Friday, January 17, 2020

Mungowit's End

I created a YouTube channel, with short videos based on some of my essays on economics.

Fun to make, and I'm learning a lot about videos, to help me teach students how to do "video papers," a much more useful application of their time than writing academic papers.

So far:

Everybody Loves Mikey

I'll Stick with These

They Clapped

The Mancgere

More every week, on Friday mornings!

Monday, December 30, 2019

Monday's Child is Full of Links!

1.  A new version of the "broken windows" fallacy?

2.  There was a complaint, kids sledding on road. Cops sent their best undercover unit.

3.  The market-based "liberal" system has created so much prosperity, and that prosperity is so widely shared, that the two greatest problems facing the poor at this point are (1) obesity and (2) population growth resulting from reduced infant mortality. But the market system can fix that, too: the next stage is to pass the wealth threshold where obesity and birth rate fall. Plus, market systems will fix the environment, and through the same logic.

4. I'm always surprised when people are surprised at the reluctance to switch to "clean energy," which is expensive, inefficient, and not always all that clean.

5. Standard transitional gains trap stuff here. The demand for corn, without ethanol mandate, has been stagnant. So eliminating ethanol mandate (which is hugely expensive and harmful to the environment, since corn is not sugar cane) would cause bankruptcies of many farmers. It does NO GOOD, it's EXPENSIVE, but eliminating it is POLITICALLY IMPOSSIBLE. Welcome to Public Choice, folks!

6. Quite a lot going on here. Prairie ship, that's all Ima say.

7. A dog that plays Jenga. Not everything has to be complex, or ironic, you know.

8.  Top 3 episodes of Liberty Law Talk for 2019.

9.  A Tale of Two Cleveland Suburbs.

10.  Models of legal sex work (Cato podcast).

11. They had a bad day on the road.

12.  They had a bad day at a dock on a bay.

13. Pretty amazing "David" story.

14.  I am always surprised when people take T-Pikk seriously.

15.   Dave Barry's "Year in Review."

16. And the best year in review column I know of, from David Collum. Yes, the Collum column!
Here's Part I, and here's Part II.

17. One way to end the illegal selling of humans is to make sex work legal. These people (mostly women) need rights, not rescue. 

18.  Brett Stephens steps in it.

Grand Lagniappe: Camel shadows. Hard for a second to understand the perspective....

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Buttigieg Gets His Own House Elf at Wikipedia, But I Can't Get a Fact Correction

One of my pet peeves is that "my" Wikipedia page is absurdly incorrect and out of date. When I contacted them, they said that "All the facts have links." Yes, but the linked URLs are wrong. Anyone can put up a link, and then link to it. That doesn't make it a fact. And I am not allowed to edit my own page, even though presumably I am an expert on what I think (for example, the page says, "He opposes the North Carolina Education Lottery and would make income taxes more progressive while cutting regressive taxes."

That's absolutely fabricated. Not true. Hogwash. And so on. But (say the coven of Wikins), it has a cite! The citation is an Independent Weekly article that NO LONGER EVEN EXISTS. And it was wrong from the gitgo. When I asked that the false information, which remember are about MY BELIEFS, the Satanic Wikins declined to allow me to serve as an authority, preferring to continue to rely on a nonexistent newspaper story about my beliefs.
At Right: Artist's rendering of Streeling, Mayor Pete's House Elf at Wikipedia

That would be okay, because it would mean that Wikipedia is a bad source of information, but that's not always true. Even about political candidates and their beliefs, that's not true. If you have a sympathetic, sycophantish editor that loves you, you get to use the Wikipedia as your own free advertising page, with daily updates.

That's what is going on with the Buttigieg campaign, as described here.  A quote from the story:

Luckily for Buttigieg, there is at least one person carefully looking out for his needs on Wikipedia—someone who has followed his political career from its very beginning, and whose interests and connections track his own with eerie sympathy.
A caveat: I have a friend who is reasonably highly placed in the Mayor Pete campaign, and I personally admire Mayor Pete, at least among the set of Dems now caterwauling on debate stages. Further, if you have a national "news" organization that wants to give you free campaign ads, in a setting where you are in a big fight for the nomination, I don't blame Mayor Pete's folks for at least tacitly cooperating with "Streeling" at Wikipedia.

