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Steve Ballmer: World's Most Embarrassing Dad

We haven’t checked in much with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer since he bought the Los Angeles Clippers of the NBA for $2 billion from the besieged Donald Sterling three years ago.

Lately, billionaire Ballmer says:

“I’m a new owner and I’ve heard this is the golden age of basketball economics. You should tell our finance people that. We’re sitting there looking at red ink, and it’s real red ink. I know, it shows up on my tax returns. So it is real red ink.”

Forbes, however, says it’s hard to lose money on an NBA team because the owners outsmarted the players’ union in getting player salaries capped at 51% of revenue. He’s probably not making a big return on his vast investment, but he’s worth $29.9 billion, so what does he care?

Steve earned his $30 billion. Here he is in 2007 showing his business acumen when asked about the other Steve’s new product, the iPhone:

Ballmer’s probably writing off Clippers’ “good will” on his tax return. So, to be technical, it’s more like the taxpayers’ loss.

Ballmer was always an embarrassing boss but can you imagine having him for your dad?

From the Seattle Times:

With Ballmer’s aid, elite school pushed limits of prep-sports rules

August 16, 2014 at 7:00 pm Updated April 2, 2015 at 7:51 pm

While playing for Lakeside, star basketball player Tramaine Isabell lived in a $6 million mansion owned by a Lakeside parent.

By Mike Baker

By the time Steve Ballmer’s oldest son reached his junior year at Lakeside School, the basketball program was in disarray.

The Lions finished the 2008 season with just two wins …

An elite private school with an endowment of $190 million, Lakeside was better known for its academics, chess team and being the place where Microsoft co-founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen began their alliance as students in the late 1960s.

Ballmer, however, was a basketball zealot who had been angling to own an NBA franchise, a goal finalized just last week with his $2 billion purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers. Before he had a pro team to call his own — and with all three of his kids involved with basketball at Lakeside — Ballmer focused his attention on the high-school team.

Ballmer and his allies at Lakeside attracted basketball talent to the wealthy school and aided them with a series of questionable tactics that included a new basketball-focused nonprofit, cash for a coach, an unusual admissions process and weak enforcement of academic standards. One star player stayed at a $6 million mansion as he shuffled through three years of an academic schedule that almost ensured he wouldn’t get a Lakeside diploma.

“They relaxed their academic integrity to accommodate athletes,” said Dana Papasedero, who coached baseball at Lakeside for two decades.

The tactics may have violated Washington state’s prep-sports rules, according to a Seattle Times investigation. But it all paid off: In just five years, Lakeside went from winless in its district to district champs for the first time in a quarter century.

The Lions kept winning all the way up until an overtime loss in the 2013 state title game — the best finish in school history.

Ballmer, who spent his high-school years at Detroit Country Day School, grew up playing basketball and wishing he had the skills to do it well. …

Ballmer became the ultimate fan at his kids’ games, bellowing supportive cheers and comments at a volume that verged on obnoxious.

Can you imagine how embarrassing it would be to have Steve Ballmer for your dad?

But in private, Ballmer expressed frustration with the team’s terrible performance …

“I’m going to open up a foundation, and we’re going to get black people in here,” Ballmer declared, according to Gordon’s testimony from March.

 
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  1. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    What a bald-headed fool.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    What a bald-headed fool.
     
    The adult Caillou?
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  2. Steve Ballmer is a moron that was lucky to have Bill Gates for a roommate in college.

    Bill Gates is trying to save the world while Ballmer wastes time on basketball and pushing to make schools worse just for a stupid ball game.

    Read More
    • Agree: Frau Katze
    • Replies: @Erik Sieven
    I wish Gates was wasting his money on sports rather than fueling african population growth
    , @Autochthon

    Bill Gates is trying to save destroy the world while Ballmer wastes time on basketball and pushing to make schools worse just for a stupid ball game.


    There you go

    , @CK
    If it is a matter of preference, my preference is for Ballmer's harmless grandstanding as against
    Gates' megalomania.
    The world will save itself quite well without the interference of Gates and his ilk.
    , @candid_observer

    Bill Gates is trying to save the world while Ballmer wastes time on basketball and pushing to make schools worse just for a stupid ball game.
     
    And yet, it is very likely Ballmer who will leave the world better off than Gates, who seems to devote all of his money and energies to SJW projects that will ultimately backfire.

    For example, what's the point of solving the disease problem in Africa if you only make worse the population explosion problem, at which you throw only ineffective solutions?
    , @Abe

    Steve Ballmer is a moron that was lucky to have Bill Gates for a roommate in college.
     
    C'mon- both Steve and Bill were Harvard enrollees back when it was still the best college in America. More importantly I think both got national honors in some sort of high school science or math contest, so objectively they're probably smarter than anyone who posts here with the exception of Ron.

    But- yeah- ever since his spastic "Dance monkey-boy, dance" antics almost a generation ago, he's been the epitomy of the super-wealthy, but buffoonish and wincingly uncool white guy. Which is why Trump is such a breath of fresh air- in addition to being the only person in our political life actually doing things to save this country, he's also the coolest white guy in the world, one who has a style all his own which does not in any way rely on aping African-American mannerisms. From his red hat, to his cool little fist pushes at rallies, to great catchphrases that are all his own:

    * "I can't help it, I kiss on beauty."
    * "So happy that the shackles can come off."
    * "Sally Kohn is the time-travelling duplicate of Rachel Maddow after she eats Justin Beiber sometime in 2020. Sad." (ok, that last one is mine)

    As punch-line magnets Ballmer and Gates prove (Gates paid former-SNL star Dana Carvey to perform at some Microsoft roll-out, and Carvey couldn't stop himself from making turtle jokes at Gates's expense) no amount of money can buy self-respect or dignity.

    , @Mr. Blank
    Interesting what-if scenario is how Gates and Ballmer would have turned out if Microsoft's astounding success hadn't launched them far above the concerns of mere mortals. I've read a couple of biographies of Gates; he strikes me as a guy who'd be a major HBD'er if his life had followed a more normal course.
    , @Gleimhart Mantooso
    Bill Gates is not trying to save the world.

    He's trying to absolve his guilty conscience at having foisted an awful operating system on an ignorant public and making billions in the process. His version of "saving the world" is throwing money at African lowlifes.
    , @Daniel H
    >>Bill Gates is trying to save the world while Ballmer wastes time on basketball and pushing to make schools worse just for a stupid ball game.

    Well at least he hasn't bought a 350 foot mega yacht......or has he?
  3. “I’m going to open up a foundation, and we’re going to get black people in here,”

    So that’s what they mean when they say diversity is our strength. Jeez, I’m glad somebody finally said so, I had no idea all this time. But why did it take so long?

    Do you think they’ll let him keep his team?

    Read More
    • LOL: bomag
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Port, I remember that my son coached a prep school lacrosse team against Detroit Country Day. DCD fielded a very good team and was nationally ranked that year, but I don't remember any black kids on their team, but hey, it was lacrosse. I wonder if Ballmer has tried to diversify DCD?
  4. I love this guy.

    And I wish I had had one senior manager in my life w/ his passion for his company.

    Read More
    • LOL: Clyde
    • Replies: @Maj. Kong
    Ballmer never delivered much in terms of shareholder value. But as soon as he was out, the results began speaking for themselves.
    , @27 year old
    >And I wish I had had one senior manager in my life w/ his passion for his company.

    What a sad thing to wish for
    , @Clyde

    I love this guy.
    And I wish I had had one senior manager in my life w/ his passion for his company.
     
    Sad!
  5. He was replaced at Microsoft by an Indian (probably a HB1er) who seems to be doing a much better job. Apple is floundering and seems to have no new ideas in comparison, kind of like when Balmer was in charge of MS.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Father O'Hara
    Warren Buffet just bought a big chunk of Apple stock,so there's that.
  6. @Maciano
    I love this guy.

    And I wish I had had one senior manager in my life w/ his passion for his company.

    Ballmer never delivered much in terms of shareholder value. But as soon as he was out, the results began speaking for themselves.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    Ballmer presided over a remarkable 14 year stagnation in Microsoft's share price. After he left, the share price doubled.

    On the other hand, he must have contributed something during Microsoft's early growth years, since he was an important manager within the company.

    The lesson would seem to be that he can be a capable line manager so long as someone superior rides herd on him. Too bad that situation will never happen again.
  7. “Were going to get black people in here.” Did he really say ‘black people’?
    Just wondering if a more earthy label was applied.
    “Wow! Look at that black person drive to the net!” ” Woo hoo they can’t touch our black person!!”

    Read More
    • LOL: Abe
    • Replies: @International Jew
    Haha. The puzzling thing for me is why a guy whose own son is on the bball team would want to bring in ringers. Seems that would make it less fun for his son — less playing time, less time with the ball even when playing. Unless his son was himself a super player.

    Or his son was so bad he didn't get any playing time even before the ringers were hired.
  8. @Ali Choudhury
    He was replaced at Microsoft by an Indian (probably a HB1er) who seems to be doing a much better job. Apple is floundering and seems to have no new ideas in comparison, kind of like when Balmer was in charge of MS.

    Warren Buffet just bought a big chunk of Apple stock,so there’s that.

    Read More
  9. Steve Balmer is a microcosm of the American soul.

    You woohed as you brought democracy to Iraq.

    You wooh as Mexicans take over your Southern border states.

    You wooh when your guns go bang.

    Wooh, Wooh all the time. America, very rich and very weird.

    Read More
    • Replies: @bomag

    You wooh as foreigners from all over the globe take over your states
     
    FIFY
    , @African Apologist
    So what excuse do you use for the condition of your pitiful country's condition.
    , @MBlanc46
    I trust that means you'll stay in Nigeria, then. Please convince your fellow countrymen to do likewise.
  10. @Kaz
    Steve Ballmer is a moron that was lucky to have Bill Gates for a roommate in college.

    Bill Gates is trying to save the world while Ballmer wastes time on basketball and pushing to make schools worse just for a stupid ball game.

    I wish Gates was wasting his money on sports rather than fueling african population growth

    Read More
  11. Neither that fool Balmer nor his fool co-founder are representative of the American soul, NigNat. It’s just like we don’t all assume here that you are representative of the Nigerian soul – we can’t be sure that those emails we’ve been responding to are from you or a member of your deposed family.

    Read More
  12. @Kaz
    Steve Ballmer is a moron that was lucky to have Bill Gates for a roommate in college.

    Bill Gates is trying to save the world while Ballmer wastes time on basketball and pushing to make schools worse just for a stupid ball game.

    Bill Gates is trying to save destroy the world while Ballmer wastes time on basketball and pushing to make schools worse just for a stupid ball game.

    There you go

    Read More
  13. He was replaced at Microsoft by an Indian (probably a HB1er)

    According to an interview response by him, Satya Nadella came to the US the old fashioned way that the first wave of Indians used according to a post here yesterday by MG. To a graduate school teaching assistantship.

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/trumps-h1-b-visa-reform-is-practical-feminism/#comment-1748739

    Read More
    • Replies: @Numinous

    Satya Nadella came to the US the old fashioned way that the first wave of Indians used according to a post here yesterday by MG. To a graduate school teaching assistantship.
     
    That's exactly what happens now as well. At least for Indians who attempt to immigrate (get a green card, and eventually citizenship.) Most H1B workers who are pulled in directly from abroad have no intention to immigrate; they just want to earn a bit more money and have "US Experience" on their resumes before they return home.
  14. I know he’s old and fat, but why does the 6’5″ Steve Ballmer need a trampoline?

    Read More
    • Replies: @SFG
    Nerds.
    , @International Jew
    Because even if he weren't old and fat, he'd need a pretty good jump to dunk — 24 inches according to
    https://www.whatsmyvertical.com/dunk-calculator/
    , @Chrisnonymous
    The standard reply to such questions, a la Taleb, is "he doesn't deadlift."

