Thursday assorted links

by on February 8, 2018 at 11:41 am in Uncategorized | Permalink

1 Ray Lopez February 8, 2018 at 11:50 am

See if I can read these stories in five seconds, give an accurate summary, and be first to post.

1) Kids allowed to play rough at school playgrounds, nobody gets hurt much. Can’t kill a teenager as a teacher of mine once said…

2) Paper jams are hard to engineer away. Yes, I found the paper must be aligned in the tray correctly.

3) John Cochrane, named after a colorful 19th century UK naval officer who helped Greeks and South Americans win freedom, gives a fundamental argument on why we’re not in a bubble yet (interest rates). Haha, nice try.

4) Skipped

5) Maybe, but not by African standards? (didn’t read this one)

6) Wow! Interview with a Motown legend! He wrote some cool songs as I recall, and is really old but looks young.

Time to hit the Enter button…

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2 Ted Craig February 8, 2018 at 1:08 pm

6. Not all black people worked at Motown.

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3 JWatts February 8, 2018 at 1:43 pm

“See if I can read these stories in five seconds, ” “4) Skipped” “5) …(didn’t read this one)”

So, the answer is No.

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4 Ray Lopez February 8, 2018 at 2:07 pm

@JWatts – I already know the backstory on Kenya. Kenya has many tribes, and they hate each other. There’s some Zanzibar type Muslims on the coast, and various factions in the Kilimanjaro highlands including the famous blood sucking Masai lion-killing warrior tribe, and probably a half dozen others, including but not limited to the “Mau-Mau”. The head pol “Kenya / Kenyatta” (sic) is the de facto dictator and has used anti-libel laws (first perfected in Singapore BTW, using the strict “prove you did not defame the defendant” UK libel laws as a template, compare to the defendant friendly US public person/ private person laws) to silence the opposition. All this from memory JWatts, without even reading the article. You’re welcome. I would argue however that by African “Big Man” standards, Kenya’s dictator not that big a dictator (think Edi Amin, Charles Taylor, Mogabe, Mubutu), just a 21st century ‘light’ version. It’s 3:00 AM PH time and time to hit the sack, where my hot girl half my age awaits me, possibly she’s still on Facebook. Goodnight!

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5 carlospln February 8, 2018 at 6:56 pm

For Chr _st’s sake, Quincy Jones attended Berklee School of Music & came up in the ’50’s as a jazz arranger.

He’s never had a thing to do with Motown in his entire career.

STFU

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6 anonymous reply to 'carlospin' February 8, 2018 at 9:45 pm

carlospin – if you choose to work with Michael Jackson you sort of lose the right to say you never had anything to do with Motown in your career. Shut up yourself, dude.

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7 carlospln February 9, 2018 at 12:03 am

Berry Gordy moved Motown Records -> Los Angeles in 1972.

MJ signed with Epic Records in 1975.

Producing his two Epic records was a small [albeit richly rewarded] part of Quincy’s career:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quincy_Jones_production_discography#As_leader,_composer,_arranger_and_conductor

He had nothing to do with Motown.

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8 another anonymous reply to carlospin February 9, 2018 at 12:38 am

carlospin – yes I get it, the Quincy Jones sound and the Motown sound are completely different.

And I also get it that people who think that they are pretty much the same sound are usually lazy people who do not like music.

I like music, I like the Quincy Jones sound, I like the Motown sound.

That being said, I am not going to argue with you, because the odds of more than one or two people reading this knowing what we are talking about is minuscule.
Even if I am more right than you (not saying than I am) there is almost no chance that you are not basically correct, compared to almost anyone reading this.
By the way, I have a friend who used to hang out with Berry Gordy, and I knew a guy whose uncle was Bix Beiderbecke’s nephew.

Like I said, you and me both know what we are talking about and I am not going to argue with you any more.

9 JFA February 8, 2018 at 12:03 pm

#4. not quite the take down it wants to be, though that doesn’t mean that the Milgram experiments aren’t ridiculously over-interpreted. As evidence that the Milgram experiments don’t mean what most people think they mean, the authors say, “The most common explanation was that they believed the person they’d given the electric shocks to (the “learner”) hadn’t really been harmed. Seventy-two per cent of obedient participants made this kind of claim at least once, such as “If it was that serious you woulda stopped me” and “I just figured that somebody had let him out“.

Yeah… trust in power and doing what those in power say is bad… just because the participants happened to be right this time doesn’t really give that much comfort. They’re basically saying, “some guy in a lab coat told me to push this button, but I didn’t think anything bad would happen because the guy who told me to push the button was in a lab coat.” Still a bit terrifying.

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10 clockwork_prior February 8, 2018 at 12:19 pm

‘Still a bit terrifying.’

If you say so, but welcome to the banality of being human – ‘… people’s willingness to do bad things when they see them as morally good because they serve a grander cause, in this case science.’

After all, every year, we honor the murderers of babies and grandparents because they did their murdering while serving a grander cause. Why do you think actual combat veterans rarely brag about what they have done, or even seen talk about what they have seen?

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11 Ray Lopez February 8, 2018 at 12:28 pm

@clockwork_prior – you’re German, talking about ex-Nazi war veterans right? But what you say is true: some old timer (as in now dead for 30 years) once told me/us that they performed just as many atrocities in the Balkan Greek-Turkish wars of over 100 years ago as did the other side. And that scene in “Saving Private Ryan” where the US soldiers shoot the Czech slave laborers who they thought were Nazis. True, true.

Bonus trivia: usually even in WWI, WWII, 10% battlefield casualty rates were high. I know there are exceptions, true, but 10% is the typical, non-Stalingrad standard.

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12 clockwork_prior February 8, 2018 at 1:38 pm

‘you’re German’

No, I am American.

‘talking about ex-Nazi war veterans right’

No, I am talking about America destroyer captains that shelled Vietnamese villages, American naval aviators that bombed Vietnamese villages, American armored units commanders that fought through Vietnamese villages. All neighbors when I was growing up, by the way – none of them ever bragged about dropping high explosive shells, bombs, or rounds on places where people lived – they were simply doing their duty, and generally did not say much about the subject, though they did not lie about what they did. And other American veterans that fought in other wars and theaters, of course.

War involves killing people, and not everyone killed is an enemy soldier. Particularly when using large amounts of high explosives in places where people live.

Here is a bit from a somewhat more recent war, detailing the actions of some soldiers, because combat is not a game (the entire article is worth reading to the end, because it does a good job pointing out the sort of combat operations going on at the time) – ‘As an unidentified four-wheel-drive vehicle came barreling toward an intersection held by troops of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, Capt. Ronny Johnson grew increasingly alarmed. From his position at the intersection, he was heard radioing to one of his forward platoons of M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles to alert it to what he described as a potential threat.

“Fire a warning shot,” he ordered as the vehicle kept coming. Then, with increasing urgency, he told the platoon to shoot a 7.62mm machine-gun round into its radiator. “Stop [messing] around!” Johnson yelled into the company radio network when he still saw no action being taken. Finally, he shouted at the top of his voice, “Stop him, Red 1, stop him!”

That order was immediately followed by the loud reports of 25mm cannon fire from one or more of the platoon’s Bradleys. About half a dozen shots were heard in all.

“Cease fire!” Johnson yelled over the radio. Then, as he peered into his binoculars from the intersection on Highway 9, he roared at the platoon leader, “You just [expletive] killed a family because you didn’t fire a warning shot soon enough!”

So it was that on a warm, hazy day in central Iraq, the fog of war descended on Bravo Company.

