#commentoftheday Feed

Comment of the Day: I had always thought that the "male variability" hypothesis was really a "male skewed lower tail" hypothesis, and has nothing to say about the upper tail of males. It's the small Y-chromosome—the missing genes that make males overwhelmingly susceptible to color-blindness, hemophilia, the autism spectrum, may play a role in reduced life expectancy, and other things. But that male variability is greater because males are genetically weak says little or nothing about a possible genetic upper tail: Paul Reber: Patriarchy & Gender: "On Patriarchy & Gender... it's worth noting that a consequence of the Y-chromosome bottleneck 5000 years ago is that the 'fat tails' hypothesis that Pinker and Baumeister suckered Larry Summers with is obviously wrong. That is, the hypothesis that men exhibit genetically-dependent higher IQ variability, leading to more men on the upper tail of the distribution (and lower) which leads to over-representation in highly IQ-selective subsets such as professors at Harvard/MIT/etc....

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Comment of the Day: Pinkybum:: What Is Going on This Morning Over at "National Review"? Is It Worth Reading? No.: "I feel like Louis CK's Parkland joke is not funny because fundamentally the premise is not true. What he posits is (a) the kids who are getting the media attention (b) don't deserve it because (c) why does surviving a mass shooting make you (d) an expert in gun control? But really the fundamental truth of the issue is that they are experts because it doesn't really take much intellectual brain power to see that gun regulation could be much more comprehensive and effective if possession of guns took as least as much trouble as obtaining a driver's license...

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Comment of the Day: Ronald Brakels: Strong AI: "Just so you know, once we get something that can accurately transcribe podcasts that will be strong AI. It'll be some mightily powerful strong I. I'm not saying podcast transcribers are going to take over the world, but I am saying that we fix this one little annoying thing and we change the world beyond recognition...

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Comment of the Day: I deleted a an anti-anti-Trump trollish comment, but this reply to it seems worth keeping: JEC: There is something deeply mentally, morally, and psychologically wrong here—with Glenn Kessler, with his bosses, and with his colleagues: "'He makes it very clear that he is responding to a reader's question about a part of O'Rourke's quote, to which he posts a video link. I simply fail to see how responding to a reader question about a statement made internally in a quote is the same as making something up and attributing it to the candidate.'...

...Well, you just did exactly the same thing. Did you notice?

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Comment of the Day I have noticed this a lot over the past fifteen years. Journalists are very, very bad at citing their sources—it is one minor reason why they have a low reputation. That and their overaddiction to beat sweeteners, when not playing opinions-of-the-shape-of-the-earth-differ: Kansas Jack: The New York Times Has a Serious Quality Control Problem: "Has anyone else noticed that interesting, novel observations at Vox.com, especially by Matt Yglesias, come out a week later, slightly altered in the NYT? Is it just me who thinks that?...

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Comment of the Day: JEC: The Uses of a University: "It's worth expanding on this a bit. Brad is advocating for a particular view of the purpose(s) of a university—a view I happen to share. But to understand the debate, we need to bear in mind that this view isn't the only one with a substantial following...

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Comment of the Day: Graydon: Jacob Levy: I don’t think there’s anything—anything—on which I’ve gotten so much disbelief-that-becomes-near-anger as when I contradict the post-2014 Fox narrative about campus life...: "The campus narrative is a way to assign moral wrong because they can't assign factual wrong back to the institutions and processes which are assigning factual error to them...

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Comment of the Day: Tracy Lightcap: Jacob Levy: I don’t think there’s anything—anything—on which I’ve gotten so much disbelief-that-becomes-near-anger as when I contradict the post-2014 Fox narrative about campus life...: "This is it, but I think the process is a bit more complicated. People who have made up their minds on a topic and committed themselves to it are still susceptible to arguments that work through repetition to undermine authority figures...

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Comment of the Day: Shelly Lundberg: "Re question at the end...:

Shelly Lundberg: Can't disagree with [Matt Notowidigodo's] sentiment but, as others have noted, the first part of that screenshot from @delong deserves comment. Says that tenure committees are making decisions on the basis of whether you spend long hours in the office and have flexible schedules--so bad for moms.

Matt Notowidigdo: Professor @delong says exactly what I've been thinking about recently http://www.bradford-delong.com/2018/07/feminism-in-the-long-20th-century-an-intake-from-slouching-towards-utopia-the-economic-history-of-the-long-20th-century.html. I agree that the "economic rise of women" is one of the most important changes in the last 100 years; it has affected almost every part of modern economic life.

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Comment of the Day: Graydon: Understanding Karl Marx: "The thing -- well, a thing, and I think an important thing still generally missed -- Marx missed was the metallic cartridge. From ~1860 through 1914, the decisive aspect of your military campaign was 'how many riflemen, how well fed, and how well trained?'...

