Monday, December 30, 2013

Evolution and Faith

The Pew Research Group, an entity that I have had the chance to interact with and have found them quite left of center and in my opinion a bit biased, has issued a report on Creationism and Religion. The bottom line is:

According to a new Pew Research Center analysis, six-in-ten Americans (60%) say that “humans and other living things have evolved over time,” while a third (33%) reject the idea of evolution, saying that “humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.” 

Then they go on to state:

 A majority of white evangelical Protestants (64%) and half of black Protestants (50%) say that humans have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.

Now I remember my first year in secondary school we had biology and we spent time on evolution. That was a Catholic school and there was not even a peep otherwise. The other half of the class was genetics and DNA, and that was 1957.  Our Instructor had just finished his PhD in Biochemistry and was all aghast about Watson and Crick. We may very well have been one of the few classes in New York at the time with a glimmer of what DNA even was.

Furthermore being trained amongst other things as a Botanist, I play around with DNA all the time, albeit rather roughly via hybridizing. Thus the idea of evolution is not only believable but there can be no other explanation given the wealth of facts.

Thus when one sees 2/3rds of the population of one class, a class which I perhaps am not exposed to, believing in something which is so against the facts, I am amazed. But here is the catch from Pew:

Roughly two-thirds of Democrats (67%) and independents (65%) say that humans have evolved over time, compared with less than half of Republicans (43%).

 Why am I not surprised. I just wonder where all these folks are? Or is this something that one would like to believe? Just asking, seems too convenient.

How Fast is Fast?

The complaints about broadband continue. I was amazed to see the piece today in the NY Times. I guess it is a slow week.

Now let us discuss a few facts. You see, I know Lativia, I have been to Riga and it is one of those old Hanseatic League countries. Then again it is also home to may Soviets transplants and in my experience is not necessarily a great place. It also is tiny, there is not much there with the exception of the Baltic Sea.

As for broadband in Lativia, I negotiated that for my company in 2001. I did all of Central Europe and even Russia. It was easy. Then I thought that I could come back to the US and do the same. Wrong. Why? Franchises and the local Boards.

I tried some 35 towns in Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. There are, except for Vermont, Cable Boards in each and every hamlet. Composed of what appeared to be people who have nothing else to do except delay and demand exorbitant add ons for free. The Barrier to Entry in the US are the very people who complain. They want everything for free! No wonder we have a health care mess. Free just does not exist, at least in this current world.

Now the Times states:

There is ample evidence that faster broadband spurs economic growth. The White House cites a study of 33 of the largest national economies worldwide, which found that from 2008 to 2010, doubling a country’s broadband speed increased gross domestic product by 0.3 percent. In its report, “Four Years of Broadband Growth,” the Obama administration says that since 2002, Internet access has contributed an average of $34 billion a year to the economy, or 0.26 percent of G.D.P. growth. 

 The problem is that the Government also spent some $8 Billion on Stimulus Grants, that is free money, or as we on the right say, more debt, and thus the $34 B putative gain must be offset by that $8 Billion at the very least. How much of that $8 Billion is accounted for? Is there any public record of what has been done? I have gone back to USDA and DoC, NTIA, sites and they are vague at the very best. You see very little was done, Billions just flew out the window.

Let us examine some of the Times statements:

But those speeds can come at a very high price. In Chattanooga, Internet service of 1 gigabit a second costs a consumer $70. But in Lafayette, the same speed costs nearly $1,000 a month. In Seoul, it’s about $31 — a result of government subsidies to encourage Internet use.  