Fifteen Iraqi civilians were packed inside the Toyota, officers said, along with as many of their possessions as the jammed vehicle could hold. Ten of them, including five children who appeared to be under 5 years old, were killed on the spot when the high-explosive rounds slammed into their target, Johnson’s company reported. Of the five others, one man was so severely injured that medics said he was not expected to live.’ https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/2003/04/01/a-gruesome-scene-on-highway-9/a361a417-6170-42b2-bf13-243636863193/

What makes this illustrative is that the Post reported on the Pentagon’s accounting of what happened, though of course the Pentagon was unaware that an actual reporter saw what happened – lying about the reality of combat is as normal as dead children, after all. ‘In Washington, the Pentagon issued a statement saying the vehicle was fired on after the driver ignored shouted orders and warning shots. The shooting, it said, is under investigation. According to the Pentagon account, the vehicle was a van carrying 13 women and children. Seven were killed, two were injured and four were unharmed, it said, without mentioning any men.’

And it is easy to replace the nationality – combat is not about such things. Which is why we rarely talk about what combat actually entails, especially on the part of those who do the killing – it is barbaric brutality, or organized murder, depending on your personal perspective.

David Drake is actually a fairly good writer in this regard – of course Hammer’s Slammer is military SF, but he is not making up the reality of what happens in modern combat operations. Like the essentially trivial incident above, which was only reported on because a reporter witnessed it happen. But this is not a fictional description – ‘”It was the most horrible thing I’ve ever seen, and I hope I never see it again,” Sgt. Mario Manzano, 26, an Army medic with Bravo Company of the division’s 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, said later in an interview. He said one of the wounded women sat in the vehicle holding the mangled bodies of two of her children. “She didn’t want to get out of the car,” he said.’

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13 Dick the Butcher February 8, 2018 at 2:21 pm

I knew a number of WWII German Wehrmacht veterans when I served in West Germany in the early 1970’s. None was a Nazi, so they said. Mostly, nice guys. Another character had been a Hitler youth (his father a fighter ace killed in the war) and he wasn’t in the war. He used to say he couldn’t see how we Americans won. The veterans knew better.

Good of you to write on American war crimes around the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive when the NVA/VC liquidated thousands of South Vietnamese civilians (mayors, teachers, government workers, village chiefs) in the areas they overran.

I wasn’t in Iraq, too old at 53. Maybe it was a split-second decision on allowing the vehicle to close and detonate killing 20 or 30 twenty-year-old Americans?

FYI, there are several US service members doing 20 years hard-time at Leavenworth Prison for opening fire in similar situations in Afghanistan.

PS: You’ll be in Afgh. 17 years in November and those blood-thirsty bastards still don’t think we are serious. Because we are not.

14 Bob from Ohio February 8, 2018 at 2:38 pm

“No, I am American.”

Just with German envy.

Did you see that the Germans are selling equipment for use in chemical warfare in Syria? More things change.

“barreling toward an intersection”

What is the point of that long anecdote? Seems like the US officer made the right call in the circumstances. The driver should not have been “barreling”.

15 Charbes A. February 8, 2018 at 2:39 pm

“17 years in November and those blood-thirsty bastards still don’t think we are serious. Because we are not.”
To their credit they and their counterparts took the Soviets and, in Nicaragua, the Sandinists very seriously. It didn’t stop the American-funded terrorism, though. We are fighting in Afghanistan the ones we used to support.

16 Bob from Ohio February 8, 2018 at 2:42 pm

“Good of you to write on American war crimes around the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive when the NVA/VC liquidated thousands of South Vietnamese civilians (mayors, teachers, government workers, village chiefs) in the areas they overran.”

Once they overran South Vietnam, they murdered hundreds of thousands and made millions refugees too.

If the Viet Cong were hiding in villages, they were the ones committing the war crimes in any event.

17 Careless February 8, 2018 at 11:23 pm

Ray Lopez has been in comment threads with PA for what, at least 6 years now, and probably longer, and didn’t know that he’s a self-hating American/German-wannabe?

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18 Ray Lopez February 9, 2018 at 12:36 am

@Careless – I could care less, but I thought “clockwork*” or “Dearime” were Germans, or at least posting from Germany. His status just went down. 🙂 If you’re not an international man of travel like I am, and in the 1% and/or brilliant (or both, like me), I demote you in my mind a notch. I have nothing against local yokals, with their narrow minds and snap judgments (sometimes they are even right), I just pigeon hole them in another cubbyhole.

