Assorted links

by on January 18, 2014 at 12:44 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1 Max Factor January 18, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Wow, what a wonderful moment for me – I’ve never been the first commenter. Techno-unemployment is real. And now for the links:

@5 The best question to ask on a blind date is “who is your favorite Muppet?” If that doesn’t break the ice then nothing will.

2 Max Factor January 18, 2014 at 6:06 pm

Re: “The Second Machine Age” the critic notes ““The Second Machine Age” is largely a reprise of an e-book, “Race Against the Machine,” that Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee self-published two years ago.”

Hopefully there’s some more meat to this book. Race Against the Machine was fine, but it was 60 minutes of reading without much depth – well worth a sub $5 price but not more than that.. The policy solutions were devoid of originality and it sounds like they didn’t make any headway on that front. Maybe The Second Machine Age will have a banner note like TC’s “let them eat beans with fresh cumin.”

3 Kabal January 18, 2014 at 10:51 pm


If you are the kind of guy that dithers over stuff like this, you’re already a goner.

4 glittering prizes January 18, 2014 at 10:54 pm

Number 5 quotes TC who has good advice for a lot of people in the class of first-daters (the advice in four or five words is try and understand your date), but who sort of misquotes the phrase “glittering prizes”, which comes most recently from a Tom Conti/Frederic Raphael cultural moment in the UK from a few decades back where the glittering prizes are actually spots at the top of various English hierarchies, such as selling bad art for high prices, advising boring Parlimentarians who might one day be PM for high salaries, and spending lots of time with people who cheat on their spouses, with the sad embarrassing dreamy impulsive stupid hope of joining in. These high spots in the hierarchy have nothing to do with finding a decent loving God-fearing spouse, which is really what most middle-aged and old people want their children and grandchildren (and analogously their former selves) to spend time on their first dates doing. Ironically, Frederic Raphael himself had a daughter who was one of the great painters of the twentieth century (sadly died young, from a runaway cold, I think) and, judging by his most recent book (a fascinating compilation of letters) he believes in love, monogamy, and sincerity, none of which are nouns usually accompanied by the word glittering.

5 BC January 18, 2014 at 11:00 pm

For those that skip #5 because you have no interest in dating, there is actually a discussion there about how “gut feel” can get in the way of making sense of data, whether it’s choosing a date or hiring a job candidate. In that discussion is a link to a Ted talk by none other than Tyler Cowen []. Tyler tells a compelling story about how humans struggle to perceive and understand the world around us because we are constantly bombarded by stories intended to mislead and deceive us. In the end though, he offers some guidance that can help us triumph over these antagonists.

6 prior_approval January 19, 2014 at 12:20 am

‘Tyler tells a compelling story about how humans struggle to perceive and understand the world around us because we are constantly bombarded by stories intended to mislead and deceive us.’

If only he had talked about how to make a successful career from it – it isn’t as if it would be that hard for him to explain all sorts of inside information concerning how that works. Including stories about how online education can be provided using just a 4 dollar app and youtube.

7 Michael January 19, 2014 at 12:13 am

Net Neutrality needs to die.

It is nothing more than over-eager bureaucrats wanting to meddle in the only well functioning aspect of our economy due entirely to a hypothetical problem. Seriously, not one ISP has done what the left is hyperventilating about.

The Net Neutrality movement is more astroturffed than its opposition. A bunch of ideologues who can’t tolerate actual freedom.

8 Anon. January 19, 2014 at 7:19 am

How the hell are ISPs a well functioning aspect of the economy? The market is dominated by regional monopolies that leave consumers with no choices. The lack of competition has resulted in (among other things) ridiculously low speeds compared to Europe.

9 JWatts January 19, 2014 at 11:01 pm

“The lack of competition has resulted in (among other things) ridiculously low speeds compared to Europe. ”

The US does not have “ridiculously” low speeds compared to Europe.

“The U.S. dropped one place from the previous quarter, to ninth overall, at 8.6 megabits per second. Sweden now takes eighth place with an average connection speed of 8.9 megabits per second ”

That’s 9th out of 243 countries. The US ranks higher than Germany, France, the UK, Italy, etc.

10 Michael January 21, 2014 at 2:55 pm

I don’t understand arguments that the Internet somehow isn’t functioning well.

11 yohomie January 19, 2014 at 12:51 am

cucksocker, the game is forfeit:

It helpful to realize why the FCC set themselves up for failure: To appease their future employers. We were sold out.
Former FCC Chairman Michael Powell (Colin Powell’s son), who oversaw the reclassification of cable modem services as “information services” rather than “telecommunications services.” Is now the President and CEO of NCTA.
James M. Massey, former Senior Democratic Counsel on Communications and Media Issues for the Committee chaired by U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI) and Telecommunications Counsel for former U. S. Sen. Ernest F. Hollings (D-SC). Is now the Executive Vice President of NCTA.
K. Dane Snowden, former Chief of the FCC’s Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) from 2001 – 2005 (The period when net neutrality was gutted by FCC’s leadership.) Is now the Chief of Staff of NCTA.
NCTA is the top lobbying organization for the cable industry in the US.,0,522106.story

12 Joe Smith January 19, 2014 at 1:44 pm

@2 the issue with Net Neutrality is whether or not the ISPs are going to be able to extort money from Google. That is all it is.

13 Martin Epstein January 19, 2014 at 11:17 pm


Not related to that particular article but it just occurred to me. If broadband providers really have the market power to wreak havoc on consumers in the absence of net neutrality then we should already see them abusing that power in other ways. I don’t think my monthly internet fee is set by the government. Does that mean I’m paying a monopoly rate?

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