#reasoning Feed

What Is the Proper Role of Weblogs in the 2020s?: I Asked My Readers, and They Have Said...

School of Athens

Comments of the Day:

Ezra Klein... was reminiscing about the early days of blogging and how that compares to the new, more popular formats, like Twitter. He made a good case. Twitter is more about talking to those who already agree with you and you really don't expect the person you're "responding" to in your tweets to engage with you. Blogs were often (though hardly always) intended to substantively engage with people you disagree with with the intention, or at least the hope, that that person will actually take what you say seriously and respond in a serious, substantive manner.... I do miss that meatier aspect of blogs, even if they didn't necessarily lead to energetic dialogues between people of differing viewpoints. At least they offered more of a possibility of that happening. So what I would suggest is: use the blog to create energetic dialogues between people of differing viewpoints. It could be used for, oh how could I describe it, maybe "Socratic" dialogues, but between real people even if they're not as witty as the pseudo-Greeks who occasionally pop up on "Grasping Reality".... And that's my what is old is new again idea!

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What I call Bob Rubin's Questions. They really work!: Annie Duke: Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts: "In fact, questioning what you see or hear can get you eaten. For survival-essential skills, type I errors (false positives) were less costly than type II errors (false negatives). In other words, better to be safe than sorry, especially when considering whether to believe that the rustling in the grass is a lion. We didn’t develop a high degree of skepticism when our beliefs were about things we directly experienced, especially when our lives were at stake...

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Monday Smackdown: Who Wants Charles Murray to Speak on Their Campus, and Why?

I have a question for Stanford's Michael @McFaul ...

We know that "If the heritability of IQ were 0.5 and the degree of assortation in mating, m, were 0.2 (both reasonable, if only ballpark estimates), and if the genetic inheritance of IQ were the only mechanism accounting for intergenerational income transmission, then the intergenerational correlation of lifetime incomes would be 0.01..." (see Bowles and Giants (2002)). That is only two percent the observed intergenerational correlation—49/50 of the intergenerational transmission of status in America comes from other causes.

Why, then, is it important to invite to your campus to speak someone whose big thing is the intergenerational transmission of intelligence through genes, and racial differences thereof? And if one were going to invite to your campus to speak someone, etc., why would you pick somebody who likes to burn crosses? Wouldn't a healthier approach be to regard such a person—who focuses on the intergenerational transmission of intelligence through genes, harps on genetic roots of differences between "races", and likes to burn crosses—as we regard those who know a little too much about the muzzle velocities of the main cannon of the various models of the Nazi Armored Battlewagon Version 4?: Jonathan Marks: Who wants Charles Murray to speak, and why?: "The Bell Curve cited literature from Mankind Quarterly, which no mainstream scholar cites, because it is an unscholarly racist journal... http://anthropomics2.blogspot.com/2017/04/who-wants-charles-murray-to-speak-and.html

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This point is absolutely cognitive science-statistics-philosophy of probability gold!: Judea Pearl, Madelyn Glymour, and Nicholas P. Jewell (2016): Causal Inference in Statistics: A Primer (New York: John Wiley & Sons: 978119186847) : "Inquisitive students may wonder why it is that dependencies associated with conditioning on a collider are so surprising to most people—as in, for example, the Monty Hall example. The reason is that humans tend to associate dependence with causation...

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Homer's Odyssey Blogging: "Like Little Birds... They Writhed with Their Feet... But for No Long While..."

Hanging the women in the odyssey Google Search

So let me procrastinate some more this morning...

Let me riff off of something that crossed my desk last night: Emily Wilson's reflections on her translation of the Odyssey, and on the Odyssey itself. There is one passage that always has been, to me at least, horrifyingly freaky in a very bad way. As David Drake—one of my favorite science fiction and fantasy authors—puts it:

Odysseus caps his victory by slowly strangling–the process is described in some detail–the female servants who have been sleeping with Penelope’s suitors. This is only one example (although a pretty striking one) of normal behavior in an Iron Age culture which is unacceptable in a society that I (or anybody I want as a reader) would choose to live in... a hero with the worldview of a death camp guard...