First, 1 Gbps is awfully fast for a residence. Just what are you doing with that, running a cloud service from your garage! Second, to get a Gbps one only needs a single strand of fiber, as is in most FTTH builds. Yet, and this is a critical yet, that is 1 Gbps to a hub, at which point you mix with all the other 1 Gbps folks dramatically dropping your speed! Does that author have any clue about what he is saying? 1 Gbps at the home is meaningless, it is the backbone network. You do NOT have a strand supporting 1 Gbps to everyone else. It is a network for God's sake! Thus neither need nor reality drives any 1 Gbps demand.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Words Mean Something

Words really mean something. If you have even been deposed, cross examined at a trial, or written an expert report, you should have a somewhat sharpened sense of words. In the NY Times today as they discussed the Libya disaster the Times states:

Months of investigation by The New York Times, centered on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack there and its context, turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault. 

 Now read this carefully. They say that the Times could not turn up any evidence, NOT that the allegation was false. All they could say was that they could not say one way or the other, that is what turned up no evidence means in plain English. Now I do not want to take a position one way or the other but I do want to deal with the use of English. Words mean something. Thus there must have been dozens of edits of this sentence. Just look at how convolved it is, except the four words they use are clear. Whether they did a good job or bad, they could not find anything. 

Yet again why would anyone even suspect that they could. They are New York reporters trying to gather information in a war zone amongst people who not only hate Americans but I suspect do not like the Times either.

Yet reporters, or "news readers", on the media have stated that the Times unequivocally said there was no relationship. That is not what these words mean. This is the very definition of equivocation.

One wonders if anyone can read in today's world.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Move Over GPS

China Daily reports that China is launching the equivalent of GPS satellites and will provide the service free. They state: 

The world can expect to use China's "reliable" global positioning and navigation services for free by 2020, the director of the country's satellite navigation office said on Friday. "The Beidou Navigation Satellite System is committed to providing services to the whole world — currently for the Asia-Pacific — for free," said Ran Chengqi, director of the China Satellite Navigation Office. The office released two documents to specify China's homegrown navigation system's open service performance standard and to facilitate research and development of various terminals for global users. After deploying 16 satellites since 2000, the country will begin launching newer navigation satellites near the end of 2014, Ran said at a news conference. In six to eight years, the number of satellites that will be launched is expected to grow to 40 to form a constellation as coverage expands globally, according to a statement from Ran's office. These satellites, with enhanced functions, will have a lifespan of up to 15 years. The satellites currently in use work for about eight years.

Interesting competition or threat? And there is as of yet no reports in the Western Press.

Whose Property?

John Locke introduced the arguments for individual property rights at the end of the 17th century. Succinctly if you pay for it you own it. Now let us examine telephone service. I have spent a few years there, last one at Verizon/NYNEX as SVP and COO and billing was under me amongst other things. We charged the customer for the service, all the service, and that included the bill. In a Lockean sense therefore the customer "owned" the bill. We protected the data since we were at best a common carrier and part of that duty under common carriage law was protection of the entire package.

I entrust a common carrier with my package, the entire package. Under common carrier law they are responsible for the package and its integrity but if lost their liability is limited to the cost of transport not the value of the package. The law gives them this break so we can entrust them with the ability to conduct commerce. We trust a common carrier and their reward to honoring the trust is elimination of total liability. If they break that trust then what?

Now does the same apply to the Post Office? Not really since we know the post office is a Government entity and thus we have no expectation of privacy. In addition the address is in plain sight, and it cannot be protected. However telephone call records are secure, encrypted, protected, and thus an expectation of privacy is apparent.

Now with the NY Judge and the NSA. The NY Times reports: 

Judge Pauley said that protections under the Fourth Amendment do not apply to records held by third parties, like phone companies. “This blunt tool only works because it collects everything,” Judge Pauley said in the ruling.“While robust discussions are underway across the nation, in Congress and at the White House, the question for this court is whether the government’s bulk telephony metadata program is lawful. This court finds it is,” he added.A spokesman for the Justice Department said, “We are pleased the court found the N.S.A.'s bulk telephony metadata collection program to be lawful.” He declined to comment further. 

Now whose property is is. Did the Telco pay for it out of their profits? No way! The consumer paid for the collection and processing and never waived their rights. At best the Telco has a duty to protect the customer. This is a classic case of Common Carriage protection. It dates back to Elizabeth I around 1602.  Somehow all the wonderful protections we had obtained in the past centuries are slipping away, perhaps because of a poor pleading, perhaps because of a nefarious government.

