#notetoself Feed

What Is Going on in AZ, FL, SC, TX?—Note to Self; Coronavirus

Note to Self: Would someone please tell me how to translate (a) testing frequency and (b) share of tests that are positive into total true caseloads? If you test at random, you divide confirmed cases by testing frequency to get true cases. If you target your tests perfectly, then true cases are confirmed cases. But where in the middle are we today?

COVID Tracking Project https://twitter.com/COVID19Tracking/status/1279544164187693056: ‘Arizona, Florida, and South Carolina remain the three states with the most troubling data:

2020 07 04 covid states troubling data

.#coronavirus #notetoself #publichealth #2020-07-05

Tomas Philipson: Such a Maroon—Note to Self

Dunning-Krueger to the max: Shorter Tomas Philipson: It's great that Trump is taking hydroxychloroquine, & encouraging others to suck up the supply away from lupus patients for whom it works. It's great that Trump refuses to wear a mask!: Tomas Philipson (2020-05-20): 'There's nothing new about https://twitter.com/TomPhilipson45/status/1263228191457583105 @POTUS using healthcare, in consultation with a physician, that hasn't undergone government approved randomized trials. Most healthcare spending is on services/procedures lacking such evidence. And the majority of cancer drugs are prescribed without it. Patients and doctors, based on trade-offs between effectiveness, side-effects, and prices, often correctly disagree with one-size-fits-all blind randomized trials, which have many problems. This is one reason why @POTUS signed Right to Try to let patients—not bureaucrats—decide. Indeed, the same people who argue POTUS should wear a mask to guard against COVID, for which there is no randomized evidence yet and blinding would be difficult, are the same people who argue that such evidence is crucial for COVID Rx use… .#economicsgonewrong #moralresponsibility #noted #notetoself #orangehairedbaboons #2020-06-30

78 Years Ago Today: The Nazi "Operation Blue" Commences...

Remind Me Again: Friedrich Paulus https://www.bradford-delong.com/2012/07/remind-me-again-friedrich-paulus.html#comments: The Nazis planned to push four armies forward and only four armies forward in the summer and fall of 1942—Sixth, Seventeenth, First Panzer, and Fourth Panzer. One can understand why an army personnel office would choose Hermann Hoth as commander of Fourth Panzer Army and von Kleist as commander of First Panzer Army. But Richard Ruoff as commander of the Seventeenth Army? And Friedrich Paulus as commander of the Sixth Army? What was there in their previous careers to mark them as the right people for army command in Southern Russia in the summer and fall of 1942?

Continue reading "78 Years Ago Today: The Nazi "Operation Blue" Commences..." »

Note to Self: Pre-Kameron Hurley Uses of the Phrase "Women, Cattle, & Slaves"

Hurley wc s

Note to Self: Pre-Kameron Hurley uses of the phrase "women, cattle, & slaves":

Alexina Mackay Harrison: The Story of the Life of Mackay of Uganda: Pioneer Missionary https://books.google.com/books?id=Xe0-AAAAIAAJ...
Dwayne Woods: Bringing Geography Back In: Civilizations, Wealth, and Poverty https://www-jstor-org.libproxy.berkeley.edu/stable/pdf/3186574.pdf...
David Robinson: Sources of the African Past https://books.google.com/books?id=coGJBAAAQBAJ...
Jeffrey Herbst: States and Power in Africa: Comparative Lessons in Authority and Control https://books.google.com/books?id=4Ed-BAAAQBAJ...
Alison Jolly: Lords and Lemurs: Mad Scientists, Kings with Spears, and the Survival of Diversity in Madagascar https://books.google.com/books?id=PtE3C_mUzCUC...

