Monday assorted links

by on March 14, 2016 at 11:36 am in Uncategorized | Permalink

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.

3. The twenty best Taiwanese movies?  By the way, Edward Yang’s A Brighter Summer Day is being released soon on disc for the U.S. market.

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.

5. Are we dying of history?

6. Is it possible to insult the dead, Neanderthal edition?

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.

1 bob March 14, 2016 at 11:41 am

I just saw a Brighter Summer Day last night. It was wonderful.

2 Make Donald Drumpf Again March 14, 2016 at 1:55 pm

Petition to have Trump arrested for inciting violence.

This is possibly one of the most important petitions in modern history. If it attracts significant support, it could change the course of history and send an important message that inciting violence, even by some of the most powerful people in the country, is subject to the laws of the country.

Please sign if you are American. There is a button at the petition to share on social media. This is the link to the petition.

3 Em March 14, 2016 at 11:50 am

Is it true that Putnam was a theist? or at least became one later in his life? (he was probably not one as a young Marxist)

4 Zeitgeisty March 15, 2016 at 10:35 am

He developed a split personality where he was involved in some theistic rituals and analysis of theistic texts, but he did not become an advocate of a particular theistic worldview or philosophy.

5 Art Deco March 14, 2016 at 11:58 am

Sean McElwee responds to me on whether Republican states are better run.

So, you read obnoxious opinion journalism to instruct you. Looking forward to your links to Human Events.

6 Mark March 14, 2016 at 12:09 pm

If you cite a Glenn Beck site as evidence in what is otherwise a thoughtful post, then you’re going to invite some less-savory commentary. (Others might blanch at including Vox.)

7 Arjun March 14, 2016 at 12:05 pm

#5 It has definitely been interesting to see historical US foreign policy being brought up as often as it has in the Democratic Primary; I certainly wouldn’t have expected even at the beginning of the campaign season, let alone last election cycle, that we would be seeing more mainstream commentary on issues like the 1953 coup, the Indochina bombing campaigns, the 1980s Central American civil wars and groups like the Sandinistas, and so on. (The latter is especially important given how the reverberations from US hegemony in Central America is continuing to deform and distort the region, leading to such problems like the migrant/refugee flows from there).

On the flip-side, its fascinating to see in the Republican primary the increasing incoherence of their historical perspective, embodied in the rise of Trump. His own incompetent, liberal history is ignored; and he himself can somehow simultaneously get away with blasting Bush and the Iraq War, painting Islamic fundamentalist terror as an ahistorical barbarism (that is, doubling down on the very ideology of the Bush-era neoconservatives), and wanting to go further in “tactics” like torture and indiscriminate bombing campaigns.

Oddly enough, however, it seems like everybody wants to talk about how bad trade deals are, without ever acknowledging 1) the seemingly inevitable nature of globalization, and the irreversible socio-economic links that the US has with the rest of the world, and 2) how these links cause huge, huge incentives for perceived “problems” like migration and outsourcing.

So, definitely not dying of history–if anything, we are and have been dying of too little history.

8 Jody March 14, 2016 at 12:29 pm

RE Incoherent: a strategy of rubble makes no trouble is a) coherent, b) consistent with Trunp’s position.

Or… One can agree on the diagnosis, but differ on the course of treatment, in this case bombing (Trump, B. Clinton) vs nation building (Bush)

9 Cliff March 14, 2016 at 12:38 pm

Everyone hates Trump because he is so nuanced. Left and right agree- nuance has no place in political discourse!

10 Nathan W March 14, 2016 at 2:02 pm

Nuance? How so?

11 Hazel Meade March 14, 2016 at 3:03 pm

Trump is playing four dimensional chess. It just looks incoherent to your weak, three-dimensional mind.

12 JWatts March 14, 2016 at 3:51 pm

I laughed.

13 A Definite Beta Guy March 14, 2016 at 1:24 pm

There was no 1953 “coup.” Mossadegh rigged a referendum to dissolve Parliament and rule as dictator in Iran. This was after months of him throwing all his political opponents in jail. The Shah, who originally supported Mossadegh, exercised his constitutional right to dismiss the Prime Minister.

Yes, the CIA supported the Shah in the exercise of his Constitutional Right to rid himself of the Iranian Donald Trump.

14 Cliff March 14, 2016 at 1:40 pm
15 Bob from Ohio March 14, 2016 at 1:56 pm

Even the left wing wikipedia has to admit:

“A referendum to dissolve parliament and give the prime minister power to make law was submitted to voters, and it passed with 99 percent approval, 2,043,300 votes to 1300 votes against.[52] According to Mark J. Gasiorowski, “There were separate polling stations for yes and no votes, producing sharp criticism of Mosaddeq” and that the “controversial referendum…gave the CIA’s precoup propaganda campaign an easy target”.[53] On or around 16 August, Parliament was suspended indefinitely, and Mosaddeq’s emergency powers were extended.”

Rigged referendum and suspended parliament!

Hallmarks of democracy!

The Shah was better than Mossadegh and far, far, far, far better than the mullahs.

16 Nathan W March 14, 2016 at 2:06 pm

Wikipedia is not left wing.

I imagine … you see Faux News as moderate, and also “unbiased”?

17 Hazel Meade March 14, 2016 at 3:25 pm

It is sort of suspicious that the referendum results were 99% in favor of Mosaddeq….

18 JWatts March 14, 2016 at 3:58 pm

“Wikipedia is not left wing.”

How would you know?

IMO, wikipedia was clearly very left wing 15 years ago. There were clearly a multitude of very Left wing editors that shaped the articles to fit their world view. However, over time the market prevailed. As the size of wikipedia grew the effect of the original coterie of Left wing editors was diluted and their influence today is probably marginal. It also greatly helped that the founder was a libertarian and didn’t tend to reflexively take the Left’s side on issues.

19 (Not That) Bill O'Reilly March 14, 2016 at 4:24 pm

Wikipedia not 2 years ago saw a pitched battle over whether a news outlet merited its own page because of its conservatism. While it may not be out-and-out “left wing” in the vein of, say, Salon, it is at the same time an entirely biased source.

20 Nathan W March 14, 2016 at 4:44 pm

JWatts – I tend to find that both sides of controversial issues are well represented in Wikipedia, basically always passing the Ideological Turing Test (in fact, each respective argument is most likely fine tuned by proponents of that side) and includes non-hysterical counterarguments of the shortcomings. Or, for history, there is good representation of multiple sides, including sub-discussions of controversial points.

I don’t know about 15 years ago, but since much of early uptake in Wikipedia and even the internet in general was driven by altruists who believed strongly in the potential of the internet to undermine structural hierarchies in society, and to democratize information (they probably couldn’t have imagined the extent of misinformation we get now), it sounds even quite likely.

The benefit of Wikipedia is that even if only 10% of editors lean right, what I believe to be a genuine desire by most editors to achieve neutrality or at least good representation in a fairly unbiased manner implies that right wing perspectives should, in time, achieve good balance. No doubt, some editors enter with an ideological objective in mind, but what little I know of how it works there is that if someone comes in with an obvious ideological/nationalist agenda and is not just tweaking to ensure that their side is accurately represented, then probably such editors get banned. It seems plausible that this might apply a little more in one direction than the other, but I think the most fair characterization is … pretty neutral, definitely more so than just about any other source on the planet.

Assuredly, Wikipedia does not represent corporatocracy, elite interests or multinational interests, things more traditionally associated with the right wing. It is, after all, the people’s encyclopedia.

21 MyName March 14, 2016 at 7:31 pm

I believe your problem is that reality in general tends to have a left-wing “bias”.

22 albatross March 15, 2016 at 9:41 am

Everybody believes that reality is biased toward their beliefs. Otherwise, they’d have different beliefs.

23 MOFO March 15, 2016 at 10:09 am

@(Not That) Bill O’Reilly; remember, there are something like 4 million articles on wikipedia, the people who fight over one article might well be unrelated to those who fight over another. My experience, and i have over 10k edits to wikipedia, is that the progressive left is good at swarming current events and pushing the coverage left. However, the left is quite fickle and as they lose interest in the topic, the articles tend to drift back to a more balanced view.

24 Nathan W March 14, 2016 at 2:02 pm

Washington Post crunched some survey numbers and came to the conclusion that, paraphrase, building that wall mean more than all other issues combined. Never mind that a common rat could dig under the wall … I think those brownish humanoid creatures will at least manage what common vermin can with respect to digging their way through a barrier.

Guess the Trumpistas are really dying for the opportunity to pick strawberries, clean toilets and work in slaughterhouses … shit which they will actually want to shovel once all the illegals are kicked out somehow or another.

25 Hazel Meade March 14, 2016 at 3:28 pm

Forget digging, they’ll just do what most illegal immigrants from non-Latin-American countries do. Come on a tourist visa and overstay.

Don’t forget nail salons.

26 JWatts March 14, 2016 at 4:00 pm

It’s odd to hear a Canadian, a country which has a far more selective immigration system that the US has, argue against the US’s attempts to tighten up their system.

27 Nathan W March 14, 2016 at 4:52 pm

I just don’t think it would work. If you want to stop illegal immigration, place an infrared camera every 20m and police the border. The wall is a dumb gimmick that won’t slow them down for more than a few days.

I’m not against policing the border, but I think the racist rhetoric is altogether unnecessary, and also think that it will be bad for the economy because, as I implied above, most Americans don’t actually want to do the work that the illegals are, and that’s not going to change even if every last one of them goes home. Anyways, my sympathies unabashedly lie more with the illegals than the Americans – they are poorer and more hard working on average. But hey, that’s why you don’t get foreigners to write your domestic policy.

28 JWatts March 14, 2016 at 5:23 pm

“If you want to stop illegal immigration, place an infrared camera every 20m and police the border.”

It’s clear that you don’t understand the situation. The US has so many illegal immigrants coming across at surge times that ICE can’t catch them all. Hiring enough Patrol agents to deal with the surges effectively would be more expensive than just building out the wall/double fencing that’s already been constructed.

“most Americans don’t actually want to do the work that the illegals are, and that’s not going to change even if every last one of them goes home”

Americans will do the jobs if the pay goes up. I have relatives (in landscaping and construction) that were forced out of business by their wages being severely undercut from illegal immigrants. On the landscaping side, illegal immigrants in the Nashville area would routinely bid large jobs at less than a minimum wage rate.

Large scale immigration effectively places downward wage pressure on US low skilled labor and at a high enough level, US wages would converge with Mexican wage. Why would that be good for your average low skilled American worker?

29 Arjun March 14, 2016 at 5:31 pm

@ JWatts

>Large scale immigration effectively places downward wage pressure on US low skilled labor

I’m always amazed that nobody concerned about this ever proposes helping illegal/undocumented migrants gain legal and civil rights, so that they can demand minimum wage and the legal minimum for working conditions. People always seem to default to “push them out of the labor market” rather than “lets all band together to help workers organize”.

Its the same racist/nationalist nonsense that broke the labor movement in the ’50s and ’60s. Too many White union guys throwing a fit over their Black co-workers demanding equal rights and access to the same promotions and salaries and protections as White workers.

30 msgkings March 14, 2016 at 5:41 pm

@Arjun: the difference is those black union members were citizens. The anti-immigration argument does not HAVE to be a racial one. It is for many, obviously, but one can be perfectly colorblind and still wish to reduce unskilled immigration because it harms US citizens.

31 JWatts March 14, 2016 at 6:03 pm

“I’m always amazed that nobody concerned about this ever proposes helping illegal/undocumented migrants gain legal and civil rights, …”

Reagan did that in the 1980’s. -“The Immigration Reform and Control Act – legalized illegal immigrants who entered the United States before January 1, 1982 ”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_Reform_and_Control_Act_of_1986

The result was a lot more illegal immigrants who came afterwards, because it was obviously economically beneficial to come. Legalizing the illegals currently in the country would be fine if we could effectively reduce the flow of new illegal immigrants to a much lower rate than the surges we saw in the 2000’s.

Without reducing that flow, then the current population of illegals would be replaced by an even greater amount of future illegals. That population would then be putting additional downward pressure on the wages of low skilled labor. We’ve been through this cycle once, it didn’t work out as projected.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. – Albert Einstein

32 Steve Sailer March 14, 2016 at 9:55 pm

Israel has shown that fencing is effective and affordable at keeping out economic migrants (or as the Israeli government calls them, illegal infiltrators). Trump wants to build a wall because Trump likes to build big expensive stuff.

33 Nathan W March 15, 2016 at 12:41 am

JWatts – Yes, if they want to secure the border, it will be a lot more expensive than building a wall. Is it worth it?

