reality is weirder than you think

Tag: Trump (page 1 of 2)

What’s so bad about a data dashboard?

Workshops. On data. BIG DATA, even. What fun!

As much as I acknowledge the value of an education in statistical methods, it’s one of those things–like insurance and economics–that skims right off the surface of my brain and refuses to stick.

And yet, today I attended a statistics-based data workshop.

Most of it was an overview of the basics with an eye toward why you use certain techniques in certain situations and the ethics thereof. Kind of refreshing, actually.

Until we got to a section on dashboards.

Data dashboards, which seem to be big trend amongst the data-product companies these days. I know that in my area, there’s rumors that there might be dashboards in the works, and everyone is excited.

Everyone except our workshop presenter, that is.

She was not impressed.

Don’t be impressed by words like “dashboard,” she says. Look, here’s what a dashboard looks like. All that’s on it is some bar charts, a pie chart, and some recent history. There’s nothing new here. All of this can be made in Excel with minimal effort.

(Yes, this is true. Most dashboards aren’t the pinnacle of cutting edge data visualizations.)

I leaned over to the grad student sitting next to me and remarked, “But they’re not selling innovation. They’re selling convenience.”

Her response?

CEOs must think dashboards are magic because they don’t know how they’re assembled.

I’m no data expert, but both of these attitudes strike me as out-of-touch.

Dashboards ARE about convenience more than anything. Would I love to have a financial dashboard that shows me a simple pie chart of budget categories and maybe a bar graph of actual versus projected expenses? You betcha. Because right now, to get that information, I have to log in to a remote server, run a report, clean up the data and hope it plays well with whatever version of Excel I’m running, and then create a few visualizations.

Is this difficult? No. Does it take time? Yes. But unlike academics, who tend to focus on their specialty like it’s the only thing that matters in the world, I neither have the time nor inclination to spend so long working on graphs that a dashboard could spit out at me–updated and in real time–in moments.

If that’s true for me, who is no longer at the bottom of the heap but who’s still at the “works with reality” end of the hierarchy, that’s so much more true for a CEO. And for someone at that level, having realtime reporting of actual data in the company is imperative. They have to have such a high vantagepoint that the data is critical–for me, I have a pretty good handle on how the budget is being spent because I reconcile all the purchases myself anyway. CEOs don’t do that.

Even so, I have a hard time comprehending how someone could possibly make it to CEO of a company that has the money to throw at a data-product company for a dashboard in the first place who didn’t have to fight his (or her) way up through the ranks and I would be willing to bet money that any of them could make a stupid bar chart.

Elementary school kids can make bar charts. It’s not hard.

But I forget how many people, especially permacademics, are brainwashed by the media, where the CEO AS BUFFOON narrative is in full force (see also: Trump). Even if you’re aided by a “good ol’ boys club,” you’re not going to make it long as CEO without a good bundle of smarts.

Enough about CEOs–back to dashboards. The remaining thing that entices me about dashboards is their (supposed) ability to bring together multiple databases worth of information. In all the universities that I’ve worked for, there are various databases that hold different types of information, all of which are extremely robust and none of which want to talk to each other. If–and I am aware that this is a big if–it is possible for a data-product company to create a dashboard that incorporates one or more of those data sources, that company would earn my undying gratitude and admiration.

Seriously, it’s awful having two robust sources of data with no way of bridging the gap. It makes you look so incompetent to people who request certain types of reports but don’t know the lay of the data landscape, so to speak. (Would you call that “data architecture”? Don’t answer that. I’ll google it.)

I feel like these people who get so caught up in process and method (which is their job) forget that there are so many other practical concerns, like data sources, time, and the fact that most of us want a computer to do any and all jobs that computers can do better than us, because it cuts down on human error.

I will be absolutely ecstatic when a computer can take over most of my budgeting duties. (I’m sure at some Fortune 500 companies, they already do.)

Maybe data dashboards don’t reinvent the wheel, but they sure are useful.

Image of the Week: Memo Day edition

Happy Memo Day, everybody. Maybe it wasn’t mind-blowing for those of us who are intently following Trump v. The Swamp. But it is absolutely gratifying to see the dots connected officially.

So let’s bask a little. Besides, it’s Friday.
















Okay, time’s up. Back to work.

Time to burn this mother to the ground.


