Thursday assorted links

by on October 12, 2017 at 11:45 am in Uncategorized | Permalink

1 Philippe Lemoine October 12, 2017 at 11:53 am

If I remember correctly, Benedict Anderson made that point about the importance of language standardization for economic development in his book on nationalism, though I think it was more an insight not supported by any rigorous data analysis.

Reply

2 Anonymous Bosch October 12, 2017 at 3:20 pm

Ernest Gellner also argued that a standardized written language was crucial to industrialization. See e.g. Nations and nationalism, p.34.

Reply

3 Joel Johnson October 12, 2017 at 12:02 pm
4 chuck martel October 12, 2017 at 12:03 pm

6. Examples abound. In western Wisconsin, for instance, there is a very noticeable nasal overtone to ordinary speech that has doomed the population to a life milking cows, brewing and drinking beer and murdering woodchucks.http://nailheadtom.blogspot.com/2017/06/badger-state-on-course-to-get-rid-of.html

Reply

5 Butler T. Reynolds October 12, 2017 at 12:23 pm

I predict a huge worldwide spike in economic activity and innovation once a significant number of people complete the Esperanto course on Duolingo.

Reply

6 Albert October 12, 2017 at 1:34 pm

Oh come on, it’s easy to make predictions about things that won’t ever happen! If I ever got to have sex with Duane Johnson, it would unleash economic growth the likes of which this world has never seen!

But sadly, I’ll never get to prove it (damn restraining order!).

Reply

7 EverExtruder October 12, 2017 at 1:07 pm

#4 Hardly surprising since A.) It’s a cartel B.) The markup on “rough” made available through the current normal channels is ridiculous C.) The demand for their products is going down, at least in the West it is and related D.) Western customers have been increasingly dubious regarding the corruption and ethics within the industry for 20 years + now.

In all honesty the image/marketing campaign surrounding its “forever” status vis-à-vis marriage has been eroding for quite some time. Not soon enough if you ask me.

#6 Yes! How on earth could anyone even doubt that the ability to transmit highly detailed technical information between two people producing a product wouldn’t be critical for the iterative process manufacturing entails. This is not academic…it requires someone to go into the field and see the manufacturing process first hand.

Reply

8 Mark Thorson October 12, 2017 at 1:12 pm

Vegemite is a salvage industry. It’s the dregs left after brewing beer, mostly dead yeast. Sure, it’s got a lot of vitamins and umami, but artisanal Vegemite? This is like making something out of orange peels or eggshells.

Reply

9 Khalil October 12, 2017 at 7:16 pm

It strikes me as ‘premium mediocre’ well and truly jumping the shark.

Reply

10 anonymous October 12, 2017 at 11:54 pm

Serious question – what about rum? I have once or twice had really good rum (Flor de cana, Nicaraguan, aged) and there was something about it that reminded me, in a good way, of Laphroaig. Which is not made from dregs ….

Reply

11 CMc October 13, 2017 at 12:46 am

Miso is just fomented beans, but you” find it wrapped up in highly designed and precisely specified ‘rustic’ packaging. Same deal.

I eat Vegemite at least once per week, but I won’t be buying this version, especially given the limited run.

Reply

12 Edward Burke October 12, 2017 at 1:21 pm

#1. “Behavioral economics should be most important for education.”

Au contraire.

“Should”, “must”, and “ought”–the unholy trinity of moral language in English–have become outmoded terms and now signify nothing more than any tale told by any idiot that Shakespeare could conjure.

Conventional morality that might suit academics no longer exists outside of the academy: “morality” has been replaced by eleutheromania and emotivist ethics (the latter being no ethics at all, only affective responses to preferred outcomes).

We are far beyond the comforts and assurances of “good and evil” and now await the consequences.

(Not even “education” endures as a reliable institution: whatever continues to pass for “education” in the US is approximately as corrupt as Weinstein and as sleazy as Hollywood, which it apes without any regard for quaint notions of “integrity” or “truth”.)

Reply

13 Borjigid October 12, 2017 at 1:57 pm

This seems like an overly broad critique.

