Friday assorted links

1. Do you have a doppelganger?  The chance is higher than you might think.

2. What do scientists report as some of the main problems facing science?  Hint: one of them is “not enough money.”

3. Why pharma opposes pot legalization: “…in the 17 states with a medical-marijuana law in place by 2013, prescriptions for painkillers and other classes of drugs fell sharply compared with states that did not have a medical-marijuana law. The drops were quite significant…”

4. Mike Pence’s economic voting record.

5. Is Britain done as a Western power?  And the Financial Times and Cardiff Garcia do an overrated vs. underrated podcast with me, starts at 8:15.  (Self-recommending.)

6. From last year, my chat with Peter Thiel.


I have an evil doppleganger.

No, you're the evil one. He's the good one.

The trouble is that both would say the same thing.

Each one of you get a +1.

But you will have to share it.

5. Anne Applebaum's piece is laughable, rich with gems like this:

"The question, of course, is whether Britain can keeps its own democracy and its own rule of law intact if none of its leaders still actively promote those things abroad. "

Right. The implication of the article is that the UK needs the anti-democratic and corrupt EU to be avoid authoritarianism and corruption.

What is it about Brexit that makes reasonable people lose their minds.

Pity and I had enjoyed reading Mrs Applebaum. Oh well the eyesight has been going lately anyway and I've misplaced by glasses so I might as well stop paying her any heed.

Welcome again, dearieyou. "Pity and ..." is not British English. Keep trying, though, and even you, with your tin ear, might master it.

Don't worry. In less than five years, you will not be able to find a single writer who still clings to their doom-mongering on Brexit.

They will still be around, but silent. Like the 1970s "global cooling" people.

What is it about democracy that makes people lose their minds? Democracy is a process; if the majority vote to put the Jews in the cattle cars, restrict abortion, or provide public schools, that's all democracy. Singapore and the Emirates seem to do fine with authoritarian models; Israel, Hungary and Poland do fine with ethno-nationalist models, all of which, based on various pronouncements, seem to run afoul of our elites' ballyhooed, sprawling notion of "democracy." The notion that different people are different and thrive under different systems is wholly repugnant to the democracy cult.

"The notion that different people are different and thrive under different systems is wholly repugnant to the democracy cult."

That is, some exotic peoples don't need to be consulted about their own future (not so many years ago, some exotic people in the USA didn't need to be consulted about their country's future, too) as long as someone else has a bigger sticker than they have.

Democracy is so pernicious, it even causes people to lose reading comprehension, and erect giant straw-men.

Yeah, of course, it does. It is part and parcel of the White Man's Burden, I think.

At a higher level you can say that people deserve self-determination, that no one can say better what they should have have, and no one else can give it to them.

There is probably also some optimism bound to that, that people are basically good, and when self-determination is granted, outcomes are good as well.

Democracies, with checks and balances, try to prevent hot and emotional actions, but ultimately yes, democracy requires people who are basically good.

Kuwait and Bahrain are two of the five Arab states where electoral institutions have at least a modest amount of durability.

"Democracy" and the 'ethno-national state' are not alternatives. One refers to the institutions of the state and the other to the boundaries of the state - literal and figurative (and minorities in Israel are not excluded from the body politic).

Electoral institutions can and do endure in just about every part of the globe. The exceptions would be China, Russia, the Arab world and points adjacent, and Equatorial Africa.

Given [Corbyn's] rejection this week of the parliamentary Labour Party’s demand for his resignation, it’s worth asking whether he still cares much about parliamentary democracy at all. His vision of Britain, to the extent that he has articulated one, is of a radically isolationist country ashamed of its history.

Hasn't that pretty much been the Labour Party's stance since about 1920?

"What is it about Brexit that makes reasonable people lose their minds."

Indeed. In fact, I would ask, what is it about Britain that makes otherwise sensible people write such strange stuff in general. There seems to be something about my country that brings out the over-generalizer in every writer. It seems to make people reach for hyperbolic conclusions on almost no evidence. Britain always seems to be about to reach some destination or other. In reality, things just go on more or less as normal.

But your question is also a good one. What's so important about Brexit? If the UK leaves the EU, nothing much else really needs to change. In fact, if much changes it will be a sign that the separation has been badly handled. The threat that it *must* be badly handled was a rational threat in the run-up to the vote. But to argue that it must be some kind of catastrophe today is just silly.

I think it's because Britain has colonized the world. They are the root of so much of the modern world that they seem practically generic, like a cheese pizza.

I wonder if Anne Applebaum would write provocative articles about how Poland's exit from the Warsaw Pact diminished it's standing in the world? After all no-one could say the Warsaw Pact wasn't a hell of a lot more influential than what replaced it. Of course it was good for Poles to be free of such a monstrosity despite their supposed lost world stature. I think there may be parallels here.

Except of course that it is not about taking Poland out of the Varsaw Pact, it is about taking the Poles out of England. Are Polish pumblers the same as Russian soldiers? Is the English that coward?

Is the John L. grammaring?

It may not be fair or right, but Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel has ended the Brexit debate (at least for some time). If the vote was held today, Brexit would pass by a huge margin.

The world has changed. Whether the EU is a force for, or against, economic freedom amounts to a debate about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

@PS - But Bouhiel was a permanent resident of France? And this: "French authorities never opened a security file on Bouhlel because he had no known ties to any terrorist or jihadist group, Molins said" Even citizens can become radicalized. -RL

His family was from Tunisia, the most affluent Arab country not sitting atop an oil bonanza and (with the possible exception of Lebanon or one of the Gulf emirates), the Arab state in which daily life and popular culture have been most at home with the occident.

For some time now I have been reading the Open Borders propaganda about "trillion dollar bills lying on the sidewalk" (the alleged benefits of Open Borders). I have always wondered "Which sidewalk?" and what does a "trillion dollar bill" really look like?

Now we know. The sidewalk is the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. The "trillion dollar bills" have been cleverly disguised as baby carriages.

Of course, this is not exactly how the Open Borders advocates see things. However, it is a lot closer to the truth than the fantasy libertarian worldview. The fantasy libertarian worldview is predicated on a "blank slate" ideology (among other things). Sadly the libertarians have managed to persuade ISIS to share their perspective.

Of course, the other intellectual underpinnings of Open Borders are just as suspect. There is no evidence that the economies are the advanced industrial nations are "scalable" in the face of mass migration. Given the dominance of anti-growth ideologies (many of them advanced by pro-Open Borders Greens), there is little likelihood of economic growth keeping pace with migration driven population increases. A closely related point is that mass unemployment in Europe (and the USA) hasn't exactly triggered a burst of economic growth. If unemployment in Europe and the US doesn't increase growth, why would mass migration have a more positive effect?

The standard Open Borders answer amounts to the theory of the "magical immigrant". Why immigrants from unsuccessful countries are supposed to be magical when they arrive in Europe or the USA isn't apparent to me. Clearly others differ.

The great reduction in Britain's willingness or ability to be a great power has hardly gone unremarked. Someone once said that in a single generation Britons ceased to be Romans and became Italians.

Applebaum's concern seems to be that Brexit will turn them into Moldovans, not Swiss or Norwegians.

"Applebaum’s concern seems to be that Brexit will turn them into Moldovans, not Swiss or Norwegians."

That's not what she's saying.

"The question, of course, is whether Britain can keeps its own democracy and its own rule of law intact if none of its leaders still actively promote those things abroad. The British political system is already heavily influenced by the foreign and offshore cash that now flows through London. Groups such as Conservative Friends of Russia and Conservative Friends of the Chinese, both of which have many prominent parliamentarians as members, already lobby openly on behalf of those countries inside the U.K. political system."

She's saying that foreign money will corrupt Britain, because Britain's can't be trusted to remain democratic without being in the EU.

Applebaum's writings are nothing more than Eurocrat propaganda. Pillow talk is hubby repeating what Tusk laid down as the Party line. And let's not mention her good friend, the filmmaker...

5. I thought Britain was long since supposed to have been done as a "Western power"

I was about to say the same thing.

Japan replaced Britain as the new Western power when its GDP passed Britain's in the mid 1980s but by 2000 that hadn't worked out so well so there seems to be an opening for strong Western power again. Scandinavian countries need not apply.

"I thought Britain was long since supposed to have been done as a “Western power”"

The Argentines thought the same thing.

Is the achievement in the Falklands War sufficient to label the country a "power"?

It was powerful enough for the purpose.

"Is the achievement in the Falklands War sufficient to label the country a “power”?"

