Friday, June 20, 2014


[From billlifka – Posted with his permission. Images added by Ira]

Influx of Latin Children >>>

It’s been an exciting week in the Villages. A 68 year old woman was interrupted by the sheriff’s police having sex with a man young enough to be her son. Both were inebriated. Their mistake was to choose a town square gazebo as their trysting spot so they were hauled off to jail. I’m guessing their defense will be similar to the question of whether a tree falling in the middle of a dense forest makes any noise. The event was at 10:30 PM which is 1 ½ hours after the sidewalks are rolled up on the square. As for the police, I doubt if they were traumatized at the sight. The event, itself, wasn’t all that exciting but it was published in our dot-com newsletter ( with pictures and details. It’s the opposite of the local paper which only prints the good news. Both are quite professional but the electronic one encourages immediate reader feedback. As you can imagine, there were many reader comments. Amazingly, quite a few were of a serious nature.

One more dot-com-encouraged subject of intense debate was the decision to have a trial of larger sized golf holes on one of the nine-hole courses. The way that one is going, I think there may be a request for a formal hearing before the International PGA Board.

A little closer to home, some mysterious local person wrote unsigned letters to three households in our Village chastising them for having dirty curbs along their section of road. It has become a subject of intense oral and electronic debate over who might be responsible for such “hate” mail.

In fact, there are many current, important happenings here. Examples include: a major hospital expansion which poses a huge parking problem; a major expansion of the Church on the Square and change to a Performing Arts Theatre which poses a huge parking problem; a decision to stop plans for a direct connector to the Florida Turnpike in favor of improving the routing through a small, local city, likely at the behest of favored persons and businesses. I could go on. None are earthshaking issues but all have much greater consequence than the first named matters.

As you may have guessed, this isn’t a news bulletin but another comment on human nature.
In the same period those earth-shaking events were occurring in The Villages a few important events were in progress around the world. The fruits of Obama’s pullout from Iraq ripened and are being harvested. Militant Sunni fighters captured important Cities (over which much American blood was spilled) on the way to Baghdad and creation of a Caliphate home to terrorists bound by religious vow to terrorize America.

Taliban successes in Pakistan foretold the day when those Muslim extremists will control the third largest cache of nuclear weapons. (The challenge is in Pakistan, not Afghanistan.)

INFLUX OF 90,000 to 250,000 LATIN CHILDREN [Image top right]
Closer to home, seemingly less daunting, were 90,000 Latin children dumped over the border into America. They have been made our problem and the prediction is that next year’s annual rate of child dumping will be 250,000.

I could go on.

The president’s answer is, “I’ve instructed my people to come up with options to deal with it.” Off he flies to a fund-raiser in California. These were also his words and actions at the time of the Benghazi disaster and nothing has happened except major efforts by the Administration to stonewall and obfuscate. Hillary was a major player in all these major blunders. If America was a professional sports team, Barry and Hillary would’ve been fired long ago. As my own beloved Villagers demonstrate, Americans seem to have lost a capacity to focus on what’s important.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Discover Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type

I presented "Discover your MBTI Personality Type" to the Discussion Group at Freedom Pointe Independent Living, The Villages, FL, on Wednesday, 18 June 2014.
The Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator is:
  • A measure of Jung's theory of personality styles.
  • An aid to learning to work with others in an organization or on a team.
  • A quad-dichotomy based on:
    • Introvert vs Extrovert 
    • Sensing vs iNtuitive
    • Thinking vs Feeling
    • Judging vs Perceiving
  • There are 16 MBTI Types, as indicated in the graphic.
My Powerpoint Show is available at:

This Powerpoint Show includes a "quick and dirty" personality test that will allow you to make at least a preliminary assignment of your personality to one of the 16 MBTI (Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator) types.

Ira Glickstein

Friday, June 13, 2014


According to a report issued this month by the BROOKINGS INSTITUTION, which is generally thought of as a rather liberal academic outfit, the single MOST TRUSTED TELEVISION NEWS SOURCE of ALL AMERICANS this year is FOX NEWS!


