This Really Is Fine!

Relatively, that is. Compared to the raging dumpster fire before:

Https bucketeer e05bbc84 baa3 437e 9518 adb32be77984 s3 amazonaws com public images a2f51d61 3163 4c2e 8502 550a3de6f3c3 896x946

====

 

Take a Look at:

Three short thinking pieces on what Biden is doing/should do:

 

Eric LevitzBiden’s Inaugural Address: ‘Biden’s speech was riddled with contradictions. He called for unity (against everything the GOP stands for), and decried extremism (while demanding “bold” action on climate and racial justice). How he resolves these tensions will define his presidency <LINK>

 

Ezra KleinJoe Biden & Democrats Must Help People Fast: ‘Among the many tributaries flowing into Trumpism, one in particular has gone dangerously overlooked. In their book “Presidents, Populism and the Crisis of Democracy,” the political scientists William Howell and Terry Moe write that “populists don’t just feed on socioeconomic discontent. They feed on ineffective government—and their great appeal is that they claim to replace it with a government that is effective through their own autocratic power”… <LINK>

 

Ed LuceJoe Biden Embraces His Inner Radical to Confront Winter Of Peril: ‘America’s… most consequential presidents—George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and FDR—were all leaders of moderate temperament. Their skill was to bring others along…. Biden… spelt out the way… to advance his agenda…. Civility. At another time, such boilerplate language might prompt narcolepsy…. But… Biden’s hand of friendship is also a weapon…. No significant Republican[s]… wav[ing] Mr Trump off from the White House or Andrews Air Force Base speaks volumes…. Biden sketched out the “winter of peril and significant possibility” that is facing America. In practice, Mr Biden’s first 100 days could prove to be very interesting indeed… <LINK>

 

 

====

One thing you should think about studying this spring. Why? Because the subfield of economic development has gotten unbalanced, so that these days it tells us a lot about micro-behavioral parameters and relatively little about, well, economic development. STEG is trying to offer people tools to think about this:

STEGKey Concepts in Macro Development: ‘Why? Macro development is a small field. Textbooks are unavailable, and while many graduate programs teach some of these concepts in their courses, very few have a specific course organised around and dedicated to macro development. This virtual course will fill the gap for Ph.D. students or even junior faculty throughout the profession who are interested in these topics but do not have access otherwise. The virtual classes will be interactive, just as virtual graduate lectures in most departments are now… <LINK>

Plus:


We have no idea whether the person writing this was serious. We have little idea how many people believe that it is, or might be, true:

Https bucketeer e05bbc84 baa3 437e 9518 adb32be77984 s3 amazonaws com public images bf2d80c5 4b03 4735 92e6 609b542286cd 1328x1390

 

 

 
 
1  


Briefly Noted for 2021-01-21(a)

Tom Snyder: The American Abyss https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/09/magazine/trump-coup.html: ‘When we give up on truth, we concede power to those with the wealth and charisma to create spectacle in its place. Without agreement about some basic facts, citizens cannot form the civil society that would allow them to defend themselves. If we lose the institutions that produce facts that are pertinent to us, then we tend to wallow in attractive abstractions and fictions. Truth defends itself particularly poorly when there is not very much of it around.... Social media... supercharges the mental habits by which we seek emotional stimulation and comfort, which means losing the distinction between what feels true and what actually is true…

Haley Bird Wilt: The Consequences of Lying to People https://uphill.thedispatch.com/p/the-consequences-of-lying-to-people: ‘Republican lawmakers misled millions of people into believing the results of a legitimate election could be overturned. Many of them viewed contesting the outcome as a relatively easy way to gain political currency among Trump supporters, knowing all the while that their efforts would have no real impact on who will be sworn into office in two weeks. The deception—primarily led by Trump, yet enabled by members of Congress—set the stage for the violence that unfolded at the Capitol Wednesday. Four people died.... The normally dry procedural affair of counting of the Electoral College votes was viewed by everyday Republicans and zealots alike as the place to make a final stand to overturn the election—even though elected Republicans knew the outcome would ultimately remain unchanged. As my colleague Jonah writes this morning, “Convincing people they need to prevent a coup when no such coup exists is a recipe for violence.” This was the energy that fueled the horde on Wednesday…

====

BRIEFLY NOTED:

Joshua Gans: B.1.1.7 https://joshuagans.substack.com/p/b117: ‘B.1.1.7 has an advantage over older variants in infecting people when the mitigation strategies are in place. In other words, it is getting around them.... My guess is that the new variant can obtain more cases in certain settings—like workplaces that previously were able to keep transmission low—and then people carry the new variant home where fewer mitigations are in place and transmission occurs more easily there.... That means that the fight against B.1.1.7 requires the places that have been the most vigilant need more action. It is hard to know what that is.... The other option—and I will continue to beat this still live horse here—is ramping up testing…

Nora Caplan-Bricker: An Overlooked Novel from 1935 by the Godmother of Feminist Detective Fiction https://www.newyorker.com/books/under-review/an-overlooked-novel-from-1935-by-the-godmother-of-feminist-detective-fiction: ‘A new group biography establishes Dorothy L. Sayers’s “Gaudy Night” as a forerunner of works by Gillian Flynn and Tana French…

Annalee Newitz: What Ancient Roman Hospitality Workers Can Teach Us About This Moment in History https://thehypothesis.substack.com/p/what-ancient-roman-hospitality-workers

Ben Sasse https://uphill.thedispatch.com/p/biden-cabinet-inauguration-gop-future: ‘Many party leaders and consultants thought they could preach the Constitution while winking at QAnon. They can’t. The GOP must reject conspiracy theories or be consumed by them. Now is the time to decide what this party is about…

McKay Coppins https://uphill.thedispatch.com/p/biden-cabinet-inauguration-gop-future: ‘People who spent years coddling the president will recast themselves as voices of conscience, or whitewash their relationship with Trump altogether. Policy makers who abandoned their dedication to ‘fiscal responsibility’ and ‘limited government’ will rediscover a passion for these timeless conservative principles. Some may dress up their revisionism in the rhetoric of ‘healing’ and ‘moving forward,’ but the strategy will be clear—to escape accountability by taking advantage of America’s notoriously short political memory...