Indeed:

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Epistemic Sunk Costs, Political Bankruptcy, and Folding Your Tent and Slinking Away: The Approaching End of the Trump Grift?

Clowns (ICP)

I see this as a sign that it is all starting to break. Why do I think so? Because I see this as John Holbo's concept of epistemic sunk costs and debt http://crookedtimber.org/2018/06/13/epistemic-sunk-costs-and-the-extraordinary-populist-delusions-of-crowds/, as Nils Gilman's edge of political bankruptcy ...

My feeds:

  • were: "Trump is awesome!", "Trump is crude but effective!", "Trump is accidentally playing eleven-dimensional chess!".

  • but a while ago they shifted to: "At least Trump is owning the libs!" and "We are transferring two trillion dollars–roughly 1/10 of the total value of the stock market–to the superrich, raising our own taxes, poisoning ourselves, and putting Hispanic children in cages, but it is worth it because it owns Jewy people in Scarsdale and Santa Monica."

  • and now they are: "It is all the liberals' fault! Mitt Romney was a nice guy! Because liberals would not vote for Mitt Romney, we had to vote for Trump! Yes, he is awful, but it is all the liberals' fault!".

That is what this is:

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Homeopathic Bayes...

How to Be a Mad Scientist 3 Steps

The problem with debates about the philosophy of statistics is that it influences what you do: Minimize regret or minimize expected loss? Coverage or coherence? Is nature (and our own brains) our friend or our foe? There are actual real stakes here, in a way that there are not real stakes in philosophy of quantum mechanics or of economics...


Suppose we have some knowledge of the distribution of a parameter—Gaussian, with mean and variance known, because why not.

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Starting to be the right way to do this kind of work. But be careful! Active genes that code for melanin are strongly correlated with low educational attainment. Yet I do not believe that even the Charles Murrays and the Andrew Sullivans of the world believe that active melanin production in any way affects "brain-development... and neuron-to-neuron communication": James J. Lee, Robbee Wedow, about 105 others, and David Cesarini: Gene discovery and polygenic prediction from a genome-wide association study of educational attainment in 1.1 million individuals: "A large-scale genetic association analysis of educational attainment... 1.1 million individuals... 1,271 independent genome-wide-significant [Single nucleotide polymorphisms]...

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Cognitive Science, Behavioral Economics, and Finance: Some Fairly-Recent Must- and Should-Reads

stacks and stacks of books

I know, this is one hell of a grab-bag of categories. But I do think it is a category:

  • Judea Pearl provides the first good response I have ever heard to Cosma Shalizi's priceless anti-Bayesian rant: Cosma Shalizi (2016): On the Uncertainty of the Bayesian Estimator: "I hardly know where to begin. I will leave aside the color commentary. I will leave aside the internal issues with Dutch book arguments for conditionalization. I will not pursue the fascinating, even revealing idea that something which is supposedly a universal requirement of rationality needs such very historically-specific institutions and ideas as money and making book and betting odds for its expression..."

  • Jonathan Gottschall (2012): The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 0547391404) https://play.google.com/?id=Bl43cU5rdVwC

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Note to Self Deep and true thinking about how to build structural models, and what they tell us about what to control for—and what not to control for—in estimation: Judea Pearl and Dana Mackenzie: The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect (New York: Basic Books: 0465097618) https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0465097618:

Belated awakenings of this sort are not uncommon in science. For example, until about four hundred years ago, people were quite happy with their natural ability to manage the uncertainties in daily life, from crossing a street to risking a fistfight. Only after gamblers invented intricate games of chance, sometimes carefully designed to trick us into making bad choices, did mathematicians like Blaise Pascal (1654), Pierre de Fermat (1654), and Christiaan Huygens (1657) find it necessary to develop what we today call probability theory. Likewise, only when insurance organizations demanded accurate estimates of life annuity did mathematicians like Edmond Halley (1693) and Abraham de Moivre (1725) begin looking at mortality tables to calculate life expectancies. Similarly, astronomers’ demands for accurate predictions of celestial motion led Jacob Bernoulli, Pierre-Simon Laplace, and Carl Friedrich Gauss to develop a theory of errors to help us extract signals from noise. These methods were all predecessors of today’s statistics...

