Sunday, August 17, 2025


Blogger said I need to post a notice about cookies if theirs doesn't show up, to satisfy European laws. I don't see theirs on my page, maybe because of something to do with my page setup.
So here it is.
Blogger keeps cookies.
I might have apps that keep cookies, I don't know.
I do not personally keep cookies.

Monday, November 04, 2024

The structure of this blog

I have several blog posts that are at the top of my blog for extended periods of time, because I believe they are of continuing usefulness. So when you look at my blog, the fact that the first few are the same doesn't mean I haven't updated the blog recently.

Saturday, April 20, 2024

The Mathematics of Inequality



Mathematical analysis shows that without redistribution, wealth becomes increasingly more concentrated, and inequality grows until almost all assets are held by an extremely small percent of people.  History shows this analysis is accurate.   I first saw such an analysis years ago, I believe in Scientific American in the winter in 1990, 1991, or 1992. I haven't been able to find the article in the Scientific archives, because they don't have good enough descriptions for the column where it would have appeared. I bought several articles I hoped would be the right one, but didn't find it. Luckily, there were finally some more recent analyses I was able to reference in my blog.

By Taylor McNeil
October 12, 2017

Seven years ago, the combined wealth of 388 billionaires equaled that of the poorest half of humanity, according to Oxfam International. This past January the equation was even more unbalanced: it took only eight billionaires, marking an unmistakable march toward increased concentration of wealth. Today that number has been reduced to five billionaires.

Trying to understand such growing inequality is usually the purview of economists, but Bruce Boghosian, a professor of mathematics, thinks he has found another explanation—and a warning.

Using a mathematical model devised to mimic a simplified version of the free market, he and colleagues are finding that, without redistribution, wealth becomes increasingly more concentrated, and inequality grows until almost all assets are held by an extremely small percent of people.


It’s easy to imagine how wealth-attained advantage works in real life. “The people with that advantage receive better returns on their investments, lower interest rates on loans, and better financial advice,” said Boghosian. “Conversely, as Barbara Ehrenreich famously observed, it is expensive to be poor. If you are working two jobs, you don’t have time to shop for the best bargains. If you can’t afford the security deposit demanded by most landlords, you may end up staying in a motel at inflated prices.”

The model tracks the data with remarkable accuracy, he said.


Putting aside ethical issues of growing inequality, it can also create an unhealthy economy, Boghosian said. “That’s because when wealth concentrates and the middle class is depleted too much, you may get very wealthy industrialists, very wealthy manufacturers, but to whom do they sell their products? It locks up the economy,” he said.



By Mark Buchanan
reprinted from The Australian Financial Review
September 2002
(originally in New Statesman)


Even if everyone starts out equally, and they remain equally adept at choosing investments, differences in investment luck will cause some people to accumulate more wealth than others. Those who are lucky will tend to invest more, and so have a chance to make greater gains still. Hence, a string of positive returns builds a person's wealth not merely by addition but by multiplication, as each subsequent gain grows ever bigger. This is enough, even in a world of equals where returns on investment are entirely random, to stir up huge disparities of wealth in the population.


Friday, February 16, 2024

Trump traitor


Saturday, February 10, 2024

Judge Cannon put witnesses against Trump in danger

 Judge Cannon is the district court judge in the Trump classified documents case. She was appointed by Trump. This is info on her recent actions that put witnesses in danger.

From Twitter, Ben Meiselas @meiselasb

Feb. 9, 2024

Moments ago, Judge Cannon just made a very dangerous ruling and we cannot let it slip under the radar. 

I am sure Jack Smith’s team is working feverishly on a response right now. 

Judge Cannon just ordered that by tomorrow February 10, Jack Smith provide Trump with information about the death threats against a confidential witness in the Mar-A-Lago document case which Cannon previously allowed Jack Smith to file ex parte (meaning Trump can’t see it) and under seal (meaning the public can’t see it) as part of his motion for reconsideration where Cannon applied a wrong legal standard and where she ordered dozens of confidential witnesses and their statements in the case be made public. 

Here is the sequence of events:

February 6 - Cannon makes a ruling to make the names of confidential witnesses and confidential info public (doc 283)

-February 7 Wednesday Jack Smith makes a filing (doc 289) saying we are going to file a motion for reconsideration of your ruling about making confidential witnesses public and to file that motion for reconsideration we want to show you an exhibit that shows the types of death threats against witnesses but since there is an ON GOING CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION in the threats we CAN ONLY show it you as the judge and not Defendant (they may be the culprit) so we need to file it EX PARTE (only to the you the judge and not Trump) and under seal (NOT PUBLIC)

-Feb 8 Thursday (doc 293) Cannon says Jack Smith can file the document ex parte and under seal as part of your motion for reconsideration of my prior order (doc 283). 

-Feb 8 Thursday (doc 294) Jack Smith files his motion for reconsideration as he said he would and filed that exhibit that shows the threats to witnesses as doc 296. 

-Feb 9, moments ago, Cannon orders Jack Smith to turn over that ex parte and under seal document to Trump by February 10, effectively imperiling the safety of witness and intentionally compromising the DOJ investigation!

Friday, January 26, 2024

You might be eligible for free tax preparation


I'm working on my Tax-Aide certification.

If you have tried to get your taxes done for free by Tax-Aide, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) in the past but were out of scope, you might be eligible now because the scope often expands as training is developed for new things.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Devastating drought in Amazon result of climate crisis, study shows


Wed 24 Jan 2024 12.00 EST


The climate crisis turned the drought that struck the Amazon rainforest in 2023 into a devastating event, a study has found.

The drought was the worst recorded in many places and hit the maximum “exceptional” level on the scientific scale. Without planet-warming emissions from the burning of oil, gas and coal, the drought would have been far less extreme, the analysis found.

It also showed the drought was made 30 times more likely to happen by global heating. The return of the natural El NiƱo climate phenomenon is associated with drier conditions but played only a small role, the scientists said.

The climate crisis is supercharging extreme weather across the planet, but the extreme Amazon drought is a stark and worrying example because the rainforest is already thought to be close to a tipping point into a drier state. This would result in a mass die-off of trees in the world’s most important store of carbon on land, releasing large amounts of CO2 and driving global temperatures even higher.

Millions of people in the Amazon have been affected by the drought, with some rivers at their lowest levels for more than a century. There have been drinking water shortages, failed crops and power cuts, as hydroelectric plants dried up. The drought also worsened wildfires and high water temperatures were linked to a mass mortality of river life, including the deaths of more than 150 endangered pink river dolphins in a single week.