Acropolis Museum: Digital Museum https://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/en/digital-museum: ‘The Acropolis Museum enters dynamically into the world of digital technology and opens new channels of communication with the public. The large number of applications that were developed under the programme “Creation of the Digital Acropolis Museum” showcases the multiple aspects of its exhibits, offers unique experiences in its galleries and creates a new, exciting world for kids and grownups alike. At the same time its new website captures in a contemporary way the Museum’s function and activities, provides multidimensional orientation and entertainment, renders all its collections open and accessible to the international community and forms an attractive environment, designed specifically for children…

Kiona Smith: This Is How Hominins Adapted to a Changing World 2 Million Years Ago https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/01/this-is-how-hominins-adapted-to-a-changing-world-2-million-years-ago/: ‘Jacks of all trades: And even if the earliest hunters and gatherers at Ewass Oldupa would have found later versions of the place totally alien, they would still have recognized the tools people used to survive it. For roughly 200,000 years, hominins relied on the same basic tools to tackle the bracken meadows beside the river, the patchwork of woods and grassland, the lush lakeshore, and the dry steppe. The chopping, scraping, and pounding tools of the Olduwan were relatively simple, but they were also incredibly versatile. According to Petraglia and his colleagues, Olduwan technology offered a basic, general toolkit that worked as well in a lakeside palm grove as it did on a dry steppe. Humans took over the world because we’re generalists, and generalists can adapt to nearly anything. Our early relatives clearly had the same advantage…

Sam Arbesman: Reinventing Book Publishing in the Tech World https://arbesman.substack.com/p/-reinventing-publishing-in-the-tech: ‘attempts to constantly reexamine and reinvent the democratization, distribution, and furthering of knowledge should be watched closely (and please let me know of other examples you are aware of!). For ultimately, publishers are catalysts of world-changing ideas…

John Maynard Keynes (1942): How Much Does Finance Matter https://github.com/braddelong/public-files/blob/master/readings/article-keynes-finance-matter.pdf...

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Governor Schwarzenegger's Message Following This Week's Attack on the Capitol https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_P-0I6sAck&feature=youtu.be...

40 minutes: JaydenX: Shooting and Storming Of The US Capitol In Washington DC https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfiS8MsfSF4&bpctr=1610381708

Gerard Baker (2020-11-16): Four Seasons Total Landscaping Isn’t Exactly the Reichstag https://www.wsj.com/articles/four-seasons-total-landscaping-isnt-exactly-the-reichstag-11605545752: ‘Trump’s shambolic vote challenges provoke cries of “coup” and the usual comparisons to Hitler…

Substack CEO Chris Best https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRJUNF5tHG4

Model Economic History Papers https://delong.typepad.com/teaching_economics/model-economic-history-papers.html

Congressional Record 2021-01-06 https://github.com/braddelong/public-files/blob/master/congressional-record-2021-01-06.pdf...

K. N. Chaudhuri (1968): International Economy in the Nineteenth Century: An Historical Survey https://github.com/braddelong/public-files/blob/master/readings/article-chaudhuri-india-1800s.pdf...

Economic History Society: The Long Run https://ehsthelongrun.net/

John Maynard Keynes (1924): A Tract on Monetary Reform https://delong.typepad.com/keynes-1923-a-tract-on-monetary-reform.pdf...

Colonial Williamsburg: Men’s Dress in the 1770s https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2875778182533255


Graydon: COVID Evolving: Comment—Noted

Graydon: COVID Evolving: Comment https://www.bradford-delong.com/2021/01/briefly-noted-for-2021-01-11.html?cid=6a00e551f080038834026bdeb50696200c#comment-6a00e551f080038834026bdeb50696200c: ‘SARS-CoV-2 derives from a bat disease. Bats are weird; bats, unlike nearly all other mammals, have two body temperatures. There's the high, active, flapping around body temperature and the low, resting/estivating, don't starve to death until you can feed again, hanging-upside-down-in-a-cave body temperature...

Continue reading "Graydon: COVID Evolving: Comment—Noted" »


Briefly Noted for 2021-01-11

<https://braddelong.substack.com/p/briefly-noted-for-2021-01-11> I feel uneasy today, as most of this is outside my wheelhouse. But, for what it is worth, here is what I have found most worthwhile over the weekend...

Must-Read:

Bernie Sanders: Why Impeach Now? @BernieSanders: Some people ask: Why would you impeach and convict a president who has only a few days left in office? The answer: Precedent. It must be made clear that no president, now or in the future, can lead an insurrection against the U.S. government...

Ian Millhiser: Minority Rule @imillhiser: When Warnock and Ossoff are seated, Democrats and Republicans will each control half of the seats in the Senate. But the Democratic half will represent 41,549,808 more people than the Republican half.  America’s anti-democratic Senate, in one number41,549,808...

Joshua Gans: B.1.1.7 <https://joshuagans.substack.com/p/b117>: ‘B.1.1.7 has an advantage over older variants in infecting people when the mitigation strategies are in place. In other words, it is getting around them.... My guess is that the new variant can obtain more cases in certain settings—like workplaces that previously were able to keep transmission low—and then people carry the new variant home where fewer mitigations are in place and transmission occurs more easily there.... That means that the fight against B.1.1.7 requires the places that have been the most vigilant need more action. It is hard to know what that is.... The other option—and I will continue to beat this still live horse here—is ramping up testing…

Tom Snyder: The American Abyss <https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/09/magazine/trump-coup.html> : ‘When we give up on truth, we concede power to those with the wealth and charisma to create spectacle in its place. Without agreement about some basic facts, citizens cannot form the civil society that would allow them to defend themselves. If we lose the institutions that produce facts that are pertinent to us, then we tend to wallow in attractive abstractions and fictions. Truth defends itself particularly poorly when there is not very much of it around.... Social media... supercharges the mental habits by which we seek emotional stimulation and comfort, which means losing the distinction between what feels true and what actually is true…

====

Should-Read: My (Possibly Uninformed) Reflections on the Coup

DeLongTODAY: Why Storm the Capitol Building & Then Do Nothing But Take Selfies?2021-01-08
Project Syndicate: What Next for the MAGA Insurrection? 2021-01-08 

====

BRIEFLY NOTED:

Haley Bird Wilt: The Consequences of Lying to People <https://uphill.thedispatch.com/p/the-consequences-of-lying-to-people>: ‘Republican lawmakers misled millions of people into believing the results of a legitimate election could be overturned. Many of them viewed contesting the outcome as a relatively easy way to gain political currency among Trump supporters, knowing all the while that their efforts would have no real impact on who will be sworn into office in two weeks. The deception—primarily led by Trump, yet enabled by members of Congress—set the stage for the violence that unfolded at the Capitol Wednesday. Four people died.... The normally dry procedural affair of counting of the Electoral College votes was viewed by everyday Republicans and zealots alike as the place to make a final stand to overturn the election—even though elected Republicans knew the outcome would ultimately remain unchanged. As my colleague Jonah writes this morning, “Convincing people they need to prevent a coup when no such coup exists is a recipe for violence.” This was the energy that fueled the horde on Wednesday…

Nora Caplan-Bricker: An Overlooked Novel from 1935 by the Godmother of Feminist Detective Fiction <https://www.newyorker.com/books/under-review/an-overlooked-novel-from-1935-by-the-godmother-of-feminist-detective-fiction>: ‘A new group biography establishes Dorothy L. Sayers’s “Gaudy Night” as a forerunner of works by Gillian Flynn and Tana French…

Edward Luce: America’s Dangerous Reliance on the Fed<https://www.ft.com/content/bcb8d4d9-ca6d-45b7-aafc-9e9ecf672a5b>: ‘Alas, the chances are that the Fed will remain “the only game in town”. This would be both a missed opportunity and pose a severe danger. The opportunity is for the US government to borrow long term funds at near zero rates and invest it in productive capacity. The danger of not doing that can be expressed in a simple equation: QE — F = P. Quantitative easing minus fiscal action equals populism…

Wikipedia: Metanarrative <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metanarrative>: ‘In The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge (1979), Lyotard highlights the increasing skepticism of the postmodern condition toward the totalizing nature of metanarratives and their reliance on some form of "transcendent and universal truth": “Simplifying to the extreme, I define postmodern as incredulity toward metanarratives.... The narrative function is losing its functors, its great hero, its great dangers, its great voyages, its great goal. It is being dispersed in clouds of narrative language…. Where, after the metanarratives, can legitimacy reside?…” Lyotard and other poststructuralist thinkers (like Foucault) view this as a broadly positive development… grand theories tend to unduly dismiss the naturally existing chaos and disorder of the universe…. Postmodernists attempt to replace metanarratives by focusing on specific local contexts as well as on the diversity of human experience. They argue for the existence of a "multiplicity of theoretical standpoints" rather than for grand, all-encompassing theories.… Postmodern narratives will often deliberately disturb the formulaic expectations.… Others have related metanarratives to masterplots, “recurrent skeletal stories, belonging to cultures and individuals that play a powerful role in questions of identity, values, and the understanding of life”…

Simon Schama: Donald Trump’s Weaponised Lies Blew Up in His Face <https://www.ft.com/content/6cde0715-5506-4c09-a804-538031a667d9>: ‘The violent attempt to prevent Congress from certifying the electoral result should be seen in the context of Mr Trump's (not baseless) belief that a sizeable part of the country cares less about the constitution than it does about him. Wednesday saw the most dramatic consummation of what has always been standard operational procedure for Trumpism: the wink to violence and the empire of lies. His 2016 campaign regularly featured invitations to rough up the media…

Salvatore Cerchio & al.: A New Blue Whale Song-Type Described for the Arabian Sea & Western Indian Ocean <https://www.int-res.com/prepress/n01096.html>: ‘Blue whales in the Indian Ocean… 2 or 3 subspecies… 4 populations, each with a diagnostic song-type. Here we describe a previously unreported song-type that implies the probable existence of a population that has been undetected or conflated…. We label it the ‘Northwest Indian Ocean’ song-type.… Moreover, the potentially restricted range, intensive historic whaling, and the fact that the song-type has been previously undetected, suggests a small population that is in critical need of status assessment and conservation action…

J. A. M. de Sanchez: Stabilizing the Franc <https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/france/1928-10-01/stabilizing-franc>: ‘Thus almost exactly twenty-three months after accepting the portfolio of Minister of Finance, M. Poincaré brought to a conclusion the task of fiscal reform which he had set himself. If M. Poincaré's achievements in his first year were remarkable,[i] those in his second have been no less so. Not only have the measures which were adopted in 1926-1927 continued to be strictly enforced, but new ones have been sought and applied which have resulted in a further strengthening of the credit structure of the State proper and of the national economy as a whole. So careful and complete were the preparations for de jure stabilization of the franc that the event itself was received in France almost phlegmatically…

