Sunday assorted links


LOL. #4 - the answer is estrogen, but biology is illegal now, even in the physical crucible of athletics.

#4 Would be interesting to see if this holds up at the weekend player level. My impression is that my wife and her friends are much better putters than my male friends, but of course they take many more shots to get to the green. My guess is that a the professional level this is related to returns on practicing - ladies benefit more from driving practice, since most of them still are not able to drive as far as men due to power. Many men, even with poor technique, can drive sufficiently well, so the differentiating skill is putting, so that's where they work. As the pro's say, drive for show, putt for dough.

Did you read the article? Your anecdotal, politically correct "guess" is contradicted by actual data.

That's odd, because the article does in fact explain it in terms of high-level female golfers practicising their putting less than males ones.

He just read someone treating women like human beings and went nuts.

In addition to the other responses - I am not sure why my statement was considered politically correct? That's not something I often get accused of!

According to the article the putting gender gap gets WIDER the lower you get on the skills level.
This holds true on the amateur level as well.
So no, despite your anecdotal evicence, female amateurs are not better putters than male amateurs.

The article by the way suggests many possible reasons. Biology being one of them. But there are many others.

Let me restate the article and then perhaps you can see what I am getting at. I assume the amateur level referred to in the article is still a high standard compared to a weekend player - that is someone who plays golf socially. In the latter case, where people don't practice much, putting is much more based on inherent skills. Hence my anecdotal comment. However, as the article explains, practicing is very important at higher levels than just inherent skill - or someone who practices a lot at putting can beat someone who has better inherent technique. Women practice putting less than men at these higher levels (according to this article) which is perhaps why they perform less well at putting. My suggestion is that women have higher returns to practicing driving than men, because of their inherently weaker muscles, they have to have better technique. In other words, a great technique can win you more games as a women than a great putting technique. But in men, because of their greater muscle strength, once you have a decent drive, the rewards to improving it further are small, so you should focus more on putting.

It is to his credit that he mentions the two most obvious explanations - winning means that men get laid more often and hence they are willing to practice a lot more often and men are more likely to be obsessive about things like putting.

I doubt that winning helps with the LPGA groupies all that much - or that anyone would be interested in it if it was. But it certainly helped Tiger Woods. The sexes are not the same and probably never can be. But we have an enormous social investment in pretending they are.

I suggest the obvious solution - abolish the LPGA. Michelle Wie was much closer to the men when she was younger. Since turning pro and playing in the much weaker female competition her game has gone to sh!t. Call it the Polgar solution. No more separate competitions.

"4. Do women putt less well than men?"

I recall that during the 1970s, it was an article of faith among male golf journalists that women pros must be better at putting and chipping than men pros.

But as the Ladies PGA became more common on TV, especially with the success and huge popularity of Nancy Lopez at the end of 1970s, it became obvious that the top women weren't as deft with delicate strokes as the top men, so that myth has faded.

I'd suggest two main explanations:

First, I wouldn't be surprised if there are more men than women at the far right edge of the bell curve in terms of 3-D cognitive ability. 3-D thinking represents the biggest male - female gap in cognition. Putting and chipping is in part a test of correctly imagining how the ball will roll across a complex 3-D surface of slopes.

Second, selection. The percentage of kids who grow up having enough access to golf to play enough to become world class (typically, being in the 3% of the US population who belong to a country club) is already small. The big difference between boys and girls is in the % who like golf. I'd guesstimate that there is an order of magnitude difference: say 30 or 40% of 14 year old boys whose parents belong to country club like golf, while only 3 or 4% of their sisters like golf.

Thus, you see the golf fad in South Korea leading to South Korean women taking over the LPGA in recent years, while South Korean men have had only a modest impact on the PGA. Tiger mothering is all-conquering in women's golf but not in men's golf because more guys grow up wanting to play golf, whether or not their culture is currently infatuated with golf.

Watching TV, which flattens out the third dimension, it's hard to pick up from the screen just how 3-D complex golf greens on the best courses can be. But a big reason that top golfers, at least from the days of Jack Nicklaus onward, are so slow around the greens is because they are mentally processing a huge amount of 3-D information.