Yes, Britain successfully projected power to a far part of the world. That's pretty much the definition of a "military world power".

Wasn't the Falkland war a loose-loose because Britain originally hoped to give the Falklands to Argentina in the first place? Not being able to hand a piece of property over peacefully (or for a profitable deal) and instead getting dragged into a costly war and your original geopolitical plan derailed, doesn't sound that much like "successfully projecting power" to me.

"Wasn’t the Falkland war a loose-loose because Britain originally hoped to give the Falklands to Argentina in the first place? "

I'm going to ask to see a cite on that wild claim.

"In the period leading up to the war – and, in particular, following the transfer of power between the military dictators General Jorge Rafael Videla and General Roberto Eduardo Viola late in March 1981 – Argentina had been in the midst of a devastating economic stagnation and large-scale civil unrest against the military junta that had been governing the country since 1976.In December 1981 there was a further change in the Argentine military regime bringing to office a new junta headed by General Leopoldo Galtieri (acting president), Brigadier Basilio Lami Dozo and Admiral Jorge Anaya. Anaya was the main architect and supporter of a military solution for the long-standing claim over the islands calculating that the United Kingdom would never respond militarily."

"The conflict has had a strong impact in both countries and has been the subject of various books, articles, films, and songs. Patriotic sentiment ran high in Argentina, but the outcome prompted large protests against the ruling military government, hastening its downfall. In the United Kingdom, the Conservative Party government, bolstered by the successful outcome, was re-elected the following year."

Hastings, Jenkins: The Battle for the Falklands. 1983, Page 17-18

The British government was in talks with Argentina about Argentinian claims beginning in 1965 (following an UN resolution ordering both sides to do so) and was eager to keep many details of these talks out of the public (which alone tells a lot about the willingness to see blood shed for the Falklands).

Besides that, lets not forget that those islands have little to negative economic value for UK, 28% of the people are government employees and a costly military presence has to be kept ever since.

That's not a very strong indication that they were planning on "giving" the islands back to Argentina. And the decisive military response indicates they didn't hesitate in defending the islands. I think the general consensus is that the Argentina War was a clear win for the British.

I've heard the theory that the Falklands war was important in deterring Soviet aggression (demonstrating that Britain, and by extension the rest of the West, wasn't afraid of a fight), leading eventually to victory in the Cold War.

I don't know whether or not this theory is true. I do recall, though, that in the post-Vietman period there was some doubt about the West's resolve in this regard.

"I thought Britain was long since supposed to have been done as a “Western power”

Correct-ever since the Suez Crisis in 1956.

Pence seems to be a real lightning rod for people, based on my Twitter feed. Ann Coulter and some other Alt-Right say he's a huge mistake. Conservatives hate him for agreeing to non-discrimination provisions in a revised RFRA law. As a VP, I could certainly live with him. Shorter version, if Biden can serve 8 years as Barack Hussein's VP, then Pence should be comfortable as Trump's VP.

Not a chance in hell that Trump will run for President again if he wins (or loses). 4 years max, maybe less if he quits after getting what he wants (to win). He may have even told Pence he will resign in 2 years and make Pence president.

"Not a chance in hell that Trump will run for President again if he wins (or loses). "

I think that's impossible to predict. I would doubt even Trump could accurately predict it. There's no way to know what the 4 years will entail. However, most Presidents choose to run for re-election.

It's just my opinion, man. He'll be 74 years old when done with his first term, and likely will want to get back to doing 'deals' and not have to put up with the bs of the job. The guy just wants to be the big winner, he doesn't actually want to do the job. Most Presidents were pretty different people than Trump.

"Most Presidents were pretty different people than Trump."

Fair point.

At least you're not responding to decades of rejection by taking up internet stalking.

“not enough money” really means "not enough ingenuity".

So, ingenuity has been lost in the past four decades?

Or ingenuity has failed to double or triple over the past four decades?

Ingenuity has concentrated in computational domains where everything is always cheap and getting cheaper.

Over concentrated ?

Lots of people think they have fusion power figured out, until they have to build it.

I would say vox describes known problems, but there is nothing wrong with that. Perhaps incremental solutions will ensue.

Whatever you are doing, you can step up a level, and try to improve the meta-process.

I've got a fusion generator in my pants.

And you come with a bitchy committee of cyberstalkers, too.