Orange Clown Genius

Continuing a long line of convenient convergences throughout the Trump campaign, the 1-year anniversary of God Emperor Trump’s ascension just happens to fall during the rise of #ReleasetheMemo.

I think we’ve all been reminiscing a little about the past year, and all the victories–big and little–that have been won.

(We’re still not tired.)

The FISA/wiretapping situation is on the front burner again, and people are starting to connect some dots.

Here’s a thread over on r/The_Donald that caught my eye this afternoon:

The deep state was attacking Trump thinking he didn’t know he was being spied on. He knew and to think he didn’t put a show on for them is probably a poor gamble. He’s been playing them while tweeting in a way that would make Sun Tsu proud.

  • This explains how ‘everyone’ got it so wrong. They were listening to everything, and he was putting on a show for them.
    • The man has a star on Hollywood Blvd for Christ’s sake.
      • He’s like, literally an accredited actor
        • And a very stable genius!
          • And a WWE hall of famer!
            • This is the biggest part. McMahon coached the Donald how to “work” and probably helped come up with the character The Donald. This whole thing is a work on the deep state. From the fake tan to the eccentric character.

I’ve held the opinion for a long time that Trump’s hair is a deliberate caricature, a tool that he uses for many different purposes. (I’m working on a post that explains this in more detail.)

I knew that the overly-orange tan, the over-the-top hair, and the overly-New York behavior was something that he did for effect. It wasn’t necessarily his “natural” way of being.

Even the aesthetic of his logo (bold and strong) and the interior decoration in his buildings (a caricature of “rich” style) seem calculated for visual persuasion effect.

What I did not keep in mind was how much of the “Donald J Trump” we know is a character. Like, a deliberately designed and acted character. I figured DJT just acted out of instinct, in the moment. Improv, like in wrestling.

This is probably true, to a degree.

But if we keep in mind that he knew he was wiretapped and was doing things behind the scenes also to build his character, that means the whole thing is part of a lot bigger plan.

Imagine DJT and his team walking into an office that they knew was hot, talking about the weather or real estate. Then DJT gives the nod, and they launch into a conversation about how “Oh no, our polls are down, how will we ever recover” or some such nonsense. Never scripted, but according to plan.

Donald J Trump has taken a WWE wrestling character and made him the President of the United States of America.

When I was 12, the hot topic of conversation was whether the WWE was real or scripted. Well, folks, we have our answer.

WWE is indeed real.

Appreciation post

Lately I’ve noticed some sour thoughts sprout up in my mind.

“I hate people.”

“Why do I do this? It’s absurd.”

“Coffee tables are stupid and ugly.”

It’s easy to get caught up in a spiral of negativity. I’ve noticed myself doing so more and more.

This is not the life I want to live.

So to counteract, I’m going to appreciate some things:



How can you forget how delicious steak is? Apparently I can. I made myself steak tonight for the first time in many months. It was delicious. I’m partial to NY Strips, because I like the fat/lean ratio.

(Don’t ask me about my cast iron pan, though. They come with a learning curve that I haven’t quite mastered.)


Jordan B Peterson

Our favorite Canadian professor absolutely owned his recent interview with Channel 4 News.

Talk about the IQ/communication gap in action. Obviously she’s not dumb, but she paddles around in the shallow pool of word-thinking while Peterson is plying her with logical arguments and abstract reasoning.

Even if you know Peterson’s arguments front and back, it’s worth watching his delivery. Unflappable, friendly, on the offense. Beautiful. I aspire to this level of mastery.



My recent foray into the needle arts has reminded me about the crack-level addiction that comes with embroidery floss colors. You go to the fabric store, and stand before an entire wall of pure, unadulterated color. And usually it’s in gradients, gradually morphing in hue and shade. I want them all.


The Donald Trump chia head that is sprouting in my dining nook

One of the delightful parts of moving is finding all sorts of things, packing them, and then finding them again when you unpack. I had totally forgotten about the Donald Trump chia head that I bought sometime in 2016 but had never sprouted.

Our God Emperor deserves the best of chia hair. I’ll post a photo when it’s sprouted.

Image of the week: Super Saiyan Trump edition

At this point, I’m pretty sure everyone younger than Gen X who is on the internet knows Dragon Ball Z.

Even if you don’t know anything about Dragon Ball Z, trust me, you know about Dragon Ball Z.

