Font-ification and political scandal

The font I often use on my Google Drive documents (Calibri) is at the center of a political scandal.

How?

The (allegedly forged) documents from 2006 submitted by Maryam Nawaz (daughter of PM Nawaz Sharif) were in the Calibri font. That font, according to the investigation team’s leaked report, wasn’t publicly available until 2007.

But did they get an earlier version?

Source: Microsoft’s Calibri font is at the center of a political scandal

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Republican on Rand vs. reality

Quote of the year, at least when it comes to economics and philosophy: “I loved Ayn Rand when I was 18 — before I had children and figured out how the world really works. That’s not how it works, as it turns out.”

You’re my hero of the day, Stephanie Clayton.

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“Inclusive!” “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Gay pride parade organizers in Chicago pride themselves on being inclusive.

Except, apparently, in this case: Demonstrators carrying Star of David flags kicked out of Chicago Dyke March.

The situation might be more complicated than you’re going to see on cable news. For one thing, there is a backstory here. This isn’t the first time the issue has come up in Chicago. Last year, an organization called A Wider Bridge — connecting LGBTQ Jews in the USA and Israel — tried to do a presentation at an LGBTQ conference, but they were shut down. Chicago’s parade organizers say the group is a bunch of agitators trying to impose a “pro-Zionist” agenda, to which a previous Slate story cried “baloney.”

That’s not to say leaders of any movement, whatever it is, shouldn’t worry about their movement being co-opted by people who’ll try to take it another direction. (South Park has covered this on more than one occasion.) But it’s pretty clear parade organizers messed up here. In their zeal to keep out “Zionists,” they made a lot of Jews feel unwelcome.

I think there’s an underlying problem here. People who speak up for marginalized people (or marginalized people themselves) sometimes get the lecturing-to-listening ratio wrong. Being marginalized or being an ally for the marginalized doesn’t mean you’re right 100 percent of the time.

And no one’s 100 percent oppressed or 100 percent oppressor. No one’s family, let alone anyone’s country, is 100 percent innocent. You can be an LGBTQ person of color, and you still have blinders of “privilege” because you’re American or wealthy or goodness knows what else. I have a ton of “oppressor” in my family tree — I’m descended from Confederate military officers, and I’m the grandson of someone who argued forcefully against segregation. But I’m also descended from people who fled France, Scotland and England, not always in search of greater wealth in the New World. My kids are descended from grandparents and great-grandparents who weren’t free to go “home.”

So what does this all mean?

It means we all have to listen. To everybody. Writing off someone’s input because they’re Jewish or American or white really isn’t any better than writing off someone’s input because they’re Muslim or African or black.

If people have malicious intent, it’ll reveal itself soon enough. Let them speak. They might have a point. And if they don’t have a point, feel free to let them know.

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Bloggers 1, British tabloids 1

Good look here at how a blogger doing a deep dive into research helped sway the British election to be a lot closer than The Sun and the Daily Mail would’ve wanted: How Newspapers Lost Their Monopoly On Influencing Voters In The 2017 General Election

Sure, I’m a little wary — I don’t want people taking Joe Schmoe blogger at the same weight as The New York Times. But if they’re doing the research, they can have the same impact as, say, John Oliver. Which is good.

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The actual divide in this country, illustrated

Forget rural vs. urban. Forget left vs. right. Forget rich vs. poor (both of which have been convinced to vote against their self-interests, anyway).

Here’s the divide in this country:

Duke course catalog, Statistics 642:

Statistical models for modeling, monitoring, assessing and forecasting time series. Univariate and multivariate dynamic models; state space modeling approaches; Bayesian inference and prediction; computational methods for fast data analysis, learning and prediction; time series decomposition; dynamic model and time series structure assessment. Routine use of statistical software for time series applications. Applied studies motivated by problems and time series data from a range of applied fields including economics, finance, neuroscience, climatology, social networks, and others. Instructor consent required.

TV listing for third-rated cable show in 18-49 demographic for June 21:

Sonja’s love triangle gets more complicated as things heat up with “Frenchie.” Meanwhile, Tinsley goes apartment hunting. Carole and Adam bicker over items he left behind in her apartment. Fredrik and Bethenny look over her apartment as they plan to put it on the market. Carole and Dorinda go to Washington DC for the Women’s March. Ramona throws a party at her apartment with a surprising guest list.

 

 

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Duke majors today

Looked up a few things on colleges today and found an interesting stat — the number of degrees Duke conferred in 2015-16 by major. I’m not sure how it accounts for double majors, but either way, it’s an interesting stat.

My two majors are in bold.

First, by category:

325 Biological/Biomedical Sciences
312 Social Sciences
271 Engineering (+2 in “Engineering Technology and Engineering-Related Fields”)
158 Public Policy, etc.
139 Health Professions (all nursing)
109 Psychology
94 Computer and Information Sciences
63 Physical Sciences
61 Mathematics and Statistics
  43 Visual and Performing Arts
43 Education
41 History
40 Natural Resources and Conservation
37 Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics
34 English Language and Literature
20 Philosophy and Religious Studies
18 Area, Ethnic, Gender, Cultural and Group Studies

Now, by major:

180 Economics
176 Biology
158 Public Policy
139 Nursing (I *think* this is a separate school)
109 Psychology (this surprises me)
99 Bioengineering/Biomedical Engineering
93 Computer Science (+1 in “Computer and Information Science, Other”)
89 Electrical and Electronics Engineering
87 Neuroscience
71 Mechanical Engineering
69 Political Science
55 Anatomy
43 International and Comparative Education
40 Environmental Studies
39 History (+2 in “History, Other”)
38 Math
36 Chemistry
34 English
33 Sociology
30 Anthropology
23 Statistics
23 “Visual and Performing Arts, Other” (??? +2 in “Visual and Performing Arts, General”)
20 Physics
  13 Philosophy
12 Civil Engineering
10 Area Studies
9 French
8 Foreign Languages, General
7 Biophysics
7 Geological and … look, we’re just saying “Geology”
7 Religion
6 Art History
6 Spanish
5 Drama (and other words)
5 Linguistics
5 Classics
    5 Music
5 Women’s Studies
3 African Studies
2 Environmental Engineering
2 Romance Languages
2 Russian
2 Dance

So my majors aren’t very popular. And my master’s degree isn’t that much more popular — 26, just two more than East Asian Studies.

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For the latest medical poop, call Gwyneth Paltrow about her Goop

This Lifehacker story on Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Summit is a brilliant read on alternative-medicine b.s. that brings to mind a classic Saturday Night Live sketch: Theodoric of York, Medieval Barber.

Theodoric of York: Hello, Joan, Wife of Simkin the Miller. Well, how’s my little patient doing?

Joan: Not so well, I fear. We followed all your instructions – I mixed powder of staghorn, gum of arabic with sheep’s urine, and applied it in a poultice to her face.

Theodoric of York: And did you bury her up to her neck in the marsh and leave her overnight?

Joan: Oh, yes. But she still feels as listless as ever, if not more.

Theodoric of York: Well, let’s give her another bloodletting. Broom Gilda.

(Yes, the headline here is a shoutout to The Simpsons and the Be Sharps.)

 

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