by Tyler Cowen
on December 31, 2016 at 1:40 pm
1. These “world-improving innovations of 2016” seem lame to me.
2. Kasparov on the future of AI.
3. The birthday lecture culture that is German.
4. Good Jared Bernstein post on the new Republican tax plan.
5. What Jacob Levy has been up to.
6. Joyce Appleby has passed away.
7. Actors seek posthumous protection for big-screen resurrections.
Number 1 of number 1 still seems better than a Russian idea to deliver disaster relief via ICBM warhead.
Back in the good old days, there was a serious proposal to send US intervention forces to the world’s trouble spots via what was essentially a very large ICBM.
We lost something when visionaries behind ideas like that when out of style.
The reason #1 is so lame is that all of the inventions are virtue signaling. The real innovation in 2016 was in ML (see alpha go), genetics (CRISPER applications), and of course the rollout of VR.
But none of those are directly targeting marginalized groups so they don’t count. Sigh.
Didn’t even mention reusable rockets. Or on the more mundane side the continuing march of Moore’s Law in the face of almost insurmountable obstacles, the expansion of cloud services, and the near 100% penetration of SSDs. Or maybe even the continual reduction in price of ‘functional’ smart phone?
So much goodness in 2016 by businesspeople across the world, we march forward.
Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies .. which is apparently a new-normal thing to say.
(I don’t think of any of you as enemies, though. I have probably agreed with every one of you, one time or other. Just not all at once. OK, never all at once.)
Happy new year to you too!
Your posts are provocative. You are a trouble maker – I like that.
I agree, a good troll keeps the conversation interesting, lively. Just dont become a monotonous bore like prior_whatever has become.
It is a sad state of affairs when this “my many enemies” stuff is normalized, and even commenting on it is the troll.
I think many have buckled themselves in, ordered a stiff drink, and prepared for a bumpy ride. A quiet ride to who knows where.
Better to say something, IMO.
Many politicians really ought to talk about their opponents but in Trump’s case he really does seem to have enemies. I hope he survives their antics.
A statesman is supposed to see potential partners. Prior to this, only Nixon had enemies, and that was when he was in deep decline.
A very strange start, pre-inauguration.
Enemies are as enemies do.
I wonder what cockamamie stunts the Democrats will try to pull to prevent Trump from assuming office? They have 20 days left. They tried to start a war with Russia, but it took cooler heads of Trump and Putin to put that to rest. Riots didn’t work.
There was a time when people conversing online primarily came to share opinions and expand their knowledge by learning about the opinions of others.
I don’t see what good there is in trolls. For some reason there are those (not particularly common) who would tolerate another person saying the most horrid of things to or about people, but would reject someone eternally on the sole basis of a properly used cuss word.
You think you have “enemies?” LOL
If you are still missing the gag, google the news.
When Finnish Teachers Work in America’s Public Schools
There are more restrictions to professional freedom in the United States, and the educators find the school day overly rigid.
The US 1-12 education model sucks – it selects for girls in general and boys with the ability to sit still during excruciatingly painful delivery of content. Given what we now know about neuroscience – learning in particular – and the power of technology and the widespread availability of information on demand, the whole thing is a waste.
Right now, public 1-12 education serves two functions for two constituencies – childcare for eorking parents and a jobs-for-life-regardless-of-performance with killer defined benefit retirement for credentialed teachers. It ain’t cheap neither – approximately 50% of the massive California state budget.
We could try putting the CIA’s brainwashing, interrogations and torture units (kidding, no such thing exists – they said so) in charge of educating the nation’s children via use of mind influencing technologies.
This would result in far more desirable outcomes than the tedious variety of a million independent-minded teachers, who would surely fail to maximize deceit and blowback at every turn.
Our freedom depends on our ability to come together to the tune of 100% on an instant’s notice. They will win if we do not destroy ourselves first.
Isn’t that just another mob of people discovering that the US is a mass society?
“these seem lame to me” instead of “there is no great stagnation”
what did he mean by this
“We are in the great stagnation.”
Yeah this seemed like an odd comment on the blog named “Marginal Revolution”.
Incremental innovations, sure, but still innovation.
#4 – agree with Tyler that Bernstein’s article is interesting and the analyses that are linked within make for interesting reading. The upcoming discussion about tax reform is going to be a lot of fun to watch. I’m sure a lot of us who comment on MR will be net winners despite the fact that the “reforms” are likely to increase inequality in this country. I’m looking forward to the big lobbying effort from Walmart and Target against the BAT. If interest expenses are zeroed out will there be any desire to issue corporate bonds going forward? Lots of unknowns in this whole thing.
Couldn’t they make this consumption tax progressive via the income tax? Have people report income and savings, then you know how much they consumed and you can lower the rate or have refunds for lower income individuals to offest the regressiveness of a consumption tax.
It used to be easy to find tables that show the precise calculation of the rebate amount in Canada, but they replaced it with some csv files on provincial-level aggregates by income group: http://open.canada.ca/data/en/dataset/9763f89f-ac41-41c3-afce-67bb7b041be2.
Anyways, in Canada, your previous year’s income determines the size of your GST (VAT) rebate. It is deposited directly every 3 months, or they send a cheque.
From the taxpayer’s perspective, you just check a box. From the government’s perspective, whatever number your final taxable personal income was in the previous year then determines the dollar value on the next 4 payments.
So anyways, you get more money back at 20k than at 10k because you pay more VAT at 20k. It then declines towards zero rebate by about 40k income.
I like the BAT tax as described. It would seem to benefit America and American workers. It does seem too timid to me. I would prefer zero tax on corporations in America and a VAT on goods and services from outside of America.
Place all the burden on workers/consumers while increasing the incentive to slash labor costs because every dollar in labor cost cut is a 100% addition to profit, once government adjusts it’s borrowing up to offset the decline in consumption because workers can’t afford the prices of what they produce without welfare, disguised as tax cuts, as in EITC, juiced by government paying for things corporations need: roads, ports, trade school education, etc, also with more debt.
#2… and, there is a picture of DJT and Putin kissing on the mouth… Bravo! Not clear why are Kasparov’s opinions on AI relevant, other than he’s a ‘deep thinker’. The computer that defeated him in 1997 was programmed, it did not learn how to play chess, thus was not ‘AI’.
Tyler, how about you labels links like this one with a stylized picture of a cathedral, to save us, the consumers of ‘fake news’, some time in the future?
“Lame” is unfair, I think. Probably a number of these will come to nothing, but others do seem as if they could be useful. Not world-changing, but helpful, though costs are not mentioned, which is a possible problem for some of them.
7 This seems reasonable. In fact I am surprised there are not more laws in place already. How owns an actor’s image? If it is not the actor or their estates, is it free reign?
In which case can we expect to see the Grand Admiral doing porn? With Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn? Could be fun.
Edible drones? Edible packaging? Fuck me, our worries are over.
Many things are technically edible, in that they can be ingested without causing instant death. That doesn’t make them food, however. You could eat the box that the Wheaties are packed in and survive but who would want to do it?
#2 Kasparov AI is really TDS.
Only the last few minutes are about AI. Most of it is Trump bashing, Russian hacking, blah blah. Deceptive advertising…
This sums it up, imho: “The future belongs to human and computer cooperation,” he [Kasparov] believes, “man plus machine decision making. We are entering a new era, and there is nothing definite about it – the outcome is not already decided. In the last few decades we have moved from utopian sci-fi to dystopian sci-fi, with machines like the Matrix and Terminator. It could be, but it very much depends on us, on our attitude and our ability to come up with new ideas. It’s up to us to prove that we are not redundant.”
What would a guy who knows Russian totalitarianism know about Russian totalitarianism?
I prefer the testimony of 10 year olds that hacking is mysterious.
I agree. The good ones are part of incremental improvements (eg prosthetics, diagnostics).
The exception is the liftware spoon/fork. This is a labour saver and life improver for a massive global minority. I hope it doesn’t turn into patent war as the sorely needed cheaper versions but the market.
In the first link, they had a bunch of “edible” things that really should have been labeled “biodegradable.” The first one (the drone) was made of reusable stuff like a plywood frame, but there wasn’t any indication that anyone was going to eat it.
I don’t see how the soda-bottle air conditioner could possibly work.
In general, pretty underwhelming. I’m not sure what the great innovations of 2016 were, but I don’t think any of them were on this list.
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