Reply

14 Edward Burke October 12, 2017 at 2:09 pm

–and here I had thought innocently that I was indulging in regrettable understatement . . . . perhaps, then, I struck just the right balance.

Reply

15 Borjigid October 12, 2017 at 3:30 pm

If we’ve moved beyond good and evil we may as well move beyond narrow and broad too.

Reply

16 Edward Burke October 12, 2017 at 5:19 pm

Indeed, we might as well get past making helpful or observable distinctions altogether: uncritical Americans have been so receptive of decades of messaging regarding the inherent evils of “discrimination”, they’ve lost all willingness to observe or draw distinctions whatsoever.

17 Hua Wei October 12, 2017 at 5:25 pm

Yep, if only we still had those Whites-only water coolers and bus seats… or there were synonyms for “discriminate” such as “evaluate”, “judge”… And, thankfully, no one discriminates, judges, criticizes, singles out people, ideas, speach anymore…

18 Careless October 12, 2017 at 10:07 pm

Yep, if only we still had those Whites-only water coolers and bus seats

Yes, then what?

19 Hua Wei October 12, 2017 at 3:10 pm

“We are far beyond the comforts and assurances of ‘good and evil’ and now await the consequences.”
And always will await.

Reply

20 Edward Burke October 12, 2017 at 5:23 pm

Nyet: Technogenic Climate Change, unleashed, will likely prove far more nimble than all the rest of us.

Reply

21 A Truth Seeker October 12, 2017 at 6:15 pm

No, it won’t.

Reply

22 Edward Burke October 12, 2017 at 6:42 pm

Since you’re arguing from faith, I will cite my enduring belief that our successors will all surrender each and all of their epistemic confidences to the perils Technogenic Climate Change already begins to deliver for us and for them.

Just think: for almost two entire centuries well-populated and highly-educated cohorts of applied scientists, technologists, and engineers, et al., all devoted to an epistemic discipline priding itself on its ability to measure repeatable phenomena, somehow failed to anticipate adequately the onset of Technogenic Climate Change. With such a minor miss like this to our sciences’ credit, who needs a measurement problem?

23 A Truth Seeker October 12, 2017 at 7:31 pm

There is no Technogenic Climate Change whatsoever. The Prophet Bandarra has taught that Earth will remain the same until Gog and Magog rise in the East and the King og the North advances over the Holy Land.

24 Sgt. Lincoln Osiris October 13, 2017 at 3:39 pm

You went full retard, man. Never go full retard.

25 Effem October 12, 2017 at 1:28 pm

#4. Good riddance to the diamond industry. How in this age of equality does it still make sense for a man to fork over $thousands for the “privilege” of marrying someone? Imagine if the custom were reversed (a dowry i suppose)…we men would be crucified.

Reply

26 EverExtruder October 12, 2017 at 1:40 pm

Agreed. DeBeers was genius. No one before or since has self-created an industry and a cultural phenomenon for a product that makes prostitution look so classy. Both men and women bought the “forever” veneer hook, line and sinker.

Reply

27 Daniel Hill October 13, 2017 at 12:14 am

The whole artificially created mystique around the diamond engagement ring serves one useful purpose – to sort the gold diggers from the keepers. I knew my future wife would stick with me through thick and thin when she dropped a hint about getting engaged and not wanting a ring.

Reply

28 Mike October 12, 2017 at 1:39 pm

1. A nudge toward a 401k is a good example of why nudges — whether or not they are even effective on their own terms and fewer people unenroll — are worthless. People who need this 401k nudge are by and large not making enough money for it to be useful long-term, and they’re not staying long enough at their companies for the matching to vest. A far more serious overhaul of a lot of things in society at large would be necessary for the retirement prospects of Millennials to look anything but humorous.

Rearranging deck chairs on the titanic and all that.

Reply

29 Anonymous October 12, 2017 at 1:48 pm

Don’t blame the nudgers. They are operating on low level sign-off, at firms. They operate within the crap framework Congress created, accidentally in the case of 401k’s.

Reply

30 JWatts October 12, 2017 at 2:05 pm

“People who need this 401k nudge are by and large not making enough money for it to be useful long-term, and they’re not staying long enough at their companies for the matching to vest.”

I’ve known plenty of young engineers who didn’t elect to start contributing for several years. When you consider that the amount invested in the first few years compounds the most, it’s likely to make a noticeable difference in the long run.

Reply

31 Mike October 12, 2017 at 3:35 pm

Those engineers are going to be fine anyways. Sure, maybe nudges will help the already responsible reach a slightly greater level of prosperity, but they’re not the ones that are in danger.

Reply

32 enoriverbend October 12, 2017 at 8:58 pm

No, I know a lot of software engineers that are saving close to nothing for retirement and are on course to be woefully dismayed to realize their sad state around, say, 55 or so.

Reply

33 Sam the Sham October 13, 2017 at 8:09 am

I’m not saving a penny for retirement, but I am paying off mortgages on my home and rental units as fast as possible, living off of ramen in the meantime.

Interest rate on the loans are ~4%, I’d have to do better than that. Plus the rentals give dividends, so to speak.

34 enoriverbend October 13, 2017 at 11:25 pm

@Sam the Sham

If you have bought rental units, that’s an investment, whether you think of it as retirement investment or not.

And I have done considerably better than 4% over my investing career, mostly in stocks.

That’s not to say I am criticizing your choices, that sounds like a fine approach. I was really talking about my colleagues that only “invested” in expensive cars, expensive vacations, and similar purchases.

35 Sam the Sham October 13, 2017 at 8:19 am

I would say that social security is actually a nudge AGAINST saving for retirement. Social Security* will take care of me when I’m older, after all, I don’t need to worry about it!

*assuming it still exists, but it’s not politically correct to mention such heresies.

Reply

36 v5 October 12, 2017 at 1:48 pm

#3 about the diamond trade is an extremely well-written and researched paper, very interesting read.

Reply

37 Patrick October 12, 2017 at 10:50 pm

Concur; except for giving Greif grief for his name.

Reply

38 A Truth Seeker October 12, 2017 at 2:31 pm

#2 I am not a Communist (Communism means enslavement and dehumanization and is antithetical to the Brazil ethos), but I fully support the Hoxhaite U.S. Marxist-Leninist Organization’s demands for gradual dismantling of the Zionist Entity, immediate withdraw of all American troops overseas and for total cancellation of debts of Developing Countries and unilateral cancellation of all narionl dabt and municipal bonds.

Reply

39 Dick the Butcher October 12, 2017 at 5:40 pm

#2 – I couldn’t read it b/c I will not subscribe. What did it say?

You omitted cancellation of all student debt and home mortgage loans.

That being said having read your comment, in conclusion, you are an anti-Semite and literally know nothing.

Reply

40 A Truth Seeker October 12, 2017 at 6:14 pm

No, I am not. I am anti-Zionist. Zionism is a racist doctrine that preaches that Jews must (e.g, Pollard working for Israel’s political police) must betray their countries to Israel. Brazil always treated the Jews well, saved many Jewish refugees while America send Jews back to Hitler’s owens. Many of Brazil’s most respected scientist, artists, bankers, writers and businessmen are of Jewish srock. There is no racial persecution in Brazil. President Temer is from Lebanese stock and his immigrant parents were very poor, but, in Brazil, he could prosper and be respected. Many Jews, too, prospered in Brazil. As famous Brazilian senator Ruy Barbolsa told French Literature Nobel Prize Anatole France, Brazil stands for interntional peace and harmony.

Reply

41 Anon7 October 12, 2017 at 7:18 pm

Brazil welcomed Nazi war criminals like Dr. Josef Mengele presumably to help Brazilians get the plastic surgery that reflects the plastic personality of its people.

Reply

42 A Truth Seeker October 12, 2017 at 7:40 pm

No, Brazil did not welcomed war criminals as opposed to America and its Paperclip operation, with uts von Brauns… Mengele was an illegal immigrant. The Paraguayans and Argentinians, who favored Hitler’s awful regime, helped him to infiltrate Brazil. He was not a doctor in Brazil, he was an automobile plant’-s taskmaster.
American anti-Brazilian fringepress has been saying that Hitler immigrated to Brazil after WW II. It is a fascislie. Brazil opposed Nazism and fought the Nazist occupation forces in Italy. Famous American respected statesman Dean Acheson famously wrote to Soviet Communist Molotov, who had slandered the Brazilian government, as you just did, ssigning to it nin-existent Nazist sympathies, to tell him that Brazil was a heroic helper of the cause of Freedom and Civilization.

43 Anon7 October 12, 2017 at 10:41 pm

So what you are saying is that either the Brazilian government was complicit in sheltering Nazis like Pakistan was with bin Laden or utterly incompetent and outsmarted by Argentina and Paraguay(!).

44 A Truth Seeker October 13, 2017 at 7:22 am

The Paraguayans and Argentinians gave Mengele new identification papers. In those days, they were almost impossible to detect. America, too, can’t stop all ilegal immigrants and Saudi terrorista. At least, Brazil did not employ war criminals. War crimes are wrong and their authors must be punished.

45 dearieme October 12, 2017 at 2:39 pm

“Why did the countries with the highest literacy rates fail to contribute to the innovations of the Industrial Revolution?” Really? Which does he have in mind?

“Recent empirical research shows that people tend to mistrust those perceived to speak with an accent.” Everybody speaks with an accent: it’s in the nature of things.

Reply

46 dearieme October 12, 2017 at 3:04 pm

“The rise of Indian merchants … even fueled financial improprieties”: and yet the individual cases of crookedness he alludes to sound as if he’s implying that the malefactors are from traditional Jewish diamond families. Is he simply being racist, or have I skimmed his paper too quickly?

Reply

47 Jaldhar October 12, 2017 at 3:14 pm

Perhaps the Hasidic and Gujarati merchants have high trust within their own castes but don’t mind cheating other so much. And once cheating becomes public it makes everyone more suspicious overall.

Hooray for Diversity!

Reply

48 Hua Wei October 12, 2017 at 3:25 pm

If only the Hasidic merchants could kill or displace the the Gujarati merchantes (or the other way round)…

Reply

49 Jaldhar October 12, 2017 at 3:46 pm

That has been one method of resolution in the past. Another might be some kind of Jewish-Jain syncretism. (Historically the amalgation of smaller tribal faiths is how the great religions started.)

“Aah this meal has meat in it. And such small portions!”

Reply

50 A Truth Seeker October 12, 2017 at 3:56 pm

Then, the Jewish Jains will respect one another and cheat everyone else…
They have Moses and the prophets, et them hear them.

51 Philo October 12, 2017 at 4:12 pm

A science–an a priori science–can be based on the premise of universal rationality. Unfortunately this will be a somewhat unworldly science, since people do not always behave rationally. But each individual has his own departures from rationality; there is no universal psychological law specifying a sort of irrationality from which we all suffer (and have suffered, and will suffer) in the same degree. There will be no science of “behavioral economics.”

Adults differ from each other in the kinds and degrees of their irrationality, and *children* are still different. Presumably children are even less rational than adults; but where is the dividing line for maturity? If, per impossibile, we had a successful “behavioral economics” that described behavior in a society where the age of majority was n, and then that society changed the age of majority to (n + 1) or (n – 1), a new “behavioral economics” would have to be developed for the new “adult” population, which would have become more nearly rational (in the first case) or less so (in the second).

Reply

52 A Truth Seeker October 12, 2017 at 4:41 pm

Yet, as we Brazilians say, thw sound policy is thw daughter of morals and reason.

Reply

53 Borjigid October 12, 2017 at 4:46 pm

Wait, you’re Brazilian?

Reply

54 A Truth Seeker October 12, 2017 at 4:51 pm

Yes, what did you think?

Reply

55 msgkings October 12, 2017 at 7:00 pm

It’s obvious you are Paraguayan

56 A Truth Seeker October 12, 2017 at 7:41 pm

No, I can assure you that I have no relatios whatsoever with Paraguay. I oppose the Paraguyn regime and I think Brazil should extract important demands from the Paraguayan regime.