====

Annalee Newitz: What Ancient Roman Hospitality Workers Can Teach Us About This Moment in Historyhttps://thehypothesis.substack.com/p/what-ancient-roman-hospitality-workers

Budget Act of 1974 <https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/GPO-RIDDICK-1992/pdf/GPO-RIDDICK-1992-34.pdf>…

Robert Keith (2009): The Budget Reconciliation Process: The Senate’s “Byrd Rule” <https://budgetcounsel.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/crs-the-budget-reconciliation-process-the-senate_s-e2809cbyrd-rulee2809d-bob-keith-rl30862-july-8-2009.pdf>…

Unemployment Rate: 1890-2009 <https://origins.osu.edu/sites/origins.osu.edu/files/4-3-chart1487_0.jpg>…

Wikipedia: Republic of Artsakh <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_Artsakh#Current_situation>…

Gaston Jéze: The Economic and Financial Position of France in 1920 <https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/1883886.pdf>…

Historical Currency Converter <https://www.historicalstatistics.org/Currencyconverter.html>…


Briefly Noted for 2021-01-09

Bernie Sanders: Why Impeach Now? https://twitter.com/BernieSanders/status/1347625769242140675: ‘Some people ask: Why would you impeach and convict a president who has only a few days left in office? The answer: Precedent. It must be made clear that no president, now or in the future, can lead an insurrection against the U.S. government…

Ian Millhiser: Minority Rule https://twitter.com/imillhiser/status/1346834407626334209 ‘When Warnock and Ossoff are seated, Democrats and Republicans will each control half of the seats in the Senate. But the Democratic half will represent 41,549,808 more people than the Republican half…

====

BRIEFLY NOTED:

Edward Luce: America’s Dangerous Reliance on the Fed <https://www.ft.com/content/bcb8d4d9-ca6d-45b7-aafc-9e9ecf672a5b>: ‘Alas, the chances are that the Fed will remain “the only game in town”. This would be both a missed opportunity and pose a severe danger. The opportunity is for the US government to borrow long term funds at near zero rates and invest it in productive capacity. The danger of not doing that can be expressed in a simple equation: QE — F = P. Quantitative easing minus fiscal action equals populism…

Wikipedia: Metanarrative https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metanarrative: ‘In The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge (1979), Lyotard highlights the increasing skepticism of the postmodern condition toward the totalizing nature of metanarratives and their reliance on some form of "transcendent and universal truth": “Simplifying to the extreme, I define postmodern as incredulity toward metanarratives.... The narrative function is losing its functors, its great hero, its great dangers, its great voyages, its great goal. It is being dispersed in clouds of narrative language…. Where, after the metanarratives, can legitimacy reside?…” Lyotard and other poststructuralist thinkers (like Foucault) view this as a broadly positive development… grand theories tend to unduly dismiss the naturally existing chaos and disorder of the universe…. Postmodernists attempt to replace metanarratives by focusing on specific local contexts as well as on the diversity of human experience. They argue for the existence of a "multiplicity of theoretical standpoints" rather than for grand, all-encompassing theories.… Postmodern narratives will often deliberately disturb the formulaic expectations.… Others have related metanarratives to masterplots, “recurrent skeletal stories, belonging to cultures and individuals that play a powerful role in questions of identity, values, and the understanding of life”…

Simon Schama: Donald Trump’s Weaponised Lies Blew Up in His Face https://www.ft.com/content/6cde0715-5506-4c09-a804-538031a667d9: ‘The violent attempt to prevent Congress from certifying the electoral result should be seen in the context of Mr Trump's (not baseless) belief that a sizeable part of the country cares less about the constitution than it does about him. Wednesday saw the most dramatic consummation of what has always been standard operational procedure for Trumpism: the wink to violence and the empire of lies. His 2016 campaign regularly featured invitations to rough up the media…

Salvatore Cerchio & al.: A New Blue Whale Song-Type Described for the Arabian Sea & Western Indian Ocean https://www.int-res.com/prepress/n01096.html: ‘Blue whales in the Indian Ocean… 2 or 3 subspecies… 4 populations, each with a diagnostic song-type. Here we describe a previously unreported song-type that implies the probable existence of a population that has been undetected or conflated…. We label it the ‘Northwest Indian Ocean’ song-type.… Moreover, the potentially restricted range, intensive historic whaling, and the fact that the song-type has been previously undetected, suggests a small population that is in critical need of status assessment and conservation action…

J. A. M. de Sanchez: Stabilizing the Franc https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/france/1928-10-01/stabilizing-franc: ‘Thus almost exactly twenty-three months after accepting the portfolio of Minister of Finance, M. Poincaré brought to a conclusion the task of fiscal reform which he had set himself. If M. Poincaré's achievements in his first year were remarkable,[i] those in his second have been no less so. Not only have the measures which were adopted in 1926-1927 continued to be strictly enforced, but new ones have been sought and applied which have resulted in a further strengthening of the credit structure of the State proper and of the national economy as a whole. So careful and complete were the preparations for de jure stabilization of the franc that the event itself was received in France almost phlegmatically…

====

Budget Act of 1974 https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/GPO-RIDDICK-1992/pdf/GPO-RIDDICK-1992-34.pdf…

Robert Keith (2009): The Budget Reconciliation Process: The Senate’s “Byrd Rule” https://budgetcounsel.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/crs-the-budget-reconciliation-process-the-senate_s-e2809cbyrd-rulee2809d-bob-keith-rl30862-july-8-2009.pdf

