Meet in Ireland?

I’m planning a trip to Ireland, arriving Tuesday, May 28 and returning on June 5. Would any readers like to meet up there? If so, please email: philg@mit.edu.

Thanks!

(The plan is to teach a couple of classes at a flight school in Dublin, do some helicopter flying, possibly visit the Isle of Man, and check out Belfast before it is swallowed up into the ocean like the Brexit doomsayers predict. Experience regarding the Isle of Man would be especially welcome. My local guide in Ireland is not a fan…)

Here are some ideas that I pulled from a guidebook

Dublin (2 days)

  • National Museum of Ireland-Archaeology
  • Trinity College (arrange Book of Kells?)
  • Dublin Castle and Chester Beatty Library?
  • Hugh Lane Gallery
  • Irish Museum of Modern Art
  • Tenement Museum

Helicopter Trip to Cork?

  • Cork
  • Cobh
  • Kinsale
  • Skellig Islands
  • Lakes of Killarney (orbit in heli)
  • Bantry House (if extra time)

Lower Shannon

  • Cliffs of Moher
  • Foynes
  • Lough Gur
  • (maybe) Roscrea

Helicopter Trip to Galway?

  • Galway
  • Aran Islands
  • Connemara National Park (get some exercise!)

Northwest Ireland (helicopter up there?)

  • Sileve League (only if WX perfect)

Drive to Belfast (2 days)

  • Carlingford way up or down
  • Belfast downtown (1 day?)
  • Giant’s Causeway
  • Glenariff Forest Park
  • Seamus Heaney HomePlace
  • Mount Stewart
  • Mourne Mountains
  • Castlewellan Forest Park
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A successful executive advises a woman beginning her career

A friend’s daughter is finishing up law school. Due to my not-so-secret double life as an expert witness working with big law firms, she asked me for advice as to whether to join one of three international firms that had offered her jobs. Her passion is white collar criminal defense (should be a growing field if the taxpayers keep investing in multi-year investigations that reveal nothing more than Americans getting paid for having sex and/or trying to minimize their tax payments):

Right now I am struggling because at [Firm A] they have an incredible white collar group that is small, extremely prestigious and also full of incredible women …

At [Firm B], I would just go into general litigation, and then I could put my hand up to get in on white collar projects, but it might be more difficult to specialize. They are also really committed to pro bono … It is also a litigation-forward firm (rather than dominated by the corporate practice) which I like too.

I assembled a group email panel of lawyers and business executives. Male perspective:

I wouldn’t rely on women. Female intrasexual competition is human nature (other species too). You are a young fertile woman. The women in management are aging, no longer as attractive, and no longer fertile. Maybe they voted for Hillary but their biological instinct will be to have you killed, not to help you take their places in the boardroom.

It would be an advantage to be the only women on a litigation team. There will be women on the jury and perhaps the judge will be a woman. The team will have to put you forward in order to forestall accusations of sexism. Whereas if there are 10 women on the team you could be at a back desk handing out documents. Maybe there are other good reasons to like [Firm A], but I wouldn’t give any extra points because there are woman running the show there.

Female perspective:

In my view, all else being equal, the woman factor might be a reason to chose [Firm A] over your alternative. However, most important is whether the role at [Firm A] is what you want and the environment/ team dynamics are the best route to your success/ achieving your goals.

For me, working with women vs men really doesn’t matter as long as I feel I am set up for success.

Working with “incredible women” may not be better for you than working with incredible men. What makes these women incredible? Is there a difference between “incredible women” and “incredible men”? And what does their being “incredible” mean for you?

As I think back to all the work situations I’ve been in with women vs men over the last 20 years, I can say that this is absolutely right: “their biological instinct will be to have you killed, not to help you take their places in the boardroom.” It takes a very accomplished woman who is not insecure about where she is in life to suppress that instinct. No matter how old she is. There are not many women that accomplished in the workforce today. If you find one to work with awesome. If not, no big deal.

Men are generally easier to deal with in my experience. They are less complex. With men it usually comes down to ego. If you don’t attack their egos, and keep your relationship professional, they won’t try to compete with you or cross any lines. To the contrary, they will see you as an ally and they will support you.

I also agree about the advantage of being the only woman on a team. It’s not just about being the only woman though, it’s about being good at what you do AND being different from your peers in a way that obviously benefits the team/company.

Example: I am the VP of North America [Widgets and Services], two levels removed from our corporate ([Fortune 500 company name]) CEO. I am the only female VP on [this] team and the only person in the company who understands [something that brings in a growing amount of revenue].

