Profile

Cover photo
John Arrington Woodward
Attended Florida State University
Lives in Jacksonville
2,081 followers|208,247 views
AboutPostsPhotosYouTubeReviews

Stream

John Arrington Woodward

Shared publicly  - 
 
One of Clinton's signal achievements in office did not involve a misplaced cigar; rather, he completely reconfigured the welfare programs into block grants turning control over to the states. This was hailed as a positive move towards more employment and less cost. However, in our post racial America, racism snuck its way into the room on the back of preconceived, culturally determined notions of 'right'.

" In other words, people had become so focused on racial issues that race really drove the patterning. They were not necessarily conscious of it; it was race-coded and below the radar for most people. But all of the states with more African-Americans on the welfare rolls chose tougher rules. And when you add those different rules up, what we found was that even though the Civil Rights Act prevents the government from creating different programs for black and white recipients, when states choose according to this pattern, it ends up that large numbers of African-Americans get concentrated in the states with the toughest rules, and large numbers of white recipients get concentrated in the states with the more lenient rules.

[...]

Here’s an interesting finding: In our study, we found that, not surprisingly, conservative counties and areas tended to sanction welfare clients much more often — they were much tougher on beneficiaries — than the most liberal counties. But what we found was that almost the entire difference was made up by the different treatment of black and Hispanic clients. For white clients, it actually made no difference whether you were in the most liberal or most conservative county. You’d be treated the same regardless. It was only clients of color who received different treatment in conservative and liberal counties.

[...]

We used identical, made-up case files. The only differences between them were that some had what are considered “black names,” and others had “white names.” So one would be like, Emily O’Brien and on another we put Lakisha Williams. We pretested them to show that most people who saw these names, right or wrongly, associated them with white or black people — or Latinos.

And we then presented actual welfare case managers with cases where it wasn’t quite clear whether the person should be sanctioned or not. Again, it was the exact same case, except we varied the name, and therefore, the race they associated with the person.

And then we also varied one other thing, which you can call a discrediting marker. So in one of the experiments, we looked at what happens if you add information that the imaginary beneficiary had been sanctioned before — maybe that would lead the case worker to think they’re a troublemaker. That should have no bearing on the current sanction decision, but it might just change their view. Or we changed the number of children they had — for half of the case managers, the person had one child; for the other half, they had four children and were pregnant.

And we found that, across all of our experiments, for the white client, adding that marker — which invoked a negative image of welfare recipients — had no effect at all. They were still judged the same way on the current matter.

The black client or the Hispanic client, when they did not have this discrediting marker, were also judged neutrally on the borderline problem we gave these managers. So there wasn’t an automatic bias. But when you added that discrediting marker, the likelihood that the person would get sanctioned went through the roof if they were a person of color. In other words, the person might not be discriminated against if there was nothing there that provided a kind of cue, but as soon as you added something that seemed to confirm the negative stereotypes about welfare recipients, it had no effect on the white client, but it made the black client seem like a person who should be sanctioned, and the rates went up.

And the thing that’s really fascinating is that this was equally true for all case managers, regardless of how they self-identified in terms of race and ethnicity. It was equally true of white case managers and case managers of color.
A ten-year study of the aftermath of one of Clinton's signature achievements revealed some surprising results.
1
Add a comment...

John Arrington Woodward

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
The Brain vs Deep Learning Part I: Computational Complexity — Or Why the Singularity Is Nowhere Near

My model shows that it can be estimated that the brain operates at least 10x^21 operations per second. With current rates of growth in computational power we could achieve supercomputers with brain-like capabilities by the year 2037, but estimates after the year 2080 seem more realistic when all evidence is taken into account. This estimate only holds true if we succeed to stomp limitations like physical barriers (for example quantum-tunneling), capital costs for semiconductor fabrication plants, and growing electrical costs. At the same time we constantly need to innovate to solve memory bandwidth and network bandwidth problems which are or will be the bottlenecks in supercomputing. With these considerations taken into account, it is practically rather unlikely that we will achieve human-like processing capabilities anytime soon.
In this blog post I will delve into the brain and explain its basic information processing machinery and compare it to deep learning. I do this by moving step-by-step along with the brains electroc...
View original post
1
Add a comment...

John Arrington Woodward

Shared publicly  - 
 
Value is socially determined.
2
1
C. A. Wilke's profile photo
Add a comment...

John Arrington Woodward

Shared publicly  - 
 
In all of the excitement about New Horizons, Cassini has been a bit forgotten about. Yet it is still sending back some astonishing shots of Saturn's moons. 
A single crescent moon is a familiar sight in Earth's sky, but with Saturn's many moons, you can see three or even more.
1
Add a comment...