Now I had written several papers a while back worth recounting:

Privacy In this paper I discuss privacy rights in an Internet world.

Internet Hubbing In this paper I discuss using a hub in Europe to protect privacy on Internet traffic. This was 2002! It was clear then that Echelon was snooping all wireless traffic.

Network Neutrality Internet Neutrality also means Internet privacy. In this paper I noticed the loss of ownership under common carriage.

I believe that there is a fundamental right of ownership that the Telcos are denying and that the Government is destroying. NSA for many years spied on foreign traffic. As a military entity one wonders what rights they have to function in the country. Posse Comitatus notwithstanding.

More On The Facebook Value Proposition

Having been a very early adopter of Facebook and then gone years ago I never really understood the value proposition. Today almost every web page is filled with advertising trash, it pops up, slides around, blinks, makes noises, dumps cookies, and keeps attaching itself to every other page you examine. In addition you see silly comments by people you have no knowledge and then your name gets connected to data as if these were your interests. So what is the value proposition again?

In today;s Telegraph they state:

A study of how older teenagers use social media has found that Facebook is “not just on the slide, it is basically dead and buried” and is being replaced by simpler social networks such as Twitter and Snapchat. Young people now see the site as “uncool” and keep their profiles live purely to stay in touch with older relatives, among whom it remains popular. 

So what is the value proposition again? It appears as if they are "losing" subs and morphing into a billboard system. Having users is not the same as booking revenue.

Income Redistribution

In an article in the NY Times the following is stated:

ESPN is hardly needy. With nearly 100 million households paying about $5.54 a month for ESPN, regardless of whether they watch it, the network takes in more than $6 billion a year in subscriber fees alone. Still, ESPN has received about $260 million in state tax breaks and credits over the past 12 years, according to a New York Times analysis of public records. That includes $84.7 million in development tax credits because of a film and digital media program, as well as savings of about $15 million a year since the network successfully lobbied the state for a tax code change in 2000.

Now I have never seen a football or basketball game and I have only seen Red Sox World Series games, my wonderful wife is from Boston.  So why am I paying some $70 per year for something I neither use or want? Where is Congress on this or the FCC? In New Jersey it should be the PUC or equivalent but I gather they are pure political appointees who are in my experience clueless.

Imagine a $6 Billion Income Transfer from the poor to the rich. Where is the outcry? It makes for extreme pay to the players of these sports, almost all of whom seem to end up in legal trouble one way or the other. Thus the externality costs could easily double this obscene transfer.

Thus for a cause for 2014 perhaps we can solve this Pirate like taking from those who see no benefit but pay for the costs.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Health Care Costs: Fact vs Fiction

In a recent NEJM paper some of the creators of the current ACA system comment on Health Care costs.They discuss what they see as the current trends and then they comment on the reduction in costs and reduction in demand.

As to costs they state:

In an analysis of inflation-adjusted (“real”) spending, the major factor in cost growth during the past 50 years has been the development and diffusion of new medical technology. The specific innovations have varied over time — from cardiac procedures to prescription drugs to advances in imaging — but the importance of technology as a whole has not. Estimates suggest that about half the annual increase in U.S. health care spending has resulted from new technology.

Namely, it appears that one blames the technology. True, there is a great deal more technology but also true, it is oftentimes quite effective. When I first studied there was no CAT scans available and one would look carefully at shadows in plain film to try to determine what was the problem. This was of little use in the case of strokes as one tried to ascertain a block or a bleed. The result was high mortality and lower follow up costs. Thus technology has substantially prolonged life, at a cost, and has reduced some morbidities, while frankly increasing others, but then reducing mortality. It is not as simple as we would have hoped.

