Tuesday assorted links

by on October 24, 2017 at 12:33 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1 Belisarius October 24, 2017 at 12:43 pm

#3 Anyone who thinks like this is obviously part of the problem.

2 Moo cow October 24, 2017 at 12:44 pm

Yeah. Why would you even write something like that. And put your name on it.

3 Belisarius October 24, 2017 at 12:55 pm

A true liberal in the modern sense would recognize that only the state has a monopoly on violence, and for anyone else to defend themselves with a gun or their own hands is committing a crime. The author should go to his doctor and pick up some medicinal marijuana to calm himself down.

4 Moo cow October 24, 2017 at 1:26 pm


5 Al October 24, 2017 at 11:42 pm

He writes something like that since he is beta, at best, and needs to signal very hard to have any chance in the world.

That is the whole story.

6 Jeff R October 24, 2017 at 1:35 pm

Sounds like a white savior complex to me. That’s problematic. He should defer to POC when determining how best to combat white nationalism.

7 Axa October 24, 2017 at 4:28 pm

Indeed, as if left-wing white men where the only ones punching nazis hahaha

8 Tanturn October 24, 2017 at 2:14 pm

He finds it necessary to bring up which “White” ethnicity he is. Though I generally think the anti-Semites are nuts, I find myself agreeing with them here. When Jews claim to have White guilt, I generally don’t believe them.

9 msgkings October 24, 2017 at 2:19 pm

No one cares how you parse your racism.

10 Tanturn October 24, 2017 at 2:34 pm

Stated by msgkings, whose readership numbers in the millions.

Do you really disagree with me? Read the whole article and tell me again that his internal turmoil is real.

11 catter October 24, 2017 at 3:49 pm

We have plenty of guilt. We might associate it with sex, success or how we treat our parents. No surprise if some attach it to whiteness.

12 Brian Donohue October 24, 2017 at 3:00 pm

Step one: clean up your bedroom.

13 Erik October 24, 2017 at 3:13 pm

sort yourself out

14 rayward October 24, 2017 at 12:46 pm

4. Isn’t the coffee story this year coffee “rust”, which is spreading throughout Latin America? Maybe Columbia will reduce exports of coffee due to falling supplies. Odd that a story about Colombian coffee omits any mention of coffee “rust”. It’s equivalent to a story about the Florida citrus industry without mentioning “greening”.

15 Ray Lopez October 24, 2017 at 7:01 pm

Same with bananas, they have a sort of blight that will wipe out most of them in a few decades. Also I thought Columbian bean was the inferior “robusto” rather than the superior “arabica” version.

Bonus trivia: most fruit trees have a finite life of roughly 10 to 20 years, so they have to be replanted anyway no matter how good you take care of them.

16 Morgan October 24, 2017 at 8:11 pm

“Also I thought Columbian bean was the inferior “robusto” rather than the superior “arabica” version.”

No, Colombian coffee is the richest, most aromatic coffee in the world. Juan Valdez said it, I believe it, that settles it.

17 Ray Lopez October 24, 2017 at 9:51 pm

@Morgan – yeah I read the article and apparently they now grow Arabica beans in Columbia (rather than the traditional Robusto) and then export them, until recently.

18 Faze October 24, 2017 at 11:10 pm

What about Columbian Bucaramanga, once advertised as an ingredient in the symphony of coffee flavors that is Maxwell House Coffee?

19 rayward October 24, 2017 at 12:50 pm

5. All this multi-tasking is killing baseball, a single-tasking sport, a fate far worse than, say, mind control by Facebook and Google. Silicon Valley is not your friend. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/10/13/opinion/sunday/Silicon-Valley-Is-Not-Your-Friend.html

20 Matthew Moore October 24, 2017 at 12:50 pm

4. At last, a new example for microeconomics income effect problems

5. No, it brings populism by undermining respect for expertise and authority.

21 Jeff R October 24, 2017 at 1:25 pm

I think the more important factor is it has undermined the gatekeeping function of traditional media.

22 albatross October 24, 2017 at 3:29 pm

The traditional internet gatekeepers were pretty bad, but still less awful than Facebook’s timeline algorithm.

23 rayward October 24, 2017 at 12:53 pm
24 JWatts October 24, 2017 at 4:20 pm

I wonder if it occurs to Brooks that when he writes a column and then allows it to be paired with the picture at the top, he’s inciting exactly the kind of behavior that he’s decrying.

25 A Truth Seeker October 24, 2017 at 1:04 pm

#3 So that is what America has become: a bunch of people wanting to punch one another as if they were Max Schmeling and Joe Louis! Was that what Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Hamilton and Burr fought for?!

26 Dick the Butcher October 24, 2017 at 2:39 pm

No, it’s what we got for teaching two or three generations of public school kids to hate America.

27 A Truth Seeker October 24, 2017 at 3:26 pm

Why can’t they go hate America peacefully as normal people do? Or do some peaceful activity?! Why do they have to make so much noise and hate so much?

28 DevOps Dad October 25, 2017 at 3:29 pm

So what has Brazil become, TS?

Brazil has the dubious distinction of being the world center for homicides. The following chart, from The Economist, shows the 50 most murderous cities in the world – and Brazil is home to a mind-boggling 32 of them.


29 EverExtruder October 24, 2017 at 1:15 pm

#3 Bring it. I and those like me are way better armed, way better trained and in way better shape. The key is not to over-escalate first. Let them do that. If they really want a civil war, I’ll have a field day with these clowns…bring it.

#4 Same thing with Quinoa. Western S. Americans literally couldn’t afford their own crop when this age-old “mother grain” was discovered again by rich white soccer moms. When I was last in Quito price had come down substantially from only a year before.

# No. Through democratization, access and retaining information about what people said before it allows people to see that previously well-connected authority figures with armies of publicists and paid intellectuals are actually no better, and are likely worse than they are. The armies of gate-keepers and hangers-on these people employ to maintain their public image is becoming less useful, especially in an environment where the default setting is no negative, not positive.

30 Dick the Butcher October 24, 2017 at 2:43 pm

#3 – They think they will start it and assume that the military and militarized police will fight their civil war for them.

31 Thor October 25, 2017 at 3:22 am

The salient group is Campus “police.” And we know what they will do: stand aside.

32 Borjigid October 24, 2017 at 1:41 pm

1. Depressing
2. Low bar to clear
3. Escalating violence, presumably
4. Don’t care
5. Probably
6. Who looks at a KitKat and thinks “this would go great with a tortilla”?

33 msgkings October 24, 2017 at 2:20 pm

6. The same people that look at a Taco Bell and think ‘yummy, let’s eat there’

34 Erik October 24, 2017 at 3:15 pm

6 is basically a chocolate crepe

35 Bernard Guerrero October 24, 2017 at 5:20 pm


36 derek October 24, 2017 at 1:52 pm

Let’s see. We find that the Obama administration was using the NSA to spy on it’s political opponents. We hear about people getting their money and other things stolen from them by police departments. We hear about the financial industry utterly failing at the job they are paid extraordinary amounts of money to do, and bailed out with tax dollars. We hear about the criminal mismanagement of retirement pension funds and the abuses that are draining money from necessary services and maintenance we depend upon.


Then we read about the vacuous disconnect the media and so called intellectuals have from the experience of large numbers of people, and hear their expressions of horror at finding these things out.

These are the expressions of Elena Ceaușescu when the hoi polloi dared to not show the proper respect for the wonderful people who ‘cared’ for the interests of the masses by stealing from them.

Wasn’t she hung?

37 A Truth Seeker October 24, 2017 at 2:39 pm

“We find that the Obama administration was using the NSA to spy on it’s political opponents.”

He used it to read my mind and give me asthma, too.

“Wasn’t she hung?”

“On the afternoon of 25 December 1989, (Christmas Day) in Târgoviște they were turned over to a firing squad and executed. Her arms, and those of her husband, were tied behind their backs. Before the sentences were carried out, Elena reacted far more belligerently than her husband, screaming: ‘You motherfucking assholes!’ According to Wikipedia, the Argentinian Fascists condecorated her. Meanwhile, Brazil opposed totalitarism in all its forms.
Maybe you were thinking of Nathan Hale.

38 Dick the Butcher October 24, 2017 at 2:12 pm

#3 – While laughing my ass off, I suffered an inspiration.

Markets in Everything – Intramural violence. Open a service industry that would fulfill a need: a for-fee service that could bring together white supremacists and liberals that fantasize on doing violence to one another. Stream or Televise it, too – Brilliant.

On the side, Vegas could make book on who walks out of her/his own power.

Great potential! It could be bigger than E-Sports and Battle-bots. Bitcoins accepted.

39 Hanging Chad October 24, 2017 at 2:54 pm

Be a great idea for an app.

“Want to punch that asshole on the internet who’s misrepresenting your argument? Mad he’s hiding behind a username? Think you are a tough guy who would totally be willing to fight in a civil war against the enemy tribe, no question? We bring together people of all political ideologies who are mad they can’t have any influence on the world. After a day on Dumblr, you can walk home knowing you made a difference in someone’s life.”

40 Mark Thorson October 24, 2017 at 2:58 pm

I like it! An Uber for violence! Light up the Peter Thiel bat-signal!

41 JWatts October 24, 2017 at 4:26 pm

So, Fight Club Tinder ?

42 msgkings October 24, 2017 at 5:00 pm

Thread winner. And I bet there’s already an app for that out there.

43 Thor October 25, 2017 at 3:27 am

Hanging Chad wrote the thread winner first, and if you don’t agree, I’ll meet you at the corner of First and Main, Pasadena, in four days.

44 JWatts October 25, 2017 at 12:08 pm

I’ll settle for a Most Valuable Assist.

45 chuck martel October 24, 2017 at 2:46 pm

1. The many US intelligence agencies certainly don’t think that they need to take a back seat to the Stasi, There is no end of armed secret police, informants, agent provocateurs, phony prostitutes and elaborate stings. And we’re supposed to believe that all these technological advances in forensics are real. Sure.

46 Evans_KY October 24, 2017 at 2:57 pm

3a. “You engage fanaticism with love, first, for your own sake. If you succumb to the natural temptation to greet this anger with your own anger, you’ll just spend your days consumed by bitterness and revenge. You’ll be a worse person in all ways.” -David Brooks, How To Engage A Fanatic

3b. Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise”, taught me to simmer instead of rage. Simmer with civility, simmer with knowledge, simmer with life. “You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I rise.”

47 Will October 24, 2017 at 3:09 pm

#3 “Are most guys out there fucking assholes? Do most guys say faggot and retard and pussy? Am I just living in a little social-justice bubble, and really this violent male way of being is in most places, most of the time?”

He hasn’t considered the possibility that the things he considers to be violent and indefensible — words like faggot and retard and pussy — are arbitrarily designed as such (via ideology) and are fundamentally no different from calling someone a “fucking asshole.” The problem with these kinds of people is their unchecked, probably even uncontemplated, egocentrism.

48 FYI October 24, 2017 at 3:38 pm


49 WIll Barrett October 25, 2017 at 10:19 am


50 MOFO October 24, 2017 at 3:32 pm

#3, ill bet this guy imagines the targets of his pretend fury are all Dylan Roof look-alikes. I think he would have a nervous break down if he was forced to confront a violent brown person.

51 Mark Thorson October 24, 2017 at 3:52 pm

I’m pleased to learn that the cessation of hostilities may mean more territory will be available for cultivation of coffee. If more Colombians drink fine coffee, that’s good. There aren’t enough Colombians to drink it all, so it may improve quality. I consider Colombian coffee to be the best in the world, so I look forward to even better coffee from that source. I know there are people who would disagree with me — maybe Kona or Jamaica Blue Mountain, but I like a dark roast with a deep body. Kona needs a light or medium roast and a somewhat thin brew. I consider that more like tea. The only coffee in the same class with Colombian is Sumatran.

Brazil is the world’s largest producer. They produce a range from first-class coffees to middle-range coffees. If you buy a can of Folger’s or MJB, there’s probably a lot of Brazil in there. I don’t like first-class Brazilian coffees myself, for the same reason I don’t like Kona, but I understand that some respectable people do. Vietnam went from nowhere to suddenly being the second-largest coffee producer. And it’s all crap, lowest-grade. I saw a show on PBS where they showed a small coffee roaster in Vietnam and the way they brewed coffee. These people do not understand coffee at all. They’re charring their beans, then serving the coffee with so much sugar (necessary to get past the charred notes). If we could get the artisan coffee people to educate the people of Vietnam, we might finally get some decent coffee out of them.

52 chuck martel October 24, 2017 at 4:46 pm

They’re Commies, what do you expect?

53 msgkings October 24, 2017 at 5:01 pm

They can kill the Kennedys, why can’t they make a good cup of coffee?

54 Anonymous October 24, 2017 at 5:06 pm

I like Vietnamese coffee, and it is of course the French (Roast) influence.

That said, they do grow too much Robusta, not enough Arabica.

55 Ray Lopez October 24, 2017 at 9:53 pm

@MT what do you think of this: “Panama, meanwhile, is world-famous for cultivating Geisha — a prized coffee variety known for its subtle, almost tea-like favor”? Have you drunk that coffee that comes out of the ferret’s ass?

Bonus trivia: Starbucks now serves tea!

56 anonymous on "In Colombia, however" October 24, 2017 at 10:09 pm

(a) my all-time favorite Mark Thorson posts are the coffee posts. While I am not in his class as a coffee aficionado, perhaps I could be allowed to add this to the discussion: me and my fellow coffee drinking pals often lament the antics of the prehistoric Brazilian monkeys, who, unlike their cousins in Colombia, had exquisite taste in coffee, but who, like monkeys everywhere, had fundamentally unsound morals: when the prehistoric Brazilian monkeys went to the effort of climbing one of those ancient tall coffee trees, they would gobble up all the beans, not leaving a single bean on the tree, especially if it were a vintage Michelin 5 star coffee tree: as you would expect, in Brazil,in prehistoric days, the antics of the connoisseur monkeys were devastating to the fertilization prospects of the better sort of coffee trees. In Colombia, however, where the pre-historic monkeys – at least those monkeys who enjoyed living in the mountains, with which Colombia is so abundantly blessed – were not all that discriminating about which trees to choose as the gobble-up target: in Colombia, back in the day, as I was saying, the better coffee trees did not have that sad dysgenic Brazilian disadvantage of living amongst hipster connoisseur monkeys and their devastating preferences. Look at it this way: the Book of Chronicles, with its genetic trees, is fascinating: the Prayer of Jabez, for example, pops up and then fades away like a dreamscape Starbucks on a slow lonely highway a thousand miles from Memphis. I remember. (I also left, at that remote rural Starbucks, as a tip, a green bill with the visage of a mostly unloved President, worth several thousands of the cost of the one cup of coffee I drank there, with, to tell the truth, an overwhelming feeling of appreciation. We have all been there. The barista probably bought, with that tip, a couple months of baby food and diapers at the Costco the next county over, and probably has never remembered me since. Which I am fine with: I was never one of those suckers who writes impassioned letters to CEOs, hoping to be patted on the head, like a zoo animal. Not that I have anything against zoo animals: to the contrary: cor ad cor loquitur is always my motto when I visit the zoo, just as it is my motto when I remember my friends of yesteryear. Her name was Diane: I told her I would ask for the money back if she let the local press know about it. That was 1998. I never would have asked for the money back in any event: but she kept her word.)

57 efim polenov October 24, 2017 at 10:12 pm

I did not know there were monkeys in Colombia, ever.

58 anonymous on "In Colombia, however" October 24, 2017 at 10:53 pm

for the few people (there are billions of people are on this earth, this is for the dozen or so who care) that was mostly a JD Salinger pastiche; the not JD Salinger pastiche parts included the gobble-up target sentence , which had a few Latinisms that JD Salinger would have been able to riff on if he hadn’t spent most of his 20s (the decade in which I , who never had to fight in WWII, learned Latin really well – Poussin, riffing on Tasso, could vouch for that ) wondering – as I said, we are talking about JD Salilnger at the age of 20 something, at most – wondering why so many people were trying to kill him in the woods of France (don’t laugh – vergil and horace were as impressive as Salinger at his best – but neither one of those Romanly applauded poets had the balls to fight against evil the way JD fought against evil, so there’s that) and, because I am a human being, and cannot say that I do not truly feel what it is to be human: cor ad cor loquitur,is always my motto when I visit the zoo, just as it is my motto when I remember my friends from back in the day. On the one hand, life is hard: then there is the Prayer of Jabez: and then, there is what we understand about each other when we understand how much God loves each of us, including each and every loser sitting around waiting for their number to be called at the DMV so that they can once again imagine someone cares about them. Well, someone cares: and I know that the losers at the DMV have seemed, in their day, to be winners not always, but once, or twice, or even (blessed word) sometimes. The non-pastiche parts: cor ad cor loquitur, is always my motto, when I visit the zoo. I remember. I don’t remember all those vicious evil artillery and sniper killer bullets in the woods of France that Salinger remembered – how could I? but all of us remember what it is to have someone wish, in their sadly evil heart of hearts, that we never ever drink a good cup of coffee. Props to Salinger, whom I pastiched: and, as for the prehistoric Brazilian monkeys: peace, my little friends: you did not know what you were doing, and I will be more than happy, if you ask, to serve you (I too have been a barista) the best cup of coffee that i possibly can: God loves us all, my monkey friends. It was not your fault.

59 anonymous on "In Colombia, however" October 24, 2017 at 10:55 pm

actually I have never been a barista. Not sure why i said that.

60 efim polenov October 24, 2017 at 11:03 pm

Salinger: the patron saint of Matthew 10:29.

61 Thor October 25, 2017 at 3:33 am

Brilliant! As long as a Rayward post but worth it.

62 WIll Barrett October 25, 2017 at 10:31 am

Mark, what about Ethiopia?

63 anon October 24, 2017 at 4:00 pm

On 3 and 5 I would Will Wilkinson is less weird, more grounded in a productive philosophy of politics, than a lot of people.


64 anon October 24, 2017 at 8:31 pm

“I would add that Will Wilkinson is less weird”

This is the thing to read if you want to know where I am really coming from. To adjust your priors.

I am way to lazy too write something that well researched and integrated myself, but it really matches where I have ended up. Small steps toward a better world, in public and private efforts, with testing and iteration.

65 NPW October 25, 2017 at 6:45 am

I left this comment at the link. Maybe either you or Will will respond.

This argument entirely relies on:
1) The acceptance of a single paper as absolute truth.
2) That there is a causal link between a high HFI score and a welfare state.

There are totalitarian welfare states that are not supporters of individual freedom, which suggests rather strongly that (2) is not true.

66 anon October 25, 2017 at 9:37 am

I was surprised by your answer, because for me (and I think Will?) it is not about any one paper or metric.

It is more the general argument that incremental improvement is a worthy goal, and it must be more possible than reconciling everyone’s political nirvanas (from social democracy to libertarianism) at once.

We are at political loggerheads because our various nirvanas are incompatible. Wild swings, healthcare on, healthcare off, result.

Now, once we get a group ready to do measurement, analysis, change, and iteration, sure we can discuss which metrics are best. In some cases they are pretty easy and direct, say pedestrian deaths as a measure of pedestrian safety.

I am not particularly attached to Cato’s Human Freedom Index, but as an illustration it works.

67 NPW October 26, 2017 at 12:27 pm

Will explicitly made the argument that greater government control equaled more freedom.

Will took a distinct side while pretending not to.

He supported his position off of one paper.

I don’t see how this article supports the idea that Will is “grounded in a productive philosophy of politics”.

68 Donald Pretari October 24, 2017 at 5:40 pm

#5…”On January 23, 1979, Mays was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. He garnered 409 of the 432 ballots cast (roughly 95 percent )…”

This was the day I realized that some people weren’t worth my time. If you voted against Willie Mays, you were not capable of being reasoned with. No punishment would have satisfied me, so I learned how to move on from overwhelming anger that day. And, no, that doesn’t make the experience worthwhile, in my opinion. Such an insult to Mays was beyond disgraceful and should never have occurred.

69 msgkings October 24, 2017 at 5:54 pm

Agreed. But you’d be shocked at others that didn’t get in unanimously. Because it’s every single one of them. Closest was Ken Griffey Jr at 99.32% Babe Ruth was 95% too LOL.


70 anonymous expert October 24, 2017 at 9:47 pm

Mays was a 5-tool guy in a 6-tool sport. I would have voted him in first round – there have only been 2 or 3 6-tool guys – and only one contemporaneous with Mays – but I respect the guys who didn’t.

71 Anon October 24, 2017 at 8:17 pm

3. Welcome to the secret life of White Mitty.

72 dux.ie October 25, 2017 at 12:00 am
73 anon October 25, 2017 at 9:39 am

3. People like this make me want to become a neo-nazi.

74 Robert October 25, 2017 at 9:56 pm

Join the Democrat party. Like the Nazis, it’s the party that focuses on the importance of race to the exclusion of just about everything else.

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