#noted Feed

Briefly Noted for 2020-08-16

FRED: Continued Claims (Insured Unemployment) (CCSA) https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CCSA

 

Once again: suppress the virus so that nobody who comes into close contact with an elderly or comorbid relative has great reason for fear, and the economy will then recover. Fail to suppress the virus to that extent, and the economy will remain in depression:

Anne O. Krueger: The Open Secret to Reopening the Economy https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/covid19-virus-will-decide-when-economy-can-reopen-by-anne-krueger-2020-07: ‘Areas that eased their initial COVID-19 lockdowns and now have surging infection rates are a testament to all that has gone wrong in the pandemic. The lesson from day one still holds: until the virus is defeated, there can be no return to normal...

 

One of the best attempts I have ever seen to think through the mobilization of consent for right-wing anti-democracy in the modern age:

Sergei Guriev & Daniel Treisman: Informational Autocracy: Theory and Empirics of Modern Authoritarianism https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2571905: ‘In recent decades, dictatorships based on mass repression have largely given way to a new model based on the manipulation of information... convincing the public they are competent... propaganda and silence informed members of the elite by co-optation or censorship... a rhetoric of performance rather than one aimed at inspiring fear…

 

The Bloomberg editorial board says, with respect to the Judy Shelton Federal Reserve nomination, that water is wet:

Bloomberg Editorial Board: Judy Shelton Nomination: The Fed Doesn’t Need This Disruption https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-07-21/judy-shelton-nomination-the-fed-doesn-t-need-this-disruption: ‘Shelton... was long an ardent supporter of a return to the gold standard, a defunct system that entailed making the dollar convertible into a stable.... More recently, before the pandemic hit and as her nomination was in train, she did an about-face, aligning herself with Trump’s demands for the Fed to stimulate growth by lowering interest rates. Either way, Shelton is unlikely to be a reliably stabilizing force at a time when stability is needed most...

 

The hope was that a small increase in the share of people with college degrees would, if demand curves had the right slopes, have a large effect on the only-high-school wage discount. It looks as though this hope was in vain:

Kathryn Zickuhr: A College Degree Is Not the Solution to U.S. Wage Inequality https://equitablegrowth.org/a-college-degree-is-not-the-solution-to-u-s-wage-inequality/: ‘The skills gap... fails to account for declining worker power and... monopsony.... Policymakers need to improve the underlying labor market conditions for all workers, instead of shifting responsibility…

 

The hard truth is that we need another month-long lockdown, but that a month-long lockdown is only worth doing if it is properly followed up. And—given the grifters, ghouls, and easily-grifted gulls on the Republican side of at the aisle—I see no prospect of a proper follow-up until January 21, 2021 at the earliest:

Heather Boushey: 'In another world https://twitter.com/HBoushey/status/1289222754236071941, a sharp drop in activity would have been just a good, necessary blip while we addressed the virus.... We did not get the virus under control https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/30/business/economy/q2-gdp-coronavirus-economy.html

 

Techopia: Why China Does Have an Advantage in the Fourth Industrial Revolution https://www.techopia.co/post/why-china-advantage-fourth-industrial-revolution-ai: ‘We see no reason why the lessons of The Innovator's Dilemma can't apply to nations. China has been investing in new specialisms while the rest of the world watches on.... The first stage of a technology evolution is proving it and evolving it to be adoptable. The second phase is its fuller adoption, disruption of incumbents and productivity benefits. The markets are not always good at funding technologies before these benefits have set in, particularly when these require significant capital expenditure...

Wikipedia: Scipio Aemilianus https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scipio_Aemilianus

Wikipedia: Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica Serapio https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Publius_Cornelius_Scipio_Nasica_Serapio

MAD Gaze: _ GLOW: Stylish MR Smart Glasses by MAD Gaze_ https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/madgaze/mad-gaze-glow-lightweight-and-stylish-mr-glasses-for-you/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f53vZowtfmo&feature=emb_logo

 

Plus:

Randall Munroe: xkcd: Git https://xkcd.com/1597/

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Thomson-DeVeaux: What Economists Fear Will Happen Wiþout More Unemployment Aid—Noted

It was a supply shock. Now—with the expiry of income support—it is a supply shock an a demand shock. And—if we continue to make no progress in stomping the virus—it will become not just a transitory supply shock but a major reallocation shock as well, as the economy transforms itself painfully into a permanently socially-distanced one.

I am on this panel:

Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux: What Economists Fear Will Happen Wiþout More Unemployment Aid https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-economists-fear-will-happen-without-more-unemployment-aid/: ‘A sudden uptick in food insecurity. A wave of evictions. People spending less money at shops and restaurants. More job losses.... Our regular survey... conducted in partnership with the Initiative on Global Markets at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.... The economists also said we’re more likely to see job losses than workers returning to the workforce if Congress decides not to extend the unemployment supplement in any form. That might seem counterintuitive—how could a policy that seems likely to encourage more people to return to work actually result in more job losses? But recent research has indicated that the 600-per-week payment has been allowing jobless workers to continue to spend money as they would normally, at a moment when hiring still isn’t back to normal.... Asked... which were most likely to bring about their nightmares. As a group, they said a lack of fiscal stimulus loomed almost as large as a bad second wave of COVID-19 infections...

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Farr & Gao: How Taiwan Beat þe Coronavirus—Noted

Yes, the coronavirus can be beaten. Schools are reopening and the economy is back to normal in Taiwan. We could beat it too with a nationwide, no more than one month lockdown. But it would have to be nationwide, and it would have to be enforced. Whether a country is able to figure out how to do this is, as Paul Krugman has said, an example fo the marshmellow test:

Christina Farr & Michelle Gao: How Taiwan Beat þe Coronavirus https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/15/how-taiwan-beat-the-coronavirus.html: ‘Taiwan has been praised for its highly effective Covid-19 response. Taiwan, which has nearly 24 million citizens, has had only 451 cases and seven deaths. Taiwan had a plan in place for years, which involved quarantines, contact tracing and wide availability of masks, among other things...

...When Catherine Chou arrived in Taipei after flying from Los Angeles, authorities told her she would need to quarantine for two weeks. For Chou, a citizen, that meant booking herself into a hotel at her own expense, although subsidies are available and the government has paid stipends for some stays. When she first arrived, she got a welcome package including dish soap, nail clippers and laundry detergent. Food was delivered to her doorstep. Several times a day, a representative of the local district’s office phoned her to check in and thank her for doing her part. She’s now almost wrapped up her hotel room stay. Once she’s officially cleared of Covid-19, she’ll be free to go.

After living in the U.S., which is still partially closed in various states, she’s looking forward to simple pleasures like visiting her family at home or sitting in a coffee shop with a good book. Taiwan allowed many of its restaurants and bars to reopen in May. “We have this phrase in Taiwan that roughly translates to, ‘This is your country, and it’s up to you to save it,’” she said. “I’m really glad that they’re taking this quarantine seriously”...

.#noted #2020-08-15

Resnick: US Covid-19 Testing & Surveillance Is Still in þe Dark_

I confess that back in March I was flummoxed by the fact that the American government and the American health sector could not scale-up to test people for coronavirus at the needed scalr. Today I am even more flummoxed by Americas continuing testing deficit. It makes it impossible to even figure out where we are with the virus, let alone plan how to try to fight it successfully at reasonable cost:

Brian Resnick: US Covid-19 Testing & Surveillance Is Still in þe Dark https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2020/8/5/21351766/covid-19-testing-tracking-hospitalizations-schools-reopening: ‘“It’s like we’re flying blind”: The US has a Covid-19 data problem: And fall is fast approaching...

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þe Deplorable Steve Calebresi Finally Sees How Deplorable He Has Been—Noted

And another Trump enabler looks around and says “what have I been doing?” It is, frankly, deplorable that it is not until now that Steve Calabresi has decided that Trump is a fascist: Matt Shuham: Federalist Society Co-Founder Calls Trump Bid To Change Election Day ‘Fascistic,’ Impeachable https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/federalist-society-co-founder-calls-trump-bid-to-change-election-day-fascistic-impeachable: ‘The co-founder of the conservative legal organization the Federalist Society said Thursday that Trump’s bid to move Election Day was “fascistic” and worthy of impeachment. Steven Calabresi wrote in a [New York Times op-ed that he’d voted for Trump, protested the Mueller investigation and opposed the President’s impeachment over the Ukraine pressure campaign. But, Calabresi wrote, “I am frankly appalled by the president’s recent tweet seeking to postpone the November election. Until recently, I had taken as political hyperbole the Democrats’ assertion that President Trump is a fascist,” he said. “But this latest tweet is fascistic and is itself grounds for the president’s immediate impeachment again by the House of Representatives and his removal from office by the Senate.” Calabrisi, whose organization has been hugely influential in Trump’s massive record of judicial appointments, emphasized… [that] the decision isn’t his to make, and besides, the United States voted on the appointed date even during the Civil War and the Great Depression. “President Trump needs to be told by every Republican in Congress that he cannot postpone the federal election,” Calabresi said. “Doing so would be illegal, unconstitutional and without precedent in American history. Anyone who says otherwise should never be elected to Congress again”… #noted #2020-08-15


Black: Always Worth Reading—Noted

Always worth reading: Duncan Black: Monster Trucks https://www.eschatonblog.com/2020/08/monster-trucks.html: ‘Just pedestrian killing machines: "Furthermore, the specific design trend of the massive hood sticking way out in front of the driver, with a cliff-face front grille obstructing the view several feet out in front of the wheels, is entirely a marketing gimmick.... Take it from the guy who designed the latest GM Sierra HD: "The front end was always the focal point... we spent a lot of time making sure that when you stand in front of this thing it looks like it's going to come get you. It's got that pissed-off feel," he told Muscle Cars & Trucks. "The face of these trucks is where the action is," marketing expert Mark Schirmer told the Wall Street Journal's Dan Neil.... And as Neil discovered when he was nearly run down in a Costco parking lot, that massive grille creates a massive blind spot…

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Drum: Underground Cost of Health Care—Noted

The last time I went into my children’s pediatricians’ office, they had two doctors, three nurses, and four papers shufflers there—and the paper shufflers were mirrored by four more paper shufflers at the insurance companies, all trying to keep whatever the pediatricians were deciding to do from being covered by insurance. But, as Kevin Drum rightly points out, that is not the only overhead of our insane healthcare financing system. We patients spend a lot of time working for the insurance companies for free as well: Kevin Drum: How Big Is the Underground Cost of Health Care? https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2020/07/how-big-is-the-underground-cost-of-health-care/: ‘the health care system... massively inefficient and prone to errors, most of which end up falling on patients to fix... on hold making appointments... medication errors... arguing with insurance companies... back-and-forth... telling doctors what some other doctor said... miscommunications caused by the fact that doctors typically know nothing about the actual operation of their own industry. Etc.... elements of the health care system that are outsourced to patients themselves. It never gets accounted for, but for all practical purposes the health care system relies on the unpaid labor of patients... I have never seen a study that tries to compare this underground cost among countries... .#noted #2020-08-15


Briefly Noted for 2020-08-15

Briefly Noted:

Hamilton Project: Black Households & COVID-19: Impediments to Economic Security https://www.hamiltonproject.org/events/black_households_covid_19_impediments_to_economic_security: ‘how COVID-19 has exacerbated racial economic inequality... Maya Rockeymoore Cummings... Jevay Grooms... Bradley Hardy... Trevon Logan... Stephanie Rawlings-Blake... & Danyelle Solomon…

Philip Stephens: An Election to Decide America’s Place in þe World https://www.ft.com/content/876ba013-65d1-47aa-b8b0-79445efa7f71: ‘November’s contest will be as consequential for the world as any since Franklin D Roosevelt…

Ashley Nunes: Ride-hailing’s Collapsing House of Cards https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2020/08/13/1597305329000/Ride-hailing-s-collapsing-house-of-cards/: ‘Ride-hailing’s profitability aspirations ultimately conflict with its desire to upend the global auto market. These companies have a choice. By the virtue of raising or lowering fares they can either excite investors or thrill consumers. But they can’t do both…

Jim Sleeper: The Inevitability of Defending Henry Kissinger https://newrepublic.com/article/158897/barry-gewen-kissinger-nixon-foreign-policy: ‘Kissinger’s and Nixon’s bloody maneuvers—in Cambodia, in Vietnam—weren’t as necessary or inevitable as their admirers and apologists assert. Gewen cites the condemnations not so much to engage with them as to give his own assessments an aura of truth-seeking candor…

Andrew J.Jalil & al.: Eating to Save þe Planet: Evidence From A Randomized Controlled Trial Using Individual-Level Food Purchase Data https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0306919220301548?via%3Dihub: ‘Climate change-health educational intervention reduces meat consumption.... "Win-win" message (EAT-Lancet Commission) leads to sustainable dietary change.... International food policy debate on interventions to meet global climate change goals…

Cecile Gaubert & Oleg Itskhoki: Superstar firms & þe Comparative Advantage of Countries https://voxeu.org/article/superstar-firms-and-comparative-advantage-countries: ‘We find that large individual firms appear to be a quantitatively important force in driving the comparative advantage of countries and its evolution over time. The granular structure of the world economy arguably offers incentives for governments to adopt trade and industrial policies targeted at individual firms…

Lacedaemonia as tourist trap: Plutarch: Life of Lycurgus http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Plutarch/Lives/Lycurgus*.html: 'The boys make such a serious matter of their stealing, that one of them, as the story goes, who was carrying concealed under his cloak a young fox which he had stolen, suffered the animal to tear out his bowels with its teeth and claws, and died rather than have his theft detected. And even this story gains credence from what their youths now endure, many of whom I have seen expiring under the lash at the altar of Artemis Orthia...

