Assorted links

by on July 9, 2014 at 12:34 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1. Are people biased against black dogs?

2. Kickstarter in Everything (potato salad, average is over).

3. Jeff Koons employs 128 people.

4. “We are calling this missing light the photon underproduction crisis. But it’s the astronomers who are in crisis—somehow or other, the universe is getting along just fine.”

5. Mining the streets of New York City.  And peer review rings at the Journal of Vibration and Control.

6. Another 677 pp. from William Vollmann and can you guess the topic?

7. Is there a strategic trade policy justification for Ex-Im?

Yancey Ward July 9, 2014 at 1:23 pm

Only Republicans, Libertarians, and Austrian economists hate black dogs.

Reply

johnnyz July 9, 2014 at 2:41 pm

You posted an Ellsworth M. Toohey Anti-mind Award winner.

Reply

Yancey Ward July 9, 2014 at 3:42 pm

Ah, I have so many to thank for this award, I don’t know where to start, but I think I learned so much from the fine crews at MSNBC and the editorial pages of the New York Times.

Reply

Jan July 9, 2014 at 8:29 pm

Thanks! You sound like an idiot [wave, wave, wave].

Reply

Jeff July 9, 2014 at 5:15 pm

What if they’re also Led Zeppelin fans?

Reply

the tsunami July 9, 2014 at 1:55 pm

#5: A refutation of the Chicago School hypothesis.

Reply

Cliff July 9, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Refutation, or proof?

Reply

Sanjay July 9, 2014 at 2:51 pm

For cring out loud — finish “Seven Dreams,” please, Mr. Vollman.

Reply

Urso July 9, 2014 at 3:12 pm

#5a, isn’t there an entire caste of people who do this in trash heaps in India? (I am completely ignorant about India) Anyway the dude made $819 over six days, not a great salary for NYC. And I assume that’s the lowest-hanging fruit; there’s only so many gold bits laying in the gutter. right?

Reply

Mitch Berkson July 10, 2014 at 9:03 am

Low-hanging fruit? How much gutter do you think this guy can dig up?

Reply

Mark Thorson July 9, 2014 at 3:47 pm

When I visited my relatives on Kauai, my uncle told me that you’ll never see a black dog there. He said the native Hawaiians consider black dogs to be the best for eating.

Reply

Mr. Econotarian July 9, 2014 at 5:10 pm

[Note: I love all dogs. I've seen dogs of all color behave fine. I've seen dogs of all colors not behave well.]

“Melanin-based coloration predicts aggressiveness and boldness in captive
eastern Hermann’s tortoises”

“…Recently, the melanocortin system has been proposed to generate correlations between behavioural patterns, the so-called behavioural syndromes. Melanocortin hormones bind to five melanocortin receptors, each one being associated with different physiological and behavioral functions. The melanocortin system is implicated in melanogenesis, raising the possibility that melanin-based coloration may covary with these physiological and behavioral functions (Ducrest et al. 2008; Vercken & Clobert 2008a). Indeed, a review of the empirical literature in vertebrates revealed that darker eumelanic animals are often more aggressive, sexually more active and more resistant to various sources of stress than lighter coloured animals (Ducrest et al. 2008)….”

http://homepage.psy.utexas.edu/HomePage/Group/AnimPersInst/Animal%20Personality%20PDFs/M/Mafli%20et%20al%202011.pdf

Reply

ThomasH July 9, 2014 at 5:37 pm

There is a strategic reason for eliminating Ex Im bank. It’s that Ex-Im is part of a stupid policy herd, probably one of the lease stupid and therefore least well defended. It’s simple lions v wildebeests logic: go for the weakest member. By taking it out, it’s supporters will no longer have an incentive to support the ethanol mandate,crop “insurance” flood “insurance” under-priced river an canal navigation fees, “green” energy tax credits. Then we go after the second least worst member of the heard. Gradually we work our way up to the petroleum depletion allowance and the corporate income tax.

Reply

Willitts July 9, 2014 at 5:42 pm

3. All my dogs have been black, and one of my cats. I have heard anecdotally from several shelter workers that they get adopted at a slower rate. Our black cat and black Lab are both extraordinarily intelligent and sociable. Our pretty orange tabby cat is a retard.