John Arrington Woodward

Shared publicly  - 
 
In which we learn that some politicians are just dicks. 
 
Stephen Harper pulled a group of front-line firefighters out of the smoky hills near Kelowna for a photo op but they flatly refused to sing O Canada for him.
1 comment on original post
2
Breen Ouellette's profile photo
 
Somewhat exaggerated. The site is an Onion wannabe. Harper is a dick, though.
Add a comment...

John Arrington Woodward

Shared publicly  - 
 
The sharing economy has recently been defended as a pre-utopian stage, a grand exit from the cold exigencies of capitalism to the technological perfection of a not-yet-named ism.

Doug Henwood points out that this transition to our new ism looks like nothing more radical than a change in the form of economic oppression and not a sloughing off of the oppression which is the core feature of capitalism. There is no 'flattening' here, but a more socio-mystical means of exploitation leading to even greater peaks of wealth channeled to scriptkiddies with a few years of coding experience and an idea.

Yes, as +Yonatan Zunger pointed out recently, taxi companies are monopolistic, and exploitative, making the entry price sometimes so exorbitant as to be either out of the reach of the lower classes or themselves a type of indebted servitude. Uber has simply found a way of 'liberating' the model so that more of the money flows upward and prices decline, Walmartizing the entire system. 

Capitalism will not be eclipsed until the foundational social relationships such as property ownership are radicalized, or until the concept of labor and work are radicalized, neither of which have really happened. The age old industrialized forms are still there; we've just decided to dress them up differently.

" Uber drivers often complain about the low (and declining) pay and miserable conditions. S., a driver in Chicago (who, like everyone I spoke with, wanted to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals), says that full-timers put in sixty hours a week for an hourly rate that comes to $12 or $13 after expenses. He says the company is constantly scheming to cut pay. A., a driver in Los Angeles (and one of the few women in the trade), says she gets $11 to $12 an hour after expenses (daily expenses like gas, not depreciation of the car), which is around the twenty-fifth percentile of the city’s hourly earnings, though about in line with typical taxi-driver pay. That’s a sharp contrast with the $35-an-hour rate that was dangled in front of her when she signed up. A. describes Uber as “a port in the storm,” a way to pick up some cash while, Angeleno that she is, she works on some movie and web projects. Uber’s a different story in New York, where all drivers have to be certified by the Taxi and Limousine Commission, and the cars are all regular cabs or car-service vehicles. Every Uber-hailed driver I’ve spoken with in New York likes the service, because it delivers more paying riders than they’d otherwise have. 

[...]

You need a newish car to drive for Uber; if your car gets too old, that’s grounds for deactivation. But the company is ready to help: it’s entered into a partnership with Santander, a Spanish bank, to offer car loans to drivers, with the payments conveniently deducted from their paycheck. According to the terms posted on Uberpeople.net, a chat board for drivers, the payments work out to an interest rate of around 21 percent. They get you coming and going. "
Uber and Airbnb monetize the desperation of people in the post-crisis economy while sounding generous—and evoke a fantasy of community in an atomized population.
2
1
Yonatan Zunger's profile photoJohn Arrington Woodward's profile photoJannik Lindquist's profile photo
6 comments
 
I largely agree with your analysis, +Yonatan Zunger . However, I diverge in several areas: 

Firstly, the socio-economic structure of the 1950s and 60s needs to be recognized as 1) responding to the ideological pressures exerted by both fascism and communism on capitalism; 2) somewhat determined by fairly radical changes in labor markets in the postwar years (both in returning women to the home in America and in replacing the dead workers in Europe--which are two different forces); 3) financed by massive movements of capital into Europe managed by specific (and pro-American) trade agreements; 4) the nascent European Union with the growing recognition that close economic ties and securitizing against socio-economic shocks in society was perhaps the best way of warding off World War III; 5) probably growing economies of scale and increasing productivity due to mechanization, thus allowing for higher profits which needed 'hiding' from the tax man and therefore went into higher salaries and better pensions; 6) Keynes. 

The shift to IRAs was only partially about moving retirement plans as the labor force become more flexible; it was also pushed extensively by private market forces intent on making a profit, much to the chagrin of many a would-be retiree in those crisis years.

Secondly, the insurance problem is only faintly like the Dutch Republic's issue when it comes to amortizing their ships. After all, the cost was distributed throughout the community for the Dutch. Not so with the car. All burdens fall on one individual (generally). When a ship returned (in its heyday) the worth of the material was more than enough to pay for the crew, the insurance, and to have a tidy profit for all investors. I don't think that is the case with Uber drivers.

