Tuesday assorted links


3. That's how you get to higher wages.

Conservatives think low wages mean low costs.

Conservatives think quality costs too much.

Conservatives think lower wages and lower costs mean higher profits and thus fast gdp growth.

Conservatives believe in free lunches.

Making clothes is extremely high skill, and undeveloped nations have huge populations of high skilled women who learned to make clothes because that's how they got the clothes of their culture.

But move people into the city to make cheap Western clothes designed to be cheap and mothers and aunts don't teach kids to make clothing so soon there are no skilled workers to pay low wages to. And it's cheaper to buy a machine than to train unskilled workers to do the work, especially when they will quit once skilled enough for higher pay at a competitor.

Sewing machines are popular for a reason, dude.

Don't think many people have heard that one for about 50 years.

Once, I met a backpacker who travelled with a sewing machine and linked to look for different materials and make stuff while he travelled. Not a clue if he was any good, but he was quite young. Who knows ... maybe he's a famous designer now?

Automation isn't just about labor costs, it can also be about quality and flexibility.

Automation improves repeatability, decreases errors (no Monday morning hangovers) and can provide higher precision than is possible with manual production.

And an automated production process can often be re-programmed quickly to produce products in small batches without the prohibitive costs often associated with small-batch production.

There's just a lot more to it than labor costs.

The ability to continuously improve the quality via automation is nearly as significant as the labor savings.

His comment on 5 suggests that he may have misunderstood the paper. The paper doesn't describe head motion that may be visible in interpersonal relationships. Instead, it is making a claim that head motion *during fMRI's* create artifacts that distort measurements of behavior traits and develops software to correct for this.

Or that he is actually an fMRI machine.

It's a typically cryptic Tyler quote so I'm not sure what to make of it.

In the article, they're talking about head movements of 0.025 mm causing the fMRI readings to be thrown off. So, quite possibly this has nothing to do with what we ordinarily observe when we look at other people in ordinary settings. And Tyler's comment is a non sequitur at best, or reveals a misunderstanding of the paper.

OTOH, it sure was interesting to look at the list of variables that are correlated with more head movement. And human beings are highly sensitive to other human beings' faces, even without being aware of this sensitivity. Maybe our evaluation of other human beings includes a subconscious measurement of their head movements. Or conscious, if Tyler is correct.

A few days ago while waiting in line at the airport I couldn't help notice that the little girl in front of me seemed to be unusually alert and intelligent. I have no real knowledge of how intelligent she is, it was just the way that she looked around and moved. In the original film version of "Planet of the Apes" Zira noticed that the Charlton Heston character looked more intelligent than the other humans and nicknamed him Bright Eyes. Conversely, some people just look and move in a dull and oblivious manner. (But sometimes they turn out not to be as dull as they looked, so I don't know how reliable any of this is.)

It might just suggest more localized phenomena. Well, the researchers would surely have a pretty good idea if it's the case, considering how an fMRI works and outputs are displayed.

Wow, that is a lot of money out of the pockets of MRU's two originators to pay one full time and three freelance positions. Maybe that Partnerships Manager - http://www.mruniversity.com/node/331133 - is supposed to help out.

Especially in light of this - 'Come join a growing non-profit startup that is tackling the important question of how to best teach using video and other online tools.' Which combined with this - 'Experience forming partnerships at the high school level is a plus' likely means that America's high schoolers can look forward to watching 5 minute youtube videos as part of their non-accredited course work in the future.

Though oddly for a non-profit entity, MRU does not seem to actually have any paperwork concerning its non-profit status (990, for example), nor a way to donate to such a worthy project.

George Soros paid for OWS and pays for BLM.

This time, that rumour is not true: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/08/19/no-george-soros-didn-t-give-33-million-to-blacklivesmatter.html

The linked article says the Soros Foundation claims that "there is simply no way to directly fund an amorphous movement like Black Lives Matter" and instead "has donated money to groups working on “issues arising out of the Black Lives Matter movement.”". This seems like a distinction without a difference.