As to demand they state:

Some authors have suggested that slow cost growth may result from a reduced need for care, since  trends in rates of obesity have flattened. Such changes are small as compared with overall medical  spending, however. During the 2000s, rates of obesity increased by 3.8% annually, leading to  projected spending growth of 0.3% annually; between 2009 and 2010, this increase was cut in half,  implying a slowdown of 0.1% in growth annually...

On the demand side, many people are now facing very high cost sharing, and this discourages the use of health services.A total of 20% of Americans with employer-sponsored coverage have high-deductible plans Percentage of Covered Workers Enrolled in a High-Deductible Health Plan or Medical Savings Account (MSA), 2006–2013.), and the typical plan deductible exceeds the typical family's available savings. In addition, many consumers have insurance policies that reward them financially for using lower-cost services.

Here they argue two points. First the demand decreased due to a reduction in comorbidity proclivities. Second a demand reduction due to costs. Frankly we have reduced smoking in men greatly and tus the reduction in smoking related disease but we have seen an explosion in obesity and the comorbidities there. The advantage of lung cancer is rapid death, the disadvantage of the sequellae to obesity if a long life at a high societal cost.

The arguments are a bit loose and are still hand waving in presentation. The conclusions are somewhat useful but frankly they do not relate in any way yet to the ACA. The results they present are somewhat hopeful in the long run.

Wisdom at the FCC

I noticed a piece from the FCC by Commissioner Pai speaking of the 100th anniversary of the Kingsbury Decision of 1913. Simply, the Kingsbury Decision was an inside deal with the Justice Department that gave AT&T the exclusive monopolistic control of all telecommunications. This was in the Wilson term and Wilson was at the same time attacking all other monopolies.

As Pai states:  

What should a new Kingsbury Commitment look like? At the risk of being an impolite guest, I’d like to dispute the premise of that question. To me, the Kingsbury Commitment is not a model to be emulated. Instead, it’s a cautionary tale about the dangers of regulatory capture and the folly of attempting to manage competition. A comforting mythology has long existed in many quarters about the development of our nation’s telephone system. We are often told that the telephone industry was a natural monopoly. The rise of Ma Bell, or something like it, was inevitable. And it follows that the proper role for government was—and, by implication, still is—to regulate that monopoly and ensure that it served socially productive goals. As AT&T’s slogan in the early part of the 20th century put it, “One System, One Policy, Universal Service.” But there’s a tiny problem with this view of history. As Adam Thierer and others have explained, it doesn’t comport with the facts. To be sure, in the earliest days of the telephone industry, there was little competition. But that’s because of patents obtained by Alexander Graham Bell. Once those patents began to expire in 1893, things began to change—dramatically. By 1894, eighty competitors had entered local telephone markets. Less than ten years later, there were over 3,000. As a result, AT&T’s market share fell from 95 percent in 1894 to 49 percent in 1907.

This is a brilliant and quite true observation. This was an inside deal to destroy competition and establish a monopoly. It was a monopoly that was to hinder telecommunications development for another seventy years.

Pai continues:

Here are three of the lessons we should draw.

First, the government should not try to manage competition. The Kingsbury Commitment is a prime example of regulators attempting to do so and failing miserably. No regulatory scheme, no theoretical formula for competition, no matter how finely crafted, can replace actual competition, with all its unmanageable imperfections.

Second, the government should not confuse the goal of protecting competitors with the objective of promoting competition. One could argue that the Kingsbury Commitment served the interests of both AT&T and its rivals. For AT&T, the compact ended an antitrust challenge to its domination of the longdistance market. For independents, the compact ensured their survival in some form. The real losers were the American public, who lost the benefits of actual competition. Similarly, our goal today should not be to preserve the position of any particular company in the marketplace or to help one segment of the industry gain regulatory advantages over its rivals. In a competitive marketplace, we must understand that there will be winners and losers. It is not the government’s job to tilt the playing field by punishing the winners or helping the losers.