These statistics are an inadvertent result of a survey that centered on Immigration Reform titled "WHAT AMERICANS WANT FROM IMMIGRATION REFORM IN 2014, Findings from the PRRI/Brookings Religion, Values, and Immigration Reform Survey, Panel Call Back". You can download the whole document at

Figure 13 from that report, reproduced above with annotations by me, shows the results.
FOX NEWS is MOST TRUSTED by ALL AMERICANS “to provide accurate information about politics and current events”!

  • 23% TRUST ABC/CBS/NBC MOST (which is about 7.7% each)
  • Only 5% TRUST MSNBC MOST !!!

Although the above conclusions are clearly shown in the very first column of the graphic as it appears as Figure 13 in their report, the authors do not seem to recognize or understand their own results! Clearly, they intended to focus on divisions of opinion regarding "immigration reform" and were therefore blind or perhaps embarrassed by the inadvertent result of their careful survey.

Here is EXACTLY what they wrote about Figure 13:
As Figure 13 illustrates, while more than half of Republicans list Fox as a trusted news source, no other source comes close. The traditional broadcast networks (ABC, CBS and NBC) are listed by 22% of Republicans, and all other television sources are in single digits. Similarly, 48% of self-described conservatives list Fox News as a trusted source, with the broadcast networks a distant second at 19%.
By contrast, there is no dominant trusted news source among Democrats or liberals. Four different sources are in double digits among Democrats -- the traditional networks at 31%, CNN at 26%, public television at 14% and MSNBC at 10%. Jon Stewart’s Daily Show is listed by 9% of Democrats. Among liberals, five sources are in double digits -- the broadcast networks (24%), Jon Stewart and public television (both at 17%), CNN at 16%, and MSNBC at 10%. These figures may partly reflect the ideological diversity of the Democratic Party. Whereas Republicans overwhelmingly identify as conservative (74%), the Democratic Party is more ideologically diverse, with 46% calling themselves liberal, 31% moderate, and 20% conservative.
Among independents, Fox is the plurality leader (as we have seen, at 26%) followed by the broadcast networks at 17%, CNN at 16%, public television at 14% and Jon Stewart at 11%. Among political moderates, broadcast news and CNN are the preferred choices (at 25% and 23% respectively), followed by public television at 17%, Fox at 15% and Stewart at 8%.
It is not possible from this data to offer a precise solution to the chicken-and-egg question -- whether the more important fact is that those with very conservative views are already attracted to Fox, or whether Fox turns its viewers into conservatives. What is clear is that conservatives are drawn to Fox, and that Fox may, in turn, reinforce and perhaps harden conservative views. The survey also suggests that our discussions of political polarization need to take account of the unusually large role Fox News plays among conservatives and Republicans. At the moment, liberals are subject to a wider range of influences than conservatives are. Put another way, conservatives show a greater degree of solidarity, at least where their media habits are concerned. At the same time, divisions within the Republican Party can be defined at least in part by attitudes and habits related to Fox News. This could have important implications for future battles over Republican nominations and arguments over the party’s philosophical identity.
That is ALL they wrote about Figure 13.  Please notice that in the above four paragraphs, they NEVER mention that among ALL AMERICANS FOX NEWS garners 25% in the MOST TRUST category, while MSNBC garners only 5% in that category. Nor do they bother to divide "Broadcast News" into separate results for ABC, CBS, and NBC, which would result in each gaining 5% to 10% (averaging 7.7%) in the MOST TRUST category. OY!

Back in 2009, I showed that More DEMOCRATS watch Fox News than CNN or MSNBC

See here.

Could it be? YES IT BE!

Analysis of ratings data from respected Pew Research and Neilson
shows that more Democrats watch Fox News than either CNN or MSNBC.

Fox News has come up on this Blog several times. The data in this posting sheds more light on the situation.