& Kameron Hurley (2013): 'We Have Always Fought': Challenging the 'Women, Cattle and Slaves' Narrative http://aidanmoher.com/blog/featured-article/2013/05/we-have-always-fought-challenging-the-women-cattle-and-slaves-narrative-by-kameron-hurley/

.#books #economichistory #inequality #notetoself #2020-06-25

Note to Self: Slavery Course Topics

Emily Eisner asked me: What would you teach if you were to teach an entire course on slavery and the shadows it cast? So I dusted out my "unfreedom" file from the "courses I have never taught" box, & updated the topics:


Ancient & medieval slavery & serfdom

  1. Hierarchy and patriarchy to 1000 BC
    • Inequality, slavery & the poisoned chalice of agriculture
    • Horses, wheels, chariots, & nobles
    • High patriarchy & polygyny
  2. Slavery and serfdom in the early classical world
    • Managing the household
    • “Slaves by nature”
    • Slavery & empires
  3. Inequality, domination, and the market in the classical efflorescences
    • War booty
    • Plantation & mine slavery
    • Slaves “skilled in literature & music”
  4. Did slavery prevent a Hellenistic or Roman industrial revolution?
    • Gaining wealth and power in the classical world
    • Merchants, princes, & oligarchs
    • Culture & work: keeping your hands clean & getting them dirty
  5. From slavery to serfdom: late antiquity & after
    • Manumission & its opposite
    • Honestiores & humiliores
    • Barbarians, thralls, knights, & raids
    • High feudalism
  6. Slave raids & slave trades in the Old World 500-1500
    • Slaves from Ireland, England, & Russia
    • Slaves from France, Italy, Ukraine, & the Caucasus
    • Slaves from Africa
  7. Slaves on horses
    • The creation of Islamic polities
    • Sultans, amirs, clans, & slaves
    • Eunuchs & households
    • Mamelukes & janissaries
  8. The Black Death & the end of the first serfdom, 1300-1600
    • Serfdom on the eve in 1345
    • The class struggle in western Europe
    • Ending feudal tenures & privileges
  9. The Commercial Revolution & the coming of the second serfdom, 1300-1900
    • Cash crops & domination
    • Nobles, czars, & cossacks
    • Ending serfdom in eastern Europe
  10. Conquistadores & enslaving Amerindians
    • Genocide
    • Forced labor
    • Long-term political-economy consequences for Latin America


Modern & capitalist slavery

  1. The Atlantic slave trade, 1500-1780
    • Guns in Africa
    • Sugar islands and the middle passage
    • Calories & luxuries to Britain & elsewhere
  2. Slavery & cotton
    • Who profited from cotton slavery?
    • Westward expansion & the Slavepower
    • The financial calculus of emancipation
  3. Consequences of slavery for Africa
    • The political economy of African slave trades
    • Nathan Nunn’s correlations
    • African growth retardation
  4. Modes of New World slavery
    • “Like a poor third cousin”
    • Industrial & craft slavery
    • Plantation slavery under the slave trade
    • Plantation slavery after the slave trade
    • Selling people south and west
  5. The political & moral economy of a slave society
    • Thomas Jefferson
    • Cassius Clay
    • Roger B. Taney
    • Jefferson Davis
    • Abraham Lincoln


Post-slavery North American “herrenvolk” democracy

  1. Abolitionism, abolition, & “reconstruction” 1820-1880
    • The Selling of Joseph & Uncle Tom’s Cabin
    • Wartime “necessity”
    • 40 acres & a mule—not
  2. Jim Crow 1865-2020
    • The corrupt bargain of 1876
    • “Separate but equal”
    • Disenfranchisement & disempowerment
  3. “Race science” & eugenicism 1850-2020
    • “Survival of the fittest”
    • “Improving the race”
    • The need to believe in racial hierarchies
  4. Civil rights 1920-2020
    • The appeal to American ideals
    • The opportunity of 1965
    • The corruption of the Republican Party
  5. The Great Migration & the Great Redlining 1920-2020
    • Other immigrant ghettoes in America
    • How the Black inner city was different
    • Long-term consequences of the great redlining
  6. Mass incarceration & policing
    • White fear & flight
    • Crack & incarceration
    • “Aggressive policing” & Black Lives Matter
  7. The “declining significance of race”? 1970-2020
    • Roads to upward mobility
    • The coming of the second gilded age
    • The mockery of "equal opportunity"


Other dimensions of unfreedom

  1. Master & servant
    • The duties of a servant
    • The duties of an employee
    • Employer monopsony power
  2. The arrival of modern feminism
    • Being female in the agrarian age not for sissies
    • Eating for two & “women’s work”
    • The demographic transition
    • Institutions & opportunities
    • Gender & identity
  3. Wage slavery
    • Marx’s vision
    • Forcing people to enslave themselves
    • The Polanyian view of the market
  4. Gilded ages
    • “I can hire half the working class to shoot the other half”
    • Pinkertons & porters
    • Mass media & the public sphere
    • Monopoly capitalism

