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Quick Takes and Random Stuff Aug 10, 2023
polling, AI, cooling building, college completing, the spinning CD and more
An interesting political split
This caught my attention this week. This is the 2022 exit poll from CNN. Republicans win men and married women. The Democrats win only unmarried women, but by a lot. Put your thoughts on this in the comments.
Reverse climate migration
This map, created by Visual Capitalist, shows county-level population changes from 2010 through 2020. Migration, as well as birth and mortality rates, all contribute to changes. This relates to my idea from Tuesday, in that if people took climate change seriously, we would see growth in the north, particularly around the Great Lakes, and in the northeast. The converse is true, with growth occurring in the south, which is more vulnerable to the effects of climate change. A map that only shows only migration might be preferable; I'll put it on my to-do list.
A win for AI
From the Washington Post (8/2/2023)
The preliminary analysis of a long-term trial of 80,000 women in Sweden, published Tuesday in the journal Lancet Oncology, showed that AI readings of mammograms actually detected 20 percent more cases of breast cancer than the “standard” reading by two radiologists.
and AI is faster.
The authors didn’t measure the time it took radiologists to do the readings, but assuming a rate of about 50 readings per hour per radiologist, they calculated that it would have taken one radiologist 4 to 6 months less to read the mammograms in the AI test group compared to the mammograms in the standard screening group.
The next time you need a second opinion, ask Sky Net.
The article The College Completion Gap and How To Close It (8/2/2023) has a number of interesting charts, and here is one:
Here is a quick explanation of this chart: The blue bars are the observed college completion rate. The orange bars are the expected completion rate adjusted based on high school GPA and test scores. The unpopular conclusion:
Are racial disparities in college completion due, at least in part, to the practice of college admissions offices accepting minority students with lower achievement in high school [as indexed by high school grade point averages (GPA) and test scores] than other candidates? My analysis of data from a national longitudinal study conducted by the U.S. Department of Education shows that this appears to be the case.7
My view isn’t that we shouldn’t accept students with lower GPAs and test scores (of all races and ethnicities) into college, but rather, assuming the results are correct, what should or can be done once they arrive to close the gap? My view is that too many colleges pat themselves on the back for accepting such students, and once they are on campus, the problem is solved. If these students are taking out loans and we know their prospects of success are low based on previous performance, then doing nothing for them seems unethical. This article has further information worth reading.
One way to use less electricity
Move commercial buildings to the north because they take less energy to cool. The chart is from the eia article Cooling commercial buildings is six times more energy-intensive in hot climates than cold (7/27/2023).
Commercial buildings in warmer climate zones were both more likely to be cooled and to cool larger portions of their floorspace. In 2018, 52% of buildings in the hot or very hot climate zone reported cooling all of their floorspace. In contrast, only 25% of buildings in the cold or very cold climate zone reported cooling all of their floorspace.
Of course, in colder areas, these structures must be heated. Still, if we're serious about addressing climate change, do we really want commercial structures, such as factories, in hot or very hot climates? Perhaps we should form an organization called Just Move North. More seriously, when it comes to adapting to a changing climate, the choices aren't easy, even if we disregard what is politically feasible.
David Brooks NYT opinion piece, What if We’re the Bad Guys Here? (8/2/2023) provides plenty of food for thought. A few paragraphs:
Like all elites, we use language and mores as tools to recognize one another and exclude others. Using words like “problematic,” “cisgender,” “Latinx” and “intersectional” is a sure sign that you’ve got cultural capital coming out of your ears. Meanwhile, members of the less-educated classes have to walk on eggshells because they never know when we’ve changed the usage rules so that something that was sayable five years ago now gets you fired.
We also change the moral norms in ways that suit ourselves, never mind the cost to others. For example, there used to be a norm that discouraged people from having children outside marriage, but that got washed away during our period of cultural dominance, as we eroded norms that seemed judgmental or that might inhibit individual freedom.
After this social norm was eroded, a funny thing happened. Members of our class still overwhelmingly married and had children within wedlock. People without our resources, unsupported by social norms, were less able to do that. As Adrian Wooldridge points out in his magisterial 2021 book, “The Aristocracy of Talent,” “Sixty percent of births to women with only a high school certificate occur out of wedlock, compared with only 10 percent to women with a university degree.” That matters, he continues, because “the rate of single parenting is the most significant predictor of social immobility in the country.”
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The spinning CD
New from the Struts: Too Good At Raising Hell
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Disagreeing and using comments
I'd rather know the truth and understand the world than always be right. I'm not writing to upset or antagonize anyone on purpose, though I guess that could happen. I welcome dissent and disagreement in the comments. We all should be forced to articulate our viewpoints and change our minds when we need to, but we should also know that we can respectfully disagree and move on. So, if you think something said is wrong or misrepresented, then please share your viewpoint in the comments.