Monday, August 31, 2009

Don't know much about whatdoweknow

The Dunning–Kruger effect is an example of cognitive bias in which "people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it".[1] They therefore suffer an illusory superiority, rating their own ability as above average. This leads to a perverse result where less competent people will rate their own ability higher than relatively more competent people. It also explains why actual competence may weaken self-confidence because competent individuals falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding. "Thus, the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others."[1]


Kruger and Dunning noted a number of previous studies which tend to suggest that in skills as diverse as reading comprehension, operating a motor vehicle, and playing chess or tennis, "ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" (as Charles Darwin put it).[3] They hypothesized that with a typical skill which humans may possess in greater or lesser degree,
Incompetent individuals tend to overestimate their own level of skill.
Incompetent individuals fail to recognize genuine skill in others.
Incompetent individuals fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy.
If they can be trained to substantially improve their own skill level, these individuals can recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill.


I am no longer sure if I have the skill required to understand this phenomenon.

Friday, August 28, 2009

My girls at FX McQ's

Jay Larsen

Sent from my Windows Mobile phone

Met my dad in Seattle today

Took the underground tour and had lunch.
Dad is taking an Alaska cruise with his wife for a week.

Jay Larsen

Sent from my Windows Mobile phone

Thursday, August 27, 2009

In My Old Future...

In my old future, the world wasn't going to be so square.
But there is always hope for our new future, I guess.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Childhood, Bizarre Childhood

I can talk about where I come from
But I don't know what it means
I can predict the future
But I'd rather eat beans

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Run Stop

a corporation built this prototype spheroid
so I have to get up unfeasibly early
by selective reproduction of reality, into a physical form
why did you give me this then?
held hostage by those who refuse to see
stop run
Run Credits: Prototype Poetry and hostage collage by Jay Larsen
Stop Credits...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Healthcare Reason, Not Hysteria

So much of what has been passing for a debate about health care reform has been out and out hysteria (death panels, anyone?) that it was a pleasant suprise to find a reasonable discussion about the topic.

Tom Luce wrote a great article on about Health Care Reform: below are some excerpts. Read the whole thing at:

"I have lived most of my life in Britain. I have used the British Health Service on and off for over 60 years and the US health care system here in Seattle equally for the last 15. In my main career I worked as a senior Civil Servant in the British Health Department where for a while I was the Under Secretary responsible for negotiating the health care budget with the Treasury. I have used “socialised medicine.” I have observed it at close quarters. And I have helped to run it.
It’s no boast but a statement of fact to say that I can recognize it when I see it and know what’s good and what’s bad about it. I am equally confident that none of the proposals now before the US public amount in any serious sense to “socialized medicine,” and that an informed and rational debate around these proposals should lead to real improvement in the way health care in the US is paid for. "


"There is no question of moving to a government-run system for the generality of U.S. health care. None of the proposals emanating from the House or the Senate would lead to a single monolithic health care service or increase the federal government’s role in the direct provision and management of health care. There is good reason for this. The U.S. consumer’s expectation of promptness and choice of access and the American voters' traditional dislike of government combine with extremely powerful and well entrenched health care and insurance provider interests to mean that any efforts to recreate a British-style health care system in the US would be politically insane. Whatever its virtues and defects in its own context, the British system is not a viable export. "


"In the US we tend to think that the health care system is based on the private sector. So it is, on the delivery side. But on the financing side, federal and state governments are already massive players. In only a few years, without any of the present reforms being adopted, one dollar in every five spent in the U.S. will go for health care, and nearly 50 cents in each of those dollars will be channeled through government. Given the size of the U.S. population, and its very high spending on health care, the federal government must already be the largest source of money for health care in the world. If channeling money for health through government agencies is “socialized medicine,” then the USA is already, and irrevocably, its global capital. "

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lady Orchid

You have only been away a short time
But in that time so much has changed
All your friends are talking about her
She is new to the neighborhood
But it is as if she had been there all their lives
Lady Orchid, center of the social scene
“This town would just be dead”
“Without me,” she says, making an entrance
“Wouldn’t you agree?”
Everyone nods and raises their drinks
To Lady Orchid
You have only been away a short time
But the new center of gravity
Is now the beautiful but deadly
Lady Orchid

Credits: Poem and Collage by Jay Larsen

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Patent Illustration

This is an illustration from a patent application from Sony. They have some feedback controls for the Playstation that will respond to people's emotional responses.
I love the show playing on the TV: the guy turns the crank which keeps kicking him in the ass.
I am sure there is a joke in here somewhere about how Fox News keeps getting people to vote against their own best interests, but I'm not feeling particularly clever today.
And I must admit that what passes for a "health care debate" on the TV machine is WRONG. It is not particularly FUNNY. So the only way that could be Fox News on the TV, is if that is a Health Insurance Company CEO sitting in the chair having the belly laugh.

So where does that leave us?
Sony Patent Illustration = funny.
My metaphore = Not clever.
Fox News = WRONG!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Conference Call Doodle--The Rat Catcher

Big cities are full of essential services that operate everyday without attracting our attention.
In the sewers beneath our homes and businesses hordes of vermin grow fat on the effluvia of everyday life. Chief among these are the rats, who would swarm out and invade our daily lives of commerce and comfort if it were not for an unseen cadre of small but valiant defenders. Behold the diminutive Rat Catchers, brave hunters of rodents, bane of rat kind. Many of the bigger rats are twice their size, yet these hunters go unafraid into the slimiest warrens to fight epic battles in the dark against vicious red-eyed rats before they have the chance to multiply and swam up to the surface streets.
We civilized denizens of the metropolis owe a debt of thanks and gratitude to the nearly invisible guardians of our drains and cesspools, the Rat Catchers. Good hunting, little brothers! Good hunting!

--Doodles and Daydreams by Jay Larsen

Post Number 700

The Blogger Machine tells me this is my 700th post to the Thunder Echo Blog!

I hope it has been as fun for you, as it has been for me.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Slug Invasion

This not the largest slug I have ever seen. But it comes close. And it is the largest slug I have seen on my front door...

Jay Larsen

Sent from my Windows Mobile phone

Thursday, August 13, 2009


You remember that episode, right?
The one where the whole crew played hacky sack?
Me neither...
Just continuing the wrong, yet funny theme.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


No time to post.
So I will just post these images that seemed wrong but funny...

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Congressional Town Hall

Went to an event with Congressman Rick Larsen. He tried to keep the focus on Veteran's Services. But healthcare reform is on everyones minds. Some Vets seemed concerned that healthcare reform would take away from their special services. Expanding care always seems to frighten people--as if care is a limited commodity...
A couple of guys tried to turn it into a shouting match. But Congressman Larsen did a good job of disarming the anger.
I asked for Congress to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell. And to push expanded healthcare coverage to everyone.
Democracy at work. Slow and sloppy...

Jay Larsen

Sent from my Windows Mobile phone

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Mr. Kim Becomes a Statistic

Mr. Kim runs my favorite lunch spot, Café Haru, a modest Sushi and Teriyaki restaurant near my office in Lynnwood, WA. I have been eating lunch there for over 8 years. The food has always been good. The place is clean. And even though Mr. Kim’s English is not the best, he always made me feel welcome and appreciated. And he and his wife served the best Nabi Yaki Udon in the world (that’s noodle soup with seafood, chicken and vegetables for the unlucky few who have never tried the nabi).

Lately business has been slowing down at the cafe. Several large office buildings near by have closed or laid off large numbers of workers. But I kept hoping Mr. Kim could hang on until this “recession” ended. Just like I keep hoping that my company will hang on until this “economic downturn” has corrected. Just like millions of Americans are hoping and praying for a couple more pay checks during this “slowdown”.

Mr. Kim just informed me today that Friday is his last day. The rent is due and he can’t pay it. The Café is closing down. He came out from behind the counter and hugged me and my friend Mike. He asked us to convey his thanks to our wives. And he wished us well. We wish Mr. Kim and his family well and hope they find some way to make it in this “tough economic climate.”

Mr. Kim became a statistic today. He and his small business will show up as debits and credits in a number of ledger books and quarterly statements. He is one of the nearly half a million people also suddenly out of work this week in our country. His retail space will get tallied up as under utilized. His mortgage will go into forclosure. But none of those numbers really tell the tale. None of the statistics paint the human picture and the upset and upheaval these good natured, hard working people will have to endure because of this “recession”. I don't feel the loss of Mr. Kim and his restaurant in my checkbook, I feel it in my heart.

I’m sure every one out there has a Mr. Kim or two or twenty in their lives right now. Things are pretty unsettled in the economic world right now. And it is hard to feel every unemployment number personally, but every time the news talks about down sizing, or jobless claims, or whatever the Wall Street Journal approved terminology is, behind those sanitized business terms and statistics there are real people getting their lives turned upside down.

So I wish a hardy Good Luck and pray a mighty prayer for all the Mr. Kims out there and for all of us. And I say that this is exactly why we need Single Payer Healthcare in this country. This is exactly why we need bankruptcy reforms. And this is why we need better regulations on Corporations who are willing to ignore human measures of happiness and wellness as long as their “economic” measures indicate a short-term profit in the next quarter. This is why we need to reclaim our society and map out what falls within the commons of our society and keep the profit motive and the profit margin out of those areas of our lives. If we do not, we will continue to give over our lives and our communities to Corporations who only see us as resources at best and expenses at worst. And we will continue to lose good members of our communities, people like the Kims.

Good Luck Mr. Kim. Good Luck to all of us. I think we are going to need it, because the statistics seem to indicate that we are all in for a bumpy ride. Thanks for the great soup, Mr. Kim! Many thanks!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Plywood and Asphalt

Laugh so hard it hurts
Cry so hard it stops
Keep jumping
When your friends do
Keep your pen light
Aimed at forbidden
Comic books
Nothing in adult life
Is ever quite as fun
As plywood and asphalt
And a cool Schwinn bike


Credits: Collage and Poem by Jay Larsen

"Be carefull or you'll kill yourself!" by Mothers everywhere

"You kids get off my lawn!!!" by the gumpy old guy down the street

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


Cool science of sound stuff

If you can't see the video, go here:

The best stuff is about 2 minutes in to the video. The mixture starts looking like strange creatures coming into existence and then being absorbed by new creatures. Cool geeky fun.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Pirates take over the sales meeting

Monday sales meeting boredom produces pirate doodles...Aarrrrrhh!

Jay Larsen

Sent from my Windows Mobile phone

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Western WA Ren Faire

We got decked out and went to the new (but not improved) Western Washington Ren Faire.
They didn't have one at all last year, and this year it was in a new spot. The location was ok, but the event seemed kind of run down and deflated.
There are some new events starting up in the area, so we will probably check those out.
More photos at: