Wednesday assorted links


#3 I don't think it works in chess like say an NBA game where the video is very important. In chess the video is not really important. Carlsen is slouching, Karjakin has his face in his hands, Magnus is walking around. I don't care much.

What's important are the moves and with the moves in real time many sites can offer commentary with chat etc.. Then it's very hard for Agon to attract paying viewers and monetize the game. Information is not "free" ,someone else the sponsor (Agon) is footing the bill (The purse, the venue) etc.. perhaps advertising can recoup this, but currently it does not seem to. It's not owning a chess move but simply delaying the information which has a time value

@#3 - the article by the Bloomberg columnist is incompetently written. If the columnist teaches IP, as he claims, I pity his students.

First, the columnist correctly cites a long-standing US Supreme court case that supports Agon ( "The best-known case on the subject is International News Service v. Associated Press, a 1918 decision in which the U.S. Supreme Court [upheld the right to delay information which is otherwise free]") and a Federal district court case (Pennsylvania, the 3rd circuit) that did the same (the so-called sweat of the brow doctrine) (" Perhaps a better point of departure is Pittsburgh Athletic Company v. KQV Broadcasting, a 1938 decision by a federal district court. The plaintiff, owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team, had sold to two radio stations the exclusive right to broadcast the games played at Forbes Field.") but the columnist rejects both of these cases, saying they 'may' not be good law anymore (without a citation--do we take his word for it? That's not how legal scholarship works. You have to cite every sentence, I've actually seen several cites in a single sentence, not just 'take my word for it'). Then the columnist offers a single Federal district court case that seems to support the opposite of the above, a NY Federal court case ("NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOC. v. MOTOROLA, INC., 105 F.3d 841 (2nd Cir. 1997)", but keep in mind there are twelve (12) circuits and when there is a conflict between the districts, as there are here, between the 2nd (NY state) and the 3rd (Penns, by implication since the district court case of 1938 was not appealed), the US Sup. Ct. case of 1918 would control, so Agom would win.

So let's summarize, keeping in mind a district court is inferior to a circuit court, while the Sup. Ct trumps every other court (this is Federal case law).

1918 Sup. Ct - says Agon wins.
1938 District Ct (of the Third Circuit, including Pennsylvania): says Agon wins
1997 Circuit Ct (of the 2nd Cir., including NY): says Agon loses

Who wins? Agon would win, on appeal to the US Sup Ct, and even in NY if they can say that Agom should win. Why? Because if you read the 1997 Circuit court case, you'll see the winning defendant had TIME DELAY in their reporting of the NBA stats ("" see: "The information is updated every two to three minutes, with more frequent updates near the end of the first half and the end of the game. There is a lag of approximately two or three minutes between events in the game itself and when the information appears on the pager screen")

Agom does not care if the chess moves are transmitted with time delay (nobody does, not even the earlier cases). But if there's no time delay then Agom does care, and would win.

I pity the Bloomberg columnist's IP students. That said, I dropped out of law school and am proud of it. But at least I know more law than this professor does. And he's a professor of law at Yale. Imagine dat: "Stephen L. Carter is a Bloomberg View columnist. He is a professor of law at Yale University and was a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall."

Bonus trivia: "Agom" means "wife" in certain dialogs in the Philippines. Hence my conflating Agon with Agom.

@stephan - of course stephan is right, and agrees with my analysis, without getting into legalities as I did. That's fine, but not how the law works. Citation is the key, and the Bloomberg columnist by saying "Agon would lose, take my word for it" without citing the caselaw and citing a 1997 NY case that's not on point (since a time delay was present) is rendering incompetent legal analysis. Again I pity the columnist's students. I've had such professors, and you have to ape what they say, even if they're wrong, since you have to stroke their egos. Challenging them will get you a "D" grade. Suck it up, suck up to them, then flush the garbage they spewed out of your mind after the finals. Common in academia, sadly.

#2: I've been a fan of Scott's blog and didn't know this existed.

Anyway, this reminds me of a thought I've been having but have largely not expressed for fear of people jumping down my throats about it.

If America is so racist, which is something we're always hearing about, then wasn't it a yuge mistake to let in so many immigrants? Pro-immigration people seem to have had this idea of immigrants as vegetables and America as a picky kid. You force the kid to eat spinach, and even though he moans and groans about it, he grows up big and strong like Popeye and thanks you for it later on, and even comes to like the spinach over time.

But you rarely hear people say, America is so racist, maybe it can't handle immigrants right now because the friction will blow up our institutions. Well, it's starting to seem increasingly like that is the case. I realize that sounds like victim-blaming, but I want to be causally agnostic here.

In other words, the reaction function of racist people ought to have been part of ones views on optimal immigration policy, even if you yourself detest racism, no?

The argument isn't relevant because the objections are not actually about race. People are against low skilled immigration because it increases the supply of low skilled workers and decreases the wages of low skilled workers. The Left often frames it as racism, because that's an effective tactic to side-track the debate.

"People are against low skilled immigration because it increases the supply of low skilled workers and decreases the wages of low skilled workers."

How does that work? Employers pay workers according to their productivity, as we hear endlessly. It doesn't matter where they come from. At the same time, special visas are required for software engineers and baseball players to get in the country but there's really no problem getting them and not many objections to it. Baseball fans don't want to see Robinson Cano deported because some American second baseman languishing in Triple A can't get to the majors. So what's the difference between a Mexican washing dishes in the local restaurant and Robinson Cano swatting line drives in Safeco Field? Don't bother to answer, we know the difference.

"How does that work? Employers pay workers according to their productivity, as we hear endlessly."

If there's one thing the economists, from Marxist to Keynesian to Austrian, agree about, it's that that is not true.

"Don’t bother to answer, we know the difference."

Actually "we" know you're just the concern troll of the month crapping up the comment section with disingenuous arguments.

>"Employers pay workers according to their productivity."

Are you just making up platitudes you're misunderstanding as econ? If, overnight, I double the amount of low-skilled labor, holding all else constant, they will make less money.

In reality, I think productivity acts as a sort of "maximum possible pay" for employees. If the market for a particular type of labor is tight, then we should expect people to be paid something close to their productivity. If there is a relative excess of supply, we should expect to see pay move below productivity until a new equilibrium between labor supplies and demanded is reached.

"So what’s the difference between a Mexican washing dishes in the local restaurant and Robinson Cano swatting line drives in Safeco Field?"

The difference is that more skilled people with higher incomes seem to do a better job of protecting themselves from competition. For many years, in practice, the U.S. has been doing more to keep new doctors, lawyers, and engineers from coming here than it has to keep new dishwashers from coming here. Guess who such a system tends to benefit, and who it hurts?

> How does that work? Employers pay workers according to their productivity, as we hear endlessly.

Pithily, immigrants might lower the _margin_ of production - productivity of the _marginal_ unit of work, keeping quality and all other factors constant, is what sets wages for workers as a whole.

Or they could raise productivity per hour of labour and decrease wages at the same time if the dynamics are right (wrong).

Say, you've got 10 high skilled and 10 low skilled workers, and immigrants are not competing for the high skilled jobs. Two hard working immigrants come, and now there are 12 low-skilled workers.

If each of the original ten workers has a reservation wage of [$5.50, $6, ... $10], and in the market conditions at least 10 workers were needed, all would be employed and all MIGHT receive the full $10 an hour demanded by the worker with the highest reservation wage.

If the reservation wage of the immigrants is $5 an hour, assuming that the same total number of workers is still needed, wages could decline to $9 an hour, which would reflect the loss of the two workers with a reservation wage of $9.50 and $10 an hour.

Keep in mind the possibility that the incoming immigrant labour is harder working. Hence, the possibility of higher per-hour labour productivity and falling wages at the same time.

This could happen in many other market conditions, and presumably much of the modelling, labour market dynamics and other issues are not dissimilar to concerns about what happens with automation. Even if the marginal product of labour rises, this does not mean that the equilibrium wage will rise.

I actually don't think it's so much labor market competition as it is housing market competition. Due to massive land use restrictions, the supply of America's housing supply has become essentially fixed. Particularly in dynamic metros with strong job markets. Combine an inelastic supply with rising low-elasticity demand (gotta live somewhere), and it's a recipe for disaster. Out of control rents in New York, San Francisco, LA, Seattle, etc. seem to be playing out this scenario.

I agree that the real issue is largely labor competition.
But I don't think it is the "left" framing it as racism. I think the anti-immigrationists *can't admit* that they are worried about labor competition, so they themselves resort to racist arguments about cultural swamping and the like. They will often waffle back and forth between claims that immigrants come here to get on welfare and arguments for things like e-Verify which cuts in the exact opposite direction. They're all coming here to mooch, so we can't let them have jobs!!

The practical economic question is whether the added labor ultimately triggers enough economic growth that the whole pie gets bigger. If so, then the other low-wage workers may end up as well off (or better off) than before.

Well, there's both utilitarian and moral considerations. For some of us, the net added liberty of people to migrate may outweigh utilitarian considerations. And national loyalty is just another form of tribalism. A low-wage worker from Mexico is no less worthy of my attention than a low wage worker from Pittsburgh. They're both just people trying to pursue happiness.

I think it is a very reasonable view, but that the "victim-blaming" you mention is the key.

I think a lot of people believe that once they show the "other side" is morally blameworthy, then their approach is triumphant, without regards to consequences. Indeed, I would say that these people believe that even if they know exactly what will happen as a result of their desired and implemented policies, that they bear no guilt for the negative consequences of implementing them. In other words, anything that happens because of the morally faulty acts of third parties is not included at all in their own moral calculus.

This would lead them to support increased immigration even if it could be shown that less immigration would be better for the immigrants, although I think that if they were presented with evidence suggesting that increased immigration actually hurt immigrants, they would simply reject it.

Yes I think something like you describe is what's going on. I see a lot of articles suggesting the Trump victory is a result of "whitelash," and then people start arguing about whether or not it is in fact whitelash.

And I definitely get this sense that the left wants to label the phenomenon as whitelash so that they can put the onus of guilt onto the other side, as if that somehow makes the situation better or more tolerable. You should be concerned, bigly, about the pickle that your country is in, instead of wasting your time arguing over which side was morally superior.

The national equivalent of stepping in front of a car that ran a red light. "Not my fault!" I think with relief, as the car kills me.

The "whitelash" argument is missing a couple key details. According to the exit polls which were arguably biased towards Clinton, Trump can credit his victory in part to increased support among non-white voters.

Romney vote share by Race:
White - 59%
Black - 6%
Hispanic - 27%
Asian - 26%
Other - 38%

Trump vote share by race:
White - 58%
Black - 8%
Hispanic - 29%
Asian - 29%
Other - 37%


"even if it could be shown that less immigration would be better for the immigrants"

This is where you can turn to Rawls, and how these situations can be treated without prior assumption to which situation you would hypothetically be in.

Namely, the calculus is based on all potential selectees, and not just the ones who have already been selected.

Similarly, a position about the morality or ethics of a law should be reasoned through with zero assumption about your actual situation, but understanding something about the distribution of probabilities (but not quite so formally) in determining the "correct" position.

It might seem ridiculously obvious, and has been stated in a million ways over the ages, but the sequential building up of a logically consistent philosophical system for such purposes (at least, this is what he aims for) through some of his works is quite something.

To put your point tritely: Thieves prefer a world where theft is illegal, because those are the only places that have stuff worth stealing.


I only have one throat, as far as I am aware.

I think it's pretty well understood that racist people are not the ones who are indifferent to immigration or even actively support it for fairness reasons (people can access opportunities), economic reasons (access to more talent or labour), because they actively like immigrants (maybe about food or other things), or whatever other sort of reason.

Just as obviously (or it should be), being concerned about immigration and its effects on the ability of the most influential and powerful civilizational and cultural entity in the history of the planet (say, the West collectively, but more specifically the USA for present purposes) to sustain its identity or not lose its roots or some such thing, does not necessarily mean someone is racist.

But if you get angry at the sight of a black face, no other information, there's gotta be some negative programming there, whether in the moment or something that has been laid into the mind for a long time.

Okay, and how many people "get angry at the sight of a black face"?? What a canard to throw in there

Quack quack. Good question.

Sounds like most Canadians "get angry at the sight of an illegal immigrant face."

The Finland link is a fake story. See

#5 --- Thank Heavens that Finland story is exaggerated

That "students ought to choose for themselves" what subjects to study is antithetical to any sane definition of education or human liberty.

Formal school curriculum are quite properly dictated to all parents & children by government politicians & education bureaucrats. Many years of compulsory attendance at government schools (or strictly approved government alternatives) is absolutely the ideal mechanism for all children in society to mature into dutiful adult citizens.

5.) Wait, is this the same as this story from March 2015?

Brazil's new government is pioneering an education reform. President Temer issued a diktat concerning an overhauling of the education system which may, eventually, get rid of the obligatory subjects and dismantle the current common core (diretrizes básicas), allowinng a radical decentralization of the system, allowing states and cities to attend more freely the interests and needs of the individual students.

Well, that is different that allowing students to pick all their subjects...

Maybe it is, maybe it is not. The Judicial system needs to approve it before we know what is in it.

2. Australia may actually be doing a better job of selecting its immigrants than Canada.

How so?

They let them languish in camps off their shores or pursuade the USA to accept 10000 of them, as Obama just agreed to. Sounds like a good strategy to me.

From the limited statistics I have seen, Australia appears to do a better job at keeping the under educated out.

#1 Social media definitely accentuates the polarization. It's often trying to shout down someone. My Facebook feed is full of Pro Trump and anti Trump posts, usually cherry picking something to show the other side is evil. It's getting very tiresome.

