The Perfect Outbreak Chart

In two dimensions, a bivariate chart is as good as it gets for clean presentation.  Bivariate means simply that two things which vary may be plotted against one another.  Bivariate charts are almost always time series, which are almost meaningless.

A modification of a time series chart is a time-on-time series chart, such that the entire year wraps around on (say) a weekly basis, giving 52 wavy lines striping across a chart that is only seven days wide.  This is not strictly speaking a time series chart, because what happens on one Friday is not at all connected with what happens on another Friday due to one of the Fridays being before the other.  These charts illustrate the idea of Friday as a category, after Thursday and before Saturday to be sure, but the Friday-ness of results will drown out any other effect such as the January-ness, or the twenty-third-ness.  This is only true, of course, if there actually is something about Fridays.  A time-on-time series chart is the appropriate tool to show you a cyclical dependency embedded within time — that is, if what happens on Friday stays on Friday.... [Read More]

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The Other China Possibility

What if China’s virus numbers and the 21 million cell phone account reduction are telling the same story?  Along with the expulsion of foreign journalists, the disappearing of online critics, and the utter silence from anybody except Xi?

What if China “liquidated” huge numbers of people to contain the virus?... [Read More]

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Lawsuits over Shutdowns

I haven;t watched this yet — it’s rolling now — but I’m gratified to see this sort of thing.  I support the shutdowns in general, yet I also would not want to see such sweeping exercises of power go unremarked in the only way that matters short of insurrection.

So these lawsuits are a good thing.  Same way that I’m glad that even the guiltiest get a competent defense, lest too much be assumed too regularly.... [Read More]

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Stuck for a Word

I’m scratching my head for a word.  Means something like miscellaneous food thing,  The word feels close to condiment or confection, but that is clearly not it.  It means close to novelty, in the sense of ice cream or candy.  In particular, it should apply to things like peanut butter or jelly, although those may not quite be in the target zone.  You see, if I could come up wit the word, I would be able to tell…

So: it seems to start with “con-“.  There’s a bit of word soup in its neighborhood: de gustibus, aperitif, digestive, trifle, staple, condiment, confection.  Note that not all of those have similar meaning — they’re just connected by unseen links.  The word is quite close indeed to comestible, but I don’t think that’s it.

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