February 14th, 2013

Fact Checking an Idiot Excerpted on Stephen Colbert

Obviously, lots of people had fun with Marco Rubio. Let's just leave it at that.

The actual idiot who caught my attention, however, was an ancient -- but well-preserved -- geezer on Fox News saying he was happy to be paid 85c/hour when he was in high school.

I got the wrong Bob Luddy. The Bob Luddy I should have gotten is the one in North Carolina who
was born in the early-mid 1940s and would have been 17 under Kennedy. His 85c/hour would work out to $3.04 when I was in high school and $6.38 now.

He's not strictly speaking a geezer at all, and isn't as it turns out, well preserved; TV makes him look older than his not-quite-70 (or maybe TV just depicts him accurately, but I'm prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt).

Don't blog in haste and anger, I guess. My bad. If I had realized he was this age, I probably would have just rolled my eyes, because I know way too many people from that cohort with that set of opinions. I was a bit shocked to run into someone as old as I thought he was with that dippy an idea about how to adjust for inflation. Another factor in his objection to the proposed $10 national minimum wage likely reflects the circumstances he has been accustomed to through the course of his entire life (North Carolina, vs. living in northern states with higher wages/benefits and an higher expected standard of living, better schools, etc.).

And I will commit to pausing longer before blogging when irritated by someone talking about When I Was Young. I should at least work harder to get the age calculation right. :(

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- EVERYTHING BELOW HERE IS TOTALLY WRONG! Sorry -=-=-=-=-=-=-=--=-=-
I understand geezer is rude, but I mean it: this guy is _old_. Googling turned the heard name to an actual name of "Robert Luddy", and a little additional googling (a census record from 1940 may have been involved) suggests he was born in 1928. So he's actually a pretty well preserved 84 or thereabouts.

Anyway. Let's assume his "high school" job was held at age 17, give or take, and then plug his 85c/hour into a CPI inflator to figure out what that would be in today's dollars.

Answer: $10.84.

Luddy should not be complaining about raising the national minimum wage to $10/hour and then using his 85c nominal wage from 1945 as evidence against ON A BUSINESS NEWS PROGRAM.

What the hell is wrong with you people? Think we can't do math? Think we can't look at a geezer and go, dude, you're over 80. 85c back then _was_ a decent wage. That's all we're asking for people now, is what you got back then.

ETA: For reference purposes, when I was working a minimum wage job in high school, I was getting $3.35, IIRC (google suggests I recall correctly, but you just never know). CPI inflator for his 85c/an hour sez $5.18 in 1986.

Here's the inflator I use:

http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm

If you are really anti-government and have an inflator you prefer to use, don't hesitate to share. But my experience has been that most alternative inflators don't show _less_ inflation, so for these purposes, those will just tend to make my point even pointier.

ETAYA: Hmmmm. Now I'm wondering if I got the wrong Luddy. Maybe he's not that old. . .

Still More Uploading, altho this time videos

I don't have a ton of videos, but I have some of the kids, and even tho they are fairly awful in every way (lighting, stability of the device, quality of the device ...), I still want to keep them because, you know, kids.

The ones that I had on my laptop (I had a Flip for a while, and before that a Very Small Videocamera -- possibly two -- and of course the usual still-camera-that-takes-short-video stuff) I could upload to Flickr. Alas, Flickr will not do everything, and attempts to convert 3GP [eta: 3g2, actually?] stuff (not from any of my phones, but from some of the kids' aides at the preschool) ... turned out really weird and wrong in ways that sounded like the problems Flickr had with that format back when they still converted it. Also, Flickr has a hard enforced 1.5 minute play time limit -- it'll silently truncate anything you upload that is longer than that. I knew stuff longer than the official limit (30 secs?) was going through and it took me a while to realize what was happening, but I was able to confirm this is Known Behavior elsewhere.

So that left me with two problems. (1) The Flickr iOS app in its current incarnation will not upload video of any format or size and there's been no word for months that that functionality will ever return. (2) What to do with the long videos that I cannot store on Flickr.

I went over to Vimeo, where I've had a largely inactive account for about five years (but they oddly haven't erased any of my files, thank you Vimeo for being very nice) and looked over their pricing and features. Then I looked at who owns them, and I thought for a while about their TOS and what you have to do to ensure access to your original file if stored with them and concluded that I wasn't as comfortable with Vimeo as a video archive as I am with Flickr as a photo archive.

I'm waiting to hear back from some friends about a reasonable second choice, but in the meantime, I figured I might as well see how Google Drive works. Again, I use them already for text files, and their pricing, TOS and ability to retrieve original file seemed like a trustworthy solution. Playback seems okay, and I didn't encounter any delays in uploading.

There's a Google Drive iOS app, which I had already downloaded to access my Google Docs notes (where what I used to have in EverNote went after I had a temper tantrum about syncing conflicts and cut-and-paste issues). Does it upload video? Oh, yes it does! Very fast, too! I'm off to see how playback looks.

ETA: Looks fine! The worst aspect of Google Drive for videos is the lack of a thumbnail, so it is helpful to name the files something informative. I'll go with this solution unless something particularly compelling comes along. Because the free storage is 5 Gigs, and I'm currently only using 2 (and that from recent uploads), I may not have to pay anything for this, however, the pricing structure seems fine if I do need to pay for additional storage (altho that would likely motivate me to do some more careful editing of what I decide to keep).

ETAYA: I'm going to tentatively say that I've uploaded all the videos. But I suspect I'll find more somewhere. And I still have a quarter of my free google drive storage left.