Saturday assorted links

1. “The Russian navy had to lease and purchase eight commercial transports in order to deliver supplies for the operation at the level of up to 50 sorties a day (which means one sortie per aircraft).” Link here.  And: “Over the last three years I have found that the best way of learning what is really happening in the war is to visit military hospitals.

2. Ted Gioia praises John Fowles.

3. This could pass as satire.  (That link was taken down but it is still posted here.)  Don’t neglect the subtitle of the publication itself.  In fact you could have convinced me it was a bad right-wing satire of something that doesn’t happen, but I’ve seen it so many times in my Twitter feed I think it must be true.

4. Jonathan Haidt talk on how Ethical Systems Design could reduce inequality.

5. “…just 6% of Africans qualify as middle class, which it defines as those earning $10-$20 a day. On this measure the number of middle-income earners in Africa barely changed in the decade to 2011.

6. JEP piece on how the Fed plans to raise interest rates and how monetary policy works today.  Boring, but a very good explainer.

7. Maryland real estate, an interior, no grain in sight.

Comments

Tyler-

Perhaps you should extend your reading to some "right-wing" sites. If you had, 2. Would not have surprised you at all.

Ironically the kind of people who believe in number 3 type nonsense would regard TC as right wing and MR as one of those right wing sites.

Anyone who cites Steve Sailor with approval is a right winger in at least some sense.

When has Tyler cited SS approvingly? I remember a few years back, TC wrote an extensive post critiquing his views on race and IQ.

Krugman or DeLong or don't even engage with those ideas (not unlike the author of the article of #3), so if that makes TC "right wing", then I'll just take that as a synonym for "free thinker".

@E. Harding

http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2009/05/why-steve-saile.html

As someone who interacts regularly with these people on the internet for sport, yes: merely engaging with the idea is evidence not of being a free thinker, but of being a racist, sexist, misogynist shitlord from the patriarchy. It's useful to remember that in the grand scheme of things, these are the rational conclusions of the left's critical theory. These people have popular support from feminism, see enthusiastic consent, see preponderance of evidence in college rape claims, see UVA Jackie/Rolling Stone, see false statistics like "1 in 5 college girls raped/attempted raped" being pushed from President Obama! In my opinion, these people are the most dangerous political subgroup to upset - if you speak out publicly against them I would expect retribution at least in the forms it takes for internet violence - letters to your employer, anonymous police reports, vandalism of your property. Give it twenty years and perhaps they'll be killing dissenters to destroy the patriarchy.

Go read the article on Vox if you have any doubt, Tyler. This isn't a fringe case, this is the real aim of the vocal left and is certain to manifest itself in retributive injustices against certain demographics. In the future, if they have their way, just an accusation from a anything but a white male against a white male like yourself will result in the presumption of guilt. Eventually, only the most conservative of institutions will choose to defend their accused employees instead of take action against them.

Poor widdle white trash. Life must be so tough for you. Why don't you go take some meth and make it all better.

Making his point for him I think

Great, take your internet points and relish them while you smoke that meth.

Never have smoked meth, but wouldn't look down on someone who did just for that

Every time I see an African with a mobile phone I think "Cultural appropriation"

3 Is the hope that it is satire the beginning of the realization that there are people who are barking mad who are setting the social agenda? Houston faced the reality of legislation forcing women to accept men in their shower rooms. A school in Chicago is forced to force girls to accept a man in their shower rooms.

The hope is that these obviously emotionally unstable people don't end up where they usually do, some bureaucracy somewhere ruining people's lives.

Have you ever even met and actually talked to a transgender person?

Two or three times a week. Why?

Have you?

I dated a transgender woman last year. You never, ever guess she's biologically male. Asking her to go to the men's room would be ridiculous. Men would complain.

I'm straight but date women with penises, virtually assuring I come out on top in I'm-not-a-bigot pissing contests.

Good for you, D, good for you.

Congratulations D. I have never seen a convincing male-to-female Western transsexual. That is, not someone of Asian origin.

So I think, whatever you think, that people do know. Ru Paul is not subtle.

Besides, we are now in the world of young men who feel they were women, despite science saying they are male and, you know, owning a penis, enforcing the right to shower with biological girls. Not with highly convincing transsexuals who actually live as women.

How would I know?

I do not understand why certain folk want women to be forced to have individuals with masculine secondary sexual characteristics, such as beards, in their toilets and changing rooms...

"Separate but equal" was something that blacks refused to accept. Why should there be separate rest room facilities for sexes? The stalls in rest rooms have doors on them. Most people don't have bathrooms in their homes for separate sexes. What's the big deal?

Most people don't share their bathrooms at home with strangers.

Please, please, use that analogy as much as possible during the upcoming election season. Especially in black neighborhoods in swing states.

Careful. Prof. Cowen considers transgender rights the defining moral issue of our time.

2.Its hard to believe that manyof Fowles' books are out of print. Easily an extraordinary writer.

All of Fowles's books are in print. In Britain. They can be bought and read also by adventurous Americans.

Fowles was brilliant, and "The Magus" would make a terrific mini-series. Gioia is right, "The Magus" would make a terrific mini-series. Everyone should at least have read "The French Lieutenant's Woman".

I couldn't get through The Magus. Don't remember why, I just didn't care for it, which surprised me. A Maggot is one my favorite novels.

3. The paper took it down; you can view it as it was initially posted here: https://web.archive.org/web/20151107010454/http://yaleherald.com/op-eds/hurt-at-home/

I thought it took the archive longer to get to things. I was about to link to something with a partial excerpt that I had to find through googling.

Thank you for finding that link.

It was delicious.

I'm not even sure what they're debating over. Is there any real disagreement here, or are they just signaling? Is this why Yale's value added score is so shitty? http://www.vox.com/2015/10/30/9647130/economist-college-rankings

You can read the letter about this sent by Dean Holloway to the Yale Undergraduates on Friday here:
http://yalecollege.yale.edu/campus-life/messages-deans-office/today-not-just-another-day

And I copy the letter sent by President Salovey to everyone at Yale late Friday afternoon:
________________________________________________________________________________
Dear Members of the Yale College Community,

Dean Holloway wrote to you earlier today to share his thoughts about the events of the last few days. I want to underscore the important themes of his message and add my own voice to this conversation.

Last night, Dean Holloway, Secretary and Vice President Kim Goff-Crews, Chief of Staff Joy McGrath, and I met in Woodbridge Hall with about 50 students, primarily students of color, for four hours of listening. We heard deeply personal accounts from a number of students who are in great distress. The experiences they shared went beyond the incidents of the last few days. Their concerns and cries for help made clear that some students find life on our campus profoundly difficult. I have heard and I acknowledge the pain these students expressed.

This conversation left me deeply troubled, and has caused me to realize that we must act to create at Yale greater inclusion, healing, mutual respect, and understanding. The students last night made many thoughtful and constructive suggestions. Some of these we can implement right away or begin planning for immediately. The leadership of Yale College and the university are working on next steps. You will hear from me again before Thanksgiving about some of these actions.

For now, I want to reiterate our community expectations for inclusion and diversity. As Dean Holloway wrote this morning, Yale belongs to all of you. Yale must be a place where each person is valued automatically, without having to demand or labor for that recognition. I do not want anyone in our community to feel alone, disrespected, or unsafe. We must all work together to assure that no one does.

Our community also shares a commitment to free expression and an open exchange of ideas free from intimidation. We have had that important conversation before, and we will continue it in the future. Now is a time to work toward healing and mutual understanding.

We can be better—and we will take actions that will make us better—in all these respects. I hope you will join me in this effort. We must all hold ourselves accountable—I most of all—for making Yale a better place.

Sincerely,
Peter Salovey

What was the original controversy about? I know it has something to do with racially offensive Halloween costumes but do you have more incite?

No actual costumes that I know of. Just the anticipation of such costumes. You can read the original email to the student body here, asking students to be culturally sensitive in their choice of Halloween costume:
http://pastebin.com/TLGSdaTg

A reply to this was sent to Silliman College (one of twelve undergraduate residential subdivisions at Yale) by Erika Christakis, the associate Silliman college master:
http://genius.com/Erika-christakis-dressing-yourselves-email-to-silliman-college-yale-students-on-halloween-costumes-annotated/

Thus began the debate. As a backdrop there are the recent events at Yale of:

1) A discussion in August about whether Calhoun College should be renamed, given the ideas its namesake championed. (Of course it shouldn't; that whitewashes Yale's past.)
and
2) The January detaining at gunpoint of Charles Blow's son by a Yale policeman, resulting in an article in the New York Times. Yale's investigation concluded that the policeman acted reasonably because Blow's son matched the description of the burglar who the policeman was searching for in the area. Read about that here if you want:
http://news.yale.edu/2015/03/03/yale-police-release-internal-investigation-report

All of this has made Peter Salovey squirm a lot, providing much schadenfreude.

The worst thing is not that these idiots exist but that the Yale administration regards their concerns as meaningful. When I was a student the group of people who believed that this type of complaint was in any way meaningful was confined to the most radical of staff/students in various "studies" programs but sadly now it has emerged out of this sheltered workshop to poison the general atmosphere in academia. To people who don't work in Universities this kind of thing just seems either sad or amusing but it is much more dangerous than that. It has only taken 15 years.

I wonder if people would be better off just ignoring the social justice antics. I think part of the problem is that the Jonathan Chaits of the world try to reason with them, which only creates a public debate that broadcasts their shtick to the world, which only gets them more people on the bandwagon, etc. Maybe at the very least they'd start focusing on more worthy stuff (actual police misconduct, etc.) if we didn't give them the idea that social justice antics is the way to satisfy their desperate need for attention.

I was an undergraduate 15 years ago. I remember lots of this thinking going on then, it just didn't have the internet megaphone.

It's funny looking back. Everything happened all at once on campus. Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and the iPhone were independently introduced in a tiny two year window. From fall 2005 to fall 2007, by which time they were all established (the iPhone become so really fast!)

Things seemed much more dynamic and revolutionary back then. The blogosphere was also much more freewheeling and decentralized in this 'inter-glacial' phase, which lasted for just a few years, and then began to succumb to centralization, average quality-collapse, and volunteer thought-policing.

The world, and campus life, changed significantly in just the five years from 2005 to 2010, but the character of that short time period as a real historical transition phase hasn't penetrated the consciousness of even the people who lived through it.

"But, in his ten weeks as a leader of the college, Master Christakis has not fostered this sense of community. He seems to lack the ability, quite frankly, to put aside his opinions long enough to listen to the very real hurt that the community feels. He doesn’t get it. And I don’t want to debate. I want to talk about my pain." --JENCEY PAZ

I think 18 is time enough to have grown up to the point where you don't expect every random adult to hug you and tell you it is all going to be okay whenever you get your feelings hurt.

Or less politely: "grow the fuck up".

These kids are knocked down into blubberbing balls of incapacity pretty easily. I wonder what Fredrick Douglas, Harriet Tubman, the President , Clarence Thomas et al think about these kids' surrender?

#2..."The Tree" is one of my favorite books.

3 There are the seeds of understanding the US educational money issues in this article. You couldn't pay me enough to be an administrator of a place full of such ridiculous nonsense, and if I was the father, I would pay anything to get them out of the house. Yale? Great. How big a check do I write?

#2...I also just rescreened "The Collector". It's a very interesting film made by William Wyler, which, for some reason, strikes me as odd.

Thanks for # 6, I've been concerned that I had not seen much discussion of the massive changes in the funds market.

Grain?

A reference to an argument among Biblical scholars of today regarding Ben Carson's interpretation of Genesis 41: 46-57 and other related texts (Joseph, ancient approximations of the Navier-Stokes equations, and farmyard architecture). You might also be interested in Genesis 31:25-43 (Jacob, natural selection, and the ancient understanding of probability). The majority of those who have weighed in on the subject do not believe the well-known pyramids of Egypt were intended to store grain during a time of famine.

"The majority of those who have weighed in on the subject"

Ah, but how many of them have a portrait with Jesus?