 

Plus:

Joel E. Cohen: How to Count Humans https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/lancet-population-growth-study-july-2020-by-joel-e-cohen-2020-08: ‘the global population is likely to peak in 2064 at 9.7 billion, before declining to 8.8 billion by 2100.... 23 countries... at most half their 2017 size by 2100.... By contrast, Nigeria’s population is expected to grow 3.8-fold between 2017 and 2100: Stein Emil Vollset & al.: Fertility, Mortality, Migration, & Population Scenarios For 195 Countries & Territories From 2017 To 2100 https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30677-2/fulltext

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Quiggin: Intangibles = Monopoly—Noted

We kinda-sorta understood the economies of the past: the agrarian-age economy based on agriculture in handicrafts, the succeeding commercial-age economy to which was added commerce, the industrial-revolution economy based more on manufacturing and non-animal power sources, and then modern economic growth based on mass production and engineering communities. But now we have a problem. Our problem now is that, increasingly, our computer age information and attention economy works differently. And we do not understand it terribly well:

John Quiggin: Intangibles = Monopoly https://crookedtimber.org/2020/08/11/intangibles-monopoly/: ‘The fact that the most profitable companies, particularly tech companies, don’t have all that much in the way of capital assets compared to their market value. What they have is monopoly power, which has been increasing steadily over time...

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Stone: Russia, America, and the American Press—Noted

I.F. Stone (1954): On Russia, America, and the American Press https://www.bradford-delong.com/2006/09/if_stone_on_rus.html: ‘If there is indeed a monstrous and diabolic conspiracy against world peace and stability, then isn't McCarthy right? If "subversives" are at work like termites... are they not likely to be found in the most unlikely places and under the most unlikely disguises?... To doubt the power of the devil... is... to incur suspicion of being oneself in league with the powers of evil. So all the fighters against McCarthyism are impelled to adopt its premises.... Nowhere in American politics is there evidence of any important figure (even Stevenson) prepared to talk in sober, mature, and realistic terms of the real problems which arise in a real world where national rivalries, mass aspirations, and ideas clash as naturally as waves of the sea. The premises of free society and of liberalism find no one to voice them, yet McCarthyisms will not be ended until someone has the nerve to make this kind of fundamental attack on it… .#noted #1954-01-01


Farrell: Charles Rowley Was Never All There...—Noted

Henry Farrell (2009): Death to the Keynesian Insect That Preys on the Life of the People! https://crookedtimber.org/2009/12/06/death-to-the-keynesian-insect-that-preys-on-the-life-of-the-people/: ‘It’s super-duper awesome! Charles Rowley, familiar to long time CT readers for his ruminations on the corruption of the profession of political science... and his bizarre attack on Avner Greif... now has his own blog. It’s everything that one might possibly hope for. My favorite so far is the bit telling us that: "the massive fist of free market ideas once again will smash through the false consciousness of Keynesian dreams, and voters will rush to elect leaders such as Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan..." ‘cos it’s a level of rhetorical styling that I haven’t seen since I used to pick up the newsletter of the Maoist International Movement.... But the Obama=Sykes, Larry Summers=Fagin “post” runs a very close second... #noted 2020-08-12


Sabelhaus: Restoring þe Federal Estate Tax Is a Proven Way to Raise Revenue & Address Wealth Inequality—Noted from Equitable Growth

An excellent and brand-new working paper by John Sabelhaus: John Sabelhaus: Restoring þe Federal Estate Tax Is a Proven Way to Raise Revenue & Address Wealth Inequality https://equitablegrowth.org/restoring-the-federal-estate-tax-is-a-proven-way-to-raise-revenue-and-address-wealth-inequality/: ‘There are four principal reasons why expanding the estate tax could well be the most effective and efficient way.... First, policymakers have repeatedly cut the estate tax over the past 20 years, without regard for the true economic and distributional consequences.... Second... the estate tax, in practice, is better described as an effective backstop to the federal income tax.... Third, the very failure to collect taxes on the true incomes of the very wealthy increases wealth inequality within generations and amplifies the inequality due to intergenerational wealth transfers.... Fourth... reviv[ing] the estate tax—doing so would greatly improve the overall fiscal outlook of the federal government, and in a highly progressive way… .#equitablegrowth #noted #2020-08-14


Hardy & Logan: Race & þe Lack of Intergenerational Economic Mobility in þe United States—Noted from Equitable Growth

I have talked about this before. But now it is back on the agenda in a much more salient way for a large number of reasons, of which perhaps the largest is the police murder of George Floyd:

Bradley Hardy & Trevon Logan: Race & þe Lack of Intergenerational Economic Mobility in þe United States https://equitablegrowth.org/race-and-the-lack-of-intergenerational-economic-mobility-in-the-united-states/: ‘Geographic and racial differences in economic mobility are particularly important from a policy perspective for three reasons. First, racial differences in mobility can exacerbate racial differences in other areas.... Second, inequalities in opportunity are antithetical to our nation’s creed.... Third, structural differences in mobility limit the potential for overall U.S. economic growth.... The historic links between intergenerational economic mobility and race and income inequality.... The known policy remedies for persistently low intergenerational economic mobility among African Americans.... A mix of policies to promote more equitable housing and educational opportunities alongside moves to boost income security and wealth accumulation… .#equitablegrowth #noted #2020-08-14


Equitable Growth: Unemployment Insurance Claims—Noted from Equitable Growth

Better news from the labor market than I was expecting: while the coronavirus plague is still on the increase nationwide, that has not spilled over to further depress the economy—at least not yet. However, to the extent that we could suppress the virus cheaply and easily by accepting a deepening of the recession, we would be fools to be pleased that we are not doing so:

Equitable Growth: 'Regular continued claims, or the number of workers who are now insured, fell to 15.2 million the week ending August 1... 10.4 percent https://twitter.com/equitablegrowth/status/1293889469851095041.... For the week ending August 8, 831,856 workers filed for regular unemployment benefits.... States reported that another 488,622 workers filed for initial PUA, the program that extended eligibility to some workers, such as caretakers, the self-employed, and those without enough earnings history, who are not eligible for regular jobless benefits.... Experts warn that President Trump’s presidential memorandum on UI is regressive (it excludes those receiving less than $100 in unemployment benefits) and extremely difficult to implement (states might have to set up entirely new delivery systems)… .#noted #2020-08-14


Husak: Uber‘s CEO Says Uber Is a Value-Subtracting Firm—Noted from Equitable Growth

If Uber cannot be profitable if the government requires it to pay its workers enough that they make at least minimum wage, than Uber is not a value-adding firm. It is, rather, a value-destroying firm—like the state-owned enterprises of behind the Iron Curtain. Capital should flow to something that can be profitable when it pays workers minimum wage. Workers should take up better-paying options. If Uber needs a playing field especially tilted towards it to survive, it is a net negative for the economy. That's just Econ 1:

Corey Husak: 'Uber‘s CEO... [is] asking for a complete re-shaping of labor law https://twitter.com/CoreyHusak/status/1293630881349992449 just to fit their profit scheme.... Their real innovation was finding tricks to pay drivers less than their competitors... [by] making workers contractors instead of employees.... Larry Mishel at EPI found that after deducting expenses, Uber fees, taxes, and the benefits they’d make as employees, Uber drivers take home only $9.21/hr, of the $22/hr they generate in fares.... A lack of benefits makes them among the most exposed to the effects of the #coronavirus recession. A normal person looks at this and thinks “Drivers need support. Uber should follow minimum wage laws.”... However, paying workers more would hurt profits, so Uber claims they couldn’t possibly provide their drivers the same rights and benefits as most other employers…