The problem with an insurance solution to your #2 is that insurance 'insures' after the fact, after damages have been incurred. Corporations have windfalls to insure against shock and ensure profit. Uber drivers might, but probably generally do not. Now, Uber might also insist that this is not intended as a 'career' and I'm sure it probably wasn't. Does the corporation has a social responsibility, though? My immediate response to that is a resounding yes. The argument for that is very very long, though. (This section becomes moot if we are really talking about more profound profit sharing as a form of 'insurance'.)

Thirdly, I'm always hesitant to insist that workers have a social responsibility to keep the costs low for consumers, while corporations do not bear similar social responsibilities to their workers, especially not in this sense. I do not see low prices abstractly as a moral requirement for a good society. Taxi rides are conveniences in a place like Paris or Berlin, not a social necessity. Why should the guild bear a social responsibility to keep the costs to the consumer low? If they are profiting, and they are not causing significant social harm through their monopoly (for example inflating food prices, or oil prices, or etc), then why should they be seen as a social evil in the face of a "Walmart" model which pushes them to the side? (This is especially so given that taxis are often supplementary to cheaper forms of public transportation--though this is more often the case in Europe than in America.)

Now, if Uber flowed into economically blighted communities and provided cheap and affordable rides to lower income families who needed to get to jobs, then we are talking about a radically good and 'flattening' idea. I've not seen it happening; though perhaps it is. I need more data. 
Add a comment...
Have him in circles
2,081 people
SHAHID MUNEER's profile photo
Consumer Debt Counselors's profile photo
Betha Sutrisno's profile photo
Августин Серпень's profile photo
Mark Thompson's profile photo
Ripples With Rusty's profile photo
your bos's profile photo
Carakoom - The First Worldwide Automotive Social Network's profile photo
Герман Дружинин's profile photo

John Arrington Woodward

Shared publicly  - 
 
Living in a city with a SA with the same competitive mindset when it comes to prosecutions, this story is not at all surprising. 

" Lunsford interviewed the first officer for the first time at the courthouse, just before he was scheduled to testify. He told the prosecutor he’d guess the calls came from Steiniger’s mother’s house, not the abandoned property.

Some prosecutors would call that sort of thing exculpatory information that must legally be turned over to the defense. Lunsford thanked the officer for stopping by and said she would no longer be needing his testimony after all. (This officer would later call the defense attorney and tell him what had transpired.) The second law enforcement officer offered up the same conclusion. He didn’t get to testify, either.

When defense counsel learned of the cellphone evidence and attempted to use one of the detectives as a defense witness, Lunsford had him disqualified as an expert, objecting to the fact that the defense attorney hadn’t subpoenaed the right witnesses to get the phone record evidence in. When the defense lawyer asked in chambers for a continuance so that he could call the correct witnesses, the motion was denied by trial court Judge Cheryl Higgins. Jurors would never hear what the phone tower records showed. Local lawyers and trial observers were shocked. "
 
The story of a woman who made up a kidnapping and sexual assault, and the man who was convicted of the non-existent crime despite all of the evidence pointing to his innocence.

As part of her prosecution strategy, Weiner’s trial lawyer later said, Lunsford “sought the advice of two respected detectives in the city and the county” to pinpoint where the alleged victim’s text messages had originated. Each cop concluded independently that the texts had been sent from near where Steiniger's mother lived. Lunsford interviewed the first officer for the first time at the courthouse, just before he was scheduled to testify. He told the prosecutor he’d guess the calls came from Steiniger’s mother’s house, not the abandoned property.

Some prosecutors would call that sort of thing exculpatory information that must legally be turned over to the defense. Lunsford thanked the officer for stopping by and said she would no longer be needing his testimony after all. (This officer would later call the defense attorney and tell him what had transpired.) The second law enforcement officer offered up the same conclusion. He didn’t get to testify, either.

When defense counsel learned of the cellphone evidence and attempted to use one of the detectives as a defense witness, Lunsford had him disqualified as an expert, objecting to the fact that the defense attorney hadn’t subpoenaed the right witnesses to get the phone record evidence in. When the defense lawyer asked in chambers for a continuance so that he could call the correct witnesses, the motion was denied by trial court Judge Cheryl Higgins. Jurors would never hear what the phone tower records showed.
...
At the trial, no physical evidence was presented that in any way connected Weiner to the abandoned house or to Steiniger's cellphone. No rag was found soaked with a chemical that could knock you out in 15 seconds.