I do not have a painting of me with Jesus, but I would like one. That being said, I am not convinced that whoever designed the pyramids - Joseph, if Dr Carson is right, or somebody else, if he is wrong - did not, in fact, face very daunting airflow problems with respect to the thousands of discretely inserted but interconnected granary compartments which required both varying temperatures to make sure all the grain would not go bad at a given drought-year average temperature (here I am referring to the anti- fragility concepts of which Nassim Taleb and Alexander Pushkin have eloquently written in recent times, and for the lack of which our Irish ancestors suffered so much a mere five generations ago) and with respect to the complicated, unpredictable nature of the airflows required to defeat the dangerous chemical signaling mechanisms between devouring pests of the insect and rodent orders (whose multitudinous pheromone-like lingering trails of food-discovery triumph quickly take on, both in the ancient world and the world of today, an immense complexity that, I guess, even 21st century supercomputers, even programmed by Caltech graduates who aced their Navier-Stokes seminar, could only with difficulty completely and successfully mitigate for 7 years). Conjecturing, designing and overseeing the building of such compartments and their connecting passageways to even a minimal degree of success would require real genius. On the other hand, all I - no mathematical genius, that is for sure - need to do to more or less have a painting of me with Jesus is find an artist and pay him or her.

Diptera and lepidoptera are examples of orders, "the insects" are a class.

Sometimes, I get feeling that this website is less about intelligent conversation and debate and more about people making snarky water cooler comments.

It didn't take too much work to find the root cause of the original article #3:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2015/11/05/a-confrontation-over-race-at-yale-hundreds-of-students-demand-answers-from-the-schools-first-black-dean/

I agree with most of the backlash against "safe spaces" but racism seems like a reasonable place to draw the line for free speech.

This part really was disturbing and should be investigated: "one brother saying, according to an eyewitness, that only 'white girls' were welcome." Still, I'm doubtful the university should get involved in policing Halloween costumes, because of obvious line-drawing problems. If the university did get involved, I think I'd prefer for it to just ban all Halloween costumes.

What racism? The sum total of complaints in that story is a rumor a frat turned a Black girl away from their party - which they deny - and that students were asked to be a little tolerant of other people's Halloween costumes.

Every single protesting student should be expelled. What they are trying to do is bully everyone else into silence based on nothing but rumors. Tolerance is a good thing. Yale needs to protect it.

Yale is literally driving these students insane by endorsing their borderline personality disorders. Code words? Seriously?

Borderline?

Not borderline "personality disorder", "borderline personality disorder" it's the name of a disease.

Goodness me. Thank you.

Absolute free speech for everyone! Except protesters, who should be expelled from the institution. So absolute free speech for racist sexist homophobes, then.

#3 relevant videos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IEFD_JVYd0

A relevant but slightly tangential link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/09/15/obama-says-liberal-college-students-should-not-be-coddled-are-we-really-surprised/

#3: Aw, baloney. Do you remember being a college student? You were full of self-importance and were an awkward mess of emotions just like these people. College students protesting a bit too much is nothing new and there is no reason to single out black students who are doing it. Everything that any student says at college (certainly anything written on a college opinion page) could "pass as satire."

What do you object to anyway? They sound like kids who are wearing their heart on their sleeve and looking for community at this moment in time rather than intellectual debate. Is that the wrong choice? And how do you know the whole backstory? In one sense of that word, you can't, because you're not black.

This sort of snark is not helpful and it mystifies me why people resort to it.

From link 3)

"I have had to watch my friends defend their right to this institution. This email and the subsequent reaction to it have interrupted their lives. I have friends who are not going to class, who are not doing their homework, who are losing sleep, who are skipping meals, and who are having breakdowns. I feel drained. And through it all, Christakis has shown that he does not consider us a priority."

Now read Erika's email in the link I gave above and try to wrap your head around how it could justify this reaction. I just can't stretch my mind around it. If the Christakis email were the tip of some big iceberg of grievances, I'm sure we would have heard about those by now. I'm glad the minority students I've mentored at Yale have not displayed this fragility.

Speaking of which, where are the Yale students distancing themselves from the crybabies and saying "You don't speak for me"?

PS. The Twitterers who troll @Yale are hilarious.

Gargling, as much as I am fed up with all the PC bullshit at universities, I must recognize that you are right. College students protest too much, react too emotionally, and say stupid things; when I was one, back in France, I remember me saying things my new self find incredibly stupid. Plus, there is all these things I said and did that i do not remember, for a reason.

He's not right. The sex and race critical theory that is misguiding these students is being pushed in to the real world by real advocates. The idea that this is some youthful phase that we should just ignore is simply realpolitik to assist the creep of this worldview in to the mainstream.