Note: This is the answer to Cosma Shalizi‘s question about why it is that the supposedly general theory of Bayesian statistics makes such reliance on the bizarre and contingent institutional facts of gambling. We express Bayesian ideas in gambling contexts because those were the first contexts complicated enough for us to need to formalize and develop what we already knew.

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Eagleton on Rorty: Hoisted from the Archives from 1998

Eagleton: "[Following Rorty,] I now object to nuclear warfare not because it would blow up some metaphysical abstraction known as the human race, but because it would introduce a degree of unpleasantness into the lives of my Oxford neighbors.... The campaign is no longer the bloodless, cerebral affair it once was, but pragmatic, experiential, lived sensuously on the pulses. If my bit of Oxford survives a nuclear catastrophe, I really couldn't care less about the University of Virginia..."

Hoisted from the Archives: Eagleton on Rorty http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/Politics/Eagleton.html: English literary critic Terry Eagleton has a very nice--a very effective--a very snide--a very sarcastic--demolition of U. Va. philosopher Richard Rorty. From Terry Eagleton (1996), The Illusions of Postmodernism (London: Blackwell: 0631203230):

pp. 85-86: ...postmodernism combines the worst of [liberalism and communitarianism].... It has, to begin with, an embarrassing amount in common with communitarianism.... The self for both doctrines is embedded in a purely parochial history, and moral judgements thus cannot be universal. Moral judgements, for [Richard] Rorty and his ilk, really say "We don't do that kind of thing around here"; whereas... to say "sexual discrimination is wrong" usually means that we do do that kind of thing around here, but we shouldn't...

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The sharp and well-intentioned Will Wilkinson still thinks that the name "libertarianism" is worth fighting for, or perhaps that "liberaltarianism" is worth fighting for. I, however, for one, think that "libertarianism" is poisoned in the same way that "fascism", "communism", "socialism", and "neoliberalism" are poisoned. Too many bad people have waved their banners in bad faith. In libertarians' case, the bad people waving in bad faith have been those who think that the only rights that matter are the rights to discriminate, to exchange, and to hold what you have no matter how you acquired it. Maybe "positive libertarians" has a chance, maybe not: Will Wilkinson: Liberaltarianism: Back the Future: "Misean economics,... filtered through Ayn Rand and Murray Rothbard's peculiar views of rights and coercion...

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There are two ways this could go—extending "whiteness" or permanent Republican minority status. In the past, "whiteness" has always been expanded so that it includes a vast majority of the American population—and so now we have people named Mark Krikorian denouncing the threat of a Hispanic wave that will pollute America: Kevin Drum: White Party, Brown Party: "I don’t think that our political system will literally become the White Party vs. the Brown Party, but it’s already closer to this than any of us would like to admit. What’s worse, it’s all but impossible to imagine how Republicans can turn things around in their party. They’re keenly aware of the need to address their demographic challenges, but the short-term pain of reaching out to non-whites is simply too great for them to ever take the plunge. Democrats aren’t in quite such a tough spot, but their issues with the white working class are pretty well known, and don’t look likely to turn around anytime soon either.

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Judea Pearl provides the first good response I have ever heard to Cosma Shalizi's priceless anti-Bayesian rant: Cosma Shalizi (2016): On the Uncertainty of the Bayesian Estimator: "I hardly know where to begin. I will leave aside the color commentary. I will leave aside the internal issues with Dutch book arguments for conditionalization. I will not pursue the fascinating, even revealing idea that something which is supposedly a universal requirement of rationality needs such very historically-specific institutions and ideas as money and making book and betting odds for its expression..."

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Cedarbrook Notes

Cedarbrook Notes

American religion, at least white Protestant and Catholic religion, is overwhelmingly a self-righteousness multiplier...

Becky Henderson to me: "You need to read moar Stiglitz on environmental degradation and nature capital...

The principal use of “neoliberalism” as a word is to erase the difference between the Mussolini-love of Ludwig von Mises and center-left technocratic economists who want to get the incidence of policies right. Why? So you can then have more freedom to propose policies that do not make technocratic sense......