The first pie chart shows the distribution of the MSNBC audience. As one would expect, 45% are self-declared Democrats and only 18% are Republicans. The remainder are Independents (27%) and "Don't know" (10%).

The second pie does the same for CNN, with the only surprise being that a higher proportion of Democrats (51%) watch CNN than MSNBC. 18% of Republicans watch CNN.

The third pie does the same for Fox News. 39% of their viewers claim to be Republicans and 33% Democrats.

It might be surprising to see the Fox News "balance" between Republicans and Democrats. 39/33 = 1.18. MSNBC has a balance between Democrats and Republicans of 45/18 = 2.5. The balance at CNN is 51/18 = 2.83.


Fox News has a considerably higher viewership than either CNN or MSNBC. I combined that (from the 2009 Neilson data) with the data from the most recent (2008) Pew Research report, to generate the graphic.

The bars show the number of viewers using Total Audience (all ages) and averaging over the Entire Day. The Blue bars are MSNBC, the Red Fox News, and the Yellow CNN. The surprise is that more Democrats choose Fox News than either MSNBC or CNN. Indeed, if you combine the Democrats who watch MSNBC and CNN, they total only a bit more than Democrats who watch Fox News. If you consider Independents, more of them watch Fox News than CNN and MSNBC combined!


Of course, what appears "fair" or "balanced" to one person on MSNBC may appear biased to another person, and vice-versa on Fox News. This is a subjective issue that each person needs to resolve for him or herself. My personal opinion is that MSNBC leans way to the left and Fox News a bit to the right. CNN appears to me to go right down the middle, or a bit to the left of middle.

The above data indicates that, given a free choice, people who seek out cable TV news and talk tend to choose Fox News over the competition. If you add the presumably "fair and balanced"-minded Independents to the presumably left-leaning Democrats, you find that more of that cohort watch Fox News than CNN and MSNBC combined. And that is true despite the fact that Fox News is available to fewer households.


In the above analysis, I used Total Audience averaged over the Entire Day. I did that because the Pew Research data was for all ages and did not ask people when they watched cable TV. Fox News tends to have a slightly older audience, so had I used the 25-54 year old demographic, the results would have been a bit less surprising. However, they would still have shown that more Democrats and Independents watch Fox News than CNN or MSNBC.

The statistics for Prime Time are also a bit different from averages over the whole day. However, Fox News is also ahead on that measure. For example, for the 25-54 demographic, Fox News leads with 446,000 to MSNBCs 250,000 and CNNs 143,000. For the Total Audience including us old folks, Fox News leads with 2,036,000 to MSNBCs 753,000 and CNNs 621,000.

Ira Glickstein

Sunday, June 1, 2014

I presented the "Fallacy of the Excluded Middle" to an interactive audience of over 50 at The Villages Philosophy Club on 30 May. If you would like a copy of my animated Powerpoint slides send an email to me: (my attempts to upload the slides to my Google site have been unsuccessful so far).

"Pascal's Wager" as to the existence of God is an early example of how the rhetorical FALLACY OF THE EXCLUDED MIDDLE may be used to push an unsuspecting audience to unwittingly accept an argument that is lacking in basic logic. Blaise Pascal, 1623–1662, was a French philosopher, mathematician, and physicist, yet even he was taken in by this fallacy! He argues as follows:

God is, or He is not. Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is.

Wager, [that God] is ... There is here an infinity of an infinitely happy life to gain, … against a finite number of chances of loss, and what you stake is finite.

And so our proposition is of infinite force, when there is the finite to stake in a game where there are equal risks of gain and of loss, and the infinite to gain.

(Source:'s Wager Based on Pensées, part III, §233)

This argument seems reasonable at first glance, particularly if you are motivated to want to believe in God. Our life here on Earth is difficult, short, and FINITE while our potential life in Heaven after our Earthly existence passes is INFINITE in length and high in quality.

Reason alone cannot answer the question as to God's existence, so we should assume a 50% chance either way.

