Saturday assorted links


5b: In the undergraduate game theory course that I took, the professor had three questions on the final exam, and let us choose (but only within limits) what weight to assign to each of the three questions, thus anticipating the idea in Tao's post.

The obvious constraint was that the weights had to sum to 100. But the more important limitation was that he let us choose only within a narrow range, something like 20-40 IIRC.

I correctly perceived that my answer to one of the questions would be weaker so I gave it a weight of 20.

1) To quote a famous Dane - "Though this be madness, yet there is method in't"

"Oh what a great mind is here overthrown"?

1. sharks

Sexual reproduction produces variation in physical traits, so it makes perfect sense that it would also produce variation in personality. It is to the advantage of the species to have individual variation in personality because an aggressive personality type may be better suited to certain situations, while a passive personality type may be better suited to other situations. Diversity is a means of mitigating risk by not putting your eggs all in one basket. If the circumstances favor the bold, a small percentage of shy individuals hedges against an unexpected change in the environment.

#2 GWAS are notorious noise-mining exercises even when used to look for associations between subsets of genes and reasonably well defined effects like ALS. The use of GWAS to look for subsets of genes driving "educational attainment" (However that's assessed - likely the usual practice of assigning PhDs in cultural anthropology a score of 10 and people like Michael Faraday a 2 and Steve Jobs a 5) serves only as a good example of how time and money can get wasted on "science" that has no hope of discovering, confirming or refuting anything. I suppose this paper did serve to calm the moral panic precipitated by the hypothesis among the editors at PNAS (equally notorious for their lust for PC studies) and that's probably the point.

Pro tip for biotech investors: when Uncle Sam starts a gold rush of genetic noise-mining buy the companies that sell the pans and pickaxes.

Your claims are grossly exaggerated and wrong. GWASes have excellent replication records, unlike candidate-gene studies (now there were 'notorious noise-mining exercises'), both within and across populations. The education SNPs in question have repeatedly replicated, and this is true whether the 'years of education' variable is used or regular IQ tests. It's been a long time since 2013, and the education hits are withstood all the criticism from the ankle-biters.

That aside, #2 is an amusing summary by Cowen. So dysgenics has not 'increased in importance'? Did the zeitgeist suddenly flip while I wasn't looking and everyone is claiming to have believed that dysgenics was indeed operating at the genetic level all along?

#3...Based on my googling it would be Allyson Felix.

6. "Trade also works to transmit the investment slump across countries. Year-on-year growth in private investment in advanced countries was 2.1 percent 2010-2014, versus 3.3 percent during the pre-crisis period."

Swag, 3.3% investment in advanced nations is insufficient to grow real value capital - that implies mean useful life of capital as about 25 years and thus zero increase in capital, thus no population growth. 2.1% investment implies zero population growth and capital having useful life of about 35 years.

What advanced countries are doing is pillage and plundering capital to not pay labor costs. This is the Paradox of Thrift which was known before Keynes, but explained in some detail by Keynes and others in the 30s.

And I see people describing the same behavior today, but not using the phrase "paradox of thrift".

And I fault myself for engaging in this behavior. I worked for decades and saved labor costs in my house (rapidly paying off mortgage, kicking myself for not paying cash from saved labor) and in savings in Wall Street. With three Wall Street crashes, the real returns on my saved labor costs from the 80s, 90s, and 00s (a huge crash in every decade) were 2-3% as a long term buy and hold Wall Street funds saver. Then I got a huge Bush tax cut, the one that comes from businesses pursuing the conservative cut labor cost at every turn to increase profits policy.

Since then I have been consuming my saved labor costs. But to stretch them as far as possible, I did invest in 5 years of education, but I pillaged my transportation capital to the point that I was reduced to a bicycle. So in 2007 I was again stuck with not being able to get to jobs (in 2001 I had a house that would have required spending a lot of savings to leave, and if I sold it, replacing it would cost more than I got where a job might be found).

I have continued to pillage and plunder my house, and it now needs perhaps $50,000 in investment to get back to 1986, which would be substandard today. I can tell myself I should help the economy and invest $100,000 paying mostly American workers to build capital in my house. But that consumes my saved labor costs. I should pay American workers to build me transportation capital, and if Elon showed up with a Tesla Model 3, I'd almost certainly give him $40,000 of my saved labor costs on the second thought.