19 Jeff R February 8, 2018 at 12:28 pm

The best bet, I think, is that many people listened to the recorded voice of the guy going “Ow, that hurts” after he was supposedly shocked and weren’t convinced it was real, weren’t convinced he was actually in any pain, etc. At least that’s what I thought when I heard a recording of one of those experiments (not sure it was the original) played on the radio one time. It just sounded like some guy reading a script.

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20 Joël February 8, 2018 at 12:40 pm

Maybe, but then why the analysis of the interviews doesn’t show anyone saying “well, I knew it was all theater” or something like it? As JFA notes, what many said was pretty different, rather “if the guy tells me to do it, it can’t be that bad”, which is completely different, and it seems to me completely compatible with the standard interpretation of the Milgram experiment. 4 is a very unconvincing study, in my opinion.

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21 mkt42 February 8, 2018 at 5:43 pm

Yup, the headline saying they “realized the experiments were not really dangerous” is wildly jumping to conclusions based on a small number of weak statements by the subjects. E.g. quotes like this “If it was that serious you woulda stopped me” is not the same as saying “I thought he was faking”. Instead it’s what someone would say to themself if they were trying to self-justify harming someone.

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22 Jeff R February 8, 2018 at 9:12 pm

True. Maybe I was over extrapolating.

23 aMichael February 8, 2018 at 12:50 pm

Agreed. Milgram overstates his findings, and then these guys try to one up him with their overstatement. Their findings do not mean what the headlines says they do.

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24 Charbes A. February 8, 2018 at 12:09 pm

While we discuss rockstars and recess, the West sinks into anomie, despair and foreign domination!! Are we entertained already?!

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25 Steve-O February 8, 2018 at 12:10 pm

#4 – I participated in a psychology experiment as an undergrad and sniffed out the ruse immediately, at something like 95% confidence. Basically, they sat you around a conference table waiting for the experimenters to enter, when the one chatty participant who looked 5 years older volunteered that he’d done this experiment before and it was a quick, easy 20 minutes.

Then the experimenters entered, said he looked familiar, said that it was important to the integrity of the results that no one re-take the experiment, and and asked him if he’d been there before. He said, ‘”no.” Then they pulled everyone into a room individually and asked a couple questions related to their pretextual research. That researcher asked you if you’d been there before.

Then they gathered everyone back together and explained that the experiment was really to see if you’d tell either in front of the group or individually. I’m not sure if it would have made a difference to my reaction had I been 100% sure it was a setup or if I had no idea, but I don’t think you can assume that no one knew and then generalize.

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26 clockwork_prior February 8, 2018 at 12:12 pm

‘Did the participants realize that the Milgram experiments were not for real?’

Sounds like more neo-Marxists at work, to be honest.

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27 Guy Makiavelli February 8, 2018 at 12:20 pm

Re: #3 … Mandaic is spoken by 100-200 people.

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28 WC Varones February 8, 2018 at 12:21 pm

Cochrane is using P/D of 40 (dividend yield of 2.5%). The S&P 500 is yielding about 1.8%, and smaller stocks are yielding much less.

What the heck is wrong with that NYSE CRSP data?

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29 Larry Siegel February 9, 2018 at 5:39 am

I believe it includes buybacks (not 100% sure).

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30 Brian Donohue February 8, 2018 at 12:25 pm

#3b is excellent. Hilarious elbow to head here: “There are also little blips like the Krugman election panic of November 2016. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)” Heh.

But using dividends rather than fully-diluted earnings seems really dumb to me. So many large companies pay little or no dividends.

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31 Ray Lopez February 8, 2018 at 12:32 pm

The Dividend Discount model is Finance 101 and works to explain the market, long-term, if the dividend giving companies are representative of the entire market, which they are to a degree (and actually other studies show that companies that give dividends are usually the ‘aristocrats’ of the stock market, and better than most other companies).

