Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Michigan Prop 15-1: Driving too fast for the conditions

Highway safety

Image from HERE
You know these people.  They drive too fast for the road conditions.  At night, they drive faster than warranted.  It does not matter how far ahead their headlights can illuminate, they always driver faster than their vehicle's ability to stop.. The effect of giving them better headlights, better tires, ABS braking systems is that they speed up.

These driver's have an excessive amount of confidence in Divine Providence and their own driving ability.  They are very "comfortable".  In fact, they adjust their driving habits (speed, tailgating, etc) to hit a certain comfort level.  If they overdrive their headlights by 50%, say driving 30 miles per hour instead of 20, then doubling the range of their headlights would result in them driving 60 mph instead of 40 mph.  A crash of 10 mph becomes a crash of 20 mph.


Image from HERE
You know these people.  They are always five minutes late.  They cannot understand it.  They set their clocks and watches five minutes ahead.  And they are still five minutes late.  One must wonder, would they be ten minutes late if they set their timepieces ten minutes ahead?

Any sane, rational person can see what is happening.  They KNOW they have five extra minutes.  They set the watch.  They figure that five minutes belongs to them so they use it.  And then some.


Image from HERE
You know these people.  They live hand-to-mouth.  They cuss at you and take sly digs at you.  They let you pay their way because "You are rich." and  "You have money."  They are paying $850/month on cellphones.

They are absolutely sure that they could get ahead if they only had 15% more income, if they could just zero-out those credit card bills.

So Aunt Rhoda dies and leaves them exactly enough money to zero out those cards.  Little Bubba gets a part time job and there is more money coming into the household economy.

Two years later they are in even worse shape than they were before.  Why?

Because they "normalized the risk" of living in debt.  They are comfortable living in debt.  And it has always worked out before.


Maturity is knowing that there will not always be somebody there to pull you out of a ditch.

Maturity is knowing that sometimes you must forgo or cut short enjoyable experiences to meet your obligations.

Maturity is knowing that scheduling Aunt Rhoda's demise is Murder-One.  One must eventually cash out your chips and leave the casino.

State Government as yet to demonstrate this maturity.  The voters of Michigan can put the brakes on the reckless spender by voting NO on Proposal 15-1


Simulated Annealing is a numerical optimization algorithm that sidesteps the "local minima/maxima" dilemma by occasionally allowing a non-optimal solution to re-seed.  Think of it as allowing the bob-sled to pop out of the run.

Coyote.blog has a very good discussion of it HERE in the context of minimizing the travel distance for package delivery (the mail man problem).

Image from HERE.  It is interesting that radiologist use "tentacles" or tooth-like outgrowths (like those seen on this amoeba) as markers to identify the most aggressive forms of carcinoma.

Societies tend to optimize in a piecewise, incremental fashion.  Almost like the way an amoeba swims. 

Image from HERE

Amoeba cannot swim up rapids, but salmon can.  Salmon practice simulated annealing.  They leap out of the water.

The progressives have been incrementally optimizing the system in conformance to their vision of utopia.  They have been doing this for a long time.  It is time for them to accept a solution that they see as non-optimal for the overall good of the State.
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