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Until The Spring

repent
Almost.

They who own the language, write history


Inspired by a recent post from rebecoming regarding jargon:

I have embraced it with amusement. I got a page-a-day calendar for 2008 with a "Corporate Bullshit" theme.

I have also been known to frequent these sites:

The Ridiculous Business Jargon Dictionary

MBA Jargon Watch

Business Jargon Generator

and to help determine what job you might hold in a workplace which uses these sorts of phrases: The Bullshit Job Title Generator

Lest ye forget, until quite recently I was a "Strategic Projects Consultant". Then one day I was informed, though my job had not changed whatsoever, that my new title was "Sr. HR Programs Consultant". I raised quite a fuss, requesting that my title be all-inclusive, which would have left me a "Senior Strategic Human Resources Programs and Projects Consultant" but when I applied for business cards, they told me they could only fit "Senior Strategic Human Reso" in the space provided, and that would have just confused people.

OK, I admit. None of that is true. Except for the job title change.

*

I have gone as far as inventing jargon for the simple fact that it is fun to watch people's initial reaction when I use it, like I'm part of some in crowd that they're not aware of yet. Lately, I've been using the word "bonsai" as a verb to describe the process of abbreviating a document for easier use (e.g. "That quarterly earnings report is pretty detailed. I'm thinking I'll bonsai it before presenting it to the Board.")

I believe that this use of "bonsai" may have a small effect on the "greening" of the corporate world. See, if we make up our own jargon and make it beautiful and others adopt it, we'll be in a workplace which talks about little trees and fairy dust and golden brick roads and so on.

So much better than "leveraging human capital" and "people strategies" and "developing pipelines of talent," you know. No one else has started to use "bonsai" yet, but I haven't had that much chance to plant it. That's the beauty of it, when you realize you can surreptitiously shift the discourse.

And to New Hampshire

under the watchful eye of the jackalope
Please see my earlier post regarding the Iowa Caucus, and forgive the copy and paste formatting of this entry, where that is obvious.

The New Hampshire Primaries have been the first primaries beginning the U.S. presidential election cycle since at least 1952. There is much discussion about the role these Primaries play in determining who ends up with the Democratic and Republican nomination, with much of this punditry focusing on these as determinant events. With Wikipedia as my friend, I decided to dig deeper.

Democrats -

Of the fourteen Primaries between 1952 and 2004, only eight have been won by the eventual Democratic nominee. However, it should also be noted that four of these eight were won by incumbent Democratic Presidents - Johnson in 1964 and 1968, Carter in 1980, and Clinton in 1996.

The Democrats have won the White House back from the Republicans three times since 1952: Kennedy in 1960, Carter in 1976, and Clinton in 1992. Kennedy and Carter both won the New Hampshire Primary. Clinton finished second behind Paul Tsongas, who had finished third ahead of Clinton's fourth at the earlier Iowa Caucus.

Republicans -

Of the fifteen Primaries between 1948* and 2004, eleven have been won by the eventual Republican nominee. However, six of these were won by incumbent Republican Presidents - Eisenhower in 1956, Nixon in 1972, Ford in 1976, Reagan in 1984, Bush I in 1992 and Bush II in 2004.

Assessment -

Because the events of the New Hampshire Primary are specific to the political parties, we can glean something from those cases within each party where the field has been open. For the purposes of definition, these would be cases where the party in question does not have an incumbent (President or VP) in the race. I have listed the outcomes of both the nominations and elections in these cases below.

Democrats in 1956 - Adlai Stevenson placed second and won the nomination. He lost the election.
Democrats in 1960 - Kennedy won the Primary and won the nomination. He won the election.
Democrats in 1972 - George McGovern placed second and won the nomination. He lost the election.
Democrats in 1976 - Carter won the Primary and won the nomination. He won the election.
Democrats in 1988 - Dukakis won the Primary and won the nomination. He lost the election.
Democrats in 1992 - Clinton placed second (behind Paul Tsongas) and won the nomination. Clinton went on to win the election.
Democrats in 2004 - Kerry won the Primary and won nomination. He lost the election.

Republicans in 1948 - Thomas E. Dewey placed second and won the nomination. He lost the election.
Republicans in 1952 - Eisenhower won the Primary and the nomination. He won the election.
Republicans in 1980 - Reagan won the Primary and the nomination. He won the election.
Republicans in 1996 - Dole placed second (behind Pat Buchanan) and won the nomination. He lost the election.
Republicans in 2000 - Bush II placed second (behind John McCain) and won the nomination. He went on to win the election.

Conclusions

Given an open field for the Democrats, a win at the New Hampshire Primary results in a 57% probability (4 of 7 cases) of the winner being the Democratic nominee. A second place showing results in a 43% probability (3 of 7 cases) of that contender being the nominee.

Also given an open field, a victory in the New Hampshire Primary has resulted in the victor winning the election two out of three times (see Kennedy and Carter). A second place showing in New Hampshire resulted in Clinton's eventual win in 1992.

Given an open field for the Republicans, a win at the New Hampshire Primary results in a 40% probability (2 of 5 cases) of the winner being the Republican nominee. A second place showing is actually preferable, resulting in a 60% probability (3 of 5 cases) of that contender being the nominee.

Also given an open field, a victory in the New Hampshire Primary has resulted in the victor winning the election two out of three times (see Eisenhower and Reagan). A second place showing in New Hampshire resulted in Bush II's eventual win in 2000.