And a flux capacitor in your...?

"5. Is Britain done as a Western power? "

Wow, that's a hyperbolic statement. Brexit spells the end of Britain as a Western power? So, Brexit is worse than the British Civil wars, or WW1 or WW2 or the collapse of the British Empire?

"But she doesn’t care because — like the leaders of all small countries without aspirations to international leadership"

Just some basic facts that one would assume a writer at The Washington Post would be familiar with.

Population of the UK: 64 million - GDP of the UK: 2.7 billion

The UK is the 5th largest economy on the planet.

"Foreigners will have an ever greater say in the laws and decisions made inside Britain, too."

Right, because EU bureaucrats were all British citizens. This is another absurd statement.

Shouldn't the Commodore weigh in here?

"Weren’t the British done as any sort of power after Suez?"

No, just as *that* sort of power. There can be more than one kind of western power.

UHHH No there can't bro

That should be Trillion my friend. At 2.7 billion those poor blokes would all be starved to death soon.

The British use a different system for counting large numbers.

A British "billion" is an American "trillion".

Yes, they do. But in this case it was a typo from an American. It indeed should have been trillion.

It's a metric billionne, if you want to be precise.

#3 is very interesting, but here's a subtle point unrelated to the main thesis. The authors are a father-daughter duo. David Bradford, the father, is a professor and not the lead author. Ashley Bradford, who appears to be an undergraduate, gets that honor. What are the odds that this is legitimate? And if it is legitimate, how many non-parental professors would allow an undergrad to list herself as lead author even if she had done 90% of the work on the paper (which is probably fairly common).

Maybe they were both stoned to the bejesus belt.

That would make their publication even more impressive. Video of the author:

> And if it is legitimate, how many non-parental professors would allow an undergrad to list herself as lead author even if she had done 90% of the work on the paper

Probably 95%+? Furthermore, if the undergraduate had really done 90% of the work, another question might be "how many non-parental professors would even think it appropriate (for the professor) to be listed as an author _at all_ (not lead author, but an author)?". Professors I know, fields I've worked in, the answer would be very far under 50%.

Though there are very divergent norms about authorship and authorship-related ethics across fields and countries. Can you tell us
what fields you are familiar with where such cynicism has valid grounds?

There's a Facebook page which has been used to get together some remarkable doppelgangers, linked to in this article:

1. It's not gay if it's with your doppelganger.

Lopez's is an 19 year old Filipino tranny?

>in the 17 states with a medical-marijuana law in place by 2013, prescriptions for painkillers and other classes of drugs fell sharply compared with states that did not have a medical-marijuana law. The drops were quite significant

I wonder what happened to the rates of prescription drug overdoses.


I didn't RTFA first:

> showing that painkiller abuse AND OVERDOSE are lower in states with medical marijuana laws.

What, that overrated vs. underrated podcast with you is only self-recommending, and not essential for our time?

How modest.

2. ""Over time the most successful people will be those who can best exploit the system," Paul Smaldino, a cognitive science professor at University of California Merced, says."

This is true with most systems, so the real problem we have is that we venerate scientist above normal people. We think of them as dedicated to the truth more than their own personal success. This is the part when true scientist are skeptics - of themselves and other scientists.

The funding process of course exacerbates this.

The scarcity of funding, not the "funding process".

Funding by NIH or DARPA could be by random grant to all proposals submitted, but that would led to studies being picked out by the latest Proxmire for public ridicule. With limited funding, the process becomes risk adverse, and picks things that will not be criticized when failure occurs, which is frequent.

The hypothesis that more attractive patent right rules would lead to more private "venture capital" funding of research with a net increase in research funding has been shown to be false. Both public and private funding has decreased as a share of gdp.

The US has ceded leadership to the world, lost jobs, and reduced the rate of discovery. The discovery of the Higgs was delayed by a decade, and done in Cern, not Texas, for example. Doing it in Cern a decade later required a lot more ingenuity to get the higher energy out of an accelerator with too small a radius. The Texas SCC was just Texas big so it had a larger radius, so Texas workers would have been paid faster.

No, I still say the process. If your expected results are not politically correct, there's little change for funding.

It is a big world. If something is true there will be someone (country, company, university, group, or patron) to support it.

You can be a patron:

We trust coaches on sports, chefs on food, lawyers on law, economists on money, artists on art, so why not scientists on science?