    I'd be interested to know from Locklin (if he still reads this blog) , what he thinks of Taleb nowadays...
    , @Anonymous
    I think his dunk is pretty impressive.
    , @Triumph104
    There are a few guys in the NBA who can't dunk.

    https://youtu.be/OjGiCvDedXo
  15. if you ever want to get into the weeds on Microsoft, understand how the company has succeeded and failed, an unsung hero to know about is Anders Hejlsberg. He is just about the smartest person who has ever lived.

    https://channel9.msdn.com/Blogs/Seth-Juarez/Anders-Hejlsberg-on-TypeScript-2

    Maybe people have heard of Turbo Pascal – Anders. C# and .NET – Anders.

    Bill Gates obviously did well with what he knew. But gosh has he benefited from the morons who have run IBM over the years.

    Read More
  16. There is a video out there of Ballmer dancing like a fool at a Clippers game wearing a Pine Valley member’s shirt (logo, no text). George Crump wept.

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  17. @Nigerian Nationalist
    Steve Balmer is a microcosm of the American soul.

    You woohed as you brought democracy to Iraq.

    You wooh as Mexicans take over your Southern border states.

    You wooh when your guns go bang.

    Wooh, Wooh all the time. America, very rich and very weird.

    You wooh as foreigners from all over the globe take over your states

    FIFY

    Read More
  18. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Steve Ballmer’s wealth is 99% in the form of appreciated MSFT and dividends, which he only pays tax on when he sells, and at the long term capital gains rate, which Bush cut to 15%, and commie Obama raised all the way to 20%.

    So in a year he cashed out $500 million of it for his routine living expenses, and saw the value of it increase by $2 billion, he would have paid an effective tax rate of 3.75% under Bush and Obama’s first term, or 5% after then increase. That is lower than a gas station attendant pays in payroll and sales taxes.

    While self made billionaires are oppressed by low single digit tax rates, billionaires who inherit their money do much better than this under the Bush/Ryan system. They pay nothing when they receive their inheritance, because “the death tax” destroys family farms garble garble. The appreciated stock they inherit also receives a “stepped up basis” which is a fancy phrase meaning it won’t be taxed ever. So upon selling it, they only pay tax on its increased value after the inheritance. So if they sell $500 million rate right after the inheritance, the capital gains rate they will pay on it is 0.0%, on top of the inheritance tax the GOP wants for them of 0.0%.

    In summary, for Paul Ryan, old money billionaires > new money billionaires > the rest of you losers.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StJS51d1Fzg
    , @Anonymous
    The inheritance tax is one of the few federal taxes that is effective and beneficial.

    Family farms and family owned manufacturing facilities should be protected as long as they are working farms or factories up to a certain high limit, say 2000 acres or 100 employees and/or so much in physical plant. But 99% of people that pay inheritance taxes are not primarily farmers nor manufacturers. And they should have their estates stuck it to.
  19. @Kaz
    Steve Ballmer is a moron that was lucky to have Bill Gates for a roommate in college.

    Bill Gates is trying to save the world while Ballmer wastes time on basketball and pushing to make schools worse just for a stupid ball game.

    If it is a matter of preference, my preference is for Ballmer’s harmless grandstanding as against
    Gates’ megalomania.
    The world will save itself quite well without the interference of Gates and his ilk.

    Read More
  20. “I know he’s old and fat, but why does the 6’5″ Steve Ballmer need a trampoline?”

    Because he’s old and fat.

    I am 6’3+”. In my youth, I could just barely miss dunking (I dunked once on an old springy floor).

    I am in my ’50′s, am still 6’3+”. I am very fit for my age. My neighbor’s kid got his ball wedged in the corner between the hoop and the backboard, and he and the kid are very short. I hopped right up to tap it out (even though I couldn’t dunk, tapping out a wedged basketball in this way was always childs’ play).

    I could barely reach it.

    When you get old, your jumping muscles are the first to go. I didn’t realize that until this incident.

    joeyjoejoe

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    With NBA stars the shots blocked number typically falls after about the second year in the league.
  21. @Maciano
    I love this guy.

    And I wish I had had one senior manager in my life w/ his passion for his company.

    >And I wish I had had one senior manager in my life w/ his passion for his company.

    What a sad thing to wish for

    Read More
  22. @Maj. Kong
    Ballmer never delivered much in terms of shareholder value. But as soon as he was out, the results began speaking for themselves.

    Ballmer presided over a remarkable 14 year stagnation in Microsoft’s share price. After he left, the share price doubled.

    On the other hand, he must have contributed something during Microsoft’s early growth years, since he was an important manager within the company.

    The lesson would seem to be that he can be a capable line manager so long as someone superior rides herd on him. Too bad that situation will never happen again.

    Read More
    • Replies: @PiltdownMan

    Too bad that situation will never happen again.
     
    Not at all. If you are 61 and worth $30 billion, the point is moot.
    , @yaqub the mad scientist
    I'm sure you know this eternal truth.
    , @Rod1963

    On the other hand, he must have contributed something during Microsoft’s early growth years, since he was an important manager within the company.
     
    Unlike many early MS execs and coders, Ballmer could put up with Gates's nasty temper spittle laced temper tantrums. while many others quit.

    The other thing was for MS execs to get on his good side execs was to copy his aspergy mannerisms. The incessant chair rocking and various other repetitive bahaviors.
  23. @Almost Missouri
    Ballmer presided over a remarkable 14 year stagnation in Microsoft's share price. After he left, the share price doubled.

    On the other hand, he must have contributed something during Microsoft's early growth years, since he was an important manager within the company.

    The lesson would seem to be that he can be a capable line manager so long as someone superior rides herd on him. Too bad that situation will never happen again.

    Too bad that situation will never happen again.

    Not at all. If you are 61 and worth $30 billion, the point is moot.

    Read More
  24. “…because the owners outsmarted the players’ union…”

    Oh, sure, these Kramer Vs. Kramer feuds are sometimes devastating for their community at large.

    Not!

    In reality, as long you are permitted to use your Arrickthmetic magic on both sides, you’ll be fine.

    Current NBPA Keep It Real Executive Committee :

    http://nbpa.com/leadership/

    Current NBPA Math Matters Senior Management:

    Gary Arrick — Chief Financial Officer
    Chrysa Chin — Executive Vice President of Strategy and Development
    Nicholas Daniel-Richards — Chief Digital Officer
    Dan Gladstone — SVP Grassroots Basketball & Business Development
    Daren Jenkins — Director of Communications
    Gary Kohlman — General Counsel
    Erica McKinley — Chief Operating Officer
    Joe Rogowski — Director of Sports Medicine and Research
    Jordan Schlachter — Chief Marketing Officer
    Purvis Short — Chief of Player Programs
    Matteo Zuretti — Director of International Relations and Marketing

    Read More
  25. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Sports viewership: NHL has second whitest (after NASCAR) and highest income audience (1/3 have six-figure incomes).

    http://opendorse.com/blog/2013-sports-fan-demographics/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ed
    One of my favorite crime think brouhahas of the last few years is when emails from the owner of the Hawks were released. He said the black Hawk fans were too numerous, too cheap and scaring away paying whites. He was forced to sell the team. Here's someone in private making astute business observations about his investment & the social justice warriors in the NBA force him to sell.

    The NBA's fan base is currently half black. If ESPN goes down the tubes things could get very interesting for the league.
  26. Gosh, you White Nationalists are so lucky to have such great genetic stock to build your future with.

    Read More
  27. I bought a Windows phone and then found that there was no reliable Windows phone app for Uber or Lyft on the rare occasion I want to call a taxi. (I hail them fairly often for a short trip at rush hour downtown.)

    Ballmer is an example of the fact that sophisticated elitists can often be Archie Bunkers at heart.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous
    Ironically Windows Phone in its present form, IMO, is a far nicer phone OS than either Android or iOS. But due to Ballmer and others' lack of foresight they butchered the execution. Consequently their market share is maybe 1 percent and few write apps for their phone. And the ones who do rarely update them.

    I have both an android and windows phone. I like the latter. But when I need to do things besides basic text, email, browsing, and phone calls; I find myself using the android which seems to have limitless apps to download.

    It's a shame because it would be nice to have a viable 3rd competitor in this market. But MS had too many starts, stops and missteps along the way. It is interesting that it was 10 years ago now that MS was the leader in smartphones OS. Of course smartphones were not as ubiquitous as they are now. But nonetheless they were in the cat bird's seat. But then two things happened in 2007. First, Apple announced the iPhone and then Google announced it would be developing Android and giving it away free to any phone maker.

    At the time Ballmer and company were charging phone makers about $25 per phone to put Windows Mobile on their devices. They were treating the phone makers like they did the PC makers with Windows. Google knew they were a search company and desperately wanted to ensure mobile did not bypass them. So giving away android free of charge to ensure they dominated mobile search was a good decision. Ballmer never appeared to realize this and soon phone makers were lining up for Android.

    Of course Apple already had a huge natural customer base due to their cultivation of the iTunes/iPod universe. So it was really not surprising they would take a huge bite, forgive the pun, out of this market.

    Ballmer could have made MS dominant in phones, but he never could get out of the PC mindset that had made them so much money in the 80s and 90s.

    BTW if you are a tech enthusiast and have not seen the latest Windows Phone, you might just buy one for the heck of it to play with. Some can be had for just $10 and even if you don't sign up for phone service, you can still use it as a little web browser on wifi. Given they might become extinct in a year or so, you can take a look at what might have been.

  28. If they ever do a Young Frankenstein remake, this dude gets the lead as the monster.

    Read More
  29. @Portlander
    “I’m going to open up a foundation, and we’re going to get black people in here,”

    So that's what they mean when they say diversity is our strength. Jeez, I'm glad somebody finally said so, I had no idea all this time. But why did it take so long?

    Do you think they'll let him keep his team?

    Port, I remember that my son coached a prep school lacrosse team against Detroit Country Day. DCD fielded a very good team and was nationally ranked that year, but I don’t remember any black kids on their team, but hey, it was lacrosse. I wonder if Ballmer has tried to diversify DCD?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Polynikes
    DCD's basketball team has some black members and is very successful. Judging by their two most famous alumni--Shane Barrier and Chris Webber--they maintain some academic standards even with their athletes.
    , @Ex-banker
    Chris Webber went to DCD, so that may have been Ballmer's inspiration.
    , @Ron Mexico
    DCD is Chris Webber's and Shane Battier's alma mater. My cousin was Mr. Michigan in soccer at DCD and I don't recall the soccer team (state champs all 4 of his years) having any black players. DCD doesn't need someone like Ballmer to diversify them.
    , @Marty T
    Chris Webber is an alum of that school, so they're willing to diversify if necessary.
  30. @Buffalo Joe
    Port, I remember that my son coached a prep school lacrosse team against Detroit Country Day. DCD fielded a very good team and was nationally ranked that year, but I don't remember any black kids on their team, but hey, it was lacrosse. I wonder if Ballmer has tried to diversify DCD?

    DCD’s basketball team has some black members and is very successful. Judging by their two most famous alumni–Shane Barrier and Chris Webber–they maintain some academic standards even with their athletes.

    Read More
  31. Ah yes, a quintessential American type – the oblivious extravert. He is a national treasure. American system where people like that are propelled to the top is the best in the world.

    Read More
  32. @Almost Missouri
    Ballmer presided over a remarkable 14 year stagnation in Microsoft's share price. After he left, the share price doubled.

    On the other hand, he must have contributed something during Microsoft's early growth years, since he was an important manager within the company.

    The lesson would seem to be that he can be a capable line manager so long as someone superior rides herd on him. Too bad that situation will never happen again.

    I’m sure you know this eternal truth.

    Read More
  33. Something about him tells me that “We need more black people” is his solution to everything.

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  34. Ballmer might be an embarrassing dad, but inheriting 1/3 of that 29 billion dollars would take the sting right out of that embarrassment.

