Assorted links

by on December 29, 2013 at 1:49 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1. Bach’s Chaconne in D Minor, for electric guitar.  And a story on the guy who played it.

2. Pearlstein on how the DC game has changed.

3. “Chris Crawford owns 29,216 small plastic beads.”

4. Toward a brief history of Camden, NJ, and why more young whites are coming to the city.

5. “Why Jeremy Waldron Really Agrees With Me.”

6. How pundits avoid accountability.

A Berman December 29, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Bach and metal go very well together. Here’s another: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9KmQQhIWhQ

Shane M December 29, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Reminded of this piece by Nuno / Extreme

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJvG1i79CPc

Dain December 29, 2013 at 7:07 pm
allan December 29, 2013 at 2:33 pm

“Pundit Accountability”

How about accountability for George Mason University law professors who testify before Congress without telling anybody they are being paid millions by Wall Street?

Non Papa December 29, 2013 at 5:22 pm

I doubt that the payments influenced Zywicki’s testimony — he’s been a libertarian ideologue for a long time, as his bio makes clear. It’s not like he’s an ex-politico lobbyist that will take contrary positions based on who’s willing to pay him more. I imagine he approaches it mostly as a windfall, or as a reason to focus on Dodd-Frank rather than whatever else.

Brian December 29, 2013 at 3:09 pm

#6
Any chance Paul Krugman will engage in a similar meaningful exercise that Ross Douthat demonstrated? Ie Europe, or other?

Dan Weber December 29, 2013 at 3:23 pm

#2 was a fascinating read. Not sure I agree with its assertions but wonderful nonetheless.

Brian Donohue December 30, 2013 at 8:06 am

Yeah. Here’s what Tyler might call an interesting sentence:

“Nobody — not even my mother — tells me they respect me for helping to build a successful company and creating a lot of wealth,” said Rubenstein, who came to Washington as a young lawyer in the mid-’70s to work in the Senate and later in the Carter White House. “But people come up all the time and tell me they respect me for giving it away.”

Ari December 29, 2013 at 4:21 pm

Talking of Bach and modern music. Here’s Final Fantasy VI’s Dancing Mad.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbXVNKtmWnc

The third movement is Bach’s Toccata and Fugue. It also tells the story of the villain of the game. Here’s a critical analysis of the said song.

Needless to say it has been claimed to be one of the best video games out there.

Careless December 30, 2013 at 8:53 pm

Not exactly one-winged angel, but still good.

OT: I want to play the final fantasy VI boss music whenever I fight a boss in almost any game

Ed December 29, 2013 at 4:39 pm

#4: Fascinating read about Camden NJ. Sounds like it has actually turned a corner and things are going to be looking up in the coming years. Yes, the demographics are changing…in this case, demographics of the drug abusers and junkies, and of the cops. With its location right by downtown Philadelphia I am sure that others will be moving in shortly as well.

I live no where near it, but if I were looking to buy some edgy, investment real estate, I’d be buying in Camden now.

Ted Craig December 29, 2013 at 6:43 pm

I would put little to no stock in this article.

Edward Pierce December 31, 2013 at 1:12 am

Instead of shaking hands, people here are always lifting hats, sleeves, pant legs and shirttails to show you wounds or scars, then pointing in the direction of where the bad thing just happened

This is not a thing that actually happens in lieu of shaking hands. Taibbi is a populist hack.

DK December 29, 2013 at 5:32 pm
CapTVK December 29, 2013 at 6:01 pm

#3 A link to an article about Chris “Balance Power” Crawford? Tyler Cowen’s eclectic assortment of link never seizes to amaze me!

His own website is also worth a visit
http://www.erasmatazz.com

Here’s a good interview (2007) Crawford did for Jason Scott’s “Get Lamp” documentary.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BPERIDSxKo

The climax of his famous Dragon Speech is also a worth a look, quite a performance.

A pity that Chris Crawford’s higher order (intellectual) approach to game design never gained so much traction. Fellow game designers weren’t interested in his call for change and go beyond. In a sense he became the gaming’s industry [i]Don Quixote[/i]. Which makes the ending of his dragon speech so sad in retrospect.

