We originally encountered the acronym ‘POOG’ in a newspaper article for which the reference has been lost. It stands for Pissed-Off Old Guy, and my wife assures me it applies in my case. A web search found other possible meanings such as ” The mightiest of all men. He fights ignorant darkness in the name of wisdom, truth, courage, and honor.” While perhaps more flattering, it does more directly address a primary purpose of this site, the dispelling of ignorance.
So the purpose of this site is to create a forum:
- For the aggregation of information that strikes us as important or relevant in today’s world. This of course has a very personal bias.
- Where shallow or erroneous thinking can be exposed and corrected. In particular the more egregious examples of political manipulation may be detailed.
- Where issues of common import can be reduced to understandable descriptions.
- For conducting discussions on topics with heavy support from other sources.
- Where we have a chance to rant.
- And when all else has failed, a chance to babble.
You are invited to contribute. We would value observations on how to improve the site. Any corrections or clarifications to content will be appreciated but support them with links to original sources where appropriate. We have a lot of pent-up material that we might include and in the rush to add it may leave spelling, grammatical and content errors which we would very much like to fix. There are technical issues in the list on the Honey Do Page for which we would be grateful for assistance.
You may submit topics of personal interest or questions on topics already published. We will consider them relative to our personal vision and biases for the site. We may invite contributors a little later.
The structure of categories and of the site in general is somewhat fluid as we learn more about what interests us and what we want to say.
Lastly, if you want to rant against the site, please don’t bother. Create your own site instead.
Sources for Data and Other Material
We make extensive use of links back to source material. We attempt to make proper attribution for quotations. We republish material only when we have permission. Our full study of the copyright and ‘fair use’ issues and a summary of our policy is contained the post: Copyright, Reproduction, Commentary, News and ‘Fair Use’: Our Policy
As a special case we make extensive use of the Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The acknowledgement for this is blanket for all posts where such material is used:
“The authors used the FRED (Federal Reserve Economic Data) database from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis to assemble the data used herein; see the data appendix and source notes for information on the specific series.”
There is an enormous amount of information, speculation and opinion on the internet. We regularly scan at least a couple dozen of sources and articles a day. Most we refrain from commenting on, not because we lack comments, but we believe that the comments and associated thoughts need to be in some kind of a larger structure or framework. The problem we encounter is that we remember fragments of ideas some time, perhaps weeks or months, after we have read them and subsequently are unable to find the original source.
Another issue is a potential topic may emerge as worthy of comment, months after it first comes to our attention. What we have done to try and address this issue is to create ‘tracking posts’. In these posts we initially identify and describe an issue. Then, as relevant information comes in, we add references, with or without commentary. We like this idea because if the topic becomes formally recognized as a major issue and we have identified it early enough, we have created a chronological record of its development, thereby facilitating research for future readers interested in the topic.
In particular, we have created a ‘deathwatch’ series. Greece was too far gone to make its inclusion worthwhile. We started – and deleted – one on Argentina. This was not because we don’t think Argentina is on the path to domestic violence, political chaos and financial default, but because it’s a small ripple in a much larger turbulent pond. Japan on the other hand, will be a mammoth splash when it goes. In its case, it has been moving in this direction at glacial speed acquiring increased negative financial inertia in the process. We think that its failure, unlike Europe’s, will be sudden.
We once took a course in computability theory. One of the insights we had was that there are mathematical theorems whose proofs are so long and intricate we can never discover them. We operate – by computational necessity of our wetware and hardware – in a very circumscribed domain. So simplification and reduction of information while retaining some degree of utility in the result and congruence with the domain, is what we are about in our blog.
Where We Stand: 20130220
After some 15 months we have learned much. We have learned there are topics that we will never understand in depth due to their size and intricacy. But in the process of following and digesting hours of news and essays daily we have identified and begun to refine our understanding of what we see as the two forces that will dominate world affairs into the end of this century. These are socialism and Islamism. Both will create unimaginable damage, misery, pain, death and destruction across the globe. As a result these two forces will be the dominant themes of this site.