    Read More
  35. The sad fact is that Steve Ballmer is hardly atypical among American males of his age and socio-economic bracket. Granted, having $30 billion puts you in pretty rarefied air, but any Boomer male of upper middle class status or above is basically a Steve Ballmer mini-me—kooky, overgrown, sports-obsessed, loud, and perpetually childish.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    The sad fact is that Steve Ballmer is hardly atypical among American males of his age and socio-economic bracket. Granted, having $30 billion puts you in pretty rarefied air, but any Boomer male of upper middle class status or above is basically a Steve Ballmer mini-me—kooky, overgrown, sports-obsessed, loud, and perpetually childish.
     
    When you're fat, ugly, and bald you need to engage in this kind of over-the-top behavior to get the approval of others. Fat people are either jolly or repulsive. When you're handsome, in shape, with a nice head of hair it's just the opposite. You need to act debonair and reserved and let the imagination and projection of others build you up further.
  36. They relaxed their academic integrity to accommodate athletes,” said Dana Papasedero, who coached baseball at Lakeside for two decades.

    Yawn! That has been the American way since about 1865. While the concept of the scholar-athlete is a good one, the fact is that many people with superior hand-eye coordination and kinetic skills are not particularly bright, so academic institutions have always actively recruited star athletes on the assumption that report of their sporting exploits will bring positive publicity that will compensate the host academic institution beyond the cost of trying to provide remedial education.

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  37. @Father O'Hara
    "Were going to get black people in here." Did he really say 'black people'?
    Just wondering if a more earthy label was applied.
    "Wow! Look at that black person drive to the net!" " Woo hoo they can't touch our black person!!"

    Haha. The puzzling thing for me is why a guy whose own son is on the bball team would want to bring in ringers. Seems that would make it less fun for his son — less playing time, less time with the ball even when playing. Unless his son was himself a super player.

    Or his son was so bad he didn’t get any playing time even before the ringers were hired.

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  38. @Nigerian Nationalist
    Steve Balmer is a microcosm of the American soul.

    You woohed as you brought democracy to Iraq.

    You wooh as Mexicans take over your Southern border states.

    You wooh when your guns go bang.

    Wooh, Wooh all the time. America, very rich and very weird.

    So what excuse do you use for the condition of your pitiful country’s condition.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Nigerian Nationalist
    We don't pay taxes.

    I'm guessing having seen the various inanities your state spends your dole on, we've chosen the Epicurean path.

    It all ends in dust my friend.
  39. @PiltdownMan
    I know he's old and fat, but why does the 6'5" Steve Ballmer need a trampoline?

    Because even if he weren’t old and fat, he’d need a pretty good jump to dunk — 24 inches according to

    https://www.whatsmyvertical.com/dunk-calculator/

    Read More
  40. @Nigerian Nationalist
    Steve Balmer is a microcosm of the American soul.

    You woohed as you brought democracy to Iraq.

    You wooh as Mexicans take over your Southern border states.

    You wooh when your guns go bang.

    Wooh, Wooh all the time. America, very rich and very weird.

    I trust that means you’ll stay in Nigeria, then. Please convince your fellow countrymen to do likewise.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Nigerian Nationalist
    Why would I do your job for you???

    Its crowded here, I'm incentivised to export my deadweight your way.
  41. Yes, he earned his 30 billion (whatever). Keep in mind, the money he paid to buy the Clippers was a small fraction of what he “earned” as a result of the gain Microsoft stock realized in one day. What day was that? The day he left the company.

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  42. @Kaz
    Steve Ballmer is a moron that was lucky to have Bill Gates for a roommate in college.

    Bill Gates is trying to save the world while Ballmer wastes time on basketball and pushing to make schools worse just for a stupid ball game.

    Bill Gates is trying to save the world while Ballmer wastes time on basketball and pushing to make schools worse just for a stupid ball game.

    And yet, it is very likely Ballmer who will leave the world better off than Gates, who seems to devote all of his money and energies to SJW projects that will ultimately backfire.

    For example, what’s the point of solving the disease problem in Africa if you only make worse the population explosion problem, at which you throw only ineffective solutions?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lot
    Gates has spent $900 million on family planning for the third world. This even included a million towards condom R&D.
  43. Steve, OT, but still SJW related. The City of Portland is proposing to build tiny houses for homeless families. Homeowners are being asked to put a tiny house or two in their backyards in return for tax breaks. Please Google “Portland plans tiny houses for homeless families” and some articles will come up. I don’t know how to link, and you should be happy for that. I bought one of these “tiny” homes from the Amish and I store my yard tools and equipment in it. Please note the price per house.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lot
    It is more than a tax break. The city builds the house and hooks up the utilities, gives the permit, etc, and all you have to do is have a homeless "family" meaning a single mother there for 5 years. Then you keep the house.

    For my area this would be a bad deal, a back detached studio would rent for about $1500/mo or $18,000 a year, and would not have the problems that render people homeless. But if the rent value is under $800, which I bet includes at least part of Portland, it is a good deal.
  44. Forbes, however, says it’s hard to lose money on an NBA team because the owners outsmarted the players’ union in getting player salaries capped at 51% of revenue. He’s probably not making a big return on his vast investment, but he’s worth $29.9 billion, so what does he care?

    But is that cap per team or league wide? (it wasn’t obvious to me from a look at the link) That said, the Clippers are a large market team that is performing well (they just spanked the Cavs). It seems reasonable to expect them to be doing well revenue wise (are they?).

    Goodwill writeoff sounds like a good explanation. Is there any way of checking that? Another possible explanation is financing costs, but I have no idea how Ballmer structured the deal and interest rates are low right now.

    Imagine the opportunity cost of a poorly performing $2B investment! Regardless of how rich he is that has to hurt.

    Read More
    • Replies: @res
    I just looked at the box score. Ignore my Cavs comment. They were sitting LeBron and Kyrie.
  45. @res

    Forbes, however, says it’s hard to lose money on an NBA team because the owners outsmarted the players’ union in getting player salaries capped at 51% of revenue. He’s probably not making a big return on his vast investment, but he’s worth $29.9 billion, so what does he care?
     
    But is that cap per team or league wide? (it wasn't obvious to me from a look at the link) That said, the Clippers are a large market team that is performing well (they just spanked the Cavs). It seems reasonable to expect them to be doing well revenue wise (are they?).

    Goodwill writeoff sounds like a good explanation. Is there any way of checking that? Another possible explanation is financing costs, but I have no idea how Ballmer structured the deal and interest rates are low right now.

    Imagine the opportunity cost of a poorly performing $2B investment! Regardless of how rich he is that has to hurt.

    I just looked at the box score. Ignore my Cavs comment. They were sitting LeBron and Kyrie.

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  46. When the AIs are trying to decide whether or not to spare the human race, Steve B-ball-mer will be an argument against us…

    Innocent!!

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  47. @PiltdownMan
    I know he's old and fat, but why does the 6'5" Steve Ballmer need a trampoline?

    The standard reply to such questions, a la Taleb, is “he doesn’t deadlift.”

    I’d be interested to know from Locklin (if he still reads this blog) , what he thinks of Taleb nowadays…

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  48. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @PiltdownMan
    I know he's old and fat, but why does the 6'5" Steve Ballmer need a trampoline?

    I think his dunk is pretty impressive.

    Read More
  49. @Buffalo Joe
    Port, I remember that my son coached a prep school lacrosse team against Detroit Country Day. DCD fielded a very good team and was nationally ranked that year, but I don't remember any black kids on their team, but hey, it was lacrosse. I wonder if Ballmer has tried to diversify DCD?

    Chris Webber went to DCD, so that may have been Ballmer’s inspiration.

    Read More
  50. “I’m going to open up a foundation, and we’re going to get black people in here,” Ballmer declared, according to Gordon’s testimony from March.

    That sounds like evidence. Of the kind that was heard when that White guy opened his big yap after convicting that Mexican sexual offender recently.

    Steve Balmer is a microcosm of the American soul.

    I dunno. In my soul, the NBA isn’t even in 5th place behind NFL, MLB, college football, and auto racing.

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  51. Before Jerry Jones bought the Dallas Cowboys:

    Through it all, Jones remained obsessed with football. When his sons were in high school, he moved Arkoma’s Little Rock headquarters across the street from the football field so he could watch Stephen practice from his office. Even on the road, he would call his secretary and ask her to look out the window with binoculars and report what was happening.

    http://people.com/archive/lone-cowboy-vol-44-no-17/

    Read More
  52. @Buffalo Joe
    Steve, OT, but still SJW related. The City of Portland is proposing to build tiny houses for homeless families. Homeowners are being asked to put a tiny house or two in their backyards in return for tax breaks. Please Google "Portland plans tiny houses for homeless families" and some articles will come up. I don't know how to link, and you should be happy for that. I bought one of these "tiny" homes from the Amish and I store my yard tools and equipment in it. Please note the price per house.

    It is more than a tax break. The city builds the house and hooks up the utilities, gives the permit, etc, and all you have to do is have a homeless “family” meaning a single mother there for 5 years. Then you keep the house.

    For my area this would be a bad deal, a back detached studio would rent for about $1500/mo or $18,000 a year, and would not have the problems that render people homeless. But if the rent value is under $800, which I bet includes at least part of Portland, it is a good deal.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Lot, I don't know if you read an article that points out that the home owner contracts to participate for five years, if they bail before five years they repay the $75,000 construction fee. That pretty much forces you to stay onboard unless you need a $75,000 tool shed.
  53. @candid_observer

    Bill Gates is trying to save the world while Ballmer wastes time on basketball and pushing to make schools worse just for a stupid ball game.
     
    And yet, it is very likely Ballmer who will leave the world better off than Gates, who seems to devote all of his money and energies to SJW projects that will ultimately backfire.

    For example, what's the point of solving the disease problem in Africa if you only make worse the population explosion problem, at which you throw only ineffective solutions?

    Gates has spent $900 million on family planning for the third world. This even included a million towards condom R&D.

    Read More
    • LOL: Hibernian
    • Replies: @candid_observer
    I realize the Gates Foundation has invested in family planning programs in Africa, and has done so for some time.

    So why is the population in Africa still exploding?

    On what rational basis can the Gates Foundation claim with any certainty that its efforts will result in population stability, and in time to prevent the great suffering a population boom would bring about?

    Our many do-gooders can't seem to grasp the basic injunction: First Do No Harm.

    If the Gates Foundation were subject to the sort of rules applied to medical interventions, they would never be permitted to interfere as they have in Africa. They'd have to have some very compelling evidence that their intervention won't make things worse than they are already.

  54. @Kaz
    Steve Ballmer is a moron that was lucky to have Bill Gates for a roommate in college.

    Bill Gates is trying to save the world while Ballmer wastes time on basketball and pushing to make schools worse just for a stupid ball game.

    Steve Ballmer is a moron that was lucky to have Bill Gates for a roommate in college.

    C’mon- both Steve and Bill were Harvard enrollees back when it was still the best college in America. More importantly I think both got national honors in some sort of high school science or math contest, so objectively they’re probably smarter than anyone who posts here with the exception of Ron.

    But- yeah- ever since his spastic “Dance monkey-boy, dance” antics almost a generation ago, he’s been the epitomy of the super-wealthy, but buffoonish and wincingly uncool white guy. Which is why Trump is such a breath of fresh air- in addition to being the only person in our political life actually doing things to save this country, he’s also the coolest white guy in the world, one who has a style all his own which does not in any way rely on aping African-American mannerisms. From his red hat, to his cool little fist pushes at rallies, to great catchphrases that are all his own:

    * “I can’t help it, I kiss on beauty.”
    * “So happy that the shackles can come off.”
    * “Sally Kohn is the time-travelling duplicate of Rachel Maddow after she eats Justin Beiber sometime in 2020. Sad.” (ok, that last one is mine)

    As punch-line magnets Ballmer and Gates prove (Gates paid former-SNL star Dana Carvey to perform at some Microsoft roll-out, and Carvey couldn’t stop himself from making turtle jokes at Gates’s expense) no amount of money can buy self-respect or dignity.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous
    Abe -at 6:02 GMT: Derbyshire is probably smarter than Ballmer (on M, probably, and on V, without a doubt). With regard to the fuzzy concept of being "smart", Gates is probably somewhere near to one in ten (or one in twenty) thousand plus unusual drive, Ballmer probably one in a thousand with unusual drive and luck. There are almost 400,000 Americans who are one in a thousand or better on the scale you are talking about. I bet "probably" therefore that it is false to say that Ballmer and Gates are "objectively" "probably" "smarter" than anyone that posts here "with the exception of Ron," unless all 400,00 of those Americans don't post here, again with the "exception of Ron". Am I not right? Common sense, and not wasting your gifts, are quite another subject, of course. Do you really think that only one of the 400,000 smartest Americans posts here?
    , @ben tillman

    C’mon- both Steve and Bill were Harvard enrollees back when it was still the best college in America. More importantly I think both got national honors in some sort of high school science or math contest, so objectively they’re probably smarter than anyone who posts here with the exception of Ron.
     
