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August 2017

Comment of the Day: Charles Steindel: Weekend Reading: Stephen Vincent Benet: Army of Northern Virginia (From John Brown's Body): "It seems to me that John Brown's Body is a sadly neglected piece... http://www.bradford-delong.com/2017/08/weekend-reading-vachel-lindsay-army-of-northern-virginia-from-john-browns-body.html?cid=6a00e551f08003883401bb09b9a749970d#comment-6a00e551f08003883401bb09b9a749970d

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Should-Read: "Enhancing" or "replacing"? Machines enhancing human brain power has been a thing ever since the first human notched a stick every time there was a new moon. If "AI" is to have a meaning, it will need a less all-inclusive definition...

Jacques Bughin and Eric Hazan: The new spring of artificial intelligence: "The Industrial Revolution was about machines enhancing human muscle power. The AI revolution is about machines enhancing human brain power... http://voxeu.org/article/new-spring-artificial-intelligence-few-early-economics

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Live from the EJMR Cesspool: No, George Borjas, I Do Not Find Your Views on EJMR "Refreshing": If I read you correctly, your view of the misogyny of EJMR last year was that it was:

refreshing... throwing off of the shackles of political correctness... [to discuss] mundane concerns... prestige, sex, money, landing a job, sex, professional misconduct, gossip, sex...

This year your view is it is:

[You] say 'hmm, what an interesting experiment' even though deep down inside you would know that it’s absolutely ridiculous and it’s downright pathetic.... EJMR... is indeed a refreshing difference from the self-censorship that we all use in public to discuss the thousands of 'Blah blah blah: Evidence from Blah blah blah' papers...

Retconning much, George?

Let me say what I think: I think you would be in a better position if you had either (a) agreed with Janet Currie that EJMR was a cesspool in 2016—and then gone on to say that it was a sometimes-useful cesspool—or (b) if you were to state now that you have rethought the issues, and that your views have changed.

Pick one. Or the other. Please.

See? I can say what I think. And I don't have to hide behind anonymity in a cesspool to do so.

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Procrastination on August 22, 2017

We re All Public Intellectuals Now The National Interest

Over at Equitable Growth: Must- and Should-Reads:

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Links for the Week of August 20, 2017

Must-Reads:

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A Reason—a Small Reason, But a Reason—Why the Quality of Republican Policy Governance in America Has Fallen So Low

Hieronymus Bosch

On Twitter https://twitter.com/de1ong/status/899444987896770561: The hard-working and intelligent Jim Tankersley sends me to:

Reihan Salam https://twitter.com/reihan/status/899428435508043777: "The best 'Why I'm running' statement I've ever read from a GOP candidate": Randy Boyd: Why I'm Running https://randyboyd.com/why-im-running/.

But Boyd is a joke:

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Data Management, Analysis, and Presentation Skills Are to the 21st Century What Writing in a Chancery Hand Was to the 13th: Hoisted from Various Archives

Science Is Different in the Movies The Outtake

Cosma Shalizi reminds me of the internet "data scientists are (good and empirically oriented) statisticians" discussion of 2011-12.

Let me say three things:

  1. You should never use Excel to handle your data.

  2. I don't know whether it is depressing or exhilarating to recognize that, for me as for Cosma, how often my reaction these days is: "I already wrote something incisive and very much worth reading about that—now to find it in my weblog archives..."

  3. Increasingly, data management, analysis, and presentation are things that many more people need for their jobs than statistics departments can reasonably expect to funnel through their major programs. It's like in the middle ages: the number of people who needed to have a good, clear, legible-penmanship chancery hand vastly exceeded the number of professional calligraphers and illustrators. Data management, analysis, and presentation skills are, increasingly, the legible-penmanship chancery hand of the twenty-first century.

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Must-Read: It should not be necessary to say that the "community" of EJMR is not Berkeley—or indeed, is not anywhere IRL. Also: cf.: Griefer.

Do not ignore or dismiss this.

Do note that I can recall only one economics professor of any ideology or university ever praising EJMR: George Borjas of Harvard, who called it "refreshing".

But, again, do not ignore of dismiss this:

Justin Wolfers: Evidence of a Toxic Environment for Women in Economics: "Ms. Wu set up her computer to identify whether the subject of each post is a man or a woman... https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/18/upshot/evidence-of-a-toxic-environment-for-women-in-economics.html

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Today's Economic History: Would I be out-of-turn to point out that these thesis statements by E.P. Thompson from his The Making of the English Working Class are, well, pretty much completely wrong? That there was no English working class in any Marxian sense of what a self-conscious class is that had been "made" by 1832? That there is almost no commonality between the working class of England as it stood in, say, 1926 and what there was in 1832?