Here, for example, is Tiger Woods facing a daunting chip shot on the 16th hole at Augusta National in the 2005 Masters that gives an indication of the complexity of the thought processes

Thus, you see the golf fad in South Korea leading to South Korean women taking over the LPGA in recent years, while South Korean men have had only a modest impact on the PGA.

East Asian states tend to have very good education systems. But they tend to be a single shot, winner-take-all approach. A South Korean boy can do well in his final year exams and every career is open to him. Or he won't and he will be deep frying chicken for a living. Add to this a very patriarchal society where men are still expected to have good jobs and a home before they marry, or even get a girlfriend, and there are a lot of pressures on boys.

South Korean parents could encourage their children to play golf on the off chance that they will win a one in a million bet and their child will make money. But if he is a boy, they would rather push him to study so he can become a dentist - a nice, safe, 100% reliable job. Golf is only for helping move business deals along.

Girls can play golf because it is irrelevant what they will do. Eventually they will find some sucker to marry.

American children have more freedom because there are so many more career choices. If you don't get into one of the three best colleges in the US you will still have a good life as long as you keep away from drugs and crime. Why not let little Bobby play golf? It may even help him get into the Ivy League.

Nah, a lot of Koreans, both in South Korea and the US, Tiger Mother their children of both sexes like crazy to get good at golf. Check out the triple-decker driving range on Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles's Koreatown.

On the men's side, Anthony Kim, who grew up hitting hundreds of thousands of golf balls at the driving range in my neighborhood, made the 2008 Ryder Cup at age 23 and looked like he might be the next Tiger Woods. But now he's quit golf. When Koreans ask his parents how to drill their children to be like him, they now say: "Don't."

But Koreans get a lot more world class golfers out of their daughters than out of their sons because there is much less competition in women's golf.

@SS - Anthony Kim quit golf because he had a $10M disability insurance policy he is scamming on and collecting. You'd do the same thing for 1/100th of the money, see:

Nice bogus "just so" story SS S Sailor. Par for the course for you.

Ten million is chicken feed versus how much Kim could have earned on and off the course from endorsements if he became the next Tiger Woods, or anything close. His prize winnings at age 23 in 2008 were $4.6 million. And top golfers can make several times their winnings in endorsements, and endorsements can go on for decades -- Arnold Palmer showed up on lists of the highest compensated athletes in the world into his 70s.

A superstar Korean male golfer could have made hundreds of millions off endorsements.

But, anyway, the point is that it's a lot harder for Asian parents to tiger mother their sons than their daughters to the top of the golf earnings rankings. In 2015, 7 of the top 10 earning women on the LPGA had Asian surnames. On the PGA tour, of the top 10, I believe Jason Day is half Asian and Rickie Fowler is 1/4th Asian.

Last I checked, only one full-blooded Asian (e.g., Tiger Woods is half Asian) has ever won a single men's major championship in history, while 18 of the last 24 women's major championships have been won by women with Asian surnames.

This suggests that in evaluating the relative strengths of nature versus nurture, nurture is more important in women's golf than in men's golf. A single ethnic group, the Koreans, getting obsessed with golf can radically change the face of who wins on the LPGA tour but not on the PGA tour, because golf appeals to a larger percentage of boys than girls.

Steve Sailer May 22, 2016 at 6:18 pm

If a lot of Korean mothers want their sons to do well at professional golf there ought to be some evidence. Golf is a vital business skill in East Asia. That they want their sons to play it for business reasons, doesn't mean they want them to play it for a living.

Anthony Kim is a Korean-American. I am not sure what he shows about the Korean education system. For one thing, he quit what was probably his parents' dream - that he play golf. Compare that with the Korean pop star Psy who became world famous before his handlers told him what was acceptable to say in front of White people and so he openly admitted his father still beat him. As he moved through his fifth decade on this planet.

It may well be that the competition is less among women golfers. In fact it is almost certainly true. But any sport is a high risk gamble. If it pays off your child is a world champ with billions of dollars in sponsors. If it doesn't pay off, he would be lucky to be a High School PE teacher. See the film Hoop Dreams. A lot of Black boys want to be in the NBA or become the Heavy Weight Champion. Almost none do.