Next month, [the Fortune 500] will hold it’s investor day. 20 of our top institutional investors will be visiting along with the entire top executive team. My boss and his boss will be presenting to this group, as will the Presidents of every other division. I found out yesterday, that I too will be presenting. I am the only VP – level person from all of [the Fortune 500] who will be presenting and the only woman. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t a President or SVP because I am the best they have and a woman to boot!

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Zero progress in American politics since 1776

I’ve been listening to America’s Founding Fathers, a lecture series by Allen Guelzo, a professor at Gettysburg College.

It turns out that all of the things that Americans fight and fret about today were issues around the time of the country’s creation (i.e., the traitorous and illegal secession from Great Britain).

People questioned whether a republican form of government made sense. From the notes:

… there had been only a few examples of successful republics in human history—particularly, Rome and Athens—and they offered only a handful of useful rules for guidance:

First, a republic must be harmonious. It cannot be divided in purpose; it must be guided by a common vision of the public good.

Second, it must be homogeneous—composed of citizens who are ethnically, economically, and socially more or less equal in wealth and status.

Third, a republic must be small, if only because harmony and homogeneity break down whenever the boundaries of a republic are drawn to include too many different kinds of people or so much territory that people cannot keep vigil over their fellow citizens.

Fourth, every citizen of a republic must be independent and self-sufficient enough to be able to occupy a public office.

Our Founding Fathers, including George Washington, questioned whether Americans were sufficiently virtuous to govern themselves. With the average person being primarily concerned with making money and quite a few folks “corrupt, selfish, and indolent,” how could the resulting conglomeration of these folks ever be sustainable? Washington, 1783:

the want of energy in the Federal government, the pulling of one state and party of states against another and the commotion amongst the Eastern people have sunk our national character much below par [and] brought our politics and credit to the brink of a precipice.

(i.e., we’ve been on the brink of a precipice for more than 230 years!)

During the Confederation period, Americans attacked political opponents, e.g., Robert Morris, the rebellious colonies’ first “superintendent of finance,” by alleging that people with high-level executive jobs were enriching themselves via corruption.

Politicians were not necessarily examples of traditional virtue in private matters:

[President of Congress Thomas] Mifflin retired from his congressional presidency and spent most of the remaining 16 years of his life in Pennsylvania politics and in what one critic described as “a state of adultery with many women.” Several towns and structures were named for him, but he also burned through most of his family’s fortune and ended up hiding from bill collectors.

The course is replete with examples of “How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?” (Samuel Johnson). Patrick Henry:

In 1774, when he called on the House to begin arming Virginians for resistance to the Crown, Henry spoke his most famous words: “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me … give me liberty, or give me death!”

Paying 1-2 percent of income in total tax (see this article Foreign Policy on what American colonists paid) was an intolerable state of “slavery” and equivalent to being in “chains,” for Henry, “a slaveholder throughout his adult life” (Wikipedia).

Early Americans complained about concentrations of wealth and considered themselves fortunate that the disparities were not as large as in Europe.

States maintained a degree of independence and sovereignty to a degree that would be unimaginable today. They would use this to issue their own paper currency, help their citizens escape paying debts to Britons or citizens of other states, and weasel out of their own financial commitments to the Continental Congress.

The bad news is that we’re not making any progress, but maybe the good news is that the disputes that described as “crises” every day in the New York Times were with us in the 1780s.

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Price of uncertainty for MacKenzie Bezos: $36 billion

Had MacKenzie Bezos married and divorced Jeff Bezos in Germany, checking the “separate property” box on the marriage application, she would be getting no asset transfer, only child support that maxes out at $6,000 per child per year (see Real World Divorce‘s international chapter).

Had the divorce happened in California, she would have been entitled to 50 percent of the assets accumulated during the marriage, a total of about $72 billion.

The divorce occurred while the family courts of Washington State had jurisdiction, however, resulting in “MacKenzie Bezos’s $36 billion in Amazon stock from divorce settlement makes her world’s fourth-richest woman” (MarketWatch).

In the early articles on this subject, Washington was erroneously reported by many journalists as being a 50/50 property division state. In fact, as noted in Real World Divorce,

Are the assets split 50/50? “We’re a ‘fair and equitable’ state,” says DeVallance. “It is not a 50/50 state. The property division can be a disproportionate.” Does the fact that Washington State is a “community property” jurisdiction mean that assets acquired before the marriage remain with each party? “No,” explains DeVallance. “All property is before the court, including separate property, though it is somewhat rare to invade separate property.”

