Cole, interaction factors and risk adjustment

We love Cole.

We loved and winced at the stories of faceplants and broken bones from naked mapping, sidewalk walking, dog walking, cat assaination attempts and any number of other things.  We love that Cole is making a good and honest go at the entire adulting thing.  It’s been a while since we’ve heard a classic Cole injury story.  The worst that has happened was the car in the cow field and that was not even his fault. Damn it Cole, I drafted this as the kids were getting ready for bed and you have to fall through the floor….

In last night’s post  John makes a very smart observation about his proclivity to self-injury:

This is more excitement in one day than I usually have in six months barring personal injuries, which, I’ve noticed, come less frequently now that I am sober.

This makes sense.  Alcohol does two things that leads to injuries.  It massively distorts our judgement and risk assessment ability and it wrecks our coordination.  Dumb ideas seem smart and simple physical feats become Olympian Gold medal floor routines with high degrees of difficulty after too many.

So how the hell am I going to tie this into health insurance and health economics?  Easy — this is a great launching point for a discussion on interaction factors for risk adjustment as well as the tail chasing nature of risk score maximization.

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Timothy, Timothy, where on earth did you go?

I thought people might like to discuss this aspect of the GOP convention:

From sports there is Mr. Tebow,

Update. Sorry to bigfoot Tim F, but this was too important to wait.

There is no future in England’s dreaming

David Cameron is a stupid man, and his stupid decision to allow the Brexit referendum is what caused the garbage fire du jour. He also had the decency to campaign against the Brexit and to resign when Brexit won.

There’s more to it than that. Sure, if he’d managed his own economy better, and if Merkel et al. had managed the EU economy better, Brexit might not won. But there’s not that much more to it than that. He didn’t have to have this referendum. As anyone who’s ever followed California at all can tell you, plebiscites are a bad idea.

People suck. But they do respond to incentives. Megan McArdle can wax poetic about the dignity of her outlet buddies in Luton all she wants, but they made a bad decision. One that will hurt them a little economically but that doesn’t mean their ass. It does mean David Cameron’s ass, and good for him for surrendering it. But he fucked up, and that’s what this is all about. I realize there’s too many falafel shops in Warwick and blah blah blah.

Governing is hard. Let’s go blog about 2x4s.

About that Prairie Home Companion Thing

It sounded like Brad Paisley was just listing euphemisms for idle chitchat, but he may very well have been giving a shout-out to us. Here is why.

I know Brad. We’re not BFF’s and I haven’t talked to him in decades, but he grew up in Glen Dale, WV, which is basically known as the speed trap between Wheeling and Moundsville on Route 2 about 20 miles from Balloon Juice World HQ. He attended West Liberty University, which is approximately 5 miles from Balloon Juice World HQ, and while he was there, he had a professor in English named John Cole. You know him as the man behind the voice here, mortified to see his wife filming his dogs drying off on the furniture:

At any rate, my dad taught there, and for years ran Elderhostels during the summer, which was basically summer camp for the olds. They would come and do all sorts of things, take classes, attend lectures, tour the area, and every now and then they would have Intergenerational Elderhostels, where grandparents would come with their grandchildren for a week of camp. Dad thought Brad was very talented and a great kid, and he would come to camp one night and play for them all. This was during the 1992-1997 yeas, before he was famous.

So it may be just coincidence, or he may actually be a reader. Who knows?

Trolling in the deep

@ProfJeffJarvis is the only thing that makes twitter worth reading for me.

His fake Innovation Party piece (deleted, but you can read it here) is the best piece of parody trolling I’ve seen in quite some time.

All the illusions were just a parade

I’ll be voting for Hillary later today.  Why?  I think she seems smarter than Bernie.  Either one would be a fine president.

I won’t attempt to convince anyone to agree with me because I’ve become skeptical of the value of reason itself.  I now believe this:


Our hypothesis is that the function of reasoning is argumentative. It is to devise and evaluate arguments intended to persuade. Reasoning so conceived is adaptive given the exceptional dependence of humans on communication and their vulnerability to misinformation. A wide range of evidence in the psychology of reasoning and decision making can be reinterpreted and better explained in the light of this hypothesis. Poor performance in standard reasoning tasks is explained by the lack of argumentative context. When the same problems are placed in a proper argumentative setting, people turn out to be skilled arguers. Skilled arguers, however, are not after the truth but after arguments supporting their views.

I used to feel bad that our political system might be collapsing under the weight of its own derp, but now I feel that perhaps it’s no worse than any other political system.  Human beings exist largely to create and consume derp.

Damn it, Janet!

I’ve been a little disappointed in the low level of vitriol n’ derp so far in the Democratic campaign, so I was glad to see Susan Sarandon say maybe Trump would be better than Hillary because revolution.

Of course, the reality is that almost no Bernie supporters will vote for a Republican in November if Hillary’s the nominee and almost no Hillary supporters will vote Republican in November if Bernie’s the nominee.

On the other hand, I’m not so sure about the #NeverTrump people. I originally thought they’d all come around to Trump if he’s the nominee (I don’t think it’s a given he will be) but now I’m not so sure. Federal Republican office holders and national GOP party operatives have to back him because it’s the smart move (Tessio was always smarter), but I wonder if the conservative punditocracy can use the Trumpocalypse to prove to the world that they truly are independent-minded Burkeans of no clique or party.

Is there any chance that we could see a post-Both Sides Do It campaign? I’m not talking about the real dead enders — I know Ron Fournier will be in a bunker tweeting death to the duopoly for years after our current political system, as well as twitter, have ceased to exist. But now that Cokie herself is committing journalism against Trump….