*The Democrats did not have pledged delegates in 1948, but the Republicans did so I have included that primary in the Republican numbers.

Iowa - How Important Is It, Really?

under the watchful eye of the jackalope
The Iowa Caucus has been the beginning of the official U.S. presidential election cycle since 1972. There is much discussion about the role the Caucus plays in determining who ends up with the Democratic and Republican nomination, with much of this punditry focusing on these as determinant events. With Wikipedia as my friend, I decided to dig deeper.

Democrats -

Of the nine Caucuses between 1972 and 2004, only five have been won by the eventual Democratic nominee. However, it should also be noted that two of these five were won by incumbent Democrats - Carter in 1980 and Clinton in 1996.

In both cases when a Democrat has won the White House back from the Republicans since 1972, Carter in 1976 and Clinton in 1992, neither finished first in the Iowa Caucus. In 1976, "Uncommitted" won with 37% of the vote. Carter finished second, with 28% of the vote. In 1992, Bill Clinton finished fourth, with only 3%, behind Tom Harkin (a native Iowan, with 76% of the vote), "Uncommitted" with 12%, and Paul Tsongas with 4%.

Republicans -

Of the eight Caucuses between 1976 and 2004*, six have been won by the eventual Republican nominee. However, three of these were won by incumbent Republicans - Reagan in 1984, Bush I in 1992 and Bush II in 2004.

In 1980, Reagan finished a close second (30%) behind Bush I (32%), who went on to be his VP nominee. Following Reagan's second term, the 1988 caucus had a crowded field; while Bush I went on to secure the nomination, he finished third with only 19%, behind Bob Dole (37%) and Pat Robertson (25%). In 2000, Bush II won with 41%, 11% more than Steve Forbes, who placed second.

Assessment -

The 2008 election marks a point of transition for the Presidency, as there is no heir apparent from either party to take the office. It is difficult to find a predictive model for this election in the most recent 36 years.

However, because the events of the Iowa Caucus are specific to the political parties, we can glean something from those cases within each party where the field has been open. For the purposes of definition, these would be cases where the party in question does not have an incumbent (President or VP) in the race. I have listed the outcomes of both the nominations and elections in these cases below.

Democrats in 1976 - Carter placed second and won nomination. Carter went on to win the election.
Democrats in 1984 - Mondale won at Caucus and won nomination. He lost the election.
Democrats in 1988 - Dukakis placed third and won nomination. He lost the election.
Democrats in 1992 - Clinton placed fourth and won nomination. Clinton went on to win the election.
Democrats in 2004 - Kerry won at Caucus and won nomination. He lost the election.

Republicans in 1980 - Reagan placed second and won nomination. Reagan went on to win the election.
Republicans in 1996 - Dole won at Caucus and won nomination. He lost the election.
Republicans in 2000 - Bush II won at Caucus and won nomination. He went on to win the election.

Conclusions

Given an open field for the Democrats, a win at the Iowa Caucus results in a 40% probability (2 of 5 cases) of the winner being the Democratic nominee. A second, third or fourth place showing results in a 20% probability (1 each of 5 cases) of that contender being the nominee.

Also given an open field, for the purposes of winning the Presidential Election, a victory in the Democratic Iowa Caucus has not resulted in the victor winning the election. A second place showing (see Carter) or a fourth place showing (see Clinton) seems preferable.

Given an open field for the Republicans, a win at the Iowa Caucus results in a 66% probability (2 of 3 cases) of the winner being the Republican nominee. A second place showing results in a 33% probability (1 of 3 cases) of that contender being the nominee.

Also given an open field, for the purposes of winning the Presidential Election, a victory in the Republican Iowa Caucus has secured the Presidency for only one contender, Bush II. A second place showing (see Reagan) has equal likelihood of resulting in eventual victory.

*Wikipedia has no reference for a 1972 Republican caucus.

There's no red light in life, just go.

oh dear. i've joined them.
I had a dream that I was speaking to a woman who was planning a run for mayor of Richmond and that the cornerstone of her platform was the need for a city policy, for the benefit of businesses and schools, which provided guidance for the handling of issues related to Miley Cyrus.

I told her that I attended elementary school during the release of Thriller and we had survived quite nicely, thank you, without a Michael Jackson policy.

Ah, secularism.


Mommy, how did people discover Christmas?

~Isabel

I love the idea of Christmas being something to discover, like some far-off distant land.

*

Daddy: But, Isabel, what is Christmas?

Isabel: It's when Santa comes to give you presents.

Daddy: What else is it?

Isabel: I don't know.

Daddy: It's supposed to be Jesus' birthday.

Isabel: (looking aghast) What the heck?!

*

Nov. 18th, 2007


I think you should train to be a ninja.

~Kat

Baby Grand

the joke
There's this girl I know who is going to start a revolution with a harpsichord.

She doesn't have the harpsichord yet, but one day she will. And when she gets it, we better watch out, because it is going to be an upside-down world, my friends, and she will be the Pied Piper of the topsy turvy.

I told her it's already been done, but she says it hasn't.

Not like she's planning, anyhow.

Posted using TxtLJ


Christopher Columbus was a pirate.

And you are...Princess Leia?


Huh? I mean, yeah, he's evil. But aren't you like running for President? Name-calling is so... Bush Administration. Duh.

I honestly think we are seeing the beginning of the end for the Hillary Clinton campaign. Watch her numbers slowly drop now.

My prediction from a while back for an Edwards-Obama ticket still stands.

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