Relatedly, a few days ago random guys here told me not to worry about biodiversity. Was that opinion without knowledge?

I may not trust those guys completely, but I trust them more than people with no data, no analysis, no experience.

We trust all of those to a (large) degree. we seem to give scientists carte blanche.
Even after multiple studies detailing the amount of fraud by scientists.

I typically side with scientists, as I hang out with quite a few. Does not mean that they cannot make mistakes or are completely honest.

I don't see carte blanche, I see things like BPA or GMO safety argued in two separate domains. The scientists argue, and then the public argue, with imperfect understanding of what the scientists are saying.

Sometimes it takes a while to settle, but ultimately it settles.

In each of those fields, your proffered experts are regularly doubted and criticized by the viewing public--coaches are second-guessed, judges are criticized, and economists are ignored. Why should scientists be subject to any different scrutiny?

If it was merely scrutiny it would be fine, but ..

"We trust coaches on sports, chefs on food, lawyers on law, economists on money, artists on art, "
Coaches lose half their games, lawyers lose half their cases, and most art is dreck. In deference to our hosts we won't even get into the track record of the average economist.

But you would still pick the coach for batting practice, the chef for lunch, and the artist to create a new company logo.

That's a blatant straw man argument. No one here is arguing against picking a scientist to perform science.

What do you think about someone who doesn't like her lunch and shops around for a chef she likes?

I gave you a link, man. America (the west? the connected world?) is going through this thing where they do trust scientists, expertise in general, less.

The whole point of science is that you don't trust scientists. That's science's biggest accomplishment.

The entire scientific endeavor over the past few centuries has been that scientists never need to be trusted. If a scientist discovers that something falls at 9.8 meters per second per second, you don't need to trust him. He can describe to you exactly how to do the experiment yourself and you can measure it yourself and come up with 9.8 meters per second per second.

Becoming a scientist isn't becoming a priest; it's not a process where you get ordained and are now allowed to make proclamations. It's you learning to remove yourself and your own biases from the situation so that it shouldn't matter if the person telling you something falls at 9.8 meters per second per second is the Pope or is Hitler. In either case, anyone can go and attempt to falsify the results.

"The whole point of science is that you don’t trust scientists. That’s science’s biggest accomplishment."

+32 fps**2

And indeed, Vox actually mentions the specific reason that trust in scientists is dropping. A growing chunk of science is resulting in non-reproducible results. These results are never challenged. So, the process is breaking down. If media is full of results of such research, then it quickly becomes clear that the public can't trust what they are hearing.

"Testing, validating, retesting — it's all part of a slow and grinding process to arrive at some semblance of scientific truth. But this doesn't happen as often as it should, our respondents said. Scientists face few incentives to engage in the slog of replication. And even when they attempt to replicate a study, they often find they can’t do so. Increasingly it’s being called a "crisis of irreproducibility."

Becoming a scientist isn’t becoming a priest; it’s not a process where you get ordained and are now allowed to make proclamations

Ordination allows a priest to administer sacraments, not 'make proclamations'. Anyone can 'proclaim' something. Even in the course of the liturgy, laymen act as lectors, laymen assist the priest, and vocational deacons offer homilies. Teaching authority rests in bishops.

That was still the scientist in that clause. Maybe I should have said "and are now allowed to science."

We don't have an approval process where someone becomes a scientist and is then trustworthy. We have a training and education process which makes people able to provide falsifiable results so their trustworthiness doesn't matter.

Daniel, if it helps you feel better to fancy that the credentialing process is not what it plainly is or that citations in literature reviews are not citations of authority, go ahead. Just quit pestering everyone else.

The rejection of expertise, again:

Is not about priesthoods, but "I hate priests" is very anti-expertise.

Talk about the real straw man. Never mind the thirty years this person put in on this question - he just wants us to kiss his hem and believe him?

One scientist's opinion:

I agree, which is why I say trust domain knowledge, as my hobby horse. Scientists, especially good scientists, have good knowledge in their domain of study, expertise.

Of course millions of dollars and thousands of articles hinge on you not believing climate scientists in their domain of study, a sad episode with far reaching consequences.