In other words, it is uncertain. A judge might have decided to give Mrs. Bezos more than 50 percent of the property, on the grounds that she hadn’t worked since 1997 and therefore wouldn’t be as easily able as Mr. Bezos to earn more money. Or a judge might have decided that $1 billion was the maximum profit that someone should be able to obtain from being a stay-at-home spouse. There wouldn’t have been any precedent for these numbers.

It would appear that a certain $36 billion was preferred by Mrs. Bezos to the possibility of obtaining $72 billion or more, but with a small risk of getting much less than $36 billion. Thus, she settled, and, assuming that she was most likely to come away with $72 billion, we can say that the price of the uncertainty that the Washington State Legislature built into the family law system was $36 billion.

Generally I think it is more important for ordinary people to learn about more ordinary applications of family law, but the MacKenzie Bezos story is interesting as an illustration of the strange characteristic of U.S. family law. Marriage is primarily a financial partnership in the eyes of the law and yet, in most states, the value of an individual’s stake in the partnership is unknown and unknowable without spending potentially all of the partnership value on years of litigation. It is kind the opposite of all other American business partnerships where the value is supposed to be readily ascertained at any time and litigation is a rare last resort if something has gone badly wrong.

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How would the Wall work through Big Bend National Park?

The U.S.-Mexico border is 1,954 miles long, of which 580 miles was fenced (not “walled”!) prior to Donald Trump taking office (Wikipedia). That leaves 1,374 miles of proposed new barrier (immoral “wall” if built by Trump; moral “fence” if built by others?). Of those 1,374 miles, 118 miles are part of Big Bend National Park.

Reading The Line Becomes a River, by a former Border Patrol agent (2008-2012), made me wonder how Trump’s proposed barrier can work along this part of the border. Some excerpts:

On a hot Texas evening at the edge of Big Bend National Park, I watched a man ride his horse across the Rio Grande.

I gestured at the village across the river and asked the man if he lived in Boquillas. Of course, he said, beaming with pride. I asked what he did for work and he nodded at the unattended souvenirs and handmade crafts that had been set out atop the rocks. No hay trabajo, he complained—we make our money from tourists. I asked if many Americans crossed over to visit. Sure, he said, Boquillas is very safe. Narcos don’t bother us, even the rangers and la migra leave us alone. He paused. You know, he said, there’s a nice restaurant in my village. Is there breakfast? I asked. Of course, he smiled. I’ll come for you in the morning.

The next morning, as the sun grew pale and white in the eastern sky, I met my guide at the banks of the river. He instructed me to climb onto his horse, and then, like it was nothing, he spurred the animal across the river into Mexico. We spoke little as I jostled atop sauntering haunches and grasped at the back of his saddle. Passing the first cinderblock homes of Boquillas, I considered the extent to which my safekeeping depended upon this stranger, leading me into the silent and unfamiliar streets of his village.

Our young fit fluent-in-Spanish half-Mexican hero bravely makes a trip that, during my visit to Big Bend, was mostly being taken by senior citizens after exiting from their RVs. The “river” is more like a wide shallow stream at this point in its course. Neither the U.S. nor Mexico was bothering to do any border control at the border. In the case of the U.S., there were checkpoints across the roads about 50 miles north. I enjoyed my time in Boquillas, especially the town’s dusty museum (unattended by any guard; pay into a box via the honor system).

The National Park Service now has an official guide to visiting Boquillas. It seems that the ability to walk to Boquillas and get a taco was one of the freedoms we supposed lost after 9/11 (Wikipedia; except that the author made it across easily!), but since 2013 (Wikipedia) there is a formal border crossing.

I wonder how Trump’s political promise can be implemented in this part of the country. Here are some possibilities:

  • Despite the idea that national parks are supposed to be mostly natural, we install an ugly fence along our side of the river. It will appear in every visitor’s snapshots from Big Bend.
  • We build a fence on the north edge of the park, with checkpoints at the handful of roads that would cross the fence. Any caravan of migrants that has made its way to Mexico City can ride a bus for another 18 hours, get off in Boquillas, walk across the Rio Grande and tell the nearest park ranger “I am seeking asylum” (or give birth to a baby who will then be entitled to bring the parents in 18 years from now, thus saddling U.S. taxpayers with the cost of public housing, health care, food stamps, etc., for the now-older parents)
  • We pay the Mexicans to build a monster fence somewhere on their side of the border, out of sight of the tourists who come to Big Bend (but the Mexicans have their own state park on their side).

