Assorted links

by on January 13, 2014 at 8:01 am in Uncategorized | Permalink

1. New biotech advances in measuring yourself.

2. A brief history of Turkey’s current account deficit.

3. Did an MTV show significantly lower America’s teen birth rate?

4. Which are the most photographed places on earth?

5. Is theatre over?

Z January 13, 2014 at 9:40 am

#1: I clicked on the link hoping it was not going to be about the other “measuring yourself.” Thank goodness for that. Anyway, there’s two conflicting results of technology in the fitness sphere. One is real science can be baked into the systems thus improving the results. The other is nonsense gets spread more quickly and throughly. P90X will always be with us.

#2: What’s unfolding in Turkey is another example of an event that should have been predictable, but was totally missed by the alleged experts. Steve Sailer is one of the few people who appreciates the cultural weirdness that is Turkey. Otherwise, the West insists the Turks are just Greeks with better coffee. Then again, the clever class were completely wrong about Greece too. There’s a trend here.

ummm January 13, 2014 at 9:52 am

not that hard to predict given Turkey ran its last currency into oblivion. the new lira will have the same fate

Z January 13, 2014 at 9:53 am

Once they adopt Bitcon, however, all will be better!

JWatts January 13, 2014 at 9:47 am

““But I still haven’t gotten my bachelor’s degree, because, one, day care is so expensive and, two, how do you balance studying and having little ones at home?””

Indeed. It’s very expensive to pay for daycare. Increases in regulation, particularly licensing and limiting the child per worker ratio have significantly raised the costs of daycare in the past 10-15 year time frame.

As to studying with babies around, I concur it is hard. It can be done, but you have to be determined. I.E. consistently taking advantages of naps and bed time to study.

mulp January 13, 2014 at 11:58 am

There is no licensing and regulation on child care, only on getting paid to care for children. Just look at all the regulations on welfare which is what forces paid welfare. Even a married couple with kids are forced to both work if the best wages of just one adult worker are too low to support the family. Wouldn’t want to be like Europe where women are paid by government to care for their own children.

Given most women who are required to work need the government to pay for the child care, isn’t it reasonable to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer money?

JWatts January 13, 2014 at 1:50 pm

I’m curious do you even read the posts your responding to?

My original post:
“Indeed. It’s very expensive to pay for daycare. …”

Your response:
“There is no licensing and regulation on child care, only on getting paid to care for children

ummm January 13, 2014 at 9:50 am

#2 Long USD/TRY seems like a no-brainier given Turkey’s long history of corruption and dependency on cheap foreign inflows of $ and energy. Plus a great hedge against macro weakness US or global and tapering. I have been shorting its currency before the scandal broke and its been my best performer by far.

msgkings January 14, 2014 at 1:03 pm

Here is the newly updated list of MR posters who care about your portfolio:

JWatts January 13, 2014 at 9:50 am

“2. A brief history of Turkey’s current account deficit. ”

How are the Turks financing their current account deficit over such a long period and in such high amounts?

ummm January 13, 2014 at 9:54 am

foreign inflow from investors seeking superior returns

JWatts January 13, 2014 at 11:15 am

Well, yes, but I was hoping somebody had a little bit better detail. ;)

Kabal January 13, 2014 at 10:04 am


Betteridge’s Law of Headlines in full effect, although I don’t necessarily doubt the claim.

Maybe this is related to the demographic profile of MTV watchers. Since there was an overall decline, and if single motherhood birthrates roughly follow a logistic function, perhaps the MTV-watching demographic was simply more sensitive to changes in percentage space as a result of being closer to 50% than non-MTV watchers.

After all, one could craft plenty of reasons why 16 and Pregnant may encourage single motherhood. For example, the attention single mothers receive, and girls like Farrah emerging post-pregnancy on the right tail of female attractiveness.

So Much For Subtlety January 13, 2014 at 10:13 am

So The New York Times would rather credit MTV rather than Clinton’s welfare reforms?

