder (e.g. Chavez, Putin, Shwe, Sein). See also the ugly and hamstrung 'democratator'.

  • Jerktech (coll. n.): Peer-to-peer technology aimed at low-grade immmorality, e.g. occupying public parking and selling it on; dating apps for racists, etc.

  • Avel (v.) : to disengage. The word's obscurity gives it connotations of.

  • Jomo (n.): The joy of missing out.

  • Sound whore (pej. sl. n.): Person who uses expensive headphones to hear the footsteps of distant approaching players in Call of Duty. For some reason this is not a clever and standard move but dishonourable. (Perhaps due to inequality and the gear doing the work.)

  • Redology (n.): The ancient and venerable study of Dream of the Red Chamber. For your entire life.

  • 獞 (pej.) or 僮: the Zhuàng ethnic minority; the first character includes the character for 'dog' on the left-hand side; the modern version replaces this insult with the component meaning 'human'.


I love people who manage to be in two camps and none. Or, better: two teams and none. (Call team the identities that people choose; call camps what we are crowded into.) Schema clashes: both trans and libertarian; colonel and private; stockbroker and utterly beautiful person.

Going by this revision, the idea of a 'race traitor' is totally hollow; race is a camp we are allocated to; and you cannot owe allegiance involuntarily; and you cannot betray what you owe no allegiance. If anyone cared what I thought, I would get in trouble for pointing out the similarity to 'class traitor'.

* Certainly people don't much recognise the distinction; certainly many people take their race as their team; certainly even anti-racists are in the business of hardening camps into teams (via self-identification), for the purposes of mobilising (using) people.


For all kinds of reasons, all kinds of people see the standard model of economics (the one taught to undergraduates) as an unscientific ideological mess. (The main and most understandable reasons being that this view absolves people of having to read economists.) However, this is only partially true.

While the field's replication rate - the best indictment we have of either the validity of a field's results or the statistical power of its methods - is just 34%*

Reach me down the concepts observable and unobservable object: for actually there is a clear empirical hierarchy in these theories:

  1. Actual price and quantity: observable in real-time.

  2. Elasticity: directly inferred from price and quantity. ("it requires only a pair price/quantity points that occur in what you’re willing to accept as the same market at the (nearly) same time.")

  3. Demand: unobservable; inferred very indirectly from data. "It can be estimated from visible market data with some additional assumptions about functional form, or from surveys conditional on the extent to which they are thought to reflect real potential market behavior. It can be validated ex post for prices actually offered in markets."

  4. Utility: unobservable; second-order inference from the inferred curves. "It can be contradicted (and is) by measured subjective well-being (MSWB), but this just means that MSWB is not the same as utility. Utility has the same scientific stature as the soul."

(All ideas Peter Dorman's)

* Though this is actually not so pathetic in context: compare psychology's 39%. Couldn't find an estimate for physics; I would guess above 60%, wouldn't you?


(c) DCLCQ (2014)

An engineering model of human strength:

  • Tensile strength: ability to deal with one's own contradictions, dilemmas, workload.

  • Flexural strength: ability to parry social manipulation.

  • Compression strength: ability to deal with limitations, poverty, without reduction in style, integrity, virtue.

  • Shear strength: ability to bear stresses for others, even if not in one's personal circle.

  • Elasticity: ability to absorb shock and still return to oneself.


This kind of thing brings out the compulsive streak in me and my mate, so:

  • R: The Unbearable Lightness of Being vs. Predator
  • Me: Wall-E vs Predator
  • R: Noah vs. Predator
  • Me: Marvel vs Capcom vs Predator
  • R: Nymphomaniac vs. Predator
  • Me: Epic Movie vs Predator
  • R: Don Quixote vs. Predator
  • Me: Twelve Angry Men vs Predator
  • R: Armageddon vs. Predator
  • Me: The Pursuit of Happyness vs Predator
  • R: Gandhi vs. Predator
  • Me: Paranormal Activity vs Predator
  • R: Spinal Tap vs. Predator
  • Me: Freddy Got Fingered vs Predator
  • Me: Indecent Proposal vs Predator

(c) DCLCQ (2014)