Is there any other alternative that is consistent with Trump’s campaign promise?

[Also, given that it is easy to walk into the U.S. at Big Bend, why aren’t migrant caravans choosing this route right now? Why wait near the border in Tijuana, for example, when one could just as easily be over the border and on one’s way from Big Bend?]

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Why does the FBI investigate “truths” that violated no federal law?

A friend on Facebook cited “2nd Fairfax accuser says she was raped by former Duke basketball player Corey Maggette” (CNN):

“I say again without reservation: I did not sexually assault or rape Meredith Watson, Vanessa Tyson or anyone else,” Fairfax said in the statement.

“The one thing I want to make abundantly clear is that in both situations I knew at the time, and I know today, that the interactions were consensual.”

Fairfax said what he has “expressed is the truth.”

“I want to stand here in that truth and restate that my truth, as well as the truth of Dr. Tyson and Ms. Watson, should be fully investigated and thoroughly assessed,” Fairfax’s statement said. He called on the FBI to “investigate fully and thoroughly the allegations against me.”

The story was highlighted for the fact that the person accused of a criminal act asserts that his accusers are telling “the truth,” but that he is also telling “his truth” in contradiction them.

As a taxpayer, I’m more interested in the question of why the FBI even could be involved. From the bureaucracy’s web site:

Federal law gives the FBI authority to investigate all federal crime not assigned exclusively to another federal agency (28, Section 533 of the U.S. Code). … The FBI has special investigative jurisdiction to investigate violations of state law in limited circumstances, specifically felony killings of state law enforcement officers (28 U.S.C. § 540), violent crimes against interstate travelers (28 U.S.C. § 540A0), and serial killers (28 U.S.C. §540B). A request by an appropriate state official is required before the FBI has authority to investigate these matters.

There is no “truth” that has been covered by the media that would fit into one of the above categories.

Why do taxpayers in Ohio need to pay the FBI for an investigation of stuff that happened at the 2004 Democratic Convention in Boston or in North Carolina? If there were crimes committed under state or local laws, why wouldn’t it be state or local taxpayers paying the bills for any required investigations?

Related:

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Jacksonville Beach and St. Augustine for a winter vacation

We experimented this year with a winter escape to a part of Florida that is a little cooler than Miami, but a lot less packed with both locals and tourists. Here’s a report…

Jacksonville Beach was a huge hit with the kids. A beachfront hotel with a pool is about $200/night and will keep everyone entertained all day. Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach are lower density. The One Ocean hotel in Atlantic Beach is a good place to start. We stayed at the Hampton Inn in Jacksonville Beach, which is okay, but the room-to-room sound transmission makes earplugs essential. The adjacent Marriott looked newer and might be better. All of these places have wide firmly packed beaches (partly due to the miracle of dredging and “beach replenishment), ideal for long walks. The beaches are also dog-friendly all winter all day, so bring the family dog.

The killer breakfast option is Maple Street Biscuit Company, a small local chain. Metro Diner is more traditional/conventional, but also excellent. We enjoyed V Pizza for lunch. This is strictly wood-fired and presided over by a fanatical Albanian who spent 10 years in Italy. (St. Augustine has Pizza Time, for which people wait in line for 45 minutes, but it is boring electric-oven pizza that you could get on any street corner in NYC.) Atlantic Beach has a bunch of elegant dinner spots with outdoor tables. They’re all pretty good, but service suffers when they’re busy (the future of U.S. restaurants, I’m pretty sure, is Panera-style order-at-the-counter; Maple Street works this way and so does V Pizza; it doesn’t make sense to buy health care at the world’s highest prices for a waiter when it is easy enough to get up and grab one’s own dish). Kazu Sushi Burrito in Jacksonville Beach and Tokyo Ramen in a strip mall in Atlantic Beach were both good breaks from the burgers.

St. Augustine was so packed in the days before and just after New Year’s that it wasn’t pleasant. Make sure to book a hotel right in the center of town (i.e., in the historical walking area) because traffic and parking are murderous. Most of the sights are best for kids 7 or older, I would say. Younger children will be happier at Jacksonville Beach. Consider a day trip from Jacksonville Beach to St. Augustine, though it needs to be a 12-hour day if you’re going to see the main sights. There is an awesome playground right next to the main parking structure in St. Augustine.