We Should Not Call It "Populism": "Now is the time for the second hobbyhorse I promised myself I would ride at this conference...

Is there a good biography of George Stigler? Beatrice Cherrier says that Stigler’s autobiography is still the best......

On My Grand Counterfactuals: The most interesting question is not “do you know?” But “does Dora Costa know?”, which is very close to “is it knowable”?...

The late Rudi Dornbusch liked to say that: "German ordoliberalism was something an economist could recognize if there was a benevolent Kindlebergian hegemon stabilizing the global system.” But if not, not...

Keynes, Polanyi, Foucault, Again: Cedarbrook Notes: "... >...As a product of Harvard’s undergraduate Social Studies program, I realized around 30 that I had been perfectly prepared to understand reality and act in western Europe between, say, 1860 and 1950...

Angus Deaton: "Judea Pearl knows a lot that Jim Heckman does not. And vice versa...”

Needed: A Better Karl Polanyi: I wondered coming up here whether this conference would turn into Karl Polanyi bingo. I am now confident that it will. Indeed, it has. As someone who thinks the master social theorists for the mid-21st century are likely to be Foucault, Keynes, Polanyi, this is not unwelcome...

Convergence Weighting by People Divergence Weighting by Nations: Yes, the world as a whole has become more equal over the past generation. This is overwhelmingly because two very large countries—India and China—have harvested a great deal of the low-hanging fruit of development because of better policies...

Big Questions for Left Opposition Social Scientists: Occupy had zero impact on austerity budgets. Mont Pelerin was not important because they gathered by a lake, sang “kumbaya”, and felt a sense of solidarity. We should not pretend defeats were victories. What can we do? I think there are three levels that we ought to be operating on—all, right now, understanding the world rather than trying to change it: understanding policies, understanding mobilizations, and understanding utopia...

I, on Behalf of the Economists Thinking Correct Economic Thought, Plead Not Guilty: We—at least my fraction of economists—plead “not guilty” to the indictment: The Minsky tradition had the financial sector nailed.... Paul Krugman... spearheading the analysis of how great the risks posed by the zero lower bound were.... Economists had been tracking decreasing competition, increasing financialization, and rising income inequality.... The problem, as Simon Wren-Lewis of Oxford likes to say, is not that the economists did not know what was going on in real time, but rather that they were not listened to...

Don't Like My Neoliberal Party Card? I Have Others!: Don't like the others? I have my neoliberal party card...


Cedarbrook Notes

#cedarbrooknotes
#shouldread
#highlighted
#cedarbrook
#politicaleconomy
#polanyi

https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=OBXCW5H-AZLW_wTXh4fYBg&q=site%3Abradford-delong.com+Cedarbrook+OR+%22Cedar+Brook%22+OR+%23cedarbrook&btnK=Google+Search&oq=site%3Abradford-delong.com+Cedarbrook+OR+%22Cedar+Brook%22+OR+%23cedarbrook&gs_l=psy-ab.3...1247.1247..1674...0.0..0.59.116.2......0....1j2..gws-wiz.....0.sFVHxguNurE


We Should Not Call It "Populism": Cedarbrook Notes

2018-03-12_Brad_DeLong_Party_Card_pages

Cedar Brook Notes: Now is the time for the second hobbyhorse I promised myself I would ride at this conference: "populism". I think in his new book, The Populist Temptation: Economic Grievance and Political Reaction in the Modern Era ((New York: Oxford University Press: 9780190866280) https://books.google.com/books?isbn=9780190866280), Barry Eichengreen gives away the arcanum imperii: “I define populism as a political movement with anti-elite, authoritarian, and nativist tendencies...” and “charismatic leaders with anti-establishment, authoritarian, and nationalist tendencies, from Benito Mussolini to Ioannis Metaxas...” The American Populists of the late 19th Century were a political movement that sought egalitarian economic policies: breakup of the trusts, regulation of railroad rates, the free coinage of silver. There is a word for a pro-plutocrat political movement fueled on ethnic and national animosity toward others, especially rootless cosmopolites. That word ain’t “populism”.