    Don't be silly. Steve's smarter than the average Harvard grad from back then, and so are quite a few of his commenters.
  55. But in private, Ballmer expressed frustration with the team’s terrible performance …

    “I’m going to open up a foundation, and we’re going to get black people in here,” Ballmer declared….

    Ah, textbook example of one of my more astute observations: To the rich and the powerful and the influential, culture is usually viewed as little more than an obstacle.

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  56. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Hibernian
    I bought a Windows phone and then found that there was no reliable Windows phone app for Uber or Lyft on the rare occasion I want to call a taxi. (I hail them fairly often for a short trip at rush hour downtown.)

    Ballmer is an example of the fact that sophisticated elitists can often be Archie Bunkers at heart.

    Ironically Windows Phone in its present form, IMO, is a far nicer phone OS than either Android or iOS. But due to Ballmer and others’ lack of foresight they butchered the execution. Consequently their market share is maybe 1 percent and few write apps for their phone. And the ones who do rarely update them.

    I have both an android and windows phone. I like the latter. But when I need to do things besides basic text, email, browsing, and phone calls; I find myself using the android which seems to have limitless apps to download.

    It’s a shame because it would be nice to have a viable 3rd competitor in this market. But MS had too many starts, stops and missteps along the way. It is interesting that it was 10 years ago now that MS was the leader in smartphones OS. Of course smartphones were not as ubiquitous as they are now. But nonetheless they were in the cat bird’s seat. But then two things happened in 2007. First, Apple announced the iPhone and then Google announced it would be developing Android and giving it away free to any phone maker.

    At the time Ballmer and company were charging phone makers about $25 per phone to put Windows Mobile on their devices. They were treating the phone makers like they did the PC makers with Windows. Google knew they were a search company and desperately wanted to ensure mobile did not bypass them. So giving away android free of charge to ensure they dominated mobile search was a good decision. Ballmer never appeared to realize this and soon phone makers were lining up for Android.

    Of course Apple already had a huge natural customer base due to their cultivation of the iTunes/iPod universe. So it was really not surprising they would take a huge bite, forgive the pun, out of this market.

    Ballmer could have made MS dominant in phones, but he never could get out of the PC mindset that had made them so much money in the 80s and 90s.

    BTW if you are a tech enthusiast and have not seen the latest Windows Phone, you might just buy one for the heck of it to play with. Some can be had for just $10 and even if you don’t sign up for phone service, you can still use it as a little web browser on wifi. Given they might become extinct in a year or so, you can take a look at what might have been.

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  57. Ballmer earned his money–he got all the business customers to switch to subsriptions. The new guy is in the middle of the same thing for consumers, and it’s ugly. Windows 10 is a fucking mess, but if he pulls it off, he’ll deserve his 30 billion dollars, too. Meanwhile, Valve is pushing more and more companies to release on Linux, and eventually the only real reason to stay on Windows will no longer exist.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Clyde

    Windows 10 is a fucking mess, but if he pulls it off, he’ll deserve his 30 billion dollars, too. Windows 10 works for me.
     
    What I don't get is how they can sell Windows 10 laptops that use same hardware as Chromebook. Meaning shitty celeron CPU, 2-4GB mem and 32GB SSD...which are OK for the Chrome OS which is small and light but not enough ooomph for Windows 10 which will also hog 25GB of that SSD. Free upgrades to Win 10 from 7 and 8 still available at_ http://bit.ly/2aqaoey
    , @Anonymous
    Desktop Linux has overshot the runway and wound up in the cow patch. I suspect even Torvalds is ready to admit defeat.

    I suspect Apple may effectively open source, or at least distribute for free, MacOS for general use to get their user share up. Since many of the "creative professionals" who have been loyal to Apple since the beginning of the Mac II days have defected to Microsoft in the last two years, mac user share is down to about five per cent-a range that is causing many old line Mac developers to bail out before the Mac goes Full Amiga.
  58. @Lot
    Gates has spent $900 million on family planning for the third world. This even included a million towards condom R&D.

    I realize the Gates Foundation has invested in family planning programs in Africa, and has done so for some time.

    So why is the population in Africa still exploding?

    On what rational basis can the Gates Foundation claim with any certainty that its efforts will result in population stability, and in time to prevent the great suffering a population boom would bring about?

    Our many do-gooders can’t seem to grasp the basic injunction: First Do No Harm.

    If the Gates Foundation were subject to the sort of rules applied to medical interventions, they would never be permitted to interfere as they have in Africa. They’d have to have some very compelling evidence that their intervention won’t make things worse than they are already.

    Read More
    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Grumpy
    Most people in the world want children. They want lots of them. Have the billionaires figured that out yet?
  59. Some people who win a big lottery end up showing off their plebeian tendencies.

    If Homer Simpson had been lucky enough to be a random geek at the founding of Microsoft, he would have acted out his life like Steve Ballmer.

    Read More
  60. @candid_observer
    I realize the Gates Foundation has invested in family planning programs in Africa, and has done so for some time.

    So why is the population in Africa still exploding?

    On what rational basis can the Gates Foundation claim with any certainty that its efforts will result in population stability, and in time to prevent the great suffering a population boom would bring about?

    Our many do-gooders can't seem to grasp the basic injunction: First Do No Harm.

    If the Gates Foundation were subject to the sort of rules applied to medical interventions, they would never be permitted to interfere as they have in Africa. They'd have to have some very compelling evidence that their intervention won't make things worse than they are already.

    Most people in the world want children. They want lots of them. Have the billionaires figured that out yet?

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    Yeah, that's why we live in a culture of sex for pleasure and homomania.
  61. The Lions kept winning all the way up until an overtime loss in the 2013 state title game — the best finish in school history.

    Coincidentally, Lakeside lost the state title to Rainier Beach High School. Jamal Crawford attended Rainier Beach and has played for the Los Angeles Clippers since 2012 (owned by Steve Ballmer since 2014).

    When Crawford attended Rainier Beach, a Seattle businessman gave him money, a car, and a place to live. Crawford was later suspend by the NCAA for violating its amateurism rules. LINK

    Rainier Beach’s enrollment has declined significantly over the years, but a steady stream of basketball players transfer into the school. Apparently Jamal Crawford lets them live in his condo. LINK

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  62. @Buffalo Joe
    Port, I remember that my son coached a prep school lacrosse team against Detroit Country Day. DCD fielded a very good team and was nationally ranked that year, but I don't remember any black kids on their team, but hey, it was lacrosse. I wonder if Ballmer has tried to diversify DCD?

    DCD is Chris Webber’s and Shane Battier’s alma mater. My cousin was Mr. Michigan in soccer at DCD and I don’t recall the soccer team (state champs all 4 of his years) having any black players. DCD doesn’t need someone like Ballmer to diversify them.

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  63. @Almost Missouri
    Ballmer presided over a remarkable 14 year stagnation in Microsoft's share price. After he left, the share price doubled.

    On the other hand, he must have contributed something during Microsoft's early growth years, since he was an important manager within the company.

    The lesson would seem to be that he can be a capable line manager so long as someone superior rides herd on him. Too bad that situation will never happen again.

    On the other hand, he must have contributed something during Microsoft’s early growth years, since he was an important manager within the company.

    Unlike many early MS execs and coders, Ballmer could put up with Gates’s nasty temper spittle laced temper tantrums. while many others quit.

    The other thing was for MS execs to get on his good side execs was to copy his aspergy mannerisms. The incessant chair rocking and various other repetitive bahaviors.

    Read More
    • Replies: @grapesoda
    Good job imitating Heartiste. Why don't you steal some more of his mannerisms. Or better yet, try thinking for yourself maybe.
  64. @Buffalo Joe
    Port, I remember that my son coached a prep school lacrosse team against Detroit Country Day. DCD fielded a very good team and was nationally ranked that year, but I don't remember any black kids on their team, but hey, it was lacrosse. I wonder if Ballmer has tried to diversify DCD?

    Chris Webber is an alum of that school, so they’re willing to diversify if necessary.

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  65. @Kaz
    Steve Ballmer is a moron that was lucky to have Bill Gates for a roommate in college.

    Bill Gates is trying to save the world while Ballmer wastes time on basketball and pushing to make schools worse just for a stupid ball game.

    Interesting what-if scenario is how Gates and Ballmer would have turned out if Microsoft’s astounding success hadn’t launched them far above the concerns of mere mortals. I’ve read a couple of biographies of Gates; he strikes me as a guy who’d be a major HBD’er if his life had followed a more normal course.

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  66. @Kaz
    Steve Ballmer is a moron that was lucky to have Bill Gates for a roommate in college.

    Bill Gates is trying to save the world while Ballmer wastes time on basketball and pushing to make schools worse just for a stupid ball game.

    Bill Gates is not trying to save the world.

    He’s trying to absolve his guilty conscience at having foisted an awful operating system on an ignorant public and making billions in the process. His version of “saving the world” is throwing money at African lowlifes.

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  67. @PiltdownMan

    He was replaced at Microsoft by an Indian (probably a HB1er)
     
    According to an interview response by him, Satya Nadella came to the US the old fashioned way that the first wave of Indians used according to a post here yesterday by MG. To a graduate school teaching assistantship.

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/trumps-h1-b-visa-reform-is-practical-feminism/#comment-1748739

    Satya Nadella came to the US the old fashioned way that the first wave of Indians used according to a post here yesterday by MG. To a graduate school teaching assistantship.

    That’s exactly what happens now as well. At least for Indians who attempt to immigrate (get a green card, and eventually citizenship.) Most H1B workers who are pulled in directly from abroad have no intention to immigrate; they just want to earn a bit more money and have “US Experience” on their resumes before they return home.

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  68. I’d like to think the 30 billion could assuage some of my embarrassment, because I’m a big person.

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  69. @Grumpy
    Most people in the world want children. They want lots of them. Have the billionaires figured that out yet?

    Yeah, that’s why we live in a culture of sex for pleasure and homomania.

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  70. @joeyjoejoe
    "I know he’s old and fat, but why does the 6’5″ Steve Ballmer need a trampoline?"

    Because he's old and fat.

    I am 6'3+". In my youth, I could just barely miss dunking (I dunked once on an old springy floor).

    I am in my '50's, am still 6'3+". I am very fit for my age. My neighbor's kid got his ball wedged in the corner between the hoop and the backboard, and he and the kid are very short. I hopped right up to tap it out (even though I couldn't dunk, tapping out a wedged basketball in this way was always childs' play).

    I could barely reach it.

    When you get old, your jumping muscles are the first to go. I didn't realize that until this incident.

    joeyjoejoe

    With NBA stars the shots blocked number typically falls after about the second year in the league.

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  71. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Abe

    Steve Ballmer is a moron that was lucky to have Bill Gates for a roommate in college.
     
    C'mon- both Steve and Bill were Harvard enrollees back when it was still the best college in America. More importantly I think both got national honors in some sort of high school science or math contest, so objectively they're probably smarter than anyone who posts here with the exception of Ron.

