Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bits and Pieces - October 25, 2011

I didn't know they still make Necco Wafers. The article is right - the flavors were bizarre, but their shape and consistency were fun.

Here's an explanation of complexity in social systems. A lot of what it says describes "complex systems" more generally. Unfortunately, it's at a fairly high comprehension level, so most of the people who blather on about complex systems and emergent properties will continue to do so without having any idea what they're talking about.

I've completed a longish series of five posts (first one here, with links to the rest) over at Nuclear Diner on Representative Ed Markey's (D-MA) suggestion that the Super Committee remove $200 billion from the nuclear weapons budget over the next ten years. First I try to figure out some of the numbers and more or less conclude that everyone has their own set, and then I work through some of the politics. Bottom line: it probably won't happen, and it could wind up removing funds from programs Markey and his supporters like.

OTOH, Stan Collender thinks there's a good chance the Super Committee won't agree on anything and that it won't matter. And Sarah Kliff has a chart.

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