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I wonder if the British even considered the possibility of enforcing laws against littering instead of this ban?

See second picture. How about the council empty the trash like they're paid to do?

Or pavement-colored paper.

....or paper colored pavement....

But then newspapers will have no useful function at all.

In many British public areas, there are hardly any trash cans available.

"It is thought that customers buying food to take home would not be affected."

To go, please.

#1. According to the history books, these people used to run a worldwide empire. Mind-boggling.

someone said the sun never sets on the British empire because God does not trust Englishman in the dark!

Your post begs the question...what is your reading strategy and how does it differ from Dr. Mike's?

Tyler has posted about his reading strategy in the past, though as I recall more info was made available in interviews with journalists etc.

IIRC, Tyler's reading strategy is somewhat idiosyncratic, tied to his personality and of course to his profession.

I'm pretty sure a post on reading strategies -- must they be tailored to each person or can one generalize about universally optimal strategies? -- would go over very well here...

read the words? how much strategy can there be? it's not a competition

Tyler is known for purposely not finishing books, whether after 10 pages or 100, so he can get to a better one. He wrote a book called "Age of the Infovore", and would probably regard reading ten different low-carb blogs and every article in three newspapers as the equivalent of ordering plain macaroni noodles at every restaurant.

#6A. Very good. I think he's asking the right questions. 'Leverage' is definitely a less contentious subject than 'bubbles'.

#6B is also a very good read. As usual, though, I fail to see the connection between the two.

(I do get the #5A/B connection though, I think. Cute.)

Re #2:

"If it holds up" might as well be the astronomer's mantra, and nobody chants it louder other astronomers working in the same field. I've changed careers a couple of times since my astronomy days, but I've never seen any other profession where practitioners are so habitually unwilling to admit that their colleagues just might be onto something. It really is rather tedious.

Then there's this: "...considerable caution is advised until the BICEP2 measurement has been verified by some other experiment." (in red, boldface type, no less!) "Considerable caution"? I advise "considerable caution" when driving in icy conditions because you might slide off the road and die. What is the worst case scenario here? That you might for a period of time believe more strongly in inflation than the data warrants? The horror! The fact is, all scientific knowledge is contingent, and the most we can ever really say is that one theory seems overwhelmingly more likely than its competitors. In that spirit, the BICEP2 measurements should cause us to adjust our likelihood for inflation way up, and for the alternatives (such as they are) way down. As for myself, I'm going to throw "caution" to the wind and say that the BICEP2 team did an outstanding piece of science, and I sincerely hope it gives a big boost to the careers of the graduate students and postdocs who actually did all the hard work to make it happen.

I'm but a humble graduate student in space physics, and in my few short years in the profession I've seen several big, blockbuster results get published and then retracted shortly thereafter. Several times I or another student has mentioned some exciting new result of a colleague in group meeting, only to have a faculty member smile faintly and say something along the lines of "We'll see." And I've definitely seen people making much stronger claims than their data really support to sex up a paper a bit. Data is hard to come by in this line of work, and our models frequently require assumptions of dubious validity. Space scientists have excellent reason to be cautious about new results. In my little sub-discipline at least everyone is quite friendly and the disputes stay collegial. I think it's much more likely we're all reflexively skeptical because skepticism of new results is healthy in this line of work than we're all reflexively skeptical out of a desire to undercut the achievements of our colleagues.

That "considerable caution" warning is likely meant for the science fanboys who accept every new result as gospel. It's rare that I can go to a party where my profession is known and not get pinned down for an hour or so by some very earnest layman who wants to talk about the latest experiment "proving" something or other. The general public doesn't seem to intuitively grasp the idea of varying levels of certainty in science, which leads to warnings like that one.

I don't think anyone is arguing that the BICEP2 team didn't do outstanding work. Regardless of the long-term fate of this observation, I'm sure this will be very good for the grad students and postdocs of the team. They made a very tricky measurement, and whether the current interpretation is borne out or not, they still did a fine job and everyone knows it.

Data is hard to come by in this line of work, and our models frequently require assumptions of dubious validity ... I think it’s much more likely we’re all reflexively skeptical because skepticism of new results is healthy in this line of work than we’re all reflexively skeptical out of a desire to undercut the achievements of our colleagues."

With an attitude like that you're going to be fine young Mr. Ames, just fine. Unless you aspire to Punditry, in which case you'll totally suck.

#2...Hey Strassler, tell me something I didn't know. Seriously, that's an excellent post on an excellent blog. No, I don't really know what's going on, but at least I can pretend that I do in my coffee shop now. Maybe the Fed should target Cosmic Inflation.

6. Stein favors a policy with a preference for financial stability (by which Stein means little or no inflation) over lower unemployment (through an accommodative monetary policy), and Republicans filibustered his nomination to the Fed? Am I missing something here? And he would use leverage and risk premium as the measure of market vulnerability, even though leverage may not be the most accurate measure since leverage is high during periods of low output and high unemployment (when asset values are low). And I thought Obama's nominees were intent on debasing the currency. What a relief!

I pass along this brief interview with Jeremy Grantham, very pithy and, unlike many pundits, no hesitation to offer predictions.

Wow- I thought Grantham had just lost his mind, but reading this, maybe he never had much to lose. To me, this supports one of two positions: (a) successful investing can be done by people who are clueless about the macroeconomy and/or role of the Fed, or (b) the dude had a lucky birth date.

Yeah, I have trouble figuring out where Grantham gets any cred as a pundit or strategist.

#3 contrast that to paul erdos who only read one non-math book in his adult life

I also recommend "Bungle in the Jungle", a boots-on-the-ground account of Brazil's wWorld Cup preparations.

#4: Interesting predictions/forecasts. I wonder about new crime prevention companies/services which will need to be developed. I'm imagining a self-driven UPS truck freshly loaded with lots of valuable merchandise as it goes through a high crime area. How serious are the penalties for "car-jacking" an unmanned delivery vehicle? Will this kind of crime become common? How will delivery companies protect against these kinds of robberies?

2. Verification of early cosmic hyperinflation apparently has some interesting implications for reactionless drive (Mach) theories, which haven't been taken very seriously yet. Might even yield something like wormhole gates in the very distant future.

#3 "but I would say the crowd underlinings in Kindles are usually the worst passages from books, not the best or the most important" What Tyler deems the best should be deemed the best by rest of humanity? I thought a libertarians hold individual preferences alone matter and no there can be no discussion on what individuals prefer

#6. I was puzzled by Stein's argument. He says that it's "clear in-principle" that monetary policy should consider financial stability but, as far as I could tell, his argument was to assume the existence of a "financial market vulnerability (FMV)" variable that increased variance of unemployment whenever monetary policy was loosened. Since higher unemployment variance contributes to the quadratic unemployment loss function then, of course, if such an FMV variable with these properties exists, it may be optimal to accept higher expected unemployment to reduce the value of FMV. I have heard of assuming problems away, but it seemed to me that he was assuming the problem into existence. Did I miss something?

I was also puzzled because, presumably, if one wasn't considering FMV, then one would conduct monetary policy by trying to set money supply equal to money demand, e.g., by NGDP targeting (since money demand = NGDP/V, where velocity V corresponds to shifts in the money demand curve). Presumably, one tries to achieve this equilibrium precisely to avoid the fluctuations in unemployment that would otherwise be caused by price/wage stickiness. So, was Stein arguing that somehow intentionally leaving a gap between money supply and money demand, i.e., intentionally leaving some disequilibrium in the supply and demand for money, would lead to less fluctuation in money demand (velocity)?

Mandates are inefficient. So, once more to the barricades of efficiency we march! Is not a Pigouvian charge for the paper-wrapped fish and chips not clearly the optimal policy regime?

Sometimes comments are very interesting, but not in the ways that their authors intended. We are asked why "the British" don't just consider enforcing littering laws, when the story makes it very clear that this concerns exactly one local council out of 353, and that the rest of "the British" don't seem to agree with its position, which could explain why they are ridiculing it.

Another comment bewails the fact that there are "hardly any trashcans" in some areas. That's correct, and the history behind that was that the - partly US funded - IRA used to hide bombs in trashcans, and so many of them were removed.

"According to the history books, these people used to run a worldwide empire". Actually, I worry more about the people who are currently running the worldwide empire. If this is the extent of their knowledge and reading ability.

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