Assorted links

by on November 10, 2014 at 12:09 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1 So Much for Subtlety November 10, 2014 at 12:35 pm

Posner writes clearly, precisely and with a sense of humor, while showing he knows the material before him.

Clearly he has no future on the bench. I bet all his colleagues hate him.

As for 1. Yet another absurd piece of work based on dubious research methods? Sure looks like it.

2 david condon November 10, 2014 at 5:22 pm

Were you able to read the paper? It looks to me like a theory paper that uses the interviews to help develop the theory. I highly doubt the author considers 27 interviews to be impeccable empirical work.

3 Thomas November 10, 2014 at 9:58 pm

Based on my observations, tenuous empirical evidence is a feature in this line of research and public policy. After all, who would case doubt on something like this, except a misogynist, rape apologist, or rapist in the waiting?

4 Taimyoboi November 10, 2014 at 12:50 pm

On looking at 4, without knowing much about the topic, I would’ve thought it could as plausibly have been titled, unemployment in North v. South Germany.

5 Adrian Ratnapala November 10, 2014 at 4:16 pm

Yep. It’s all about the Weißwurst. (

6 Doug November 10, 2014 at 1:09 pm


I’m always hesitant to endorse East vs. West comparisons in Germany. The implication is that it’s the long-lasting legacy of the respective post-war regimes. However there were clear cultural differences long before the partition. For example here’s a map that would look like it would fit in with the modern East/West maps you commonly see:,_March_1933#mediaviewer/File:NSDAP_Wahl_1933.png

7 Zach November 10, 2014 at 4:03 pm

What are you trying to say here? The division of Germany into East and West followed along preexisting state boundaries. Any division between East and West Germany will also be a division in the 1933 electoral map.

8 R. Jones November 10, 2014 at 1:12 pm

1. Sample size 27, no attempt to control for confounders. Next…

9 david condon November 10, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Should all information that’s not presented as a statistical analysis be ignored then?

10 Thomas November 10, 2014 at 10:01 pm

“Ignored” is an interesting word. What does it mean here? Not reading the paper? Or not using the paper to inform public policy?

11 David Condon November 11, 2014 at 1:56 pm

I don’t know; what do you think he meant by the word “next”?

12 Vali1005 November 10, 2014 at 1:13 pm

I think #6 is beyond a pay-wall (sure, it’s 99c for 4 weeks, but, still, it’s gated content)

13 steve November 10, 2014 at 5:56 pm

You can grab it via Google Cache.

14 happyjuggler0 November 11, 2014 at 2:58 pm


15 Allen Edwards November 10, 2014 at 1:16 pm

I thought it interesting to overlay a post-WW2 map of the division of Germany by the victors, Surprise (though not to me): the American sector is that bright white/low unemployment portion of the map. What DID surprise me was the light blue of the old French sectors.

16 Adrian Ratnapala November 10, 2014 at 4:20 pm

I would suspect the economic performance of Bavaria has more to do the performance of Bavarian governments than American ones.

BTW: where the hell is prior_approval when you need him?

17 msgkings November 10, 2014 at 6:53 pm

Is he ever truly needed?

18 Adrian Ratnapala November 11, 2014 at 5:37 am

Well surely he would have something interesting to say about about whether the CSU or the GOP is responsible for Bavaria’s economic good fortune.

19 msgkings November 11, 2014 at 11:56 am

Perhaps, but the manner in which he said it would make it hard to appreciate his insight. I enjoy these sabbaticals he takes.

20 Axa November 10, 2014 at 1:23 pm

#4: colors are nice, but where are the percentages? What if white is 2% and blue 3.5%?

21 yo November 10, 2014 at 1:31 pm

Funny thing is this map would have looked entirely differently 25 years ago. Under the socialists there was 0% unemployment by definition.
In other words it is the post unification poor economic policies (i.e. common currency and heavy subsidizing of inefficient industries) that brought about this result. Funny thing is these poor policies have now extended to cover Spain, Italy, and (I hear) France. “Zukunftsmusik” is a great German word!

22 derek November 10, 2014 at 2:36 pm

Yes, it was so good they had to build a wall to keep people out.

23 Donald Pretari November 10, 2014 at 2:56 pm

I doubt they cared very much about the people. I think they were more interested in restricting information.

24 TMC November 10, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Think he was referring to the wall keeping people in.

25 Donald Pretari November 10, 2014 at 7:02 pm

Yes. And it was a good point. But I think East Germany would have gladly chucked some of its citizens out but for what they knew about the regime. Their main fear about jumpers was someone with real information getting out, or so it seems to me. People were simply means to ends.

26 derek November 10, 2014 at 8:42 pm

You may be too charitable. These people maintained power through fear, and restricting movement or removing hope of a better life somewhere else would be quite effective. It wasn’t inside information getting out that was damaging, it was outside information getting in.

27 Donald Pretari November 10, 2014 at 11:59 pm

Derek, I’m sure you’re right about that, but, as you pointed out, nobody was breaking in.

28 Marian Kechlibar November 11, 2014 at 4:06 am

Donald, they cared about the people. The main reason why the Berlin Wall was built was the enormous brain drain from DDR to the West. The people who were fleeing the most were precisely those whose skills were needed to keep the socialist economy from tanking.

29 Art Deco November 10, 2014 at 2:31 pm

#4: the map has no legend which indicates the actual range of values of the colors, so you have no clue whether these are large differences or small or whether the difference between the old Soviet Zone and Holstein equals, exceeds, or is less than the difference between Holstein and Bavaria. Does this fellow consider it of significance that the northern Rhineland appears to have problems on a par with the old Soviet Zone?

30 Marian Kechlibar November 11, 2014 at 4:20 am

Rhineland is similar to the rust belt in the USA. Lots of old factories, remnants of heavy industry which ran aground two decades ago.

31 mishka November 10, 2014 at 2:51 pm

#1: how are those consequences differ for victims of non-sexual violence?

My suspicion is that the main difference is the ease of funding of the research.

32 Alistair Cunningham November 10, 2014 at 6:29 pm

Link #6 gives a “Premium content is currently available only to users within the United States.” error from Australia.

33 Sigivald November 10, 2014 at 6:37 pm

5. I first read “FT” as “Fortean Times”.

And frankly I think that’s more awesome.

34 ThomasH November 11, 2014 at 11:59 am

Well Republican politicians certainly did not let this “crisis” go to waste.

35 Mesa November 11, 2014 at 8:38 pm

#3. Asking one Jew to decide if another Jew is drinking too much is a fairly entertaining proposition. I suspect the answer is always yes. “Why don’t Jews drink?” “It interferes with their suffering.”

36 Nate Myers November 13, 2014 at 11:15 am

Re :#3
“As far as we’ve been able to determine, plying minors with hard liquor is not required by any Jewish religious observance.”
Posner in in classic form.

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