The trouble with the climate scientists is that a large part of their work is based on statistics, in which they are fairly ignorant. how many times have they been caught with errors they refuse to acknowledge or fix? How many times have they been caught cherry picking data? Why does every single error they commit push the answer in only one direction? Why hasn't any model come close to predicting future climate? Mainstream climate science is dependant on these very poor studies, which legitimate disciplines weed these bad actors out.

Politicians want to put Exxon executives in jail for a study done years ago that raised concerns about warming, but offered no proof of anything. They spent .01% of what has been spent over the past 30 years and basically produced the same results. We still know virtually nothing.

"Is Britain done as a Western power?"
Another timely question is, "Will the Allies exile Hitler, as it happened to Napoleon after Waterloo and tonthe Kaiser after the German Revolution, or will they hang Hitler?"

Well they say Hitler escaped to South America in a submarine, in a timely manner, and lived to a ripe old age in Paraguay. Or maybe he had a doppelganger? --RL

It is a lie, it never happened. Stalin invented it.

The real question which concerns Applebaum, clearly, seems to be this: will a Great Britain outside of the European Union weaken the ability of Europe to stand up to Russia and China. She has framed this in a misleading and manipulative way, but it's actually an interesting question. Great Britain hasn't been able to exercise leadership within the EU in security policy during the past twenty years -- there was no EU mission to Iraq -- so it's worth questioning why Brexit would make a difference. Within the EU the country which will have the most influence in setting policy, clearly, is Germany. And the indispensable nation, without any doubt, will continue to the United States.

The only two countries in the EU willing or able to commit real military force are France and the U.K. The UK is leaving obviously while over 60% of the French have a negative opinion of the EU.

The German public is supine - the acquiescence to mass migration and its social ills has proved this definitively. If Putin wanted to retake the Baltics in the next several years there probably isn't anyone to stop him. I expect the US will be well into isolationist mode by then, lacking the cultural unity and resources to continue keeping hostile powers like russia, China and Iran at bay.

The increasingly tribalistic divisions in American society will perhaps be Obama's most lasting legacy.

Tangent: How do you see Obama as responsible for any of that? As a social trend. He surely doesn't have anything like that kind of power over the direction of American culture.

Obama's not directly responsible for it, but he's been more of a divider than a uniter.

And yes, I know he's not the only actor. But he's the single most powerful actor in the US. So he bears more responsibility than any other person for the results.

Such nonsense. The division was started by the right before he was even elected, and the current Republican nominee owes most of his success to exploiting and even exacerbating that division.

The division was started by the right before he was even elected,

They opposed him and criticized him. Naughty naughty.

"The division was started by the right before he was even elected"

And the Left opposed George W Bush before he was even elected.

And the Right opposed Bill Clinton before he was even elected.

And the Left opposed George H Bush before he was even elected.

And the Left opposed Ronald Reagan before he was even elected.

This isn't new. Barack Obama isn't a special case. The situation got worse while he was President. Ergo, he bears proportional responsibility. The idea that only one side is to blame is ridiculous partisanship.

Yeah, Obama invading Iraq without the support of American people to go all in with tax hikes and a draft to put millions of American in permanent bases around the Islamic world for decades was a disaster.

And now the French are reaping the rewards of going along with Obama in his invasion!

#4 that is a pretty fantastic voting record. Not perfect, but damn impressive.

This guy should be running for president. He isn't the lock that Rubio would have been, but he could have won.

The Hamburglar could have won the presidency against this year's crowd.

LOL! The Hamburglar could easily win the general but no way he could get the Republican nomination as this year has shown.

He wouldn't have won the Democratic nomination either. I don't recall him ever being investigated by the FBI. He's strictly a small time crook. He'd have been a single patty ringer in a Whopper world.

I completely agree. That process did not work well at all.

Isn't it unusual to move from federal politics to state politics? The guy was in US Congress and then became Indiana governor. Nothing necessarily wrong with that, but don't most pols walk the path in the other direction?

I don't think it's that uncommon, but in any case this isn't a "most pols" kind of year.

It depends on the office. Going from Congress to the statehouse is generally a step down, but moving from federal government to a high-level state executive position (Governor or AG primarily) isn't uncommon and is often the natural "next step" for someone who wants to build out a resume for a possible presidential run.

Actually is not un-common, there is also the governor of Kansas, he spent two terms in the senate.

Is Britain done as a Western power?

