Friday assorted links

by on May 15, 2015 at 11:57 am in Uncategorized | Permalink

1 sk May 15, 2015 at 12:10 pm

That first link is quite interesting.

2 Malthusian Delights May 15, 2015 at 12:25 pm

Yeah I’m pretty sure you put a an email as your first link :/

3 John Hall May 15, 2015 at 12:28 pm

I feel the interactive name calculator would be better if it showed share rather than total number.

4 honkie please May 15, 2015 at 12:39 pm

3. Sub-headline: “Like it or not, science has is about to pose a slather of moral, ethical and societal dilemmas”… I wonder if the new superhumans will be able to edit copy.

5 Jan May 15, 2015 at 12:49 pm

Can you honkie edit that for us?

6 honkie please May 15, 2015 at 1:19 pm

Buncha nerds r makin’ things in the lab n stuff.

7 ibaien May 15, 2015 at 12:45 pm literally 5 seconds of due diligence

8 Ustoff May 15, 2015 at 12:49 pm

That’s what commenters are for.

9 Dan Weber May 15, 2015 at 1:28 pm

Comparative advantage.

10 Red May 15, 2015 at 12:50 pm

6. I really don’t understand Summer’s logic with regard to lottery tickets. Letting the winners of the lottery have more of the money they want reduces inequality how? A much better thing to do would be to simply eliminate the lottery. Some people will drive across state lines to buy lottery tickets, but some will not.

11 whatsthat May 15, 2015 at 1:06 pm

“cut the state’s take from 40% to 10%, and make up the lost revenue through higher sales and property taxes, where the burden is shared more fairly across all of society.”

12 Urstoff May 15, 2015 at 1:42 pm

It is kind of odd how much support state lotteries get despite how incredibly regressive they are.

13 anon May 16, 2015 at 12:04 am

The middle class get funds for nice things and the poor get brief respite from their sad, meaningless lives. It’s a win-win…what’s not to love?

14 The Other Jim May 16, 2015 at 7:52 am

>The middle class get funds for nice things

Well, no. That’s a common misperception.

The GOVERNMENT gets funds for nice things, to be doled out by connected people at the highest levels to their friends. All of these people are quite high-class. Sure, the middle class might end up with a shiny new bathroom in their town hall to use twice a decade, but the cost was 5x what it should have been, and they never saw a dime.

The lottery is a wealth transfer from the poor to the elite. A Democrat’s dream come true.

15 dirk May 15, 2015 at 1:50 pm

Don’t underestimate the potential black market for *running numbers*. Binion made his first fortune running an illegal lottery. In fact, if you legalized drugs and got rid of state lotteries, gambling would be an obvious market for inner city gangs to move into.

16 Urstoff May 15, 2015 at 1:58 pm

Given that, wouldn’t the most equitable thing to do be legalizing private lotteries? I imagine competition would drive down the margin on those so that those running the lotteries only keep a few percent and return the rest as winnings (as seen with casino’s, such small percentages are still quite lucrative).

17 dirk May 15, 2015 at 6:12 pm

Only if you assume the government wouldn’t continue to overtax the winnings. It would be more efficient for the state to keep a monopoly on the lottery, because competing lotteries would take more labor to provide the same worthless service.

Ideally state lotteries would:
1) Not spend a penny on marketing.
2) Payout at 100% of revenue – costs.

18 dirk May 15, 2015 at 6:14 pm

(And only tax winnings over 6 figures)

19 Jim Dow May 15, 2015 at 2:36 pm

With the lottery, a number of different things are going on.

1) People really want to have a lottery
2) “We” want to discourage people from playing the lottery
3) Poor people are more likely to play the lottery

The standard economic policy would be to tax the lottery (to discourage its use) and then rebate the money with lump sum transfers to the poor to deal with the income effects. Other consumption goods that are approved of (healthy food?) should be subsidized for the poor since the income and incentive effects work in the same direction.

If one is willing for the government to intervene in this way, I’m not sure what’s wrong with that kind of policy. It’s not perfect but it’s not obviously a bad idea either.

20 Slocum May 15, 2015 at 4:45 pm

“Letting the winners of the lottery have more of the money they want reduces inequality how?”

Think of the daily lottery as a form of ‘stochastic savings’ — put in a dollar a day and once every three years, on average, you’ll suddenly have $1000 in savings. But that’s only if the state doesn’t take most of the money before redistributing it to the winners. A potential better approach (one that does not involve state governments preying on the vulnerabilities of low-income people) is ‘prized linked savings accounts’:

(That’s assuming, of course, that the government can keep its hands off the prizes).

21 Blake May 15, 2015 at 12:52 pm

I’m disappointed his book isn’t teaching the Solow model. We need a The Number Devil for economics.

22 Jeff R. May 15, 2015 at 1:05 pm

Children resulting from frozen embryos were more socially adept than those implanted fresh after eggs were fertilised. The children also moved better, had superior communication skills and showed more independence. Allan Pacey, a fertility expert at the University of Sheffield, suggested that this was caused in part by the rigours of the thawing process. Not all embryos survive thawing, and perhaps those that do are “stronger”, he said.[11] Perhaps freezing and thawing embryos is an inadvertent eugenics process, most successful with embryos having a low mutation load.

That is one of the more interesting paragraphs I’ve read in some time.

23 Turkey Vulture May 15, 2015 at 2:36 pm

Indeed. The proffered explanation seems reasonable. Not something I’d ever thought about though.

24 RM May 15, 2015 at 2:44 pm

I thought you were going to make a comment about the distribution of names over time. Do people tend to use names that are popular at the time the embryo is frozen or when born?

25 Doug May 15, 2015 at 1:10 pm

#1: Warning – may be severely deterimental to productivity! “Oh, I’ll just try other name…”

26 Urstoff May 15, 2015 at 1:43 pm

I infer that you were likely born in 1962. That’s pretty old for an internet commenter.

27 Turkey Vulture May 15, 2015 at 2:39 pm

Seems I’ve picked names for my sons that are potentially right at the crest of their popularity.

28 Sometimes better to use another username May 15, 2015 at 2:48 pm

The male/female distribution of Madison over time demonstrates the masculinization of America.

I am sure that there is another name that demonstrates the feminization of America.

we are all happily meeting in the middle.

29 Ricardo May 15, 2015 at 4:54 pm

Why are you sure that “there is another name that demonstrates the feminization of America”? I bet there isn’t…

30 msgkings May 15, 2015 at 5:38 pm

Agree, female names are way more likely to borrow from masculine names than the other way around. I can think of plenty of guy’s names that are now ok or even hip to name girls: Madison, Ryan, Sydney, James, Michael, Billy, Charlie, Addison, Alexis, Blair, Paris…

Some have even gone from hip to not used much anymore…

Heck there’s a whole list:

31 Sometimes better to use another username May 15, 2015 at 5:46 pm

Check out Adrian. Not quite as dramatic and Madison or Kennedy, but still there. Also Drew.

32 derek May 15, 2015 at 2:56 pm

#6 Measuring the externality of cigarettes through secondhand smoke only seems like it’s leaving a lot out, namely the externality of high health care costs for smokers borne by the public through Medicare/Medicaid (smokers are disproportionately poor, the diseases get more serious as the smoker reaches Medicare age). Also, part of the goal of the smoking tax is to make cigarette smoking a totally unaffordable habit for young people, so excessive taxes are desirable here.

33 Turkey Vulture May 15, 2015 at 3:09 pm

I thought that smokers save public expenditures by dying earlier.

34 Urstoff May 15, 2015 at 3:19 pm

How much taxpayer money is a QALY worth?

35 Cooper May 15, 2015 at 5:46 pm

That depends on a lot of factors.

If I’m 67 and start collecting $20,000/year from SS over the next 20 years and the discount rate is 5%/year, my benefits are worth about $250,000.

If I’m 67 and I die a horrible, agonizing death from lung cancer at age 68 then I only cost the government about $20,000 in Social Security plus maybe $70,000 in chemo treatments with Medicare.

Sometimes the cheap thing isn’t a good thing…

36 bobE May 15, 2015 at 3:22 pm

eugenics is the wrong word. “designer babies” is more accurate.

37 Careless May 18, 2015 at 9:56 am

And the difference is what?

38 Thanatos Savehn May 15, 2015 at 4:21 pm

#5 Again the genetic determinism fallacy; here revealed by this quote early on: “Mitochondrial DNA does not affect appearance, personality or intelligence …” The argument that altering the cell’s powerhouse cannot result in an altered phenotype is a priori stupid and further, whether to do with appearance, personality or intelligence”, empirically false as quickly revealed by a search of “mitochondrial dna” and “phenotype” or “phenome” on PubMed.

Andrew Gelman and others have it right when they say that most people can’t handle uncertainty and so not only proceed from an essentialist world view but insist on it well past the point of absurdity.

39 carlospln May 16, 2015 at 1:15 am

The majority of mitochondrial genes have migrated to the cell nucleus, over the hundreds of millions of years of evolution since they took up residence in eukaryote cells.

The mDNA remaining codes for genes used in the ‘fine grain’ regulation of mitochondrial activity & division.

Having trouble understanding your point. Love your first name, though

40 AIG May 15, 2015 at 6:12 pm

#7 is really really important. And very obvious when you think about it. But it contradicts the Leftist narrative quite nicely.

41 The Other Jim May 15, 2015 at 8:50 pm

1: And here’s why Hillary will never be president. Go ahead, type it in.

That name was soaring in popularity until it became toxic waste in the mid-90s. The destruction of its value was complete and total.

It would take a heart of stone not to laugh.

42 chuck martel May 15, 2015 at 9:38 pm

5. ” A noteworthy article in 2003 by Tania Simoncelli, then a policy analyst at the International Center for Technology Assessment in Washington, decried the use of IVF with pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (screening) to select the sex of babies for non-medical purposes (as offered by the New Jersey Fertility Center). One reason is that unlike the old state-sponsored eugenics, the new type is “individual, market-based”.[27] Consumer demand can be difficult to regulate—and the stronger the demand, the more difficult the regulation. As shown with prohibition of alcohol in the USA in the interwar period, with recreational drugs from the 1960s, and with prostitution since time immemorial, it is difficult to prevent wealthy consumers of goods or services from getting what they seek from willing providers.”

Yeah, that’s what it’s all about, government regulation.

43 Nick_L May 15, 2015 at 10:05 pm

#1 – Barack really took off around 2009, didn’t it.

44 chuck martel May 15, 2015 at 10:51 pm

Looks like Monica is becoming extinct.

45 Hei Lun Chan May 17, 2015 at 8:14 am

The history of Hillary and Chelsea are quite interesting; a sudden peak around 1992 then a precipitous drop back to previous levels almost immediately.

46 msgkings May 17, 2015 at 1:58 am

The ‘Osama’ chart is unsurprising but still interesting

47 msgkings May 17, 2015 at 1:59 am

‘Adolf’ same thing

48 Alex May 15, 2015 at 10:57 pm

There was too much speculation in the eugenics link, but the parts about mutational load and dysgenics redeemed it.

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