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From the Notebook

Gilbert Keith Chesterton, (b. 29 May 1874 – d....

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-“The Everlasting Man” by GK Chesterton. Chesterton presents two ridiculous ideas. One is that man is just another animal. The other, that Christ was just another man. It was a reductio ad absurdum argument for the Christian faith, and one that is surprisingly strong. This is the first actual book I’ve read from Chesterton, though I’ve been reading bits and pieces of his writings for a long time. This book is a great place to start.

– “On Interpretation” by Aristotle. In this short work, (ch 1-10 are part of the Great Books of the Western World ten-year reading plan) Aristotle creates the first philosophical work dealing with language and logic. (The first work we know about anyway). Beyond creating the foundation for what would later become symbolic logic in chapter 9 he makes a famous case against fatalism.

– Proverbs; The Bible.  This book was the book a friend recommended I read way back when I was in high school. He told me this was the easiest book of the Bible to read (it is, 31 short chapters, read one a day and you’re finished by the end of the month). There is a lot of great stuff in this book, words of wisdom that rank with any contemporary text both in the Eastern and Western traditions. It is a great way to start reading the Bible. This particular reading was the NLT.


links for 2010-10-30

Dayton v. Emmer

It’s time to move beyond polls and look at potential vote totals in the Governors race.

Believe it or not, this should be very predictable. Over the last two elections, approximately 2,200,000 voters cast their ballots in both 2002 and 2006. In fact, the vote total actually went down about 50,000 votes from 2002 to 2006. About a million voters went for Pawlenty in 2006, about a million for Hatch, and about 150,000 votes went to Hutchinson.  In presidential election years, turnout is higher. Coleman and Franken each got about 1.2 million votes, and Dean Barkley got 437,000 votes. This represents the vote total ceiling.

Dayton will get a million votes. That’s easy. That’s the DFL base. There won’t be much more on top of that, perhaps 50,000 to 100,000 votes. Peter Hutchinson will get 200,000 to 250,000 votes. His support has varied widely, but has consistently been stronger than Hutchinson’s in ’06. He looks more like Penny in 2002, who got 360,000+ votes in 2002. Horner is no Tim Penny, but 250,000 votes is very plausible.

With Dayton topping out at 1.1 million, and Horner topping out at 250,000 votes, this leaves less than a million voters for Emmer. About 900,000 votes.

Past results are not destiny. Dayton is not a popular character. It’s completely possible that, in this environment, he will struggle to get a million votes as frustrated Democrats stay home. But Emmer is also hurting from the beating he has taken in this election. Can he find an extra 200,000 votes? Sure. I wouldn’t bank on it, but this is an unusual election cycle. Emmer should be able to match Pawlenty’s total in 2002.

Still, any way I look at it, I see an election that will, in the best circumstance, be decided in Emmer’s favor by less than 50,000 votes. This race is not a coin flip. I give Dayton a solid 70% win probability.

links for 2010-10-29

  • Quote:"That's right, the game's second kickoff technically accounted for minus-12 yards, and the kicks that followed later in the game were equally fluky. With Lakeville North holding a 7-6 lead in the first quarter, the two teams traded punts that travelled the following distances, in succession: 15 yards, 28 yards, 39 yards, 2 yards and 18 yards. Later in the game, a kickoff sailed through the uprights. If that had been a legal field goal, it would have counted as a 70-yarder.

    // The great MN hurricane.

  • // If only a videogamer ruled my life.
  • Quote:"To make sure voters have more accurate and statistically reliable information about the Minnesota Governor’s race, the Emmer Campaign today is releasing results from its own internal poll conducted on October 24th and 25th by Public Opinion Strategies. The poll of 500 likely voters shows the race for Governor tied: Dayton 40, Emmer 40, Horner 13. The poll has margin of error ±4.38% and is more in line with recent results from Survey USA and Rasmussen and in stark contrast to the ridiculous polling done by the Star Tribune and MPR.

    // Looks like Emmer tops out at 41%, Dayton at 44%, Horner at 13% with 1% going elsewhere. Both main candidates should hit 40% with ease. So it's going to be a nailbiter.

  • Quote:"U.S. economic growth edged up as predicted in the third quarter but not enough to chip away at high unemployment or change expectations of more monetary easing from the Federal Reserve next week.

    Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.0 percent annual rate as consumer spending rose at its fastest pace in four years, the Commerce Department said on Friday.

    While consumer spending quickened and business investment continued to expand, much of the rise in demand was met by overseas production and domestic goods continued to pile up in warehouses, suggesting tepid growth in the fourth quarter.

    // 2% GDP growth is not good. This is just not a recovery.

  • Quote:"A British man died after poisoning himself with two spoonfuls of caffeine powder bought over the internet, local media reported Friday.

    Michael Lee Bedford, 23, from Mansfield, central England, was at a party in April when he swallowed caffeine powder that a friend bought online for £3.29 ($5.26), Nottingham Coroner’s Court heard Thursday.

    He washed the powder down with an energy drink, and around 15 minutes later began sweating and vomiting blood. He later died at King’s Mill Hospital in Nottinghamshire, central England, the Nottingham Post reported.

    // Wait till we see this stuff banned.

  • // 39-38-13 in this survey usa poll versus with 44- 41- 10 in Rasmussen [One percent (1%) favors another candidate, and four percent (4%) are undecided.]

    That's really close and hard to model. Dayton isn't polling above 44% anywhere. Emmer could be right there.

links for 2010-10-28

links for 2010-10-27

links for 2010-10-26

links for 2010-10-24

links for 2010-10-23

  • Quote:"Burke enjoyed a special relationship with the Catholic Church throughout his life and in 2000, he and his family were invited to perform at the Jubilee of the Family at the Vatican. He was invited back to the Vatican by both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI for the Christmas celebration.

    // the guy also had 21 children.

links for 2010-10-22