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Things you just don't get - Page 1507

post #22591 of 24135
Quote:
Originally Posted by HRoi View Post

Just read an article that states the Rio olympics will go over budget by about 50%. It goes on to say that every single olympics goes over budget, by an average of about 50%.

So why don't all Olympic organizers get their budget guys to run the numbers, and simply pad it by 50%?

It seems to work for our technology department. I got an internal memo from them this month bragging that 98% of their projects came in at or under budget

 

The Olympics not only always come in over budget, they also under perform for revenue.  The Olympics are a net loss for the host country and city.  These massive projects get built and never used again.  Have you seen the pictures of the Chinese Olympic Village a year or so after the games?

post #22592 of 24135
All of that is true - but alls ahm doing is pointing out that there's an easy way to not get called out for being "over budget". Assuming that one cares.
post #22593 of 24135
Budgeting conservatively (to be very, very charitable about it) pushes back the criticism until you've already passed the point of no return, which is critical because, if the people of the host city knew the real cost up front, no one would ever consent to hosting the Olympics again.
post #22594 of 24135
Yeah. It is cool for your IT team to pad their budget so that everything comes in under budget.

You actually need the shit that they are doing, so as long as they give you a reasonable budget and it comes in somewhere near that amount...everybody is happy.

The Olympics are an optional expense that a lot of people *don't* want. In order to sell it to the people, you need to say "look, it only costs this much, and it earns this much...so it is a no brainer!".

They can also say "We know that other olympics go over budget...so we've already factored it in, see! total steal!" even though you know it is going to go over.
post #22595 of 24135
Quote:
Originally Posted by otc View Post

Yeah. It is cool for your IT team to pad their budget so that everything comes in under budget.

You actually need the shit that they are doing, so as long as they give you a reasonable budget and it comes in somewhere near that amount...everybody is happy.

The Olympics are an optional expense that a lot of people *don't* want. In order to sell it to the people, you need to say "look, it only costs this much, and it earns this much...so it is a no brainer!".

They can also say "We know that other olympics go over budget...so we've already factored it in, see! total steal!" even though you know it is going to go over.

 

This is the same as a lot of large public works projects.  California routinely runs 50-200% over budget on projects.  Look at the SF-LA bullet train.  When brought forth to voter referendum, they said it would cost $45B.  Now they're already estimating almost $100B.

The proposition might not have passed with the higher price tag.

post #22596 of 24135

How is it that two gigantic global sports tournaments exist with the same shitty model of build all this shit that nobody is ever going to use again? 

 

Who even came up with it? At least for the World Cup I feel like they could pick a city for the semi finals and finals or whatever and just fly the schmucks around to different countries for the earlier rounds. Or make the bids by continent and fly them around to already existing stadiums. 

post #22597 of 24135
Quote:
Originally Posted by ethanm View Post
 

How is it that two gigantic global sports tournaments exist with the same shitty model of build all this shit that nobody is ever going to use again?  

 

Bribes.  Lots of them.

post #22598 of 24135
I have had a little bit of professional experience with the types of "impact models" (Input/Output analysis, economic impact modeling, whatever you want to call it) that people love to use to justify things like sports stadiums, olympics, investments into various similar things...
Actually bought and used the software/data that most people use and tried to replicate and tweak some analysis ourselves.

Our overall conclusion was that they are pretty much 100% bullshit. The guy who came up with them got a nobel prize, but either his work has been perverted by people trying to justify projects, or his work was simply wrong (I'd like to think it is the former...I think his work was originally done at the level of trade between nation-states, not the level of building a stadium in some city).

Two big things stuck out to me:
First, is that the people who do these impact analyses basically never have their work checked. You hire a consultant to make a number, you pitch your product, build the thing, and then forget all about the guy who ran the model. Nobody goes back 5 years later and says "did these numbers actually work?". IIRC, one of our better pieces of evidence was some researcher who actually did go back and check the models for the Beijing olympics--of course finding that it didn't come true at all and actually worked backwards (mostly because non-olympic tourists avoided beijing like the plague for most of the rest of the year).