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538: Minnesota as þe Most Likely Battleground—Noted

Minnesota as the most likely tipping-point state. Democratic edge (in order): Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada, New Hampshire, Michigan. Republican edge (in order): Florida, Arizona, Nebraska (2), North Carolina, Ohio: 538: 2020 Election Forecast https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2020-election-forecast/… .#highlighted #noted #politics #2020-08-13

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þe Ghouls Who Ran Herman Cain's Twitter Feed While He Fought for His Life & þen Drowned in His Hospital Bed Continue þe Grift—Noted

The ghouls who ran Herman Cain's twitter feed while he fought for his life & then drowned in his hospital bed continue the grift: Rob Beschizza: Herman Cain Tweets From Beyond Þe Grave https://boingboing.net/2020/08/13/herman-cain-tweets-from-beyond.html: ‘Herman Cain... banal pro-Trump propaganda... a grim month-long spectacle seemingly pumped out by political handlers willing to speak with Cain's voice even as that voice ceased to exist. I speculated that the tweets would continue after his death, a melding of Trumpian incompetence, obscenity and indifference. I was asked to stop posting on grounds of "Rob, He Just Died", but sadly that exortation was not made to whoever is wearing Cain's corpse today on Twitter… .#noted #orangehairedbaboons #2020-08-13


Briefly Noted for 2020-08-13

Reporters without Borders: The Uncensored Library https://www.uncensoredlibrary.com/en

Wikipedia: Adalbert von Bredow https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adalbert_von_Bredow: ‘Von Bredow married Dr. Elise Cäcilie Friederike Kühne in 1849. It took a lot of convincing to get her to go out with him... [a] known and respected academic and long head of university departments…

Aliette de Bodard: The Inaccessibility of Heaven https://uncannymagazine.com/article/the-inaccessibility-of-heaven/: ‘Night. A night like any other in Starhollow: the headlights of cars, small and lost between the skyscrapers; the smell of hydromel and wine wafting from those few bars still open; and above me, the distant light of the stars, a constant reminder of the inaccessibility of Heaven…

Julie E. Czerneda: The Big Idea https://whatever.scalzi.com/2020/08/12/the-big-idea-julie-e-czerneda-2/: ‘Alien Squabbles? Worlds in Conflict? Come to the Web Shifter’s Library! The library in question is the All Species’ Library of Linguistics and Culture. It began, quite simply, as a way for trouble to find my characters: Esen-alit-Quar, the semi-immortal shapeshifting Web-being, and her Human friend, Paul Ragem…

Rob Beschizza: Ilhan Omar Thrashes Well-Funded Primary Challenger https://boingboing.net/2020/08/12/illhan-omar-thrashes-well-fund.html: ‘Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar fended off a well-funded challenger in yesterday's primary election and is and is now all but certain to retain her seat in November's general. Antone Melton-Meaux raised millions in the 5th district race but conceded…

Elizabeth Choe & al.: Becoming the Next Bill Nye: Writing and Hosting the Educational Show https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/biological-engineering/20-219-becoming-the-next-bill-nye-writing-and-hosting-the-educational-show-january-iap-2015/instructor-insights/

Williams-Sonoma Taste: Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce https://blog.williams-sonoma.com/chicken-with-mustard-cream-sauce/

Naked Wines http://nakedwines.com

Mark Frauenfelder: "Phoenix Checklist": The Plan https://boingboing.net/2019/02/28/heres-the-cias-phoenix-c.html: 'The "Phoenix Checklist" is a set of questions developed by the CIA to define and think about a problem, and how to develop a solution...

 

Plus:

Kirby Ferguson: QAnon, Conspiracy Theories, and the Rise of Magical Thinking https://kottke.org/20/08/qanon-conspiracy-theories-and-the-rise-of-magical-thinking: ‘1. Obsession with symbols and codes (e.g. pizza as a “deep state” code for child trafficking). 2. Dot connecting (e.g. linking 5G with Covid-19). 3. Behind every event is a plan concocted by a person (e.g. Soros and the “deep state” conspiracy). 4. Purity (e.g. the Satanic panic and heavy metal music). 5. Apocalypse is nigh (e.g. the “deep state” again). 6. Preoccupation with good and evil (e.g. liberals are not only wrong but evil)…

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Briefly Noted for 2020-08-11

Plato: The Republic http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1497/1497-h/1497-h.htm: ‘Come, then, and I will tell you the story of Er...

Bob Pozen: Proactive Indexing: Index Funds & IPOs https://mailchi.mp/6bfedcf64bb7/proactive-indexing-index-fundsand-ipos?e=7e7976b4fc: ‘Index funds could generate excess returns if they bought IPO stocks when they were initially offered.... There is risk…

Raghuram G. Rajan: Should Governments Spend Away? https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/government-spending-debt-burden-on-future-generations-by-raghuram-rajan-2020-08: ‘Painful reminders of what happens when countries cannot service their debts.... The notion that anyone should be made whole because the pandemic “wasn’t their fault” immediately becomes untenable…

Sean Guynes: The Ursula K. Le Guin Reread https://www.tor.com/series/the-ursula-k-le-guin-reread/

Matt Mikalatos: The Great C.S. Lewis Reread https://www.tor.com/series/the-great-c-s-lewis-reread/

Duncan Black: Down Up https://www.eschatonblog.com/2020/08/down-up.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+blogspot/bRuz+(Eschaton): ‘I'd like to ask some of the people who spun out their fantasies of how to open schools safely if any of them actually believed anything they suggested was possible, or if it was just a propaganda effort…

David Corn: The Republican Party Is Racist and Soulless. Just Ask This Veteran GOP Strategist. https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2020/08/racism-republican-party-stuart-stevens/: ‘Stuart Stevens says he now realizes the hatred and bigotry of Trumpism were always at the heart of the GOP…

Josh Tyler: Star Trek: Lower Decks Review: The Best Trek Since DS9 https://www.giantfreakinrobot.com/ent/star-trek-lower-decks-review.html: ‘That the people making [it]... actually know something... is a much bigger deal than it might seem.... JJ Abrams... loudly declared he didn’t like Star Trek.... Abrams handed... over to his acolyte Alex Kurtzman... [who] wouldn’t know a Tholian from a Gorn if they were standing right in front of him…

 

Plus:

Scott Lemieuxc: Real Americans https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2020/07/real-americans: ‘Most troubling of all, perhaps, was a sentiment the expert said a member of Kushner’s team expressed: that because the virus had hit blue states hardest, a national plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically…. That logic may have swayed Kushner. “It was very clear that Jared was ultimately the decision maker as to what [plan] was going to come out”.... For you young people out there, it’s almost impossible to convey how long the idea that Democrats are snooty elitists who don’t care about anyone outside coastal urban areas was taken as a given in mainstream political coverage.... John Kerry was disciplined enough not to make a gaffe so… Maureen Dowd… [made] up a quote about NASCAR…. But when reactionaries from Wallace to Palin to Trump talk about REAL AMERICA, they mean it—it structures their entire worldview. Jared’s belief that the lives of people in blue states (who are less affluent than he is) are worth nothing is just a blunter statement about the ethos that governs Republican politics. It’s no different when Wisconsin Republicans declare they have the permanent right to minority rule because cities shouldn’t really count and the Republicans on the Supreme Court wink at multiple provisions of the Constitution to agree with them. They’re completely straightforward about it, and yet it gets much less attention than John Kerry ordering Swiss cheese on a cheesesteak...

