Monday, July 30, 2018

Monday's Child is Full of Links!

1.  Only in Texas. Smokin' hot tortilla chips. No, really, smokin'. Twice. Or four times.

2.  Vomit fraud, by Uber drivers. It's easy to send a photo, of course. But it wasn't that passenger.  One guy was "lucky" enough to get defrauded twice in one day. Uber decided no one is that full.... 

3.  Our favorite headlines.  That's the Rhode Island version.  Then

4. On immigration, and the first stone....

5.  On the airline seat comfort question, I think the evil airline CEOs have a point.  The default is a relatively roomy, but expensive seat. If you want a DISCOUNT, then you want the smaller seat.  But then you can't complain that the seat is smaller. That's why it's cheaper!  If you don't want the smaller seat, pay the standard price.

6.  Hess's "Triangle of Spite." And more about the Hess Triangle.

7. Ocasio-Cortez, whatever she is, is NOT a socialist.  Our president, on the other hand...

8.  The "hot water challenge." Really? What is wrong with you people?

9.  This is NSFW. It's actually not safe for anything, and you shouldn't watch it. But some of the bad puns are pretty good. Still, you'll never get that  6  minutes back. Don't blame me. But it's a guy using the worst pickup lines in history, badly. What could be wrong with that? For context, that's all in response to this sort of thing.

10.  Ms. McArdle enters the lion's den, and says a lot of things that make sense. She will be publicly shamed for this, of course. The comments will be worth reading, if you like unintentional self-parody by half-wits.

11. Interesting commentary on the nature of competition. Neo-classical conception is that everyone is a price-taker. The "main line" economics answer (thanks, Peter Boettke) is that there are viable alternatives available to consumers. The point is that price-setters can still be disciplined by "competition," if regulators will allow it.

12.  It is far more likely, ridiculously more likely, that your child will be hurt in your house or in your car, than standing alone in a park or walking on a street. But so many people virtue signal ("I care") about nonsense.  We think nothing of the child being in our house, or car. Because the chances of danger are not THAT high there. The point is that the chance of your child being snatched by a stranger are much LESS than that. Kids should be free range.

13.  Your dog is MORE human than you think. Or, maybe less.

14. Understanding trade deficits.  And some more.

15. "Ghosting" employers. You can understand why young people might do this, because they feel they are not being respected or valued by employers. But it hastens the "gig economy."

16.  It's one measure of a society to look at how many of its citizens are caged up like animals. But its even worse when nearly 3/4 of the people put in cages have not even been convicted of a crime.

17.  The English Premier League is capitalist. The NBA is socialist.

18. The Koch brothers have principles. You may not agree with them, or not all of them. But this is a strange way to write about the attempt to shame CGK by saying he is not Trump ENOUGH.

19.  Alcohol and caffeine made civilization.

20. One thing that Ayn Rand and Immanuel Kant agreed on was this: your moral principle must generalize. This one doesn't .

21. I don't know that Harry Truman checked out Mozart while he did Tae Bo. But his story does remind us that there's room to grow.

22. Syndrome E

Grand Lagniappe:  This seems okay. But what if the "earth moves" know. What then? (UPDATE: My "friend" Megan McArdle of the Wapo commented that I was too old to be jumping on the bed. It's good to have friends, isn't it?)

Monday, July 23, 2018

Monday's Child is Full of Links!

1.  What sort of person does this? It's not like running a red light. There was no chance of this working out well.

2.  There has to be more to this story.  The "she's from Ukraine, they do things differently there" defense seems weak to me. A bit different viewpoint here. I do have to say that anyone who has been around a toddler for more than about an hour has considered hanging as a solution.....

3.  Trump is wrong about the EU. But he is not entirely wrong about NATO.

4.  There is little to no evidence that voluntary pre-K programs do any good. All the positive results come from non-random assignment, meaning that educated and motivated parents are likely the cause, NOT the pre-K program. A randomized trial finds no effect. The problem: the main difference is educational environment in the home the kids are NOT staying home at.  Pre-K has to help some children, it's just hard to find a way to measure that accurately.

5.  The policy of restricting or taxing plastic bags does essentially zero good. It is however (1) inconvenient and (2) pleasing to people who like to suffer inconvenience as a way of showing their love for the earth in pointless, and therefore religiously useful, ways.

6.  A problem with the "road" to liberty.  You might want to be a directionalist, like I am.

7. Iga is having a ninja shortage.

8.  At least the Manchurian Candidate PRETENDED he cared about the U.S.  This guy, not so much.

9.  MoovMo.

10.   Russia gets another pass.

11.  "Places of Persistence: Slavery and the Geography of Intergenerational Mobility in the United States."

12.  Putting the "crow" into necrophilia.

13.  It's just cultural appropriation to impose your own, multicultural standards on the great works of the past. Some humility, younglings....

14.  This is not the Onion. This guy actually thinks that trolling people on the web is the key to success in mass elections.  No, really, he does.

15. Slavery did not make the U.S. rich. It made some people rich, and a lot of others poor.

16. The loss of a common culture. I don't think Deneen is entirely right, but he is certainly NOT entirely wrong.

17.  Not sure this is real. But it may be.

18. The tide of free speech....has it turned, on college campuses?

19.  All campaign strategies are local....

20.  My piece for the "The Hill," on UBI.

21. I'm sorry, ma'am. You've been deleted. Wow.

22. Cutest thing you'll see today: This little girl saw an abandoned broken water heater at the curb, waiting to be taken away. She thought it was a robot. And the cuteness ensued.

23. Why haven't higher wages (at the top end) reduced work hours? An interesting commentary on price effects and income effects of labor "supply." Or, are you willing to pay $1,000 an hour to go sailing? Even if you are really rich?

24. Why?  A drive-by bicycle shooting.

25. The road to socialism: Venezuela.

26. Black Jeopardy on SNL. One of them (the best, I think). Then anotherA third. Like all good comedy, it's partly mocking something directly. But it's also got some things that make your skin crawl and think about why that's not actually funny.

27.  Trans men on being men, compared to being women.

28. Talent

This, from V. Postrel.   What's more inclusive than extreme, semi-religious food taboos in the workplace?  The grand lagniappe, from Randy Simmons, in reaction to VP's article:

Monday, July 16, 2018

Monday's Child is Full of Links!

Sorry to have been away. But I've been away. First in Erlangen and Munich, Germany. Then in Edmonton, in Northern Alberta.  Both really fun.  Back in Raleigh now....

To the links.... 

1.  Amazing application of pure fairness. The town would benefit from using an auction instead. And the individuals who "win" the lottery would benefit from allowing a secondary market. So, an interesting example for class.  The graveyard lottery, in Germany.

2. Why are wages not rising? Of course, in some areas, they are.

3.  George Will writes a column on baseball. And I like it. Perhaps neither of those things is surprising.  But it is a REALLY good column.

4.  Hindcasting global population densities reveals forces enabling the origin of agriculture

5.   Right to try.

6.  Nipples.

7.  The WaPo is upset with the Oklahoma incident because two citizens responded and killed the shooter. Apparently the faster action that likely saved lives is LESS important than the fact that having armed citizens made the situation "more complicated for police." As if our objective is primarily to make life simple for police. Citizens are pretty much on their own. As we already know....

8.  Dude had a bad day.  Why in the world was he insisting they pull over? Anyway, it didn't go well.

9.  I'm going to guess that this sort of thing is quite common. We only know about it because of the police body cams.  If police want to be respected, they'll need to be respectable.  But it's hard, because the state provides conditions where the worst will always get on top.

10. Some people assume that wealth may substitute for genetic fitness, meaning that rich morons will be over-represented in the population. But Mr. Darwin has ways of taking care of that. (The guy didn't die. But he did learn some wisdom, I hope).

11. Starfish v. Spider education systems.

12. Guilds? There is no guarantee that the "firm" in its traditional form is optimal in the non-traditional future....

13. Not only is "Dead Salmon" a color, the producer is unironically (I think) doubling down on it as being "magical."

14.  "How White People Handle Diversity Training." This may not be entirely true, but I bet it's also not entirely false.

15. Since it is not easy to climb up out of poverty, it almost HAS to be true that a dogged belief that one CAN climb up out of poverty is a prerequisite.

16. That word "foe" you keep using. President Trump, I don't think it means what you think it means.

17. Realistic Marketing: Bird Scooter edition.

18.  I have colleagues at Duke who sincerely believe that Cuba's labor system is non-exploitative, and that Cuba's health care system is the best in the world. These claims are both absurd.

19.  A better way to run schools...

20.  Okay, goodONya and all, mates. But does "naked gay farmer" really evoke "mental health" as an association, in the minds of most people? On the other hand, they are likely right that it makes people pay attention.

The Grand Lagniappe, Copa Mundial edition: 538 takes another one in the shorts. The average goals scored per game this Cup tournament was about 2.65.  The standard deviation was about 1.2 goals (actually, it was less than that, but let's say.)  That means that 538 made an almost 3 sigma error, assuming even then that "very few goals" is equal to "average number of goals."  Why do we even have a government, if people are allowed to make such bad predictions?