As the decision matrix above shows, existence of God is either FALSE (TOP ROW) or TRUE (BOTTOM ROW),  and we can take ACTION to CHOOSE TO BELIEVE IN GOD (COLUMN A) or CHOOSE NOT TO BELIEVE (COLUMN B).  We have no control over the rows, but we do have control over the columns.

If we pick COLUMN B (NOT TO BELIEVE) if we have chosen rightly we get "nothing lost, nothing gained" OR, if God exists and we have chosen wrongly, we get damned for disbelief in Eternal Hell.

On the other hand, if we pick COLUMN A (BELIEF IN GOD) if we have chosen wrongly we get to do some unnecessary prayer ritual and curbing of some pleasures OR, if God exists and we have chosen rightly, we get the ultimate reward of Eternal Life in Heaven!

On balance, it is clear that COLUMN A (BELIEF IN GOD) is the better wager by far.


So, what is wrong "Pascal's Wager" argument?

The LOGICAL fault is that we have EXCLUDED a bunch of possibilities that lie between GOD is FALSE and GOD is TRUE.

For example, assuming God exists, WHICH GOD should we choose to believe in? The KIND, LOVING, and FORGIVING GOD of many branches of major religions, or the STRICT, VENAL, and UNFORGIVING GOD of, for example, the Spanish Inquisition or the Islamic Jihad?

If your answer is the KIND GOD, I invite you to set up a decision matrix where the rows are KIND GOD and VENAL GOD and the columns are belief in the VENAL GOD or belief in the Kind GOD. If you follow the logic, you will determine that your best bet is belief in the VENAL GOD! (My Powerpoint charts give the details, but, in short, the KIND GOD is more likely to forgive you if you happen to wrongly choose to believe in the venal God, while the venal God will not forgive you if you happen to choose wrongly!).


In an earlier posting (here) I showed how "One Guy With a Marker" DID NOT  MAKE "the Global Warming Debate Completely Obsolete".

The decision matrix below shows what he wrote in each box (in Black) and my comments (in Red).


Let us review the boxes (again with his writing in BLACK and mine in Red:

  1. L GLOBAL DEPRESSION: This box is included to make it appear he is being “fair” to Skeptics. He assumes that taking Action to stop GCC will be so costly that, if it turns out to have been unnecessary, the result will be a “Global Depression”. Certainly, maximum environmental spending will damage the world-wide economy, but I doubt that type of spending, alone, will trigger a “Global Depression”. When we get to box #3 we will see that he doesn’t really think so either! HIGHLY UNLIKELY
  2. J SMILEY FACE: GCC is “False”, we take No Action, so all is well! But, is it? Does his “GCC” include NATURAL PROCESSES and CYCLES that have caused Global Warming (and Cooling), Floods (and Droughts), and Violent Storms (and Blessed Rain) prior to the advent of Humans on Earth, and before we Humans had the capability to affect the climate? Apparently not, else “GCC” could not be totally “False”. Therefore, by “GCC” he is referring ONLY to the HUMAN-CAUSED variety, totally ignoring the evidence from the geological, ice-core, and historical records of NATURAL Global Climate Change and some Catastrophes. WHAT ABOUT -- NATURAL -- GCC ?
  3. J SMILEY FACE: This box is totally inconsistent with box #1! If Action to stop Human-Caused Global Warming is so costly as to cause a Global Depression in the first box, would it not also cause such a Global Depression in this box? So, why the Happy Face? Realistically, even if we in the US and other nations in the Developed World take maximum Action to reduce our CO2 emissions, it is totally unrealistic to expect those in the Developing World to do the same. Indeed, China, India, and other countries will continue to build power plants, nearly all of them coal-fired. CO2 levels are bound to continue their rapid increase for at least the coming several decades, no matter what we do. CONTRADICTS BOX #1 (GLOBAL DEPRESSION)
  4. L GLOBAL DEPRESSION:  This box is filled with terrible consequences and is intended to scare us into taking maximum Action. He assumes the worst-case Global Warming of several degrees predicted by Climate Models despite the failure of those Climate Models to predict the past 17 years of absolutely no net Global Warming. (The most realistic prediction is continued moderate change in Global Temperatures, mostly NATURAL but some small part HUMAN-CAUSED. As standards of living continue to improve world-wide, populations will stabilize which will allow reasonable action to be taken to moderate CO2 emissions, and Human Civilization will ADAPT to inevitable Natural and Human-Caused Climate Change as we have throughout history.) BASED ON -- FAILED -- CLIMATE MODELS