Unemployment Rate: 1890-2009 https://origins.osu.edu/sites/origins.osu.edu/files/4-3-chart1487_0.jpg

Wikipedia: Republic of Artsakh https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_Artsakh#Current_situation

Gaston Jéze: The Economic and Financial Position of France in 1920 https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/1883886.pdf

Historical Currency Converter https://www.historicalstatistics.org/Currencyconverter.html

Continue reading "Briefly Noted for 2021-01-09" »


Lwatts: Parler Free Speech Social Network https://parler.com/search?hashtag=trump: ‘Everyone needs to understand my President: Plays 3 layer chess! What did Trump do?????… He said walk down 1600 he didn't know the ANITIFA HIRED BY PENCE WAS THERE, HE NEW THE SUPPORTERS were fine!!!! It was the left that jumped first!!!!! Yall killed a VET,,, A HERO" HOW DARE YOU ALL..... Yeah if I f—- up this bad I would be on every TV channel trying to lie your asses off... #millionmagamarch #supremecourt #voterfraud #MEME #PARLER #PARLERUSA #USA #QANON #MAGA #trump2020 #trump #patriots #StopTheSteal #tuckercarlson #tucker #sidneypowell #kag #2020elect

Karl Marx: Theories of Surplus-Value, Chapter 17 Mhttps://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1863/theories-surplus-value/ch17.htm>: 'The Childish Babble of a Say...

Wikipedia: Quarrel of the Ancients & the Moderns https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quarrel_of_the_Ancients_and_the_Moderns...

Karl Marx (1867): Capital: Primitive Accumulation https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch31.htm...

==========

Erik Hornung: Immigration and the Diffusion of Technology: The Huguenot Diaspora in Prussia https://funginstitute.berkeley.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/HornungDiaspora20141.pdf: ‘In 1685, religiously persecuted French Huguenots settled in Brandenburg-Prussia and compensated for population losses due to plagues during the Thirty Years’ War. We combine Huguenot immigration lists from 1700 with Prussian firm-level data on the value of inputs and outputs in 1802 in a unique database to analyze the effects of skilled immigration to places with underused economic potential. Exploiting this settlement pattern in an instrumental-variable approach, we find substantial long-term effects of Huguenot settlement on the productivity of textile manufactories…

The bureaucratic deglobalization blowback from Brexit has begun, making a poorer, weaker, littler England: Dutch Bike Bits: Shipping: Brexit https://www.dutchbikebits.com/shipping: ‘Unfortunately, we will not be able to send parcels to the UK from mid December 2020 onward. Quite apart from uncertainty surrounding the shipping cost, taxation etc. after that time, there is also a problem caused by the British government deciding to impose a unique taxation regime which will require every company in the world in every country in the world outside the UK which exports to the UK to apply and collect British taxes on behalf of the British government. For providing this service they intend to charge a fee to every company in the world in every country in the world which exports to the UK. Clearly this is ludicrous for one country, but imagine if every country in the world had the same idea. If every country decided to behave in the same way then we would have to pay 195 fees every year, keep up with the changes in taxation law for 195 different countries, keep accounts on behalf of 195 different countries and submit payments to 195 tax offices in 195 different countries, and jump through whatever hoops were required to prove that we were doing all of this honestly and without any error. Therefore from mid December 2020 onward we ship to every country in the world... except the UK…

Trump. But not smart. Can this really be the bottom line on Brazil’s Bolsonaro?: Gideon Rachman: Jair Bolsonaro’s Populism Is Leading Brazil to Disaster https://www.ft.com/content/c39fadfe-9e60-11ea-b65d-489c67b0d85d: 'I had a chat with a prominent financier about the parallels between Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro. “They are very similar,” she said, before adding: “But Bolsonaro is much stupider.” This answer took me aback since the US president is not generally regarded as a towering intellect. But my banker friend was insistent. “Look,” she said. “Trump has run a major business. Bolsonaro never made it above captain in the army.”... The coronavirus pandemic has reminded me of that observation national unity will not emerge while Mr Bolsonaro is president. In classic populist fashion he thrives on the politics of division. Brazil is already a deeply polarised country, where conspiracy theories are rife. The deaths and unemployment caused by Covid-19 are exacerbated by Mr Bolsonaro’s leadership. But, perversely, a health and economic disaster could create an even more hospitable environment for the politics of fear and unreason…

John McLaren & Su Wang: Effects of Reduced Workplace Presence on COVID-19 Deaths: An Instrumental-Variables Approach https://www.nber.org/papers/w28275: ‘Numerous government policies have attempted to keep workers out of the workplace, on the assumption that this will lower transmission of COVID-19. We test that assumption, measuring the effect of aggregate workplace absence on US COVID deaths at the county level through August. Instrumenting with an index of how many local workers pre-pandemic can work from home, based on differences in county occupational mix, we find no effect of workplace absence until mid-May, then a sharply rising effect. By August, moving 10 percent of a county's workers from the workplace would lower deaths there by three quarters one month later…

Wikipedia: Axial Age https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axial_Age: ‘Axial Age... is a term coined by German philosopher Karl Jaspers in the sense of a "pivotal age", characterizing the period of ancient history from about the 8th to the 3rd century BCE. During this period, according to Jaspers' concept, new ways of thinking appeared in Persia, India, China and the Greco-Roman world in religion and philosophy, in a striking parallel development, without any obvious direct cultural contact between all of the participating Eurasian cultures. Jaspers identified key thinkers from this age who had a profound influence on future philosophies and religions, and identified characteristics common to each area from which those thinkers emerged…