Is Britain's population shrinking? Is its productive base shrinking? Is its military shrinking? If the answer to these three questions is no, how does the question in italics make any sense?

British military power is certainly shrinking. There have been large cutbacks in both relative and real terms to the British military budget since the height of the Iraq War.

They've gone from 2.7% to 1.8% of GDP over the last decade and might have to eliminate their nuclear weapons program entirely to cut costs.

Yeah, cutting costs on nukes will be virtuous by increasing unemployment, reducing demand, further cutting gdp growth.

If they were to save costs enough, they can get gdp to go down.

When you're sufficiently repulsive that you manufacture a fantasy relationship with a man over the internet, you think about cucks all the time.

It is pretty impressive that Art Deco apparently has a troll who's sexually obsessed with him. Usually that kind of thing is reserved for prominent movie stars.

The same guy is now impersonating me too. I take jabs at the real Art, not the sock puppet version.

The idiots that have been trying to make 'cuck' a thing are all sexually immature, even the ones that don't impersonate other posters.

There's actually at least 2 people impersonating Art because there's the guy doing all the "cuck" stuff and there's me and I've been posting more subtle stuff

There's plenty to make fun of the real AD for that a sockpuppet is unnecessary.

A "Just Another Art Deco Commenter" schtick has potential however.

There’s plenty to make fun of the real AD for that a sockpuppet is unnecessary.

Bring it on, chump.

2. Fits into what I think is a major theme of this age, workers* having to compete with one another in ways they didn't need to before.

*in the broad sense of the word, not "the working class."


Science used to be a refuge for the socially awkward, now a lot of ass kissing is required just to keep your head above water. A result is that the best and brightest are driven away, going into finance, law, or engineering. I do think the main problem is money. People don't want to fund academia, for understandable reasons considering the amount of far left, antiwhite crap that comes out of some ends of it.

Wait, finance, law, and engineering don't require a lot of ass kissing?

I'm sure they do but they're much better compensated for it, either financially or with PRESTIGE

re: 5 Overrated / Underrated - I'm not sure I can agree that the replication crisis in social science is overrated. Tyler's comment was nobody pays attention to those findings anyway, but that strikes me as obviously untrue. Narrative affirming social science runs miles ahead of critique and can influence the public view to at least some extent. These little nuggets get out ("studies show guns in the US are as deadly as cars") - without any critique or context ("all categories of violent crime are near all time lows, over 60% of deaths by gun are suicides, your probability of being killed by a firearm at the hands of another if you are not yourself a violent felon is really very small"). People have the wrong view of risk associated with crime, the wrong view of what happened to the middle class, the wrong view of sources of inequality, unrealistic takes on what climate mitigation steps might have a material effect on climate change, and on and on. These views because everyone has a study they get to claim is credible then everyone in the tribe shares that evidence. Then it becomes truth and the other guys are deniers. Then people vote.

The unfortunate truth with medical marijuana is that there is no such thing as medical marijuana.

There is no evidence that marijuana as it is commonly smoked in it's full form, has any real or seriously substantiated medical benefit. What IS clear, however is that the non-psychoactive component in marijuana, the thing that does everything EXCEPT get you high, DOES seem to have some medical benefit and only for very specific conditions--chronic pain, anxiety and depression are NOT those conditions. Seizures, glaucoma, and a few others are ( see NY State's medical marijuana law for an actual honest law--which generally limits conditions to the scientific evidence)

Marijuana is safer than opiates in many ways because you cannot die from marijuana overdose. But let's be honest about this, this article and this research should not be interpreted as making the case for legalizing marijuana simply because marijuana has so many medical benefits that people are using it for. If anything, it should alarm us and help us to recognize that many people with addiction problems, mental health problems, and other medical disorders will self-medicate with marijuana more frequently the more we keep saying it is medicine over-and-over again. Getting high is not medicine. Marijuana addiction is real and with it comes a set of serious psychosocial issues we are unfortunately not discussing in our society.

Marijuana is a drug that can be abused like any other drug including alcohol and opiates. Dependency on marijuana can do a lot of damage to someone's psychological well being especially if it is used to only kick the can down the road and cover up real mental health issues that need addressing like anxiety, depression, etc--as frequent use often is used to do. We understand this can be done with alcohol, opiates, and other drugs. We need to recognize a pothead is doing this as well, and understand that aside from overdose, it can be as damaging to the individual, their family and society--as alcoholism.