But I do have a problem with Wikipedia, refusing to update or correct absurd and unfounded claims on some politician's pages, and having a house elf providing free campaign ads for other people, simply based on the personal preferences and biases of the inner circle of Wikins.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Monday's Child is Full of Links

1.  House of Drew. Justin Bieber's clothing line/house. And a commentary, by Drew, no less. But then Drew also wrote about "hovershoes," so perhaps he can't be trusted.

2.  California coast inundated by penis fish.

3.  At first, I read "Economics for people with Ha-choon Chang" as a prescription for someone with a particular condition. But Mr. Chang is the host of the video series.

4.  Republicans for Rule of Law, and their ads. And an ad.

5.  Empathy, you are not good.

6.  Ghosts of culture past. (A reading list)

7.  I believe that this is not a parody, and was actually staged by the Bloomberg campaign, thinking it would be a positive.  It is--positively--the whitest thing you will see today.

8.  Popular culture as product differentiation.

9.  Bitcoin ATM.

10.   Solar and wind are not enough.

11. Fruitcake.

12.  Divorce is changing. Because marriage is changing.

13. Bobby Jenks, "Scar Tissue." His stats.

14.  Red Letter Media guys review "RoS"

15.  The circle game....the racist symbol....the kerfuffle. My conclusion: The whole "if you make a symbol with your hand Ima put YOU in charge of MY feelings and reactions" thing is extravagantly dumb. I especially like the "the reason we know it's a hate sign is that there are many other meanings" logic.

16. All money is virtual.

17.  Long distance trade in timber?

18. Chicken trade wars are not good, and not easy to win.

19. Tom Steyer: gift to political science?

20.  Ron Manners and "Why I talk to Kelpie Dogs."  (and, Kelpie dogs, if you don't know)

21.  The War on Jewish Christmas

Grand Lagniappe:  Divine: Ahead of (pronoun's) time....

Monday, December 09, 2019

Monday's Child is Full of Links!

1.  Menotoxin. Seriously: menotoxin. Don't make the tapai.

2.  Florida baby shower.

3.  The rush to impeach is a sign the Dems don't think the public will be persuaded anyway.

4.  Heh. Some animals are more equal than others. If BoJo said, it's anti-semitic. If J-Cor said it, tho, it's reasonable.

5. Trade wars may or may not be good. They are (apparently) definitely not easy to win.

6.  Visions of immigrants.

7. Genuine evil often simply serves a vision of the good. But people are seen as means for achieving that good, rather than the good being FOR them as ends.

8.  This is a great read. Starts out a little slow, but by the second page it gets good. Fun in court with Allstate.

9. Uber's report on sexual assaults in cars, interpreted.

10.  4 baby daddies. In New York.

11. Dentist on a hoverboard.

12.  Prosperity and freedom.

13.  Man humping stuffed animals at Target. No, really. He went after the unicorn.  To quote the report: The December 5 information accuses Meader of “willfully and maliciously” damaging Target goods “by ejaculating on the merchandise.” I think "EOTM" should become part of the Target announcements: "Cleanup, aisle 15. There's been an EOTM."

14. The southern gothic guide to impeachment.

15.  Gay eye for the straight woman.

16.  DJT says what many people are thinking. Many people are wrong, but still, he's saying it. The problem with democracy is that "many people" are right even if they are wrong.

17.  This could easily be "The Onion." Instead, it's "The Banana," but apparently true. Of course, someday bananas may actually be a curiosity.

18.  I'm not a slovenly mess, I'm just really smart. Studies show it.

19. Immigration quotas did not raise wages

20.  Dan Klein on the leftist view of Adam Smith's argument. (VIDEO)

Grand Lagniappe: CAPTION CONTEST! In comments, let us know what JT is actually saying....