But I have internalized the Reaganomics aversion to paying labor costs, while expecting that I am so highly valued that I am offered a job at a modest $150,000 annual labor costs.

As a nation, the US is pillage and plundering it's capital to not pay labor costs.

This election is about how to be a really high labor cost to the economy without paying anyone else to work.

Economies are zero sum. Burn capital instead of paying labor and labor costs are forced down creating various degrees of poverty.


Note that when productive capital is scarce, the opportunity to profit can be huge, which when rates of return are very low can greatly inflate the price of the capital. But that means the owner of the inflated priced absolutely does not want more investment because more capital will destroy his wealth by reducing the price of his capital to less than its original labor cost.

I would have thought that Denmark was a little cold for Asian elephants. Someone is trying to take endangered African rhinos to Australia - perhaps they could take some African elephants too?

It would be better to let the Asian Elephants join Pablo Escobar's hippos in Colombia or Brazil. Somewhere warmer with forests.

Not quite sure what the environmental impact would be but at least they would not become extinct soon.

Scientists should revive woolly mammoths and let them roam Denmark instead.

Yes! Of course they should release wild elephants in Denmark. Why is this even a question?

Elephants in Denmark is not the dumbest thing I have heard from Scandinavia recently. How about this:

So perhaps Denmark can release them in order to create jobs for all those Sri Lankan refugees they took?

Stenseth has just sent an application to the Norwegian Directorate of Integration and Diversity (IMDI) for a grant of some $125,000 for a feasibility study on the project,

$125k to consider whether or not to let them keep 20 camels? And it sounds like more financial assistance to start the operation up. For 20 camels.

As a management consultant, I used to do feasibility studies at the state and local government level. That's about what they cost. The feasibility study will often represent 5% to 10% of the total project expenditure. If done right, they pay for themselves by outlining a management framework for keeping the project within budget.

again, 20 camels.

Re #3: Carson frickin' Palmer made the top 100!?
Re #1b: I think that question was answered when people started hitching rides on Great White sharks.

Rose makes number 30 while Westbrook is 48? Tim Duncan at 90? Matt Kemp?

"2. A claim that neither assortative mating nor dysgenics have increased in genetic importance."

My impression from economic historian Gregory Clark's work is that Francis Galton must have noticed the big drop in fertility among the upper and upper middle classes that began in the later 19th Century Britain. For example, Galton's cousin Charles Darwin had ten children but only nine grandchildren.

But I think this was more a historical rather than a universal phenomenon. Clark reports that the class gap in fertility closed significantly after 1940 in Britain (in part due to the work of Galtonians to spread awareness of contraception to other classes).

Testing: Make America Great Again

most people see it as just a new country, not found b4, and wealthy because they didn't have to deal with all this s that came b4. nothing 'bout individual rights and all that flows from that . . .

Once inundated with the same mindset of the slaves in ancient egypt? they'll succumb to the aNCIENT, age old misery of living and thinking 'bout when it is over . . . and sacrifice their lives to building, big old pyramids to nothing . . .

sorry for being so crass, this forum and blog have been friends of mine since their beginning. \

cracking open a 16oz Mike's Hard black cherry lemonade . . .

missed out, totally, 'bout what adam smith said . . .

3rd order concepts, . . . , flunk

dog eat dog world, no comparative advantage, just you win, or you lose . . . relatively, and like that matters . . . to who?

all teeth there . . .

Odd methodology for the most famous athletes list: "a formula that combined athletes' salary/winnings and endorsements with their social media following -- Facebook, Twitter and Instagram -- along with Google search popularity". Why combine earnings, social media and Google rank? Why no Weibo or VK in the social networks for a "World" list?

Results seem odd too. Can't see a single cricketer despite its massive popularity in Asia and the Caribbean, but a bunch of golfers and Ronda Rousey?

Cricket? Numbers 8 and 14.

Looks more like a 'world famous in the US' list.

3. Notable to me that the top football (American) player was 32, cam Newton, considering the nfl is the ultimate media and social juggernaut.

It's a very minor sport outside the US compared to other mainstream US sports

sharks have distinct personalities..

Said of lawyers, too, but only to other lawyers. To clients(victims) all you see are the teeth.

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