Wednesday assorted links


5. Is this an ethical experiment? Were the gentlemen who said "yes" compensated with an equally attractive prostitute?

Who says she didn't keep her promise to them?

I'd like to see the ERP discussion.

30% said yes. That's an extraordinarily high number considering that well over half of adult men are married and most of the rest are in relationships.

Statistically speaking, she found an awful lot of men willing to cheat on their partners.

sounds like standard social science, but of course it is absolute rubbish.

"most of the rest are in relationships. " -Citation needed.

That doesn't appear to be true:
Percent Currently Married by Race and Sex Percent Married
White Men 44 %
White Women 51 %
Black Men 32 %
Black Women 26 %
Hispanic Men 43 %
Hispanic Women 45 %

So assuming the sample was representative there might still be a large number of married men considering the offer. What we should then ask is is that number in line with the numbers for unhappy marriages that end in separations and divorce?

We should also do this with the roles reversed.

They're really comparing it to a study done previously on a college campus?

CRISIS ALERT!: College men are willing to have sex with co-eds!

An exceptionally famous study done previously on a college campus, yes.

Actual question asked: do you want a video of you saying yes on YouTube plus no sex? I think some guys figured that out when they said no. The validity is premised on all the guys being idiots.

Is this supposed to be an actual "study"? :/

Well its a good thing they did this on a college campus, because those college students are certainly representative aren't they? Uh, no. Half are probably foreign students who don't even understand hook up culture or maybe come from countries that stone adulterers. Science stopped looking for the truth years ago. Now they're apparently just trying to justify their mistaken beliefs and childhood fantasies. But, what do I know I'm cisgendered or what used to be called normal. Remember that? Normal. Doesn't seem that long ago. What happened to normal?

Since December 2008, Pimco Total Return Fund has had just average returns, not significantly different from its asset class. In the time span from September 1993 to September 2008, it was only a tad better than the benchmark. It significantly outperformed only in a couple of months after Lehman Brothers.

5. It seems like she checked for a wedding ring, as not one, I believe, replied "I'm married," whereas quite a few said they had a girlfriend.

Are "I'm married", and , "I have a girlfriend", mutually exclusive?

#4 I would like to know what would Alex Tabarrok response to the claim by Romer that "Private City may not be a serious idea"

(Self Promoting, but sincere question )

#1. There is no great stagnation?

#5. One, men want to be the pursuer, not the pursued. Two, when a strange girl offers sex at a first meeting, one would generally assume there is something wrong with her, and don't stick it in crazy. Or she might be a cop, or a criminal trying to rob you.
This doesn't necessarily mean men don't want casual sex, they just want to PICK the girl themselves, not have it thrown at their feet.

I was thinking something along the same lines. First thought, she's a prostitute.

"They just want to PICK the girl themselves, not have it thrown at their feet."

Are women any different? Everyone wants to have say as to whom. To paraphrase something I heard today, you can still be hungry, even with all these hot dogs lying on the ground.


Send out a bunch of "I used to be the finance minister of Nigeria and. . . " e-mails. Then conclude that everyone who does not wire you money. . .is not interested in making money.

I'd like to see a repeat where she approaches guys in bars and asks. Much less 'weird' and probably a better test of 'willingness to have casual sex'.

Yeah. It has to be in an environment where an offer of sex wouldn't seem creepy or wierd. Go to house parties around college campuses, or clubs in cities.

Speak for yourself. I've be conducting technical interviews for the last couple months and while I'm not thrilled with most of the candidates, it's a lot more fun than applying. I can even ask stupid questions without personal consequence - I'm half inclined to ask this next guy how many drones would it take to bring a pencil to everyone in the US the same day or something like that. That said, my preferred interview process is going to be rather extensive no matter the role you are applying for.

A more interesting study would be an attractive girl in a bar making small talk at a bar with a guy for two minutes, then saying, "Wanna get out of here?" Much more realistic, and it puts men in a situation where many already believe themselves to have a high chance of scoring. I would bet the percentage rises past 50% for men, and I'd go out on a limb and say that it's over 10% for women.


