1. Dr Dre ($620m)
2. Beyoncé ($115m)
3. The Eagles ($100m)
4. Bon Jovi ($82m)
5. Bruce Springsteen ($81m)
6. Justin Bieber ($80m)
7. One Direction ($75m)
8. Paul McCartney ($71m)
9. Calvin Harris ($66m)
10. Toby Keith ($65m)
11. Taylor Swift ($64m)
There is more here. Dre did so well from selling a music company, and it is the largest single year windfall in music history, or so we are told.
Morgan Housel of the Motley Fool has a list of 122 Things Everyone Should Know About Investing And The Economy. Many are variations on a theme but here are a few I liked:
- Investors want to believe in someone. Forecasters want to earn a living. One of those groups is going to be disappointed. I think you know which.
- There were 272 automobile companies in 1909. Through consolidation and failure, three emerged on top, two of which went bankrupt. Spotting a promising trend and a winning investment are two different things.
- I once asked Daniel Kahneman about a key to making better decisions. “You should talk to people who disagree with you and you should talk to people who are not in the same emotional situation you are,” he said. Try this before making your next investment decision.
- For many, a house is a large liability masquerading as a safe asset.
- “Success is a lousy teacher,” Bill Gates once said. “It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”
“Something out there is killing everything, and you’re probably next.”
You can view the talk here. It is called “The Great Filter.”
You can file this one under “Questions that are rarely asked.” The authors are Bauman, Gale, and Milton and the subtitle is Cross sectional study of political affiliation and physical activity. It seems, in fact, that the armchair socialists are up out of their chairs:
Objective To examine the validity of the concept of left wing “armchair socialists” and whether they sit more and move less than their right wing and centrist counterparts.
Design Secondary analysis of Eurobarometer data from 32 European countries.
Setting The study emanated from the authors’ sit-stand desks (rather than from their armchairs).
Participants Total of 29 193 European adults, of whom 1985 were left wing, 1902 right wing, 17 657 political centrists, and 7649 politically uncommitted.
Main outcome measures Self-reported political affiliation, physical activity, and total daily sitting time.
Methods Linear models were used to examine the relation between physical activity, sitting time, and reported political affiliation.
Results The findings refute the existence of an “armchair socialist”; people at the extremes of both ends of the political spectrum were more physically active, with the right wing reporting 62.2 more weekly minutes of physical activity (95% confidence interval 23.9 to 100.5), and the left wing 57.8 more minutes (20.6 to 95.1) than those in the political centre. People with right wing political affiliations reported 12.8 minutes less time sitting a day (3.8 to 21.9) than the centrists. It is those sitting in the middle (politically) that are moving less, and possibly sitting more, both on the fence and elsewhere, making them a defined at-risk group.
Conclusions There is little evidence to support the notion of armchair socialists, as they are more active than the mainstream in the political centre. Encouraging centrists to adopt stronger political views may be an innovative approach to increasing their physical activity, potentially benefiting population health.
The full paper is here, and for the pointer I thank Michelle Dawson.
Call me strange, but if I were casting for the character of Moses, I would not have selected Christian Bale. He looks like an Idaho mountain man throughout. This film manages to take from the Jews the one thing the Egyptians did not, namely their Judaism; the word “Hebrews” is muttered occasionally but the rest is swept under the carpet in favor of periodic Christian references. The emotional tenor of Moses’ self-confidence is closer to the Koran than the Torah. The movie itself offers gnosticism, namely that the ten-year old boy with a British accent is not God but rather a messenger or perhaps the demiurge, don’t forget the subtitle of the movie or Scott’s own comments in interviews. Embedded in the narrative are visual references to the Holocaust, a critique of the military policies of the state of Israel, and a slam on Western (American?) bombing and firebombing techniques and the killing of children. The city, visuals, water scenes, and sense of scale are spectacular and worth the price of admission. María Valverde is beautiful as Zipporah. But to enjoy it — which I did — you must go expecting dreck because that is what you get.
Collecting, [Howard] Hodgkin insists, is a form of shopping. But it also takes on its own life. Once the ‘design’ of the collection has formed in the collector’s mind, according to Hodgkin, then things have to be bought out of ‘necessity as well as passion.’ That, he believes, is the most dangerous, but also the most creative, phase of collecting, involving the head as well as the heart and other ‘lower organs.”
That is from the new and notable Rendez-Vous with Art, by Philippe de Montebello and Martin Gayford. The book is an ongoing dialogue between the two men about classical, Renaissance, and 17th century art, centered around specific pictures they are viewing together, recommended, in this genre it is difficult to execute such a book well but they pull it off.
I loved this book, which is written by a neurosurgeon with a knowledge of behavioral economics (he even has designed a talk “All My Worst Mistakes,” based on Daniel Kahneman’s work). The subtitle is Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery and the author is Henry Marsh. Here is one bit:
…as the brain has the consistency of jelly a sucker is the brain surgeon’s principal tool.
Here is another:
All that really matters is that I am as sure as I can be that the decision to operate is correct and that no other surgeon can do the operation any better than I can. This is not as much of a problem for me now that I have been operating on brain tumours for many years, but it can be a moral dilemma for a younger surgeon. If they do not take on difficult cases, how will they ever get any better? But what if they have a colleague who is more experienced?
Few anaesthetists believe what surgeons tell them.
How about this one?:
‘There are operations where one really doesn’t know what’s going to happen,’ I muttered to Mike.
Highly recommended, it is already out in the UK, in the U.S. coming out in May 2015. It has made many best of the year lists in the UK. Here are some related videos.
David Keith, a climate scientist at Harvard University, and author of A Case for Climate Engineering, is interviewed at re/code.
There’s no question it reduces the global average temperatures; even the people who hate it agree you could reduce average global temperatures. The question is: How does it do on a regional basis?
By far the single most important thing to look at on a region-by-region basis is the impact on rainfall and temperature.
And the answer is, it works a lot better than I expected. It’s really stunning.
A lot of us thought that, in fact, geoengineering would do a lousy job on a regional basis — and there’s lots of talk on the inequalities — but in fact, when you actually look at the climate models, the results show they’re strikingly even.
Now, it’s not perfect and there are some things it won’t do. Turning down the sun does nothing for ocean acidification.
But it looks like it can cut, like, 80 percent of the total variation in climate, which is really stunning.
In some ways we should be singing it from the rooftops. But the scientific community is so painfully scared of talking about it. These papers come out, and people find the best ways to say, well, it sort of works, but it’s really awful.
The fact is, people really appear to have found a way to significantly reduce the climate risk — by more than half, which is a big deal.
Hat tip: Mark Frazier.
Large numbers of doctors who are listed as serving Medicaid patients are not available to treat them, federal investigators said in a new report.
“Half of providers could not offer appointments to enrollees,” the investigators said in the report, which will be issued on Tuesday.
Many of the doctors were not accepting new Medicaid patients or could not be found at their last known addresses, according to the report from the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services. The study raises questions about access to care for people gaining Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
That is from Robert Pear, there is more here. And about one-quarter of actual providers had wait times of over a month. Once again, it is the supply-side problems in American medicine which are paramount.
Timothy Taylor has a superb blog post on that topic, here is one choice passage out of many:
A final example looks at mental models that development experts have of the poor. What do development experts think that the poor believe, and how does it compare to what the poor actually believe? For example, development experts were asked if they thought individuals in low-income countries would agree with the statement: “What happens to me in the future mostly depends on me.” The development experts thought that maybe 20% of the poorest third would agree with this statement, but about 80% actually did. In fact, the share of those agreeing with the statement in the bottom third of the income distribution was much the same as for the upper two-thirds–and higher than the answer the development experts gave for themselves!
Do read the whole thing, which offers many points of interest. By the way, here is a good blog post on a first visit to Haiti.
Many economists like to dump on their fellow social scientists, and personally I find that reading anthropology is often quite uninspiring. That said, I would like to say a small bit on the superiority of anthropologists. I view the “products” of anthropology as the experiences, world views, and conversations of the anthropologists themselves. Those products translate poorly into the medium of print, and so from a distance the anthropologists appear to be inferior and lackluster (I wonder to what extent the anthropologists realize this themselves?).
Yet anthropologists have some of the most profound understandings of the human condition. They have witnessed, absorbed, and processed some of the most interesting data, especially those anthropologists who do fieldwork of the traditional kind.
The rest of us are simply (usually) too blind to see this. It even can be argued that anthropology is the queen and most general of the social sciences, and that economics, as a social science, is simply playing around in one of the larger anthropologically-motivated sandboxes, namely the economy.
We so often confuse “what can be translated into print well” with “what is important and interesting.” In classical music there have been performers, such as Jorge Bolet, who are incredible but whose genius didn’t translate well in the recording studio. That does mean anthropology is very often not a highly leveraged means of status and influence.
I believe that travel — when done intelligently — is the most fundamental method of learning. And yet most travel books are a crashing bore. Don’t confuse what you — as an outsider — can consume well with what is good and important from an inside perspective.