Third, beware of businesses bearing commitments. Companies do not offer commitments out of the goodness of their hearts. Instead, as in the case of the Kingsbury Commitment, these commitments are generally designed to serve a company’s self-interest. This is entirely understandable, of course. Butwe regulators must keep it in mind when companies come to our door. Is a company trying to use a voluntary commitment that sounds good on paper to obtain a regulatory leg up on a competitor? What is couched as an attempt to serve the public interest is often in reality an attempt to further private interests and raise rivals’ costs of doing business.

I would never have expected such a statement from the FCC. This is a brilliant analysis of Kingsbury and worth a read by all. Pai in my opinion stands out as a brilliant star whose insight may be highly productive at the FCC, long in need of such understanding.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

How Old Is Type 2 Diabetes?

In a recent Nature paper the authors examine Mexican and Latin Americans for genetic markers of those afflicted with Type 2 Diabetes. The found that the genetic marker related to control of Triglycerides was one originating from Neanderthal ancestors, prevalent in this class but not so in Asians, Europeans or Africans. They state:

The risk haplotype carries four amino acid substitutions, all in SLC16A11; it is present at 50%frequency in NativeAmerican samples and 10%in eastAsian, but is rare in European andAfrican samples. Analysis of an archaic genome sequence indicated that the risk haplotype introgressed  intomodern humans via admixture with Neanderthals.

It is interesting to see this but then again there is the basic issue that obesity is a major driver, although there may be an aggravating genetic issue as well. One often sees populations where for generations there were poor nutritional basics and then they have excess food that Type 2 Diabetes accompanies obesity, the Irish being a classic example.

Dr. Lewis on PLOS has an excellent analysis of this paper. Lewis is a highly perceptive and articulate analyst of these topics and she is always worth reading. The sad part is the first comment is an accusation of racism which appears to be based on the Neanderthal comment. Sad to think that people just jump on something that perhaps they have no knowledge of what they speak.

But back to the results. I have read through many of the GWAS studies and fell the same way as Lewis. Yet I would take it a bit further because the driving element is obesity and not necessarily the genetic effects. I suspect the genetic effects may exacerbate the problem but if the BMI were driven below 22.5 one almost always sees the HgA1b driven below 5.0.

Notwithstanding this is a well done paper and worth following.

Thoughts from Thomas Paine

I often visit the only memorial to Thomas Paine here in Morristown. A short distance from where Washington spent a good deal of his time and a short distance from several Winter encampments. When it comes to Paine and Burke, despite Burke's "conservative" mindset I all too often fall with Paine.

From the opening of Common Sense he states: 

SOME writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher. 

Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamities is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built on the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform, and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest; and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him out of two evils to choose the least. Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others. 

 Somehow the Progressives, and with Paine oftimes being the First Progressive,  take the anti-Paine view, a love and trust in Government and none in people themselves. Paine saw what extremes Government could go, despite his blind spot in the French Revolution, in many ways a result of his view to overthrow the evils of the French monarchy.

So as we enter the New Year one must at time hark back to Paine and his words, truer now than when they were first written. Merry Christmas, and yes, I will visit Tom.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

MOOCs and Discussion Fora

As I begin to better understand MOOCs as an educational vehicle I am still confused as to the usefulness of the Discussion Fora. I believe it is a generational thing. Coursera appears to be giving the option to pay to belong to a TA interactive Forum. Perhaps there is value in such for some.

But I have made a few observations:

1. It is cultural. There is a class of participants who appear to like to "hear" themselves on such a vehicle by posting everywhere and commenting on everything. It is not clear that they are even taking the course.

2. Some questions are purely administrative or are of the type that a reasonable Professor would just blow off. It is a student who has no judgment or experience and is asking ceaseless trivia.

