Assorted links

1. The invention of the slurpee (furthermore, Winnipeg, Manitoba is the “slurpee capital of the world”).

2. Is there a wonk bubble?

3. There is no great stagnation (take your goldfish out for a walk).  And the rise of the professional gunfighter.

4.Speculative estimates of the cost of snooping (13 cents per person per day?).

5. Ken doesn’t like Barbie.  I did like these tweets.

6. The century that is Norway.  Sadly, there will be a remake.


Why "sadly"? I would very much enjoy Piip Show.

#2: There's a fake nerd bubble. It is trendy right now for hipsters to pass themselves off as quants. That's why there is a boom in fake glasses. It's why Big Bang Theory is/was a hit TV series. My kind has made it easy for English majors to sound smart.

I always hated The Big Bang Theory because it was a parody of my life.

Real nerds watch Community

And Rick and Morty.

3. Gunfighters in the old West? Much mythology, little reality. Most of them worked with law enforcement, Wyatt Earp, for instance. In his Tombstone era, he and his brothers were tax farmers more than anything else. The celebrated "Gunfight at the OK Corral" wouldn't even make the national news today, two hapless cowboy/thieves gunned down by a local sheriff. Nothing odd about that anymore. In fact, the West is wilder now than it's ever been and the biggest share of the bullets come out of the barrels of guns held by ex-military cops. The reason the exploits of the "gunfighters" were notable then and remembered now is because they were so unusual.

The West was, and still is, much more peaceable than the East. It was true 130 years ago, and it is still true now. The big cities are where the crime is.

Wonder what John Varley's thoughts are in regards to today's Barbies. Vindicated, perhaps?

#1 Slurpee story -- Loved it. My brother has a faded Captain America Slurpee cup.

Full disclosure: I aspire to be a "wonk" if you will, and spend a lot of free time brushing up on R, learning D3, and web-dev in general.

It's hard for me to believe that there's a "wonk -bubble" while pundits still get air time. There are plenty of domains where data-driven journalism hasn't fully caught on in the mainstream, which is a damn shame.

And as displeasing as it may sound to a lot of folk, wonkism seems mostly like a left-wing thing. Other parties, or even ideologies, have yet to catch on, and I see there being niches for wonks everywhere, e.g., "Christian Medicine Wonk Blog", or "Law and Economics Wonk Blog".

Data-driven X,Y,Z will not change the way we think about the world, but it will be the new standard.

>wonkism seems mostly like a left-wing thing

It depends on your definition of "wonk". If it means employed by a journalism/media organization, then, yes. But, I think the left leaning wonks of today are merely an echo of where modern wonk-ism boomed: primarily in right leaning think tanks, Cato, AEI, Heritage, etc. The left has spent the better part of the last decade scrambling to catch up to where the right was on policy analysis fifteen years ago.

Re #3, the gunfighter part. Google the paper's title ("The Six-Shooter Marketplace: 19th-Century Gunfighting as Violence Expertise" and you will find links to ungated versions of the paper.

But I'm not sure how I feel about the style of the paper. Here's a representative sentence: "Because they connected different spatial scales, however, these towns also allowed local displays of violent skill to be integrated into a translocal demand for violence expertise."

I sense the author is a sociologist or a political scientist, not a historian.

Or "Social Text" style trolling. It is April after all.

No, it's a real paper--86 pages worth--and the author Is a political scientist. It's been around for a year or so.

#2 A wonk wonking about wonks. Such wonking wonkery!

"Mommy, tell me another story about markets in everything."
"Only if you pay me."

Comments for this post are closed