I changed my mind since yesterday. I now agree with Thomas. What made me see we had to do not with babies but with fascists is petition calling for the resignation of the master of the Silliman college. See https://www.thefire.org/yale-students-demand-resignations-from-faculty-members-over-halloween-email/

I spent one year at Yale recently as an invited, and this kind of nonsense were frequent there. I know these problems are present in many universities (for instance at Brandeis, where I teach mathematics). If someone knows of a counter-petition defending free speech and/or specifically the master of Silliman's college, I would be happy to sign it.

I agree wholeheartedly. When I was in college I was a libertarian, and I believed all kinds of foolish libertarian things. I also fixated on things that weren't that important, like the fact that documentary films aren't actually "real" or "non-fiction" or whatever.

The solution is to not let people go to college until they're older and more mature.

Maybe they can keep letting people go to college directly after high school if they're engineering or math majors (you never hear about this kind of stuff from engineering or math majors), but all other majors should have a minimum age requirement of 26. There's no time lost to those kids, since people with those majors would spend those same 8 years working retail or flipping burgers after they graduated anyway!

When you were a college libertarian did your movement get the Department of Education to reduce the standards of guilt for your political enemies from reasonable doubt to preponderance of evidence? When you were a college libertarian did the Republican administration and members of congress repeat dubious statistics to the public and create public investigations to suit you?

That's a fair point. But I do think raising the minimum college age to 26 for all non-engineering and -math majors would be a positive practical step to addressing the issue.

Thomas: fighting for the right to date rape. What a hero!

Fighting for the right of the innocent to not have their lives destroyed by baseless allegations

Cliff, why are you talking with a notorious rapist like Ed?

You guys on MR probably don't like the fact that a black man is President of the United States, but you DEFINITELY don't like the fact that he is a non-STEM graduate.

Gargling Warlock November 7, 2015 at 8:59 pm

What do you object to anyway?

I object to self-righteous censorious pr!cks destroying lives and careers.

You don't?

If college students are equivalent to mewling infants now, maybe the vote should be restricted to age 25 and up?

35. Up until about 35 most people have drawn out of the collective/parental purse: after 35 they probably start to pay in.

"#3: Aw, baloney. Do you remember being a college student? You were full of self-importance and were an awkward mess of emotions just like these people."

Of course. But this same reasoning cuts in the other direction. College kids should be allowed to push the envelope sometimes, especially when it comes to Halloween costumes and the ones who are offended should be developing judgment and social skills about how to respond. The criticism should really go to the administrators for not saying more forcefully that they are not going to regulate and micromanage social interactions among students and that students on both sides can exercise their freedom of speech and engage each other directly about what the line of appropriate behavior should be. Racism of the sort that allegedly resulted in a black girl being turned away from a party is one thing. Caitlyn Jenner or Osama bin Laden Halloween costumes, on the other hand, strike me as par for the course for normal 19 year olds.

3. Read the first sentence of the article, then skipped down to the comments. Didn't miss anything.

No comments on #1 or #5 ??? (facepalm)

I like the way that "Christakis" almost spells 'Christ's sake'.

AND he's titled a "master" - ooooooooh slavery dogwhistlemegaphone big time

Yes, I was an idiot in college.

And the adults would tell me I was an idiot.

re: 3, If statistical discrimination is now more prevalent than taste-based discrimination in US society, isn't this sort of discussion by young people helpful?

#1 A military hiring private transport...a good idea? How often does a nation plan to invade other nations? Why not just lease occasionally?
In contrast, the United States has maintained the ability to launch an amphibious invasion for the last 60 years without ever actually using it. Good idea?

The US invaded Grenada. That was within the last 60 years.

And yes, the US leases ships when it needs them. It keeps a residual sealift capacity but in fact relies on leasing ships and aircraft in the case of war.

"In contrast, the United States has maintained the ability to launch an amphibious invasion for the last 60 years without ever actually using it. "

The US threatened an amphibious invasion of occupied Kuwait in 1991 forcing the Iraq army to spread out and cover a much greater front. It was effective because it was a realistic threat. So, the capability is useful even if you don't need to use it.

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