We should use “fascism” where it applies. If we do not, we will not have rectified names. If names are not rectified, thought will not be clear. If thought is not clear, governance will not be just. If governance is not just, the people will not prosper.

We should use the word "fascism". It is appropriate.

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2018-03-12_Brad_DeLong_Party_Card_pages

Cedar Brook Notes: The principal use of “neoliberalism” as a word is to erase the difference between the Mussolini-love of Ludwig von Mises and center-left technocratic economists who want to get the incidence of policies right. Why? So you can then have more freedom to propose policies that do not make technocratic sense...


Keynes, Polanyi, Foucault, Again: Cedarbrook Notes

2018-03-12_Brad_DeLong_Party_Card_pages

Cedar Brook Notes: As a product of Harvard’s undergraduate Social Studies program, I realized around 30 that I had been perfectly prepared to understand reality and act in western Europe between, say, 1860 and 1950. The problem was that I was trying to understand reality and act in America between 1980 and 2030. Question: what should the core theoretical curriculum beat of the social studies like major Aimed at helping people understand reality and act in the world as it will be in 2040? The answer I am currently playing with is: Keynes, Polanyi, Foucault as the core social theory curriculum. But I do not think I have it right.


Lee McIntyre: "Cognitive scientists recommend using a "truth sandwich" to report lies: : ay the truth, then show the liar telling the lie, then fact check it. Otherwise the well known 'repetition effect' allows the news media to be used to amplify lies..."

Brian Stelter: "Journalists, 'you need to face something squarely: You're confronted with radical hacking of your own systems of operation. This requires radical rethinking of those systems' --@DanGillmor" https://medium.com/@dangillmor/dear-journalists-stop-letting-liars-use-your-platforms-as-loudspeakers-cc64c4024eeb


#shouldread

(Late) Monday Smackdown: No, Ron Unz Does Not Tell It Straight. Why do You Ask?

Smackdown

Why would anybody claim that Holocaust denier David Irving was the defendant rather than the plaintiff in Irving v. Penguin Books and Lipstadt? I mean, that's what the case is called. And the plaintiff's name does come first. And why would anybody claim that David Irving lost his "fine central London home" because "Jewish movie producers and corporate executives" funded a lawsuit and he had been "forced to defend himself without benefit of legal counsel"?

Ron Unz has long been my poster child for the point that being mentally quick does not mean that you are smart, or intelligent, or wise. Turning your smartness to find reasons not to mark your beliefs to market but rather to justify prejudices you got from God-knows-where is no way to go through life, son.

Here is where Unz picks up and propagates the false neo-Nazi line that Holocaust denier David Irving was not the plaintiff but the defendant in Irving v. Penguin Books and Deborah Lipstadt: Ron Unz: The Remarkable Historiography of David Irving: "Irving is an individual of uncommonly strong scholarly integrity....is unwillingness to dissemble or pay lip-service to various widely-worshiped cultural totems eventually provoked an outpouring of vilification by a swarm of ideological fanatics drawn from a particular ethnic persuasion...

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(Early) Monday (Self?) Smackdown: Baiae and LA as Causes of Republican Downfall? Seriously?

Roman republic orgy Google Search

The scary thing is that I do not know whether Tom Holland:

  1. did not notice that Niall Ferguson was misinterpreting his work...
  2. does not care that Niall Ferguson was misinterpreting his work on the grounds that "all publicity is good publicity", or whether...
  3. I am misinterpreting Tom Holland's work, and Holland really does agree with Ferguson—that it was the orgies of Baiae rather than, in Lucan's phrase, because "Caesar could brook no superior and Pompey could brook no rival...", and, as Plutarch put it, the right-wing decision to break the norms by which political clashes "though neither trifling nor raised for trifling objects, were settled by mutual concessions, the nobles yielding from fear of the multitude, and the people out of respect for the senate..."

A Twitter thread:

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The Damnation of the Professional Republican Policy Intellectuals

Inferno

I have long known that the thoughtful and pulls-no-punches Amitabh Chandra has no tolerance for fuzzy thinking from Do-Gooder Democrats. He is one of those who holds that not even a simulacrum of utopia is open to us here, as we muck about in the Sewer of Romulus here in this Fallen Sublunary Sphere. ”There are always trade-offs“, he says. “Deal with it“, he says. But here he leans to the other side, and, well, snaps: Amitabh Chandra: "GOP thinktanks https://twitter.com/amitabhchandra2/status/1007261629547982849 are the biggest milksops. From healthcare policy to environmental policy, from national security policy to fiscal policy, they have tacitly endorsed a mountain of anti-market + anti-growth + anti-America policies so as not to not upset their political masters...

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From Miles Kimball's Intermediate Macroeconomics

School of Athens

Miles Kimball: Link to Basic Resources for Intermediate Macro:


Anyone who wants to be a B student, an A student or learn even more than that should read the book Make It Stick. I can summarize the main point this way. If you want to get knowledge into long-term memory, reading and rereading won't do the trick. Your brain only puts something into long-term memory if you prove to your brain that it is worth remembering that thing by trying to remember it. So the activity of trying to remember things is the key to learning something not just for the exam tomorrow but learning it for good.

Besides telling my students what I just said in the last paragraph, the way I use this principle in my class is by treating exams primarily as learning opportunities and only secondarily as evaluation devices. Exams cause students to try to remember things. Before each of the three exams, I ask students to do over the weekend the exam from the previous year as a practice exam—under time pressure. Then I go over that practice exam carefully in the class right before the exam. After the exam, I consider the class where I go over the answers one of the most important class periods for learning.

When I write each exam, I am thinking about what I most want students to remember down the road, since I know they will remember what ended up on the exams much more than any other specific things from the class. The answers to the exam questions represent the bulk of the key ideas and some of the key skills I want the students to take away from the class...


Peter C. Brown et al. (2014): Make It Stick: "Drawing on cognitive psychology and other fields, Make It Stick offers techniques for becoming more productive learners, and cautions against study habits and practice routines that turn out to be counterproductive. The book speaks to students, teachers, trainers, athletes, and all those interested in lifelong learning and self-improvement..."


This File: http://delong.typepad.com/teaching_economics/miles-kimball-intermediate-macro.html
Edit This File: http://www.typepad.com/site/blogs/6a00e551f08003883401b8d2c935d5970c/page/6a00e551f0800388340224df3527d6200b/edit?saved_added=n
Teaching Economics: http://delong.typepad.com/teaching_economics/contents.html


An enormous amount that I think is right here. And I bunch I think is wrong. And now I have laid down a marker that I have to write down what I think is wrong here, which I will... someday... in my copious spare time But what is right: Miles Kimball: On Teaching and Learning Macroeconomics: "Many... important ideas are missing from most macroeconomic textbooks.... Here are some... I consider so important that I teach them in class:

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Martha Wells's "Artificial Condition" Is Strongly Recommended

Robotica 300x198 jpg 300×198 pixels

Very strongly recommended: Martha Wells: Artificial Condition: The Murderbot Diaries.

This is one scene: perhaps the best "tell, not show" scene I have read in a long time: Martha Wells: The Last Stand of the Four ComfortUnits of Ganaka Mining Pit: "In the corridor near the living quarters, I found the other ready room, the one for the ComfortUnits...

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CFP Panel on the Transparent Society: David Brin's Book Ten Years Later: Hoisted Ten Years Later

Panopticon Google Search

It is now 20 years since David Brin wrote The Transparent Society. Book holds up very well, all things considering: CFP Panel on the Transparent Society: David Brin's Book Ten Years Later: Michael Froomkin:

The Transparent Society Ten Years Later : This year marks the 10th anniversary of the publication of David Brin's controversial book, "The Transparent Society". The book argues that in the face of the explosion of sensors, cheap storage, and cheap data processing we should adopt strategies of vision over concealment. A world in which not just transactional information, but essentially all information about us will be collected, stored, and sorted is, Brin says, inevitable. The only issue left to be decided is who will have access to this information; he argues that freedom, and even some privacy, are more likely to flourish if everybody - not just elites - has access to this flood of data. The book remains controversial and much-talked-about. The panel will explore how Brin's claims hold up ten years later and whether (or how far) we're on the road to a Transparent Society.

Here is my presentation:

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"We Always Thanked Robert Lucas for Giving Us a... Monopoly" Over Valuable Macroeconomics: Smackdown/Hoisted

Clowns (ICP)

Monday Smackdown/Hoisted from the Archives (August 2015): "We Always Thanked Robert Lucas for Giving Us a... Monopoly" Over Valuable Macroeconomics: The extremely sharp Paul Romer gets something, I think, very very wrong...

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Listening to Morris Dees: Notes to Self on "Forgiveness" and Social Action...

6 Places In D C To Reflect On Rev Martin Luther King Jr WAMU

Listening at the Amherst College graduation to: Morris Dees: One Nation with Liberty and Justice for All. It struck me that Morris Dees of the SPLC speaks not as a lawyer but as a prophet. But when he spoke of "forgiveness" and of Martin Luther King, Jr., I found myself thinking that he wasn't expressing what he wanted to say very well—certainly not nearly as well as Martin Luther King, Jr., had...

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About one-fifth of western European cities saw a total eclipse of the sun during medieval times. Those triggered cities were thereafter more likely to build public mechanical clocks early. And building a clock early boosts your population by a quarter across the centuries. This is either freakish statistical mischance, or a truly great thing: Lars Boerner and Battista Severgnini: Time for Growth: "This paper studies the impact of the early adoption of... the public mechanical clock...

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Note to Self: I am pretty good at making sure Twitter does not seize my attention and hack my brain. But many other people are not. Platforms so that you can control aggregators.

How was it that Tim Berners-Lee's Open Web crushed the Walled Gardeners in the 1990s? And how have the Walled Gardeners made their comeback?

And what can be done?: Manton Reece (2014): Microblog Links: "Brent Simmons points to my post on microblogs and asks...

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Caffeine...

My real problem is that my normal daily cycle is about 23 hours. So the last hour or two before going to sleep is a zero for any purpose. So I’m always tempted to just go to bed, and hope I will have extra energy to recoup the following morning. And so I wake up too early and find myself suffering from bio rhythm upset.

I do not know what to do to get out of this—except for drinking lots of coffee in the evening. But I want to preserve the effect of coffee on my attention span for serious emergencies.

I am stuck...


The Rise of the Robots: Recent Must- and Should-Reads as of May 15, 2018

Il Quarto Stato

  • Another piece worrying that human beings are simply unequipped to deal with an advertising supported internet, in which money flows to those who hack your brain to glue your eyeballs to the screen: Ben Popken: As algorithms take over, YouTube's recommendations highlight a human problem: "A supercomputer playing chess against your mind to get you to keep watching...

  • OK, Ben: how do we write regulations that constrain aggregators that want to hack our brain and attention and empower platforms that enable us to accomplish what we prudently judge our purposes to be when we are in our best selves? How was it that printing managed to, eventually, generate a less-unhealthy public sphere? Young Habermas, where are you now that we need you?: Ben Thompson: Tech’s Two Philosophies: "Apple and Microsoft, the two 'bicycle of the mind” companies'... had broadly similar business models... platforms.

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Could the Swedish Academy Please Stop Giving Nobel Prizes to Economists—Like Eugene Fama—Who Lack Basic Historical Literacy?

Clowns (ICP)

Someone who wishes me ill reminds me of this from six years ago.

Could the Swedish academy please stop giving nobel prizes to economists—like Eugene Fama—who lack basic historical literacy? This isn't rocket science, after all. I really do not think that this is very much to ask: Paul Krugman (2011): Boom For Whom: "While I’m talking about inequality and the crisis, I realized recently that there’s another channel not usually talked about, via the misperception of success...

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OK, Ben: how do we write regulations that constrain aggregators that want to hack our brain and attention and empower platforms that enable us to accomplish what we prudently judge our purposes to be when we are in our best selves? How was it that printing managed to, eventually, generate a less-unhealthy public sphere? Young Habermas, where are you now that we need you?: Ben Thompson: Tech’s Two Philosophies: "Apple and Microsoft, the two 'bicycle of the mind” companies'... had broadly similar business models... platforms...

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100 Economists This Moronic? And This Easily Grifted?

Preview of 100 Economists This Moronic And This Easily Grifted

"Economists for Trump"—I do not know whether to be gratified that only 100 economists would sign this, or horrified that even 100 economists would sign this. It is certainly a remarkable document—one that I do not think anybody who was not both 100% cynical and 100% deluded could sign. Cynical: you have to genuinely not care about whether you are making contrary-to-fact assertions. Deluded: you have to believe that what you say will be credited by anybody other than partisan Trumpist ideologues and the professional opinions-of-shape-of-earth-differ crowd:

  • At this point, you need to be cynical and deluded to be willing to claim that the TCJA is a middle-class tax cut that will boost economic growth, rather than an upward redistribution of income with more than 100% of the value of the small growth effects it will have going to foreigners.

  • At this point, you need to be cynical and deluded to be willing to claim that Trump offers regulatory relief rather than a Berlusconi-like corrupt advantaging of favored clients.

  • At this point, you need to be cynical and deluded to be willing to claim that Trump is for "reciprocal free trade with lower trade barriers on all sides". To the extent that Trump is for anything, it is for managed trade with bilateral trade balanced or in export surplus for the U.S.

  • At this point, you need to be cynical and deluded to be willing to claim that there are any signs that "President Trump's negotiations on trade are working".

  • At this point, you need to be cynical and deluded to be willing to claim that there has been an "improvement in the economic growth trajectory" or that CBO's estimates justify such a claim.

I look at this, and I cannot help but think: I know that America has lots of easily-grifted morons on it. But this moronic? And this easily grifted?: Economists for Trump: A ECONOMISTS LETTER IN SUPPORT OF PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ECONOMIC POLICY AGENDA : "We enthusiastically endorse President Trump's economic agenda to create jobs and restore economic growth...

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Exemplifying Equitable Growth: Mr. Google Serves Me a Baker's Half-Dozen from the WCEG Website, and What I Learn Thereby...

Equitable growth Google Search

Time to relaunch the Equitable Growth http://equitablegrowth.org website!

That makes this a good time to look back at what Equitable Growth does and has been doing over this past half decade. As I grow older, I become more and more and organizational realist: The Purpose of an organization is what it does, rather than what its mission statement says it is going to do or what it’s funders believe that their money is going to pay for. What the worker bees do determines what the organization does. What the planners and vision architects say does not determine what the organization does.

Thus I look for exemplars: What are the things on the current Equitable Growth website that exemplify what it does, or perhaps what it should do?

Let's ask Mr. Google:

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Martha Wells Is a Galactic Treasure...

Artificial Condition Tor com

Terminator, if the Terminator were incredibly shy, were addicted to watching soap operas, and were genuinely driven to protect and serve. Martha Wells is making very interesting comments on artificial intelligence, human connection, and narrative and cognition here: Martha Wells All Systems Red: "I COULD HAVE BECOME a mass murderer after I hacked my governor module, but then I realized I could access the combined feed of entertainment channels carried on the company satellites...

...It had been well over 35,000 hours or so since then, with still not much murdering, but probably, I don’t know, a little under 35,000 hours of movies, serials, books, plays, and music consumed. As a heartless killing machine, I was a terrible failure. I was also still doing my job, on a new contract, and hoping Dr. Volescu and Dr. Bharadwaj finished their survey soon so we could get back to the habitat and I could watch episode 397 of Rise and Fall of Sanctuary Moon...

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What I describe as the Rubin questions, because these are questions that I first heard when Bob Rubin would ask them when he led the NEC for Clinton in the 1990s: What might we wish two years from now we had done today? What might we wish ten years now that we had done today? Yes, that decision turned out right, but was it the best decision we could have made then given what we could have known then? Yes, that decision turned out wrong, but was there a better decision we could have made then given what we could have known then, and how could we have made it?: Cory Doctorow: Thinking in Bets: a poker-master's Jedi mind-trick for being less wrong: "Annie Duke... Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts...

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Narrative...

School of Athens

History, biography, and fiction are the queens of the humanities because we think via narrative. I give a lecture on this stuff occasionally, and I am anxious to improve it and keep it up to date...

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