The Sunk-Cost Fallacy

in love, and automobile manufacturing.

This is a big problem for space enthusiasts. “Oh, we can’t cancel SLS/Orion! We’ve already spent so much on them, all that money would just go to waste!”

Well, since the purpose was really never anything except to maintain the work force, it wouldn’t really have gone to waste, and continuing them would waste even more, if our actual goal is to do useful things in space. We need to cut our losses as soon as politically possible.

New Computer Question

She kind of likes the Linux set up, but she really doesn’t want to give up things like (and this is an immediate issue), Turbotax. From what I find in searches, it doesn’t seem to play well with Wine, but it might be OK if I ran it in a virtual Windows machine. But don’t I still need to buy Windows in order to set one of those up? And is there an advantage to running it in a VM, other than not having to reboot into the OS?

Why The Media Hates Scott Walker

They think he has a time machine.

It would be nice if he did. That would be the best way to fix ObamaCare. Of course, the best use of it, at least in the recent past, would be to shove some sticks in the spokes of the 2008 Obama campaign, knowing now what we didn’t know then.

[Update a while later]

“Our most intelligent presidents have often been our worst presidents.” I think it’s a mistake to conflate “intelligence” with amount of “education.” Barack Obama (or Bill Clinton) has never struck me as particularly intelligent, unless by that you mean “cunning.” They’re certainly not wise. But yeah, Wilson was pretty bad, just as Obama is.

Scott Walker Didn’t Finish College


I, for one, am glad Howard Dean went to medical school before becoming a doctor. But most liberal arts degrees are overrated as a precondition for success and they are indisputably overpriced — hence the current student loan crisis. In the Internet era, there are many, many new ways to become educated. This sudden suspicion of Scott Walker seems a product of the fact that higher education is a world that liberals control utterly, and the entire economic model supporting it is on the verge of collapse.

Also, it seems to be the only “dirt” they can find on him.

Computer Problems

Welp, Windows (7) isn’t happy with the computer upgrade. It keeps running start-up repair, but it never boots.

[Update a while later]

It occurred to me that Windows might not have liked the BIOS settings. So I went into it, and found something under “Advanced” that enabled it for Windows 8 (which I was planning to upgrade to, anyway). When I did that, it told me that the graphics card was incompatible with that setting. So I pulled the card, and am running directly off the mother board. But now when I try to boot, it dumps me into an EFI shell…

[Update a few minutes later]

Well, this doesn’t seem to be an unusual problem

I tried moving the SATA port of the hard drive, but no joy.

[Evening update]

Well, isn’t this wonderful. I now have a computer that wantonly destroys USB drives.

[Update a minute after I typed that]

OK, it didn’t destroy the drive. It just made it take a couple minutes to recognize it. I guess that’s not quite as bad, but it still isn’t bootable.

[Late-evening update]

OK, now seriously, it is wrecking flash drives. That’s the second one today. I copy a bootable ISO to a drive, it doesn’t boot, then no other computer can even see the drive. That’s two. Today.

The Latest From Iraq

Great. The Junior Varsity strikes again.

[Update a while later]

Guess we have to wait and see.

Fifty Shades Of Dave Barry

He reviews the book:

So what kind of book is Fifty Shades of Grey? I would describe it, literary genre–wise, as “a porno book.” But it’s not the kind of porno men are accustomed to. When a man reads porno, he does not want to get bogged down in a bunch of unimportant details about the characters, such as who they are or what they think. A man wants to get right to the porno:

Chapter One
Bart Pronghammer walked into the hotel room and knitted his brow at the sight of a naked woman with breasts like regulation volleyballs.
“Let’s have sex,” she mused matter-of-factly.

A few paragraphs later they’re all done, and the male reader, having invested maybe ninety seconds of his time, can put the book down and go back to watching SportsCenter.