Also, don’t forget that net illegal migration is assumed to have declined in recent years.

Yes, I agree that it is obvious that illegal immigration place downwards pressure on wages. After all, this is the crux of the argument for why it is (maybe) good for the economy. There should be no beating around the bush that this is bad for lower working class. Whether offering them a path up, plus having more low-educated immigration, is in balance an economic good is up for debate.

What is clear is that many businesses want cheap labour, and cannot be taken credibly to communicate the social benefits/costs. The working class almost always lacks good advocacy. This is what leads me to support public allocations for quality economic research to represent working class perspectives and interests. Of course, when there is so much corporate and billionaire money influencing politics, it’s hard for such things to get a lot of traction. A few million dollars a year (10 cents per American per year) would probably do the trick – a few small research teams structurally designed to be at odds with each other, with some non-union worker’s advocates who receive bonuses for calling bullshit if the researchers start to appear too influenced by traditional influencers.

34 Nathan W March 15, 2016 at 12:43 am

msgkings – yes, I think the advocacy would be far more effective (for better or wosre) if it were colourblind. But it is not.

35 Milo Minderbinder March 14, 2016 at 6:17 pm

Orban’s fence in Hungary seems to have worked.

36 Ray Lopez March 14, 2016 at 12:05 pm

@#2 – I speak modern Greek and never heard of these terms, and it’s confirmed as so by Google Translate. These terms must be ancient Greek, which foreigners are often better at than some Greeks. It’s kind of like reading Old English, hard to do without practice, even for English speakers.

37 Ray Lopez March 14, 2016 at 12:09 pm

I did know however “thorn” = αγκάθι, just not the rest.

38 rayward March 14, 2016 at 12:08 pm

7. Will Chinese companies invest their enormous earnings from globalization primarily in productive capital in the U.S. or primarily in luxury assets like hotels in the U.S.? One criticism of China is a preponderance of investment in productive capital and public infrastructure. One criticism of the U.S. is a lack of investment in productive capital and public infrastructure. So it’s a head scratcher when a Chinese company makes an enormous investment in the U.S. in . . . . luxury assets. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/14/business/dealbook/chinese-owner-of-waldorf-astoria-bets-big-on-more-us-hotels.html?ref=business. Maybe not. Why would the Chinese wish to make American labor more productive.

39 Cliff March 14, 2016 at 12:39 pm

Same reason as they do anything. To make money.

40 glasnost March 14, 2016 at 12:26 pm

Exactly how was the Sean McElwee piece in any way hysterical? It stuck literally to the objective performance record of several recent Republican governors. I applaud your willingness to air it, but your original post was so vague and badly substantiated as to be indefensible. Being polite is one thing, but being polite to really bad work is a different thing. What’s ironic is that, other than its location in Salon, there was nothing impolite in Sean’s post.

There is no record of responsible Republican state-level governance. You, Tyler Cowen, simply aren’t willing to confront the more or less total practical bankruptcy of one half, but not the other half, of the US political landscape. You’d never do it. You like being contrarian and above the fray too much.

41 Cliff March 14, 2016 at 12:41 pm

“There is no record of responsible Republican state-level governance.”

Ha ha!

42 derek March 14, 2016 at 12:46 pm

The problem with the Salon article for TC, from my reading of both posts, is that the Salon article did not engage TC on the terms of his argument. In a wide-ranging article, TC briefly claims that, holding policy more or less equal, Republican governors run states more capably than Democratic governors. The Salon article’s claim was that the ideology of Republican governors makes it impossible for them to govern effectively and that TC is a strong proponent that Republican governors are simply highly competent, business-minded folks. TC is annoyed that he is being framed not as a proponent of his trademark extreme reasonableness but as someone who is willfully disregarding the results of some admittedly terrible governors (no one thinks that the likes of LePage, Jindal, etc are good… at least I’m pretty sure TC doesn’t think this).

I think that there are some good points to be made that TC is attempting to gloss over the realities of the current Republican/Tea Party a little too much with the relatively minor caveat he noted in #4, but McElwee didn’t do enough for TC’s taste to frame his argument as a challenge to this specific point, and he is trying to jump all over TC for a point that he tried to cede in the original post for which this was a side issue. I agree that the Salon article, outside of the headline, was not particularly histrionic, especially for Salon standards.