Weiner was convicted by the jury on Steiniger’s testimony. He was immediately sent to jail.
...
Steiniger’s then-husband, Howard Steiniger, who was incarcerated at the time of the alleged attack, had signed an affidavit saying that she had admitted to making this story up in an attempt to get back at a guy named Mike. Her admission, he said, was made while they talked on the phone, on a recorded prison call. Records of the call were destroyed when lawyers attempted to obtain them.
...
Weiner’s lawyers also presented an affidavit from anesthesiologist John Janes, testifying that there is no chemical that can be put on a rag and placed on someone’s face that would cause that person to pass out within 15 seconds.
...
After that final hearing, at which Mark Weiner was sentenced to eight years in prison for giving a young woman a ride home, Lunsford explained why none of the new evidence mattered: “I interviewed the victim twice, and I believed her.”
...
Finally, this week, Judge Higgins did vacate Weiner’s conviction. This time, prosecutor Lunsford joined with Weiner’s defense attorneys in a motion to call for his conviction to be vacated, only a month after fighting the earlier motion. New evidence had surfaced: Steiniger, the alleged victim of Weiner’s attempted abduction, had been caught this past February selling cocaine to two undercover officers. According to a motion filed by the defense, joined by the prosecutor, this new evidence might impeach the credibility of the complaining witness.
...
Mark Weiner has lost more than two years with his young son and with his wife, he’s lost his job, he’s lost his family home, and he’s lost every penny he ever had in savings or retirement accounts.
...
None of this explains why the prosecutor’s office deemed a subsequent drug charge to be more disqualifying than contemporaneous phone records, impeachment testimony, expert testimony, and other exculpatory evidence that had not only been dismissed, but in some cases excluded, by the prosecutor’s office for more than two years. The criminal justice system allows multiple opportunities to stand down from a bad prosecutorial call—opportunities ranging from dropping a bad case, to turning over exculpatory material, to recommending that convictions be vacated. But there is no incentive to stand down.

Because we elect our prosecutors, there is no chance of apology, and no admission of error. Justice by popularity contest will ensure that. But Mark Weiner’s journey into legal purgatory is more than just a quirky local tale; it shows why innocent people get trapped in a system in which it is costless for prosecutors to make errors, while mistakes made by defense counsel at trial are virtually impossible to correct.

Mark Weiner’s freedom did not come about this week because the system worked. It came about because the system protected the system from abject embarrassment. That isn’t justice. That’s just sad.
Three years ago, one of the strangest criminal cases in recent memory began in Charlottesville, Virginia, where I live, when a young woman sent a series of text messages telling her boyfriend that a man had abducted her, followed by a series of texts, allegedly from her captor, taunting her...
2 comments on original post
4
Add a comment...

John Arrington Woodward

Shared publicly  - 
 
" Kodak's film was so bad at capturing the different hues and saturations of black skin that when director Jean Luc Godard was sent on an assignment to Mozambique in 1977, he flat-out refused to use Kodak on the grounds that its stock was "racist." Only when the candy and furniture industries began complaining that they couldn't accurately shoot dark chocolate and brown wood furniture did Kodak start to improve its technology. "
Last year, Danity Kane's Dawn Richards uploaded a selfie on Instagram that lead to plenty of backlash from her fans. Aside from the apparent plastic surgery, many suspected that she had bleached...
2
1
Jannik Lindquist's profile photo
Add a comment...

John Arrington Woodward

Shared publicly  - 
 
" The earliest Christians were aware that pagan temples offered sanctuary for criminals, and they did not want to be shown up in their piety by their pagan rivals. Thus the idea that criminals should be offered protection within Christian churches as well, with the added benefit that asylum seekers might be converted or offered a chance to repent. "

This is an aspect of what is known as syncretism. Syncretism was both intentional and culturally determined, i.e. strictly speaking unintentional. I'm not sure what Shoemaker might be pointing to specifically (having not read his research) to suggest the practical consideration of competing with pagan religions regarding sanctuary.

However, the pragmatic considerations of the Church vis-à-vis the pagan religions is well documented, not least by the Venerable Bede in his description of an exchange of letters between St. Augustine of Canterbury (not to be confused with St. Augustine of Hippo) and Gregory the Great, wherein Augustine complained about the English deconverting from christianity and returning to their previous cultural/religious roots. Gregory told Augustine in no uncertain terms that those rituals/religious places were special to the people and, for all he could tell, blessed. He tasked Augustine to convert the places and the rituals, replacing them with christian ritual and churches, recognizing the cultural need for continuity. 