Continue reading "Note to Self: Slavery Course Topics" »

Note to Self #tickler: The works & relevance of A.C. Pigou

Note to Self #tickler: The works & relevance of A.C. Pigou:

Ian Kumekawa (2017): The First Serious Optimist: A. C. Pigou and the Birth of Welfare Economics https://www.amazon.com/Ian-Kumekawa-ebook/dp/B071R54415/...
Ian Kumekawa (2020): We Need to Revisit the Idea of Pigou Wealth Tax https://github.com/braddelong/public-files/blob/master/readings/article-kumekuwa-pigou-wealth-tax.pdf...

Arthur Cecil Pigou (1916): The Economy & Finance of the War: Being a Discussion of the Real Costs 0f the War & the Way in Which They Should Be Met https://github.com/braddelong/public-files/blob/master/readings/book-pigou-war-finance.pdf...
Arthur Cecil Pigou (1919): The Burden of War & Future Generations https://github.com/braddelong/public-files/blob/master/readings/article-pigou-burden-of-war.pdf...
Arthur Cecil Pigou (1920): A Capital Levy & a Levy on War Wealth https://github.com/braddelong/public-files/blob/master/readings/book-pigou-wealth-tax.pdf...
Arthur Cecil Pigou (1920): The Economics of Welfare https://github.com/braddelong/public-files/blob/master/readings/book-pigou-economics-of-welfare.pdf... Arthur Cecil Pigou (1940): The Political Economy of War https://github.com/braddelong/public-files/blob/master/readings/book-pigou-war.pdf...
Arthur Cecil Pigou (1946): Income: An Introduction to Economics https://github.com/braddelong/public-files/blob/master/readings/book-pigou-income.pdf...
Arthur Cecil Pigou (1947): A Study In Public Finance https://github.com/braddelong/public-files/blob/master/readings/book-pigou-public-finance.pdf...

  #economics #equitablegrowth #inequality #politicaleconomy #notetoself #moralphilosophy #tickler #2020-06-07


Note to Self: Books & Articles to Save...

Note to Self: Without access to the Berkeley library, I feel that my brain is 2/3 gone. And it is time-consuming to... take steps...

Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do...

Question to Self: Are These Sam Bowles's Five Greatest Works?

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Note to Self: Heterogeneity in the S, I, R Model...

So instead of doing my day job this afternoon, I began wondering about how much the Susceptible, Infected, Recovered (or Not)'s suppression of individual heterogeneity affects its conclusions.

Suppose that people have different amounts of gregariousness/infectiveness. If everyone were like the most gregarious and vulnerable people the R_0 for the epidemic would be 5. If everyone were like the least gregarious and vulnerable people the R_0 for the epidemic would be 0. And suppose we have the population varying linearly between those extremes.

How much different would the course of the epidemic be than for a society where everyone was identical, and R_0 was 2.5?

The answer is: substantially.

If I have not made a mistake in my model-building or my python code—always an "if"—then the difference is substantial: 26% of the population escapes the epidemic for R_0 distributed between 0 and 5 with an average of 2.5. Only 10% escapes the epidemic if everyone's R_0 is 2.5.

The intuition is clear: By the time half of the population has been infected, an overwhelming number of those with high R_0's have been infected. Thus those who are still susceptible have personal R_0's much lower than the average. In the early stages, however—before any noticeable component of the population has been infected—the course of the epidemic tracks the average R_0 very closely. It is when it begins to fall off the exponential that the differences become apparent: not only are some of those who would be infected by exponential growth now immune (or dead), but those left who could be infected have lower R_0's than the average.

weblog support: https://github.com/braddelong/weblog-support/blob/master/coronavirus-r0-heterogeneity.ipynb

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What is the Real Prevalence of Coronavirus Across States?


Tests per million times cases per test gives you confirmed cases per million. But we want true cases per million.

Tests per million are different across states because (a) the states are undertaking testing with different levels of effort and (b) the prevalence of the virus is different in different states.

Confirmed cases per million are different across states because (c) states are testing at different rates and (b) the prevalence of the virus is different in different states.

Cases per test are different across states because (d) some states are not testing much and hence are still picking (relatively, for their state) low hanging fruit and (b) the prevalence of the virus is different in different states.

We have data on confirmed cases and tests across states. How do we use that to get real as opposed to fake estimates of where the virus is in the different states?

And then there is the lag: how do we do the nowcast, taking proper account of acceleration and deceleration in the progress of the disease?

Georgia, for example, is fifth in cases per test, at 0.24. Georgia is also fortysixth in tests per million, at 6598. And so Georgia is thirteenth in cases per million, at 1590.

If Georgia were testing at the same rate as New York—30000 per million—how many cases would it be reporting, and what would its confirmed caseload be? Its cases per test is presumably elevated because it is not testing very many people, so simply multiplying by 4.5 is not right. What is right?

Continue reading "What is the Real Prevalence of Coronavirus Across States?" »

Note to Self: We could be New Zealand. We should be New Zealand: New Zealand has tested 1 in a 100 people, has a 2% positive rate, and has suffered only 0.8 deaths per million so far...

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*Note to Self: Reported Coronavirus Cases per Million (2020-03-22 12:00:00 PDT):

Top 20 States;

NY: 1200
WA: 236
NJ: 215
LA: 182
DC: 145
MI: 89
CO: 82
MA: 77
RI: 75
MS: 69
ME: 68
CT: 62
NV: 61
IL: 59
TN: 55
WI: 55
GA: 48
UT: 43
FL: 40
CA: 40

#coronavirus #notetoself #publichealth #2020-03-22

A Note on Coronavirus

Note to Self: Is there anything wrong with this analysis?: With 14 deaths in the U.S., a 1% death rate, and 4 weeks between infection and death, that means that as of Feb 8 there were 1400 coronavirus cases in the United States. If it is doubling every seven days, then now about 22,000 people have and in the next week about 44,000 people in the U.S. will catch coronavirus. These numbers could be five times too big. These numbers could be five times too small. But with only 1 in 10,000 currently affected, it seems 4 or 5 weeks early to start imposing serious geographical quarintines...

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Convincing Biden Victory in South Carolina: Warren's My Guy, But I Will Happily Work Very, Very Hard for Biden...

Note to Self: For the record, of those above, my rank ordering of who is likely to make the best president goes: Warren, Bennet, Klobuchar, Patrick, Biden, Booker, Buttigieg, Steyer, Delaney, Yang, Sanders, Gabbard...

Impressively done by Joe Biden and his team: kudos:


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Note to Self: MOAR political economy readings, 1920-1950

#history #notetoself #politicaleconomy #2020-02-22

Once again, playing my position requires not playing my position, and stating that Bill Barr does not speak like an official of the American government should. He is a civil servant, not an uncivil master: Scott Lemieux: Those Who Want Equal Protection of the Laws Give Unquestioned Deference to the Authoritiesy http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2019/12/those-who-want-equal-protection-of-the-laws-give-unquestioned-deference-to-the-authorities: 'Trump Family Capo Bill Barr expresses his view of the appropriate relationship between law enforcement and the citizenry.... "Today, American people have to focus on... the sacrifice and the service that is given by our law enforcement officers.... They have to start showing, more than they do, the respect and support that law enforcement deserves.... If communities don’t give that support and respect, they might find themselves without the police protection they need.” I dunno, I’m beginning to think that making a mobbed-up authoritarian President of the United States was bad...

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Note to Self: Polanyi: Aristotle Discovers the Economy: Hoisted from the Archives: A whole bunch of this article is simply wrong: the claims that "in the fourth century... Greeks initiated the gainful business practices that in much later days developed into the dynamo of market comnpetition" are false. This means that Polanyi is wrong when he says that Aristotle is examining a new phenomenon when he looks at the economy. Aristotle is examining an old phenomenon from the point of view of an Athenian aristocrat. But there is much of value in Polanyi's exposition of what Aristotle says...

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Note to Self: I see no way that live-action Mulan can match animated: animated's delicious subversion of the "Basic Training" tropes seems to me to make it unbeatable?