We should not be celebrating marijuana's substitute as a coping mechanism as this article suggests, but be looking to the underlying reasons why people are using it to cope for conditions like anxiety and depression which marijuana should not be used for--in fact there is scientific evidence marijuana makes these conditions worse. This article suggests that anytime someone switches to marijuana from a pharmaceutical drug it is a good thing. That is patently not true.

For example, switching from an anti-depressant to marijuana to treat depression would be a terrible medical choice. And while patients with an addiction to opiates might be safer on marijuana to satisfy their addiction--they would only be switching from getting high on opiates to getting high on marijuana. The underlying condition of addiction and mental illness is not being treated. This is not the way to treat addiction.

The scientific evidence demonstrates that CBD has some limited medicinal properties, THC does not. Alcohol also has limited medicinal properties, yet we don't talk bout it the same way as medicine--though there is likely more cumulative scientific evidence here. Most marijuana users of course, only really care about the THC. Instead heavy marijuana smokers can use "medical marijuana" as a cover to simply justify getting high, though they more likely have a substance abuse problem.

Anyone that knows how "medical marijuana" works in California knows it's not medicine--it is merely training our country wrongly to use substances as a legitimate and safe way to cope with mental health issues and treat other physical issues marijuana has no business treating. The message is clear--a doctor is signing off on getting you high for whatever reason you want. The signaling here is very powerful because doctors are perhaps one of the most respected professionals in our society. This is a more powerful message than the bartender giving you a drink. This is extremely troubling.

Marijuana is enjoying a lot of positive press right now because it is operating under the veil of medicine and therefore many believe it to be harmless, and in addition the relative lack of research on marijuana allows people to believe it has hardly any negative effects. Because it can't kill you and doesn't make you angry (unless your'e withdrawing) people see it as harmless and calming. It is not the answer to all of our problems--whether it be medical, or to fill budget gaps of the state treasuries. What it will do is make a lot of entrepreneurs wealthy, it may end the black market ( a good thing) but we must also recognize the costs of legalization: more marijuana addiction.

Legal marijuana is set to become a combination of big tobacco (growing a plant and smoking it) big pharma (touting the overblown medicinal benefits) and big liquor (young/party culture). We're not legalizing the weed we know today, but we will be unleashing a whole new industry of innovation, marketing, and endless variation. That will need an honest discussion and debate.

Opiate abuse is a serious and tragic danger no doubt, but so is a country getting high on marijuana to cover up uncomfortable physical or mental symptoms instead of treating the underlying causes. In addition, any doctor who treated chronic pain patients with opiates was not prescribing these drugs correctly--opiates are not made for chronic pain. Non habit forming drugs that don't make you high, in the anti-depressant class for example, can help treat long term chronic pain. The suggestion that marijuana is good for chronic pain because it can't kill you like opiates is a false argument.

Using marijuana in the ways suggested by this article and research only trains people further to treat every condition with drugs--drugs specifically that make you high--and that learned process can easily lead down the road to other drug abuse as well.

I sincerely hope our country weighs the costs and benefits before we fully legalize marijuana. But what I know we can start doing immediately is begin being honest about the evidence, as those favoring legalization so often are guilty of doing what they accuse governments of having done for so long--misleading the public.

Let's start by ending the term "medical marijuana."

Let's also be honest--that most, but not all in fervent support of legalization want to make money and/or get high themselves, so let's stop the trojan horse of medicalizing marijuana, and be honest about the politics, incentives, and science.

Let's solve ennui and anomie then we can ban drugs.

Marijuana addiction has far fewer health consequences than alcoholism or opioid addiction.

Let's say we fully legalize weed and marijuana addiction doubles while opioid/alcholism rates fall by a mere 5%.

I'd call that a win for public health.

1. So you're saying I have a doppelganger? Lucky devil.

I personally love soma.

Regardless, most places that sell MMJ also sell non-psychoactive, CBD-heavy strains.

My father had a doppelganger. So had Brazilian writers Rubem Braga and Fernando Sabino.

Was the US done after Korea, Viet Nam, Afghanistan, etc? Oh, that's right, Grenada was pacified. Not quite as militarily impressive as Argentina but a win's a win.

Panama, don't forget panama.


Can anybody get past the first few lines?

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