If you brought a light airplane, Sky Harbor at KCRG is a great FBO. Zip down to KTIX (about 45 minutes) to the Valiant Air Command warbird museum (park on their ramp after calling ahead). We stumbled into a tour by a retired USMC F-4 pilot. See also the B-52 cockpit below!

A 10-minute ride from KTIX is the Kennedy Space Center’s visitor theme park. This is privately run and keeps chugging along despite any government shutdowns. The only interaction with official Feds is when guards (armed with the assault rifles that the government assures us no reasonable person actually needs) board the tourist bus (to make sure nobody is planning an armed takeover of NASA’s launchpad?).

(Here’s a good image for flight instructors:

“They made it to the moon with a paper flight plan and you need a phone app to go on a 50 nm cross country?”)

The Cummer Museum in Jacksonville is a good escape from the kids (see https://philip.greenspun.com/blog/2019/01/23/the-art-of-victimhood/). The Jacksonville Zoo is awesome. The Museum of Contemporary Art in downtown Jacksonville had some interesting exhibits. Don’t forget the candy factory across the square!

“The economy is based on poor people,” said one local. His perspective was confirmed by the fact that the most impressive building in Jacksonville is the new 800,000 square foot Duval County Courthouse (more than $400 million including the land?). Billboards through the region feature personal injury and divorce lawyers (Florida offers permanent alimony, so plaintiffs have a strong incentive to litigate; for unmarried plaintiffs, the state also offers unlimited child support, assuming the defendant has sufficient income). The next tier of awesomeness in building is occupied by hospitals, including the Mayo Clinic. A young local couple on the beach with their Bernese Mountain Dog said that both worked in health care and that “all” of their patients were on either Medicaid or Medicare. At least they won’t be wiped out from buying gasoline…

Locals seemed surprised that anyone would want to come to this part of Florida for a beach vacation before April or after October. However, the lack of crowds is nice (except in St. Augustine between Christmas and New Year’s!). The ocean isn’t warm enough for swimming, but a typical daily high temperature is close to 70 degrees and walking around in a T-shirt is a luxury from this Bostonian’s perspective. Atlantic and Neptune beaches are built up only to a reasonable human scale:

Aviation enthusiasts should make sure that they arrive with full IFR currency. We had fog or a low-ish cloud layer over the coastal airports at least half of the time so there were plenty of instrument approaches to be done. Sky Harbor at Craig is a great FBO and Atlantic at SGJ is very welcoming as well.

How about New Yorkers and Californians relocating to Atlantic Beach to escape the new cruel taxation regime of the Trumpenfuhrer, in which their state income taxes (used by state Democrats only for the most virtuous purposes) are no longer deductible against Federal income tax? What if these well-meaning folks decide that they like the beach and don’t want to pay the higher effective tax rates that they’ve long been advocating?  Zillow says that a nice 20-year-old 5BR house just one block back from the beach (will be beachfront soon enough!) is $950,000 and attracts property tax of $7,700 per year (barely raised since 2003).

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Barbara Ehrenreich: Working out is another form of conspicuous consumption

From Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer by Barbara Ehrenreich… 

Working out is another form of conspicuous consumption: Affluent people do it and, especially if muscular exertion is already part of their job, lower-class people tend to avoid it. There are exceptions like the working-class male body builders—“ meatballs”— who can be found in places like Gold’s Gym, as well as the lower-class women who attempt to shed pounds at Curves (a descendant of the women’s-only gym where I started my workout career). By and large, though, working out is a reliable indicator of social status.

And why should the mind want to subdue the body systematically, repeatedly, day after day? Many gym-goers will tell you cheerfully that it makes them feel better, at least when the workout is over. But there’s a darker, more menacing side to the preoccupation with fitness, and this is the widespread suspicion that if you can’t control your own body, you’re not fit, in any sense, to control anyone else, and in their work lives that is a large part of what typical gym-goers do. We are talking here about a relative elite of people who are more likely to give orders than to take them— managers and professionals. In this class, there are steep penalties for being overweight or in any other way apparently unhealthy. Flabby people are less likely to be hired or promoted; 13 they may even be reprimanded and obliged to undergo the company’s “wellness” program, probably consisting of exercise (on- or off-site), nutritional counseling to promote weight loss, and, if indicated, lessons in smoking cessation.

