Assorted links

Comments

Again, the idea certainly sounds likely to me, but I wish one of the GMU bunch would comment on Peter Doman's criticism of the Viscusi conclusion on compensation for workplace risk.

1. Mainstream cultural commentary is not permitted to lower the status of women. Thus the "good" essay misses a lot of the subtext of *Girls* which is not flattering towards the effects of (profited white liberal) female agency. That's the price of having cultural norms in the mainstream press that are uncorrelated with reality.

TCCC thought the essay was good because he is, at heart, a beta male pedestalizer of women. the show itself, btw, is pretty good for the fact that it at least engages with the phenomenon of female hypergamy and love for aloof assholes. it's been hinted by non-mainstream cultural commentators (read: more insightful commentators) that dunham probably cribs game blogs for a lot of her ideas.

"it’s been hinted by non-mainstream cultural commentators (read: more insightful commentators) that dunham probably cribs game blogs for a lot of her ideas."

Wait, what's this? "Game bloggers" being narcissistic and having an over-inflated sense of self-worth? Who would have guessed.

Believe it or not, women and many men have known for a long time that many women, young women especially, are attracted to a certain breed of asshole in certain circumstances. It's only really news to bitter, bigoted, losers with delusions of casanova (aka "game bloggers")

I don't read game blogs more than one or twice a year, but I'm pretty sure they'd tell you it wasn't new for them, and they're just revealing old wisdom that many men never learned.

I think David Brooks has a strange view of history. He writes as if the industrialists of yore, with their "self-conscious leadership ethos" contained a noblesse oblige lacking in today's leaders and thus, they lack the trust of the public like titans of industry in the past. I wasn't around back then, but these are the people that were known as the "Robber Barons," the ones often talked about with phrases like, "Behind every great fortune is a great crime." These were the leaders that people like Marx wrote against, and not to just a loony few on the left, but to masses that actually rose up and rebelled (although, not against the industrialists that Marx intended).

Don't take the above to mean that I sympathize with Marxism, I don't. My point is rather that it doesn't take much effort to find evidence of distrust of the business elite and bankers in the past. If anything, the anti-capitalist populist movements of the past were larger, more passionate, and more filled with disdain than what we see today. This was the day of Tammany Hall. The powerful were corrupt and everyone new it. It's like the guy never read a Dickens novel in his life.

As Balzac wrote, "The secret of great fortunes without apparent cause is a crime forgotten, for it was properly done." If the modern elites "stink," it's probably more so that they "stink" at doing such crimes properly, and keeping them secret. I don't quite share Brook's opinion that this is something that we, as a society, should lament.

there was no revolution till 1917 does not imply that feudal Russia was a good place for toiling peasants. i am looking forward to seeing the 'second American revolution'.

Why can't we return to the good ole days?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coeur_d%27Alene,_Idaho_labor_confrontation_of_1899
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Steunenberg

Oh, yeah, the good ole days sucked, that’s why.

Brooks writes, "The system is more just, but the outcomes are mixed. The meritocracy has not fulfilled its promise."

I thought that meritocracy --- where rewards are commensurate with merit --- was the promise.

Amnesia results are always new for amnesiacs.

Re: Brooks' comments on the Protestant elite that has run the country, more or less, for the last hundred years.

Relax. It could be much worse. Imagine if we were run by a Catholic elite. (I'm not being entirely facetious. Look up econ. indicators for areas colonized and administered by Protestants vs. Catholics.)

Trying not to take your point too seriously, but: surely there are other factors that may dominate? Austria, Spain, and Ireland all have predominantly Catholic backgrounds, and they seem to have followed very different political and economic paths since 1945.

Also: "Imagine if we were run by a Catholic elite."

Current U.S. Supreme Court: 6 Catholics, 3 Jews. Just saying. :-)

I do not think the OSHA data shows what you think it does.

It shows that from 1933 to 1970, or 37 years, fatalities fell from 37 to 18, or 48%.

And from 1970 to 1992, or 22 years, fatalities fell from 18 to 12 or 44%.

So, after 1970 the rate of decline in fatalities was almost double the pre-1970 rate.

Clearly, if the chart had been properly done on a log scale it would be obvious that the slope of the line was much steeper after 1970 than before 1970.

This

Tying this in with the Great Stagnation hypothesis, to the extent there have been gains in the past forty or so years, they've been eaten up by non-monetary quality of life improvements. Rather than Spain's 1999 + Facebook, many of us are instead getting 1970 + Facebook.

Good point. The poster seems to be saying government has zero impact. And yet libertarians usually say government has a lot of (negative) impact. Which is it?

Whether or not the chart shows OSHA was effective, it doesn't say anything about costs. Which would presumably show up in taxes needed to run OSHA, direct costs of implementing regulations, poor business decisions made to satisfy or avoid the regulator, lower pay for the workers who'd rather cash than safety, and long-run fewer jobs and less growth because the business is less viable.

So that would be the negative impact. But you can't see that in the chart.

I do agree that Spencer has a point, though there are confounds (like everyone involved was a lot richer in the second time period). But the original chart is not making a strong point. It isn't at all obvious what shape that curve should be.

"The poster seems to be saying government has zero impact. And yet libertarians usually say government has a lot of (negative) impact. Which is it?"

Let me explain. Gravity has a lot of negative force, but zero impact.

The ground has impact.

I agree the log scale would be more reasonable, but I would also point out that 12/18 - 1 = -33%, not -44%. The compound annual growth rate for these two is 2.0% for 1933-1970 and 1.9% for 1970-1992. Essentially no difference.

Of course, there's little one can conclude from that data alone.

You are right that 18 to 12 is -33%

But I made a mistake in entering the data in the comments section.
The correct end point is 8 not 12 and the drop from 18 to 8 is 44% as I stated..

So the slope of the post 1970 period is significantly steeper than the 1.9% you calculated.

Actually, I think the linear scale is correct since these numbers are already percentages (deaths per 100k workers). Total workers (100k) is the correct denominator, not start-of-period deaths. Otherwise, if the fatalities were to drop from 1 to 0, you would say, "Wow, the death rate dropped by 100%!" On the other hand, the survival rate would have only improved by 1/99,999 = 0.001%. So, there would have been a tremendous improvement in preventing deaths but only a negligible improvement in saving lives?

A drop from 1 to 0 is actually the same as a drop from 37 to 36 --- a drop of 1 death per 100k workers. For example, in either case, if you were a worker, the probability that you would die on the job decreased by 1/100k = 10^(-5), same as the increase in probability that you would not die.

So, from 1933-1969, deaths per 100k workers dropped by, and survival per 100k workers increased by, about 0.53/yr. From 1969-1993, deaths per 100k workers dropped by 0.42/yr.

As Finch points out, though, we haven't included any information about costs. Presumably, as the number of deaths decreases, or the number of survivals increase, it becomes increasingly difficult/costly to prevent each additional death, or enable each additional survival. So, we don't really know whether OSHA improved things relative to where they would have been without OSHA.

Why would log be "proper"?

The appropriate scales of the axes used depends on the proposed mechanism of interaction of the variables, yes?

Also, if you do a year-by-year comparison of the rates on any axes scale you want, do you get a STEP CHANGE around the implementation of OSHA?

The lack of a break in the trend at the start of OSHA says that OSHA had little impact, especially per dollar spent. However, OSHA was not the only player worth considering. During the time period considered, the workforce was also more unionized than now, and there was a hodgepodge of local and state laws that governed safety. It is possible that, by standardizing rules across the US, the creation of OSHA was actually less socially expensive overall since the cost of running OSHA may have been less than having different workplace rules for each locale. If true, just one of the many ways that the state capitalism favored by the CrookedTimberGang favors large enterprises, which have greater principal-agent issues, which require more workplace rules, unions, and regulations to provide voice, which favor large organizations, lather, rinse, repeat.

This is exactly the same point that I've been wondering about. OSHA didn't drop into an unregulated market, but was often a codification of standards that already existed in many states. It would take a lot of work to isolate its effects (positive or negative) relative to what existed before.

I'm a bit unclear on the latter point you're making. You're sort of gesturing at some theoretical issues, but not at all explaining how they apply to OSHA.

Perhaps you haven't been following the back & forth between BHL, CT, and MR that led Tyler to link the OSHA chart in the first place?

The CTG favors regulation and unions, but these were originally created in response to a former set of conditions that came about because of an even earlier set of state interventions. See, for example, Chandler's The Visible Hand for some of those interventions, Williamson's description of the rise of unions in Institutions of Capitalism, Kolko's The Triumph of Conservatism for more interventions, and ironically Polanyi's The Great Transformation for the interplay between "existing conditions" and the interventions that led to those conditions.

