## and it only gets worse [verbatim]

Posted in Kids, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2020 by xi'an

“A basic principle of the law — and of everyday fairness — is that we apply rules with consistency, and not based on what’s convenient or advantageous in the moment. The rule of law, the legitimacy of our courts, the fundamental workings of our democracy all depend on that basic principle.” Barack Obama [on Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s replacement], 18 September

“I don’t know that [Ruth Bader Ginsberg] said that, or if that was written out by Adam Schiff, and Schumer and Pelosi,” DT, 21 September

“I don’t wear a mask like [Joe Biden]. Every time you see him, he’s got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away from them and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”, 29 September

“With time it goes away. And you’ll develop like a herd mentality [sic]. It’s going to be herd developed, and that’s going to happen. That will all happen.” DT, 16 September

“If you take the blue states out, we’re at a level that I don’t think anyone in the world would be at,” DT, 17 September

“It will start getting cooler, just you watch.” DT, 14 September

“I don’t think science knows, actually.” DT, 14 September

“Because of the new and unprecedented massive amount of unsolicited ballots which will be sent to ‘voters,’ or wherever, this year, the Nov 3rd Election result may NEVER BE ACCURATELY DETERMINED, which is what some want.” DT, 17 September

“There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent.” “DT, 26 May

“I can tell you there’s [no race problem] with me. Because I have great respect for all races, everybody.” DT, 15 September

“America is fundamentally good, and has much to offer the world, because our founders recognized the existence of God-given unalienable rights and designed a durable system to protect them” M. Pompeo, July 2020

## and it only gets worse [verbatim]

Posted in Kids, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2020 by xi'an

“They always said nobody got treated worse than Lincoln. I believe I am treated worse.” DT, 03 May

“We’re on the other side of the medical aspect of this [pandemic.]J. Kushner, 29 April

““We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here, we will not see terrorism come here, and isn’t that refreshing when contrasting it with the awful Presidency of President Obama?” K. McEnany, 25 February

“You all know what happened in 1917.” DT, 27 April

“Leadership may be hard to define, but in times of crisis it is easy to identify. As the pandemic has spread fear, disease and death, national leaders across the globe have been severely tested. Some have fallen short, sometimes dismally, but there are also those leaders who have risen to the moment, demonstrating resolve, courage, empathy, respect for science and elemental decency, and thereby dulling the impact of the disease on their people.” NYT editorial, 30 April

“In the past month alone, the [US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)] has dialled down regulations on automobile emissions and fuel efficiency put in place under former president Barack Obama; it has weakened rules on mercury and other pollutants emitted by power plants; and it has shied away from strengthening standards to reduce fine-particle air pollution. Nature, 28 April“

“It would have been bad even with the best of government. It has been an absolute chaotic disaster when that mindset — of ‘what’s in it for me’ and ‘to heck with everybody else’ — when that mindset is operationalized in our government.” Barack Obama, 09 May

““Trump’s constant antics are a danger to the American people. The current approach to science and expertise within the Trump administration is a shame on many levels. Trump’s talking nonsense risks misleading the public, and it distracts top scientists who spend emotional energy neutralizing the damage he causes when they should be tackling the virus (…) Many scientists were dreading that the president would be faced by a test just like coronavirus. “ John Holdren, 03 May

“Probably it was incompetence. Somebody was stupid.” DT [an expert in the field], 10 May

DT, 18 May

## an unexpected outlet for a final message

Posted in Books, Kids, pictures with tags , , , , , on January 19, 2017 by xi'an

President Barack Obama has once again raised the epitomé of cool by writing a tribune in Science entitled The irreversible momentum of clean energy. A few days before leaving his office.

“…evidence is mounting that any economic strategy that ignores carbon pollution will impose tremendous costs to the global economy and will result in fewer jobs and less economic growth over the long term.” B. Obama, 13 January, 2017

I do not know how many other US presidents or would-be presidents have written in Science or equivalent journals (maybe Abraham Lincoln when seeking alternatives to sperm whale oil), but I doubt his immediate successor will be one of these. So, goodbye Mr. President! And sorry to see you leave…

## Common ancestors

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , on June 8, 2011 by xi'an

In conjunction with President Obama’s visit to Ireland two weeks ago and in particular to his ancestral Irish town, I happened to glance at his family tree and saw that he shared a common ancestor with George W. Bush. (They are 11th cousins, meaning that a 12th-order ancestor is common to both their  family trees.) This sounds at first amazing, but it is another occurrence of the (von Mises) birthday problem. (The fact that it is not that amazing is demonstrated by the simultaneous presence of [French!] ancestors of Dick Cheney in the same tree.) If we consider President Obama’s mother side, the probability that all of her 11th-order ancestors differ from all of George W. Bush’s 12th-order ancestors is

$p=\dfrac{(M-2^{12})(M-2^{12}-1)\cdots(M-2^{12}-2^{11}+1)}{M(M-1)\cdots(M-2^{11}+1)}$

where M denotes the whole population of potential ancestors at this period. If we consider all those ancestors as coming from the British Isles, then about 1650, the population was about 8 million. This would lead to a probability of p=0.35, i.e. there is a 65% chance that they share a 12th-order ancestor. If instead we consider the whole European population at that time (if only to include German and French ancestors to President Obama), M is about 100 million and the probability increases to p=0.92, so there is then an 8% probability for them to share an ancestor. Obviously, this rough calculation relies on simplifying assumptions, avoiding the issue of inbreeding which means that the potential 2¹¹ ancestors are in fact much less than 2¹¹, and the fact that their ancestors are necessarily emigrants, which reduces the value of M(This post appeared yesterday on the Statistics Forum.)