Despite their lack of a camouflage pattern, I routinely fail to notice our black pets. I think it is a natural form of dazzle — they appear to the mind to be anything other than an animal. The hypothesis that they are overlooked is credible. The side by side photo of light and dark dogs was persuasive, but I wonder how much of our attention on the light dog is framing effects.

Actually there is no such thing as black fur on cats and dogs — they are an extremely dark brown. This shows up clearly in bright sunlight.

Reply

Jan July 9, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Ha. I had two black labs growing up and agree they are just harder to notice.

Reply

Mark Thorson July 9, 2014 at 10:30 pm

My last two cats were both black, and both were killed by coyotes. I let them freely go out at night, which they loved, especially on nights with a full moon when the rodents were more vulnerable. I remember noticing on a summer night that a black cat shows up well against the tawny dried grass. That’s probably why the deer and coyotes around here are tawny too.

Reply

Robert July 9, 2014 at 6:48 pm

I’m always accidentally sitting on my black cat. I just don’t see him.

Reply

Donald A. Coffin July 9, 2014 at 7:36 pm

Re #3: “Jeff Koons employs 128 people.” So, in 200 years, how will we distinguish between a “real” Jeff Koons and a “workshop of” Jeff Koons? Or–will anyone in 200 years care about Jeff Koons?

Reply

DK July 10, 2014 at 11:16 am

At some point it’s bound to become something like large research labs: the boss gets credits (and an occasional Nobel prize) for everything that ever happens in the lab.

Reply

Vivian Darkbloom July 10, 2014 at 1:42 pm

The issue is not new. More than 200 years ago, Rembrandt had a workshop and many, many students. People still care about distinguishing a “School of Rembrandt” from a “real Rembrandt”. Other similar examples abound. Do you really think Michelangelo worked all by himself?

Or, how about this one: How many people did Frank Lloyd Wright employ to help him design and construct his buildings?

The idea that plastic and other visual “art” necessarily has to derive from the physical labor of one person seems rather quaint. I’m not a big fan of Koon’s work, but the fact that others are engaged to help him carry out his vision doesn’t for me really enter into the equation of whether he is an artist or a great artist. That’s the difference between “art” and craft. And, it’s probable that Koons will matter in 200 years—whether his work will be viewed as great art or not, he’s already part of the art historical record. Like it or not, that counts as much as anything.

Reply

DK July 10, 2014 at 9:11 pm

If it were proven that some “real Rembrandt” was actually painted by one of his pupils, the price would drop immediately and art critics would suddenly find numerous signs that it wasn’t, after all, a work of genius.

One thing is when an artist employs someone to make his paint (or soemething) and completely another is when he pays someone as skilled in his own art to come up with the original pieces of art on both intellectual and material levels. Since that line is crossed in the research by default, there are good reasons to suspect that is equally in the past on the art circles (whenever the artists can afford it!)

Reply

responsible D July 9, 2014 at 9:26 pm

Dark photons.

Reply

rpl July 10, 2014 at 11:54 am

It seems strange to speak of a “missing light problem” when from the authors’ description it appears that the actual problem is an abundance of light with no apparent source. Anyhow, these “crises” in astronomy are way overblown in the popular press. All they really mean is that there is something out there that we don’t fully understand yet, which is a good thing. Science would be a pretty boring subject if there weren’t.

Reply

Andy July 10, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Note on #1: existing research does not support Black Dog Syndrome – http://www.aspcapro.org/blog/2014/01/15/back-black .

Reply

DK July 10, 2014 at 9:37 pm

Belyaev’s tame foxes were losing black coloration in only few generations. His foxes that were selected for nothing but aggressiveness were becoming more black. The exact same thing happens in rats:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23668090
Above, there is a comment with a reference to finding that black turtles are more aggressive.

A poodle breeder once told me that black poodle are definitely “bolder” (and that’s the breed from which an aggression was bred out almost completely!).

Reply

Eric H July 12, 2014 at 9:57 pm

The local shelter discounts adoption fees for black cats. Therefore, we adopt black cats when we are adopting.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: