Category Archives: Politics vs. math

The attack of the Republican “brain viruses”

coronavirus

While watching the most recent Trump rally in Arizona I recalled this slice of a nature documentary about European paper wasps and their most unwelcome parasite, as told by Wired magazine: “Early in summer, when a hive is busiest, the infected wasp leaves and travels, as if under command, to some unknown but predetermined place. Other parasitized wasps converge there,… Read more »

A 25-point Credo about money and choice

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Cash

It has been three-and-a-half years since I last posted about my concept of money and cryptocurrencies. I have decided to start the year out detailing my literal bets on my own wealth in the form of a (perhaps sacrilegious) Credo (literally “I believe”), twenty-five pithy statements without much explanation. Even though Jesus warned against putting too much faith in money,… Read more »

Alligators, Florida Man, and Covid revisited

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Alligator

It was just two weeks ago that I posted about the famed “Florida Man” meme, the (almost always) men who are absolutely sure that they are right when they are embarking on some dangerous action that is really wrong. And then, just this past week, we took guests to southwest Florida’s Myakka River State Park, where you can walk through… Read more »

What are the odds that I am dead wrong?

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Dice

Ever since I transitioned from Iowa-based snowbird to full-time Floridian, news accounts of the storied “Florida Man” now show up regularly in my news feed. To find your own “Florida Man doppelganger,” you simply Google “Florida Man” in quotes, followed by your birth month and day, and then see what news headline comes up. My search yielded this: “Florida man,… Read more »

Dopesick, homelessness, and the casualties of culture

Junction

When faced with a friend who has succumbed to prescription opioid addiction, we commonly hear the expression, “There but for the grace of God go I!” But what if it is not divine grace at work here, rather simply the math of probability? I recently viewed the excellent Hulu television miniseries Dopesick, based on a book of the same name… Read more »

Insurance advertising wars, Kars4Kids and “buying eyes”

Advertisements featuring the GEICO lizard, the apron-wearing Flo from Progressive Insurance, and the emu from Liberty Mutual are incessant on the channels I watch. They ought to be; Berkshire Hathaway’s GEICO is consistently one of the top advertisers on television, spending an estimated $1.6 billion annually to reach your eyes, and the other two are close behind Medicare Advantage and… Read more »

Seven bets on your 2022 Medicare supplement

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have just released 2022 premium and deductible information for Parts A (mostly hospital services) and Part B (mostly outpatient services). I have recently updated my reasons why I see Medicaid Advantage (Part C) as a bad alternative to the Part B Medigap plans, and this post demonstrates a simple way to choose a… Read more »

The bad Medicare Advantage bets – 2022 update

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Life Expectancy

The best hospital in my area ran a full-page newspaper advertisement last Sunday stating clearly which Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans that they will accept during 2022 and which they will not. It is no secret that I am not a fan of Medicare Advantage, but even I was shocked to see how few plans that they do accept. Most… Read more »

Gendered restrooms and Aunt Gert’s two-holer outhouse

Amish-school

“There are two types of people in the world: those who divide the world into two types of people and those who don’t.” – Anonymous I have long held that if you can turn an ethical dilemma into a binary choice, it either isn’t much of an ethical dilemma or you are not thinking too hard. And when it comes… Read more »

The Ron DeSantis death factor

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Life-expectancy-FL

Fifteen thousand excess deaths from Covid-19 in Florida so far in 2021. That is the “Ron DeSantis death factor” I assert versus what would have happened if he had just been a mediocre governor instead of a dangerous one. The nation’s governors, perhaps more than any other group of influential Americans, currently set the boundaries for most local responses regarding… Read more »