Korean Korean parents are almost certainly going to take the safe route and bully their sons into becoming dentists. All of them make a very nice living. Which is why Korea does not excel at any male sport at all. Any more than Japan does. In fact Japan is going backward with more and more of their sportsmen being imported. They have had to put a quota on Sumo wrestlers from overseas. Even China does poorly in any sport where they cannot take an impoverished child from the countryside and brutalize it. See their soccer team.

Daughters have more choice because their careers are irrelevant.

@SS, surrebutal - in the alternative Anthony Kim is actually physically disabled in some way and cannot play at the top level anymore. Either way, his losing interest in golf is understandable and does not prove your point. If anything, pushy parents can propel ptheir pkids to the pnext plevel, as per the Polgar family (chess). Pfft.

"Which is why Korea does not excel at any male sport at all. Any more than Japan does. In fact Japan is going backward with more and more of their sportsmen being imported."
Well, where are the South Korean women excelling in sports (after all, anything else they do "doesn't matter", they must have lots of free time to practice)? In 2012, men got most Olympic medals-- in things like archery and judo and fencing (and an unprecedent, I think, soccer medal). In fact, South Korean women seem to excel exactly in the same kind of sports South Korean men do ... and to a lesser extent.

Anthony Kim's parents have implied that they Tiger Parented him too hard and that other Korean parents should see their family as a warning rather than as a role model.

Maybe the Kims are wrong about their lives and Ray Lopez knows best about their family. Or maybe not.

In any case, the larger point is that Korean Tiger Parenting in this century has been more effective at producing world class female golfers than world class male golfers for the simple reason that very few girls like golf enough to practice fanatically out of self-motivation, while a moderate number of boys around the world love golf enough. So, a prosperous culture going nuts over golf, like Koreans in this century both at home and abroad, is enough to radically change the identity of women golf champions, while having only a marginal impact on male golf champions.

"Girls can play golf because it is irrelevant what they will do. Eventually they will find some sucker to marry."
So I guess East Asian states tend to have very good education systems for only half of the population. The girls probably are illiterate. I mean, it doesn't matter what they will do, right?

SMFS is not some dumb sucker who's gonna get fooled into marrying someone. That's why he's single. That's surely why.

I admire his self-restrain. With all those stunning women throwing themselves at his mighty arms and all. It is a shame they all, overwhelmed by awe, end up fainting before uttering a single word-- maybe this is why he sounds like someone who never talked to a woman

You're allowed to repeat the test the next year.

Don't men have better hand eye coordination and women better body control?

Do men make better seamstresses?

The1970s myth that women golfers must be better at putting and chipping didn't seem implausible a priori. Women do tend to have good small motor control.

It just turned out not to be true in the case of golf.

I think it's cultural. Cashew handling requires high dexterity. But primarily men do that while women do the seamstress like stuff.

Also, consider violinists, etc. Very finicky. I'm very open to the idea that there's some systematic difference between the sexes, probably very small on average, on some abilities like these. But I think cultural preferences and learning/training associated with them will skew everything.

Estrogen so...

Estrogen so...?

Bosses realised the bloggers were blogging and asked them to do work instead. Now blogs look more like work.

1. You don't see OPEC doing that.

My favorite part of the article: "...the economy benefited from higher government spending and a decline in imports. The extra day in February because of the leap year also helped, specialists said."

More than one specialist said that?. And based on the above reasoning, Japan just has to keep increasing government spending as it makes sure fewer imports are let in to have a strong 2016. .

Future annual GDP growth could be improved by extending the year by +10 days per year. Solar cycle be damned :)

Why it totally defies voodoo economic theory!

In voodoo economic theory, raising prices to pay workers more results in workers cutting back their consumer spending!

The best way to increase gdp is to slash wages so workers begin borrowing at twice the rate their wages are cut to boost their consumer spending and thus boost gdp.

Taxing incomes to pay workers to build local capital is bad for gdp growth because the higher taxes force reduced imports of luxury consumer goods.

I suspect that my eco washer is too eco. We choose a higher temp and select more-soiled to compensate.

Perhaps for the same reason (whatever it may be) that women are less accurate darts players then men.