"pays for BLM" is a little different from "working on issues relating to it.

What should stand out to you in that article is that false claims have already been made in that regard, to the tune of $33 million. If they had an annual budget of $33 million, I imagine thing would be just a touch more professional and well-organized than they are. Say, at $50k a pop, you cold hire 300 staff for a huge variety of operations and enough money left to send a high quality flyer to every household in the country.

4. A bit tangential but still related: I was having the thought the other day that a lot of hotels provide body wash instead of a bar of soap, but no loofah or sponge to really make it effective. They probably don't care about waste because you can get enough of a lather if you use almost the whole bottle anyways, but my *amazing* business idea was to sell extremely low-priced, one-time use loofahs to hotels.

Then literally 2 days later I was at a Sheraton in Atlanta and for the very first time in my life there was a little pre-packaged loofah sitting on the vanity. C'mon!

So, now you know there's a market for it.

So Germany and France will soon be English-speaking but under Sharia law. Interesting times.

4. Is it really that taxing to go to the front desk and ask a human being for toothpaste?

Hooker might escape with my money.

You can call the desk they will bring it up. Razors too.

The front desk will bring up the money stolen by the hooker? With razors? Or are you saying the front desk will bring up the stolen money issue with the pimp, with razors as the accepted weapon of choice?

The second one.

If you want "amentities" at an Extended Stay America, you go to the lobby and buy them from a vending machine.

But, that's what they're about: extended stays, lower cost, and don't expect daily maid service.

At pricier places the mix of opulence, stinginess, and junk fees is always amusing. Unless you're exhausted and just don't want to deal with it.

Besides, the real question has always been, why do upscale motels charge extra for WiFi when cheap ones usually provide it with no extra charge?

"Besides, the real question has always been, why do upscale motels charge extra for WiFi when cheap ones usually provide it with no extra charge?"

Because they can. At a low end hotel, people will hunt around for one with free WiFi. My guess is that the higher end hotels have higher brand loyalty.

Yes, it's ultimately an example of price discrimination.

High-end hotels are geared toward business travelers who have expense accounts. If you are a busy manager type who arrives in a strange city at 9 pm and have to bang out a few emails before tomorrow's meeting, paying $15 for WiFi and billing it to the company will be a non-issue.

Yes. Usually I'm standing in my underwear after waking up when I realize I don't have any toothpaste.

And if you call downstairs in the morning when they are busy, the toothpaste will take an hour to show up.


Explain. What type of head motions do you look for to get insight into people. I'm trying to visualize, but am coming up blank...

If you read the abstract the study is about head motion in the context of CT scans.

Maybe Tyler thought it was in the context of TC scans.

Occasionally upon surveying the surroundings one reaches the inescapable conclusion that he has stumbled into the headbanger's ball.

6. Over, Under

6. Marnie is terrible. It's one of those Hitchcock movies where he takes then trendy Freudian theory seriously, and it ruins the movie.

It is perhaps more revelatory of Hitchcock the man though, so perhaps that is why so many people like it.

Out of curiosity, has anyone ever seen a good movie that took Freudian theory seriously? Kubrick, maybe, in one of his neurotic anti-libido movies, or Eraserhead? Maybe some rom-com that we did not notice back in the day? BTW, I miss the Man Who is Thursday blog!!!

4. Toothpaste is easy to pack (it isn't wet, slippery, bulky, or leaky), so most people bring their own. Soap and shampoo, in contrast, are difficult to pack. So people appreciate not having to bring those items when they are staying at a hotel. On the rare occasions when someone forgets the toothpaste, they call the concierge or front desk.

Except that TSA confiscates it (unless I purchase smaller backs that end up costing more)

Doesn't look like Brody is making an over/underrated argument. He agrees with most critics that 'Marnie' is at or near the top of Hitchcock's films. But Brody feels people are at least partially wrong as to why it is great.