The author points out that the fitness culture provides equal opportunities for misery:

But if women are in a way “masculinized” by the fitness culture, one might equally well say that men are “feminized” by it. Before the 1970s, only women were obsessed with their bodies, although in a morbid, anorectic way. But in the brightly lit gyms, where walls are typically lined by mirrors, both sexes are invited to inspect their body images for any unwanted bulges or loose bits of flesh and plan their workouts accordingly. Gay men flocked to the gyms, creating a highly chiseled standard of male beauty. The big change, though, was that heterosexual men were also “objectified” by the fitness culture, encouraged to see themselves as the objects of other people’s appreciation— or, as the case may be, scorn. For both sexes in the endangered white-collar middle class, the body became an essential element of self-presentation, not just its size and general shape but the squareness of shoulders, the flatness of tummy, and, when sleeves were rolled up, the carefully sculpted contours of muscle.

Ehrenreich points out that blue collar workers are likely to be so damaged by age 50, e.g., with back pain, that they can’t participate in the fitness competition.

Knee and lower back pain arise in the forties and fifties, compromising the mobility required for “successful aging.” … The U.S. Census Bureau reports that nearly 40 percent of people age sixty-five and older suffer from at least one disability, with two-thirds of them saying they have difficulty walking or climbing.  … “You don’t become inactive because you age,” we’ve been told over and over. “You age because you’ve become inactive.”

Who is fighting the hardest against what formerly had been accepted as the natural order?

The goal here is not something as mundane as health. Silicon Valley’s towering hubris demands nothing less than immortality. The reason why Kurzweil has transformed himself into a walking chemistry lab is to prolong his life just long enough for the next set of biomedical breakthroughs to come along, say in 2040, after which we’ll be able to load our bodies with millions of nanobots programmed to fight disease. One way or another, other tech titans aim to achieve the same thing. As Newsweek reports: Peter Thiel, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal, plans to live to be 120. Compared with some other tech billionaires, he doesn’t seem particularly ambitious. Dmitry Itskov, the “godfather” of the Russian Internet, says his goal is to live to 10,000; Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle, finds the notion of accepting mortality “incomprehensible,” and Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, hopes to someday “cure death.”

If you are one of the richest men in the world, and presumably, since this is Silicon Valley, one of the smartest, why should you ever die?

Maybe it is time to hit the gym…

More: Read Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer.

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Gillette versus Dorco Shaving Test 3

Continuing research … (see Test 1 and Test 2)

Test 3:

  • one day of growth
  • shaving in the shower
  • Edge shaving gel
  • Dorco Pace 7 on right side of face
  • latest and greatest Gillette Fusion 5 ProShield with Flexball on left side of face
  • third shave for each cartridge

Results: More or less equivalent.

Still to try: Dorco Pace 6 Plus ($6.50 for handle and two cartridges; free shipping and no sales tax collected for MA residents). This one has a single trimmer blade in addition to its 6 regular blades, so it is more directly comparable to the Gillette product.

Related:

  • a 2014 review of the Dorco Pace 6 by a serious shaver-experimenter. He concludes that the Dorco product “is comparable to the Gillette Fusion Proglide” (but he had only 6 blades, not 7, at the time!) and that the Dorco cartridge is good for 20 shaves before requiring stropping (i.e., being thrown away, since a new one is less than $2).
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Woman who “exceeded expectations” by earning an engineering degree

The Art of Investing: Lessons from History’s Greatest Traders is a Teaching Company course by John M. Longo, a Rutgers professor who got a Bachelor’s in 1991 (so he should be 50 years old), has one lecture given over to “four women who moved financial markets” (the other 23 lectures cover investors who, at least at one time, identified as “men”).

One thing that struck me was Professor Longo’s praise of Leda Braga, born in 1967, as having “exceeded expectations.” One cited example of this was earning a Ph.D. in engineering from Imperial College London. But Professor Longo does not cite any reason for anyone to doubt this woman’s abilities other than her identifying as a woman.

(The rest of the course suggests that, except for the Renaissance folks such as James Simon, “nobody knows anything.” The successful investment strategies are all over the map. It is unclear if the folks who’ve been successful are examples of survivorship bias. They took some bold risks and succeeded. Okay, but what about the 100 other folks who took bold risks at the same time? Investor track records are presented without any adjustment for risk. So a monkey who threw darts at the WSJ in 1990 and picked Microsoft and Apple as the sole constituents of a portfolio would be celebrated as a genius investor.)

Readers: Does it actually advance the cause of gender equality to express surprise that a woman is able to do something that tens of thousands of men do annually?

Related:

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