Just try to look at this picture and not think “SUPER SAIYAN TRUMP.”

I mean, the photoshop helps a lot. But you know what I mean.

Trump Derangement Syndrome means never having to look too hard for a meme.


Do they really not realize that this type of thing just gives him more power? The more that the hair is exalted, the more power he gets.

Maybe not physical power, but memetic power.

I really need to write that post on Donald Trump’s hair.

God Emperor Appreciation Post

There’s not much to say, other than I’d like to add my small voice to the meme magic that is still behind GEOTUS Trump the Very Stable Genius.

I appreciate all he has done for our country and all he will do, and all his associates are doing.

The Storm is coming. It’s like Christmas but we don’t know when.

I’m praying for wisdom and safety for all involved.


Also I just love this picture.

Image of the week: Barron Trump edition

This kid has basically always been a meme. The low key kind, that you always find funny because they don’t burn themselves out.

Time traveling aside, he always seems to show up, never say anything, and yet sticks in out memories.

The kid has presence.


New Media Consortium no more

No coincidences. 

The Atlanta airport was shut down on Sunday. Trump issued an executive order going after human traffickers. Eric Schmidt resigned from Alphabet. 

And last Monday, the New Media Consortium sent out this sudden email:

The New Media Consortium (NMC) regrets to announce that because of apparent errors and omissions by its former Controller and Chief Financial Officer, the organization finds itself insolvent.  Consequently, NMC must cease operations immediately.

NMC would like to sincerely thank our loyal and dedicated community for its many vital contributions since its inception in 1994. NMC is grateful to its current executive director and NMC staff for their tireless efforts to connect people at the intersection of innovation and technology.

NMC will be promptly commencing a chapter 7 bankruptcy case.  A trustee will be appointed by the court to wind down NMC’s financial affairs, liquidate its assets and distribute any net proceeds to creditors.  The case will be filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California.

To be honest I don’t know anything about the NMC, but the timing and abruptness of this announcement is more than slightly suspicious.

A look through the NMC website shows that there are globalist-NGO affiliated people on its board of directors, and it’s affiliated with several globalist NGOs–the website of one which has a game promoting Soros’ Orange Revolution in the Ukraine.

It’s not surprising that an academically-oriented media entity would also be in love with the globalist myth, nor would it be surprising that an entity like this would be mismanaged, but to have see it abruptly closed down the day after rumors of Soros’ arrest start floating around….

Let’s be clear: I don’t know anything. I just don’t want to forget this.

What a time to be alive.

Banned words list

One of the words that I’ve learned to hate during my time in higher education is the word “evidence-based.”

It’s basically a flag for intellectual-yet-idiot modern shortsighted rootless science, for values of “evidence” that mean only peer-reviewed scientific studies published under governmental agency oversight after 1900.

Thousands of years of folk medicine? Nah.

Hundreds of similar personal anecdotes? Nope.

Logic applied to physiology? Not possible.

“Evidence-based” medicine will probably help you in the short term, but it’s likely to mess you up in the long term.

It’s a fallacy that we can know everything about a natural system and control all inputs and outputs with no unintended consequences.

That’s why I love that “evidence-based” is one of the words banned from the CDC’s budget proposal this year.

Policy analysts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta were told of the list of forbidden words at a meeting Thursday with senior CDC officials who oversee the budget, according to an analyst who took part in the 90-minute briefing. The forbidden words are: “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”

In some instances, the analysts were given alternative phrases. Instead of “science-based” or “evidence-based,” the suggested phrase is “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes,” the person said. In other cases, no replacement words were immediately offered. […]

The ban is related to the budget and supporting materials that are to be given to CDC’s partners and to Congress, the analyst said. The president’s budget for 2019 is expected to be released in early February. The budget blueprint is generally shaped to reflect an administration’s priorities.

It’s only the budget, so it helps set the direction for what the priorities of the CDC are. I also find it interesting that the concept of “evidence-based” is not banned, just the phrase.

As we’re rounding out the first year of the Trump presidency, it’s heartening to see some good changes roll out to ancillary institutions.

Still gotta build that wall, tho.

Reactionary Fashion vs Revolutionary Fashion

No further words needed. Thank you /pol/, courtesy of Peter Duke.

(Also, LOL Martin Luther)

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