Substack Blog: Substack Welcomes The Dispatch, a New Type of Media Company https://blog.substack.com/p/substack-welcomes-the-dispatch-a: ‘We’ve long believed that people don’t really subscribe to “content”—they subscribe to voices they trust. This collaboration represents what that “subscribe to a person” model might look like when pushed a step further, and it gives us an opportunity to further explore how groups of writers can work together on Substack. We’re also pleased to support The Dispatch’s mission of trying to create a space for discourse that doesn’t have to play by the rules of the attention economy. In their mission statement, Hayes and Goldberg write: "We think the clickbait model is an anathema to serious discourse. We also believe it is a blight to the eye and a disturbance of the mental peace. So we are rejecting the advertising that makes clickbait seem so necessary. It might seem oxymoronic in the current climate, but we want as many readers as possible, but we do not care a whit about traffic." We believe this reader-first approach to publishing is a smart one for the news industry, and we hope others will see it as a model to follow…

====

Martin Wolf: The Fading Light of Liberal Democracy https://www.ft.com/content/47144c85-519a-4e25-9035-c5f8977cf6fd: ‘The election of Joe Biden as US president is a relief. But this story is not yet over.... Branko Milanovic.... Capitalist economies go with two distinct political systems in leading economies: the “liberal” model of the US and its allies, which is the concern of Messrs Garton Ash and Diamond, and China’s “political” model...

...Mr Milanovic argues correctly that liberal democracy is a good in itself and also allows peaceful self-correction. People do desire freedom and US voters have disposed of Donald Trump. The Chinese cannot do the same with Premier Xi Jinping.... A third political version of capitalism exists: demagogic authoritarian capitalism.... The ruler is above the law and democratically unaccountable—elections are a sham. But power is personal, not institutionalised. This is corrupt gangster politics. It rests on the personal loyalty of sycophants and cronies. Often the core consists of the family members, viewed as most trustworthy of all. This is the political system Mr Trump wished to install in the US. Such rulers are like wasp larvae that eat the spider from within. They manage to win an election and then erode the institutional and political bulwarks against indefinite personal rule....

Events in the US have shown two crucial things. First, core American institutions including the courts have resisted.... Second, a huge proportion of the Republican party has abetted his lie that the election was rigged. This has underlined another reality of the past four years: the Republican leadership showed absolute obedience to their leader, almost to the last gasp. This is no accident. It is the logical outcome of the political and economic strategy of the “pluto-populist”. Mr Trump is a natural outcome of the strategic goal of the donor class—tax cuts and deregulation. To achieve this end, they have to convince a large proportion of the population to vote against its economic interests by focusing on culture and identity. This strategy has worked and will continue to work: Mr Trump may have gone; Trumpism has not. Not entirely dissimilar patterns can be seen in Brexit Britain....

None of today’s dominant systems is working well. Capitalism is innovative, but creates huge social, political and environmental challenges. Liberal democracy is corroded, even at its core. But the authoritarian politics that challenge it are vastly worse. Unaccountable rule by gangsters or brutal bureaucrats is deeply depressing, even if the latter are much less incompetent. Those of us who continue to believe in freedom and democracy hope Mr Trump was the warning we all needed. But I doubt it. There is none so blind as rich egotists who will not see…

 

David French: Debunking the Frivolous & Dangerous Last-Gasp Effort to Overturn the Election https://frenchpress.thedispatch.com/p/debunking-the-frivolous-and-dangerous-8a0: ‘One of the most dispiriting aspects of a dispiriting year has been watching the supremely cynical post-election contest by conservative lawyers and conservative politicians who know exactly what they’re doing. Intimidated by Trump and desperate for the approval of Trump’s base, they have lent their own gravitas to utterly frivolous arguments, used their platforms to falsely whip up public concerns about election integrity, and then used the concerns they helped create as the justification for continuing a fruitless fight. I could point to any number of public figures, but let’s focus for a moment on two—Sen. Josh Hawley and talk radio host Mark Levin...

..."Issues of mere administration of a general election do not mean there has not been a 'general ballot' at a 'general election.' Plaintiff’s conflation of these potential nonconformities with Constitutional violations is contrary to the plain meaning of the Electors Clause. If plaintiff’s reading of 'Manner' was correct, any disappointed loser in a Presidential election, able to hire a team of clever lawyers, could flag claimed deviations from the election rules and cast doubt on the election results. This would risk turning every Presidential election into a federal court lawsuit over the Electors Clause.")... The time to challenge election procedures is well before the election, not after. In fact, this is a matter of basic election precedent. “Before a court can contemplate entering a judgment that would void election results,” Judge Scudder wrote, “it ‘must consider whether the plaintiffs filed a timely pre-election request for relief.”...

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals isn’t the ultimate authority on Wisconsin law... neither is the junior senator from Missouri. But he knows this. So does Mark Levin. It must be emphasized that both of these men are smart, capable lawyers. And while they may be drinking so much of their own Kool-Aid that they’re now believing their own nonsense, I doubt it. And if they do believe their own nonsense, their lapse in judgment is inexcusable....

Ben Sasse.... "When we talk in private, I haven’t heard a single Congressional Republican allege that the election results were fraudulent—not one. Instead, I hear them talk about their worries about how they will 'look' to President Trump’s most ardent supporters."... We have a bunch of ambitious politicians who think there’s a quick way to tap into the president’s populist base without doing any real, long-term damage. But they’re wrong–and this issue is bigger than anyone’s personal ambitions. Adults don’t point a loaded gun at the heart of legitimate self-government…

Continue reading "" »


Why Storm the Capitol Building & Then Do Nothing But Take Selfies?—Grasping Reality Newsletter @ Subsstack

Over at Substack: Why Storm the Capitol Building & Then Do Nothing But Take Selfies? https://braddelong.substack.com/p/why-storm-the-capitol-building-and: What did the people who stormed the Capitol building on January 6, 2021 think what’s going to happen?

Let us look at what happened at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue before the insurrection. At the beginning of Donald Trump speech, he tells his audience that they are the overwhelming majority of America, and that the corrupt media are trying to hide that fact:

Donald Trump: Speech “Save America” Rally Transcript January 6: 'The media will not show the magnitude of this crowd. Even I, when I turned on today, I looked, and I saw thousands of people here, but you don’t see hundreds of thousands of people behind you because they don’t want to show that...

Continue reading "Why Storm the Capitol Building & Then Do Nothing But Take Selfies?—Grasping Reality Newsletter @ Subsstack" »


Briefly Noted for 2021-01-07

Time to de-escalate and read and watch something totally unrelated to bad political actors destroying norms of republican political conduct in an attempt to further entrench a plutocracy: Plutarch: Life of Tiberius Gracchus http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Plutarch/Lives/Tiberius_Gracchus*.html

Perhaps the second best romance novel I have ever read. Not at all bad as a mystery either: Dorothy Leigh Sayers: Gaudy Night https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQiVYVBRO7U

I am happy not getting 3/4 of the illusions that Dorothy L. Sayers makes to history and literature. But if you are not, this is essential: Bill Peschel: Annotations to Gaudy Night https://planetpeschel.com/the-wimsey-annotations/gaudy-night/

Heron of Alexandria was a BOSS: Jeremy Norman: Automata Invented by Heron of Alexandria https://www.historyofinformation.com/detail.php?id=10

I do know not whether I should be amazed at how much or depressed at how little computing can be done without semiconductors: Wikipedia: Mechanical Computer https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechanical_computer#Examples

The start of the positive utopian apocalyptic mode in "western literature": Isaiah: 10-11 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+10&version=KJV...

Continuing the positive utopian apocalyptic mode in "western literature": Daniel: _7 & 12 HCSB https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Daniel%2012&version=HCSB...

Good for helping people to understand the place of Aristotle in the medieval and early-modern "western civilization" intellectual mind: Dante: Inferno https://www.danteinferno.info/translations/canto4.html: ‘…Canto 4-Compare Side by Side Translations by Longfellow, Cary, and Norton...

And what little the Spartans said: Plutarch: Apophthegmata Laconica http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Plutarch/Moralia/Sayings_of_Spartans*/main.html...

Charlie Sykes: Trumpageddon https://morningshots.thebulwark.com/p/trumpageddon: ‘January 6: The Fire Rises: Chris Truax provides a preview for this remarkable day: "This effort to interfere with the Electoral College count is going to fail, but it has created a blueprint for the next time. The next aspiring authoritarian—and there will be one—will be smarter, smoother, and more organized. Today will be truly dangerous because it will demonstrate that under the current system, a party that controls both houses of Congress can install their candidate as president regardless of the election results. All they need is the political will to do so." Or to put it another way: All they need is to believe that overturning the election is what the majority of their base voters want…

Charlie Sykes: Trumpageddon https://morningshots.thebulwark.com/p/trumpageddon: ‘The GOP’s Georgia meltdown: First a confession: I thought the Republicans would hold both seats and was, frankly, stunned by last night’s results. So, apparently, was much of what’s left of the GOP. There’s no mystery about what happened: Donald Trump happened: Erick Erickson: "Very clear there's been voter suppression in Georgia. The Georgia Republican Party Chairman, the President of the United States, and the Georgia GOP congressional delegation are the culprits..." Based on the early numbers, Democratic turnout—especially among African Americans—was phenomenal. Republican turnout was meh..." Dave Wasserman: "It's tempting to put it this way: Perdue/Loeffler embrace of Trump in the runoff phase of #GASEN may have alienated suburban Biden/R (Nov.) ticket-splitters, and it's not clear it did as much to drive up turnout in deep red rural GA..." How bad is all for the GOP? On a scale of 0 to 10, Nate Silver tweeted this morning, it’s probably a 9 “not just because of the immediate implications, but also because it may imply that Trump is sort of a poison pill for how the party navigates its future.” The big question now is whether the GOP has learned any lessons from this debacle? Probably not: McKay Coppins: "Republicans lost the White House, the Senate, and stayed out of power in the House this cycle, and a sizable faction of the party will continue to argue that the solution is 'More Trump'…

Continue reading "Briefly Noted for 2021-01-07" »


Briefly Noted for 2021-01-06

BRIEFLY NOTED:

Mary Boykin Chesnut: Mary Chesnut's Civil War https://archive.org/details/marychesnutscivi0000ches_c1c9/page/36/mode/2up

Fournée Bakery: 2912 Domingo Ave https://www.fourneebakery.com/new-page: ‘Berkeley, CA, 94705… Tu-Sa 08:00-18:00 Su 08:00-15:00…

2005: The Lowest Deep on Hoxby-Rothstein https://web.archive.org/web/20050419010702/http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/movable_type/2005-3_archives/000735.html: ‘Rothstein makes a convincing case that Hoxby doesn't satisfy (3), if his definition of "small tweaks" is correct…

Rory Muir: Gentlemen of Uncertain Fortune: How Younger Sons Made Their Way in Jane Austen's England https://www.amazon.com/Gentlemen-Uncertain-Fortune-Younger-Austens-ebook/dp/B07VZWG67Q/…

Peet's Coffee: Domingo https://locations.peets.com/ll/US/CA/Berkeley/2916-Domingo-Avenue: ‘2916 Domingo Avenue Berkeley, CA 94705 (510) 843-1434 :: Mo-Su 05:30-18:00...

Theodore Sturgeon: The World Well Lost https://bristolsf.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/the-world-well-lost.pdf…

Ver Brugge Foods https://www.facebook.com/vbfoods/: ‘Mo-Su 09:00-18:00…

====

Chris Best & al.: Substack’s View of Content Moderation https://blog.substack.com/p/substacks-view-of-content-moderation: ‘We favor civil liberties, believe in democracy, and are against authoritarianism of all kinds. We also hold a set of core beliefs that are reflected in every aspect of the company: We believe that subscriptions are better than advertising. We believe in letting people choose who to trust, not having click-maximizing algorithms choose for them. We believe that the prevailing media ecosystem is in disrepair and that the internet can be used to build something better. We believe that hosting a broad range of views is good for democracy. We believe in the free press and in free speech–and we do not believe those things can be decoupled.  These beliefs inform how we have designed Substack, which is why, for instance, we don’t support advertising in the product despite many calls to do so, and it’s why we will never use algorithms that optimize for engagement. However, we believe that our design of the product and the incentive structure we have built into it are the ultimate expression of our views. We do not seek to impose our views in the form of censorship or through appointing ourselves as the judges of truth or morality…

Paul Campos: If the Rule You Followed Has Brought You to This, of What Use Was the Rule? https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2020/12/if-the-rule-you-followed-has-brought-you-to-this-of-what-use-was-the-rule: ‘I was talking yesterday to a prominent person about potential steps that might be taken to deal with the fact that the president of the United States is a delusional autocrat, who has no intention of leaving office just because he lost an election he has apparently now sincerely—or “sincerely”—convinced himself he didn’t lose.... Trump and his enablers were, to use the relevant wrestling terminology, engaging in a “work” that was likely to morph into a “shoot” eventually. This does seems to have happened in Trump’s case specifically, with one result being that the vast majority of Republicans now believe that the election was in fact stolen.... Neither Trump nor much more important the tens of millions of Americans who now actually do believe the election was stolen are going anywhere for the foreseeable future.... The person I was speaking with... pitched the following idea to me: Trump should be impeached again, immediately.... Trump is still president, and what Trump has been doing to attempt to overturn and discredit the election makes him as much or more deserving of impeachment and removal as anything any president of the United States has ever done, including, remarkably enough, himself. So why not do it?... This will not, of course, “work” in the sense that Trump will be removed from office, but it will emphasize that what Trump has been doing for the past several weeks is or rather should be utterly beyond the pale.... What, my correspondent pressed me, is the argument against doing this? It’s a good question…

Réka Juhász, Mara P. Squicciarini, & Nico Voigtländer: Away from Home & Back: Coordinating (Remote) Workers in 1800 & 2020 https://www.nber.org/system/files/working_papers/w28251/w28251.pdf: ‘This paper examines the future of remote work by drawing parallels between two contexts: The move from home to factory-based production during the Industrial Revolution and the shift to work from home today. Both are characterized by a similar trade-off: the potential productivity advantage of the new working arrangement made possible by technology (mechanization or ICT), versus organizational barriers such as coordinating workers. Using contemporary data, we show that organizational barriers seem to be present today. Without further technological or organizational innovations, remote work may not be here to stay just yet…

John Naughton: Control Shift: Why Newspaper Hacks Are Switching to Substack https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/dec/26/control-shift-why-newspaper-hacks-are-switching-to-substack: ‘The biggest surprise, though, was how popular the audio diary was: it was consistently the most clicked-on link. And slowly, it dawned on me that audio seems to reach parts of the human psyche that other media cannot. Because the email was coming from a mailing-list server, some subscribers’ spam filters would occasionally block it, and on several occasions I received alarmed emails from readers who wondered if I had succumbed to Covid. But there was clearly something about the regularity of hearing a familiar voice every morning that was important. One reader used to play it during breakfast every morning; one day his wife observed that it was “like Thought for the Day but without the God stuff”. Recording it was quite hard work, and after 100 days I had to stop, as the demands of my day jobs began to ramp up, but the transcripts are now available as an e-book…

====

Martin Wolf: Five Forces That Will Define Our Post-Covid Future https://www.ft.com/content/dd359338-6200-40d3-8427-901bad134e21: ‘First, technology. The march of computing and communications technology continues.... Now, broadband communications, together with Zoom and similar videoconferencing software, has made it possible for a huge number of people to work from home.... Inevitably, this will not only include workers in their home countries, but workers sourced from abroad, too, usually on lower salaries. The result is likely to be a destabilising increase in what might be called “virtual immigration”. Second, inequality. Many higher-paid office workers have been able to work from home, while most others could not.... The likelihood is that the inequalities exacerbated in the pandemic will not have reduced by 2025.... Third, indebtedness.... The pandemic has dramatically increased borrowing by private and public sectors.... Fortunately, government debt is now extremely cheap.... Fourth, deglobalisation. The plausible future is not that international exchange is going to die. But it is likely to become more regional and more virtual.... After the global financial crisis, trade ceased to grow faster than world output.... Covid-19 reinforced these trends. A marked result has been a desire to shift supply chains back home, or at least out of China.... Finally, political tensions... a decline in the credibility of liberal democracy, the rise of demagogic authoritarianism... the rising power of China’s bureaucratic despotism... the rise of populism in core western countries and especially the US. While the victory of Joseph Biden represents a defeat for populism, president Donald Trump’s large share of the vote shows it has not disappeared.... The biggest challenge will demand a global co-operation that will not exist. Sustaining a dynamic world economy, preserving peace and managing the global commons were always going to be hard. But an era of populism and great power conflict will make this far more difficult…

Continue reading "Briefly Noted for 2021-01-06" »