Women on average have worse eyesight than men:

There are also other differences in brain function that affect vision between them:

I thought that this 2015 was the biggest, most high tech, look inside male and female brains

Ha, looks like Lewtonin's fallacy has found a new field to expand to

Would you rather be called a "deflector" of science?

Perhaps. But women do well enough to compete with men in many shooting sports, and visual perception is (duh) a big part of shooting.

_#2 Economics Modeling

" Misuse of Theoretical Models in Finance and Economics:

- Cherry-Picking in Empirical Reserch = Carefully Selectin Data to Support a Desired Result

- Potential Cherry Picking in Theoretical Research = Searching for a Set of Assumptions that Produces a
Desired Conclusion "

...SOP for Krugman & 80% of modern economics

"Friedman: We should not judge a model based on the
realism of its assumptions but only by the accuracy of its

I read and reread his Newsweek columns circa 1970 because he made economics understandable to me, a scientist and especially a physicist.

Except something seemed off, but I didn't know what. Then I read "Monetary History of the US..." and I was impressed by the evidence that I failed to understand at the time was the much harder labor of Anna Schwartz.

Anyway, one of Friedman's crusades was getting rid of "Regulation Q" which was really code equivalent to "big government". He promised that doing so would make banking far safer than banking had been for the previous 35 years with the frequent banking crisises that had failed to happen but we're certain to result in depression at any instant. Further, he promised that savings interest rates would rise far higher than the capped rates of 4%, 4.5%, 5% and checking accounts would pay interest, PLUS, personal loans would be easier to obtain and the interest rates on personal loans would be much lower than the usury capped 18%.

In the next decade, many of the regulatory change he argued for were implemented. Savings and checking without interest caps and without FDIC insurance were created (money market funds) for individuals like me, and everyone got personal loans without any income or asset requirements (credit cards) within about 15 years.

But then came the massive banking crisis, and savings interest rates started falling and falling while loan rates started rising and rising.

Do you consider Friedman to have met his own criteria for the accuracy of his model of banking?

(Thanks to the failure of the promises of those advocating increasing intellectual property rights to make information more accessible, Friedman's Newsweek columns are unavailable due to the copyright that makes information more available.)

On the matter raised by this Cardiff Garcia, it is far from obvious that his basic claims are correct, in particular that there is less linking across econoblogs than there used to be, much less that there is simply "less discourse" in the aggregate. Does he have a shred of actual evidence for any of his claims?

Maybe it is what I look at, but places like MR and Economists View and some others seem to me to continue to link plenty to other blogs. I do not have any measure of aggregate blog activity out there.

As it is, it may be that the intensity of some of the arguing is down, and Alex T. and Noah S. both argue that this is because back in 2009-2011 there was arguing about macro that is not going on as ferociously now. This may be true. But i for one am not impressed that somehow 2011 was some heyday of econoblogosphere dicourse compared to now.

1. Interesting, and I can't help thinking that there's a potential research question here. Namely, can a strong cultural sensitivity to price prevent inflation?

I'm not sure that is what is going on. Japan experienced inflation until 1999 when it started to hover near zero. I think the joke in the commercial was more that the company was doing something unusual. I thought the article greatly exaggerated in saying that "almost any increase makes headlines." I was in Japan from 2001 to 2013 and only remember McDonald's hamburger prices and Starbucks prices increases as headlines. It isn't surprising to see many price increases over the past year or two as inflation was targeted.

5. 2011 the golden era of econ blogs? Hardly, because by then, after the crisis had passed, economists reverted to type, once again squabbling over the best parking spaces, after having come together to prevent the crisis from destroying capitalism and with it democracy. Now democracy and capitalism face another existential threat. Will economists come together or continue squabbling over the best parking spaces?

As for the "standalone" blog that , I very much enjoy reading Tim Taylor's (standalone) blog posts. He practices the art of the understated provocation, as do several several other economists; the provocation belongs on twitter, the understated provocation on a blog.

2. Laundry smells for the same reason as all other human smells: bacteria:

@carlolspin - Not true, it's the sulfides and other such organic volatile compounds. Yogurt has bacteria and does not smell bad. My feces has bacteria, and does not smell bad (to me).