Actually, where do all the "basic training" tropes come from? They seem well-established by the post-WWI movie "Tell It to the Marines" https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0018471/. Captains Courageous https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captains_Courageous? The Red Badge of Courage https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Red_Badge_of_Courage? But those aren't basic training. Sergeant le Juane and Corporal Himmelstoss aren't this trope. Does it come from Xenophon? Where, when, and how did the "basic training" tropes enter our culture?

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Note to Self: Richard Dawkins's Existence Poses a Real Problem for the Darwinian Theory of Evolution! https://www.bradford-delong.com/2013/09/richard-dawkinss-existence-poses-a-real-problem-for-the-darwinian-theory-of-evolution.html: 'The author… doesn’t care for “Pride and Prejudice”: “I can’t get excited about who is going to marry whom, and how rich they are.”' On a branch of the evolutionary tree as social as we are, genes that predispose you to such a mind state should have been wiped from the pool 50 million years ago… Just saying'...

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Note to Self: The Two Faces of Jean-Baptiste Say... https://www.bradford-delong.com/2010/04/the-two-faces-of-jean-baptiste-say.html: Say I (1803): A Treatise on Political Economy Book I, Chapter XV:

To say that sales are dull, owing to the scarcity of money, is to mistake the means for the cause; an error that proceeds from the circumstance, that almost all produce is in the first instance exchanged for money, before it is ultimately converted into other produce: and the commodity, which recurs so repeatedly in use, appears to vulgar apprehensions the most important of commodities, and the end and object of all transactions, whereas it is only the medium. Sales cannot be said to be dull because money is scarce, but because other products are so. There is always money enough to conduct the circulation and mutual interchange of other values, when those values really exist. Should the increase of traffic require more money to facilitate it, the want is easily supplied, and is a strong indication of prosperity—a proof that a great abundance of values has been created, which it is wished to exchange for other values. In such cases, merchants know well enough how to find substitutes for the product serving as the medium of exchange or money...


Say II (1829): Cours Complet d'Economie Politique Pratique:

The Bank [of England], legally obliged to redeem its banknotes in specie, regarded itself as obliged to buy gold back at any price, and to coin money at a loss and at considerable expense. To limit its losses, it forced the return of its banknotes, and ceased to put new notes into circulation. It was then obliged to cease to discount commercial bills. Provincial banks were in consequence obliged to follow the same course, and commerce found itself deprived at a stroke of the advances on which it had counted, be it to create new businesses, or to give a lease of life to the old. As the bills that businessmen had discounted came to maturity, they were obliged to meet them, and finding no more advances from the bankers, each was forced to use up all the resources at his disposal. They sold goods for half what they had cost. Business assets could not be sold at any price. As every type of merchandise had sunk below its costs of production, a multitude of workers were without work. Many bankruptcies were declared among merchants and among bankers, who having placed more bills in circulation than their personal wealth could cover, could no longer find guarantees to cover their issues beyond the undertakings of individuals, many of whom had themselves become bankrupt...

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Note to Self: Angelo Houston: "Auten-Splinter has been out for over 2 years but I’m just now seeing economists much less journalists even acknowledge it. I find it baffling." Well, in 1982 the top 5 individuals' wealth was 0.3% of America's GDP; today the top 5 individuals' wealth is 2.1% of America's annual GDP. With little movement in the rate of profit, it's hard to reconcile that with AS's belief that top 10% CMA has only risen from 28% to 33%. The sharp disagreement between AS 10%ile & top order statistics of income & wealth distribution creates, in the absence of any successful reconciliation, a very strong presumption that there is something wrong with their procedures. I think that has caused lots of pause...

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Note to Self: What was the impact on the French medieval economy of the Hundred Years' War? The Black Prince shows up in your neighborhood and begins one of his chevauchees—he sets his soldiers to march, loot, burn, rape, kill, and spoil in a (often fruitless) attempt to get the French knights to come out and charge into the killing ground of his longbowmen. How much damage does he do, really? How many dead out of how large a population in how big an area? How much lost in tax revenue and feudal dues over the subsequent decade or two after the Black Prince has gone?

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Note to Self: Best books about pre-industrial human society:

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Note to Self: A historical question I want answered: Some historical questions I want to find the answers to: What was the typical pre-agricultural density of hunter-gatherer populations?

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Note to Self: WTF!?!?, Richard Muller????: Richard Muller (2013): A Pause, Not an End, to Warming https://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/26/opinion/a-pause-not-an-end-to-warming.html: ‘In an essay published online then at MIT Technology Review, I worried that the famous “hockey stick” graph plotted by three American climatologists in the late 1990s portrayed the global warming curve with too much certainty and inappropriate simplicity…

Here is the hockey stick:


The yellow indicates uncertainty. "Too much certainty", Richard?!?! And the temperature proxies have plenty of signal before 1900. "Inappropriate simplicity", Richard?!?! I do wonder how long it had been since he had read Michael E. Mann &al.: Northern Hemisphere Temperatures During the Past Thousand Years: Inferences, Uncertainties, and Limitations https://web.archive.org/web/20040311175934/http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/millennium-camera.pdf: 'Building on recent studies, we attempt hemispheric temperature reconstructions with proxy data net- works for the past millennium. We focus not just on the reconstructions, but the uncertainties therein, and important caveats. Though expanded uncertainties prevent decisive conclusions for the period prior to AD 1400, our results suggest that the latter 20th century is anomalous in the context of at least the past millennium. The 1990s was the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, at moderately high levels of confidence. The 20th century warming counters a millennial-scale cooling trend which is consistent with long-term astronomical forcing...

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Note to Self: Property rights. Doug North made a career out of talking about how parliamentary government and independent courts established secure property rights in Britain, and arbitrary royal government and dependent intendents created insecure property rights in France, hence the English economy boomed while the French economy stagnated in the century and a half before the coming of the Industrial Revolution.

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Note to Self: Dylan Riley on Romania, Italy, Spain: fascism develops because civil society makes patrimonial rule impossible... and right-wingers need an alternative...

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Note to Self Tippy-Top Incomes: At the start of the 1970s the top 0.01% of American workers—then some 8000—had incomes, including capital gains, of about 12,500 times the average. Figure, with an average inflation-adjusted income of about 200/day (and a typical income of about 150 per working day), 2,500,000 (that's 2.5 million) inflation-adjusted dollars per day for the top 0.01%. Today that multiple is not 12,500 but rather 50,000, and the gap between average and typical is larger. So while typical incomes have risen little (to perhaps 200/day), the 15000 workers in the top 0.01% of income this year receive an average of 24,000,000 (that is 24 million) dollars a day. Investment firm Citadel founder Ken Griffin bought the most expensive residence we are aware of last January: the penthouse of 220 Central Park South in New York for 240 million. If he were receiving the average income this year for the top 0.01% (which he may not be), that expense would soak up what he receives in 100 working days.

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Note to Self: One take on how we can learn better:

  • Andy Matuschak and Michael Nielsen: How Can We Develop Transformative Tools for Thought? https://numinous.productions/ttft/: 'It’s difficult not to be disappointed, to feel that computers have not yet been nearly as transformative as far older tools for thought, such as language and writing.... We believe now is a good time to work hard on this vision again. In this essay we sketch out a set of ideas we believe can be used to help develop transformative new tools for thought...

  • Andy Matuschak: Why Books Don’t Work https://andymatuschak.org/books/: 'Books are magical! Human progress in the era of mass communication makes clear that some readers really do absorb deep knowledge from books... the people who really do think about what they’re reading.... Readers must learn specific reflective strategies... run their own feedback loops... understand their own cognition.... These skills fall into a bucket which learning science calls “metacognition”.... It’s challenging to learn these types of skills.... Worse, even if readers know how to do all these things, the process is quite taxing...

  • Andy Matuschak and Michael Nielsen: Quantum Computing for the Very Curious https://quantum.country/qcvc: 'Presented in a new mnemonic medium which makes it almost effortless to remember what you read...

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Outside of the charmed magic circle of western and central Europe, North America, and the other Anglo-Saxon settler colonies, few indeed are the economies that have managed successful economic development in the sense of convegence: materially closing any significant fraction of their productivity and living standards gap vis-a-vis the world's economic leaders. The Northeast Asian Pacific Rim, now including China; further south, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam; India and Sri Lanka; elsewhere, Turkey, Chile, Botswana, Mauritius, and Cabo Verde. That is all. And with perhaps one or two exceptions, those few have followed the particular economic development path of using low-wage manufacturing exports to nurture their domestic communities of engineering practice—a path that is now closing.