Monday, November 25, 2019

Monday's Child is Full of Links

1. The Band's song, "The Weight." I always wondered. An interview with the songwriter.

2. DJ Trump, songwriter for the Ramones.

3.  Many, and probably most, "market failures" are profit opportunities for entrepreneurs.

4.  All Bob's Money. By Remy, who is genius. Some background on why tuition's so high, also from Remy.

5.  Algorithms judge us, so know their rules.

6.  Viewpoint diversity in student affairs.

7.  A crowd-sourced "History of Political Science," from Emily Farris.

8. Play with Dad day.

9.  Boomers Partied, Xers Got the Hangover.

10.  Rules to protect the weak are almost always turned to oppress the weak. This woman has been punished enough. Protecting children does not mean punishing poor, overwhelmed parents when there is a freak accident. But it's a general problem: hate speech laws are being used to prosecute people of color who are angry at white male cops.

11. Beyond self-parody. John Bolton has evolved into pure energy.

12.  Yes, this is probably right. Repubs are going to vote "no" on impeachment in the House. That doesn't make them spineless. There's an election coming up.

13.  Rotten goat intestines as a drug-smuggling tool.

14.   This is hard to explain. Dude arrested for DUI. He ate his underwear, hoping it would absorb alcohol. And he only "blew" .08. Causality?  A new solution? Or just the sort of thing one does in Alberta on a Saturday night?

15.  Prop 187: Just keeps on giving.

16. The State is force. Actually, Trump is the logical extension of this. He is a Mafia boss, an expert in using force to get what is personally good for him.

17. Millenials want to try out socialism. Also, stick face in bag full of badgers

18. There is a strong strand of Progressivism that prefers purity to power. After all, if they actually take power, they'd be responsible. But jabbering about revolution and drinking in cheap bars is more fun than ruling.

Grand Lagniappe: Amb. Sondland was a big donor for Donald Trump. A photo of him during the campaign. Okay, no, that's Dr. Evil. But you have to look twice, right?

Monday, November 11, 2019

Monday's Child is Full of Links

1.  Division of labor and comparative advantage, when operating together, can transform societies. In fact, if division of labor is pursued to its limit, even comparative advantage disappears.

2.  Wealth is about a lot more than physical things that can be priced.

3.  Permission innovation case #4923: Silly Putty.

4.  The ritual sacrifice of valuable items and time have long been a feature of religious worship.  The difference is that now virtue requires that we keep it from being buried, and  we call it "recycling."

5.   This is mostly clickbait, since the drinking water is bottled and the tea and coffee are heated. But it is a little disturbing.

6.  Parking and the City.  Much of how we think about "free" parking is wrong, at least in large cities.

7.  We are ALL on double secret probation. And Dean Wormer can simply steal our property whenever he wants. That's the true nature of the state: creating a legal space for actions that, if undertaken by any private citizen, would constitute theft.

8.  Things we call "spices" actually mimic, or actually themselves are, antibacterial agents. That's why our taste buds are attuned to "like them." Saying "because they taste good" is no help. Taste is primarily a set of receptors for good and bad, correlates of biological fitness. Yes, sugar, salt, and fat can now fool us, because we can produce excessive concentrations of them.

9.  Wikifeet.

10.  Control, and stereotyping. Oh, and pattern deviancy.

11.  The butcher and the storyteller, and the Nobel Prize in 2018.

12.  Mexico has better ketchup.

13.  Don't worry that we collect all your data. We won't actually use. Unless, we feel like it.

14.  The high costs of not asking questions.

15. Did Hillary help Tulsi?

16.  When are religious exemptions morally required?

17.  Greg Gutfield is quite funny.

18. An obscure but interesting piece of St L Cards History.

19. Citizens of New Delhi are asked to stay inside indefinitely. I'm pretty sure that's not good.

20.  The WKRP Thanksgiving episode, or at least the excerpt from the end. I really think this is the best 4 minutes of television comedy ever.

