Excellent new blog (if that is what it is)


Note that the title, though not the site address, is THE ÜMLAUT.

Otherwise, they could have called it thenoumlaut.com, or a number of other things.


Well, anyway, I'M meta-rational.

But are you meta-meta-rational?

Why the spurious Umlaut over "Ümlaut"? It reminds me of nothing so much as bogus 'Scandinavian' ice-cream brands like Haägen-Dasz (aka Senator Frozen Products Company) and Frusen-Glädjé (just completely made up).

While I'm complaining about Umlauts, let me remind me that anyone eating "Müsli" is in fact gorging on small mice; the correct name of the Swiss-style breakfast cereal is "Müesli", with a diphthong as well as an Umlaut (Swiss German "Mus", mouse; diminuitive "Müsli". Swiss German "Mues" -- a dipthong u-e, not a rolled u --; diminutive "Müesli")

It's certainly amusing to note that -li dimutive ending in Swiss and southern German dialects, combined with the archaic word "Muus" for the modern German "Maus" implies that "Müsli" should mean "little mouse". But you go too far when you imply that any modern German speaker, even a modern Swiss German speaker, would actually make this connection. The vast majority of modern German speakers write the word "Müsli" and even those Swiss who write "Müesli" only think, "oh, German spelling convention" when they see "Müsli". You can find a section on this in the German wikipedia article on Müsli (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%c3%bcsli#M.C3.BCsli_und_M.C3.BCesli).

Well, the Swiss joghurt (yogurt, jogurt, yoghurt, etc.) Müesli in the fridge is written in proper Swiss German. However, the Kölln and Seitenbacher Müsli in the kitchen are written in the standard German style - Müsli. And yes, I live in what is considered to be southern Germany, and Seitenbacher, at least, is a southern German company. In Germany, Müesli is not the typical spelling, though it might be the correct one, from a technical perspective.

As the Swiss can attest, however, no one in Germany cares much about what the Swiss think about the German language - which is why in the last generation, the Swiss have begun to stop caring about what Germans think about how the Swiss use the German language. Generally, southern Germans can still, barely, understand spoken Schwyzerdeutsch - though less well than they can Dutch.


This trend started with the Oscar winning film, Das Bööt


I'll be adding this to my Google Reader. Oh, wait.....

Finally, a name has been found a name for people like me, and very few others: Meta-rational! Does have a nice ring to it. :-)

"Paul Krugman Is Brilliant, but Is He Meta-Rational?"

The smartest 2% of the population has a very difficult time getting along with the other 98%.

No - I have seen an inspirational video suggesting the real split is 53-47%

What's in a name? That which we call an Umlaut
By any other name would smell as George Mason-ly.

Undoubtedly, a certain aroma is associated with certain parts of the George Mason donor complex, but 30 seconds with whois didn't reveal much, except that The Ümlaut might be Canadian.

Which leads to the thought why would a Canadian care so much about American politics, which then leads to other thoughts about how easily Americans believe Canadians care deeply about American concerns, enough to set up sites dealing with American concerns. From a particular American perspective, as an added bonus.

And some people wonder how epistemic closure is maintained.

One hint is that all of the articles are by various George Mason grad students.

Well, in my day as a GMU student in the depths of the Reagan era, we wouldn't have written anything for free - unless it was for our direct benefiit. And no, a link doesn't count as direct benefit.

But then, those were different, and much less naive, times.

Tyler, come on. The lead article might cite your work, but it's pretty thin stuff. It boils down to "Krugman is wrong because he argues irrationally online[!!!]", which manages to turn something even Krugman fans acknowledge into a logical fallacy. The more interesting question with respect to meta-rationality would seem to be, to me (did not read the TC, no time, no investment in following opinion:) how to reason most accurately given a certitude of error. Looking for "meta-rational" people is a fool's errand unless one at least considers how one might avoid confirmation bias... Presumably by seeking out meta-rational people who agree with Paul Krugman, no?

'The lead article might cite your work'

Well, you clearly aren't a loyal reader - that is often reason enough, as interlinking is important.

And though you probably won't be able to read this (though this time, I've left the details out - who knows?), the fact that an entire domain exists under a name which just happens to be stuffed full of copyrighted articles from the same author with the same name as the domain itself suggests a certain awareness on the part of the people that created the site of how to achieve an 'organically' higher search ranking - a site out of sight, one could say, though it is easy enough to find using whois. Though it does not make very interesting reading, being in that special 'organic' style for the endlessly spinning spiders.

Well, firstly, I don't expect TC to link to bullshit that wastes my time. I am disappointed when it occurs. I do not click on his links out of any sense of loyalty, I click because of his ability to find interesting content, and he would be better served knowing that he had failed, for that matter.

Secondly, I am charitably supposing that some sort of mystery of interest to yourself and other readers exists. I hope that your pursuit of an answer is entertaining and rewarding. With respect to myself, if you have information that you think would interest or enlighten me, feel free to share it in a straightforwards manner.

Well, you wondered about linking as being a reason to post a link. The simple answer is, yes it is.

To see why linking is such a big deal, see tylercowen.com - Prof. Cowen is much more aware of ensuring maximal exposure on the Internet than most of the very, let us say Internet inexperienced, posters here. This web of sites is not about interesting links for readers - it is about interesting links for various search spiders and ranking services like Alexa, and ensuring that readers are truly well data mined when .

Truly detailed posts about this subject get deleted - and certain web addresses are essentially not allowed, the one above being an example. Possibly because it sheds a certain light on what is at its heart a self-promotion machine.

Ah, thank you, this is an interesting perspective. I am sorry to hear it if this is the motive for the link under discussion, rather than as a favor to a friend or some such; it's a curatorial misstep, if that's the case. Self-promotion is not a bad thing, but it shouldn't confuse itself with having something worth promoting.

And in an interesting reversal of typical patterns, The Browser is cribbing links (this one) from MR!

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