3. Some seem to be professing how well they are doing. Just why I want to know that so and so got a 95 is uncertain.

The list could go on. A recent study has indicated that perhaps there is a bigger problem. They conclude:

The larger goal behind our two main research questions is to improve the quality of learning via the online discussion forums, namely by (1) sustaining forum activities and (2) enhancing the personalized learning experience. This paper makes a step towards achieving these end-goals by relying on an extensive empirical dataset that allows us to understand current user behavior as well as factors that could potentially change the current user behavior. We showed, for example, that the teaching sta 's active participation in the discussion increases the discussion volume but does not slow down the decline in participation. We also presented two proof-of-concept algorithms for keyword extraction and relevance-ranking to remedy the information overload problem, both of which are demonstrated to be e ffective. Devising eff ective strategies to reduce the decline of participation in the online discussion forums is the main open problem to be addressed next.

 Specifically usage of Discussion groups seems to collapse. My view is that they seem to linger with just a few making any comments except the classes as above. The problem is the structure of the way it is done. I do not have any suggestion other than to say that what is done now just does not work.

Merry Christmas to All

1. FACTUM EST autem in diebus illis exiit edictum a Caesare Augusto ut describeretur universus orbis
2.              haec descriptio prima facta est praeside Syriae Cyrino
3.              et ibant omnes ut profiterentur singuli in suam civitatem
4.              ascendit autem et Ioseph a Galilaea de civitate Nazareth in Iudaeam civitatem David quae vocatur Bethleem eo quod esset de domo et familia David
5.              ut profiteretur cum Maria desponsata sibi uxore praegnate
6.              factum est autem cum essent ibi impleti sunt dies ut pareret
7.              et peperit filium suum primogenitum et pannis eum involvit et reclinavit eum in praesepio quia non erat eis locus in diversorio
8.              et pastores erant in regione eadem vigilantes et custodientes vigilias noctis supra gregem suum
9.              et ecce angelus Domini stetit iuxta illos et claritas Dei circumfulsit illos et timuerunt timore magno
10.          et dixit illis angelus nolite timere ecce enim evangelizo vobis gaudium magnum quod erit omni populo
11.          quia natus est vobis hodie salvator qui est Christus Dominus in civitate David
12.          et hoc vobis signum invenietis infantem pannis involutum et positum in praesepio
13.          et subito facta est cum angelo multitudo militiae caelestis laudantium Deum et dicentium
14.          gloria in altissimis Deo et in terra pax in hominibus bonae voluntatis
15.          et factum est ut discesserunt ab eis angeli in caelum pastores loquebantur ad invicem transeamus usque Bethleem et videamus hoc verbum quod factum est quod fecit Dominus et ostendit nobis
16.          et venerunt festinantes et invenerunt Mariam et Ioseph et infantem positum in praesepio
17.          videntes autem cognoverunt de verbo quod dictum erat illis de puero hoc
18.          et omnes qui audierunt mirati sunt et de his quae dicta erant a pastoribus ad ipsos
19.          Maria autem conservabat omnia verba haec conferens in corde suo
20.          et reversi sunt pastores glorificantes et laudantes Deum in omnibus quae audierant et viderant sicut dictum est ad illos

1 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.
2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria.
3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,
5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.
6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 “ Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!
15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”
16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.
17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.
18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.
20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

