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  14. The Best People to Follow on Twitter

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We think of the young as frivolous. But who spends more time on unedifying purely selfish leisure— student-age, or the elderly? (leave out the incapacitated, of course) We tolerate idleness in the old, and even encourage it. Who calls them to duty?

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Statistical Science, 1999, Vol. 14, No. 1, 126–148 “A Conversation with I. Richard Savage,” Allan R. Sampson with Bruce Spencer in attendance:


Savage: And when I got to New York—I came by train—I felt rather poor. I went to see a doctor. I don’t know how I got to this particular doctor, but he was near the apartment, Jimmie’s apartment, where I was going to stay. He assured me I had the flu and sent me home, and told me to take a few pills. Jimmie and his family were away from New York. The apartment had no telephone. And basically, when I woke up in the morning, I had polio. The problem was, how do I attract anybody’s attention? Because I was totally paralyzed. And I sort of lay in this bed all day calling for help. Finally a man named Maxwell heard me. Maxwell’s problem was this. He was about 6 foot 6—I never met him. He’d been in a terrible automobile accident, and he was learning how to walk on crutches, but he wasn’t very good at it. So, he would slide along the wall, with his ear on the wall. And he heard my moaning and crying for help, and he called Allen Wallis. The reason why he called Allen Wallis was that the offices for the Statistical Research Group were in the next building and he somehow knew that Jimmie was employed there, and so Allen was called. Then I saw the first real stroke of Allen’s genius. He calls Columbian-Presbyterian-Harkness and says, “Send an ambulance. Hurry. One of your medical students is dying.” Well, you get very good treatment when you’re a medical student. And, Allen’s theory was that if I’d gone to the Contagious Hospital, they’d have killed me. So that was my first real introduction to Allen.

Savage: A major part of my career was editorial work. I started it at the Bureau. Allen Wallis was then the editor of JASA. As he became editor, there was a large backlog of manuscripts that had been hanging around, and he felt they had to be cleaned up. He picked me to be the clean-up man. So he just gave me a stack of manuscripts to work on.
Sampson: That’s a tremendous talent, to be able to do that, Richard.
Savage: I think the talent was Allen’s, to figure out that he could find someone to do the work.

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Statistical Science, 1999, Vol. 14, No. 1, 126–148 “A Conversation with I. Richard Savage,” Allan R. Sampson with Bruce Spencer in attendance:


Sampson: But what brought Frank Wilcoxon to Tallahassee?
Savage: He had retired several times. Ralph most likely approached him. The Regents didn’t want to make the appointment; they were getting a little sick and tired of hiring retired colonels and other old geezers. And then somebody on the Regents looked very carefully at Frank’s curriculum vitae, and in there is a little item about patents, and he’s a copatent holder of a chemical called parathion, which is the primary chemical for spraying citrus crops. So as far as the Regents were concerned, they were hiring God—they weren’t just hiring a statistician.
Sampson: I never knew that story.
Savage: So he was welcomed by the Regents. He worked like a dog. I suppose he was paid halftime, but he was around the Department more than anyone else. Probably his last summer he was at home in Nyack. When he came back he said he spent the summer learning to read Dutch, and here is a man in his late sixties, maybe seventies. He spent the whole summer reading Dutch. I asked “Well, why did you do that, Frank?” He said that he’d done some consulting on spotting fraudulent data, and the basic papers were in Dutch. So, he thought it was time to learn Dutch.

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Statistical Science, 1999, Vol. 14, No. 1, 126–148 “A Conversation with I. Richard Savage,” Allan R. Sampson with Bruce Spencer in attendance:


Sampson: If you look back over your chairmanship at Yale, what do you think your accomplishments were?
Savage: Well, I think there were very few accomplishments as Chair. The department did not grow, the number of graduate students did not grow. We mainly maintained our status

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Manliness.
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From EJMR, August 2020:

This idea is despicable. The absence of decent childcare is not a choice made by individuals.


You have decent child care. It’s called “the parents of the child”. Unless you are raising a child alone, you are the child care. Get used to it. It’s about trade-offs like OP says. Give up bit of cash and prestige to take care of those kids you brought into the world.


This is 100% correct. Farming your kids out to some minimum wage workers to provide ‘childcare’ (i.e. raise your kids) while you pursue some pointless career is borderline child abuse and we should be moving towards outlawing it, rather than normalising it even further.

If someone said they were planning to get a dog but were working full-time and would need to leave the dog at home alone or put it into daycare 5 days a week then everyone would agree that it is morally wrong to get the dog, since you are giving it a crappy life. But apparently doing this with your own children is somehow acceptable. Absolutely ridiculous

Raise your kids, its much more fulfilling in the long run

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Aristotle, Politics, Book I, right near the start:

Among barbarians no distinction is made between women and slaves, because there is no natural ruler among them: they are a community of slaves, male and female. Wherefore the poets say,

“It is meet that Hellenes should rule over barbarians; ”

as if they thought that the barbarian and the slave were by nature one.

So Aristotle and the Greeks thought the barbarian king and his noblemen lived and thought like slaves. This needs some thought. Maybe he means that they do not ponder the good of the City, only their own good. Would he say a Greek tyrant is like a slave?

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Seneca illustration of our selfish bias:

This pairs nicely with teh cartoon of a fat lady scolding her meek little dirty husband: “Me having to slave in a hot kitchen all day, and you get to work in that nice cool sewer tunnel!”

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