Wednesday assorted links


#1) This is the second Gizmodo link you've sent us this week. Should I be reconsidering Gawker media as worthwhile?

Tyler reads Gizmodo and the NYTs so we don't have to do that dirty work.

NYT is total trash, especially Ross Douthat's column.

2. Rodrik's complaint with TPP is with the ISDS provision; lifting trade barriers is one thing, lifting sovereignty is something entirely different. He identifies the greatest potential advantage from trade liberalization is an increase in investment, but I'm skeptical since we live in a world that's already awash with capital. My view is that, with international trade as with most issues, the momentum is either one way or the other, and that any agreement for trade liberalization spurs the momentum in a positive direction. It's easy to forget that once the momentum is in the opposite direction, toward trade barriers, it's very difficult to change direction; indeed, the momentum tends to accelerate rapidly.

Surprised you're not all over this, Tyler:

Or is it too prole?

Using blue LEDs is a marketing insight. "Look, high tech!"

So this is ready today?

Should've used this truck for their demo:

"Is moderate alcohol consumption healthy?" and "should we raise alcohol taxes?" are two entirely different questions. The author of #3 writes as if if the answer to the first question is "no," the answer to the second question must be "yes." This is false.

He came to this conclusion after studying the literature (he tells us) for one day and due to his previous priors (mostly it seems due to one observational study). Hardly a scientific study more of an opinion. For a more researched view see

My opinion, is that if alcohol taken in moderation were actually a toxic compound with serious long term detrimental effects we would not need such debates, the evidence would be obvious like it is for smoking. So the utility that I get from drinking is likely to outweigh the disutility of any harm I am getting, if there is any harm.

Yes that post is ridiculous and terrible. "I don't think the studies in favor of moderate drinking are probably any good (not that I read them) so drinking is probably bad"

#6: Tom Peters (remember him?) was hyping the "Hollywood Model" 25 years ago in his many books (especially Liberation Management). Still hasn't QUITE caught on...

6. What Hollywood Can Teach Us About The Future of Work: Jewish ppl will call all the shots thanks to rampant discrimination against non-Jews (see Sony) and front token minorities to claim Diversity! Diversity for you and Jewish privilege for me. Oy vey!

I would like to thank (you) the editor of Völkischer Beobachter for travelling through time to bring us this important public service announcement.

Gotta stay vigilant.

I read the article, replacing "the" with "jew," and I think I see what you mean.

"I’ve been reviewing two questions in depth ... I emphasize that I based this write-up on a day or so of reading." Depth indeed.

"I recently dig up the 2005 December issue of Scientific American and went entry by entry through the ...": surely even in the US "dig" can't be a past tense, can it?

No, it should have been "dug".

Roodman's supposed evidence does not prove or even support what he claims that it does. The biggie seems to be Mendelian randomization studies that show improved health for people if they reduce their drinking by 17%. This is not a comparison of moderate drinking with abstention. Someone who is drinking 17% less than someone else is not engaging in abstention. This is most certainly not worthy of talking about the "ash heap of history" that was advertised for this stuff.

If there is a correlation between moderate drinking and other health habits, then can moderate drinking serve as a proxy for being able to enjoy a product, but also recognize when enough is enough? Is the benefit in knowing how to enjoy a drink, but not get drunk?


I would think, "yes." But other benefits of moderate drinking may be causal. For example, moderate drinkers have been statistically shown to earn higher incomes. The idea is that moderate drinkers have more successful business sales and career networking that leads to higher income. I would think that being a moderate drinker who never actually socially drinks is not a substitute for the real deal and thus, the act of going out for drinks with clients and colleagues has a causal impact on the income gains associated with that.

In the entertainment industry, moderate cocaine consumption serves the same purpose.

Any one of these crazy hotels would be preferable to watching Forest Gump.

6. The author clearly does not understand the "Hollywood model" and did not research before penning this little ditty. In Hollywood many of these people who come together and work together seamlessly on one project have done so in the past and is the reason they were chosen for this assignment. The author is also ignorant of all the pre-production work members of the team did before the shoot began. Lazy slipshod drivel or: this is why Conservatives hate the New York Times.

I agree. It comes through with an objective reading of the first couple paragraphs. He says flat out he doesn't understand what is going on and then writes an article about it.

Minor bun engine indeed.

Not only are the benefits of moderate alcohol consumption a myth, but moderate alcohol consumption itself is largely myth.

Naturally I don't have the link handy, but 90% of the USA are either basically non-drinkers (less than 10 drinks a year) or heavy drinkers (typically have more than two drinks in a sitting and do so regularly). The math works out that the vast majority of booze is consumed be relatively few people.

But the government would collapse for lack of funding if this changed, so -- booze it up everyone! We'll just scrape the dead off the highways in the morning. For health!

Naturally you don't have "any" links handy for your assertions. But go ahead and make your assertions anyway.

The Other Jim is correct.

10% of Americans are consuming ten drinks+ per day on average. I have no idea how these people function and yes, they account for the overwhelming majority of alcohol consumption.

There are some people who drink a glass of wine with dinner every night but for each of these there are two people who teetotal.

Personally I drink maybe three drinks a week and that puts me in the top 3rd of boozers.

He is absolutely NOT correct as your own link shows.

TOJ is indeed off. The chart is for drinks per week, not per year. About a third do not drink at all and another third drink less than a glass per week. The top decile drinks about 10 glasses per day on average.

I found this takedown of that study fairly convincing:

TL;DR: The 10 drinks per day thing comes from a survey done, but the survey results as they existed, if taken at face value, would suggest that America as a whole drinks, whatever 1 unit of alcohol per year. But America as a whole sells 2 units of alcohol per year.

So what Cook did was just double the numbers reported in the survey.

This is pretty suspect! It assumes that it's more likely that someone who reports five drinks a day is actually drinking ten drinks per day, than it is that someone who reports one drink per week is actually having three drinks per week. It also assumes that no alcohol is thrown out unconsumed.

It may be true that the chart has the proportions right (ie, the top decile consumes the overwhelming majority of the alcohol in America), though even that I doubt. But it seems almost certain that it is not the case that one person in ten in America is drinking ten glasses of alcohol a day. I mean, guys. Let's just think about it. Did anyone think that there were that many drinkers who were that heavily drinking before now? Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

#6) Ironic that we should use the term "Hollywood model" to describe the model that most recognizes reality: that everyone is a CEO of a 1-person company called Me, Inc. What the author calls the "corporate model" --- where there are employees and employers, full-timers and contractors, unions that are somehow different from cartels --- has always been a fiction. There are only market participants.

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