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Essays

Averages and Clouds

AVERAGE: Every average is a number embedded in a cloud or sea of information so that the whole of it, be it a real cloud, a cannonball, a bus or dragon fly — can be disregarded and dealt with by a single entity that we call the “Mean.”

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Averages as (Ready) Handles

Any population or data field, while being susceptible to having one of its attributes average, also has a metaphorical “Center of Gravity” and as such can be said to possess “angular momentum.”
The “Stats” (including the average) of a cannon ball are quite different from a bale of candy cotton of the same weight. From the “average” point of view, they are the same. But they fly through space differently. They rotate differently. They are essentially different in all respects except for the weight they have in common. But to discuss each only from the viewpoint of “average,” would be a grave distortion of what each is about.

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Big Numbers - Infinity?

Most of us know that the sun is approximately 93,000,000 miles from earth (which varies by reason of a somewhat elliptical orbit of the earth around the sun. So how many feet is that? We would multiply 5280 feet in a mile times the 93,000,000 and get 4.91 x 1011 (491,000,000,000). Thus a “walk” to the sun were it possible, would be very close to one trillion feet (round trip - indeed, “ambitious”).

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Benford's Law (of Math Used to Find Tax Cheaters)

Benford's Law is virtually as interesting as Pi () [3.14159,26535,89793. ...] Instead it is a mathematical law used to catch Tax Cheaters. It is based on certain mathematical properties of the universe.

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Taking the Knee (A Higher Patriotism)

In August, 2016, Colin Kaepernick began his peaceful protests during the national anthem. Indeed, criticism rained down on him from the President (with his thinnest veneer of patriotism), from the NFL and from seemingly all corners of society. To most Americans among us, the pledge and national anthem is a totally routine, vapid and empty gesture.

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Newsflash: This World Not Uneven

Few of us believe that each and every person is .08974316 months pregnant. But when we hear that one person is dying of the Covid-19 in California every 1.132 minutes, we tend to believe our ears. Other times we are told that each 11.67 seconds a vehicle is stolen, we absorb such nonsense credulously. Do we really believe that there is a precision network of auto thieves who choreograph thefts to take place at a perfectly even rate namely to match the 11.67 national rate? Come on!!! Why is it we dismiss the first observation but "sign on” to the rest?

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"Must (Have Happened or Been) Thinking"

How often have we heard, “It MUST HAVE been ..." or “something must have. ... This indeed is a special kind of conclusionary reasoning where we attempt to deduce causation backwards from the results – and go back in time with our deductions. We often do this as a matter of course without ever considering, nourishing nor dissecting the possibility that our conclusions may be unwarranted, foolish or off base.

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"Must Thinking" - Inside v. Outside Reasoning

“MUST THINKING” is thinking from the outside to the inside. We assume what is inside the box by what is on the outside.

“MAY THINKING is more organic and permits things to occur on their own; be it evolution; wandering along a path; allowing water to trickle in whichever direction it seems to “want to take. It is important to know the grain of the reality before attempting to deal with it.

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Beyond Words

If you, as a reader, think in words, you might surmise that attaining a state ”Beyond Words” is beyond your comprehension. When one thinks only in words, it is akin to a fish living only in water and thus not appreciating how water is a unique environment for them (and how much it differs from a terrestrial setting). One experience or "close call” out of water, for our naive fish, may be ever instructive to him or her to appreciate water (and not take it for granted).

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"America First"

True, “AMERICA FIRST” sounds like a welcome rallying cry to inspire citizens to be proud - a hubris “blue pill” if you will. But what does it really mean? The suggestion that “America” be first suggests some sort of contest or competition against essentially all other countries and nations.

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