by Tyler Cowen
on February 13, 2012 at 3:27 pm
1. There is a great stagnation.
2. There is no great stagnation (the new world of private drones).
3. How good a signal is a virtual rose?
4. Everyday life as an intelligences test (118 pp. pdf).
5. MITx to open formally.
6. Why the Greek “deal” may not work.
#2 With “Progress” like that I’d rather there were a Great Stagnation
Look, more no TGS:
#5 Interesting, but how valuable can these certifications become due to the potential cheating issues? Still though, it would be great to have top notch resources like this to supplement a more traditional teaching environment.
I think #5 is great and if I have time, will enroll to test it out. I don’t understand why they are doing it though, unless it’s purely altruistic.
#1 – condoms *have* evolved, though incrementally, rather than in any spectacular fashion. It is now possible to buy significantly thinner condoms than were available 20-30 years ago, and they *do* feel better. There are also polyurethane condoms, for those allergic to latex, though they aren’t as reliable.
Also, one can easily buy condoms through Amazon.com (or others, presumably), paying on the order of 10c – 20c each, instead of 50c each or more for the 10 or 12-packs available at drugstores.
On the topic of condoms, where’s the outrage over the fact that the government doesn’t force health insurers to cover them?
I can hear the chants outside the insurance offices of “Occupy Vagina” now. “GIVE US A RIDER TO COVER OUR DONG!!!!!”
The idea that we can’t suggest to people the reduce sex quantity but have to demand they reduce quality is odd to me.
Because they’re available over the counter. If there were a male pill you better believe it would be included. It might also be the bestselling drug in history.
#4 was worth reading… though I find the result disheartening. I’m open to the possibility that the authors insights are valid and important, and yet it know it’s easy for me to say that as an upper middle class white male with a (modestly) above average IQ. I feel guiltly about the author’s results.
“and yet it know it’s easy for me to say that as an upper middle class white male with a (modestly) above average IQ. I feel guiltly about the author’s results.”
You shouldn’t feel guilty. Just because insights might hurt some people’s delicate sensibilities doesn’t make them wrong.
#1 – Condoms have gotten a lot better. Trojan Bareskin condoms are my new current favorite (I think they’ve only been on the market for a year or two); they are noticeably better (and also quite a bit more expensive) than my previous favorite (Crown condoms).
#1 why haven’t condoms evolved reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where George points out that toilet paper hasn’t evolved. Except it has. And so have condoms.
#4 – 118 pages is quite a lot. Anyone who has read it care to provide a summary, or give a better idea of why it might be worth reading?
Very much worth reading, because he essentially predicts Murray’s book and furthermore gives an epidemiological not cultural explanation for the disintegration that is occurring before our eyes – and his study is from 1997. A good quote:
“In effect, deviant behavior, if correlated with race by virtue of IQ differences, can thus expand the definition of what is socially acceptable or tolerable among elites, government officials, and eventually even the resigned general public, regardless of whether or not any of these groups join in the behavior. ”
and he essentially links Murray’s thesis to data such as this:
which Murray hadn’t much to say about, wise as he is. Cowen is wise as well.
“Murray’s book” came out in 1994 and is listed as a reference in this 1997 paper. There is nothing new or interesting in this paper as far as I can see.
I think he’s referring to Murray’s new book.
Oh. So ad*m’s point is that poor white are “acting black” and that is the subtext of Murray’s book. That’s charming.
Murray, by the way, credited Robert Gordon for introducing him to IQ research, which led to “The Bell Curve”. That book is in fact very “Gordonian”. A quote from an interview:
The turnaround that led to TBC [=The Bell Curve] occurred in 1986, when Linda Gottfredson and Robert Gordon asked me to be on an American Psychological Association panel discussing their two papers on the relationship of IQ to unemployment and IQ to crime respectively, both of which discussed the B-W difference. The bibliographies astonished me–I had no idea that so much scholarly work had been done in these fields that so decisively contradicted what I had assumed (taught by the New York Times) to believe. If you want to see how far I moved: in Losing Ground, published in 1984, I cite The Mismeasure of Man approvingly.
From my reading, the point is that general IQ is a very, very strong predictor of a number of behaivors, including criminality. He’s arguing that what might appear to be race-based is actually IQ based… not just ones individual IQ, but also the IQs of those around an inidividual.
So it’s not about acting black or acting white…. it’s about how IQ impacts ones ability to make good choices. I think the author would argue that, on average, white kids that that exhibit behaivor X to do so for the same reason as black kids that exhibit behavior X; IQ.
Of course, it can become racially charged when one considers how general IQ varies across different races.
Only a married man could think #1 is true
A commenter over at Megan McArdle’s blog made the point that we’re all rather obsessed with disruptive technological change, black swans, etc.
Perhaps we’re (or at least Tyler is) so obsessed with big, disruptive change that it’s much harder to see drastic innovation that’s been primarily incremental, especially when it comes from market incumbents.
Maybe someone should create a blog about the small incremental steps that make life better for all of us.
6. For the same reason Greece became a problem in the first place.
#1 evidence against http://sichange.org/2011/10/faster-condom-to-prevent-hiv/
#4 is a very good (if long) read.
#4 is really quite racially charged in some strident ways. It relies strangely on a few comical anecdotes and quotes from press reports to make its points. Reads more like bad blogging than an academic paper.
Yeah, it seems like it would have been easy for the author to make the same (interesting) points without relying on such tangled political/cultural examples as the OJ Simpson trial, or using black/white comparisons throughout. I think a lot of IQ research is really interesting, but its obsessive focus on black/white differences (while mirroring mainstream society’s obsessions, to some extent) is at best parochial, at middle needlessly controversial, and so on…
Those condoms pictured are from the swim bladders of fish. At the time the “ribbed” was made from blowfish and you say they haven’t evolved!?!
No Great Stagnation: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120216165500.htm
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