Friday assorted links

1. Apes prefer the glass half full, more here.

2. Jeff Bezos is involved at WaPo.

3. Profile of Anthony Mason.

4. Those least admired by Arnold Kling (not Anthony Mason).

5. Is Washington in economic decline?  An interesting argument, although I would put more weight on high asset values.

6. Data about on-line education (pdf).


I'm not sure if "framing" is a correct interpretation of what is going on there. I realize there is a language barrier involved but offering someone two snacks and then not giving them one, is not quite as neutral as "framing" something in a glass-half-empty way. That's because there is an implied agreement to provide two snacks. The apes might simply resent being "cheated" and therefore not trust the two-snack offering as much.
By contrast, nobody feels "cheated" or resents a seller for calling their meat "25% fat" instead of "75% lean".

I agree that it's not a direct parallel and wish they had though to pur a control in by running the same experience with humans - no communicats just the same type of choices.

I am wondering about your last claim. It may be that when the hamber is framed as 25% fat rather than 75% lean some resentment may be present -- as well as various health inference. I'd also point out that the two are not equivilent without some assumption. The 25% fat could also contain 5, 10 ot 15 percent other fillers so not be 75% lean meat. Similarly the 75% lean meat could have other fillers and not just fat making up the other 25%. I suppose if part of the initial framing is "This burger contains only lean meat and fat and has x% ..." we're good.

#5 Good. Maybe now I'll be able to afford a house.

Pretty sure moon orphans don't buy houses.

I think that high asset values makes a city appear to be healthy, particularly to those who own the assets, but will eventually and inevitably cause a decline as the cost of doing business there gets too high for whatever opportunity the city provided. This works this way even if the increase in asset values was induced by higher demand. They are really no different than other costs.

Like here:

Regarding #5, was this time around really any different frmo earlier cases? The DC area has always been largely recession-proof dure to the counter-cycular nature of the federal government activity and it's typical growth in various crises (economic or otherwise) events.

I would think the main difference now might be the more limited (if that's even the case) ability to expand via debt and possibly some local changes relating to DCs somewhat increased independance politically from the federal government.

The Washington Post has gotten noticeably better in the last year. Actual influential series, especially on the civil forfeiture topic. it's really encouraging to see.

I have to say there is something terribly wrong with the performance on their ad server though, Bezos should get on that next. Might be Flash's fault but they can do something about it I'm sure. Some of those mid article ads break the format of the page too.

Washington Post articles are unreadable on my Apple Macintosh iBook G4 running the Safari Browser. I can see them if I copy the page and drop them into a TextEdit window.

I wonder if they consider how much of the potential audience they lose when they implement formats that are not universally supported? It seems not.

Amazon was accessible on my machine until last year. I can still view stuff, but I can't buy anything. I don't thing Bezos can be relied upon to fix WashPo's problems.

MR is perfectly viewable! Works great! I can even post comments! If I suddenly stop, it probably means the MR software was "upgraded".

#4 He's right, as usual. Spot on post, that earns a "like" and a link. A gifted thinker who really should be more widely valued, the world would be a better place if we could put him in charge!

Funny comment.

But I don't get the hate from Kling on another method for getting along with people. Try getting a job without a little toadying. I'm not saying this is optimal, but it's hardly the worst behavior in the world.

The thing I've gotten out of this exchange is that people have pretty idiosyncratic taste in other people. I suppose I appreciate the admiration for Musk (but for SpaceX, not Tesla, people!) but I barely understood Tyler's suggestions. He seems to really like status seekers.

'...but I barely understood Tyler’s suggestions. He seems to really like status seekers.'

Well, some would say the more accurate word is 'donors.'

Sorry, people donating their time to fight ebola are also donating to the Mercatus Center?

Kling uses the word "admire" precisely. He doesn't say he loathes brown-nosers only that he finds them least admirable, which isn't a shocking stance. The question wasn't "Whom do you consider to be the best and worst members of society?", although Tyler seemed to think that was the question in his last post about it.

It was a bit distasteful. Somebody who hasn't had to worry about getting a job in a while looks down on those who do what they have to to get jobs.

I suspect he means the perennial brown-nosers, hence "toadies".

#6 If we are supposed to find opinions compelling, I would want to see what opinions hiring managers have about applicants with online degrees/courses. That will ultimately make or break MOOCs.

If one believes that signalling value is a significant component of the education premium, then that would suggest that MOOCs' success depends on admissions selectivity and difficulty of completing the curriculum, at least in terms of replacing traditional colleges. (MOOCs targeting a different student base, say those already working that are trying to gain incremental human capital, are a different matter.) Are there any MOOCs so far that are taking this route, i.e., trying to demonstrate that passing the MOOC is difficult? Perhaps, there is a business opportunity here for Brian Kaplan, er Caplan.

4. It's a little surprising that someone who has written about incivility would prefer to identify people he least admires rather than those he most admires. Are "toadies" those who disagree with him? Are people affiliated with Mercatus and Cato toadies because their beliefs conform to the beliefs of those who fund them? The default human condition is negative; it takes effort for humans to be positive. I'm with Cowen and prefer to identify those I most admire. It takes a little effort, but to hell with those bastards who disagree with me.

But cowen didn't do that. He listed categories of people he sort of theoretically admired.

"By 2010, that federal spigot started to close"

spigot is one of those writerly words that nobody every uses when speaking. it should probably be retired. spigot actually means a plug, and a plug cannot close.

Or, for the people using American English -

'a device that controls the flow of liquid from a large container; especially : an outdoor faucet' -

A faucet is a large container?

Is English your native tongue?

spigot is one of those writerly words that nobody every uses when speaking. it should probably be retired. spigot actually means a plug, and a plug cannot close.

It's a commonplace among bourgeois of a certain vintage. Don't know how you managed to miss hearing it.

Add "bourgeois" and "of a certain vintage" to the list.

List of what? Random phrases bjk's too insular to ever hear?

A spigot is also the thing on the side of your house you turn on to water your lawn, wash your car, fill the kiddy pool, etc. Anyone who has spent time in a U.S. suburb should be familiar with the word. It doesn't come up often in conversation, unless you're telling your kids to turn on/off the spigot, but the metaphor the writer is using here is not an uncommon usage to suggest a source of funds may not be entirely deserved or may have been excessive.

There are lots of ways to say "a large flow of x" that don't rely on a word that otherwise would have fallen into desuetude.

Spigot spigot spigot. Suck it up twit.

Kling identifies Tyler as the herald of the Toady Class. Kling then awards toadies "least admired" status. Tyler then collects his award by linking back to Kling.

Is Cowen as cynical as Kling describes him in Kling's September 2013 blog post? Kling: "Matt Yglesias wonders how, in a world that requires technical skill and social skills, those of us in the room have survived. It seems that most work for think tanks, newspapers, and other non-profits. Tyler replies that our presence in the room is indicative of marketing skills. Each of us has proven adept at marketing, with wealthy donors as our consumers in most cases. Steve Teles points out that as society’s rich accumulate wealth beyond what they can consume, their philanthropic ideas will, for better or worse, allocate society’s resources. Afterward, it occurs to me that this suggests that there will emerge a toady class, meaning people whose work in one way or another flatters the wealthy." I thought I was being ironic in my earlier comment questioning whether those affiliated with Mercatus and Cato are toadies. Kling confirms that they are.

Maybe the apes just prefer fruit to nuts.

"I promise to create an economic depression and confine it to a 40 mile radius of the US capitol." -- Iowahawk


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