    But- yeah- ever since his spastic "Dance monkey-boy, dance" antics almost a generation ago, he's been the epitomy of the super-wealthy, but buffoonish and wincingly uncool white guy. Which is why Trump is such a breath of fresh air- in addition to being the only person in our political life actually doing things to save this country, he's also the coolest white guy in the world, one who has a style all his own which does not in any way rely on aping African-American mannerisms. From his red hat, to his cool little fist pushes at rallies, to great catchphrases that are all his own:

    * "I can't help it, I kiss on beauty."
    * "So happy that the shackles can come off."
    * "Sally Kohn is the time-travelling duplicate of Rachel Maddow after she eats Justin Beiber sometime in 2020. Sad." (ok, that last one is mine)

    As punch-line magnets Ballmer and Gates prove (Gates paid former-SNL star Dana Carvey to perform at some Microsoft roll-out, and Carvey couldn't stop himself from making turtle jokes at Gates's expense) no amount of money can buy self-respect or dignity.

    Abe -at 6:02 GMT: Derbyshire is probably smarter than Ballmer (on M, probably, and on V, without a doubt). With regard to the fuzzy concept of being “smart”, Gates is probably somewhere near to one in ten (or one in twenty) thousand plus unusual drive, Ballmer probably one in a thousand with unusual drive and luck. There are almost 400,000 Americans who are one in a thousand or better on the scale you are talking about. I bet “probably” therefore that it is false to say that Ballmer and Gates are “objectively” “probably” “smarter” than anyone that posts here “with the exception of Ron,” unless all 400,00 of those Americans don’t post here, again with the “exception of Ron”. Am I not right? Common sense, and not wasting your gifts, are quite another subject, of course. Do you really think that only one of the 400,000 smartest Americans posts here?

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    • Replies: @Lot
    No idea about Ballmer, but I think you underestimate how smart Gates is.

    1. His father co-founded what is now the 11th largest law firm in the USA (K&L Gates). His maternal grandfather was a bank president.

    2. He was debugging mainframes when he was in 8th or 9th grade

    3. When he was 16 he was hired to write a payroll program in Cobol

    4. At age 17, Gates formed a venture with Allen, called Traf-O-Data, to make traffic counters based on the Intel 8008 processor.

    5. He scored 1590 on the pre-recentered SAT (at that time about 1 in 100,000 got a 1600, which given the sample implies more like a 1 in 300,000 IQ)

    6. In his second year at Harvard, Gates devised an algorithm for pancake sorting as a solution to one of a series of unsolved problems presented in a combinatorics class by Harry Lewis, one of his professors. Gates' solution held the record as the fastest version for over thirty years; its successor is faster by only one percent.

    7. When he was 19 he (with Allen) developed an Altair emulator that ran on a minicomputer, and then the BASIC interpreter

    8. Gates started to focus on business more than programming around age 20. He has controlled the most used computer OS in the world continuously since he was about 27 (first MS-DOS, then Windows) and became a billionaire around age 30.

  72. @Maciano
    I love this guy.

    And I wish I had had one senior manager in my life w/ his passion for his company.

    I love this guy.
    And I wish I had had one senior manager in my life w/ his passion for his company.

    Sad!

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  73. @onetwothree
    Ballmer earned his money--he got all the business customers to switch to subsriptions. The new guy is in the middle of the same thing for consumers, and it's ugly. Windows 10 is a fucking mess, but if he pulls it off, he'll deserve his 30 billion dollars, too. Meanwhile, Valve is pushing more and more companies to release on Linux, and eventually the only real reason to stay on Windows will no longer exist.

    Windows 10 is a fucking mess, but if he pulls it off, he’ll deserve his 30 billion dollars, too. Windows 10 works for me.

    What I don’t get is how they can sell Windows 10 laptops that use same hardware as Chromebook. Meaning shitty celeron CPU, 2-4GB mem and 32GB SSD…which are OK for the Chrome OS which is small and light but not enough ooomph for Windows 10 which will also hog 25GB of that SSD. Free upgrades to Win 10 from 7 and 8 still available at_ http://bit.ly/2aqaoey

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  74. This is Steve Ballmer at his most embarrassing -

    The Ballmer Dance or Uncle Fester on crack. He does have more than a resemblance to that jolly chrome dome.

    Imagine his son’s take on that .

    It is also a sterling example why geeks should never be allowed to dance in public. It’s just that bad.

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    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    There's a reason the HR people get sent to those "violence in the workplace" conferences. It's probably to attempt to protect people like this guy. Were I in that all-hands meeting or whatever-the-hell it was in your video, I really can't say what I would have WANTED to do to that guy. It's not the dancing, just the attitude that what they do there is so important, I should care enough about it to start yelling like that moron.

    (Possibly it was just drugs, in which case, I would forgive him.)
  75. @anonymous
    Abe -at 6:02 GMT: Derbyshire is probably smarter than Ballmer (on M, probably, and on V, without a doubt). With regard to the fuzzy concept of being "smart", Gates is probably somewhere near to one in ten (or one in twenty) thousand plus unusual drive, Ballmer probably one in a thousand with unusual drive and luck. There are almost 400,000 Americans who are one in a thousand or better on the scale you are talking about. I bet "probably" therefore that it is false to say that Ballmer and Gates are "objectively" "probably" "smarter" than anyone that posts here "with the exception of Ron," unless all 400,00 of those Americans don't post here, again with the "exception of Ron". Am I not right? Common sense, and not wasting your gifts, are quite another subject, of course. Do you really think that only one of the 400,000 smartest Americans posts here?

    No idea about Ballmer, but I think you underestimate how smart Gates is.

    1. His father co-founded what is now the 11th largest law firm in the USA (K&L Gates). His maternal grandfather was a bank president.

    2. He was debugging mainframes when he was in 8th or 9th grade

    3. When he was 16 he was hired to write a payroll program in Cobol

    4. At age 17, Gates formed a venture with Allen, called Traf-O-Data, to make traffic counters based on the Intel 8008 processor.

    5. He scored 1590 on the pre-recentered SAT (at that time about 1 in 100,000 got a 1600, which given the sample implies more like a 1 in 300,000 IQ)

    6. In his second year at Harvard, Gates devised an algorithm for pancake sorting as a solution to one of a series of unsolved problems presented in a combinatorics class by Harry Lewis, one of his professors. Gates’ solution held the record as the fastest version for over thirty years; its successor is faster by only one percent.

    7. When he was 19 he (with Allen) developed an Altair emulator that ran on a minicomputer, and then the BASIC interpreter

    8. Gates started to focus on business more than programming around age 20. He has controlled the most used computer OS in the world continuously since he was about 27 (first MS-DOS, then Windows) and became a billionaire around age 30.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous
    I don't think you can measure beyond 1 in 10,000. True, there are freaks of nature - von Neumann, Shakespeare, Euclid, Leonardo - but even they may be, with respect to natural intellectual gifts, only 1 in 10,000 guys or even only 1 in 1,000 guys who have just lucked into some weird sort of constant inspired reverberation between the things they chose to think about and their chosen field of expression. Anyway, while Gates is clearly number 1 of the 4 million or so Americans born in 1955 if ranked by success in computer science algorithms, the question remains how many other number 1s are there in how many similar but different fields? And how many fields are so much fun to be in that the number 100 guy with a good income is probably smarter than the number 1 billionaire guy in some other field? I have read that Gates was not that good at poker in college(of course he may have been playing to observe rather than to win), was clearly not the most gifted student in Math 55 (Harvard's math class for talented freshmen athletes), and I have not heard that, with all the free time in the world, he has done greatly at bridge. Also, many people say that his philanthropic efforts have not, to date, been marked by deep wisdom and common sense, to say the least.
    , @Steve Sailer
    A guy who worked for me went to work for Microsoft in 1986 and got to know Gates well. He said Gates was incredibly smart.

    I mean, he's been the richest man in the world for, what, most of the last quarter century?

    I'd agree that Steve Jobs' comeback was more eerie.
    , @Anonymous
    No question that he is very, very smart, but he never was a "great" programmer. Allen was more prolific and more competent, but none of his code is probably in daily use today except maybe in a few embedded applications someone supports on a "deep sustaining" basis.


    By contrast Stallman has a lot of code in daily run use, as does Torvalds-and he was less of a programmer than people assume. They just haven't made money off it. (Torvalds lives comfortably but not with any considerable wealth.)

    And at that, consider that in terms of number of cpus running at any one time, Windows is probably fourth in total run volume. iOS, Android, and Linux are all far bigger, because huge numbers of embedded appliances and consumer devices have pieces of Linux in their firmware.

    Windows is what people see on the desktop, which gives it near-total mindshare, although there is not that much Windows on the back end. Almost all web servers use Linux or FreeBSD.

    As I write this I am connected to a DSL modem with embedded Linux to a DSLAM with embedded Linux to a BRAS server with embedded Linux, and from there it's Linux or some other Unix variant all the way down. However, , if like most consumers, I were ignorant of that, I would think Windows was what mattered, because I am on a Windows laptop.
  76. @PiltdownMan
    I know he's old and fat, but why does the 6'5" Steve Ballmer need a trampoline?

    There are a few guys in the NBA who can’t dunk.

    https://youtu.be/OjGiCvDedXo

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  77. @Kaz
    Steve Ballmer is a moron that was lucky to have Bill Gates for a roommate in college.

    Bill Gates is trying to save the world while Ballmer wastes time on basketball and pushing to make schools worse just for a stupid ball game.

    >>Bill Gates is trying to save the world while Ballmer wastes time on basketball and pushing to make schools worse just for a stupid ball game.

    Well at least he hasn’t bought a 350 foot mega yacht……or has he?

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  78. Most H1B workers who are pulled in directly from abroad have no intention to immigrate; they just want to earn a bit more money and have “US Experience” on their resumes before they return home.

    It would be interesting to see the data. Anecdotal information, such as discussions on chat boards, seems to indicate otherwise-much of the chatter is strategizing about hanging on.

    As for motivation, the same sources seem to indicate a focus on earnings and savings, rather than considerations of experience.

    In any case, I do doubt that the bulk of H-1Bs are merely persons who have been involuntarily bodyshopped for a short period of time and whose attitude to it is as a pleasant and temporary career diversion abroad, in the US.

    The will to immigrate is present in most, I suspect.

    Read More
    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
    The will is strong, indeed.
    , @Numinous
    It's not involuntary. Most know what they are getting into. And I suspect you overestimate the desire to immigrate, as opposed to working temporarily and making enough to live a good life back home. Indians in general are very attached to their ways (foreign students who move to America at a younger age and see a different America are fare likely to become American in spirit.) More savings and the right entries on one's resume helps one retreat into cocoons or enclaves within India where one can experience the good and keep out the unpleasant aspects of India. Sort of like your gated communities in the US.
  79. @PiltdownMan

    Most H1B workers who are pulled in directly from abroad have no intention to immigrate; they just want to earn a bit more money and have “US Experience” on their resumes before they return home.
     
    It would be interesting to see the data. Anecdotal information, such as discussions on chat boards, seems to indicate otherwise-much of the chatter is strategizing about hanging on.

    As for motivation, the same sources seem to indicate a focus on earnings and savings, rather than considerations of experience.

    In any case, I do doubt that the bulk of H-1Bs are merely persons who have been involuntarily bodyshopped for a short period of time and whose attitude to it is as a pleasant and temporary career diversion abroad, in the US.

    The will to immigrate is present in most, I suspect.

    The will is strong, indeed.

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  80. @Rod1963
    This is Steve Ballmer at his most embarrassing -

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHCRimwRGLs

    The Ballmer Dance or Uncle Fester on crack. He does have more than a resemblance to that jolly chrome dome.

    Imagine his son's take on that .

    It is also a sterling example why geeks should never be allowed to dance in public. It's just that bad.

    There’s a reason the HR people get sent to those “violence in the workplace” conferences. It’s probably to attempt to protect people like this guy. Were I in that all-hands meeting or whatever-the-hell it was in your video, I really can’t say what I would have WANTED to do to that guy. It’s not the dancing, just the attitude that what they do there is so important, I should care enough about it to start yelling like that moron.

    (Possibly it was just drugs, in which case, I would forgive him.)

    Read More
  81. He’s completely at the mercy of his own upper class white progressive culture so your observation is retarded. Or do you think he was reading Aristotle in the original Greek and independently derived his ideology from there?

    Read More
    • Replies: @grapesoda
    That was meant to be in response to comment number 60, of course.
  82. @Rod1963

    On the other hand, he must have contributed something during Microsoft’s early growth years, since he was an important manager within the company.
     
    Unlike many early MS execs and coders, Ballmer could put up with Gates's nasty temper spittle laced temper tantrums. while many others quit.

    The other thing was for MS execs to get on his good side execs was to copy his aspergy mannerisms. The incessant chair rocking and various other repetitive bahaviors.

    Good job imitating Heartiste. Why don’t you steal some more of his mannerisms. Or better yet, try thinking for yourself maybe.

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  83. Alas it is possible to be simultaneously ultra rich & be a Dork.
    Maybe there is something to that Multiple Intelligences fad. Social Intell not a forte for the Ballmster

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  84. @grapesoda
    He's completely at the mercy of his own upper class white progressive culture so your observation is retarded. Or do you think he was reading Aristotle in the original Greek and independently derived his ideology from there?

    That was meant to be in response to comment number 60, of course.

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  85. @Lot
    It is more than a tax break. The city builds the house and hooks up the utilities, gives the permit, etc, and all you have to do is have a homeless "family" meaning a single mother there for 5 years. Then you keep the house.

    For my area this would be a bad deal, a back detached studio would rent for about $1500/mo or $18,000 a year, and would not have the problems that render people homeless. But if the rent value is under $800, which I bet includes at least part of Portland, it is a good deal.

    Lot, I don’t know if you read an article that points out that the home owner contracts to participate for five years, if they bail before five years they repay the $75,000 construction fee. That pretty much forces you to stay onboard unless you need a $75,000 tool shed.

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  86. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Lot
    No idea about Ballmer, but I think you underestimate how smart Gates is.

    1. His father co-founded what is now the 11th largest law firm in the USA (K&L Gates). His maternal grandfather was a bank president.

    2. He was debugging mainframes when he was in 8th or 9th grade

    3. When he was 16 he was hired to write a payroll program in Cobol

    4. At age 17, Gates formed a venture with Allen, called Traf-O-Data, to make traffic counters based on the Intel 8008 processor.

    5. He scored 1590 on the pre-recentered SAT (at that time about 1 in 100,000 got a 1600, which given the sample implies more like a 1 in 300,000 IQ)

    6. In his second year at Harvard, Gates devised an algorithm for pancake sorting as a solution to one of a series of unsolved problems presented in a combinatorics class by Harry Lewis, one of his professors. Gates' solution held the record as the fastest version for over thirty years; its successor is faster by only one percent.

    7. When he was 19 he (with Allen) developed an Altair emulator that ran on a minicomputer, and then the BASIC interpreter

    8. Gates started to focus on business more than programming around age 20. He has controlled the most used computer OS in the world continuously since he was about 27 (first MS-DOS, then Windows) and became a billionaire around age 30.

    I don’t think you can measure beyond 1 in 10,000. True, there are freaks of nature – von Neumann, Shakespeare, Euclid, Leonardo – but even they may be, with respect to natural intellectual gifts, only 1 in 10,000 guys or even only 1 in 1,000 guys who have just lucked into some weird sort of constant inspired reverberation between the things they chose to think about and their chosen field of expression. Anyway, while Gates is clearly number 1 of the 4 million or so Americans born in 1955 if ranked by success in computer science algorithms, the question remains how many other number 1s are there in how many similar but different fields? And how many fields are so much fun to be in that the number 100 guy with a good income is probably smarter than the number 1 billionaire guy in some other field? I have read that Gates was not that good at poker in college(of course he may have been playing to observe rather than to win), was clearly not the most gifted student in Math 55 (Harvard’s math class for talented freshmen athletes), and I have not heard that, with all the free time in the world, he has done greatly at bridge. Also, many people say that his philanthropic efforts have not, to date, been marked by deep wisdom and common sense, to say the least.

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  87. “With NBA stars the shots blocked number typically falls after about the second year in the league.”

    To what do you attribute this-

    Drop in jumping ability by age 24 or so?
    Loss of rookie drive?
    Fatigue?

    joeyjoejoe

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Don't know.

    Perhaps putting on more upper body musculature weighs down jumping ability?

    Shot blocking doesn't appear to be a very sophisticated skill that takes years to hone. It's something you have a knack for or you don't. My guess is that assists are the last statistic to peak in a good NBA player's career.

  88. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Anon
    Steve Ballmer's wealth is 99% in the form of appreciated MSFT and dividends, which he only pays tax on when he sells, and at the long term capital gains rate, which Bush cut to 15%, and commie Obama raised all the way to 20%.

    So in a year he cashed out $500 million of it for his routine living expenses, and saw the value of it increase by $2 billion, he would have paid an effective tax rate of 3.75% under Bush and Obama's first term, or 5% after then increase. That is lower than a gas station attendant pays in payroll and sales taxes.

    While self made billionaires are oppressed by low single digit tax rates, billionaires who inherit their money do much better than this under the Bush/Ryan system. They pay nothing when they receive their inheritance, because "the death tax" destroys family farms garble garble. The appreciated stock they inherit also receives a "stepped up basis" which is a fancy phrase meaning it won't be taxed ever. So upon selling it, they only pay tax on its increased value after the inheritance. So if they sell $500 million rate right after the inheritance, the capital gains rate they will pay on it is 0.0%, on top of the inheritance tax the GOP wants for them of 0.0%.

    In summary, for Paul Ryan, old money billionaires > new money billionaires > the rest of you losers.

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  89. @guest
    Yeah, that's why we live in a culture of sex for pleasure and homomania.

    He was talking about the world, not the West.

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    • Replies: @guest
    He was talking about whether billionaires have figured it out yet. If they've figured it out for us, they've figured it out.
  90. @joeyjoejoe
    "With NBA stars the shots blocked number typically falls after about the second year in the league."

    To what do you attribute this-

    Drop in jumping ability by age 24 or so?
    Loss of rookie drive?
    Fatigue?

    joeyjoejoe

    Don’t know.

    Perhaps putting on more upper body musculature weighs down jumping ability?

    Shot blocking doesn’t appear to be a very sophisticated skill that takes years to hone. It’s something you have a knack for or you don’t. My guess is that assists are the last statistic to peak in a good NBA player’s career.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I should see if anybody has quantified this, but increasing assists over quite a few years is the mark of a good NBA player getting better. Larry Bird and Hakeem Olajuwon peaked in assists in their 30s.

    Other patterns: rebounds per game often peak early in the career, often before a player becomes a first rate shooter. This could be because young players are extra springy, but I suspect that rookies are tasked more with rebounding rather than shooting.

    Even among NBA players who go on to have an outstanding career, shooting percentages as a rookie are usually low. In a successful career, shooting percentage usually increases considerably in year 2. In an unsuccessful career it does not.

    Steals usually peak early in a career.

    So, shot blocking, steals, and rebounding tend to correlate with being young and lithe. Assists are related to being old and crafty. Scoring with a high shooting percentage (the most important statistics) are for players in their NBA primes.
  91. @PiltdownMan

    Most H1B workers who are pulled in directly from abroad have no intention to immigrate; they just want to earn a bit more money and have “US Experience” on their resumes before they return home.
     
    It would be interesting to see the data. Anecdotal information, such as discussions on chat boards, seems to indicate otherwise-much of the chatter is strategizing about hanging on.

    As for motivation, the same sources seem to indicate a focus on earnings and savings, rather than considerations of experience.

    In any case, I do doubt that the bulk of H-1Bs are merely persons who have been involuntarily bodyshopped for a short period of time and whose attitude to it is as a pleasant and temporary career diversion abroad, in the US.

    The will to immigrate is present in most, I suspect.

    It’s not involuntary. Most know what they are getting into. And I suspect you overestimate the desire to immigrate, as opposed to working temporarily and making enough to live a good life back home. Indians in general are very attached to their ways (foreign students who move to America at a younger age and see a different America are fare likely to become American in spirit.) More savings and the right entries on one’s resume helps one retreat into cocoons or enclaves within India where one can experience the good and keep out the unpleasant aspects of India. Sort of like your gated communities in the US.

    Read More
  92. @Abe

    Steve Ballmer is a moron that was lucky to have Bill Gates for a roommate in college.
     
    C'mon- both Steve and Bill were Harvard enrollees back when it was still the best college in America. More importantly I think both got national honors in some sort of high school science or math contest, so objectively they're probably smarter than anyone who posts here with the exception of Ron.

    But- yeah- ever since his spastic "Dance monkey-boy, dance" antics almost a generation ago, he's been the epitomy of the super-wealthy, but buffoonish and wincingly uncool white guy. Which is why Trump is such a breath of fresh air- in addition to being the only person in our political life actually doing things to save this country, he's also the coolest white guy in the world, one who has a style all his own which does not in any way rely on aping African-American mannerisms. From his red hat, to his cool little fist pushes at rallies, to great catchphrases that are all his own:

    * "I can't help it, I kiss on beauty."
    * "So happy that the shackles can come off."
    * "Sally Kohn is the time-travelling duplicate of Rachel Maddow after she eats Justin Beiber sometime in 2020. Sad." (ok, that last one is mine)

    As punch-line magnets Ballmer and Gates prove (Gates paid former-SNL star Dana Carvey to perform at some Microsoft roll-out, and Carvey couldn't stop himself from making turtle jokes at Gates's expense) no amount of money can buy self-respect or dignity.

    C’mon- both Steve and Bill were Harvard enrollees back when it was still the best college in America. More importantly I think both got national honors in some sort of high school science or math contest, so objectively they’re probably smarter than anyone who posts here with the exception of Ron.

    Don’t be silly. Steve’s smarter than the average Harvard grad from back then, and so are quite a few of his commenters.

    Read More
    • Replies: @res
    The point was that Steve and Bill (and Paul Allen for that matter) were not at the average for Harvard. I'm curious about the accuracy of Abe's assertion. I don't think I would take either side of that bet.

    P.S. SAT scores and colleges (all pre- 1995 recentering when scores like that REALLY meant something):
    Celebrity SAT Score (out of 1600) College Attended
    Paul Allen 1600 Washington State University
    Bill Gates 1590 Harvard
    Steve Ballmer (800 M, ? V) Harvard

    It was much easier to score high on M than V in those days so it's hard to be sure about Ballmer though given that data.
  93. @Steve Sailer
    Don't know.

    Perhaps putting on more upper body musculature weighs down jumping ability?

    Shot blocking doesn't appear to be a very sophisticated skill that takes years to hone. It's something you have a knack for or you don't. My guess is that assists are the last statistic to peak in a good NBA player's career.

    I should see if anybody has quantified this, but increasing assists over quite a few years is the mark of a good NBA player getting better. Larry Bird and Hakeem Olajuwon peaked in assists in their 30s.

    Other patterns: rebounds per game often peak early in the career, often before a player becomes a first rate shooter. This could be because young players are extra springy, but I suspect that rookies are tasked more with rebounding rather than shooting.

    Even among NBA players who go on to have an outstanding career, shooting percentages as a rookie are usually low. In a successful career, shooting percentage usually increases considerably in year 2. In an unsuccessful career it does not.

    Steals usually peak early in a career.

    So, shot blocking, steals, and rebounding tend to correlate with being young and lithe. Assists are related to being old and crafty. Scoring with a high shooting percentage (the most important statistics) are for players in their NBA primes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
    By contrast, I guess trampoline-dunking, spastic gyrating, and blood-curdling squealing all peak at about the same time all hope of a successful franchise ownership, along with the niggling demands of personal dignity, have been forsaken.
  94. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Intelligent Dasein
    The sad fact is that Steve Ballmer is hardly atypical among American males of his age and socio-economic bracket. Granted, having $30 billion puts you in pretty rarefied air, but any Boomer male of upper middle class status or above is basically a Steve Ballmer mini-me---kooky, overgrown, sports-obsessed, loud, and perpetually childish.