Perhaps this pragmatism is part of the Church's decision making process when it comes to the sanctuary rules. However, it was perhaps more about setting the Church up more concretely as a regional political player in the various internal affairs of the local nation-states, perhaps not coldly, but with the eye towards establishing the 'peace on earth' model that some thought would lead to the second coming. 

One should never shortchange the power of ideology in people's decision-making processes. 
So you are in 13th century England and you’ve been accused of, or maybe have actually committed, a murder. To be taken into custody and tried would likely...
1
Add a comment...

John Arrington Woodward

Shared publicly  - 
 
Love fish sauce, but find opening the bottle just too much work? Interested in throwing that dream Roman orgy you've always talked about? Well, now you can have it all!

Actually, fish sauce is a pretty interesting story. It turns out the Romans made fish sauce, known as garum in much the same way as done today, except with less salt. 

The recipe basically consists of small fish intestines and blood salted, layered with other whole fish and more salt, and left to ferment in the sun for about 3 months. 

The resulting garum liquid was skimmed off of the offal and stored in little amphora for distribution (the remnants were used by the poor people to season their food). The liquid could also be mixed with any variety of herbs, nuts, or honey to the regional liking. 

The production of this condiment dates back to at least 500 BCE (perhaps earlier) and was not limited to the Romans, being loved by many of the peoples around the Mediterranean. It could also fetch very high prices, depending on the quality, making the core of quite a few Roman trade routes. 
1
Add a comment...

John Arrington Woodward

Shared publicly  - 
 
A love letter to map/literature nerds in which we learn that writers had cars and used them.
I am a freak for the American road trip. And I'm not alone, as some of this country's best writers have taken a shot at describing that quintessentially...
2
Add a comment...

John Arrington Woodward

Shared publicly  - 
 
In which we learn that Björk writes people emails.
1
Add a comment...
People
Have him in circles
2,081 people
SHAHID MUNEER's profile photo
Consumer Debt Counselors's profile photo
Betha Sutrisno's profile photo
Августин Серпень's profile photo
Mark Thompson's profile photo
Ripples With Rusty's profile photo
your bos's profile photo
Carakoom - The First Worldwide Automotive Social Network's profile photo
Герман Дружинин's profile photo
Education
  • Florida State University
    2010
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Story
Tagline
I am union. I am pastafarian. Our creation story will one day be told in schools next to creationism.
Introduction
*Notice*: this account is *not* verified. I am not the real me. 

If you know me, then you know me. Otherwise, I'm a socialist (as is every American who has ever driven on a highway) and progressive. I also have a lovely family, enjoy European films, science fiction, and, well, pretty much anything 'literary'. 

I'm also a would be member of the Missionary Church of Kopimism. Join now, or you will not go to where ever you may really want to go. http://kopimistsamfundet.se/english/

I speak French and German.

I use this search engine when I can: 


Work
Occupation
Assistant Professor
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Jacksonville
Previously
Tallahassee - Jacksonville - Paris
Links
Other profiles
Contributor to
I had the Brisket Dip, which was very good. The brisket has a heavy, smoky flavor, a bit salty, but the salt is nicely countered by caramelized onions and a sweet sauce. The dip was standard, canned, deli fair and, while very salty, not bad in combination with the brisket. However, the serving was very small for what I paid. It was served on a standard hamburger bun (store bought quality) with perhaps six slices of brisket (which, since the bun was so small, was about right). It was perhaps perfect for a lunch serving, but this was dinner. There were a small handful of fries that were relatively fresh, but not enough to counter the minuscule portion of meat. The service was okay. It did take a bit too long to get the food, but the server was capable, though not terribly convivial. The kicker was the bill. Not only was it more expensive (for less food!) than the excellent Metro Diner and, indeed, any similar restaurant, but there was also a small extra charge. It is called the ACA Surcharge. It amounted to a piddly 1%, so I'm not outraged at the cost. I'm outraged at the politics. The ACA surcharge, it turns out, is a charge added on to every costumer's bill to counter the increased costs of giving the workers healthcare. I'm fine with paying the extra. I'm also NOT a big fan of the ACA. But to play politics with your customers is, frankly, ridiculous and stupid. It makes the whole meal feel like a sales pitch. Half of the population was just spit on by the owner. I left feeling dirty. I'll not be returning to Gator's again (not that it's a big loss). I'm hopeful the owners feel comfortable with their politics. But, if I want to go to a political rally, I'll head to the nearest park and watch the loons. I've no interest in supporting someone so crass and gauche as to behave in this fashion.
• • •
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
1 review
Map
Map
Map