E.P. Thompson: The Making of the English Working Class: "Class happens when some men, as a result of common experiences (inherited or shared)...

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Give It Up Folks Confederate Statues Are All About Racism Mother Jones

Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: Kevin Drum: Give It Up, Folks: Confederate Statues Are All About Racism: "I got... pushback from folks offering non-racist explanations for why these bursts of monument building happened to coincide with periods of white terror campaigns against blacks... http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/08/give-it-up-folks-confederate-statues-are-all-about-racism/

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Procrastination on August 17, 2017

We re All Public Intellectuals Now The National Interest

Over at Equitable Growth: Must- and Should-Reads:

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Should-Read: Will Dobbie and Jae Song: Targeted debt relief and the origins of financial distress: Experimental evidence from distressed credit card borrowers: "We identify the separate effects of the payment reductions and debt write-downs using variation from both the experiment and cross-sectional differences... http://equitablegrowth.org/working-papers/targeted-debt-relief-and-financial-distress/

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Should-Read: Jesse Rothstein: Inequality of educational opportunity? Schools as mediators of the intergenerational transmission of income: "Chetty et al. (2014) show that children from low-income families achieve much better adult outcomes... in some places than in others... http://equitablegrowth.org/working-papers/inequality-of-educational-opportunity-schools-as-mediators-of-the-intergenerational-transmission-of-income/

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Christopher Setterlund In My Footsteps In My Footsteps Trip 56 Marshfield Mass

Comment of the Day: Charles Steindel: Weekend Reading: Stephen Vincent Benet: From John Brown's Body http://www.bradford-delong.com/2017/08/weekend-reading-vachel-lindsay-army-of-northern-virginia-from-john-browns-body.html?cid=6a00e551f08003883401bb09b9a749970d#comment-6a00e551f08003883401bb09b9a749970d: "At this juncture, one might turn to Benet's best known work, The Devil and Daniel Webster:

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Yes, Virginia, Things Will Probably Get Better...

Berkeley campus Google Search

Live from America's Better Self: Orientation Day https://twitter.com/delong/status/897880320250322944: Yesterday we had 750 groups of about 20 people each following standards around the campus: The Berkeley freshmen are here. Young, smart very idealistic, many very upwardly mobile, somewhat scared, very excited—at the prospect of being no longer children but themselves, and grown-ups.

You look at them, and you have to think America is very great indeed.

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Note to Self: Data Science Reading List:

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Note to Self: View jupyter notebook from dropbox (or other) links:

  • Dropbox: change: "https://www.dropbox.com/" to: "http://nbviewer.jupyter.org/urls/dl.dropbox.com/"; then load the url...
  • Else: change: "https://" to "http://nbviewer.jupyter.org/"; then load the url...

Information Technology and the Future of Society

Microprocessor Google Search

Hoisted from 2001: Information Technology and the Future of Society (My Bekeley CITRIS Kickoff Talk) http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/TotW/citris_kickoff.html: For perhaps 9000 years after the beginnings of agriculture the overwhelming proportion of human work lives were spent making things: growing crops, shearing sheep, spinning yarn, weaving cloth, throwing pots, cutting down trees, copying books, and so on, and so forth.

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Live from the End of the Slavery Rebellion: U.S. Grant: At Appomattox http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2010/04/confederate-history-month-grant-at-apomattox.html:

My own feelings... were sad and depressed. I felt like anything rather than rejoicing at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse...

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Links for the Week of August 13, 2017

Must-Reads:

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Weekend Reading: Vachel Lindsay **Stephen Vincent Benet**: Army of Northern Virginia (From John Brown's Body)

Weekend Reading: Vachel Lindsay Stephen Vincent Benet: Army of Northern Virginia (From John Brown's Body) http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks07/0700461.txt:

The cold. The mud. The bleak wonder.
The weakening sickness--the weevils tainting the bread--
We were beaten again in spite of all we could do.
We don't know what went wrong but something went wrong.
When will we find a man who can really lead us?
When will we not be wasted without success?

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Weekend Reading: Vachel Lindsay **Stephen Vincent Benet**: From John Brown's Body

Weekend Reading: Vachel Lindsay Stephen Vincent Benet: From John Brown's Body http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks07/0700461.txt:

The horses, burning-hooved, drove on toward the sea,
But, where they had passed, the air was troubled and sick
Like earth that the shoulder of earthquake heavily stirs.
There was a whisper moving that air all night,
A whisper that cried and whimpered about the house
Where John Brown prayed to his God, by his narrow bed.

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