Covid 11/24/22: Thanks for Good Health

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful that I am once again back at full health. Covid comes and Covid goes. It was like I had a bad cold… for three days. That actually about sums it up, with some residual coughing. After a week, I was able to do a full session on the elliptical machine, so I consider everything back to normal.

I am not yet ready to wind down the Covid posts, but I am getting close to that point. If we get through the next two months without anything major happening, it will probably be time. For now, things will continue as normal.

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Simple Improvement to College Football Overtime Rules

For a long time I have thought that a simple tweak to the NCAAF overtime rules would fix several problems with no downsides. The Alabama-LSU game reinforced my impression of this by showing what we could have every time.

PROPOSED: In overtime, teams cannot kick an extra point that ties the game.

This replaces the new ‘teams cannot kick extra points in the second and later overtime periods’ rule.

This does three things.

  1. Dramatically improves the chances the game will end quickly, avoiding the need for two-point-try-only periods. If either team gets a touchdown, unless both miss extra points, the game is over.
  2. Reduces the advantage of winning the coin toss. Under current rules, knowing what you need to do, and thus having the ability to use four downs, is a big advantage.
  3. Ends games on a great moment. Everyone loves all-or-nothing final plays.

If you want an additional safeguard against too many overtimes, rather than successive two point tries, one can (starting with the third or fourth overtime) add a rule that one cannot kick a field goal to tie the game, either. That all but assures that the next overtime period will be the last one.

Compare this to the current rule that requires both teams to go for two starting with the second overtime. This rule is so bad it is essentially a bug. It is harder to explain, and half the time it fails to achieve its goal of ending the game.

Is a pair of offensive possessions a better way to resolve a tie than a timed overtime period? I don’t know. However, once you do use a pair of possessions, this is a strictly better way to do that.

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Covid 11/17/22: Slow Recovery

While the news has been fast and furious on many fronts, Covid is not one of them.

Except that, this week, I got it.

On Monday evening, I started having chills. They seem better during the day, worse at night, slowly improving.

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Sadly, FTX

It has been quite a past two weeks, with different spheres in deeply divided narratives. In addition to the liberation of Kherson City, the midterm elections that of course took forever to resolve and the ongoing hijinks of Elon Musk taking over Twitter, there was the complete implosion of Sam Bankman-Fried (hereafter ‘SBF’), his crypto exchange FTX and his crypto trading firm Alameda Research.

The situation somehow kept getting worse several times a day, even relative to my updated expectations, as new events happened and new revelations came out.

In the wake of those events, there are not only many questions but many categories of questions. Here are some of them.

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Weekly Roundup #5

A note about what isn’t in this roundup: Nothing about the midterms or crypto/FTX. I wrote about Twitter earlier this week. The midterms are better covered elsewhere, I do not have anything unique to say about them. As for the situation with FTX, it is rapidly developing and I do not yet feel I have sufficient handle on it that saying things would be net helpful. I continue to recommend starting on that topic by reading Matt Levine (both in general, and for this in particular).

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Covid 11/10/22: Into the Background

There was a lot of news this week.

Elon Musk continued to Do Things at Twitter.

America had midterm elections. The polls were roughly accurate, with ‘candidate quality’ mattering more than expected especially on the Republican side.

FTX imploded. For now I am letting Matt Levine handle coverage of what happened.

None of it had anything directly to do with Covid. So this will be short.

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What’s the Deal with Elon Musk and Twitter?

At the end of long saga well-covered in hilarious fashion by Matt Levine, Elon Musk has purchased Twitter.

He then began doing things.

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Weekly Roundup #4

Relatively light roundup this week, likely due to Elon Musk buying Twitter plus the incoming midterms sucking all the oxygen from everything else. I do have a Twitter/Musk post in progress tentatively scheduled for Monday.

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Covid 11/3/22: Asking Forgiveness

It was a quiet week on the Covid front. That is a very good thing.

If anything, the theme of this week was looking backwards to how things were handled. The CDC is (at least half-heartedly) looking to fix things. There was an offer of ‘pandemic amnesty’ by someone who thinks they don’t need amnesty. There was more consideration of counterfactual actions on the libertarian roads not taken.

There was, however, a rise in cases and deaths. This raises the chances of a substantial winter wave.

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Housing and Transit Thoughts #1

Housing is the Balsa-style area where there has been the most progress lately. There seems to be growing consensus that it is vital we build more housing in places that people want to live. California is making serious attempts to force localities to do exactly that, here in New York we are making at least some progress, and across the country the YIMBY movement is making progress.

The bulk of this post is a roundup of the housing (and related transit) stories about such struggles over the past month. Going forward, it seems far more helpful to have this story and its links and other resources stored and told in large chunks, and to give those not interested a way to skip it.

This post is not intended to be my in depth exploration of Balsa’s future agenda for housing. However, I do think it makes sense to first take this opportunity to flesh out what I said about this in the FAQ, and outline what I am thinking in broad terms.

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