It has long been easy to see the glass half-full with respect to global economic growth: technologies and organizational forms can be imitated and adopted, do diffuse, and even the poorer parts of the globe are much richer than they were two or one or even half a century ago. It has been much harder to see the glass half-full with respect to convergence: the catching-up and closing of the gap vis-a-vis the world's industrial leaders. Why have so few countries been able to walk the path? And what are our prospects for the future? With the prospective closing of the standard parth for convergence, seeing the glass half-full is becoming harder: perhaps there will be no glass at all.

Continue reading "Convergence" »

Note to Self: We hear a lot about the military revolution at the end of the sixteenth century: we hear about Gustaf Adolf, about Maurice van Nassau, even about (the earlier) Gonsalvo de Cordoba. We hear about the effective use of firearms and cannon. Discipline. Logistics—both ammunition supply and keeping guys fed and (relatively) plague free. And we hear of the victories won by Maurice van Nassau and Gustaf Adolf of Sweden over the half-modernized Spanish and Austrian armies, just as we hear of the victories won a century earlier by Gonsalvo de Cordoba and his half-modernized tercios over the unmodernized Italian mercenaries and French cavaliers. But we don't hear much about similarly striking victories won a little bit earlier somewhat further to the east...

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Note to Self: Industrial Policy in Korea: Readings:

Alice Amsden (1989): Asia's Next Giant https://www.google.com/books/edition/Asia_s_Next_Giant/j0E9qKIqD-cC chs. 1-6...

Nathan Lane (2019): Manufacturing Revolutions: Industrial Policy and Networks in South Korea https://delong.typepad.com/lane-korea.pdf...

L.E. Westphal: (1990): Industrial Policy in an Export Propelled Economy: Lessons from South Korea’s Experience https://delong.typepad.com/files/westphal.pdf

Ha-Joon Chang (1993): The political economy of industrial policy in Korea." Cambridge Journal of Economics 17.2 (1993): 131-157 https://delong.typepad.com/files/chang.pdf

Rodrik, Dani. "Getting interventions right: how South Korea and Taiwan grew rich." Economic Policy 10.20 (1995): 53-107 https://delong.typepad.com/files/rodrik-korea-taiwan.pdf

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Note to Self: The continued strength of landed military service aristocrats in government left Europe on the eve of World War I potentially vulnerable to currents of thought that were anti-liberal, pro-hierarchy, and authoritarian...

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Note to Self: Lessons from East Asian Development: Japanese Industrial Policy: Readings:

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Note to Self: Polanyi's problem is he writes badly. Hyman Minsky had next-to-no footprint until Charlie Kindleberger took Minsky's view of the world and turned it into a readable history. There's definitely space to do something like that with Polanyi—fictitious commodities, the market wants to treat your community, your occupation, your security of employment as market commodities, but people believe they have rights beyond market rights when the market gives rights only to those who control resources useful for making things for which rich people have serious Joneses...

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This From Dan Alpert Still Makes Immense Sense

Note to Self: 30-Year Treasury bonds continue astonishingly, bizarrely low:

30 Year Treasury Constant Maturity Rate DGS30 FRED St Louis Fed

It is no longer the case that they are at their lowest levels ever, but this from Dan Alpert still makes immense sense: Dan Alpert: "We awake this morning to an all-time low yield on 30 year US Treasury bond: 2.107%. This is nearly 40 basis points below the average interest rate on all marketable treasury securities https://t.co/j3trQPFxfN. It is time to borrow and invest in infrastructure #LockItIn:


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Note to Self: Neoliberalism and Its Discontents: "Since the recession a decade ago, free-market economics (also known as neoliberalism) has been questioned on multiple fronts. As the dominant governing strategy for the past 40 years—including the Democratic administrations of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama—the Left today is increasingly challenging neoliberalism. Indeed, as the primaries approach, many former Clinton and Obama officials are even openly challenging the 'power of markets' belief. In his new book, A Crisis Wasted, Reed Hundt, chair of the Federal Communications Commission under Clinton and a member of Obama’s transition team, makes the argument that Obama missed an opportunity to push for a new progressive era of governance, a miscalculation that ultimately hobbled his administration. Hundt is not alone on this score. In a viral Vox article earlier this year, former Clinton administration economist Brad DeLong said that the Democratic Party has and should move past market friendly neoliberals like himself. Please join us for a very special conversation between Hundt and DeLong about the limits of, and challenges to, free-market economics with Joshua Cohen, co-editor of Boston Review. WHERE: Outdoor Art Club, One West Blithedale, Mill Valley, CA 94941. WHEN: Monday, September 9, 2019, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm (PST)...