43 Clc March 14, 2016 at 1:07 pm

No kidding. TC is usually a much better sport about someone disagreeing with him on the internet. His classification of the response as “hysterical(…)” is the most hysterical thing about the whole exchange.

44 A Definite Beta Guy March 14, 2016 at 2:19 pm

No, it’s legit hysterical. Especially since the Salon author ignores points that Tyler made in his post re: ideological extremism possibly causing more recent bad governance.
Note the Salon author glossed over Utah and Illinois entirely.

45 Jeff R. March 14, 2016 at 2:14 pm

I took Tyler’s main point to be that since Republicans are not as beholden at the state/local levels to public employee unions, you are less likely to see big, ugly, pension disasters like with Chicago/Illinois, California, New York, etc. Bobby Jindal might have left the state of Louisiana with an ugly near term budget deficit, but that’s a pretty fixable situation, it seems, if you either a)follow through on spending cuts or b)restore state taxes to their previous levels. Not at all akin to the damage done by successive Democratic admininstrations in Illinois, for example, which left the state with in excess of $100 billion(!!!!) in unfunded pension liabilities. I don’t see that the Salon argument actually grappled with this. Instead, there was a lot of chatter about “sharing economic growth,” which is, as far as I can tell, a meaningless, feel-good phrase designed to flatter the prejudices of Salon’s readership and to the extent it actually reflects lower levels of economic inequality in blue states, probably has less to do with state policy and more to do with lower levels of inequality in the human capital of its residents.

But that’s just me.

46 JWatts March 14, 2016 at 4:18 pm

The budding pension crisis’s alone outweighs most other issues. What’s the long term fix for the massive pension under funding in Illinois, California, and New Jersey. Furthermore, in nearly every state with a large pension fund crisis, there are many cities with their own pension fund issues.

47 albatross March 15, 2016 at 9:46 am

demographics matter in outcomes. Even if republican states have better outcomes, you’d need to control somehow for demographic and regional differences. A republican governing Utah faces a completely different situation than one governing Louisiana.

48 Colin March 14, 2016 at 9:07 pm

Exactly how was the Sean McElwee piece in any way hysterical?

I think when you say things like “In contrast, the conservative and libertarian consensus is that the benefits of economic growth should accrue to a tiny sliver of the population” you leave yourself open to charges of being hysterical. In fact, libertarians take no position on who the benefits of economic growth *should* accrue to, rather only think that such things should be dictated by the market. Furthermore I suspect most libertarians would argue that the benefits are in fact wide-ranging (e.g. while the monetary rewards of Facebook go to Zuckerberg the utility from using it accrues to literally hundreds of millions of people).

Sean either knows this and intentionally mischaracterizes his ideological opponents or he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

49 Derek March 14, 2016 at 10:42 pm

I don’t think you have a very bulletproof position here. Sure, libertarianism basically just wants the market to do it thing in a pure form. But in practice in U.S. politics, it is dominated by a general opposition to regulation or redistribution, even when these might be appropriate ways for a market to work correctly. Sure, maybe it’s a bit of a smear to lump really bad conservatives into libertarianism, but its also not fair for a libertarian to say that only the good conservatives count.

50 Colin March 15, 2016 at 7:38 am

Not sure how this is relevant to what I said. Sean says that libertarians and conservatives think the benefits of growth *should* accrue to a tiny sliver of the population. I’ve never met a single libertarian or conservative, or read the writings of one, who believes or advocates this. I think the overwhelming majority are agnostic who the benefits go to, and only emphasize that the process should be a market-based one rather than by government.

Furthermore, the entire premise is highly questionable. If the benefits of economic growth in fact only accrued to a “tiny sliver” then the poor and middle class — at the very least — in the US should be indistinguishable from those in Brazil or Nigeria. Plainly this is not the case, and it isn’t all — or even mostly — because of government redistribution.

It all comes across as hysterical.

51 byomtov March 15, 2016 at 9:41 pm

I think the problem is that when the benefits do accrue to a small sliver, libertarians are unwilling to even re-examine their ideas about how things are distributed.

It’s a chant, “It’s the market. It must be right.” We’ve seen it here often enough. It’s not logic, it’s ideology.

52 byomtov March 15, 2016 at 9:38 pm

It wasn’t hysterical. It just cited real data instead of the nonsense Tyler was going by.

53 me March 14, 2016 at 12:30 pm

Taiwanese films seem relatively unappreciated by many cinephiles. Maybe this is because Taiwanese film only really started to bloom relatively recently (late 80s). In the US at least, a lot of them are also frustratingly hard to see if you aren’t in one of the few biggest cities.

I’m also surprised to see Goodbye South, Goodbye absent from the list. I’ve only seen 4 or 5 films on that list, but GSG was just one of the more affecting films I’ve seen period. (I did think both a Brighter Summer Day and Stray Dogs were excellent.)

54 Heinz Roggenkemper March 14, 2016 at 6:24 pm

A list of the best 20 Taiwanese movies without ‘Eat Drink Man Woman’?

55 anon March 14, 2016 at 12:37 pm

4. There are libertarians and conservatives (objectivists?) who are quite willing to refuse aid to the undeserving. I think Tyler is wronged when he us roped into that extreme position. He generally argues libertarianism, but when he makes policy suggestions they are fairly moderate.

Perhaps the MR commentariat imply a value network more extreme than MR.

56 JWatts March 14, 2016 at 4:20 pm

“…who are quite willing to refuse aid to the undeserving.”

I’m trying to understand why I should aid the undeserving?

57 anon March 14, 2016 at 5:46 pm

Don’t know, are you an inhumane atheist?

Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. (Proverbs 14:31)

58 msgkings March 15, 2016 at 12:16 am

@anon: Doesn’t that make them deserving (of charity), not UNdeserving?

59 anon March 15, 2016 at 5:15 am

The “undeserving poor” is a catchphrase with a history. It has always been about slicing off some part of the poor population with whom we feel less sympathy, and saying “let’s not help them.”

60 albatross March 15, 2016 at 9:51 am

Alice is poor because her husband abandoned her with their two kids after she got cancer. Betty is poor because she ran up huge gambling debts and lost her job for routinely coming to work drunk.

Is there a difference in which woman deserves help more?

As a matter of policy, it may be wiser not to make a distinction between Alice and Betty in provision of aid, but that doesn’t mean there’s no difference.

61 Tyler Fan March 14, 2016 at 12:44 pm

McElwee’s article did not seem histrionic at all. The only part that might seem over-the-top at all was the very last graf, imputing bad motives to libertarians. Tyler simply got pwned by McElwee, although his citing California as a model of good governance was risible.

62 derek March 14, 2016 at 1:44 pm

Well, one could consider the exodus of people and business as a superior jurisdiction in every way exporting it’s excellence.

63 tjamesjones March 15, 2016 at 1:51 pm

McElwee’s article didn’t even make it past literate, so histrionic probably remains just an ambition. He tackled the question of whether Republican governors are better (e.g. more pragmatic) by quoting a study that measured a couple of metrics on the basis of which way the state voted in the Presidential election. The gist of the article overall was “democrats are good people, republicans are bad people”.

Not histrionic, definitely risible.

64 Todd Kreider March 14, 2016 at 2:01 pm

1. I read Hilary Putman’s “Reality With a Human Face” when it came out, but I don’t think I understood half of it. What a thinker.

65 Thor March 15, 2016 at 3:03 am

I could never keep track of where, how and when he changed his mind. (I am but a historian but I found his functionalism interesting and convincing.)

66 Todd Kreider March 14, 2016 at 2:05 pm

Oops… “Realism With a Human Face”

67 Nathan W March 14, 2016 at 2:17 pm

4) I don’t think it was hysterical in the least. I’m not sure how balanced the presentation was, but I think TC is reacting more to having been painted in a negative light (somewhat unfairly so, even if the original post was not strong, but hey, it’s a blog for God’s sake, not an academic journal).

6) Not sure how you can prove that Neanderthals started fires faster.

68 Hazel Meade March 14, 2016 at 4:58 pm

6) I believe it is based on the efficiency of the toolkit that neanderthals possessed. We can’t tell exactly how fast the fire started, but we can tell that the tools they used were capable of starting fires more quickly.
Research does suggest that neanderthal tools were in some ways superior to those of contemporaneous humans.

69 Yep March 14, 2016 at 6:02 pm

Nathan W: “I don’t think”

If you posted less, you might.

70 Nathan W March 15, 2016 at 1:03 am

Well, I could have stated as fact, but since TC’s opinion is otherwise it seemed sensible to portray it as opinion. Unless some people, I do not try to steer the conversation into offensive directions.

71 Anon. March 14, 2016 at 2:25 pm

>Edward Yang’s A Brighter Summer Day is being released soon on disc for the U.S. market.

It has been coming “soon” for like 5 years now.

72 JasonL March 14, 2016 at 3:09 pm

The back and forth about quality of governance under each party is kind of a joke. There isn’t enough data to make a coherent point because local and point in time variables confound all these arguments. Everyone just tells the story they want to tell. CA is good governance? They handled the water situation well then? They get credit for Silicon Valley output? Mississippi would be an amazing place to live if only they had a $15 minimum wage or greater redistribution? These are absurd arguments.

73 msgkings March 14, 2016 at 3:20 pm

+1, just another example of Team Red vs Team Blue point-scoring bullshit. Endlessly depressing.

74 anon March 14, 2016 at 3:57 pm

Lake Shasta is at 105% capacity. A victory for Democrats?

(Non-Californians do not understand the extreme variability of rainfall here, and that no system from government nor private actors can smooth it. Both can only rationally plan for normal-ish years, and suffer the bad ones. We are back on track because it only takes one wet year to fix things.)

75 Donald Pretari March 14, 2016 at 3:47 pm

#1…Very sad news. Putnam is one of my favorite philosophers. As an adherent of Pragmatism, I was very pleased he ended up advocating a form of Pragmatism, and “Pragmatism: An Open Question” is one my favorite books. Another favorite is a book on Judaism he wrote entitled “Jewish Philosophy as a Guide to Life: Rosenzweig, Buber, Levinas, Wittgenstein.” This reminds me that I once tried to get Robert Nozick to study Talmud. He said no. Finally, economists should be interested in this book, “The End of Value-Free Economics,” edited by Putnam and Vivian Walsh. However, you can still learn quite a bit by reading his older books.

76 Donald Pretari March 14, 2016 at 4:04 pm

#1…Interesting. I searched for obits for Professor Putnam, and found three in German, one in French, one in Italian, and one in English. The English language obit is by Martha Nussbaum on the Huffington Post.

77 Sirr Duende March 14, 2016 at 4:15 pm

Sad to hear of Hilary Putnam’s passing. “The Collapse of the Fact/Value Dichotomy” is still devastating (if ignored) to neoclassical economics.

78 anton March 14, 2016 at 9:09 pm

#4. Well, you have to admit, your primary reference there WAS a one-year listicle, right? I mean, you might want to beef up your data there, dude.

79 Anon March 14, 2016 at 9:43 pm

I’m sorry to hear about the passing of professor Putnam, here is a fun video of him discussing philosophy of science:

http://youtu.be/cG3sfrK5B4E

80 Thor March 15, 2016 at 1:08 am

The Crooked Timber piece on Trump was nauseating. Trump is pretty deplorable, if only because of his lack of manners. (But also his vanity and ego.)

But … here is now the smart folks at Crooked Timber see conservativism (according to Louis Hartz):

“The right has a task: against a revolutionary or reformist left’s claims of freedom and equality, it must reinforce the ramparts of privilege.”

That’s it? Privilege is what conservativism reduces to for them? Nothing on fiscal common sense? The value of tradition and piecemeal social engineering?

81 B. Reynolds March 16, 2016 at 10:55 am

It appears that those bony-eared ass-fish who agree with Sean McElwee’s worldview don’t find him that hysterical at all.

Imagine that.

82 electric razor vs manual razor acne March 24, 2016 at 1:38 am

Electric Tools and DIY Tools – electric
drills, electric toothbrushes, and other minor powertools.
Sahmad’s prediction proved true concerning the cave; I achieved the Immaterial Calms as well as the Seven Centers,
acquiring my razor sharp Sword of Concentration. Razor electric scooter
reset button The third and last one is Gel that not
only soothes irritated skin but tend to also relieve
or prevent razor burns.

Radiation-free smoke detectors, by using a photoelectric process in lieu of ionization, are available and really should
be used. To help these people out, various companies attended up with electric scooters which are
similar towards the ones the kids use yet it’s a
lot safer and much easier to handle.

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