Europe in the 13th century

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The Gettysburg address was this day in history

30 unarmed Blacks killed by police by threat level since 1 January 2015

Before I go to the coding errors by the Washington Post, two were killed by a police stray bullets so there is no intention to kill that person no matter what their race might be. One of the 30 was killed by a 74-year-old sheriff’s reserve deputy who fumbled his weapons while trying to subdue the deceased who was on the ground fighting with other officers. That was a tragic accident. There was no police intention to kill despite the negligence. Perhaps the correct number is 27.

Source: Investigation: Police shootings – Washington Post.

12 of the 30 deceased were attacking police according to the coding of the Washington Post. When you read the details of the 13 classified as no attack in progress, seven must be reclassified. A threat level makes no sense if you’re accidentally killed by police stray bullet as just mentioned.

One of the deceased got out of his car then reached inside despite police commands not to do so, but was still classified as no attack in progress. He was shot because the police thought he was going for a gun.

Three of the deceased were mentally ill, of which two are charging the police with the weapon of some sort and another look like he had a weapon. They were attacking police which is contrary to the coding of the Washington Post that they weren’t.

Another of the deceased was shot struggling with the policeman who got into the car which he then drove off in at speed. The car later crashed after the shooting.

Then we’re back to the 74-year-old sheriff’s reserve deputy who fired his gun instead of the Taser as mentioned before. That shooting too was classified as no attack in progress despite the fact the deceased was struggling with officers. The sheriff’s deputy was trying to use his Taser to subdue the man resisting arrest violently. Not sure how a policeman can confuse a gun with the Taser but it was a high stress situation of a suspect who was struggling with police.

All in all, at most 10 of the unarmed blacks deliberately shot in America this year by police were not attacking at the time.

The Guardian argues that 1013 were killed by police this year in the USA. The Washington Post puts this number at 871 as of today. Either way, about 1% of these deaths were of an unarmed black who was not attacking police. Of that 10 who were shot, a number will turn out to be justifiable shootings. A few of these police shootings will not be justified and will result in criminal prosecutions.

Police officers who shoot an unarmed suspect at a safe distance are highly likely to be charged as I have previously arguedThe Washington Post confirmed that with its investigator journalism finding that only 5% of the police shootings it reviewed for 2015 were suspicious in terms of police misconduct.

Peak China

How is Development Economics Taught in Developing Countries?

Mostly Economics

David McKenzie (of World Bank) and Anna Luisa Paffhausen ( of University of Passau) have written an interesting paper on the topic. They summarise the findings in this post:

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How Scandinavian Countries Pay for Their Government Spending

“Windows 1.0”

prior probability

In honor of the 30th anniversary of the launching of Windows 1.0, Tom Warren–a self-described “resident Microsoft expert”–has compiled a complete “visual history” of Microsoft’s popular operating system for personal computers.  (Check out Warren’s work here, via The Verge.)  This is the first paragraph of the essay portion of Warren’s “visual history” of Windows:

The PC revolution started off life 30 years ago this week. Microsoft launched its first version of Windows on November 20th, 1985, to succeed MS-DOS. It was a huge milestone that paved the way for the modern versions of Windows we use today. While Windows 10 doesn’t look anything like Windows 1.0, it still has many of its original fundamentals like scroll bars, drop-down menus, icons, dialog boxes, and apps like Notepad and MS paint.

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Women executives earn more, are promoted faster! @greencatherine @janelogie

Source: Limor Golan.

Living wages, dying fiduciary responsibility

The Sand Pit

I had a short piece in today’s Dominion Post on Wellington Council’s living wage policy. After walking through the standard reasons why this is a bad way of helping the working poor, I touched on some of the likely consequences:

Contractors bidding against council-owned agencies for provision of services that could be outsourced will lose some of their ability to compete on price. Council-provided services will become more expensive not only due to the direct effect of the higher wage bill but also because of the reduction in competition and outsourcing. I expect more services will then be provided by in-house unionised council staff.

If security guards working for a contractor earn more when rostered onto a council job than when sent off onto a private job, those workers will all prefer the council jobs. If I were a company contracting workers to council under that kind of arrangement, I’d…

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How to walk your human

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