1. Hilary Putnam has passed away. He was one of the two or three most interesting and engaging professors I have had.
2. An assfish is actually a kind of cusk-eel. And it’s bony-eared. This article offers much of interest: “Akanthos is Greek for “prickly,” and onus could either mean “hake, a relative of cod,” Hanke says, “or a donkey.”…Summers concurs, saying onus could easily read “as a homonym of the Greek word for ass.” I’m not even going to tell you about the Halichoeres bivitattus, or the Galathea assfish, the abyssal assfish, and the robust assfish.
4. Sean McElwee responds to me on whether Republican states are better run. He does not note that I wrote: “I also am seeing signs that the Republicans are becoming less fit to govern at the local level, probably because national-level ideology is shaping too many smaller scale, ostensibly pragmatic decisions.” The piece has other problems too. Sean, Salon is not doing you a favor when it encourages you to write so hysterically. There are plenty of good criticisms of Republican governance to be made.
7. Russ Roberts interviews David Autor on China and labor markets. Scott Sumner has asked a few times why Autor’s work is so important. I think it shows that the economic footprint of China on the West is much larger than we had thought, not that free trade is bad.