Thursday assorted links


Not a Mormon, but I imagine living around a lot of Mormons would be quite nice, if a little boring.

Riddled with spies though. Reference:

I'm not sure there are enough Mormons who would want to live in the community described in the article. I mean, there are hippy-left-wing Mormons out there like this guy is, but they aren't exactly a high percentage. Give all your assets to the local private government so you can rent? Commit to not eat any meat at all (directly contrary to LDS teachings) to live off a rooftop garden in the name of environmental sustainability and reducing your carbon footprint?

It sounds like this guy has his own private vision of how he's going to engineer a community (very) loosely based on the early days of the LDS church, but he's designed his version to attempt to appeal to hard core Bernie Sanders voters, of which there aren't exactly a lot in the LDS community. I guess he only needs 20K people, but moving costs, existing local planning commissions, etc... would seem to make even that tough to find. Maybe he's counting on everyone converting to the gospel of global climate change and suddenly looking for someplace they can live in 200 sq. ft.? Otherwise I don't see how this gets off the ground to turn into anything but a money and time sink for another rich guy with plans to remodel the world.

That is not going to happen. First of all, you'll be lucky to get a 50 home subdivision put up in that area, let alone get zoning for half a million new homes. Then where are you going to find all of those people? Vermont has challenging weather, to say the least, marginal infrastructure for expansion, and a NIMBY attitude everywhere. There was a huge outcry in my town when they wanted to put in a small granite quarry that would see all of TWO trucks leaving the property with granite every day. A big fight ensued, with the people terrified of industry winning.

You'll see 50,000 Somalis in Burlington before you see 50,000 Mormons in new developments.

Yeah I think Vermont or New Hampshire had exactly one black resident a few years ago, so NIMBY is understandable, a typical rich white folk problem. But this Morman was smart with IP: "Under David R. Hall’s leadership, Novatek, based in Provo, has continued to develop new technologies and claims to have a portfolio of more than 600 patents. Schlumberger Drilling Group purchased Novatek in September for an undisclosed sum". As I've said, rich folk do patents.

Typical RICH WHITE FOLK????? Vermont??? New Hampshire??? I think you might do well to reexamine your demographics. "White" applies. "Rich" does not. As for the Mormons, Utah variety, having lived in cities where they were a strong cultural force, I think that this man's ideas stand a good chance of manifesting. And, I think once they do, the locals will not object in overly strident tones. And I make that prediction in spite of the objections the article relates.

Well, presumably if you actually had 20 million people, you could move a few in early and take over the local gov't. But that's a pretty big if.

Vt has a pretty long history of being the location of choice for weird utopian communiites* though, so apparently its not that hard to get zoned.

*(when I was growing up there, I always thought it kinda weird that so many of my friends had families where one sibling was much older than the rest of the families children. Only later did I realize the families were mainly ex-commune residents, who would have one kid during their "free-love" phase, and then settle down in the area a few years later once their communities drifited apart to start more traditional families).

All you really need is one quote to see how nuts his plan is:

'The “Plat of Zion” is made up of a series of interconnected diamonds that are broken up into square units designated for planned development, “hinterlands” for grazing animals and wilderness. NewVistas would superimpose the plat on Vermont’s mountainous topography.'

Right, so the nice neat paper plan is laid down on actual topography and some poor sucker gets a farm on top of a rocky mountain. Even Utah isn't flat enough or homogenous enough to support this stupidity.

Somebody's been playing SimCity so long they've mistaken it for reality.

4. No liberal is as sanctimonious as Bill Simmons, whatever the man's politics.

ESPN gave Simmons a national platform, his own tv show even though he is bad at being on TV, his own vanity website, and (I assume) a lot of money. Naturally, Simmons has nothing but contempt for ESPN and trashes them every chance he gets.

As Tyler notes, he's been surprisingly subdued about ESPN. Even when given an opportunity to trash them (by guests) on his podcast he'll say a few words but then kinda move on. It's clear he appreciates the people who gave him a shot and fostered his ambition. Like any company, ESPN is just a collection of individuals, some of which he worked well with and others not so much.

If you want Simmons to be more appreciative of ESPN, then perhaps ESPN should do the same. He gave them Grantland and 30 for 30, the latter of which lives on and will be taking a victory lap in the form of the epic OJ Simpson docu-series about to debut. Simmons isn't without his warts, but c'mon, you act like he didn't earn anything.

My guess is that his severance deal came with a nondisparagement clause that just expired. You're right that he created a lot of value for ESPN, but his "sticking it to The Man" schtick is silly.

In fairness to Simmons, ESPN is pretty terrible.

In fairness to ESPN, so is Simmons

This is called marketing. He has a new HBO show coming out.

2) I looked at this briefly, then went back to look again. The site told me I had suspicious download activity. Oh, well.

Having read Thaler's book though, I think the Behavioral victory needs more circulation and recognition. It is not very integrated into popular economics.

I blame the EMH folks, for their stealthy victory. They redefined the term EMH so that the theory is new (and behavioral), but average readers think that since the EMH is still around, the original theory is still good (and not behavioral).

4. Does the average sports fan even know who Bill Simmons is? It's more the media nerd set and his fanboys that seem to pay the most attention. I'm not sure of anything he's been involved with or created that has has any impact on the culture at large. Maybe 30 for 30? But again, it seems like it's the TV/sports media geeks who appreciate that franchise the most.

For how fragmented the media landscape is, are there really that many people who move the needle for literally anyone? Simmons moves the needle for some people, and today, that's enough to get paid to plug underwear and mattresses.

We'll see how good the TV show is, but I'm not optimistic that I'll like it more than I enjoyed his podcast.

The average NBA fan is certainly familiar with who he is, at least if they can remember a Final that didn't feature the Warriors.

#1 People are opposed to their community being completely reorganized and a large influx of newcomers?

I'm astonished.

#1 - Literally the reason they were driven west in the first place. Literally the reason the president sent in the army to break up the State of Deseret. Literally the thing they did with downtown Salt Lake City. It's just what mormons do, they buy up huge swaths of contiguous land and attempt to build socialist utopias.

Not trying to pick a fight, but why is Utah so un-socialist then?

"In L.A., they have all these academy teams for boys, and the girls are treated like second-class citizens. The fields we have are worse than the boys', too. It all just drives me f—ing crazy."

There really aren't men's teams, there are teams that anyone good enough can play on and teams restricted to females, though that may be changing.

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