Assorted links

1. 100 Greatest Swedes?  So much for factor endowment theories…

2. What makes a football player smart?

3. Japanese cat islands.

4. Gavin Kelly on Average is Over and The Second Machine Age.

5. “Spike Away,” maybe more useful in Japan and India than Singapore, where it was the result of a two-day workshop at the National University.

6. Zimbabwe now has dollarized prices, and then some.

7. A fifteen-year-old in Delhi owns what is perhaps the world’s greatest pencil collection.


Re. 4 - Tyler in Average is Over you state that there will be: “Better jobs and higher wages for a lot of women in this new world of work.”

However isn't one of the biggest inequality issues today the gender wage gap. Could one of the reasons that the rise in profits of corporations and ‘decline’ in wages against GDP be because there are more women than men in the workplace and male-female earnings gap of prime-aged, full-time employees has, in many cases; “an earnings disadvantage of women of 20 percent and more.” In other words women typically earn 20% less than men in the workplace. That’s according to an OECD December 2013 paper (Returns to skills around the world).

For example in many finance co's they employ circa 54% women v 46% men but often these are in lower wage jobs and in the executive jobs the ratio is 75% men v 25% women (crude numbers but close).

In a recent speech and paper ( The current president of the American Economics Association Claudia Goldin said: "Ten to 16 years after receiving their Master’s of Business Administration degrees, women earn 55% what men [MBAs] do."

I worry about the growth in income and wealth for women in the new economy - see for example Women and jobs in the Robot Economy - (

Clearly there are many factors why this residual gender gap still remains, and a long way before equality is in place, if at all.

Why are you first comment? And why the hijack of the thread, arguing for a gender gap? Oh the humanity, to lose first comment honors to this person...

Ray is right. You are hijacking the thread with your feminist propaganda. If the difference between the haves and have-nots were 20% -- or even 55% -- we would have the most economically equal society in history.

Go comment on Slate.

I will read each link, give inciteful informed comments, and see if I'm first to post.

1) Why not ("Father of the Nation" of Sweden)?

2) A congratulatory New Yorker piece; lots of fluff, not much else. I used to read these just so I could learn to write eruditely, but now I don't bother, having mastered that.

3) JP cat island visited by tourists where the cats outnumber humans five to one. Note: there's a park on Kos where stray cats are kept and fed, and when cats are too numerous they can turn into cannibals. Not pretty.

4) TC promoting his book. OK I did not read the review. I'm a fraud?...OK I'll go read it. STUPID! The reviewer did not review the book but what he did was offer his opinions on the book's thesis. Stupid stupid Brit. I've done the same thing--when trolling. BTW an excellent summary of the Great Stagnation thesis was that Fed paper linked by TC yesterday...well worth reading.

5) Spike fashion...boring

6) Zimbabwe has dollars...this story is four years old! They dollarized in 2009.

7) An Indian teen trying to get into the Guinness Book of Records. Ashok or Rahul or some Indian guy can confirm this: the Indians love to try and get into the Guinness record books--maybe because with over a billion of them, they lose their sense of individualism? Or maybe from the law of large numbers you'll find at least one outlier in India. Anyway, his collection is only interesting to companies like Faber.

Time to hit the ENTER button...see if I'm first (I doubt it).

@#3 - the Katy Perry video "Roar" is really good, and has a big cat theme: She has a good group of composers working for her.

#1: Why not what? He's at the top of the list.

I swear G. Vasa was not on the list when I looked at Wikipedia a few hours ago! Somebody must have added him in the interim--such is the unstable nature of Wikipedia. Either that or I missed it.

It is insightful that Ray is aware that he is sometimes inciteful. Although it is the insight into the things that incite Ray, that incites the best insight.

Sorry, slow day.

I know you won't be able to read the stories and still get (failed) firsties, but it would be nice if you picked either waiting to read or not posting.

Having read 6, my first reaction is to this:

The first person I speak to properly about this is Colin, who messages me on Grindr one weeknight

Never change, NR writers

@#4 The leadership of Zimbabwe made a deliberate choice to impoverish their people and destroy their own country.

#13 on that list of greatest Swedes is literally a fictional character.

That list is completely unfair....

A list of the 100 greatest of any tiny population (except the Jews!) will seem faintly ridiculous. The list of 100 greatest Britons is more familiar because they are a much larger population, speak English, and are culturally familiar to us. Even so, Isambard Kingdom Brunel beat out Darwin, Shakespeare, and Newton on the latter list.

The Swedes really are a pretty accomplished bunch.

Furthermore, he couldn't have been Swedish, otherwise he would have been much more a ponce.

What's a ponce?

#2: Not much meat on the bones. It is an interesting topic because he bumps up against a few areas of intelligence. Spatial awareness, for example, is critical to success at certain positions like linebacker or safety. Testing for that would go a long way toward predicting performance in the NFL. Memory is another skill that is critical. Linemen have to recall blocking assignments from a very long list. Receivers need to recall the list of options from a long list of routes. The Wonderlic is a fine test for Quarterbacks, is probably not much use for linebackers.

#6: I have some Zimbabwean money. A 50 billion dollar bill, a trillion dollar bill. They make great conversation pieces.

There are no Swedish Supermodels on that list. I guess Anita Ekberg comes closest.

OT, Carmen Kass is a supermodel not on the list, and apparently she's also a fine chess player.

Wiki says she was President of the Estonian National Chess League, but I can't find a rating for her with FIDE. There is a Carmen Kass listed with the USCF, but you'd think the daughter of a chess teacher could do better than 998. Since she is Estonian, I wonder if I could surprise her with the Latvian Gambit.


So stupid, or just the normal b...... made up by journalist.

"The selection criteria were:"How much, how long, and how many people has the person influenced - primarily domestically but also internationally - with his thoughts, his reign, his deeds or his example? And how much does this person mean to us living here today, in 2009?"

How can;
soccercoach > kings
ABBA singers > famous sciencetist or industrialist

Olof Palme among the top of the list. What a joke. Sweden was rich when he got the job, and nothing really changed to the better. But he was murderer and is still popular for unknown reasons. But "great" and having "influenced" - thats is funny.

The list is not about greatness or importance, but only about celebrity.

Murdered, not murderer, just a typo I'm sure but a significant one.

But I too hate how people become heroes simply by being victims.

He was indeed a bland and ineffectual leader whose murder hasn't been solved. That's it.

100 Greatest Swedes: No Birgit Nilsson, one of the greatest dramatic sopranos in history? Surely she is a greater Swede than Anita Eckberg as well as most of the others on the list! Even Anne Sofie von Otter should be on the list before Anita Eckberg. What about Ingrid Bergman--she is just a footnote compared to the career of Anita Eckberg?

It's Ekberg. And while we're on opera singers, Jenny Lind is not on the list, and should be.

2. I give every expert in any field credit for intellect within their narrow band of knowledge, without necessarily believing they have the capability to transfer that intellectual capacity to other fields.

Most of the intelligence is gathered by the Quality Control coaches, and the players only need to assimilate it. The coaches are the true analyzers.

Infantry soldiers are often considered "dumb" and have among the lowest test scores and education, but the books related to their routine tasks would fill a bookshelf. It may not be highly technical (some is), but the volume is enormous.

The coaches do most of the film room analysis, but the players have to be able to translate that analysis into real-time decisions in a split second. Meanwhile the other team is motioning, bluffing, and otherwise trying to hide their true intentions. It's a thinking fast and slow thing.

Granted, but is that "intelligence" or is it good observational skills and quick reflexes?

I'm not denigrating their talent, just labouring over how to classify it. Would a ping pong player be rightfully credited with intelligence for returning a ball, or does intelligence require more moving pieces?

2. They had me til: "Since every N.F.L. roster possesses talent sufficient to defeat any given opponent"...

Browns fan?


Compared to a list of Swedish Americans, it seems pretty underwhelming. Scandinavians in America seem to do better than those back home. If we slightly expand the list to include Norwegian-Americans, Normal Bourlag is probably more important than everyone on the original ranking combined.

Better than Linnaeus, Ingmar Bergman, and Oxenstierna? (Not to mention #13 [!] Odin)

As a Swedish American I am hardly offended, but pretty soon there will be more Swedish Americans than Swedish Swedes, Norwegian Americans are already more numerous than Norwegians.

And that Swedish American list has an awful lot born, raised, and educated in the old country.

1. An old Chinese proverb, perhaps apocryphal, says, "May you be condemned to live in interesting times."

Perhaps it is a blessing to not be an interesting person from a not-so interesting country. (No offense to Sweden intended. My native Canada is not so interesting and my ancestral home, Poland, has been far too interesting).

2. What makes a football player smart?

He plays with a round ball that is black and white, not the American football that leads to dementia no later than 50, and brain damaged poverty in most cases by 40.

This is one of the most absurd things I've read all day. I played football through my youth, through college, and through the fish bus knuckle. Aarf the muck onder wheeeeeee burble bear.


OJ should have claimed brain damage, he could have gotten off. Oh, wait.......

After writing The 100: A Ranking Of The Most Influential Persons In History Michael Hart noted that 28 of them were Scots(The Scots never accounting for even 1/2 of 1% of the population of the earth). The Swedes not so much. None in fact.

Again Linnaeus is slighted. Not to mention Odin...

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