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Note to Self: The Ten Americans Who Did the Most to Win the Cold War: Hoisted from the Archives](https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/02/note-the-ten-americans-who-did-the-most-to-win-the-cold-war-archive-entry-from-brad-delongs-webjournal.html): Harry Dexter White... George Kennan... George Marshall... Arthur Vandenberg... Paul Hoffman... Dean Acheson... Harry S Truman... Dwight D. Eisenhower... Gerald Ford...

#notetoself #2019-09-04

Note to Self: A not atypical tankie: Paul M. Sweezy:

An Obituary (2004): Marxist Economist Paul Sweezy Is Dead: Archive Entry From Brad DeLong's Webjournal: I would like Paul Sweezy to be remembered for the following passage: "The publication in 1952 of Stalin’s Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR would make possible today a more satisfactory reply.…In the light of [Stalin’s] explanation…I would like to amend the statement which Mr. Kazahaya criticizes.…[The amended statement] conveys my meaning more accurately than the original wording and is, I think entirely in accord with Stalin’s view." (Paul Sweezy (1953): The Present as History (New York: Monthly Review Press), p. 352.) Paul Sweezy called himself an intellectual. Paul Sweezy publicly revised his opinion on an analytical issue in order to agree with the position taken by a genocidal tyrant. Fill in the blank: Paul Sweezy was a ...

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Note to Self: Neoliberalism and Its Discontents: "Since the recession a decade ago, free-market economics (also known as neoliberalism) has been questioned on multiple fronts. As the dominant governing strategy for the past 40 years—including the Democratic administrations of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama—the Left today is increasingly challenging neoliberalism. Indeed, as the primaries approach, many former Clinton and Obama officials are even openly challenging the 'power of markets' belief. In his new book, A Crisis Wasted, Reed Hundt, chair of the Federal Communications Commission under Clinton and a member of Obama’s transition team, makes the argument that Obama missed an opportunity to push for a new progressive era of governance, a miscalculation that ultimately hobbled his administration. Hundt is not alone on this score. In a viral Vox article earlier this year, former Clinton administration economist Brad DeLong said that the Democratic Party has and should move past market friendly neoliberals like himself. Please join us for a very special conversation between Hundt and DeLong about the limits of, and challenges to, free-market economics with Joshua Cohen, co-editor of Boston Review. WHERE: Outdoor Art Club, One West Blithedale, Mill Valley, CA 94941. WHEN: Monday, September 9, 2019, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm (PST)...

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I Want My Country Back!

Note to Self: I Want My Country Back!: It is a really strange situation. It has a lot of "if he were nots":

  • If he were not president, Trump’s family would already have moved for a guardianship ad litem...

  • If he were not so authoritarian, we would be profoundly sad that someone—hate him, love him, simply be amused by him—has been such an entertaining celebrity...

  • And if he were not so deranged, we would be in the streets demanding the constitutional order be observed and wondering just what we should do when someone begins taking him seriously and literally when he says that the Washington Post and Catherine Rampell are the enemies of the people, when he says what we really need to do is get rid of the judges, when he says we should let the guys in the mirrored sunglasses in the security agencies do their thing.

It is not an America I ever thought that I would live in, I must say...

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The Flight to Safety in Asset Markets Has Now Become a Thing in Itself...

Note to Self: The market has now delivered 100 basis points of easing in the ten-year Treasury window since the end of last October. On the 30-year bond, you would have made a 20% profit if you bought it last October and sold it today, compared to a 3.5% profit on the S&P Composite over the same period. That is a major, major sentiment shift. That means that a number of people short debt with riskier operations than the S&P Composite are about to face margin calls and rollover difficulties. We will shortly see how solvent the market judges them.

No, it is not yet August 2007. But it is much closer to August 2007 than I expected to see for another generation:

Daily Treasury Yield Curve Rates

Daily Treasury Real Yield Curve Rates

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