by Tyler Cowen
on May 26, 2011 at 12:03 pm
1. Do positive fantasies make it harder to achieve your goals?
2. Via Chris F. Masse, Peter Thiel’s whiz kids.
3. Interview with Emmanuel Todd on the Arab Spring and whether Germany is in the core of Europe.
4. Recommended Spanish-language novels, and all the good books coming out this year.
5. The black middle class is more likely to reach the NBA.
6. John Tomasi will be guest-blogging at Bleeding Heart Libertarians.
RE NBA, black and middle-to-upper class – I immediately wonder how much of that effect is confounded by genetics, i.e., children of ex-college stars and former NBA players.
The numbers they used were small enough I doubt that had much effect.
67 black American and 14 white American players where they’re mostly more or less guessing at their upbringings, particularly SES. 67% of the black players and 93% of the white players were middle class or above. 43% of the black players came from two parent households, although I think they have a somewhat loose definition of that (sorry, skimming) Here we go
” Among African American male children, 62 percent come from non-two parent families, while
in the NBA sample, 57 percent of African Americans do (z = -0.95, p = 0.17). Similarly,
26 percent of all white male children and 19 percent of white NBA players come from
non-two parent families (z = -0.63, p = 0.26)
For African Americans, 28 percent of the NBA players come from compounded disadvantaged [single parent+lower class] backgrounds, compared to 39 percent in the GSS sample (z = -1.66, p < 0.05, one-tail test). None of the white players in our study come from compounded disadvantaged origins, compared to 30 percent in the GSS sample
The conclusion is rather amusing, simultaneously "Dispensing with dubious genetics-based theories" and relying entirely on race trumping SES as an assumption
And why do so many black players make it to the NBA in the first place? The NBA is disproportionately black, around 70-75% if I recall correctly. Clearly there is some sort of societal oppression preventing other population groups from succeeding; we need affirmative action to get balanced representation from whites and Asians as well. Surely the African American community would have no objections to provide our white and Asian children with equal opportunities to play in the NBA.
It is quite possible that positive fantasies have a good impact on long term goals, for the same reasons they have a detrimental impact on short term goals, reducing anxiety and the likehood of people giving it up.
Another assorted link:
A provocative discussion of some ideas form Mises, Menger, Hayek and Mundell in the context of the Euro and the Freegold concept – http://fofoa.blogspot.com/2011/05/return-to-honest-money.html
In the era of the Strauss-Kahn affair, Emmanuel Todd is that new fresh French sound that we we are all hoping for, so different from all those other French intellectuals. Note for example his remarks on “..the american woman, castrating and threatening…”:
“L’univers des différences culturelles entre Européens et Américains est presque infini, mais un anthropologue se doit de mentionner le statut de la femme américaine, castratrice et menaçante, aussi inquiétant pour les mâles européens”
The guy, except for his expertise in demographics, mostly is a predictable hack. Another French Jew I am ashamed off.
Climate != destiny, lead != destiny, health care reimbursement system != destiny, steel, guns & germs != destiny, demographics != destiny. When will this one-dimensional thinking ever stop.
The point that black players are more likely to come from better off families probably reflects that these kids are more likely to have their talent recognized early by people who have the connections and resources to get them special or extra coaching, playing in the right leagues, etc., advantages that better prepare them for a pro-career than a black kid from a poor background
Kids with this potential are generally recognized before they become teenagers.
“It’s easy to sit there and say you’d like to have more money. And I guess that’s what I like about it. It’s easy. Just sitting there, rocking back and forth, wanting that money.”
I dislike the term “Arab Spring.” The revolutions of 1848 provide a far better metaphor than the Prague Spring.
“Economic Advantage Helps Players Get into NBA”
Unlikely a causation. More likely is that some traits conductive of the success at high level basketball are also conductive of economic success.
I like it very much, thank you
I found the research areas of the Thiel Fellows to be rather disappointing, particularly in energy. Improved equipment for solar panels to better track the arc of the sun is a nice, clever, low return, incremental innovation. Perhaps this is further evidence of the “Great Stagnation.”
What really concerns me is that the kids are selecting their research interests to play to the preferences and prejudices of their benefactor. Renewable energy is stylish and solar power is particularly stylish in silicon valley where they know a thing or two about semiconductors.
Maybe Emmannuel Todd has a decent enough understanding of the present to make good predictions, but a number of the things he said were ridiculous. The Jansenists were not “fundamentalists” but may even be thought of as proto-secularists, I’m not even French and I know that. I doubt he’s actually read Huntington’s book. And you have to come up with a ridiculous definition of the west not to include Germany. He should read “From Plato to NATO” and “Law and Revolution”.
This shows which they last very much lengthier and thus saving you income which could otherwise are actually utilized to purchase new ones.
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