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@3: Italy's "problem"?

Agreed, it looked quite similar to France, but less time watching TV.

Just think, the Italians could -- if they applied themselves -- be right up there with Indonesia and China, etc.

Clearly, staring at a rectangular glowing box for hours on end is the best and highest purpose of human existence.

...says the person to his/her glowing box...

Well, out of all possible uses of rectangular glowing boxes, I think we can agree that making mildly sarcastic comments on blogs *is* the highest & best

And I do want to say... most of the highest paid knowledge work jobs require quite a bit of staring at screens. I fail to reflexively understand the bias against mediating reality with computing devices. Please explain why it is de facto bad.

And don't say "go out and talk to real people" -I just did!!

Is that bias any worse than, say, indicating that NOT spending more time in front of a screen is bad?

"Italy’s real _PROBLEM_, in one picture."

It's also tricky because, although Italians may spend more time face-to-face because of less time in front of a screen, living in Canada, I don't see LOADS of face-to-face even though we're pretty low on the overall totals.

Screen time, good or bad? Yes.

There is no way that graph represents screen staring minutes per capita across the entire (or working) population of each country. The rate of laptop ownership in Italy is actually higher than in the US. The portion of all Chinese who own a laptop is way below either Italy or the US. I'll bet if every laptop in China was being used 24/7 you still wouldn't have enough "on time" for the number in the graph to make sense if it were a per capita number. That graph is probably useage per device and that might only mean the Italians have lots of devices. I tried to get to Mesmer's source slides but my tablet kept crashing and I've done too much screen gazing today.

The data seem correct, mostly because italian elders adopted the new technologies less than their peers in other countries (Except france it seems). And we have more people 60y old+ than most countries in the world.

I strongly believe that if the same graph was made for the bracket 20-40 years old the results would be very different

What if Tyler was talking about a lot of old people instead of screen time?

4. cool stuff

7. wealth inequality is the latest liberal fad

#7, clearly, but my question is, how long till they move on the the next most important thing evar?

I call it "Indonesia's big problem," actually. (And it's unclear whether these are per capita figures, or figures for users aggregated--so it's a different population for TV, computers, phones, and tablets.) Suggests to me that people in Italy actually spend time interacting, in person, with other people...

Move this one thread up, please. Thank you.

I've been puzzled at the convoluted attempts to refute Krugman's post on French workers 25-54. It's so clearly a function of setting the boundary at 54 rather than 64, coupled with differences in retirement practices that pull French workers out of the workforce sooner. If you look at the OECD figures on persons aged 55-64, the US has a roughly 60% employment ratio while France has about 40%. So the US just disperses its jobs over a larger group while France disperses its over a smaller group. It's nothing in the way of "job creation", it's retiree creation.

There may also be other factors like more stay at home parents in the U because of a larger juvenile population, and possibly undercounting undocumented labor in the US where such workers loom larger.

Bloomberg's acquistion of BW seems to be going far better than Bezos's acquisition of the Washington Post.

Bloomberg had been publishing a business focused magazine quite a while prior to buying Businessweek.

A negative interest rate is the same as a tax, only it is a tax on dollar savings. Such a policy would stimulate a lot of financial activity as people shifted their savings into assets that avoided the tax. But on what basis would this activity generate wealth or otherwise revive an economy?

#4. Why the lack of imagination in town names in Iran? I see one of the entries means "new town". Do the other ones have meaning, and why do they keep using them?

Better yet, who is this one guy whose life's work (?) is making hundreds of one-sentence wikipedia pages for various Middle Eastern hamlets? They all follow the same template of "__burg is located in __ County. According to the last census its population is __." And that's it.

Yes, he should spend his time doing something significant and productive. Like commenting in a blog.

More like one guy with a day or so's work coding up a bot and gathering this data.

My thoughts exactly.

Here is a tool that, among other things, generates descriptive blurbs about sporting events from their statistics.
http://narrativescience.com/artificial-intelligence-platform/

#7: My takeaway - this debate on wealth inequality is fascinating and all, but income is still where it's at. The median person has little wealth, and that'll continue to be the case regardless of what we conclude about r versus g. Income (i.e., a good job) is more important to supporting oneself, self-esteem, social cohesion, and all of that. Changes like higher income in developing countries are hugely positive. If the trend in income distribution in wealthy countries continues, it could turn into a huge problem. Even if we consider fairly radical measures like a guaranteed income, it would be problematic to have large segments of the population who feel like they have nothing meaningful to contribute to society, or at least nothing they're motivated to do because the returns are so low.

So what's the income-related equivalent to Piketty's painstaking data collection and narration effort on wealth? Is there one?

Even more interesting, let's assume that there will be a wave of creation of new occupations to replace the disappearing ones. What's the best thinking on what those occupations will be, and will they be enough to offset the current trend towards replacement of labor with capital? It seems like no one has really advanced a plausible hypothesis on this front. There can only be so many Etsy shops, TaskRabbit workers, and AirBnb room hosts. Services like Uber will be automated sooner rather than later in the grand scheme of things. What do we think the average person will be able to do to earn a living in 20 years?

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