I've never been happier not being on Facebook or Twitter. I'm not saying that in a snobby 'I don't even watch TV' way, I'm just slightly on the wrong side of the age divide between not really caring about FB and not understanding how life is lived without it.

Well, I’ve never been happier not being on Facebook or Twitter, and I don’t even have TV, and I don't mind saying that in a snobby way.

2) Why is it anytime Scott Alexander says anything anti-progressive everyone still loves him and is comforted by him? But when anyone else says the same thing it's uncouth?

The guy is a fuckin' warlock and hypnotizes everyone. Tread carefully.

" I think some kind of points-based immigration system off of the Canadian model would be pretty great. "

Is that the anti-progressive stance?

Honestly? I don't know anymore. But acknowledging differential IQs among groups, and then saying a homogenous ethnic group in domination might be best, could easily earn the label 'white nationalist' if said in a less thoughtful and measured way.

So you think educational / professional achievement is directly dependent on IQ?

Is that progressive? It used to be, maybe it's back...

I got a higher score on a standardized test than uneducated malnourished people.

I'm such an allstar genius.

You probably outscored the very well fed, nominally well educated members of "certain groups."

When people offer opinions that cross party/ideological lines--that's when people start to listen. It reminds me of a quote from a good friend (paraphrasing):

"If you are in a conversation and your opinion is the result of a rule straightforwardly applied, and everyone around you is familiar with your thoughts, then for god's sake please show the smidgeon of intellectual respect required to assume that everyone has already anticipated the content of your empty 'contribution.'"

Excuse me sir, do you have a moment to talk about our Lord and Savior, Leo Strauss?

Re: 2

I love it how Scott pretends he evidently never heard of Federalist No. 10 and doesn't need to bother with addressing it. We're literally founded on the theory that we don't need one big faction, it's fine (and for the best) if we have a bunch of factions: "The influence of factious leaders may kindle a flame within their particular States, but will be unable to spread a general conflagration through the other States. A religious sect may degenerate into a political faction in a part of the Confederacy; but the variety of sects dispersed over the entire face of it must secure the national councils against any danger from that source."

Yeah. Federalist 10 lays this out. And like about 30% of what the Federalist says it's flat wrong and is proved so within a decade. The whole claim of F10 is that a unified national party is impossible in the US. Except that gee, the guy who *wrote* F10 then goes an starts a nationwide party.

The Federalist is great. But please remember it's one half of a partisan argument, and it's the wrong half on a whole bunch of issues, including this one.

Because different sects of Protestantism is totally similar to the different races. It's not like the founders ever expressed opinions on race or made legislation about it.

And what happens when a sect controls virtually all universities?

Because it's clear that he gives a shit, but this does not stop him from discussing various reasons to be concerned about whatever policies are proposed by others.

He has earned a ton of credit by his extensive, careful, highly public reasoning. We know he's not a racist, white nationalist, etc. He has earned the benefit of the doubt.

1. Hmm, I suppose it's rich that Haidt, who separated people into two distinct political camps, liberals and conservatives, and identified them (especially liberals) with some not flattering traits, would lament that "we can never trust each other again" because of social media. How am I to know my enemy unless he has identifiable traits different from my own.

"And Renee DiResta on radicalization through Facebook. "

So, is the narrative that radicalization through Facebook was about Fake stories from the Left, from the Right or on both sides?

The Other Team won, so we must understand how The People were bamboozled.

So now instead of being accused of getting all my news from Faux News, now I'll be accused of getting it from Facebook.

I must say that this post election period has been the most delicious in memory.

Now Twitter is characterized as a cesspool of racism and misinformation! It must be all the journalists that hang out there.

I know no one who uses Twitter. No one at all. It is a foreign world of self important bores. At least CB radio was entertaining.

I wonder if you could patent a chess opening or defense. It's a well-ploughed field, but maybe with computer assistance some new line of value could be uncovered. If I discovered the Thorson Attack, could I patent it and prevent others from using it?

You could patent variants of the game, as here: but I don't believe any actual variations have been copyrighted.

I know you cannot patent an idea but must embody it in some form. You also cannot patent mathematical formulas, so I think patenting chess moves is on difficult ground. This is not what these guys are doing. They simply want to delay the information ( say by about 2 hours) about the moves played in the game

But it's not a formula. It's not like Ohm's Law or the Pythagorean Theorem. It's more like a business method patent. I heard that the Please Wait Here For Next Available Teller sign and method of organizing one line for multiple tellers was granted a business method patent, though I don't know the patent number if there was one.

I don't know, It could be argued, it's a formula ( or perhaps a theorem) in the domain of chess.Given some position X, the following sequence Z_n makes the output of some evaluation function Y greater than some number.

"Could you patent the Sun?", asked Dr. Salks. No, you can't. You can't atent a move or else we would own ALL good soccer movies and we would get fat with the money of royalties. "There are three things which are too wonderful for you to patent, Four which I do not patent: The way of an eagle in the sky, The way of a serpent on a rock, The way of a ship in the middle of the sea, And the way of a man with a maid."

A related question is could I patent the defense against the Thorson Attack? Maybe the Thorson Attack is not so good because of the Thorson Defense, but if you can't use the Thorson Defense maybe it's a really good attack.

Whoa, whoa, you can't do that! You're infringing on my patent on the Thorson Defense, and I charge $150,000 license fee for that, paid in advance.

Funny how social media went from savior (remember Facebook and the Arab Spring?) to the source of what ails us.

Comments on this arrest at GMU?

I've looked around a bit online

So far, it seems to have gone down the memory hole.


2. Assorted Linked-In
Frickin can’t even ANSWER AN ASK on MY OWN TUMBLR without getting LINKED BY MARGINAL REVOLUTION so much for low-visibility shoot-off-at-the-mouth sideblog AARGH AARGH AARGH AARGH AARGH.

Have you tried being less interesting? That always works for me, I haven't been linked by Marginal Revolution even once.

3) It would be pretty hard to apply a lot of standard patents. But maybe they could patent publication/teaching relating to their moves for some period, while still allowing non-profit or licensed dissemination.

#2 For those whinging about low US immigrant qualifications, some international
comparisons recalculated from IAB data for 2010.

%Edu: Low (primary or less)

18.36 851883/ 4639307 AU subtotal

16.55 1097069/ 6629130 CA subtotal

43.56 2242865/ 5148912 DE subtotal

64.28 3027144/ 4709071 FR subtotal

42.93 2183759/ 5086408 UK subtotal

28.83 9330937/ 32365450 US subtotal


%Edu: Hi (degree and above)

47.58 2207342/ 4639307 AU subtotal

68.12 4515674/ 6629130 CA subtotal

21.67 1115961/ 5148912 DE subtotal

22.62 1065117/ 4709071 FR subtotal

48.63 2473598/ 5086408 UK subtotal

42.02 13598713/ 32365450 US subtotal

AU did not do as well as CA.

AU does have a large number of "less than degree" qualified occupations (classified "TRA") on its current preferred immigration list: They probably had even more during the minerals construction boom around 2010. The fit of immigrant qualifications to supply shortages is a better measure of the quality of the immigration program than educational attainment.

I'm guess this does not include illegal immigrants. Does it include all legal immigrants?

The data were allegedly from the census data from the respective countries with breakdown to the individual country of origins. It seems that US is very selective for immigrants not from the Americas but the public opinions are skewed by the bottom few entries from Americas. I was surprised by the data from Nigeria.

%Edu (US immigrant qual. degree or higher, 2010. NEdu>10000)

%Edu NEdu SubTot Origin

85.31 15431 18089 SaudiArabia

82.97 262996 316983 Taiwan

82.41 136769 165963 Nigeria

82.04 1195820 1457640 India


73.29 1116374 1523208 Philippines

68.34 588793 861561 Korea

67.17 154052 229357 Pakistan

59.59 66243 111160 Lebanon

51.21 28074 54819 Syria

43.37 46863 108062 Iraq


28.66 14030 48953 Somalia

21.65 82080 379185 Honduras

18.86 113333 600907 Guatemala

18.03 176828 981003 ElSalvador

14.25 1315891 9234340 Mexico

As I shown previously, the US presidential election Rep states are very strongly correlated to states with low percentage of degree holders. Other data also showed that Trump had more support from the Latinos in US. Trump by reducing immigrants without degrees might ruin the future for the Republican. The trend has totally flipped.

Ha! Ha! WELL then.

Haidt asserts that the left has taken the John Lennon song "Imagine" and made it into a religion.

That's insightful and correct.

John Derbyshire's summary of Corey Robin's social thought: "a shallow and jejune utopianism, where no one is subordinate to anyone else'.

I wonder what Gentzkow and Shapiro would find if they conducted their study today. This election might be a perfect case study for them. Have things gotten worse? Or are pundits overstating the salience of fake news?

#1 makes me think of the idea (from Hitchhiker's Guide) of the babblefish being the cause of countless wars. Maybe social media makes it easier for us all to tell what obvious nuts everyone else outside our social group really is, thus making society unstable.

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