March 7th, 2015

More about NAIRU than anyone is likely to pay very close attention to

I don't honestly think NAIRU current "actual" value is what's driving any decision making at the Fed. I think it's more about seasonality, asymmetrical risks and the difficulty of predicting what the next few months of oil prices will be and the implications of that for the economy in general. Oh, and that employment index thingie that isn't "unemployment", but captures people who want more hours and can't get them (U6, IIRC). That's probably driving a lot of thinking over at the Fed. [ETA: and what's going on in Europe, internationally generally . . .]

Anyway. Just in case NAIRU is a factor, Krugman is going to make absolutely certain that everyone knows about how it isn't 5.x% now or at various points in the past. And good for him! Hopefully people are reading and paying attention.

Rampant speculation about snow in Boston and demographics

No, it's not about people being stuck indoors and making babies. It's about whether anyone will, come spring or summer or whatever, actually follow through on their threat to leave because of the recent, insanely high snow totals.

It is an interesting and mostly careful analysis, coming in part to a fairly obvious conclusion (a bunch of people in the area already winter in Florida -- this could push a few more over the edge).

The last bit, however, is goofy.

"For this reason, the confluence of snowstorms over the past month could have surprising, if subtle, effects on the political makeup of Massachusetts. Fussell imagines that people who consider climate change to be a fact might be more likely to view this winter as a harbinger—and therefore, a reason to leave—than people who dismiss global warming and see this winter as a fluke.

“Because Democrats are more likely to perceive climate change as real, maybe they’d be more likely to move than Republicans,” she says. If that were so, it would certainly be one of the most surprising consequences of this winter: a way that a heavy dusting of white could turn a blue state a bit more purple."

It would indeed be surprising. I don't believe that for a second.

fitbit timezone?

I found the thing in Settings, and changed it from Pacific to Eastern, which did ... nothing to the display on the dashboard. Any ideas?

Here are things I have tried: logged out and logged back in. Filled out my location (town, state, zip) information. Removed the Activity tile from the board and then put it back. The display remains utterly convinced that I am still on Pacific time. This is annoying.

Further things tried: changed the time zone to even more different time zones (Tel Aviv, etc.). Changed the clock to 24 hour clock. Changed the start of the week to Monday. YES I am hitting save after each of these changes, switching back to the dashboard and looking at the activity tile. Which remains relentlessly convinced I became active at 4:30 a.m. (I got up because my son wanted me to help him out at 7:30 a.m. my time, hence, 4:30 a.m. Pacific), went all sedentary again until 6 a.m. (because it's Saturday, so A. didn't get up until kinda late and I took advantage of that fact). Etc.

ETA: Still not fixing it. Grrr. I did, on the bright side, go in and turn off a whole lot of notifications, so that's not nothing.

Final update on this topic, because I am Really Done with it: It turns out that FitBit handles the time change by ... presenting me with a three hour gap. Really. And it further turns out that R. noticed this back in December, when we flew west and experienced a time zone change and it _double counted_ three hours worth of steps.

Clearly, FitBit is not storing data on the device in GMT/UMT, but rather local time, and then, obvs, the transition isn't being handled right either, because, duh, if you don't handle everything under the hood in UMT/GMT you are going to get it wrong because that's just how it works.


If FitBit were app and device only, I might shrug and go, okay. But they require a computer to set things up, which makes me just want to cry. There is no excuse for getting time and date stuff wrong in 2015.

In other news, A. is now circling while holding her iPod Touch and watching her steps count up. "Look it, if I walk faster I get more steps!" Oy.