The following chart of Warming Predictions vs the Real World traces temperatures from 1979 (when satellite-based global temperatures first became available) to the present. It shows how badly these THEORETICAL Climate Models have failed to agree with the REAL WORLD measurements.



The black and green wiggly lines are ACTUAL measurements. Over some 34 years, they show a net Global Warming of less than 0.2° C (about 0.3° F), and a "PAUSE", since 1997, of 17 years with no net Global Warming at all.

The red line is the AVERAGE of 102 OFFICIAL IPCC CLIMATE MODELS. Note that it predicts Global Warming of more than 0.8° C (about 1.5° F), OVER-ESTIMATED by more than 400% !

NONE of the 102 models predicted the "PAUSE" ! The model that predicted the least Global Warming was about 100% high, and the one that predicted the most Global Warming was about 1000% wrong! Please note that during the entire 34 year period, CO2 (carbon dioxide), which Global Warming activists say is the major cause of temperature increase, has continued to rise rapidly!

ABSOLUTE DICHOTOMIES: All or nothing … Camelot or Catastrophe 
EMOTIONAL: Powerful in political rhetoric, but dangerous in science
HIDDEN ASSUMPTIONS: Each choice is perfectly TRUE or FALSE, Action is totally YES or NO 
NOT LOGICAL: The real world is mostly shades of


As long as we understand that almost all measurements are continuous and our classifications are made for convenience, dichotomies can be useful.

For example, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator divides all humans into some 16 different "Personality" types, using four dichotomies (


As the graphic illustrates (according to Jung as interpreted by Myers-Briggs) each of us is somewhere along a continuum between:
  • Being an EXTROVERT (outward-turning) or being an INTROVERT (inward-turning), 
  • INTUITING (viewing information in an abstract, theoretical way) or SENSING (viewing information in a tangible, concrete, present way)  
  • THINKING (in a detatched, logical, reasonable way) or FEELING (in an empathizing way seeking hamony) and  
(added by Myers-Briggs)
  • JUDGING (Detailed thinking or feeling) or PERCEIVING (Contextual sensing or intuition )

  • When I was tested I was married, with children and a successful career. I scored as an Extrovert, but close to the border with being an Introvert. Had I been tested while in college, I would probably have tested as an Introvert.
  • I scored as rather solidly iNtuiting (rather than Sensing, and solidly Thinking rather than Feeling, and would probably have scored about the same while in college.
  • Finally, I scored as slightly more Perceiving than Judging, and I am not sure how I would have scored on this dichotomy while in college.

One of my favorite graduate school professors, the late Walter Lowen, wrote a wonderful book about "Dichotomies of the Mind", where he utilized and adapted the Myers-Briggs methodology, and added his own spin to it. (See and

As the graphic indicates, while I score as an ENTP (which is called an "Inventor" by Myers-Briggs or a "Suspector" by Lowen), my personality extends a bit on all sides, particularly to the INTP ("architect" or "theoretician"),  ENTJ ("General" or "Analyst"), ENFP ("Journalist" or "Perceiver"), and ESTP ("Promoter" or "Operator") categories.

Bottom Line: Dichotomies are OK to use for convenience and for compacting lots of information into a single package (like a "Personality type") as long as we recognize that we are not really confined into a single discrete box!

Ira Glickstein