Apparently that is not what women want, porno-wise. What women want, to judge from Fifty Shades of Grey, is not just people doing It. Many pages go by in this book without any of It getting done, although there is a great deal of thinking and talking about It. The thoughts are provided by the narrator and main character, Anastasia Steele, who is a twenty-one-year-old American woman as well as such a clueless, self-absorbed ninny that you, the reader, find yourself wishing that you still smoked so you would have a cigarette lighter handy and thus could set fire to certain pages, especially the ones where Anastasia is telling you about her “inner goddess.” This is a hyperactive imaginary being—I keep picturing Tinker Bell—who reacts in a variety of ways to the many dramatic developments in Anastasia’s life, as we see in these actual quotes:

“My inner goddess is swaying and writhing to some primal carnal rhythm.”
“My very small inner goddess sways in a gentle victorious samba.”
“My inner goddess is doing the Dance of Seven Veils.”
“My inner goddess is doing the merengue with some salsa moves.”
“My inner goddess has stopped dancing and is staring, too, mouth open and drooling slightly.”
“My inner goddess jumps up and down, with cheerleading pom-poms, shouting ‘Yes’ at me.”
“My inner goddess is doing backflips in a routine worthy of a Russian Olympic gymnast.”
“My inner goddess pole-vaults over the fifteen-foot bar.”
“My inner goddess fist-pumps the air above her chaise longue.”

That’s right: Her inner goddess, in addition to dancing, cheerleading, pole vaulting, etc., apparently keeps furniture inside Anastasia’s head. Unfortunately, this means there is little room left for Anastasia’s brain, which, to judge from her thought process, is about the size of a walnut. On the other hand, Anastasia is physically very attractive, although she never seems to figure this out despite the fact that all the other characters keep telling her, over and over, how darned attractive she is.

Go read the rest. You know you want to.

[Afternoon update]

Some quotes that probably won’t make it into movie.

Scott Walker

The MSM is terrified to death of him.

They should be. He’s been my preferred candidate for a couple years. Among other things, college degrees are highly overrated. Many of the “elite” who have them aren’t really educated; they’re just credentialed.

[Update a while later]

Uncle Sam, The Nutritionist

He’s a terrible one:

Here’s a bet: someday saturated fats — full fat butter, whole milk, tallow, and other animal fats — will be welcomed back, just as cholesterol has been. Until then, plenty of damage will be done to our health and the way we eat.

The American Heart Association and the U.S. government have been recommending a low-cholesterol, low-saturated fat diet for more than half a century. In 1961, when the AHA’s guidelines first came out, one in seven Americans were obese. Now one in three are.

As I’ve often noted, these quacks killed my father thirty-five years ago.


Telling lies is essential to it.

[Update a few minutes later]

Here’s an excellent example:

In San Francisco, the people who were bemoaning the impending closure of Borderlands admitted sheepishly that they’d voted for the minimum-wage hike. “It’s not something that I thought would affect certain specific small businesses,” one customer said. “I feel sad.”

Yeah, Adam Smith feels sad, too, you dope.

Thick though they may be, you know what those economically illiterate San Francisco book-lovers aren’t? President of the United States of America. But President Obama does precisely the same thing: With Obamacare, he created powerful economic incentives for companies such as Staples to keep part-timers under 25 hours – and to hire part-timers rather than full-time employees – and now he complains when companies respond to those incentives. Naturally, he cites executive pay: “I haven’t looked at Staples stock lately or what the compensation of the CEO is,” he says, but affirms that he is confident that they can afford to run their business the way he wants them to run it.

Let’s apply some English-major math to that question. Ronald Sargent made just under $11 million a year at last report. Staples has about 83,000 employees. That means that if it cut its CEO’s pay to $0.00/annum, Staples would be able to fund about $2.61/week in additional wages or health-care benefits for each of its employees, or schedule them for an additional 22 minutes of work at the federal minimum wage. Which is to say, CEO pay represents a trivial sum — but the expenses imposed by Obamacare are not trivial.

On this issue, President Obama brings all of the honesty and integrity he applied to the question of gay marriage: He’s lying, and he knows he’s lying, and his apologists in the media know he’s lying, and Democratic time-servers and yes-men across the fruited plains know he’s lying. This isn’t about CEO pay – it’s about the economic incentives created by the health-insurance program that in the vernacular bears the president’s name. The president, with the support of congressional Democrats, effectively put a tax on full-time jobs, and on part-time jobs offering 30 hours per week or more. So we’re going to have fewer full-time jobs, and fewer part-time jobs offering 30 hours per week or more. This wasn’t cooked up in the boardroom at Staples – it was cooked up on Capitol Hill, with the eager blessing of Barack Obama. It’s not like they don’t know that there are economic tradeoffs necessitated by Obamacare — they know it, and they also know that, politically speaking, their supporters are cheap dates. Obama ran to the right of Dick Cheney on gay marriage, and it didn’t hurt him with gay voters, who were happy to be reduced to mere instruments of his ambition. The Democrats are betting that part-time workers are similarly easy – or that they’re too dumb to understand the economics at work here, and that they’ll be hypnotized by ritual chants about CEO pay.