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Comment of the Day: JEC: Protecting Ourselves from Facebook: "I think it's worth mentioning that (a) 'How do I protect my privacy?'...

...and (b) "How do I protect myself from hostile psyops?" are different questions with partially overlapping answers. And "How do I protect myself from the actions of my neighbors who fail to protect themselves from hostile psyops?" is a third, and arguably more important, question...

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Comment of the Day: I have never understood this belief in "snapback". Previous "snapbacks" had all taken place in the context of the Federal Reserve driving the real interest rate far below the Wicksellian neutral rate and a supportive fiscal policy. Neither of those were present. Where was snapback supposed to come from after 2009?: Charles Steindel: : "It was a belief that the recession was primarily the result of the collapse of the financial system...

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Comment of the Day: Robert Waldmann: Paul Krugman Looks Back at the Last Twenty Years of the Macroeconomic Policy Debate: "2a) I think Paul Krugman was wrong. b) I had conceded that he was right as always. c) now I'm back. It has to do with the expected inflation imp...

...Krugman discussed a central bank which could credibly promise to be irresponsible in the future when the economy is out of the liquidity trap. I don't like the use of "credibly". The question is what promises are credited by economic agents. The identification of "credible" and "credited" is part of the damage done by the rational expectations assumption. Agents' beliefs about policy are described as an aspect of the policy. It is insinuated that a central banker with resolve, character, integrity determination and a pre-commitment facility, can make people believe anything.

Krugman has never asserted that his proposed monetary definitely would work if tried. He always argues that it might work and fiscal stimulus is clearly politically impossible. But he does try to claim it would work if only central bankers followed his advice.

His problem is Kuroda, who did everything as Krugman advised and was determined to do whatever it takes to get to 2% inflation. From 2015 through 2017 Japanese consumer price inflation fluctuated rought from 0.5% to -0.5%—the only way they got CPI inflation was raising the value added tax (VAT) rate (and causing a recession). I now think the data which convinced me Krugman was right were due to Japanese realizing that Abe was really really going to raise the VAT.

Agents' expectations are not an instrument of policy. Central bankers try to use the "expectations channel" but it usually doesn't work. More here: https://angrybearblog.com/2018/03/a-comment-on-the-return-of-its-baaaack.html

Also, as noted by our Advisor, Krugman assumes that everything will return to normal in the long run. He analyses 2 periods, the present and the long run, and the long run is assumed to include full employment. He has trouble modellings secular stagnation. We must walk through the valley without the long run as our shepherd http://rjwaldmann.blogspot.it/2015/06/delong-praises-long-run.html

Also dreadful plumbing in a pdf here http://bit.ly/1cBYU0x


Comment of the Day: RW: Disrupting Education: "'Will we ever create tech (even for a few subjects) that will work as well as good one-on-one tutoring?'...

...That already has been done in a limited, skill-building way; e.g., Kahn Academy as noted in the root ms of this thread. But teaching is more complicated than that; e.g., developing the abilities of groups of students who are not your own children or even your own tribe introduces wrinkles even before you get the question of what kinds of abilities the students might consider most valuable. Tech can't be about teaching (yet) and if it is to be about tutoring at more complex levels it needs to emphasize tech's strengths rather than attempting to emulate teachers; i.e., what computers do best is exhaustive data traversal and rules-based analysis.

NB: Years ago I had a discussion with some folks developing a biochemistry program at UCLA that involved tracking each student's steps in solving a problem set and generated a report showing the path each student took. This was not constrained to achieving the correct answer or even just the number of steps it took. The program conducted a path analysis and one of the report elements was how 'splayed' the path appeared; that is, did the path reveal a tighter pattern suggestive of conceptual understanding or did it suggest the student was following leads in unprofitable directions, not intuitively sure of where the answer might lie. Not sure where that program wound up but it seemed like the right idea to me: let the computer do what it does best then let the teacher do what they do best.

"In the last analysis, we must come to the inevitable conclusion that education can be imparted only by a teacher and not wholly by a method ... Just as a water tank can be filled only with water and fire can be kindled with fire, life can be inspired with life ... However it may be, we want a human being in every sphere of our life. The mere pill of a method instead shall not bring us salvation." –Rabindranath Tagore


Comment of the Day: Ethan: Live from Global Warming Gehenna: "We used to call it 'Global Warming'. Later we called it 'Climate Change'. I have long preferred to call it 'Excess Solar Energy Trapped in the Bio-sphere'. That seems to me to explain it better. More energy = more movement. Storms, wind, melting ice, tides, whatever—the energy is going to go somewhere..."

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