On Trash Talking

Why have people lost confidence in their democratic leaders? Certainly, competition has something to do with it, but it’s more than competing for a scarce resource – legitimate power, each side “negs” or trash talks the other side.

But there are many other competitive systems (markets, sports, the law, science, religions), and while certainly there is trash-talking, advertising, etc. in each of them, we don’t generally see heads of major businesses, athletes, lawyers, etc, saying much about their opponent, and instead spend their message on their own plan. Airlines don’t say the other airlines planes crash too often, as that would hurt the whole industry.

Athletes in competition, e.g., have every reason to play up their opponent, because if their opponent is unworthy, and they beat them, it is no big deal, and if they lose it’s a tragedy.

Leaders of some churches often say bad things about other religions (they have at every church service I’ve ever been to, didn’t see much love for the non-Christians), but they tend to do this more behind closed doors (which are always open) than on TV.

People, as well as politicians, should spend time talking about what they believe and what will or at least would do, not what others will or won’t. We as listeners should immediately discount what anyone, especially any politician, says about someone else.

Other people can draw the comparison just fine.

Unifying Access

Recently published:


Since Hansen’s seminal 1959 paper, measures of access have evolved with technology and through practical applications. The myriad of distinct but familially related access measures created many more options to measure places, but has sown needless confusion. This paper systematically reviews measures of access across disciplines. We categorize measures of access, covering both mainstream and innovative but less widely-used techniques; each access measure (topological, contiguous, cumulative opportunities, utility, flow-based measures) is separated into Primal and Dual measure, based on whether accessibility is represented by the level of reachable opportunities or by the travel impedance. We show access measures are unified by the same intrinsic structure consisting of travel impedance and the opportunities reachable, and that access measured by different methods are equivalent under specific assumptions on travel impedance, and the accounting of relevant opportunities. This paper overviews the use of access measures from the existing literature, and clarifies measures of access, which should help users in the selection and appropriate use of access measures for the relevant context.