21.  Prohibition in college sports is ending.

22.  This is how book reviews should be written.  We've gone soft. Bring back the savage book review.

23.  Turtles with swastikas. And a beluga whale playing some fetch.  (Made me wonder what the whale thought:  "Stupid human, you dropped your ball. Here it is. Please be careful." [human throws ball] "Wha....? Oh, man, these humans are even dumber than I thought." Goes after it; repeat)

24. The. Thing. Itself. Part 391,856.

25. Dopamine fasting. It's also called "graduate school," by the way.

26. Logical extension of Kelo: just let the developers take the land on their own, and cut out all the red tape. 

27.  His face really DID get stuck like that.

28. French bakeries closing, taken over by automation! Mon Dieu! Except that ACCCCCCCtually the total nuimber of bakeries is increasing, and what's happening is that in the smallest towns where labor costs are too high to sustain a bakery it is true that machines are providing a reasonably good--not AS good, but better than American grocery store bread--alternative. 

The Grand Lagniappe:  Unicorn Poutine, and the End of the World.  To be fair, this outrage happened in Toronto, because....well, because Toronto.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Monday, October 07, 2019

Monday's Child is full of Links!

1.  Febreeze.

2.  Hatin' on "Joker."

3.  The argument that Trump did nothing wrong. And....besides, Rick Perry made him do it.

4.  "P'owning the Lib/Fash" is not enough.

5.  "But Trump is really a libertarian." Or, not.

6.  I happen to think that, on net, Brexit is a bad idea. But reasonable people can disagree, and still be reasonable. Remarkable that such views make one a "fascist," for the left.

7. 30 years after the "Velvet Revolution" in Czech Republic.

8.  On the 100th birthday of JM Buchanan.

9. Self-censoring.

10. The very notion of economic "policy" is problematic.

11.  It's a good idea to learn to identify bad ideas.

12.  College libraries.

13.  Yankee fans at the playoff games all have their own trust funds and can't imagine having to WORK for a living. So they mock people who DO work.

14. Robots.

15. The bear cubs who locked themselves in the car and then blew the horn are big in India. Cuteness sells everywhere.

16. Making office hours less scary?

17. Stingy millennials. All that saving.

18.  Country music no longer exists. But, bluegrass abides.


It's a shame; P-Kroog had been doing better lately, sticking to international trade, a subject he actually knows something about. But this is just asinine. Debt is money that some actual people borrow, and use the money for narrow, selfish reasons. That money must be paid back by someone else, in this case by people who are not yet born and can't possibly be said to have consented.  The idea of "cost" to an entire nation is nonsense. The point is the distributional consequences, which Paul claims he cares about in other contexts.

I understand Paul takes himself seriously. But when he says stupid sh*t like this, how can anyone ELSE take him seriously?

Monday, September 30, 2019

Monday's Child is Full of Liniks

1.  Pumpkin Spice SPAM sold out in a few hours. I hope this means that they only made 4 cans of it. BUT....I don't think this means that. What is WRONG with you people?

2.  Swimmers and runners have different arm and leg muscle development, which makes sense. But they also have different heart development.

3. A Brit view of judicial REview.

4.  Tik-Tok.

5.  Markets and capitalism saved the whales.

6.  Why impeachment now?

7.  Interesting interview on Foucault, and the Austrians.

8. Learning by biking.

9. The horrible lantern fly invasion.

10.  Sex work is complicated. So is regulating it.

11.  Are we possessed by our possessions?

12.  Collective brain.

13. Boaty McBoatface.

14.  The China Gambit.

15. My paper on attention distribution as a measure of salience, in Public Choice. With Libby Jenke.

16. It's pretty straightforward. Protectionism is a huge tax increase. On American consumers.

17. A Twitter thread on history. Our rail system is built to accommodate a couple of horses' asses.

18.  Tipping in the gig economy.

19.  Cherry tariffs.

20.   Screaming babies in the air.

21. The Meaning of Life, in less than five minutes.

22. Nietzsche and the Meaning of Life, in more than five minutes.

23. Conservatives are useless. Again.

24. Remarkably tortured reasoning: ban vaping because some people use illegal black market capsules.  Should ban cars, because some bank robbers use them as getaway vehicles.

25. Howdy Modi


Dude wants to propose to his lady.  At the zoo is strange enough. But at the hippo pool? Okay, whatevs. But then Fiona Hippo decides to photobomb the shot of the actual ask.  I guess all the ladies of all species want to say "aw...." at the sight of some dude proposing in public. Well done, Fiona.