Civet coffee is a complete fraud. Basically a gigantic practical joke that the native Indonesians played on the Dutch colonizers. Blind taste tests consistently show it ranked below even mediocre coffee. If you want to try what's considered the best coffee in the world by actual critics, buy a bag of single origin Yirgacheffe from any of the third-wave roasters. It'll cost $17 a bag, instead of $170.

4. Of course, the idea of charter cities (and charter everything else) is that democracy is, well, not efficient. That may be true, but let's not pretend that the alternative is democracy, for it all depends on the benevolence of those granted the charter. And maybe they are benevolent. Maybe the 1% will be fine stewards of what they buy. But make no mistake, from charter this or that to imposing obstacles to voting, America is abandoning the grand experiment in democracy that is the legacy of the founders.

Democracy started as an elite affair. It will end up as an elite affair once again.


*sings "God Bless the USA"*

"Of course, the idea of charter cities (and charter everything else) is that democracy is, well, not efficient."

Charter city: a charter city is a city in which the governing system is defined by the city's own charter document rather than by state, provincial, regional or national laws.

The idea behind a charter city is that local government is more efficient than larger more abstract government. It's not specifically about the inefficiencies of democracy.

The founders never thought that just anyone should be allowed to vote, and certainly they would have opposed people voting more than once. At their time it usually required some form of property ownership. Today I think we should use an IQ test.

Regardless of the IQ threshold you place for voting (it should be high enough to make the endeavor worthwhile and for differences to, supposedly, be noticeable), it will, eventually, appear to be racist to the minorities that don't score as well on the bell curve as the majority population.

I read the "Psychology of the Crowds" by Gustave Le Bon when I was younger and I seem to remember him saying that crowds are not as smart as their individual members. So, I don't think restricting voting to those of a certain IQ would improve things. I would rather restrict the eligibility for high and municipal office on the basis of IQ.

The democracy of the founders was an electorate of white men that passed a literacy test and paid a poll tax. That is nothing like the democracy of today, so America already abandoned the founders' legacy long before charter cities came about.

5. Recently a guy came up to me offering me a chance to make "free money." I of course am a New Soviet Man and have no desire for free money so I said no. I observed that other people on the street who he approached also said no. The only explanation I can think of is that they all have no desire to make money!

Off topic, but funny:

5. Most Bayesians would expect such offers to be part of a social experiment or candid-camera deal.

Sure, but should we expect that the Bayesians are more or less likely to say yes?

And how do our expectations change after watching this video?

Reply to 4 on private cities

6 and this is something new?

I was just in Taiwan and was pressed to buy some coffee that was "civet coffee" but made by chemicals and not actual civet cats.

Was I lied to or is this related? Who knows.

Wrong Romanization.

Actual link is:

Also, it doesn't taste that good. Very mild. No caffeine kick.

Regarding no 2:

Why turn to robots in law enforcement and the military? These are the exact kind of jobs with power, authority, uniform and prestige that are acceptable to the subsidized natives of these countries. They won't clean the gutters or the toilets (they can import Indians, Filipinos and Malays for that) but a uniform and a sense of power are just the thing to enable self-respect and make citizens feel like they're contributing.

Hard to bribe a robot. Easy to bribe a human. I'm sure that's part of the calculus.

Bribes are culturally ingrained. No need to be coarse about it, everyone gets his baksheesh without even having to shake you down, unless you don't know the score. The more important issue is what the people will be doing when the next Arab Spring comes around. If their interests are aligned with the leadership in a way that flatters their ego and puts money in their pocket, then things will be A-OK.

#5: I get phone calls telling me I've won a vacation or money and I hang up. I'd love a genuinely free vacation or free money, but obviously, that's not what is going to happen. If an attractive woman stranger approached me out of the blue and offered sex, I would expect a bad trick of some kind.

#5 cannot be for the same reason that their are not $20 bills around to pick up.

I don't get Tyler's comment about #5 being "an object lesson in the econometrics of out-of-equilibrium behavior". Anyone kindly explain?

#2 “The robots will interact directly with people and tourists,” he said. “They will include an interactive screen and microphone connected to the Dubai Police call centres. People will be able to ask questions and make complaints, but they will also have fun interacting with the robots.”

Nothing says fun quite like talking to the police. Especially when you just got robbed.

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