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32 Brian Donohue February 8, 2018 at 12:50 pm

No shit Ray. Dividend policies change over time, and different companies have different dividend policies. Growth companies typically don’t pay out dividends, but mature companies do. All the fuzzy language you use in your comment are reasons why earnings are a better metric than dividends.

Still, it was an excellent column. You should read it. You might actually learn something.

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33 y81 February 8, 2018 at 12:40 pm

3a. Interesting, but the interviewee is rather portentous. What do we have to learn from small tribes of hunter-gatherers, or their language, that will actually be interesting to anyone other than a handful of anthropologists and linguists, or important to anyone?

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34 Charbes A. February 8, 2018 at 1:47 pm

In a certain way, it changes everyrhing!

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35 IVV February 8, 2018 at 1:54 pm

It makes for a good news magazine piece.

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36 Niroscience February 8, 2018 at 12:45 pm

6) is the most amazing thing ever.

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37 Jay February 8, 2018 at 12:46 pm

Democrats are supposed to be “pro-choice”, right?

https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2017/s100/amendment/a

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38 Charbes A. February 8, 2018 at 1:46 pm

The point is, children should not drink detergents. They are not designed to be drunk an they are not good for human health. I think an anti-detergent drinking law is an adequate use of the Commerce Clause.

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39 Jay February 8, 2018 at 2:27 pm

Over 5 years 8 people have died from ingesting laundry pods. We need similar legislation for more deadly products – i.e. anything that has killed more than 1.6 people per year. That is going to be a lot of legislation to be drafting.

https://www.nbcnews.com/business/consumer/laundry-pods-can-be-fatal-adults-dementia-n773366

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40 Jay February 8, 2018 at 2:38 pm

I just thought of where we need to start. Alcohol kills far more people every year than Tide pods. Maybe our Democratic overlords will draft legislation imposing alcohol manufacturers reduce alcohol content to the point that no human could consume enough to die of alcohol poisoning. All alcohol lass than 0.5 proof should do the trick.

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41 Charbes A. February 8, 2018 at 2:42 pm

It is completely different. Alcohol is a controlled good. And no one drinks alcohol mistakenly.

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42 JFA February 8, 2018 at 2:54 pm

Or it’s not really that big of a problem (it’s just a viral topic that politicians must be seen doing something about). Bear in mind this is about detergent “packets”. Here’s a thought: maybe parents should just put the detergent in cabinets with child locks… problem solved (if you’re main concern is kids). Also bearing in mind the imitative nature of kids, you don’t think you should put child proof tops on alcohol just in case a child wants to take a swig of the drink she sees her parents drinking, but you think child proofing detergent packets that the child never sees her parents consuming would lead to a bigger benefit?

43 Charbes A. February 8, 2018 at 3:38 pm

I have never heard of a child (as opposed to a teenager) drinking their parents’ alcohol. (It is an academic issue anyway because I am for a total ban of alcoholic beverages except for dully certified religious or medical uses.) Kids are, however, universally known to pry into cleaning stuff.

44 Jay February 8, 2018 at 4:29 pm

The media are corporate wh0r3s, just like banks. They don’t report on what is important, they report on what makes them more advertising revenue. Tide Pod crises = Fake News.

45 msgkings February 8, 2018 at 5:02 pm

The media are profit-making capitalist corporations just like everybody else. They report what sells. What are you some kind of commie?

46 Jay February 8, 2018 at 5:44 pm

@msgkings: We have legislators that are deciding what legislation to write based on the faulty assumption that the media is the proper source for all things plaguing America. I find it best that media is run by profit-seeking businesses, but it is a sham every time the media has their Jamie Dimon moment and goes off about how they are “doing God’s work”.

47 Mark Thorson February 8, 2018 at 7:15 pm

You people obviously do not believe in Darwinian natural selection. It improves the stock. If I used youtube, you’d be able to see my Drano challenge. If you can’t eat a whole can, you’re a wimp.

48 Charbes A. February 8, 2018 at 8:54 pm

So that is what we became: Sparta. Killing our children if they don’t conform entirely to our standards. Rome. Regimenting our people and preparing it for total war. Those who are about to die (our children!!) salute you.

49 edgar February 8, 2018 at 12:56 pm

1. Only possible in jurisdictions with rational tort law systems: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2652&context=fss_papers

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50 rayward February 8, 2018 at 3:46 pm

3.b. You pick your years and you pick your data, and voila. 1929 was a great year for investors. If they celebrated my birthday (I’m a Libra) by cashing in and getting out. Charts are to a clever economist what the healed cripple was to Oral Roberts. Amen, Brothers and Sisters!

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51 msgkings February 8, 2018 at 5:03 pm

Don’t post drunk, rayward.

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52 A voice for impartiality February 8, 2018 at 4:11 pm

#6
“Yeah, but I don’t know much beyond Jorge Ben and Gilberto Gil.
Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso are the kings! You know, I visit the favelas every year.”

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53 mkt42 February 8, 2018 at 5:58 pm

2b is cool but for the past couple of years I’ve been reading at least an article a month about using wood to build high-rise buildings. Usually these articles talk about cross-laminated timber, although this one says that something called mass timber is the key.
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/12/timber-land/544146/

Portland’s about to have an 11-story wood building near its downtown.

The article in 2b does seem to be talking about an even more high-tech way of processing wood, something that goes beyond mass timber (whatever that is) and cross-laminated timber (every description of cross-laminated timber that I’ve read sounds just like the procedure for making plywood, so these other articles are also falling short in not showing how their process or product is different from existing ones). 2b says that in addition to heat and pressure, they’re adding chemicals that other processes don’t use, sodium hydroxide and sodium sulfite.

What is cool about article 2b is the way they bring optimization into the research, something that economists would recognize. A self-supporting plant wants to maximize E per rho-squared, whereas if you’re building a structure that needs to support payload you’re focusing on E per rho.

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54 Glengarry Glen Ross Glendinning February 8, 2018 at 6:46 pm

#6. Amazing. Large ego that is well-deserved. Worth seeking out youtube links to watch the recording of the backing vocals for ‘State of Independence’ (mentioned in the interview). Apparently Q could just call Dionne Warwick, MJ, Richie, Cross and Loggins in just to do some backing vocals.

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55 Larry Siegel February 10, 2018 at 2:24 pm

I’m not sure anyone deserves an ego that large. But the interview was fascinating.

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56 GHQ February 8, 2018 at 7:21 pm

Excellent interview with the excellent Quincy. Jones.

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57 Christine February 8, 2018 at 8:10 pm

Kids playing without rules is a “thing.” This is truly the saddest thing I have read in a long time.

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58 Impolitic February 9, 2018 at 12:04 am

#4: If the claims about doubting harm given in the debrief had been plausible even to the participants, why would they have felt the need to subsequently create the “post-hoc justification” about furthering science? Most likely, in the debrief they realized they had done wrong and reached for the easiest explanation that would make them look moral, even though it was flatly contradicted by their words during the experiment.

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59 Roger Sweeny February 9, 2018 at 2:53 pm

I’m confused about the chronology here. The article says the new findings come from “the interviews that many of the participants gave immediately after taking part in the now infamous research.” Were these interviews before the “debriefing”? If so, it’s certainly possible that in the interviews they gave their immediate reactions, but in the later mailed responses gave the “’post-hoc justification’ about furthering science.”

The same would be possible if the interview and debriefing were the same but the first part was open-ended and only later were they given the talk about how they had furthered science.

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60 peri February 9, 2018 at 5:49 pm

#3: What a thrill for the linguists, a hitherto-unknown language. I like that they have a thousand words for sharing, none for property; but like Lucy (“All I want is my fair share. All I want is what I have coming to me.”) I think I’d be grasping and materialistic in any tongue.

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61 peri February 9, 2018 at 10:59 pm

Also I feel cheated that they dangled the story of the leech.

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