Assorted links


What you are seeing in Eastern Europe can be placed on Germany's unwillingness to increase the size of their ground forces. Putin sees no bulwark to the East and feels (rightly) that he has a free hand. Say what you will about German militarism, it sure beats Russian domination.

Say what you will about German militarism, it sure beats Russian domination.

History suggests otherwise...

Oh, god, not the fascists vs. communists debate again.

You are also holding the map upside down.


Many in the east were happy to have the Wehrmacht rout the Red Army early on.

And those not so happy were sent off to Auschwitz and Buchenwald.

Executions will continue until the consensus improves. Carry on.

I will not be drawn into an Israel-Palestine argument.
I will not be drawn into an Israel-Palestine argument.
I will not be drawn into an Israel-Palestine argument.

Lower the mean, raise the variance is a very astute observation. Prior conversations about strategies and response functions got sidetracked by muddling facts, and I was among the most distracted/distracting.

In poker, a frequent "winning" strategy is tight and aggressive, ie select only the best battles to fight (losing small amounts from battles you choose not to fight) and press them hard.

However, this strategy can be completely upended by 1) the maniac, 2) a school of fish

The maniac plays loose and aggressive. He will play risky hands, but he also gets strong hands. His speculative hands are well concealed, so you dont know what to put him on.

The school of fish are a group of loose and weak players. As a group, they nibble at you. In some cases, they coordinate to get the tight, aggressive player.

The point here is that the play of your opponents partially determines the variance of your results. If you sit in a high variance game of maniacs and fish, then not only should you expect your variance to rise, your optimal play is to loosen up - accepting lower mean and higher variance.

If you are in a last man standing tournament and you have the biggest stack, loosening up is good.

If Israel is doing this, they perceive themselves as being able to survive a bad run of fortune and the high risk puts the opponent to a decision for all his chips.

3. The shadow banking system handed out money without due diligence and relied on credit guarantee companies to make the loans. When the loans go bust, like in the Qingdao port scandal, the credit guarantee firm goes bust and the banks move in on all the loans guaranteed by the firm. Sometimes the credit guarantee firm is a fraudulent borrower itself, like Dezheng in the Qingdao case. Trust their credit guarantees? There are trusts that haven't defaulted because they repaid investors out of firm capital, but are in court suing dozens of companies that didn't pay back their loans and the credit guarantee firms that backed them. In one case, almost 80% of the loans went bad. And where there is fraudulent borrowing, they don't know where the money went. In Qingdao, the banks thought they were lending to copper traders, but the money went into real estate speculation, credit guarantees and who knows what else.

Wow, the other links and stories at Huff Post's "Weird News" were bizarre and disgusting.

They might have been ads. Ads are disguised as "other stories" now to trick people to click on them.

4. These things always seem so much more complicated than necessary.

2. Gee, I always thought of Danes (including my wife) as gloomy.

It has to do with the Danish cliffs ...

There is nothing like a Dane
Nothing in the world
There is nothing such a pain
That is anything like a Dane.

I don't want a robot that I have to deal with as a human. I want one that I don't have to deal with other than purchase and toss on the floor. If people want to interact with people, why do they turn to robots? I like robots/automation because it doesn't have a human in the loop.

Robots should be seen, not heard.

I have enough human annoyance for free everyday; I have no need of an artificial supply.

On the other hand, anything to entertain the kids would be welcome. Home upkeep robots seem really close. I just need something to pick up the toys and put the dishes away. For example, I noticed some microdots at the hardware store. A Romba (or a Neato because it already has an electronic eye) with an arm could recognize microdots or invisible bar codes and database the items and learn the correct locations and bring me a beer.

Yes that would be a true innovation. Now if only it would have sex with you!!!!

How do you know she wouldn't?

6. The Israeli government thinks time is on their side with regard to developing increasingly effective defensive and detecting technologies to neutralize Hamas' fairly limited modes of attack.

Iron dome is now famous and gets better with every iteration. There is already some good progress on detection of tunnels and digging operations, and also on ways to collapse them. Maybe one day they'll build that deep and wide moat too they've been toying with.

#5 is cute but aside from the "head" turning gimmick it's inferior in every way to an iPad on a stand.

How you think about your book, like Average is over, is not included in the Kindle Unlimited?

#2 - The main problem for me with the Danish correlations with genetic distance is that they essentially seem only to be a function of differences between East Asian raters and the average of the West, on the "struggling" variable. Correlation between happiness, genetic distance and in particular the 5-httplr variable is essentially flat within Western nations.

Yet the "struggling variable", if you look in the paper, is essentially a tendency to give yourself an average rating on measures of life satisfaction*.

That is a strange definition of struggling, and it is also one which is particular strange for East Asians as the main East Asian nations tend to depress the range of their scores to the average on Likert rating systems - they are biased in self rating towards 5. (Also true on personality rating systems).

These same East Asian nations tend to score low on depression. Denmark itself also scores relatively high on suicide, and is not particularly distinguished within Europe (high or low) on the large meta-analyses of caffeine use, road accidents, etc that indicate a population's level of anxiety.

So essentially, I regard this as rather false. Dansk genetics do not make you happier.

You all can check this out here - where the research is linked, if you'd like.

* The paper - "‘Struggling’, as defined by Gallup rather than by us, which is a cross-national variable for the percentage of individuals in the country who report that their present life situation is between 5 and 7 on a ten-point scale and who report the perceived quality of their future life as between a 5 and an 8". Sincerely, is this what we would call struggling?

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