The cost to comply with these regulations raises fixed costs which favors larger enterprises because of increasing returns to scale: if you must hire a clerk to comply with some rule, it's better if you share that cost over a larger business basis. So you go from an environment of Jacobs & Sons business in which everyone knows everyone and injustices are immediately apparent, to General McCorporation in which there are 12 levels of supervision between the owner (or the owner's representative) and the janitor so opportunities for supervisors to go rogue are rife because the geometric increase in principal-agent relationships means that nobody knows anybody. The CTG answer? More unionization to establish workplace rules to take the place of personal relationships, and more regulations enforced by an ever-expanding government. But the solution only reinforces the problem. Any wonder why the most unionized workforce is the public sector?

On "The Current State of 3D Printing": SLA technology has actually been around for a few decades. Yes, it is great that SLA is now cheap enough to be integrated into hobbyist-grade machines, but the *really* cool stuff in 3D printing is actually happening at the industrial/high-end of the market, where 3D printing is now becoming an impressive tool for rapid prototyping and even some limited direct manufacturing. Check out, for instance, Objet's Connex printers to see amazingly detailed protoypes built with polyjet technology, or EOS printers to see what laser sintering can REALLY do...

I'm more intrigued by the open-source CNC router community, though they are completely different niches.

My problem with the rapid prototyping is in the name. First, the rapid part is the production of the unit, not the design or programming. Second, it's mostly a prototyping technology. There are some things that can be made as useable parts, but that's not the core capability. So, it's an in-house prototyping technology for function testing mainly. The uses beyond that are science fiction, not that they won't happen, but it's more of a mood affiliation with futurism. If there was a technology that would allow the creation of marketable products you could then do market testing with small batches prior to mass production.

@6: "In a paradoxical twist, people with amnesia can get bogged down by too many memories. Unwanted, irrelevant information crowds in and prevents amnesiac patients from recognizing objects, scientists report in the July 12 Neuron."

So this means that good chess players--since good chess players have nearly photographic memories and can play at least one game blindfold--may have an increased risk of amnesia (I think it's been found that intellectuals do suffer from dementia like Alzheimer disease more frequently than average people).

"...since good chess players have nearly photographic memories..."

This actually isn't true. Their memories, when tested w/ psychometrics, aren't that unusual at all. It's the context and meaning of the chessboard and the pieces that, when combined with their exquisite exprertise of the game itself, allows them to remember everything.

One of Russ Robert's Econtalk guests made the point that computers don't play human chess. Making a computer model of human chess would be interesting.

See Fogel DB, Hays TJ, Hahn SL, and Quon J (2006) "The Blondie25 Chess Program Competes Against Fritz 8.0 and a Human Chess Master," Proceedings of 2006 IEEE Symposium on Computational Intelligence & Games, S. Louis and G. Kendall (eds.), IEEE, Reno, NV, pp. 230-235.

Can be downloaded from this page: http://www.natural-selection.com/publications_2006.html

Basic approach is to use evolutionary algorithms to evolve neural networks to play chess; Dr. Fogel did this some years earlier for a checkers program as well. Quite interesting, wish I had more time to investigate evolutionary algorithms for optimization problems.

Thanks for the link on Blondie25. I notice it uses traditional chess algorithms( "Moves are selected based on minimax with
alpha-beta pruning") but what is different is the evaluation function is based on not mechanical rules but position evaluation based on experience. Still, it's not exactly the same as what a human would do since it uses minimax with alpha-beta, which guarantees every move in the chess tree up to N moves (typically 3 to 5) will be evaluated. What I'd like to see is a true 'human playing' chess bot, where not all lines of the chess tree are evaluated, just 'the most obvious ones' --that would be impressive. Also it would allow such a program to play "GO", where the tree is too vast for minimax and alpha-beta.

It's been a while but I think Brooks got this one right. The problem with our 'elites' today has a lot more to do with culture than with anything else. However, one thing he failed to note is that this cultural problem is not exclusive to elites... the housing bubble is a clear example of that. The country has become so rich that now middle class Americans can trick themselves into believing that saving is not necessary. Or that a 500k mortgage is something they can afford. This lack of constraints with money has pretty much affected all economic classes and it is the source of much of our current trouble. We tend to note government debt and criticize it but private debt is as bad if not worse. Now, the left explanation that we are all fools and that lenders (i.e. banks) have magical corrupting powers that forced people into behaving like idiots is ridiculous. This is a cultural problem that needs to be addressed and one of the reasons why recessions are a necessary evil in my opinion.

1. Shorter Brooks: Elites suck because they aren't WASPs and because they're "hire[d] on the basis of youth and brains". Also, meritocracy is a secret conspiracy designed to oppress Protestants.

1. On the Brooks column
It’s a challenging argument but wrong. I’d say today’s meritocratic elites achieve and preserve their status not mainly by being corrupt but mainly by being ambitious and disciplined. They raise their kids in organized families. They spend enormous amounts of money and time on enrichment. They work much longer hours than people down the income scale, driving their kids to piano lessons and then taking part in conference calls from the waiting room.

If Democrats are right that marginal value of a dollar is so much lower for the rich than the relatively poor, is it possible that the rich work harder than the poor in school in study or on the job?

Not saying the Brooks is correct that elites to today are less moral, which I doubt, but if he is . Is it possible that all the testing and signaling of schools and the credentialing makes it more difficult for people to be pushed up for their superior moral character. To get into medical school today one has to be a great student and get close to all A's as an undergraduate to get in and perhaps a fear of accusation of discrimination would keep you from letting a B student in because they are a nice moral person.

The meritocracy determines its own membership, it defines what deserves merit. Why would "good grades" be an entree to meritocracy when they're pretty much subjectively awarded by present members of the meritocracy? Or individuals that think they are.

I'm usually not a fan of Brooks' pop sociology, but I think he might be right this time. It's not that elites today are less moral than previous elites--this is almost certainly not true. Robber Barons did all kinds of bad things. It's just that after having done those bad things earlier elites felt the need to give something back. I think overt selfishness is a much more acceptable social value today. I wonder whether the hegemonic status of economic thought--as opposed to, say religious, sociological, or historical thought--within today's public intellectual discourse is a cause or an effect of this.

That Brooks article is extremely stupid. Today's elite is much more effective, smarter, more efficient, and better in just about any way than yesterday's elite.

They're just facing more complicated problems and stronger competition. When he asks if anyone thinks today's government is better than 50 years ago, Jesus Christ, yes! All our failures prove is that outcomes depend on a shit ton of exogenous variables we have no control over. As Tyler's own Great Stagnation hypothesis states, there is a lot less low-lying fruit for us to take advantage of these days. Our government was nothing special in the late 1800s. It was terrible. It just had the luck of governing a nation experiencing rapid technological change that exponentially increased productivity. We went from horseback to trains in a matter of decades. We're not going from shipping by trucks to shipping by Star Trek transporters any time soon, and that isn't because our leaders are shittier. It's because the engineering problem is far more difficult. It's easier to go from shitty to good than from good to great, and easier to go from good to great than from great to elite, in any pursuit.

Heck, as a military officer, I guess I'm somewhat of a mid-level bureaucrat myself, and you know what? We're better than we were in the 40s. I know it's blasphemous to suggest, but our military today would destroy our military of WWII, even without the technological advantages. We're more professional and better-trained. We rehearse contingencies to death. At marksmanship, physical fitness, tactics, simultaneous employment of air and land assets, getting supplies to the right place at the right time, at pretty much anything, we're better. But we're still losing wars. Why? Because we're no longer in control of whether we win them or not. Our objective is no longer the destruction of another Army, which we're extremely good at. We dispatched the Iraqi Republican Guard twice in about a week each time, and it didn't take much longer to completely destroy the Taliban until it hid out in Pakistan and spent eight years reconstituting itself.

Our objective now is to install a government and help it gain the support and trust of a foreign population. Why can't we win that war? Because it isn't a military effort. We can't make Karzai a competent leader and we can't force the Afghans to elect someone else. With Generals Patton and MacArthur in charge, we still could not do this. General Lee could not do it. General Washington could not do it.

I'd be willing to bet any amount of money that the current US military would be crushed by the US military of 1945 if using only technology and equipment available in 1945. 16 million is much more than 1.2 million.

"Our objective now is to install a government and help it gain the support and trust of a foreign population. Why can’t we win that war? Because it isn’t a military effort."

I feel a little better about a standing army now. Just make sure everyone there knows this.

Elites stink but it's a higher rank.

David Brooks just bought a $4.5 million house. He knows about elites.

Excerpts from The Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce, written during the good old days when there was great faith in our National Elite:

"The Devil's Dictionary was begun in a weekly paper in 1881, and was continued in a desultory way at long intervals until 1906."

"CORPORATION, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility."