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Plato: Myth of Er—Noted

Not much of a dialogue. But it is a story. Sokrates is speaking:

Plato: The Republic: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1497/1497-h/1497-h.htm: 'Come, then, and I will tell you the story of Er, the son of Armenius, a valiant man. He was supposed to have died in battle, but ten days afterwards his body was found untouched by corruption and sent home for burial. On the twelfth day he was placed on the funeral pyre and there he came to life again, and told what he had seen in the world below...

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Fall 2020: Virtual Economic History Seminar—Noted

Virtual Economic History Seminar https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/staff/crei/virhist: 'Following the Spring 2020 seminars co-organised by Petra Moser, Katherine Eriksson and Melissa Thomasson, we will continue meeting on Mondays 11-noon Vancouver / 2-3pm Washington DC / 7-8pm London.... Co-organised with Bitsy Perlman and Felipe Valencia Caicedo… .#economichistory #noted #remoteinstruction #2020-08-11


Smith: Coronavirus Relief: Republicans in Disarray—Noted

The House Republicans caucus could not govern when they were in the majority. The House was then run by a caucus composed of non-Tea Party Republicans negotiating with Nancy Pelosi, so that she would give permission for enough Democrats to vote for a bill to make up a majority.

Now it looks like Mitch McConnell has decided that his Senate caucus has the same degree of dysfunction: it looks as though he will sign on to whatever economy-rescue bill Pelosi agrees on with Mnuchin.

Here Karl Smith gives his take on how that happened:

Karl W. Smith: Coronavirus Relief Bill Has Republicans in Disarray https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-07-22/coronavirus-relief-bill-has-republicans-in-disarray: ‘The pandemic has left GOP lawmakers deeply splintered, not just over tactics or strategy but on basic principles. There are roughly four factions...

...If they don’t find a way to heal their fractures, U.S. workers and the overall economy will suffer even more.... Republicans... have traditionally supported government-led action and unrestrained spending only to battle foreign foes; with some notable exceptions, they have preferred to leave domestic issues to the private sector or the states....

The pandemic has pushed [one] group over the edge. Congress has spent almost half as much fighting Covid-19 over the last four months as it spent in nearly 20 years fighting the war on terror.... They are not prepared to spend another dime....

There is another group... that sees the main issue as the reckless promiscuity of the original Cares Act... that... gave potentially hundreds of billions of dollars to people who didn’t need it and created an unemployment insurance system that paid people not to work....

A third faction continues to believe that Covid-19 should be treated as external threat and that the full force of the U.S. government should be enlisted against it. That means more money for public health, schools and biomedical research, as well as continuing aid for struggling workers and businesses....

Lastly, there are a few senators who are not enthusiastic about more spending, but could tolerate it if it were accompanied by longer-term measures to help the economy....

Bringing them all together will require what the party is most lacking right now: a clear vision of how get out of this crisis with as little death and devastation as possible.... What that vision might consist of is anyone’s guess…

.#coronavirus #moralresponsibility #noted #orangehairedbaboons #2020-08-05

Lemieux: Botching Pandemic Response Bad for Incumbent President—Noted

Republican Death Cult: Scott Lemieux: BREAKING! Completely Botching Pandemic Response Not Good for Incumbent President https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2020/08/breaking-completely-botching-pandemic-response-not-good-for-incumbent-president: ‘On one level, it’s depressing that this isn’t costing him more support[. But] he has almost no margin for error.... And in states where he goes down he’ll take Republican Senate candidates with him. And if that’s not enough, the decision by Senate Republicans to interrupt unemployment benefits and delay relief is highly likely to make the political situation for Trump and his Senate candidates even worse. As I’ve said before, this is a case where for once the interests of the Republican Party and the public interest are directly aligned — and they’re completely fucking it up anyway… .#noted #2020-08-05


Hunt: Galadriel, Gimli, & Feanor—Noted

The Kinda Socially Isolated Ghost of Henry Hunt: 'This, and Galadriel dropping a burn so sick Feanor https://twitter.com/EvanCooney0717/status/1290728350504423435 had to go lie down for another thousand years in the Halls of Mandos, are two moments that are SO much better with full context...

...Capn' Case: Wait what? I forget that part of the tome lad can ye refresh me?

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Cooney: Lore Context & Gandalf v. Balrog—Noted

Evan Cooney: 'I was asked to do a thread https://twitter.com/EvanCooney0717/status/1290728350504423435 on why “lore context” for Gandalf’s fight with the Balrog in the Lord of the Rings is so important and makes the scene much more intense and powerful than first impression. So here we go...

...Let’s focus on what is said. To keep this post relatable, I’ll stick with the lines from the Peter Jackson movies instead of getting too deep with the books, also Jackson does the scene justice IMO: “I am a servant of the secret fire” is a reference to the secret fire of Illuvatar, the monotheistic god of the Tolkien universe. The secret fire refers to his power to give life. Here, Gandalf reveals and identifies himself as not an old decrepit wizard, but one of the Maia.

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Makridis: Impact of COVID-19 on Child Care—Noted

What is happening during the coronavirus plague to work-life balance among those with small children? Some preliminary answers: Umair Ali, Chris M. Herbst, & Christos A. Makridis: The Impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. Child Care Market: Evidence from Stay-at-Home Orders https://equitablegrowth.org/working-papers/the-impact-of-covid-19-on-the-u-s-child-care-market-evidence-from-stay-at-home-orders/: ‘This paper quantifies the short-run impact of... containment policies on search behavior and labor demand for child care.... Using plausibly exogenous variation from the staggered adoption of SAHOs across states, we find that online job postings for early care and education teachers declined by 13% after enactment... driven exclusively by private-sector services. Indeed, hiring by public programs like Head Start and pre-kindergarten has not been influenced by SAHOs. In addition, we find little evidence that child care search behavior among households has been altered. Because forced supply-side changes appear to be at play, our results suggest that households may not be well-equipped to insure against the rapid transition to the production of child care. We discuss the implications of these results for child development and parental employment decisions… .#noted #2020-08-05


Hacker & Pierson: Let Them Eat Tweets—Noted

Perhaps the most interesting book to be published by someone in the Equitable Growth posse this summer: Equitable Growth: '[Thursday August 6, 2020,] Research Advisory Board member Jacob S. Hacker https://twitter.com/equitablegrowth/status/1291004223791026177 and co-author Paul Pierson talk about their new book Let Them Eat Tweets. Register/watch and more details here: https://epi.org/event/let-them-eat-tweets-how-the-right-rules-in-an-age-of-extreme-inequality/ Economic Policy Institute: "Thursday at 3:30pm ET... followed by a panel with Thea Lee, Larry Mishel, and Jaimie Worker on what can be done to derail rising inequality… #books #noted #politicaleconomy #2020-08-05


Drake: Police & Motorcycle Jackets in Chapel Hill, NC—Noted

How to talk about Black Lives Matter to old rural white men with guns: a MasterClass from a master writer:

David Drake: Newsletter #115 http://david-drake.com/2020/newsletter-115/: ‘The Chapel Hill police force doesn’t have a bad reputation for brutality (the way the Minneapolis police have since I lived in the Midwest decades ago)...