    The sad fact is that Steve Ballmer is hardly atypical among American males of his age and socio-economic bracket. Granted, having $30 billion puts you in pretty rarefied air, but any Boomer male of upper middle class status or above is basically a Steve Ballmer mini-me—kooky, overgrown, sports-obsessed, loud, and perpetually childish.

    When you’re fat, ugly, and bald you need to engage in this kind of over-the-top behavior to get the approval of others. Fat people are either jolly or repulsive. When you’re handsome, in shape, with a nice head of hair it’s just the opposite. You need to act debonair and reserved and let the imagination and projection of others build you up further.

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  95. @Steve Sailer
    I should see if anybody has quantified this, but increasing assists over quite a few years is the mark of a good NBA player getting better. Larry Bird and Hakeem Olajuwon peaked in assists in their 30s.

    Other patterns: rebounds per game often peak early in the career, often before a player becomes a first rate shooter. This could be because young players are extra springy, but I suspect that rookies are tasked more with rebounding rather than shooting.

    Even among NBA players who go on to have an outstanding career, shooting percentages as a rookie are usually low. In a successful career, shooting percentage usually increases considerably in year 2. In an unsuccessful career it does not.

    Steals usually peak early in a career.

    So, shot blocking, steals, and rebounding tend to correlate with being young and lithe. Assists are related to being old and crafty. Scoring with a high shooting percentage (the most important statistics) are for players in their NBA primes.

    By contrast, I guess trampoline-dunking, spastic gyrating, and blood-curdling squealing all peak at about the same time all hope of a successful franchise ownership, along with the niggling demands of personal dignity, have been forsaken.

    Read More
  96. @Lot
    No idea about Ballmer, but I think you underestimate how smart Gates is.

    1. His father co-founded what is now the 11th largest law firm in the USA (K&L Gates). His maternal grandfather was a bank president.

    2. He was debugging mainframes when he was in 8th or 9th grade

    3. When he was 16 he was hired to write a payroll program in Cobol

    4. At age 17, Gates formed a venture with Allen, called Traf-O-Data, to make traffic counters based on the Intel 8008 processor.

    5. He scored 1590 on the pre-recentered SAT (at that time about 1 in 100,000 got a 1600, which given the sample implies more like a 1 in 300,000 IQ)

    6. In his second year at Harvard, Gates devised an algorithm for pancake sorting as a solution to one of a series of unsolved problems presented in a combinatorics class by Harry Lewis, one of his professors. Gates' solution held the record as the fastest version for over thirty years; its successor is faster by only one percent.

    7. When he was 19 he (with Allen) developed an Altair emulator that ran on a minicomputer, and then the BASIC interpreter

    8. Gates started to focus on business more than programming around age 20. He has controlled the most used computer OS in the world continuously since he was about 27 (first MS-DOS, then Windows) and became a billionaire around age 30.

    A guy who worked for me went to work for Microsoft in 1986 and got to know Gates well. He said Gates was incredibly smart.

    I mean, he’s been the richest man in the world for, what, most of the last quarter century?

    I’d agree that Steve Jobs’ comeback was more eerie.

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  97. For those who’ve been following tech, Microsoft began it’s decline after Bill Gates retired.
    While Apple was going like gangbusters with the iPod, iPhone and iPad, MS’s offerings in those things couldn’t even be called competing. The Zune (mp3 player), Windows Phone and Surface (MS’s ‘pad’) all failed hard. And all while Ballmer was CEO.
    Then this:
    But in private, Ballmer expressed frustration with the team’s terrible performance …

    “I’m going to open up a foundation, and we’re going to get black people in here,” Ballmer declared, according to Gordon’s testimony from March.
    That’s also going to fail hard:
    https://www.amren.com/features/2016/12/blacks-changed-school/
    Good ‘ol Ballmer, whatever he touches turns to crap.

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    • Replies: @Triumph104
    I doubt the foundation still exists. On Bill Simmons podcast, Steve Ballmer said that his youngest is graduating this year. Lakeside's boys basketball team was 7-14 this year. When they played Nathan Hale High School I only saw one Lakeside player of African descent.

    As for Nathan Hale High School, Seattle's school district operates under the Tebow plan. Michael Porter Jr., the top player in the country, and his brother Jontay are home schooled but allowed to play on Nathan Hale's basketball team since they live in the school's neighborhood zone. They won the state title this year.

    https://youtu.be/A20lTt3Iy6U
  98. @Anonymous
    Sports viewership: NHL has second whitest (after NASCAR) and highest income audience (1/3 have six-figure incomes).

    http://opendorse.com/blog/2013-sports-fan-demographics/

    One of my favorite crime think brouhahas of the last few years is when emails from the owner of the Hawks were released. He said the black Hawk fans were too numerous, too cheap and scaring away paying whites. He was forced to sell the team. Here’s someone in private making astute business observations about his investment & the social justice warriors in the NBA force him to sell.

    The NBA’s fan base is currently half black. If ESPN goes down the tubes things could get very interesting for the league.

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    • Replies: @Triumph104
    Personally, I think that the Atlanta Hawks leaks were manufactured. A couple of years earlier there were articles saying that Atlanta's Georgia State University was too black and scaring off whites. I think the owners of the Hawks were ready to sell and thought some controversy would generate publicity and help drive up the price of the team since it had worked so well for Donald Sterling.

    Then there was the recording of a former Duke player (Danny Ferry) reading a racially/ethnically mocking scouting report about a former Duke player (Luol Deng) leading to a former Duke player (Grant Hill) becoming a part-owner and vice chairman of the Hawks.
  99. The macroeconomics of the modern NBA make very little sense as a profit making enterprise. It’s declining attendance and viewership from the most desirable demos do not bode well for growth within the US market. Ballmer represents the only logical NBA business model: a virtue-signalling billionaires club subsidizing the league until it collapses under the weight of it’s own red ink.

    The last attempt at an NBA strike was averted because the players realized they had no case. They were overpaid relative to the revenue they were generating, and that should have been clear to them with the regularly 2/3 empty stands. Peak NBA occurred in the late 1990′s.

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    • Replies: @Triumph104
    The attendance figures are often inflated with ticket giveaways. This month, the Arizona Lottery has been offering two free tickets to tonight's Suns vs. Clippers game with the purchase of a $30 lottery ticket.
  100. @Ed
    One of my favorite crime think brouhahas of the last few years is when emails from the owner of the Hawks were released. He said the black Hawk fans were too numerous, too cheap and scaring away paying whites. He was forced to sell the team. Here's someone in private making astute business observations about his investment & the social justice warriors in the NBA force him to sell.

    The NBA's fan base is currently half black. If ESPN goes down the tubes things could get very interesting for the league.

    Personally, I think that the Atlanta Hawks leaks were manufactured. A couple of years earlier there were articles saying that Atlanta’s Georgia State University was too black and scaring off whites. I think the owners of the Hawks were ready to sell and thought some controversy would generate publicity and help drive up the price of the team since it had worked so well for Donald Sterling.

    Then there was the recording of a former Duke player (Danny Ferry) reading a racially/ethnically mocking scouting report about a former Duke player (Luol Deng) leading to a former Duke player (Grant Hill) becoming a part-owner and vice chairman of the Hawks.

    Read More
  101. Ballmer’s claim about red ink for the team has me thinking the team is still using the player salary deduction to offset any revenue. He paid $2 billion and then he got to deduct the player salaries, so for these first few years he can claim losses, which is part of the reason owners that make billions elsewhere buy teams. They can carry the losses over to their total tax bill.

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  102. @ben tillman

    C’mon- both Steve and Bill were Harvard enrollees back when it was still the best college in America. More importantly I think both got national honors in some sort of high school science or math contest, so objectively they’re probably smarter than anyone who posts here with the exception of Ron.
     
    Don't be silly. Steve's smarter than the average Harvard grad from back then, and so are quite a few of his commenters.

    The point was that Steve and Bill (and Paul Allen for that matter) were not at the average for Harvard. I’m curious about the accuracy of Abe’s assertion. I don’t think I would take either side of that bet.

    P.S. SAT scores and colleges (all pre- 1995 recentering when scores like that REALLY meant something):
    Celebrity SAT Score (out of 1600) College Attended
    Paul Allen 1600 Washington State University
    Bill Gates 1590 Harvard
    Steve Ballmer (800 M, ? V) Harvard

    It was much easier to score high on M than V in those days so it’s hard to be sure about Ballmer though given that data.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ben tillman
    Well, they didn't outscore me, so count me unimpressed.
  103. @Hibernian
    He was talking about the world, not the West.

    He was talking about whether billionaires have figured it out yet. If they’ve figured it out for us, they’ve figured it out.

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  104. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Anon
    Steve Ballmer's wealth is 99% in the form of appreciated MSFT and dividends, which he only pays tax on when he sells, and at the long term capital gains rate, which Bush cut to 15%, and commie Obama raised all the way to 20%.

    So in a year he cashed out $500 million of it for his routine living expenses, and saw the value of it increase by $2 billion, he would have paid an effective tax rate of 3.75% under Bush and Obama's first term, or 5% after then increase. That is lower than a gas station attendant pays in payroll and sales taxes.

    While self made billionaires are oppressed by low single digit tax rates, billionaires who inherit their money do much better than this under the Bush/Ryan system. They pay nothing when they receive their inheritance, because "the death tax" destroys family farms garble garble. The appreciated stock they inherit also receives a "stepped up basis" which is a fancy phrase meaning it won't be taxed ever. So upon selling it, they only pay tax on its increased value after the inheritance. So if they sell $500 million rate right after the inheritance, the capital gains rate they will pay on it is 0.0%, on top of the inheritance tax the GOP wants for them of 0.0%.

    In summary, for Paul Ryan, old money billionaires > new money billionaires > the rest of you losers.

    The inheritance tax is one of the few federal taxes that is effective and beneficial.

    Family farms and family owned manufacturing facilities should be protected as long as they are working farms or factories up to a certain high limit, say 2000 acres or 100 employees and/or so much in physical plant. But 99% of people that pay inheritance taxes are not primarily farmers nor manufacturers. And they should have their estates stuck it to.

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  105. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @onetwothree
    Ballmer earned his money--he got all the business customers to switch to subsriptions. The new guy is in the middle of the same thing for consumers, and it's ugly. Windows 10 is a fucking mess, but if he pulls it off, he'll deserve his 30 billion dollars, too. Meanwhile, Valve is pushing more and more companies to release on Linux, and eventually the only real reason to stay on Windows will no longer exist.

    Desktop Linux has overshot the runway and wound up in the cow patch. I suspect even Torvalds is ready to admit defeat.

    I suspect Apple may effectively open source, or at least distribute for free, MacOS for general use to get their user share up. Since many of the “creative professionals” who have been loyal to Apple since the beginning of the Mac II days have defected to Microsoft in the last two years, mac user share is down to about five per cent-a range that is causing many old line Mac developers to bail out before the Mac goes Full Amiga.

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  106. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Lot
    No idea about Ballmer, but I think you underestimate how smart Gates is.

    1. His father co-founded what is now the 11th largest law firm in the USA (K&L Gates). His maternal grandfather was a bank president.

    2. He was debugging mainframes when he was in 8th or 9th grade

    3. When he was 16 he was hired to write a payroll program in Cobol

    4. At age 17, Gates formed a venture with Allen, called Traf-O-Data, to make traffic counters based on the Intel 8008 processor.

    5. He scored 1590 on the pre-recentered SAT (at that time about 1 in 100,000 got a 1600, which given the sample implies more like a 1 in 300,000 IQ)

    6. In his second year at Harvard, Gates devised an algorithm for pancake sorting as a solution to one of a series of unsolved problems presented in a combinatorics class by Harry Lewis, one of his professors. Gates' solution held the record as the fastest version for over thirty years; its successor is faster by only one percent.

    7. When he was 19 he (with Allen) developed an Altair emulator that ran on a minicomputer, and then the BASIC interpreter

    8. Gates started to focus on business more than programming around age 20. He has controlled the most used computer OS in the world continuously since he was about 27 (first MS-DOS, then Windows) and became a billionaire around age 30.