6. Is Hitchcock’s Marnie underrated or overrated?

Both! It really was the Master delivering his 'Failed Masterpiece' that is both awesome to watch every 5+ years but also missing something in the forced Freudian analysis. (Also the studio painting of seashore is good for a hoot!) Additionally, give it extra bonus points of Hitch's failed sexual harassment of the Teppi Hedren and the idea of Sean Connery in 1964 unable to woo a woman.

I would agree both. Overrated by critics but underrated by general viewing public. Hitchcock more broadly is correctly rated.
My list of underrated Hitchcock would be:
To Catch a Thief (his most fun movie)
Secret Agent
The Lady Vanishes (in fact can I say all pre-Rebecca?)
Torn Curtain

Torn Curtain is definitely underrated.

Spellbound is a good movie where he uses Freudian theory. That's because you can't tell whether he takes the theory seriously.

Thanks - I have not seen Spellbound. My favorite European directors were humble guys (Bergman, Rohmer, Zeffirelli, etc.) who knew that they were not wise enough or important enough for it to make a difference if they took Freudian theory seriously or not - glad to hear Hitchcock, whose movies I like but who is not one of my favorites, was similarly humble.

Hitchcock takes Freud all too seriously in Marnie.

#7 is very interesting, especially as a testament of how knowledge advances.

It's interesting, though discouraging imho as it's such a basic problem that had a hidden quirk missed for decades by experts. What is hiding where there's more complexity involved?

3. “So, big investors are going to use more modern equipment and machinery, which lets them sell their products at a higher price.” What's wrong with that sentence?

I think people bring their own toothpaste because the wrong brand or kind of toothpaste is more unsatisfactory than is the case for the items they do supply.


Aye. Soaps are specialized for scents bar for people with skin problems, so generic soaps will generally do. Toothpaste is commonly selected in accordance with a dental care program, and, when not, you still have to put the stuff in your mouth. As another fellow noted, you need special recepticles for bar soap as well.

1. Interesting link on the same page when clicking the link for 1.


1. I'm not sure why the first link is to the "Cadrona Bra Fence" in New Zealand.

It was a link related to a previous day's post. Probably by mistake.

A few years back there was a man who could shoot in excess of 3000 consecutive baskets from all over the court without missing. A normal height middle age guy. It would seem like a natural choice for a pro team.

Is the author that clueless? Pretty bad, even for a guardian article.

Sorry, regarding Anon's clueless link above.

#4 I recently stayed at hotel 1 in Taichung, Taiwan and then in a rat's hole hotel in a tier 3 city in China.

Both provided toothpaste.

The rat hole even had a washing machine in room, but didn't provide or sell detergent.

Ummmm, #5 goes in the "fMRI Produces Lots of Spurious Correlations" folder which started with this: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/scicurious-brain/ignobel-prize-in-neuroscience-the-dead-salmon-study/ grew to fill a file drawer and now threatens to take over the whole cabinet thanks to recent discoveries like this: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/2016/08/21/software-errors-in-fmri/#.V7zaGcQ8LCQ

You've broken Evelyn Woodhead's heart, TC.



How is MRU intended to sustain itself in the financial sense? It's hard to know who to build relationships with, or whether a candidate would be well-suited for the job, if you can't give straight answers about which aspects will remain free and where the possible profit centres would be.

As overall costs rise with volume, is it to be add-supported, a freemiumable approach, exposure for supporters, other...? Or, does this fit into the general picture of relationship building through the Mercatus Centre. For example, it could play a promotional role for the Centre or University.

Hints in those regards might improve the matching.

What comes up when you search "mruniversity mercatus non-profit" is fascinating - 'MRUniversity, the project he directs for the Mercatus Center, is one of several online education initiatives aimed at spreading the ideas that lead to free and prosperous societies. The Cato Institute, Federalist Society, Leadership Institute, and Foundation for Economic Education have all taken similar advantage of the online space’s potential to break geographic and cost barriers to reaching their audiences. Learn Liberty, a project of the Institute for Humane Studies, was created upon the organization’s celebration of its fiftieth anniversary and careful consideration of the future. Since its launch in 2011, the project has garnered over 100,000 YouTube subscribers and almost 22 million views of its videos on topics such as history, economics, and philosophy. While demand for these resources continues to grow, content producers like Roman Hardgrave must work tirelessly to integrate innovations in technology to build and improve upon their capabilities.