...Some years ago a fellow ran a red light and just about killed me. Instead of letting it go, I called the police from the mall where I was going to pick up a rose for my wife on our anniversary. (This was before I had a cell phone. It was a stupid over reaction on my part, but I thought of the police as my friends–and I was hot about the driver’s behavior.) Officer Steve Riddle wasn’t one of the policemen I knew personally but when he pulled up to the curb I walked over to greet him. His response was to shout, “Back up Cowboy!” and arrest and handcuff me. In the magistrate’s office Officer Riddle lied that I was carrying a concealed weapon.

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Bob Kuttner Behaving Badly—Noted

I have learned an awful lot from and have a great deal of respect for Robert Kuttner. America owes him a great deal—much more than it knows. But. This—rarely for him—is stupid.

First of all, it is written as if Biden has it in the bag, and Trump will be a bad dream as of January 21, 2021. Lots and lots of people in the fall of 2016 thought that HRC had it in the bag, and so started to nibble away to undermine her in order to position themselves more advantageously for 2017. Here is Kuttner doing the same thing for 2021. It's a bad, immoral thing to do. Stop it. Biden does not have it in the bag.

Second, everybody whom Biden appoints will be to the left of the governing coalition in the Senate, which is the veto point here. Thus whether Biden's appointees make Robert Kuttner happy in meetings and when he contemplates their influence does not matter. What does matter is whether Biden's appointees execute so that things get up to the Senate, and whether they are able via popular mobilization and clever framing and legislative tactics to move the governing coalition to the left. I understand that Kuttner does not like Jennifer Hillman and Miriam Sapiro. I understand that Kuttner does not like Steve Ricchetti and Anita Dunn. I understand that Robert Kuttner does not like Sergio Aguirre and Nitin Chadda and Michele Flournoy and Tony Blinken. In a different day, with a different Senate, I could be persuaded that some of all of them would be bad choices for a Biden administration. But not today. That Kuttner does not like them is at best orthogonal to whether Biden should pick them:

Robert Kuttner: The Trouble With Biden’s Big Tent https://prospect.org/politics/the-trouble-with-biden-big-tent/: ‘It papers over some irreconcilable differences of policy and principle. Sooner or later, Biden will have to choose which side he’s on...

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Briefly Noted for 2020-08-03

Clinton Foundation: Administration Alumni Conversation with President Clinton and Secretary Rodney Slater https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SG-jcTuV5A: ‘Administration Alumni Conversation with President Clinton and Secretary Rodney Slater…

St. Ignatius of Loyola: _Prayer for Generosity https://www.loyolapress.com/catholic-resources/prayer/traditional-catholic-prayers/saints-prayers/prayer-for-generosity-saint-ignatius-of-loyola/: ‘Eternal Word, only begotten Son of God,/Teach me true generosity./Teach me to serve you as you deserve./To give without counting the cost,/To fight heedless of wounds,/To labor without seeking rest,/To sacrifice myself without thought of any reward/Save the knowledge that I have done your will./Amen…

DOL: News Release: Embargoed Until 8:30 A.M. (Eastern) Thursday, July 30, 2020: Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims https://www.dol.gov/ui/data.pdf

FRED: Weekly Unemployment Insurance: Initial Claims https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/ICSA#0

FRED: Weekly Unemployment Insurance: Continued Claims https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CCSA

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DuBois: The Comet—Noted

Worth reading. What we call “Lovecraftian” but in a profoundly anti-Lovecraftian way: the real horror comes not from alien species, or the dead uncaring stars, or death from the comet, but from white men—northern white men—doing what white men naturally did… do:

W.E.B. DuBois: The Comet http://www.gutenberg.org/files/15210/15210-h/15210-h.htm#Chapter_X: ‘He stood a moment on the steps of the bank, watching the human river that swirled down Broadway. Few noticed him. Few ever noticed him save in a way that stung. He was outside the world—"nothing!" as he said bitterly. Bits of the words of the walkers came to him. "The comet?" "The comet—" Everybody was talking of it. Even the president, as he entered, smiled patronizingly at him, and asked: "Well, Jim, are you scared?" "No," said the messenger shortly...

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Briefly Noted for 2020-08-02

Parker Molloy: 'Here’s a mashup https://twitter.com/parkermolloy/status/1287772516342267905 that the amazing @JohnnyHeatWave made to go along with my @mmfa article. It’s depressing. https://t.co/ObiRMSsocE.... It’s all even more ridiculous if you look at the number of times the same person credulously talks about Trump’s “new tone”...

Paul Krugman: With the Coronavirus Pandemic, Republicans Are Flunking Microbe Economicss https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/18/opinion/republicans-keep-flunking-microbe-economics.html: ‘The question of whether or not to dump raw sewage into a public lake isn’t something that should be left up to individual choice. And going to a gym or refusing to wear a mask during a pandemic is exactly like dumping sewage into a lake: it’s behavior that may be convenient for the people who engage in it, but it puts others at risk.

Heidi Przybyla: MOAR Trump Corruption https://twitter.com/HeidiNBC/status/1289172345614000128: ‘Trump overspent for ventilators by as much as 500 million... paid 4-5 times as much... Didn't enforce prior contract or try to build on it...

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Steve M.: The Post-Trump GOP Is Likely to Be Even Worse—Noted

Steve M.: The Post-Trump GOP Is Likely to Be Even Worse https://nomoremister.blogspot.com/2020/07/the-post-trump-right-is-likely-to-be.html: ‘The Lincoln Project.... I believe the Project's founders and allies when they say they're disgusted with the Republican Party and want to reform it. I'm not saying I'd like the party they hope to create...

...But in some areas, I think the party the Lincoln Project wants to create would be at least be a slight improvement.... As Max Boot notes, Stuart Stevens, a former Republican consultant, now calls the GOP "a white grievance party” and acknowledges that “there is an ugly history of code words and dog whistles in the party.” Boot writes, "If you accept Stevens’s searing critique of the Republican Party—and I do—then it is incumbent on the Lincoln Project to target not just Trump but also his enablers. That’s just what it has done with commercials such as this one urging the defeat of Republican senators."

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Wikipedia: Trans-Mediterranean Barbary Slave Trade—Noted

Nunn's estimates: trans-Atlantic slave trade: 10.5 million; Indian Ocean slave trade: 900,000; trans-Saharan slave trade: 3.2 million; Red Sea: 1.3 million:

Wikipedia: Trans-Mediterranean Barbary Slave Trade https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbary_slave_trade: 'Robert Davis... estimates... Tunis, Algiers, and Tripoli alone enslaved 1 million to 1.25 million... from the beginning of the 16th century to the middle of the 18th from bases on the Barbary coast, North Africa, the Barbary pirates raided ships traveling through the Mediterranean and along the northern and western coasts of Africa, plundering their cargo and enslaving the people they captured...

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Lacker: GPT-3 vs. Turing—Noted

Much of our intelligence is devoted to constructing models of other minds based on observations of actions, expressions, and words. We have a strong tendency to overdo it. Thus we can be very easily grifted to really, really believe that there is another mind—another Turing-class entity—back there when there isn't: the lightning does not really come from a large red-haired guy with a big hammer and anger management problems who drives a cart pulled by two goats. The latest example of this is GPT-3:

Kevin Lacker: Giving GPT-3 a Turing Test http://lacker.io/ai/2020/07/06/giving-gpt-3-a-turing-test.html: ‘An interesting corollary is that GPT-3 often finds it easier to write code to solve a programming problem, than to solve the problem on one example input...

Q: Write one line of Ruby code to reverse an array.
A: ary.reverse

Q: Write one line of Ruby code to count how many X's are in an array.
A: ary.count { |x| x == 'X' }

Q: Reverse the following array: [1, 3, 5, 6, 10, 4, 2, 77]
A: [10, 6, 4, 2, 77, 3, 5, 1]

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Waldmann: Social Democracy & Freedom—Noted

Steve Randy Waldmann: Social Democracy & Freedom https://www.interfluidity.com/v2/7557.html: ‘So who is right here? I say Milton Friedman is. “Free speech” stops being real, stops being a practicable ideal, once the consequences of unpopular expression are so great you’ll be banished from the communities you value and be unable to earn a decent living. Both the woke and their discontents should be able to speak their piece...

...We want a society where—in practice, not just as a formal, legalistic matter—the public sphere can accommodate a wide range of expression, some of which each of us will find abhorrent. But Friedman’s conjecture that capitalism plus a light-touch state would be an effective way to ensure this state of affairs was wrong. Because it was never really “capitalism”, in his argument, that protected political freedom. It was decentralization....

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Kades: Antitrust Hearing—Noted

If you want to know what happened at the tech antitrust hearing, your best source is Michael Kades’s twitter account. I have still not thought this through, so go and read what he has to say: Michael Kades https://twitter.com/Michael_Kades/status/1288543592114462725: ‘So far, my biggest takeaway, the Republican Staff memo tried to paint this as a partisan issue. So far, between Gaetz and Buck, that framing has failed… .#equitablegrowth #noted #2020-08-01


Fischer & Gould-Werth: How Systems for Delivering Economic Relief Failed—Noted

This is very good and very important. My grandfather always mourned that, when he got his Ph.D., he thought he was getting a Ph.D. in “public administration” but found, instead, during his career that his discipline had turned into "political science”. Here Amanda Fischer and Alix Gould-Werth try to fill in this gap, and largely succeed.

Amanda Fischer & Alix Gould-Werth: Broken Plumbing: How Systems for Delivering Economic Relief Failed https://equitablegrowth.org/broken-plumbing-how-systems-for-delivering-economic-relief-in-response-to-the-coronavirus-recession-failed-the-u-s-economy/: ‘Below, we detail four delivery systems tasked with providing relief during the coronavirus recession...

...relief targeted to small and large businesses, Unemployment Insurance, direct payments to consumers, and paid leave programs—each of them emblematic of a different plumbing problem. Looking at business rescue programs, we see pipes well-designed to flow easily to people with power, while the taps of the less powerful remain dry. Looking at Unemployment Insurance, we see the failure to invest in pipes, preventing these benefits from flowing smoothly to people who need them the most.

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Beauchamp: Free Speech Has Not Been “Canceled”—Noted

Ken White calls this “the problem of the preferred first speaker“. Whose is the speech that needs to be responded to with norms of respect, deference, and civility? Whose is the speech that should be cut short when it tries to exceed its time, and hooted out to make space for somebody wh would otherwise not have their voice heard? How does one move from the fringe to the center of the public sphere and of public reason? Those who cloak themselves in “civility“ and “free speech“ these days seem in many cases to be bad or thoughtless actors: people who want to hold on to places of centrality, power, and wealth of which they may well not be worthy.

But anyone who says that these issues are not hard ones is grifting you:

Zack Beauchamp: Free Speech Has Not Been “Canceled” https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/7/22/21325942/free-speech-harpers-letter-bari-weiss-andrew-sullivan: ‘Abstract appeals to “free speech” and “liberal values” obscure the fact that what’s being debated is not anyone’s right to speech, but rather their right to air that speech in specific platforms like the New York Times without fear of social backlash...

...Yet virtually everyone agrees that certain speakers—neo-Nazis, for example—do not deserve a column in the paper of record. The real debate here is [about:]... hat sorts of speakers should be excluded from major platforms? When can giving a platform to one kind of person actually make it harder for other people to speak their minds freely? And what kinds of social sanctions, like public shaming or firing, are justified responses to violations of these social norms?...

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All the Facts: Lorem Ipsum—Noted

All the Facts: Lorem Ipsum https://www.lipsum.com/: ‘"Neque porro quisquam est qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit..." "There is no one who loves pain itself, who seeks after it and wants to have it, simply because it is pain..." What is Lorem Ipsum? Lorem Ipsum is simply... the printing and typesetting industry['s]... standard dummy text...

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Stross: Cardiac Damage from the Coronavirus Plague—Noted

This is very bad news indeed. Hopefully this will turn out to be a false alarm. But I fear it will not:

Charlie Stross: No Comment Necessary http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2020/07/no-comment-necessary.html: ‘Post-infection cardiac damage found in 78% of recovering COVID19 patients. That's 78% of a cohort, average age 49, of whom 67% had recovered at home (ie. disease was not categorized as severe enough to need hospitalization). Cohort was normalized with respect to other risk factors relative to uninfected patients. Diagnosis by MRI. Looks reasonably solid, at first glance, publication in JAMA Cardiol. (Journal of the American Medical Association, cardiology). Study coordinated via a German hospital. Reason for "no comment necessary" is that this suggests most COVID19 survivors—including mild disease survivors—suffer cardiac damage. You don't want to get this virus… .#noted #2020-07-30


Herman Cain's Memory Would Be a Blessing If It Triggered Pence to Use Amendment 25 to Remove Trump: Sheth & Eliza Relman: Herman Cain Has Died from Coronavirus—Noted

Herman Cain's memory would be a blessing if it triggered Pence to use Amendment 25 to remove Trump: Sonam Sheth & Eliza Relman: Former Republican Presidential Candidate Herman Cain Has Died After Being Hospitalized for Coronavirus https://www.businessinsider.com/herman-cain-dies-after-being-hospitalized-for-covid-19-2020-7: 'Former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain has died, according to his official website and the conservative website Newsmax. He was 74. Cain tested positive for the novel coronavirus earlier this month, 11 days after attending President Donald Trump's campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He tweeted a photo of himself at the rally where neither he nor those surrounding him were wearing masks. The day before he was hospitalized, Cain sent a tweet expressing support for the Trump campaign's decision not to require masks at a July 4 Independence Day celebration held at Mount Rushmore... #noted #2020-07-30


Kaplan: The "Domestic Insurrections" of the Declaration of Independence—Noted

Sidney Kaplan (1976): The "Domestic Insurrections" of the Declaration of Independence https://www-jstor-org.libproxy.berkeley.edu/stable/pdf/2717252.pdf: 'In his original draft of the Declaration... Jefferson.... "He is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them"...

...David Brion Davis... correctly observes that Jefferson... "condemned King George for... inciting American Negroes to rise in arms against their masters."... He concludes: "Congress struck out the entire section.... [But] Jefferson's original draft of the Declaration... [lacked] the opening clause of the twenty-seventh charge in the final and approved document: "He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us".... Jefferson deplores the deletion by Congress of the clause "reprobating the enslaving the inhabitants of Africa"-but he says nothing, and never would, about the deletion of the clause... which reprobates George III for fomenting revolt. And why should he, if, in fact, the addition of "exciting domestic insurrections amongst us" to the twenty-seventh charge-which he voted for with the rest of the signers-amounted to substantially the same thing?...

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Alwan: What Exactly Is Mild Covid-19?—Noted

Nisreen Alwan: What Exactly Is Mild Covid-19? https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2020/07/28/nisreen-a-alwan-what-exactly-is-mild-covid-19/: ‘I went out for a 20 minute slow walk yesterday evening with my little girl...

... who was desperate to see the flowers on the way. My exercise capacity is still terrible, and I knew that by doing that I would pay the price the day after. Indeed, I woke up with the familiar chest heaviness and utter exhaustion which gets worse by sitting at my desk to work.

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Equitable Growth: We Need Extended Pandemic Unemployment Compensation—Noted

Continuing PUC is essential to moderating the severity of the coronavirus plague depression: Equitable Growth: Statement on Pandemic Unemployment Compensation https://equitablegrowth.org/press/statement-on-pandemic-unemployment-compensation/: ‘Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC), which is giving tens of millions of unemployed workers a $600 per week boost in unemployment income, has helped ease the pain of this crisis by providing much-needed income to families during an economic crisis and has boosted the economy overall. Every week for the last four months, more than twice as many workers have filed for unemployment insurance than during the worst week of the Great Recession. Meanwhile, cases of COVID-19 are once again rising across the country, and we still lack unified national leadership to give direction and stability in these unprecedented times. Congress must extend enhanced unemployment benefits or risk economic calamity… .#equitablegrowth #noted #2020-07-25


Timiraos & Davidson: Depleted Trump Economic Team Faces Major Test Over Extending Coronavirus Relief Efforts—Noted

As I said back at the beginning, electing a Fox News viewer and reality TV star to the presidency and asking him to pick personnel will not go well. As I said in the middle, the way to think about Trump's personnel picks is picking William Shatner to command your battle fleet because Shatner played a ship captain on TV. And, lo and behold, it has all come true. Tomas Philipson has no clue that the economic response to the coronavirus plague needs a macroeconomic balance as well as a social insurance component. Tyler Goodspeed has no pretense to domain expertise here at all. Kevin Hassett is still predicting the plague will be effectively over by 15 May. Steve Mnuchin makes word salad. And Larry Kudlow was last a real economist—asw opposed to playing one on TV—back in the late 1970s:

Nick Timiraos & Kate Davidson: Depleted Trump Economic Team Faces Major Test Over Extending Coronavirus Relief Efforts https://www.wsj.com/articles/depleted-trump-economic-team-faces-major-test-over-extending-coronavirus-relief-efforts-11595073600: ‘Tomas Philipson, who succeeded Mr. Hassett as CEA chairman last year, was forced out of the post in June following months of tension that coincided with the worst of the crisis. The three-person CEA now has just one member, its acting chairman, Tyler Goodspeed, a 35-year-old economic historian appointed to the council last year. The Treasury Department entered the current crisis with several vacant senior positions...

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Papanikolaou & Schmidt: The Supply-Side Impact of COVID-19—Noted

Dimitris Papanikolaou & Lawrence D.W. Schmidt: The Supply-Side Impact of COVID-19 https://voxeu.org/article/supply-side-impact-covid-19: ‘COVID-19 has massively disrupted the supply side of the world economy, shutting down entire industries.... While the major policy interventions in the US have treated all types of business as equivalent, industries which are not able to do their work remotely have been hit much harder than business that can. This cross-sectional dispersion shows up across a variety of measures, including changes in employment, revenue projections, likelihood of default, current liquidity, and stock returns. Going forward, aid that targets disrupted sectors may be a more cost-effective means to alleviate the impacts of COVID-19… .#noted #2020-07-24


Black: The Deeply Broken Staff of the New York Times—Noted

Duncan Black: That F---ing Bitch https://www.eschatonblog.com/2020/07/that-fucking-bitch.html: ‘The people who work at the New York Times are deeply broken people [Luke Broadwater and Catie Edmondson:] 'WASHINGTON — Ever since Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came to Congress as the youngest woman elected to the House, she has upended traditions, harnessing the power of social media and challenging leaders, including President Trump, who are 50 years her senior. On Thursday, she had her most norm-shattering moment yet when she took to the House floor to read into the Congressional Record a sexist vulgarity that Representative Ted Yoho, a Florida Republican, had used to refer to her. “In front of reporters, Representative Yoho called me, and I quote: ‘A fucking bitch,’” she said, punching each syllable in the vulgarity.... Ms. Ocasio-Cortez... excels at using her detractors to amplify her own political brand...' Sure she was called a fucking bitch, but she used it to tik-tok her way into the hearts of the snapchat generation by elevating her brand!!! As for "fucking bitch," here's the article about Yoho calling her that. 'After a brief and tense exchange, the newspaper said, Mr. Yoho walked away from Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, uttering a pair of expletives.' They didn't even quote Yoho using the naughty words, but they quoted AOC quoting him using the naughty words, because it UPENDED TRADITIONS, and was NORM-SHATTERING. You might say, UPPITY! These fucking people… .#noted #2020-07-24


Burns: Pompey's Strategy and Domitius' Stand—Noted

In his The Civil War Gaius Julius Caesar presented "just the facts" in a way that made Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus look like a cowardly and incompetent idiot. The attractive interpretation is that Ahenobarbus was just trying to do the job of defeating Caesar, but had failed to recognize that Pompey was not his ally. Pompey, rather, was somebody whose first goal was to gain the submission of Ahenobarbus and the other Optimates, and only after that submission was gained would he even think about fighting Caesar. Still an idiot, but not an incompetent or a cowardly one:

Alfred Burns: Pompey's Strategy and Domitius' Stand at Corfinium https://github.com/braddelong/public-files/blob/master/readings/article-burns-pompey.pdf: ‘In early 49, the alliance confronting Caesar consisted of the old republican senate families who under the leadership of [Lucius] Domitius [Ahenonbarbus] tried to maintain the traditional institutions and of Pompey who clung to his own extra-legal position of semi-dictatorial power. Both parties to the alliance were as mutually distrustful as they were dependent on each other...

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