    No question that he is very, very smart, but he never was a “great” programmer. Allen was more prolific and more competent, but none of his code is probably in daily use today except maybe in a few embedded applications someone supports on a “deep sustaining” basis.

    By contrast Stallman has a lot of code in daily run use, as does Torvalds-and he was less of a programmer than people assume. They just haven’t made money off it. (Torvalds lives comfortably but not with any considerable wealth.)

    And at that, consider that in terms of number of cpus running at any one time, Windows is probably fourth in total run volume. iOS, Android, and Linux are all far bigger, because huge numbers of embedded appliances and consumer devices have pieces of Linux in their firmware.

    Windows is what people see on the desktop, which gives it near-total mindshare, although there is not that much Windows on the back end. Almost all web servers use Linux or FreeBSD.

    As I write this I am connected to a DSL modem with embedded Linux to a DSLAM with embedded Linux to a BRAS server with embedded Linux, and from there it’s Linux or some other Unix variant all the way down. However, , if like most consumers, I were ignorant of that, I would think Windows was what mattered, because I am on a Windows laptop.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Maybe Bill Gates was more focused on becoming The Richest Man in the World?
  107. @Anonymous
    No question that he is very, very smart, but he never was a "great" programmer. Allen was more prolific and more competent, but none of his code is probably in daily use today except maybe in a few embedded applications someone supports on a "deep sustaining" basis.


    By contrast Stallman has a lot of code in daily run use, as does Torvalds-and he was less of a programmer than people assume. They just haven't made money off it. (Torvalds lives comfortably but not with any considerable wealth.)

    And at that, consider that in terms of number of cpus running at any one time, Windows is probably fourth in total run volume. iOS, Android, and Linux are all far bigger, because huge numbers of embedded appliances and consumer devices have pieces of Linux in their firmware.

    Windows is what people see on the desktop, which gives it near-total mindshare, although there is not that much Windows on the back end. Almost all web servers use Linux or FreeBSD.

    As I write this I am connected to a DSL modem with embedded Linux to a DSLAM with embedded Linux to a BRAS server with embedded Linux, and from there it's Linux or some other Unix variant all the way down. However, , if like most consumers, I were ignorant of that, I would think Windows was what mattered, because I am on a Windows laptop.

    Maybe Bill Gates was more focused on becoming The Richest Man in the World?

    Read More
  108. Not sure if this was pointed out already, but “Detroit” Country Day, out in the very nice suburb of Beverly Hills, is also where Chris Weber was paid to play, before being paid to play at Michigan. So, maybe Ballmer came by these tactics honestly?

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  109. @YIH
    For those who've been following tech, Microsoft began it's decline after Bill Gates retired.
    While Apple was going like gangbusters with the iPod, iPhone and iPad, MS's offerings in those things couldn't even be called competing. The Zune (mp3 player), Windows Phone and Surface (MS's 'pad') all failed hard. And all while Ballmer was CEO.
    Then this:
    But in private, Ballmer expressed frustration with the team’s terrible performance …

    “I’m going to open up a foundation, and we’re going to get black people in here,” Ballmer declared, according to Gordon’s testimony from March.
    That's also going to fail hard:
    https://www.amren.com/features/2016/12/blacks-changed-school/
    Good 'ol Ballmer, whatever he touches turns to crap.

    I doubt the foundation still exists. On Bill Simmons podcast, Steve Ballmer said that his youngest is graduating this year. Lakeside’s boys basketball team was 7-14 this year. When they played Nathan Hale High School I only saw one Lakeside player of African descent.

    As for Nathan Hale High School, Seattle’s school district operates under the Tebow plan. Michael Porter Jr., the top player in the country, and his brother Jontay are home schooled but allowed to play on Nathan Hale’s basketball team since they live in the school’s neighborhood zone. They won the state title this year.

    https://youtu.be/A20lTt3Iy6U

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  110. @MarcB.
    The macroeconomics of the modern NBA make very little sense as a profit making enterprise. It's declining attendance and viewership from the most desirable demos do not bode well for growth within the US market. Ballmer represents the only logical NBA business model: a virtue-signalling billionaires club subsidizing the league until it collapses under the weight of it's own red ink.

    The last attempt at an NBA strike was averted because the players realized they had no case. They were overpaid relative to the revenue they were generating, and that should have been clear to them with the regularly 2/3 empty stands. Peak NBA occurred in the late 1990's.

    The attendance figures are often inflated with ticket giveaways. This month, the Arizona Lottery has been offering two free tickets to tonight’s Suns vs. Clippers game with the purchase of a $30 lottery ticket.

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  111. @res
    The point was that Steve and Bill (and Paul Allen for that matter) were not at the average for Harvard. I'm curious about the accuracy of Abe's assertion. I don't think I would take either side of that bet.

    P.S. SAT scores and colleges (all pre- 1995 recentering when scores like that REALLY meant something):
    Celebrity SAT Score (out of 1600) College Attended
    Paul Allen 1600 Washington State University
    Bill Gates 1590 Harvard
    Steve Ballmer (800 M, ? V) Harvard

    It was much easier to score high on M than V in those days so it's hard to be sure about Ballmer though given that data.

    Well, they didn’t outscore me, so count me unimpressed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @res
    You got a 1600 pre-1995? If so, color me impressed and your comment is fair enough (but if not...). Back then there were generally about 10 out of a million test takers per year who did that.

    P.S. Occasionally people claim that without realizing just how rare it was. My favorite variant was hearing about someone who claimed both she and a classmate did it (and not at somewhere like Stuyvesant where the probability might be non-zero).

  112. @ben tillman
    Well, they didn't outscore me, so count me unimpressed.

    You got a 1600 pre-1995? If so, color me impressed and your comment is fair enough (but if not…). Back then there were generally about 10 out of a million test takers per year who did that.

    P.S. Occasionally people claim that without realizing just how rare it was. My favorite variant was hearing about someone who claimed both she and a classmate did it (and not at somewhere like Stuyvesant where the probability might be non-zero).

    Read More
  113. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    he could have taken the ACT, as I did. No SAT taker outscored me. I remember getting maybe one or two at most questions wrong, but they were badly worded. I remember being very disappointed in the test writers, I had expected better. (just kidding -some of the questions were interesting and challenging).

    Read More
    • Replies: @res
    That's possible. Not sure what you mean by "No SAT taker outscored me." If you are just splitting hairs you really need to say no SAT taker who did not take the ACT (unless you got a 36).

    Regarding percentiles. This page says a 36 on the ACT is about top 0.1% of test takers: http://blog.prepscholar.com/how-many-people-get-a-34-35-36-on-the-act-score-breakdown
    Compare that to a pre-1995 SAT 1600 which is 0.001% of test takers

    This page claims both as 0.0001% (full population), but I find the gap between ACT 35 and 36 implausible and the SAT percentile does not match other data I have seen (I don't think test takers and full population percentiles are 10x different): http://www.assessmentpsychology.com/iq.htm
  114. @anonymous
    he could have taken the ACT, as I did. No SAT taker outscored me. I remember getting maybe one or two at most questions wrong, but they were badly worded. I remember being very disappointed in the test writers, I had expected better. (just kidding -some of the questions were interesting and challenging).

    That’s possible. Not sure what you mean by “No SAT taker outscored me.” If you are just splitting hairs you really need to say no SAT taker who did not take the ACT (unless you got a 36).

    Regarding percentiles. This page says a 36 on the ACT is about top 0.1% of test takers: http://blog.prepscholar.com/how-many-people-get-a-34-35-36-on-the-act-score-breakdown
    Compare that to a pre-1995 SAT 1600 which is 0.001% of test takers

    This page claims both as 0.0001% (full population), but I find the gap between ACT 35 and 36 implausible and the SAT percentile does not match other data I have seen (I don’t think test takers and full population percentiles are 10x different): http://www.assessmentpsychology.com/iq.htm

    Read More
  115. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    (Steve – long comment you do not need to read to approve, trust me, there is nothing offensive in the next couple hundred words….) res – to be clear- no SAT taker outscored me only because I did not care enough about the SAT to take it. Your modification is well put – I did not mean to claim more than this: no SAT taker outscored me on the SAT. (I was not a 1 in 10,000 college-prep test taker! I certainly would not have had a 1600 SAT because I was bored at the time by things I later found to be fascinating – geometry and trigonometry (I have bought 3 copies of Maor’s Trigonometric Delights over the last 10 years, just because that stuff is really interesting to me) and discrete mathematics (which I figured out in my early 30s at least to the level of any drudge who writes LSAT or ACT or SAT questions). That being said, I am sure I got no verbal questions wrong on the ACT, and if I did, they would have thrown the question out for being poorly framed. I am not bragging for selfish reasons – I just was offended that an otherwise insightful poster went on about how Steve Ballmer was smarter than anyone that posts here except Ron Unz.
    A subpickwickian point at worst, not that Steve Ballmer would not be a very interesting commenter on many subjects that Sailer touches on – and he might support some of the dissenting views here which are close to my heart.
    In 10 years – 15 years at most – these tests will be history, anyway, AIs double checked by humans will assess ten minute speeches or essays by college-bound kids on limited but perspectively infinite questions – Shakespeare’s Rosalindiade, paradoxes of microeconomics, descriptions of the borderland between recreational math and that boring stuff that used to be taught in most high schools. Kids will be taught to the test as they always have been, more so in China than here, but here too, but being taught to the test will not be as brutally reductive as it has been, if the AIs are as good as I think they will be.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous
    FYI, res, my 3:15 AM comment had some investment advice in the last 50 words. Just saying.
  116. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @anonymous
    (Steve - long comment you do not need to read to approve, trust me, there is nothing offensive in the next couple hundred words....) res - to be clear- no SAT taker outscored me only because I did not care enough about the SAT to take it. Your modification is well put - I did not mean to claim more than this: no SAT taker outscored me on the SAT. (I was not a 1 in 10,000 college-prep test taker! I certainly would not have had a 1600 SAT because I was bored at the time by things I later found to be fascinating - geometry and trigonometry (I have bought 3 copies of Maor's Trigonometric Delights over the last 10 years, just because that stuff is really interesting to me) and discrete mathematics (which I figured out in my early 30s at least to the level of any drudge who writes LSAT or ACT or SAT questions). That being said, I am sure I got no verbal questions wrong on the ACT, and if I did, they would have thrown the question out for being poorly framed. I am not bragging for selfish reasons - I just was offended that an otherwise insightful poster went on about how Steve Ballmer was smarter than anyone that posts here except Ron Unz.
    A subpickwickian point at worst, not that Steve Ballmer would not be a very interesting commenter on many subjects that Sailer touches on - and he might support some of the dissenting views here which are close to my heart.
    In 10 years - 15 years at most - these tests will be history, anyway, AIs double checked by humans will assess ten minute speeches or essays by college-bound kids on limited but perspectively infinite questions - Shakespeare's Rosalindiade, paradoxes of microeconomics, descriptions of the borderland between recreational math and that boring stuff that used to be taught in most high schools. Kids will be taught to the test as they always have been, more so in China than here, but here too, but being taught to the test will not be as brutally reductive as it has been, if the AIs are as good as I think they will be.

    FYI, res, my 3:15 AM comment had some investment advice in the last 50 words. Just saying.

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    • Replies: @anonymous
    127 ...... "Venture capitalist" advice not "stock market" advice
  117. @MBlanc46
    I trust that means you'll stay in Nigeria, then. Please convince your fellow countrymen to do likewise.

    Why would I do your job for you???

    Its crowded here, I’m incentivised to export my deadweight your way.

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  118. @African Apologist
    So what excuse do you use for the condition of your pitiful country's condition.

    We don’t pay taxes.

    I’m guessing having seen the various inanities your state spends your dole on, we’ve chosen the Epicurean path.

    It all ends in dust my friend.

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  119. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @anonymous
    FYI, res, my 3:15 AM comment had some investment advice in the last 50 words. Just saying.

    127 …… “Venture capitalist” advice not “stock market” advice

    Read More
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