I suppose I can see why.

JWatts January 13, 2014 at 11:19 am

They are talking about an 18 month time frame starting around 2010. So it wouldn’t seem unlikely to have anything to do with Clinton era welfare reforms.

IVV January 13, 2014 at 10:21 am

Kerguelen is photographed far more than I expected… but now I see why.

Steve Sailer January 13, 2014 at 11:27 pm

Kerguelen Islands in the remote south Indian Ocean would be the ideal location for a hunting park where revived Ice Age megafauna like wooly mammoths could be hunted by paying billionaires armed only with spears and atlatls.

Roger Sweeny January 13, 2014 at 11:40 am

5. “Yes, we speak of things that matter,
With words that must be said,
‘Can analysis be worthwhile?
‘Is the theater really dead?’

Lost in the dangling conversation
And the superficial sighs,
In the borders of our lives.”

Paul Simon, “The Dangling Conversation”, from the album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme (1966)

mulp January 13, 2014 at 11:44 am

5. Is theatre over?

Given football (everywhere in the world), basketball, baseball, Olympics are theatre, the answer is no. Sports in many ways followed the model of popular music which from the Fillmore and Woodstock became stadium rock and free concerts in the public park which were theatre in the historical sense.

The stilted view of theatre exists for the same reason as of “classical music” – they are rigid forms of transaction: you pour in your money, you then open your eyes and ears to have product poured in.

Does anyone think audiences at Shakespeare’s theatre were passive?

TV has found a lot of profit in reviving theatre. The Sound of Music is only the latest example, but the live audience participation talent show TV are in the tradition of group engagement that defines theatre historically. The “off broadway” theatre is surviving because they are places where one is free to engage from the audience rather than enforcing a proper restrained passive demeanor by their elegant and expensive digs, and super high ticket prices.

I would note that the popular books are those with group engagement whether fiction or not. Either the kids standing in line to buy the latest installment so they can read and discuss it with their peers, or those buying to engage with the TV or radio book club, or inspired by it, or those fueled by the political or social activism. What better example of theatre than Rush Limbaugh.

Is twitter’s biggest contribution going to be reviving theatre as a profit making enterprise?

Donald Pretari January 13, 2014 at 11:50 am

#1…At least these Devices are easier to Chuck Out than a Treadmill or Stationary Bike.

Alexei Sadeski January 13, 2014 at 12:52 pm

#4. The heat map needs at least two more high intensity colors.

TheAJ January 13, 2014 at 1:58 pm


I understand the example of Brazilian soap operas contributing to Brazil’s lower TFR. Soap operas present an idealized fictional reality that people want to mimic. But I don’t understand how two shows on MTV can do the same. Supposedly viewers see the show and realize that this kind of life is not for them.

But aren’t these same viewers probably the ones hanging out with a bunch of friends who had kids as teenagers? Why don’t they see all that in real life and think this is not for them?

chuck martel January 13, 2014 at 3:24 pm

A college basketball team plays 50+ games in a season, a college drama department puts on maybe two productions a year, each being staged 5 or 6 times. What’s the difference? Performing the same stuff over and over, Cabaret is always showing somewhere. Nobody can be positive how a basketball game will end, everybody knows that Sally and Cliff aren’t going to be a couple.

Locke January 13, 2014 at 5:25 pm

So the solution then is to transform theatre stagings as more of a Choose Your Own Adventure I suppose. Wait, wasn’t that basically Whose Line Is It Anyway?

Careless January 13, 2014 at 11:07 pm

College basketball teams play about 30 games.

XYZ January 13, 2014 at 6:32 pm

#4 Shows Europe is the most photographed place on Earth. It also shows that people photograph buildings more than nature.

Steve Sailer January 13, 2014 at 11:29 pm

I’d guess the Eiffel Tower is #1 worldwide. Lots of tourists, lots of residents, and it’s really tall so it gets in the background of a lot of pictures.

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