 1 وَفِي ذلِكَ الزَّمَانِ، أَصْدَرَ الْقَيْصَرُ أُغُسْطُسُ مَرْسُوماً يَقْضِي بِإِحْصَاءِ سُكَّانِ الإِمْبِرَاطُورِيَّةِ.
 2 وَقَدْ تَمَّ هَذَا الإِحْصَاءُ الأَوَّلُ عِنْدَمَا كَانَ كِيرِينِيُوسُ حَاكِماً لِسُورِيَّةَ.
 3 فَذَهَبَ الْجَمِيعُ لِيُسَجَّلُوا، كُلُّ وَاحِدٍ إِلَى بَلْدَتِهِ.
 4 وَصَعِدَ يُوسُفُ أَيْضاً مِنْ مَدِينَةِ النَّاصِرَةِ بِمِنْطَقَةِ الْجَلِيلِ إِلَى مَدِينَةِ دَاوُدَ الْمَدْعُوَّةِ بَيْتَ لَحْمٍ بِمِنْطَقَةِ الْيَهُودِيَّةِ، لأَنَّهُ كَانَ مِنْ بَيْتِ دَاوُدَ وَعَشِيرَتِهِ،
 5 لِيَتَسَجَّلَ هُنَاكَ مَعَ مَرْيَمَ الْمَخْطُوبَةِ لَهُ، وَهِيَ حُبْلَى.
 6 وَبَيْنَمَا كَانَا هُنَاكَ، تَمَّ زَمَانُهَا لِتَلِدَ،
 7 فَوَلَدَتِ ابْنَهَا الْبِكْرَ، وَلَفَّتْهُ بِقِمَاطٍ، وَأَنَامَتْهُ فِي مِذْوَدٍ، إِذْ لَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُمَا مُتَّسَعٌ فِي الْمَنْزِلِ.
 8 وَكَانَ فِي تِلْكَ الْمِنْطَقَةِ رُعَاةٌ يَبِيتُونَ فِي الْعَرَاءِ، يَتَنَاوَبُونَ حِرَاسَةَ قَطِيعِهِمْ فِي اللَّيْلِ.
 9 وَإِذَا مَلاَكٌ مِنْ عِنْدِ الرَّبِّ قَدْ ظَهَرَ لَهُمْ، وَمَجْدُ الرَّبِّ أَضَاءَ حَوْلَهُمْ، فَخَافُوا أَشَدَّ الْخَوْفِ.
 10 فَقَالَ لَهُمُ الْمَلاَكُ: «لاَ تَخَافُوا! فَهَا أَنَا أُبَشِّرُكُمْ بِفَرَحٍ عَظِيمٍ يَعُمُّ الشَّعْبَ كُلَّهُ:
 11 فَقَدْ وُلِدَ لَكُمُ الْيَوْمَ فِي مَدِينَةِ دَاوُدَ مُخَلِّصٌ هُوَ الْمَسِيحُ الرَّبُّ.
 12 وَهَذِهِ هِيَ الْعَلاَمَةُ لَكُمْ. تَجِدُونَ طِفْلاً مَلْفُوفاً بِقِمَاطٍ وَنَائِماً فِي مِذْوَدٍ».
 13 وَفَجْأَةً ظَهَرَ مَعَ الْمَلاَكِ جُمْهُورٌ مِنَ الْجُنْدِ السَّمَاوِيِّ، يُسَبِّحُونَ اللهَ قَائِلِينَ:
 14 «الْمَجْدُ لِلهِ فِي الأَعَالِي، وَعَلَى الأَرْضِ السَّلامُ؛ وَبِالنَّاسِ الْمَسَرَّةُ! »
 15 وَلَمَّا انْصَرَفَ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ عَنِ الرُّعَاةِ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ، قَالَ بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ: «لِنَذْهَبْ إِذَنْ إِلَى بَيْتِ لَحْمٍ، وَنَنْظُرْ هَذَا الأَمْرَ الَّذِي حَدَثَ وَقَدْ أَعْلَمَنَا بِهِ الرَّبُّ
 16 وَجَاءُوا مُسْرِعِينَ، فَوَجَدُوا مَرْيَمَ وَيُوسُفَ، وَالطِّفْلَ نَائِماً فِي الْمِذْوَدِ.
 17 فَلَمَّا رَأَوْا ذلِكَ، أَخَذُوا يُخْبِرُونَ بِمَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ بِخُصُوصِ هَذَا الطِّفْلِ.
 18 وَجَمِيعُ الَّذِينَ سَمِعُوا بِذلِكَ دُهِشُوا مِمَّا قَالَهُ لَهُمُ الرُّعَاةُ.
 19 وَأَمَّا مَرْيَمُ، فَكَانَتْ تَحْفَظُ هَذِهِ الأُمُورَ جَمِيعاً، وَتَتَأَمَّلُهَا فِي قَلْبِهَا