Perhaps I read the article in light of others I have seen. It is less news about bacteria, more that eco washers and detergent are not killing them like mom's did.

Some might just move your bacteria from shorts to table linen.

" Yogurt has bacteria and does not smell bad" the normally cluey Ray Lopez falls for the fallacy of composition.

I'll let the faeces reference roll right through to the keeper… ;)

#6: good list, but... I'm calling "just so" b.s. on this: "The best book on cultural evolution is by far Joe Henrich’s recent The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter. It offers many delights, but my favourite bit is this. Henrich has a very interesting way of looking at (premodern) technology as a designerless-yet-designed, culturally evolved product for which no single person has any idea why it works but users have confidence in ancestrally transmitted methods. The best example is manioc processing — manioc is toxic yet the detoxification process is completely non-intuitive and users have no idea why any of the steps in the incredibly labourious system work... The manioc processing example is all the more evocative for its causal opacity — the damage from consuming poorly processed manioc is only apparent in the very long run"

Since, if you read the Wikipedia article on this topic:

You'll see: (1) various species of Cassava (manoic), some of them not toxic, (2) 'the very long run' is only four hours, and (3) in fact, despite 'manioc processing' in Africa, there remains manioc related diseases (Wikipedia): "The reliance on cassava as a food source and the resulting exposure to the goitrogenic effects of thiocyanate has been responsible for the endemic goiters seen in the Akoko area of southwestern Nigeria.[45][46]"

With science, not tradition, to the rescue: (Wikipedia): "A project called "BioCassava Plus" is developing a cassava with lower cyanogen glucosides and fortified with vitamin A, iron and protein to help the nutrition of people in sub-Saharan Africa.[47][48]"

"‘the very long run’ is only four hours"

Actually that was about incomplete detoxification process (skipping a step or two), rather than consuming totally unprocessed cassava.

Overall, this is what Henrich says about Africa:

At the beginning of the seventeenth century, the Portuguese transported manioc from South America to West Africa for the first time. They did not, however, transport the age-old indigenous processing protocols or the underlying commitment to using those techniques. Because it is easy to plant and provides high yields in infertile or drought-prone areas, manioc spread rapidly across Africa and became a staple food for many populations. The processing techniques, however, were not readily or consistently regenerated. Even after hundreds of years, chronic cyanide poisoning remains a serious health problem in Africa. Detailed studies of local preparation techniques show that high levels of cyanide often remain and that many individuals carry low levels of cyanide in their blood or urine, which haven’t yet manifested in symptoms. In some places, there’s no processing at all, or sometimes the processing actually increases the cyanogenic content. On the positive side, some African groups have in fact culturally evolved effective processing techniques, but these techniques are spreading only slowly.

4. Fear of failure. Those who don't are psychopaths. It's a chromosome thing. And a psychopath thing. A psychopath thing. A psychopath thing.

4. Didn't read much of the article, but skimming it I didn't see much talk of the most obvious reason for a difference in putting ability -- the relative size of the talent pools being drawn from. If, as I suspect, far more boys take up golf competitively than girls then you would expect (even if there was no physiological based performance differences) to see the top male putter being better than the top female putter, and you'd expect the gap to widen when comparing 10th to 10th, 50th to 50th, and so on, just like they apparently found. Since that seems to be an entirely sufficient explanation I'm not sure all the other talk about practice (and don't even get started on the Gladwell 10,000 hour nonsense again) and social/cultural differences is needed.

3) We could make them mandatory for politicians or other leaders in society so every time they lie it shocks them.

Or we could use them to break in free thinkers to prevent their subversions from ruining everything.

Or ... how many millions of wrong directions could such a technology be taken in? I would regard heavy protections of encryption, anti-hacking protections, etc., as a precondition.

2) Interesting. Detergent producers want to maximize profits, so it's not clear they would produce reliable research on this ... but given that 7 billion people need to wash their clothes regularly, there could be major societal benefits in optimizing with regard to temperature, energy and chemical environmental impact.

Of course, free choice should be upheld. But it might be useful to have some peer-review science on this sort of question.

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