Bookmarks for August 28th through August 29th

A few interesting links for August 28th through August 29th:

  • Why Oh Why Can't We Have Better Pollsters? – Polls are ridiculous, ignore them if you can.
    "But Gallup doesn’t report its daily results, they report a multi-day rolling average. Abramowitz notes that if you report a ten day rolling average, you get a chart where nothing happens — Obama maintains a flat lead of 3-4 points. Again, a stable race. But if instead of doing either of those things you do what Gallup actually does and report a three day rolling average, you get these pleasant looking peaks and valleys in the race. The change over time here is large enough in magnitude (unlike on the ten day chart) but also slow enough in pace (unlike on the one day chart) to be plausibly interpreted as public opinion shifting in response to events. And since the human mind is designed to recognize patterns and construct narratives, and since it suits the interests of campaign journalists to write narratives, people interpret the peaks and valleys of the three day average as real shifts in public opinion."
  • Dwindling In Unbelief: Whose face do you see on the moth? – "Isn't it great? Jesus has returned again — this time on the back of a moth in east Texas.

    But I'm not so sure that it really is Jesus. I mean, aren't those horns on the top of his head? And what about those long, goat-like ears and beard? It looks more like Jesus' little brother Satan to me."

    that's freaky. Looks more like a Rasta from Texas if you stare long enough

  • Poynter Online – Open Letter from Roger Ebert to Jay Mariotti – "What an ugly way to leave the Sun-Times. It does not speak well for you. Your timing was exquisite. You signed a new contract, waited until days after the newspaper had paid for your trip to Beijing at great cost, and then resigned with only an e-mail. You saved your explanation for a local television station.

    As someone who was working here for 24 years before you arrived, I think you owed us more than that. You owed us decency. The fact that you saved your attack for TV only completes our portrait of you as a rat.
    Newspapers are not dead, Jay, although you predicted the death of the Sun-Times and the Tribune. Neither paper will die any time soon. Job- hunting tip: It is imprudent to go on TV and predict the collapse of a newspaper you might hope would hire you. "

  • "Crossroads" – "A blues gem from the master, Robert Johnson. It worked wonders for Cream, better than for Johnson, and, truth be told, Clapton's hard rock cover has always appealed to me. But it doesn't even begin to approach the complexity of Robert Johnson's original, which mixes at least 3 time signatures: 3/4, 4/4, and 5/4: amateur guitarists out there, good luck trying to pull off these polyrhythms!

    I once read in a Very Serious Newspaper that Johnson was "a fine blues musician who had trouble counting to 12." No doubt, that same critic wrote somewhere else that Guernica was proof positive that Picasso was a fine painter who had trouble drawing horses."

    (oh, and the "Seth" in the comment flame-war is not me, just for the record)

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