"CREDITOR, n. One of a tribe of savages dwelling beyond the Financial Straits and dreaded for their desolating incursions."

"DEBT, n. An ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slave-driver."

"DEPUTY, n. A male relative of an office-holder, or of his bondsman. The deputy is commonly a beautiful young man, with a red necktie and an intricate system of cobwebs extending from his nose to his desk. When accidentally struck by the janitor's broom, he gives off a cloud of dust."

"DIAGNOSIS, n. A physician's forecast of the disease by the patient's pulse and purse."

"DUTY, n. That which sternly impels us in the direction of profit, along the line of desire."

"EXECUTIVE, n. An officer of the Government, whose duty it is to enforce the wishes of the legislative power until such time as the judicial department shall be pleased to pronounce them invalid and of no effect."

"FINANCE, n. The art or science of managing revenues and resources for the best advantage of the manager. The pronunciation of this word with the i long and the accent on the first syllable is one of America's most precious discoveries and possessions."

"FOOL, n. A person who pervades the domain of intellectual speculation and diffuses himself through the channels of moral activity. He is omnific, omniform, omnipercipient, omniscient, omnipotent. He it was who invented letters, printing, the railroad, the steamboat, the telegraph, the platitude and the circle of the sciences. He created patriotism and taught the nations war—founded theology, philosophy, law, medicine and Chicago. He established monarchical and republican government. He is from everlasting to everlasting—such as creation's dawn beheld he fooleth now. In the morning of time he sang upon primitive hills, and in the noonday of existence headed the procession of being. His grandmotherly hand was warmly tucked-in the set sun of civilization, and in the twilight he prepares Man's evening meal of milk-and-morality and turns down the covers of the universal grave. And after the rest of us shall have retired for the night of eternal oblivion he will sit up to write a history of human civilization."

"HISTORY, n. An account mostly false, of events mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers mostly knaves, and soldiers mostly fools."

"INFLUENCE, n. In politics, a visionary quo given in exchange for a substantial quid."

"JUSTICE, n. A commodity which is a more or less adulterated condition the State sells to the citizen as a reward for his allegiance, taxes and personal service."

"LAWFUL, adj. Compatible with the will of a judge having jurisdiction."

"LAWYER, n. One skilled in circumvention of the law."

"LECTURER, n. One with his hand in your pocket, his tongue in your ear and his faith in your patience."

"LIAR, n. A lawyer with a roving commission."

"LIGHTHOUSE, n. A tall building on the seashore in which the government maintains a lamp and the friend of a politician."

"MAMMON, n. The god of the world's leading religion. The chief temple is in the holy city of New York."

"POLITICS, n. A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage."

"POLITICIAN, n. An eel in the fundamental mud upon which the superstructure of organized society is reared. When he wriggles he mistakes the agitation of his tail for the trembling of the edifice. As compared with the statesman, he suffers the disadvantage of being alive."

"POVERTY, n. A file provided for the teeth of the rats of reform. The number of plans for its abolition equals that of the reformers who suffer from it, plus that of the philosophers who know nothing about it. Its victims are distinguished by possession of all the virtues and by their faith in leaders seeking to conduct them into a prosperity where they believe these to be unknown."

"PRECEDENT, n. In Law, a previous decision, rule or practice which, in the absence of a definite statute, has whatever force and authority a Judge may choose to give it, thereby greatly simplifying his task of doing as he pleases. As there are precedents for everything, he has only to ignore those that make against his interest and accentuate those in the line of his desire. Invention of the precedent elevates the trial-at-law from the low estate of a fortuitous ordeal to the noble attitude of a dirigible arbitrament."

"PRESIDENCY, n. The greased pig in the field game of American politics."

"PRESIDENT, n. The leading figure in a small group of men of whom— and of whom only—it is positively known that immense numbers of their countrymen did not want any of them for President."

"RABBLE, n. In a republic, those who exercise a supreme authority tempered by fraudulent elections. The rabble is like the sacred Simurgh, of Arabian fable—omnipotent on condition that it do nothing. (The word is Aristocratese, and has no exact equivalent in our tongue, but means, as nearly as may be, "soaring swine.")"

"REPRESENTATIVE, n. In national politics, a member of the Lower House in this world, and without discernible hope of promotion in the next."

"SENATE, n. A body of elderly gentlemen charged with high duties and misdemeanors."

"WALL STREET, n. A symbol for sin for every devil to rebuke. That Wall Street is a den of thieves is a belief that serves every unsuccessful thief in place of a hope in Heaven."

1. What Brooks is talking about has a name. It is not a subtle sociological distinction that he just invented. It's called Noblesse Oblige. Noblesse Oblige was probably fake in the first place, and even if it was sort of real, the fact that we don't have a monarchist or capitalist aristocracy today that exercises it is not a real loss or painful tradeoff or problem to be corrected in any meaningful sense.

The New Yorker article argues that "Girls" is a show where these young women's relationships with men are secondary to their relationships with each other. I picked up on the complete opposite. Even the fight that is central to the OP's insight about Girls stems from a rift set in place by Hannah's relationship with Adam and Marnie's breakup with her boyfriend Charlie. The third Girl struggles with leading men on and she is mostly shown kind of stringing along the guy whose children she babysits. The fourth Girl strives all season to lose her virginity and finally does it. This show depicts its Girls as mere functions of the men in their lives. Their transitions from the beginning of the season to the end of the season are mostly a story of the developments of their romantic relationships.

I understand that girls might care about what some television producer think girls want to hear about what some girls might care about. I don't understand why I would care about it.

Since Tyler has linked to an old post about OSHA, I think I should make a few relevant points: (1) OSHA is rather poorly designed, in comparison with occ safety and health systems in other industrialized countries. Ontario (CA) is pretty good; so is Germany and the Nordics. Denmark, with its action plan system, is interesting. (2) On top of that, OSHA has been hobbled by insufficient funding, sclerotic rule-making, and open hostility on the part of its management toward its own mission during portions of its lifespan. (3) OSHA record-keeping (from which we get the BLS data on occ injuries) misses more than half of all cases that should be recorded. There is a substantial literature on this. (4) Occupational disease is a much bigger problem than injuries, but we have minimal data on it. The rule of thumb, which is loosely corroborated by the few studies that have tried to do this, is 10 fatal occ illnesses for every 1 fatal occ injury. (5) Occ safety and health time series are driven primarily by the composition of the labor force, the shift away from manufacturing and extractives. At the very least, one should control for this composition shift to get an idea of whether there may be progress on the OSH front, and to do international comparisons. (But the data still stink.) (6) There is a small but rigorous econometric literature that shows that inspections reduce injuries. For the most recent study, see http://www.sciencemag.org/content/336/6083/907. It's got a bit more substance than the page Tyler links to.

The rule of thumb, which is loosely corroborated by the few studies that have tried to do this, is 10 fatal occ illnesses for every 1 fatal occ injury.

That would have to be a very loosely corroborated thumb. How about some examples of fatal occ illnesses? How do you prove that a fatal illness was caused by the occupation of the fatality? For every ten iron workers that fall off a building or are smashed flat by dropped steel beams, one hundred die of . . . . alcoholism? Tertiary syphilis? Exploded hernias? Brain lesions from pondering their place in the universe?

"that a pop-culture product that focusses mostly on women and intimate, sometimes gruesome details of their lives, is still considered a provocation."

I'm pretty sure people are more insulted when men do it.

I don't know whether that article was a fair depiction of the state of 3D printers that people are likely to own, but if you want to commission your 3D printing, shapeways.com offers a phenomenal range of materials (a number of kinds of plastic, multi-colored sandstone, ceramic, sterling silver, bronze with stainless steel powder mixed in) and high levels of detail.

1. On Brooks suggestion:

An alternative -

http://infoproc.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/nice-guys-finish-last.html

"Careful observation suggests it's mostly sociopaths at the top ;-)

The negative correlation between agreeableness and earnings is also established here."

Assume sociopathy regresses to the mean much more among the offspring of elites than does IQ.

As far as I know, IQ has a higher heritability than personality traits.

A heritable elite, established by a smart generation with lots of personality traits aligned for personal success (ruthlessness, imperviousness to pain and suffering, persuasiveness, goal orientation), will retain its intelligence to a great extent, but lose the personality qualities that lead to personal success in favor of more typical personality traits, which I would guess are probably more associated with functioning within a group as an equal and furthering the group's ends, even if they are harmful to personal striving and ambition.

Thus superior elites, on balance. Heritable elites as dumber yes, but not so much as they are less sociopathic and more self sacrificing. Perhaps not as good as a meritocracy that recruits the intelligent, self sacrificing, practical, knowledgeable rather than educated, but more ideal than a meritocracy that promotes and recruits the intelligent, ambitious, legalistic and credentialed.

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