Assorted links

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#1) Looks like I've got a few more desktop background photos.

#2) Looks like I have a few more desktop background photos too.

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Or pictures of not quite yet depreciated capital, military-industrial style - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1253068/Massive-22billion-air-force-scrap-yard-revealed-high-resolution-Google-Earth.html

And yes, a Daily Mail link should certainly appeal to a certain segment of commenters here - it isn't as if the Daily Mail is going to tax its readers with lots of text or facts.

That's a nice picture of the Boneyard, but the author displays some ignorance. Particularly the comment: "On the left are B-52 bombers, which were built to carry nuclear weapons. They have been chopped up for scrap"

Those B-52's were not "chopped up for scrap". They were chopped up as an obligation of the SALT treaties. The treaty required both the US and Russia (the Soviet Union originally) to destroy nuclear capable bombers in a way that the destruction was highly visible from space and obviously irreparable.

Which is the reason the "scrapped" planes are still sitting there, sitting beside other intact but scavenged for parts B-52's.

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#7) It sounds like the author is halfway arguing for only having the Defense portions of the sequester. Surely he's got to realize how politically silly that position is.

" My strong preference would be to restore the payroll tax cut, even to cut rates by more and possibly link the rate to unemployment. (To satisy those worried about Social Security's finances you could set the stabilisation path such that the full-employment payroll-tax rate is higher than the current rate.) "

And this part is again ridiculous. You could certainly get the politicians to vote for cutting taxes. However, when time came to raise rates above there current level sometime in the future there would be a massive outcry and it would never happen.

This whole post seems a text book response to a real world problem. It ignores all the political friction in the real world.

"The difference in theory and practice is that in theory there isn't a difference, but in practice there is."

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#1: location shots for Andrei Tarkovsky.

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Thank you for link #3, Tyler.

I love Italian culture and their driving culture in particular. The chaos is beautiful!

Notice how low key their cops are too. No one even got tazed or shot.

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The video is a fake.

When the random motorcycle gang and religious ceremony showed up, on this nondescript side street, I thought someone might be getting punk'd.

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Some things are true even when they're faked.

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The photos are beautiful, but the color in many (maybe all) has clearly been enhanced with photoshop. I suppose I understand that, but it's annoying in a way. For one thing, we know less about what those places look like than we otherwise would have. At the least, I wish people would be easier on the color enhancement.

Not only that, but they are improperly resized on that site, which makes them look like pixelated garbage. And no credit is given to any photographer, and (based solely on comments) it looks like many of the captions are false or misleading. I realize I'm complaining about a free service that I voluntarily read, but my goodness, why is TC linking to this crap? It's like something you'd get e-mail forwarded by your uncle.

Look, sonny, I was under the impression you liked my emails...

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One of the photos is by Andrew Moore; the book of his exhibition Detroit Disassembled is a magnificent collection of such things from one city. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_2_12?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=andrew+moore+detroit+disassembled&sprefix=andrew+moore%2Caps%2C223

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I thought this was an interesting theory:

http://unsafeharbour.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/comments-on-pinkers-history-of-violence/

Ferguson presents a picture of initially low-level of violence (relatively), and then, in the last 10,000 years war emerges and violence intensifies – then, with colonialism there is a dramatic dislocation of culture which in many cases increased violence, for a time, before pacification. Where Pinker has a point is that, despite increasing ‘warfare’ that went along with state development, there seems to have been a drop in actual interpersonal violence. Take the study of thousands of skeletons from North & South America over the last several thousand years. They found a 13.4% violent trauma rate among hunter-gatherers, and a 2.7% rate among pre-Columbian city and village dwellers. They also found an increase of violent trauma in the colonial period, which supports Ferguson’s thesis (the highest rates of violent trauma were actually found on black males, 25-34, at rates of 18.53%). However, and this is important, the 13.4% hunter-gatherer rate is within a relatively recent past (6,000 years), and can’t be extrapolated far beyond that. In fact, data from North and South America from the earliest periods supports the hypothesis that violence was not originally nearly as high. For example, in the Great Plains region, of 173 individuals from all periods up through Woodland, there was only 1 with signs of violence, whereas after 500 AD, 74 of 447 skeletons show signs of violence.

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4. Discussion of Super Bowl lighting contingencies.

The author has a very interesting (to me) background
http://www.mvdirona.com/jrh/Resume/
gear head and code warrior

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RE 3 - Hard to believe how far the Romans have devolved.

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#5- the critic blasts Diamond's "Hobbes Thesis" that you need government to stop violence, resonates nicely with me: " Diamond then portrays non-state societies as generally more violent than state societies, and believes that “the long-term effect of European, Tswana, or other outside contact with states or chiefdoms has almost always been to suppress tribal warfare. ""

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#7. "America is suffering from an excess of saving." That's an odd way of looking at the status quo. Perhaps an excess of de-leveraging but it's not like our problem is that people are socking money into bank accounts instead of saving.

"Goodness knows America has plenty of opportunities to spend on public investment that will generate a positive return." Really? I mean really? Maybe in the abstract it does but in the real world all of the good ideas turn out to either not work out the way we think or take 20 years to return anything.

More generally I'm disappointed by idea of cutting the military. Maybe it makes sense. Maybe we spend too much. But it's not where the budget problems are, it's just a lot of money. They should divide the budget into 2 categories. Parts that are growing faster then GDP and parts that aren't. Start cutting at the fastest growing areas and then work your way down.

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Further to #5: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21363894

No steel axes were used, apparently. (If Jared Diamond practices sorcery in his spare time, I advise he avoid PNG.)

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Re #6:

"Except for two or three older writers, all modern literature seems to me not literature but some sort of handicraft, which exists only so as to be encouraged, though one is reluctant to use its products."

Placed in the mouth of Nikolai Stepanovich So-and-so, narrator of "A Boring Story," by Chekhov in 1889. Whether Chekhov agreed with him would be an interesting question.

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