CONFERENCE COMMENT: How Should Latin Americans Understand the United States Today?
PODCAST: Hexapodia VI: The Global South Begins to Converge to the Global North!; Wiþ Noah Smith & Brad DeLong

BRIEFLY NOTED: for 2021-02-16 Tu

Things that went whizzing by that I want to remember...


I have a difficult time figuring out what to do with the NeverTrumpers. They are, most of the time, talking sense—now. But they were all enthusiastic boosters of all of the Littler Trumps who led up to this moment, from Sarah Palin to George W. Bush in a flightsuit proclaiming “Mission Accomplished” to the “why doesn’t anybody ever talk about Black-on-Black crime?”.

If one is going to have a conversion on the road to Damascus and then have the, as it were, scales fall from your eyes on the street called “Straight”, you kinda have an obligation to Testify to that Damascus Moment, don’t you?

Thus the problem is that for “where people are” read “where David French and all of his friends have led them": Donald Trump, after all, is not that different from Newt Gingrich in their common platform that the purpose of politics and governance is simply to own the liberals by every means possible:

David FrenchThe Spiritual Problem at the Heart of Christian Vaccine Refusal: ‘In conversations about the vaccine, I’ve heard a number of people declare, “I’m just less trusting than you.” In reality, these people still trust… a favorite internet voice, a local pastor, or a Bible study full of close friends who have shared counter-cultural health tips and advice for years. There’s a hostile and condescending way of approaching the different ways we trust. Yes, you can caricature objections and claim that Christians “believe the latest hoax video on more than the Centers for Disease Control.” But we must instead meet people where they are…. Just as you don’t mock someone out of fundamentalism or sneer them out of conspiracies, you can’t berate them into trusting institutions they may perceive to be distant, elitist, and hostile…. [It] requires us to listen, to hear exactly why someone is concerned and to respond—again, without condescension—to their fears. In that atmosphere of trust and respect, you’ll often find that you can easily allay their concerns… 

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Very Briefly Noted:

One Video:

Jade: Lagrangian Mechanics—A Beautiful Way to Look at the World<>:

Four Paragraphs:

Mohamed A. El-ErianThe US Recovery’s Promising Moment: ‘Recent macroeconomic figures and the accelerating pace of COVID–19 vaccination suggest… optimism about the US economy…. [A] notable economic pickup is being driven by the release of pent-up demand… and… fiscal stimulus… both likely to intensify as vaccines continue to be administered more quickly…. But three main challenges…. First, progress toward increased vaccine availability is necessary but insufficient…. Second… the pickup in economic activity has yet to be accompanied by a sustained, strong rebound in employment…. Third… the fear is that the additional stimulus will trigger a spike in inflation and market interest rates, which could derail a sustained recovery and heighten the risk of financial-market accidents…

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Barry EichengreenRagnar Nurkse & the International Financial Architecture: ‘Estonian economist… the early Nurkse… concerned with exchange rates, capital flows and what today we call the international financial architecture…. How many of Nurkse’s points about the interwar gold standard are confirmed by subsequent scholarship? How many of his points are still relevant to the international monetary problems of today?… LINK: <>

We should not say “my newsletter, which is on SubStack”; we should say “my weblog, which is at the moment on substack”: 

Dan HonThe One Where I Don’t Want To Talk About Substack Just As Much As You Do, & Yet: ‘We should not say “I have a Substack” but instead “my newsletter, which is on Substack”, because we should not give power to brands in this way. Are we going to see a variant of yeah, I was into {band} before they were cool as a yeah, I used {tech platform} before they became synonymous with right-wing cancelled people Actually, I will go out on a limb and make a prediction: we’re going to see a lot more of the above qualification, that “Yeah, I used {platform} before it became known for being racist/sexist/misogynist/abusive etc.” And that was only the first Substack thing today… LINK: <>

Kaleberg2525: ‘I’m not naturally optimistic, but I think you are too pessimistic on the technology front… the golden age of materials science… glimpses of what is possible with nano-structures, bio-mimetics, non-traditional metallurgy, meta-materials… spin, as opposed to charge, based electronics is much faster and uses much less power. New classes of reflective and transmissive materials…. Much of that 2.1% technological growth has changed the commons. Rothschild couldn’t have bought a modern antibiotic, and neither can you. You can only “buy” amoxicillin because we have a medical-pharmacological-health insurance-research complex…. If you look to the future, it pays to think about what the commons can deliver, rather than individual components of it. Let me make some possibly correct predictions on this basis: In 2525, people will not get cancer…. People will be able to travel from point to point on the planet in less than fifteen minutes…. Energy use per-capita will be lower than today, but heating, cooling, transportation and manufacturing will be more productive. Manufacturing will increasingly be as-needed…. In some ways, society advances one patent expiration at a time…

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