Second, these models literally cannot create a negative number. They are basically just tables of multipliers. If you spend 100 dollars, that will mean 75 dollars in the hands of local workers, which in turn puts 50 dollars in the hands of local shops and restaurants, which in turn puts $30 dollars in the hands of local distributors, who pay their workers $20, and the cycle repeats. Now your $100 investment has generated almost $200 in revenue for your town. None of the multipliers are negative. A sports stadium can never mean that on game day, more people actually avoid the neighborhood and the community loses money.

They have some value as a predictor of where money might go in a functioning economy...but for actually justifying a major NEW project (and thus disrupting the local economy that the multipliers are based on), I am highly skeptical.
post #22599 of 24135
It's amazing to me how bad people are at dealing with uncertainty. If we don't know what's going on, we just fill the vacuum of information with bullshit that matches our pre-existing beliefs.

Last night when the story from Dallas was first emerging, seems like half the people I know online started pontificating in the style of the crime and terrorism experts you see on cable news "I'll tell you Greta, this has all the hallmarks of classic BLM violence I mean right out of their playbook. Hate to say it, but it looks like BLM has struck again! We have got to put an end to their purpledee once and for all!" Others was like "My instincts are telling me we're looking at a classic false flag operation here. Think about it who stands to gain by garnering sympathy for the police? Think about it!!!" 99% of the time the pontificators are completely wrong, but somehow this never gives them pause.

One thing I try (in vain) to teach students is that often the best answer to a question is "I don't know."
post #22600 of 24135
Quote:
Originally Posted by HRoi View Post

Just read an article that states the Rio olympics will go over budget by about 50%. It goes on to say that every single olympics goes over budget, by an average of about 50%.

So why don't all Olympic organizers get their budget guys to run the numbers, and simply pad it by 50%?

It seems to work for our technology department. I got an internal memo from them this month bragging that 98% of their projects came in at or under budget

They should have had Mitt run the show.
post #22601 of 24135
Quote:
Originally Posted by L'Incandescent View Post


One thing I try (in vain) to teach students is that often the best answer to a question is "I don't know."

That's probably the best advice they get during their college education.
post #22602 of 24135
Quote:
Originally Posted by otc View Post

I have had a little bit of professional experience with the types of "impact models" (Input/Output analysis, economic impact modeling, whatever you want to call it) that people love to use to justify things like sports stadiums, olympics, investments into various similar things...
Actually bought and used the software/data that most people use and tried to replicate and tweak some analysis ourselves.

Our overall conclusion was that they are pretty much 100% bullshit. The guy who came up with them got a nobel prize, but either his work has been perverted by people trying to justify projects, or his work was simply wrong (I'd like to think it is the former...I think his work was originally done at the level of trade between nation-states, not the level of building a stadium in some city).
There should be a rule where if you disprove a Nobel prize winner's work as bullshit, then he has to give the Nobel prize to you. Kind of like a WWF championship belt
post #22603 of 24135
Quote:
Originally Posted by HRoi View Post

There should be a rule where if you disprove a Nobel prize winner's work as bullshit, then he has to give the Nobel prize to you. Kind of like a WWF championship belt

And then they have to jerk you off to completion with the tears of their despair and failure serving as the lube, amirite?
post #22604 of 24135
You talking about the Nobel laureates or the wrestlers?
post #22605 of 24135
So I'm sitting here at a Starbucks, watching people go by and idiot kids try to catch pokemons on their phones, because it's preferable to going into anthropologie with wifey.

Anyway, this dude next to me takes a call and it's his buddy. They talk about random stuff until the other guy needs to go talk to his wife or something, so they ring off.

Which brings me to my point - I have never in my life had a buddy who I would call or be called just to shoot the shit. Every call has been with a specific purpose - where the fuck are you, can I borrow your car, did you end up going home with that skank last night - and then we hang up. Hanging out in person, absolutely. Did it every day before I got a wife and a job. But it's so unnatural calling someone just to have someone to talk to.

Admittedly I don't like talking on the phone, period. but I don't see a lot of guys do what this dude did, either. So maybe I'm not alone in this
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