57 Borjigid October 13, 2017 at 10:19 am

I wasn’t sure. Sometimes you post and don’t mention your nationality- it is very confusing.

58 msgkings October 13, 2017 at 3:43 pm

Yes Borjigid is correct, you need to post more positively about Brazil here please, so we know you’re not Paraguayan. You really come across like a Paraguayan. You need to let us know some of the positive things about Brazil, can you do that?

59 Anonymous October 12, 2017 at 6:27 pm

What about the 🐒 scientific method requires things to be equal? Are stars 🏜 equal?

Reply

60 Li Zhi October 12, 2017 at 4:13 pm

#1. Flabbergasted. Are Economists actually taking credit for the invention of paternalism and nagging? Seriously? No wonder so many educated people hold the “profession” in such low regard.

Reply

61 edgar October 12, 2017 at 5:09 pm

+1. Thaler really should be sharing the award with Dr. Seuss. ““Oh, the jobs people work at! Out west near Hawtch-Hawtch there’s a Hawtch-Hawtcher bee watcher, his job is to watch. Is to keep both his eyes on the lazy town bee, a bee that is watched will work harder you see. So he watched and he watched, but in spite of his watch that bee didn’t work any harder not mawtch. So then somebody said “Our old bee-watching man just isn’t bee watching as hard as he can, he ought to be watched by another Hawtch-Hawtcher! The thing that we need is a bee-watcher-watcher!”. Well, the bee-watcher-watcher watched the bee-watcher. He didn’t watch well so another Hawtch-Hawtcher had to come in as a watch-watcher-watcher! And now all the Hawtchers who live in Hawtch-Hawtch are watching on watch watcher watchering watch, watch watching the watcher who’s watching that bee. You’re not a Hawtch-Watcher you’re lucky you see!” Come to think of it, Seuss cogently explains supranationalist ideology as well.

Reply

62 CMc October 13, 2017 at 1:10 am

“Are Economists actually taking credit for the invention of paternalism and nagging?”

No, they aren’t. Your premise is wrong, so even if the conclusion is true, it is not for that reason.

“No wonder so many educated people hold the “profession” in such low regard.”

‘Educated’ is not the same as ‘intelligent’, but putting that aside, it is very easy to knock economics until you try to understand some economic phenomenon sufficiently to formulate policy that you’d stake your money/reputation on.

Reply

63 Jack PQ October 12, 2017 at 4:54 pm

1.) Look–behavioral economics is great and all, but the reason we’ve had “homo economicus” for so long is because economics has a *theory*. This theory does not always correctly predict or explain behavior, but it is dang good. Behavioral economics has no theory–or rather, it has a theory for each anomaly, which is to say there is no theory at all.

Reply

64 Aba October 12, 2017 at 5:42 pm

The NYRB article is available to non-subscribers at https://www.pressreader.com/usa/the-new-york-review-of-books/20171026/281530816218339

While Srugim does capture the basic atmosphere of the society it depicts, the scripts are often ridiculous and the apartments are unrealistically large.

Reply

65 anon October 12, 2017 at 8:54 pm

Srugim is available on Amazon Prime

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DTP198A

Reply

66 Matthew Young October 12, 2017 at 9:11 pm

6. Did standardized languages help drive the Industrial Revolution?

Did not read the link, but have an opinion of course. es, one particular item, the rotary steam press. That capability boosted printing efficiency and cheap books became universal. Cheap books means lists of standard definitions for bolt, nuts, screes, pipes, and so on; including electrics. The sales catalogues generated drove interconnectability for mechanics and then electrics.a design in advance capability.

Reply

67 Daniel Hill October 13, 2017 at 12:20 am

#4 – Artisanal Vegemite? You want my traditional vegemite on toast? You can prise if from my cold dead hands. Vegemite is perfect already, it’s essence lies in it’s total lack of sophistication. Is nothing in this modern world sacred, is nothing beyond the shallow manipulative reach of marketers?

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: