Thursday assorted links

by on May 18, 2017 at 11:52 am in Uncategorized | Permalink

1 Mark Thorson May 18, 2017 at 1:19 pm

Mainlanders are generally not aware how popular Spam is in Hawaii. Spam-flavored macadamia nuts make perfect sense.

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2 prior_test2 May 18, 2017 at 2:57 pm

Yep, I was going to point that out – here is an OK overview – http://www.thehawaiiplan.com/why-do-hawaiians-love-spam/

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3 Ricardo May 19, 2017 at 3:59 am

Spam is also a big deal and is considered something of a luxury in the Philippines. The article you linked to mentions the role of Filipino migrants and the American military presence in Hawaii as being contributing factors so one wonders whether it became popular in both places independently for similar reasons or if the trend started in the Philippines.

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4 Gabe Atthouse May 18, 2017 at 1:20 pm

5) “His code is not his own; it is that of his class—no worse, no better, He fits easily into whatever pattern is successful. That is his sole measure of value—success. Nazism as a minority movement would not attract him. As a movement likely to attain power, it would.”

When the only took you have us a hammer (life is predetermined based on your class), everything is a nail. What a buffoon this woman is. I’m sure the witty folks at Harpers felt that analysis of who will or won’t become a Nazi is apropos in the time of Trump.

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5 Barkley Rosser May 18, 2017 at 1:42 pm

The obvious Trump figure in this August, 1941 Harper’s article is Mr. D, not Mr. B, with D being described as the surest Nazi of the bunch, the only son of the doting mother. Aside from the fact that Trump never says a word about his mother, the description of D fits him very closely, far more closely than does the description of B, who would only become a Nazi if they came to power, a go-along to get-along power and money monger.

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6 Art Deco May 19, 2017 at 12:01 am

Mr. B and Mr. D are indubitably specific individuals she knows and doesn’t care for. The whole article is tarted up catty rubbish. Mr. A is the person who edited it.

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7 prior_test2 May 19, 2017 at 12:23 am

And the Nazis? The real ones? Just figments of someone’s fevered imagination, or people being maligned because someone does not like them?

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8 Art Deco May 19, 2017 at 6:02 pm

Not likely anyone resembling Dorothy Thompson’s social circle. It’s an article a clef.

9 Anonymous May 18, 2017 at 3:46 pm

This article made the rounds last year, and interestingly, it first appeared on an MR page in 2012. Hat tip A Berman.

http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2012/04/assorted-links-413.html

It does seem kind of all-in to drop it again now.

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10 Anonymous May 18, 2017 at 6:30 pm
11 A Berman May 18, 2017 at 7:28 pm

Hey, thanks!

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12 Gerber Baby May 18, 2017 at 1:21 pm

3. “So, you know, fewer women are hit or beat for instance.”

Do you have any evidence for this? “Society punishes it more harshly, ergo there must be less of it” does not count. Would you accept that argument for, say, drug dealing?

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13 Thiago Ribeiro May 18, 2017 at 2:59 pm

Well, I would. The easier it is selling/buying drugs, more is sold (which is a different problem from “when can the state outlaw adult people taking their own decisions?” or “do illegality, lack of access to courts and repression make drug dealing more violent and socially deatructive than it would otherwise be?” or “can legalizing ‘lighter drugs’ like hemp be a kind of relief valve preventing people from using other illegal drugs and also preventing some people from being jailed, fired, etc.”). For the record, I lean against legalizing any illegal drug and I would rather ban alcohol (except for religious ceremonies) and smoking – as my grandfather used to say: “You do not need it”.

If you want to make some point about the social benefits of beating women, go ahead.

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14 rayward May 18, 2017 at 1:24 pm

2. I’ve had my dog (a Boykin Spaniel) for about ten years. This past Christmas, while visiting family in Charleston (me and the dog were visiting), my dog witnessed a dog fight, a rather violent dog fight. My dog at first looked on in disbelief as to what she was seeing, then slipped away to hide. I realized that my dog had never seen a dog fight much less been in one. Do dogs fight because of instinct or is it learned behavior?