When Hardgrave, now Director of Online Strategies, first joined the Mercatus team in May 2012, a lot of work still needed to be done on the website before its launch five months later. A cursory glance at the website illustrates why- MRUniversity’s Development Economics course, just one of twelve offered on the website, is comprised of 245 videos, approximately 25.5 hours of content. In addition to perusing the free online educational material, users can ask questions, vote on topics they’d like to see covered, and complete optional exercises on the website. “One of the biggest surprises for me was how much users wanted to engage,” says Hardgrave, citing users’ interest in solving practice problems and receiving certificates of completion.

Modeled after Khan Academy, the decision to make MRUniversity’s content available for free was a no-brainer to Hardgrave and his team. “The Mercatus Center is a non-profit organization, our vision is to bridge the gap from academia to the world of public policy. A lot of what our organization does is research, which is what we’re best-known for. Our organization believes that increasing economic literacy will help to make the world a better place, and so MRUniversity is a natural fit for that vision.”' http://americasfuture.org/movement-trends-online-education/

There was an exhibit in DC a few years back - Wyeth painting out of windows. I have had amazing artistic privileges in my life - a half hour alone with Rublyov's icon of the Trinity in the cold afternoon sunlight of a Moscow January; frequent childhood visits to the modest suburban home (a ranch home, sort of like a Long Island version of the Brady Bunch house in Thousand Oaks - "studio city", officially) of a friend of the family whose pencil-work almost equalled, in the happy years I knew her, Parmaginiano's (misspelled on purpose) and Guercino's - not that she made any real money off of that; and hours in my near-penniless youth, before I had to work so grindingly hard for a living, in Parisian parks and woods under the same light that I now know inspired Poussin to set off for Italy; and sunset and sunrise moments under the stained glass windows of several churches, from Maine to San Diego, with almost quite a pure blue as the blue of Chartres is famous for. Wyeth's exhibit in DC, just his paintings out of windows in his boringly expensive but still ordinary houses in Pennsylvania, was pretty close to these peak experiences. So, I'll say underrated on the Wyeth question.

"still ordinary" - that is a compliment to Wyeth the painter - "ordinary time" is a liturgical term, a good one, although probably not quite so good a liturgical term as "after Pentecost", to describe the majority of the days most of us mostly remember as the days we lived and loved and worked and fell in love in - if we were lucky, in living and loving and working: ... and if we were not lucky ... and most of the people I have cared about in my life were not lucky, in these last decades or so, sad to say, God help them ... there is always the future. "God loves us the way we are, but loves us too much to let us stay that way" (the quote that IMDB will be remembered for, generations hence).

4) People rarely forget toothpaste (unless they stole it from you at the airport, which has happened to me several times - so, here's another pitch for TSA-free competitor airports to start by accessing larger hubs with more than one airport).

Anyways, most hotels sell/give toothpaste at the front desk. (I.e., try just asking.) If they put toothpaste in every room, probably less than 1% of people would need it but quite a lot would use it if it were there.

Also ... maybe there could be some issues about liability. If someone gets sick they might blame the hotel. None of the other amenities have regular potential to end up inside your body and make you sick.

It's hard to see how the liability from ingesting toothpaste would be greater than that of ingesting the guest-brewed coffee from the standard issue Mr. Coffee which presents the double liabilities of customers drinking tap water and/or scalding themselves. Other ingestible amenities are bottled water, chocolate on the pillow, and the continental breakfast. It's hard to see how toothpaste is riskier than just about any of those.

My guess: oral hygiene isn't as important to people as appearance, which is why there is so little demand.




lil' f o's . . .


dear lil' f o, sing a song, suk on a rock


#5 "Indian Headshakes | What do they mean? "




ask me if i give n f, 'bout wtf u ever said 'bout life, sing, sing, sing



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