Wednesday assorted links

1. “Only 11 of 64 games in the TCEC final were decisive, and all of them were won by White.”  Uh-oh.  How far are chess-playing computers from perfection?  Ken Regan on AI across different games.

2. The economics of academic books.  And drunk birds sing worse.  And pictures from the coldest inhabited town.  And what is it like to be a blind film critic?

3. Forthcoming economics books in 2015.

4. How many of these papers will be funny?

5. The truth about bonobos and sex.

6. Matt Yglesias predictions for 2015Arnold Kling predictions, I agree about terrorism by the way.  And what Joshua M. Brown and others learned in 2014, recommended, “a woman’s “be ready in 5 minutes” and a man’s “be home in 5 minutes” are about the same.”


#6 - Matt who?


Here's a better economics joke:

"2 – If you put a group of male and female humans in a cage with nothing to do and provide them shelter and food, what do you think they would do all day – have sex!"

Evolutionary psychologists are not good at whatever evolutionary psychology is.

No but it is a fun little dust up. Especially Chris Ryan's original comments.

The Left always takes it so hard when their pristine original "Eden" turns out to be less perfect than they first thought.

But it is time to end the denial of Science! The rejection of Darwinism! The Left equivalent of Creationism. Human beings are primates like chimpanzees. Violence, aggression and sexual behavior that is criminal in most jurisdictions come natural to us and cannot be eliminated. We are as we are and are not perfectable.

2c is very cool.

5. I think you mean 'claims'.

It has long been theorized that chess will someday consist of a single game 1.e4, black resigns.

Yancey that's mostly wrong. Most people agree that it's almost certainly a draw with perfect play, going back through and well before Bobby Fischer.

White has a slight pull from the start, but again out of 64 games played at the highest level *EVER*, black drew in 53 of them(!)

Some of the positions white won were from openigns where that I'd certainly consider tricky to play for black. Of course, Tyler is more

I think the next evolution is for TCEC to remove the forced opening sequences used in their games and let the computers either have their own databases or make them play without opening databases at all.

> Yancey that’s mostly wrong. Most people agree that it’s almost certainly a draw with perfect play

Maybe Black resigns because of the pointlessness of wasting all that time and energy just to achieve a draw.

Doesn't matter, Dan, what "most people think" from the past- they were simply guessing. It has certainly been hypothesized by more than just me that white wins with perfect play. Black used to win a few of these games between the silicon masters, but lost 11, won zero, and drew 53 is suggestive of something. What would you say if, in 2024, the result of 64 games is 50 losses by black and 14 draws? Or if it were even just 32 losses and 32 draws? The trend suggests to me that it is entirely plausible that white wins in all lines with perfect play. Time will tell the story for us.

As a complete chess novice it seems obvious that perfect play should result in white winning - white starts with a benefit.

whoops hit send early. Meant to say that Tyler would probably have a better opinion than I, given his playing strength si probably 650-700 points stronger.

I sure hope they don't do away with academic press books, that's most of what I read. WIthout them, discourse would really be dumbed down.

I don't know. I think most academic books could be un-published at no great cost to society. Nor do I think academia is helping to elevate the discourse. Academics are increasingly narrow minded zealots. Even when they are not, most academics write b0ll0cks for other academics which the other academics don't even read. The STEM subjects may be the exception, but anything of interest in the Arts and Humanities is taking place outside universities.

Yeah, a lot of academic books are crap. But some are exceptionally good. I just finished Jamie Davies' "Life Unfolding: How the Human Body Creates Itself" (Oxford U.P.). Fascinating and well-written. There's even a whiff of Hayek and Popper as cells use local knowledge. But perhaps it falls in the STEM exception.

How good are computers at Chess with randomized starting positions?

From Arnold Kling's predictions: "the oil price decline might be a small net loss for the U.S.". I've seen this view from a few prognosticators and I don't get it. The US is a net importer of oil, about 8 million barrels per day. Given a 45 dollar reduction in oil prices (100 to 55) that works out to about 131B in stimulus over 2015, if the current price holds.

It seems pretty clear to me that this is a net benefit to the U.S. Maybe it is more stimulative to other countries (eg: Japan) and in some relative manner the reduction in price will hurt the U.S., but I don't see that argument being forwarded.

What I learned most in 2014:

The easiest and quickest way to F*** U* your country economy is to invade another country.

The Mainstream media really hates a 6 year President and they will likely turn their opinion 180 degrees on month later.

The Inflationist predictions in 2009 did not come true.

The biggest issue for the future is people are putting off family formation even more. All recommended solutions will fail miserably. This will be the main cause of lack of long term demand and supply.

Merkel's will be a beloved leader in 20 years. (Like Thatcher today.) Obama will considered average long term.

Texas is not going blue or purple any time soon. The fall in oil prices during Obama will make them even more red.

The Republican Primary is going to a great sequel to 2012 Clown Show. The base will hate the money Jeb and he will not win the nomination.

I don't know the answer, but here is my list.

Oil development and investment generates industrial activity, well paid employment, tax and royalty revenues. Transportation, pipeline investment and the like will slow down. Lower gas prices will create consumer demand for products manufactured offshore.

The financial repercussions of oil development financing writedowns may have some damaging effects.

When the oil sector goes bust, it goes bust as vigorously as it booms. Cheaper gas for consumers may not compensate.

As I said I don't know the answer, but a whole lot of assumptions made over the last decade and a half are thrown out the window. There are liable to be many investments all through the economy halted or scaled back in the short term. Well fuel efficient cars sell? Does it make sense to implement energy use reduction investments is the payback disappears? The question is whether anyone will dare invest based on low energy prices. Consumers will have more money in their pockets, and that will have some effect.

It is 1998 all over again. Maybe "the 1990's were so good" because all we remember was '98, '99, and '00, when oil prices were $10 a barrel after the Asian financial crisis.

Cheap oil is good for MOST Americans. And I say this as a guy in the oil business. It will be terrible for me (as it was in the late '90s) but it will cause a boom for most ordinary Americans, who have no connection to the oil business.

#7 on Iglesias's list proves how behind the times he is, because that thing is so 2014 and way past the hype already. Kids will laugh at him for using that old thing in 2015 like a geezer.

Read some of the other articles in Vox. My prediction for 2015 is that Matt leaves and tries to erase any association with Vox.

On the one hand, predicting he'll change venues isn't very bold. On the other, suggesting that he's capable of being embarrassed by association with people like those at Vox is.

Ydiot is right that every time Hillary speaks, Obama looks better by comparison. What he misses is that literally everyone on Earth with an "R" next to his name looks even better than that.

However, he's pretty deep in his bubble, so this might not bother him.

You know there are equally strong partisans on the opposite side of the spectrum who say the same stupid shit about leading Republicans, right?


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