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4) Fails for not even mentioning sex bots

#6 is awesome!

There's nothing spurious about those correlations - they look perfectly real to me.

Yep, I agree - but that doesn't exactly make them any less awesome..

I was actually a bit surprised Tyler didn't comment on the terminology part.

(I'm also surprised a guy with a site like that would pick that title, when the second hit on google while searching for 'spurious correlation' is this article.)

Top link, US: thank you.

I think this one is more apt.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_sharpshooter_fallacy

I agree most of them seem real. But what about "Age of Miss America correlates with Murders by steam, hot vapours and hot objects".

If you do least squares on enough data sets, you will eventually find small errors.

4. Short of the sex-bots gaining sentience, I'm not convinced it's a huge problem. A sex bot is basically just a masturbation toy, no matter how life-like it is. That's not going to replace real sexual interaction anymore than a fleshlight has, although it might replace a lot of paid sexual intercourse for people who aren't doing it for perverse reasons.

7. He makes some good points about how wealth inequality should be higher than income inequality.

I'm surprised to see so few critiques of Piketty on the grounds that higher wealth and income inequality won't necessarily lead to oligarchical politics and the capture of the economy by rentiers. I'm a bit skeptical myself of his interpretation of 19th century politics - at the same time we had the Belle Epoque, there was increasing working class political power in the UK (particularly with reforms in the 1830s and 1860s), the lead-up to the near-complete loss of political power in the House of Lords in 1911, the rise of income taxes in both the UK and France, greater social mobility, broader modernization and consumer culture, and so forth. You see some pushback from Larry Bartels and the like pointing to research showing policymaking following the preferences of the rich and organized, but they don't provide much information about whether this has changed with increasing income and wealth inequality - the rich and organized interest groups may have just always had a disproportionate interest on policymaking, even during the Postwar Period.

Arguably the sex bots NOT being sentient is the biggest advantage...

A sex bot is basically just a masturbation toy, no matter how life-like it is. That’s not going to replace real sexual interaction anymore than a fleshlight has, although it might replace a lot of paid sexual intercourse for people who aren’t doing it for perverse reasons.

I wonder. I think it depends on what the male brain responds to. I have no problems imagining research that produces a sex-bot who is capable of pushing male buttons better than a real woman is. We are somewhat down the path as it is with porn. Certainly the Japanese have reported males who prefer Japanese porn cartoons to the point they are unable to maintain any sexual interest in actual women. And of course Ruskin.

You just assume that Western ideas about sex, a product of 2000 years of Christianity, is the human norm. I doubt they are.

Wow! In 2008 809 people died from being tangled in their bedsheets? Why haven't these calamities been more publicized? How does it happen? That's like two jumbo jets filled with passengers in pajamas crashing every year. Does Michelle know about this? Shouldn't there be a government agency set up to prevent all this heartache and suffering? If it saves one life it will be worth it.

Sounds like bedsheets are being blamed for some other cause of death, like rough sex. That's why I don't trust statistics about injuries and death from falling down stairs.

I think that number must be mostly babies, and in fact there are lots of dire warnings about crib bumpers, pillows and excessive bedclothes in cribs.

The dying by getting tangled in bedsheets is mystifying. The number rose from 327 in 2000 to 809 in 2008.

Really? Killer bedsheets on the loose?

In the 2000-2009 period, 5886 people died after getting tangled in bedsheets (I assume mostly children, sadly enough).

This easily dwarfs the number of people in the USA killed by terrorists in the same period, about 3,000.

Of course, since 9/11 about 180,000 Americans have been killed by terrorists----known as drink drivers.

But let's get a bigger budget ginned up for the DoD, VA, DHS and the NSA....

#2: The magical thinking from the pothead community is always good for a laugh. Cannabis cultivation follows the same economics as any other agricultural product. Unlike fruits and vegetables, cannabis has a longish shelf-life. Because of that, it is more closely related to canning than pure agriculture. Therefore, it will follow a similar model, which is production facilities in low cost areas.

What's going on now is a shift in economic models. Once NAFTA was signed, canning plants did not immediately relocate to Mexico. It took time and the same will happen with cannabis. It is cheaper to grow the product in Mexico. It is cheaper to process and package it in Mexico. The cartels will adapts and production will once again be based in Mexico.

The trans border shipment of canned peas is subject to slightly different legal barriers than pot.

For now.

It's the ideal protected market: Local sales are legal but transport across national & even state boundaries is grossly illegal.

Where do we get tobacco? Isn't that where we will end up getting marijuana? Maybe the farming techniques are different I don't know. Regardless it seems unlikely the cartels will remain interested in marijuana when the profit margins are vastly reduced and their competencies (exporting illegal products) no longer matter. I assume the cartels will switch their focus to other illegal drugs.

I don't know- the last ten years or so, I have often thought of drowning myself while watching a Nicholas Cage movie.

That's all very well, but the figures refer to Niclas Cage, the Tyrone of the family.

That sexism! You just don't want more women to be Editors of the Harvard Law Review!

We have a moral obligation to watch Natinoal Treasure and Ghost Rider as many times as possible just to make sure more young girls break that Glass Ceiling. I am sure all SWPLites will agree with me. Anything else is just letting Boko Haram win.

Not that I'm condoning this, but I would think a better answer would be to drown Nicholas Cage.

I couldn't get him near the water.

#7 Income stagnating? sticky wages anyone

if anything, wages are still too high

Therefore GDP is too high. Unless you plan increased welfare payments to workers to fuel demand for production....

3. Great link. Just the sort of tidbit that makes this a great blog despite macro-masterbation like "Does rigid mobility imply low tax elasticities?" I had no idea that books were the forerunners to the chained iPads at the Apple store — though its longevity proves that it's a good solution for letting people freely handle items they might otherwise be tempted to steal.

That said, I particularly enjoyed the blog's one mention of the big drawback of chaining your hugely valuable books: getting them out of the library during fires.

Apologies for the gratuitous swipe at macro posts.

I do realize that many smart people spend their lives thinking about such things and that they have made some actual progress. But there are times when I really can't see why a smart person would waste his time thinking one more thought about things that will, apparently, never be truly answered, like how particular changes in the tax code will affect willingness to work or whether an increase in the minimum wage will help or hurt "the poor" as a whole.

You should let all these questions rest until you have new tools to answer them that can at least make everyone agree on the positive stuff, even if they'll never agree on normative stuff.

Still, there was no need to be snitty about it.

Canadian pot farmers are suffering as well. The price has dropped substantially.

Time to increase the size of the market.

#7 Ashok Rao has honed the art of making very pedestrian observations seem most profound.

For someone so young (a freshman at college) he has a lot of erudition and potential. He should learn to be more concise.

Incidentally in this particular case your criticism may be justified , but I often note that you are unusually critical of people or ideas of (Asian) Indian origin. Considering your comments are generally of high value and you are one of the commenters on this blog always seeking more answers rather than espousing ideology , this is unusual.

Or may be I am imagining it , since I am also of (Asian) Indian origin , but I don't think so.

Maybe. Could be my bias. Which specific Indians / ideas did you think I was undeservedly critical of?

#1 -- I would ask Hanson, "what's wrong with a little hypocrisy?" Like everything else, is there not an "optimal level" of hypocrisy?

Precipitation in California inversely correlates with Sunlight in California
> is most probably a real correlation :-)

You guys should know this better, I don't have the statistical knowledge:
> most of the graphs look relatively simple > linear trend down/up, "parabolic" with one maximum somewhere, etc,
> given this simplicity, isn't there a natural tendency for such a simple function to correlate with many other simple functions?
> also given the relatively few data points used to calculate the correlation?

The abovementioned correlation is one obvious exception.

Didn't Mexican pot always have a bad reputation, anyway? What I dread about marijuana legalization is the rise of the pot snob. I predict they'll be worse than the wine snobs and the craft beer snobs combined.

Pot snobs already exist. As to the comparison between wine and beer snobs, pomposity scarcely discriminates across substances.

Seriously, though,pomposity is a side-effect of a norm of moderation. It is to be embraced, encouraged!

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