It wasn’t a dragon he was fighting. It was windmills.

ShardPhoenix December 29, 2013 at 6:03 pm

3. There have always been people who complain that video games aren’t artsy enough, but to me this is like complaining that American football isn’t artsy enough, or that chess doesn’t have a good story. For an interactive game, if the mechanics are good enough, the theme doesn’t necessarily matter much. That’s not to say that theme-heavy games can’t be interesting, but I don’t see them as some sort of higher tier that all games must aspire to.

ShardPhoenix December 29, 2013 at 6:08 pm

Although I’d agree with one thing from the article – I’m increasingly tired of non-interactive cutscenes (or even pseudo-cutscenes were you can move but not actually do anything).

On the other hand, limited verbs is a somewhat lame complaint since a small number of possible actions can easily explode into a massive amount of richness and complexity.

So Much For Subtlety December 29, 2013 at 6:07 pm

4. I mean seriously? This is what passes in Rolling Stone these days? The police are blamed for cracking down on crime, they are blamed for not cracking down on crime. Which is it?

The story is a simpler one. Blacks did not like the mild racism of the police back in the day. They rioted and took control of what was rapidly becoming their own city. Claiming the Left could run it better. They drove the Whites out – and that meant White businesses too. Tabibi is tricky over dates – RCA did not move out of Trenton until the 1980s. Long after the riots. In fact the only major business to close before the riots was the shipyard – damn those Democrats with their military budget cuts!

But of course they did not run it better. They ran it into the ground. The rest of New Jersey got sick and tired of paying for it and left them on their own. The city collapsed. White Republican control has been re-established by merging city police with the county. Now the city works again. Sort of.

Whites are moving back because so many young Black men are now in prison.

Every single part of this story is one of despair and hopelessness. It is easy to blame the police. But look who he does not blame – there is not one mention of any Democrat politicians in that story. Where is their Coleman Young? Now the MSM usually refuses to name Democrats as Democrats when they screw up, but does anyone think the Republicans have been running Trenton since 1971?

Is it possible to do this story without mentioning Detroit?

Crowatep December 29, 2013 at 6:54 pm

The article mentions Haiti, Somalia and Camden, I guess the reader is supposed to work out what those three places have in common.

md December 29, 2013 at 8:23 pm

Not enough community organizers?

Colin December 29, 2013 at 7:09 pm

I was just struck by the emphasis on drug enforcement (chasing someone because the cop saw a hand to hand?). Seems like a complete waste of very limited resources (although the last cop quoted seemed to take a much more relaxed attitude).

Rahul December 29, 2013 at 11:12 pm

So long as drugs remain illegal enforcement makes sense. Turning a blind eye to drug dealing can then lead to more dealers entering, gangs, turf wars, drive-bys etc.

Either you legalize it or you enforce the laws. The limbo of illegality but non-enforcement is not a great option.

somebody December 29, 2013 at 9:37 pm

“Whites are moving back because so many young Black men are now in prison.”

The way I read it was the whites are coming for the cheap heroin.

Ted Craig December 29, 2013 at 6:56 pm

I disliked every even numbered link in this list.

anon December 29, 2013 at 9:26 pm

2. Pearlstein on how the DC game has changed.

The federal government and the regulatory state get much bigger and more rent seekers and crony capitalists come to DC. Amazing! Who knew?!?! (Hint: among others, one of them won the Nobel Prize in economics and died in 2013.)

Of course for a WaPo editor, it’s a bummer when the game becomes all about power AND money, because now no one knows their place and people are no longer so deferential to WaPo editors. Plus, nostalgia for the good old days when anyone who mattered in DC read the WaPo. Cry me a river. Try crying a river for the increasingly oppressed American taxpayer.

Michael December 30, 2013 at 10:03 am

Yeah, that article was a lot of sizzle, very little meat. Notice how there is a lot of time spent cataloging individual’s salaries, but basically no references to policies that brought these changes along, other than a brief swipe at Reagan’s “defense buildup”. Also notice how the end of the mythical “golden age” seems to coincide perfectly with his arrival in town.

I particularly like his repeated emphasis on some noble higher calling of “public service”. Its almost as if he is ideologically blind to the regulatory causes of the loss of innocence he is lamenting.

Somebody needs to introduce these lefties to Glenn Reynold’s Revolving Door Income Surtax.

anon December 31, 2013 at 12:18 am

After working in DC for more than 12 years, when I hear “public service” I recognize that it is a feel good term used to fool the rubes.

Also see:

Walter Williams: “I respect ordinary thieves much more than I respect politicians.”
http://cafehayek.com/2013/10/spare-me-your-self-serving-sermonizing.html

The Truth about Public Servants: http://youtu.be/ciqvHeBDCmY

Washington’s Parasitic Economy: http://youtu.be/V_tqi9w5I6w

Daniel Mitchell: “Above all else, the public sector is a racket for the enrichment of insiders, cronies, bureaucrats, and interest groups.”
http://www.cato.org/blog/its-very-merry-christmas-washington-insiders

I now think of two things:

1)

2)

Martin Keegan December 30, 2013 at 7:12 am

Was it just me who went straight for “Why Jeremy Waldron agrees with me”?

JB December 30, 2013 at 8:03 am

The Camden article looks like it was written as a hit piece against Gov. Christie and his possible Presidential run. Lots of emphasis on blaming the New Jersey governorship.

The Anti-Gnostic December 30, 2013 at 10:03 am

Yeah that was pretty jarring. Does the rest of NJ owe Camden simply for existing?

These articles are good for underscoring the thundering silence about places with obviously idle human capital from people like Paul “Freebooter” Romer and Dick “Dr. Vibrant” Florida.

dsgntd_plyr December 30, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Christie’s getting the McCain (“The media is my base”) treatment. The Left talks about him as a Republican they can vote for. Christie/dumb Republicans vote for him in the primaries. He gets the nomination and then they attack.

Scott Walker has a similar record to Christie’s and he knows how to beat The Cathedral.

Brian Donohue December 30, 2013 at 9:21 am

#5. Weak sauce. Seidman doesn’t like the debt ceiling, like the rest of Washington.

Brian Donohue December 30, 2013 at 9:31 am

I was inspired to dig up Federalist #10. Apparently, James Madison has a perspective on Tyler’s “all inequality, all the time” riff of late:

“There are again two methods of removing the causes of faction: the one, by destroying the liberty which is essential to its existence; the other, by giving to every citizen the same opinions, the same passions, and the same interests.

It could never be more truly said than of the first remedy, that it was worse than the disease. Liberty is to faction what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires. But it could not be less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction, than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency.

The second expedient is as impracticable as the first would be unwise. As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed. As long as the connection subsists between his reason and his self-love, his opinions and his passions will have a reciprocal influence on each other; and the former will be objects to which the latter will attach themselves. The diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not less an insuperable obstacle to a uniformity of interests. The protection of these faculties is the first object of government. From the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property, the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately results; and from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors, ensues a division of the society into different interests and parties.”

CPV December 30, 2013 at 10:27 am

#5. Seidman’s argument is non-existent. It confuses legality with some type of justification for a liberal normative agenda. Do you have the “right” to break a law you disagree with. No. Could it be a strategy for changing the law. Maybe, but in an organized society you can expect consequences for the behavior. Constitutions are inherently conservative. If it’s “obvious” that many parts of the existing Constitution need to be changed (maybe it is to some groups, but not others), there would be broad support (>2/3) for doing so. There isn’t. The Constitution protects the rights of those who disagree with a progressive agenda, the rights of idiots, the rights of privately held racist views, the rights of religious zealots, the rights of creationists, the rights of gun nuts, etc. Seidman’s argument isn’t so much with the Constitution, it’s against the large fraction of the citizens of the country he disagrees with. I sympathize with him but his strategy of Consitutional disobedience won’t work. State’s rights might be a better path for him to follow.

Floccina December 31, 2013 at 12:03 pm

#4 seems to me like legalizing drugs might help.

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