I’m hoping that this time, they lose their vile bet.

[Update a few minutes later]

Second link was missing, but fixed.

The Resurrection Of The 10th Amendment

The states rise up against Washington:

“People are becoming more and more concerned about the overreach of the federal government,” said center spokesman Mike Maharrey. “They feel the federal government is trying to do too much, it’s too big and it’s getting more and more in debt.”

The 10th Amendment of the Bill of Rights reserves to the states powers not granted to the federal government by the Constitution. States have long used it as a tool to protect themselves against regulations.

Though federal law trumps state law, Maharrey said states are learning to exercise their own power by pushing back.

Without the resources to enforce its laws, the federal government is forced to rely on state action. When states refuse, federal law becomes virtually unenforceable, he said.

“States were always intended to be a check on federal power,” Maharrey said.

Yes. I also like the Article V solution.

No First-Stage Landing Today

The weather at the landing site isn’t acceptable. Look like only chance of demo’ing the landing on this mission is if it gets delayed to February 20th or beyond.

[Update shortly after launch]

All seems to be nominal so far, a few minutes after a beautiful sunset launch.

[Update a couple hours after launch]

SpaceX reports that the rocket came down vertical within ten meters of the virtual target. IOW, the landing probably would have worked if not for sea state.

Computer Upgrade

I just went from a 3.8 MGHz to 4.1 MGHz processor (A10-6800K), and doubled memory, from 8 GB of 1366 to 16 GB of 2133. The difference in performance is amazing. Mostly due to memory, I suspect (the only difference in CPU is the slight percentage increase in speed). Now to go put the old CPU and memory in her machine, which will be an upgrade for her Windows system.

[Update a few minutes later]

I’m sure the fact that the OS is on an SSD doesn’t hurt, either.

[Update late afternoon]

Oh, goody. In order to give her computer the new CPU/memory, I have to change the motherboard out, too, but the HP Pavilion case doesn’t seem to have cables marked. Sigh.

The New Cholesterol Guidelines

This is progress, but it’s still unscientific advice:

In December, the advisory panel said in its preliminary recommendations that cholesterol is no longer “considered a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.” That would be a change from previous guidelines, which said Americans eat too much cholesterol. This follows increasing medical research showing how much cholesterol is in your bloodstream is more complicated than once thought, and depends more on the kinds of fats that you eat. Medical groups have moved away from specific targets for cholesterol in the diet in recent years.

It’s unclear if the recommendation will make it into the final guidelines. Dr. Robert Eckel, a professor of medicine at the University of Colorado in Denver who is a past president of the American Heart Association, told Reuters that there’s not enough evidence to make good recommendations on cholesterol right now, but “no evidence doesn’t mean the evidence is no.”

People can enjoy high-cholesterol egg yolks in moderation, but “a three- to four-egg omelet isn’t something I’d ever recommend to a patient at risk for cardiovascular disease,” he says.

Junk science.

And then there’s this:

Of course, all fat must be consumed in moderation, which is why many dieticians recommend eating only a few egg yolks each week. And for patients with a history of vascular disease, keeping track of the eggs they eat is critical to their health. A study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that patients with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease should limit their cholesterol intake from foods to about 200 milligrams a day.

Despite their fat and cholesterol content, egg yolks are a good source of vitamin A and iron, along with a host of other nutrients.

It’s not “despite” that. Saturated fat is good for you. It’s the healthiest kind of fat, and trying to replace it has been a public-health disaster. One battle at a time, I suppose.

The Brian Williams Debacle

It’s a reminder of the contempt that the “elite” media has for its customers.

Last Week’s Little-Noticed Space Triumph

Thoughts from Instapundit on the FAA’s lunar move.

You know what else wasn’t reported much? The problems with SLS/Orion in the ASAP report. All the focus was on “lack of transparency” in commercial crew.

[Update a while later]

More thoughts from Tom Meyer.

[Early-afternoon update]

Analysis from Matt Schaefer
, of the space law department at Nebraska.