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15 Thiago Ribeiro May 18, 2017 at 1:46 pm

Your dog has led a sheltered and complacent life. My sister’s god attacks tries to attack every dog he sees. Every real dog has will to power.

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16 Anon May 18, 2017 at 2:01 pm

Clearly she needs a more tolerant god.

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17 Thiago Ribeiro May 18, 2017 at 2:30 pm

One only needs the one, true dog, the one who has decreed: “Thou shalt have no other dogs before me. “

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18 Thiago Spittler May 18, 2017 at 5:44 pm

The one true dog who can turn one into two.

19 Thiago Ribeiro May 18, 2017 at 6:00 pm

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our Dog, the Lord is one.

20 Brent Reynolds May 19, 2017 at 8:15 am

I have a Boykin as well. He generally avoids conflicts, but is not afraid to stand his ground. When other dogs snap at him, even when they are bigger, he simply stands up tall and ignores them.

It is very interesting behavior in a dog. Most dogs are trying to figure out the pecking order in a groups of dogs. You either dominate the other dog, or that dog dominates you. For many Boykins, it seems, they place a much lower emphasis on pack order. I’m not sure if my buddy just doesn’t realize that he is a dog, or that he thinks he’s too important to trudge through such trivial matters. He has more important things to focus on, like how to kill that squirril in the back yard, and where the location of the retrieving dummy is in the house, or the probability that someone is about to get ice out of the refrigerator (ice is a favorite treat of his).

tl;dr – Boykins tend to have weird personalities compared to other dogs.

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21 Professor Robert Pope May 18, 2017 at 1:34 pm

I am Professor Pope Jr., from University of Akron. What I’m doing here is to determine why dogs fight. It is being they think nothing they do pleases you.

In the case of Boykins Spaniels, as Flaubert wrote, the candles in the candlebras cast long flames over the silver dish covers.

T.S Eliot believes rather that they are angry they do not have enough arms (seven, ibid 3=4 theory).

Doubled the flames of sevenbranched candelabra
Reflecting light upon the table as
The glitter of her jewels rose to meet it

they agree that dolphins are carved from arabesques drawn in nonpareils by Lamartine in 1848.

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22 rayward May 18, 2017 at 1:37 pm

3. Great stagnation, secular stagnation, whatever one wishes to call relatively slow economic growth will be with us until it isn’t, and it isn’t because capital will once again be drawn to productive capital rather than speculative financial assets. What will trigger this? Cowen calls it the Great Reset. That’s an innocent sounding term for what will be most unpleasant for many, an unpleasantness that Cowen freely acknowledges in his book. A side benefit of the Great Reset will be affirmation of the EMH (or “adaptive market hypothesis”, a term I like better since it’s a better description of reality than simply a hypothesis). Like water finding its own level, capital finds the highest rate of return provided rational investors overwhelm irrational investors, something that’s not possible when so much capital is concentrated in the hands of so few (mostly irrational investors).

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23 Gabe Atthouse May 18, 2017 at 1:57 pm

“Speculative financial assets” are productive capital. Are you under the delusion that the majority of capital is tied up in derivatives too complicated for you to understand? Most capital is invested in fixed income instruments and vanilla equities. Derivatives are mostly used for hedging, not speculating.

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24 Troll Me May 20, 2017 at 12:14 pm

The fact that assets which may be used for speculation also have uses in terms of hedging/balancing various risk factors, does not therefore imply that speculation via these financial instruments is not relevant.

Even if only 1 or 5% of the market is based on speculation, this could have major effects on prices and over/undervaluation of those financial instruments, and depending on specific contexts, has potential for much ill effect. For which reason we should not pretend that speculation is irrelevant simply because 90%+ (or whatever the number is) of the market is comprised of calibrated risk hedging/balancing.

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25 Hazel Meade May 18, 2017 at 4:37 pm

#5. I think I identified most with the young German.
Mr. L is a pretty good representative of a certain part of the left. The sort of people who like marching and chanting and talk about “solidarity” a lot are the sort of people who would go Nazi in an instant.

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26 prior_test2 May 19, 2017 at 1:08 am

‘The sort of people who like marching and chanting and talk about “solidarity” a lot are the sort of people who would go Nazi in an instant.’

Except for all those in Germany who did not. On the other hand, it isn’t as if the Stalinist influenced Germans were really all that much better than the Nazis. But many of the union members that opposed the Nazis were not Stalinists either, though they did believe in things like talking about solidarity – for all the good it got them. Because if the Nazis did not get them before 1945, the Stalinists tried to in the areas they controlled after 1945. Think SPD members.

It is much easier to say that the appeal of a totalitarian political system seems irresistible to certain people, and the details of that system aren’t that important. Thankfully, at least until now, it seems as if the vast majority of Americans are simply incapable of being participants in European style mass murdering/mass graves political systems.

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27 Troll Me May 20, 2017 at 12:17 pm

I don’t see why “marching and chanting” should be presumed to be conducive towards getting dragged into Nazism. Couldn’t the precise opposite apply? For example, those who would march and chant in opposition?

The problem I see is the apparent connection between protesting and Nazism in what you say. But, in the post-WWII period, haven’t protests been much more generally in the opposite direction, relative to practices of the state and/or other elements which are being protested against? (Not to say those elements are “Nazi”, but that the protests reflect positions further AWAY from that direction, and not more similar to them.)

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28 Kris May 18, 2017 at 5:32 pm

#5: How is D a born Nazi? Wasn’t he made so by an over-indulgent mother?

And what is the definition of a Nazi? How do we distinguish a Nazi from a garden-variety fascist (or populist, or ethno-nationalist)?

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29 Christian Hansen May 18, 2017 at 9:05 pm

Nazi is one of the few transcendent truths people on the left believe in. It’s the Devil for the non religious. Being born a Nazi would have been fine in the 40s and it is certainly fine for the actual Devil, but today his minions must be made, not born. Hence why free speech should be selectively countenanced. Nazi is the Platonic form of all garden variety fascists, ethno-nationalists, etc.

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30 prior_test2 May 19, 2017 at 12:37 am

‘Nazi is one of the few transcendent truths people on the left believe in.’

Along with just about everybody in Germany, not to mention those who live in countries the Nazis attacked and conquered.

Then there are the Israelis – they too think the existence of the Nazis was something along the lines of a transcendent truth in terms of genocide.

‘Being born a Nazi would have been fine in the 40s’

No it would not – just read what Churchill said about Nazis. Unless Churchill strikes you as someone on the left, of course.

‘Nazi is the Platonic form of all garden variety fascists, ethno-nationalists, etc.’

For the ignorant – most Europeans have zero problem distinguishing between the essentially non-genocidal Fascists, the Nazis, and something like the Serbian (or Croatian, on a lesser scale) mass murdering ethnic cleansers. Though it is true that most of the time, based on the name connected to the first appearance of that strand of totalitarian ideology, most people in Europe use fascist for the political framework. After all, no decent person would ever want the Nazis to reappear, right?

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31 prior_test2 May 19, 2017 at 12:55 am

‘How do we distinguish a Nazi from a garden-variety fascist (or populist, or ethno-nationalist)?’

Pretty easily. Nazis believe in, and implemented, programs define to purify the human race in pursuit of a vision. They killed children and adults they considered both inferior and a drain on society’s resources, and attempted, with a tragically large degree of success, to eliminate of an entire group of human beings. They believed, explicitly, in conquering and subjugating the lands of those people the Nazis considered subhuman.

A typical Italian Fascist in 1930 – like Mussolini – did not believe in any of the above (colonialism is related to that idea of subjugation of course, but the Nazis were explicitly talking about subjugating Europe, not Africa). And Italy seriously underperformed in following the Nazi lead in eliminating a group of human beings. Of course, the vision of a supreme leader is shared feature of both fascists and Nazis, though pretty much everybody who claims to be a Nazi will use the term ‘Führer’ both as the proper term and to honor the founder of the Nazi state.

Ethno-nationalists, especially in any European country with experience of the Nazis, tend to be believe in a related, if not always genocidal, vision to the Nazis, though essentially without any claims concerning eugenics. The best recent example of how this works can be seen during a decade or so long time span of mass murdering ethno-nationalists actively engaging in what is almost euphemistically called ‘ethnic cleansing.’ Though to be honest, how mass graves are supposed to be cleansing is the sort of question that pretty much only a Nazi considers worth discussing, instead of rejecting as evil.

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32 Troll Me May 20, 2017 at 12:30 pm

Taken outside of the specific context of, say, 1930s and conceptualizing it in a more generalizable manner for purposes of discussing risk mitigation, etc., in diverse context …. here are a few elements that I think a lot of people would agree on.

1) Someone who thinks the state should control the genetic future of the species, and has no qualms about any psychological and/or physical violence to arrive at the situation where the state controls the genetic future of the species?

2) A preference for (or at least lack of opposition to) genocide of various types to eradicate “deemed undesirables” would go along with that.

Germany wasn’t just expanding some empire. They planned to actively depopulate Ukraine as a breeding ground for German populations. That kind of thing would be OK to a Nazi, whereas other fascists might just have thought to conquer and tax Ukraine and rule it in a draconian manner, perhaps even conscripting some percentage of the population into its armed service or involuntary Zersetzung spying/degradation operations.

Consider the famously ruthless Mongols, who were OK to rule and tax conquered lands which did not oppose, but were also willing to kill to the last woman and child as a demonstration to others (which may have happened in Kiev) – those were not Nazis, but instead some other undesirable mode of thinking/doing/being.

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33 Troll Me May 20, 2017 at 12:32 pm

So, it might be debated whether, in an era of expanded capacities in psychometrics and neurotechnologies, whether non-lethal forms of cultural genocide (etc.) should be considered as essentially similar to, or even worse than, those defined by actions described in the above defining factors.

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34 Vermont May 18, 2017 at 5:48 pm

I think 5. Mr. C is tough.

Even more than he hates the class into which he has insecurely risen, does he hate the people from whom he came. He hates his mother and his father for being his parents. He loathes everything that reminds him of his origins and his humiliations. He is bitterly anti-Semitic because the social insecurity of the Jews reminds him of his own psychological insecurity.

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35 JWatts May 18, 2017 at 5:49 pm

“1. How Western Michigan quietly became a graphic design hotspot.”

I guess with the internet it’s possible that Big Rapids, MI is a graphic design hotspot, but you wouldn’t notice by visiting the city or the rather small University.

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36 Donald Pretari May 18, 2017 at 6:51 pm

Well, remember, even though it’s hot, it’s just a spot.

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37 Steve-O May 19, 2017 at 12:35 pm

1. It’s West Michigan, not “Western Michigan” (I don’t know why).

2. I don’t think Big Rapids is the hub, just a place where some people learn graphic design at a non-exclusive public school, then move on.

3. I think the furniture industry in the Grand Rapids area made the region disproportionately design-focused than most.

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38 Art Deco May 18, 2017 at 6:59 pm

#4. How about not being a cold, supercilious, duplicitous lush? The rest is negotiable.

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39 Hunter S. Thompson May 18, 2017 at 8:29 pm

Yes, yes very good, well done.

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40 Art Deco May 18, 2017 at 11:58 pm

5: a forgotten mid-century critic lauds and skewers people in her social circle. Not surprisingly, the angles are people who might edit or pen contributions for Harper’s.

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41 Brent Reynolds May 19, 2017 at 8:18 am

3) So, we have some real war zones: Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq. The country with the next most murders is Mexico. If you are the first country out, the one standing on deck, when the semanticists define a conflict zone, your in very big trouble.

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42 Troll Me May 20, 2017 at 12:35 pm

Those murders aren’t random killing or even personal vendettas, generally. They are mostly part and parcel of absolutely organized campaigns of violence with both political and economic ends (political, as in remove powers that would interfere with activities of a group, and economic, as in, they make money from the trade of substances which comprise the basis of turf wars).

Mexico is no Syria. And certainly it’s not the same type of conflict.

Should it be called a “war”? Not clear. But absolutely it is “conflict”.

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