Wednesday assorted links


4. Yes, it would be a really huge surprise if Le Pen won. In no poll is she credited of more than 40% in the second round (when there is only two remaining candidates, so when one needs 50%+ to win). Polls have often under-estimated the National Front in the past, but not so much in the recent past (last 10 years).

That being said this prediction market (that I didn't know) seems overconfident: on other prediction markets she does better, like PredictIt, which gives her chances of win are at 28%. This is probably too high (and I am no on her there -- for a few cents, I just play for fun) but 10% doesn't take into account the fact that her probable opponent, Macron, was completely unknown just 3 years ago, and has a popularity much more wide than deep. If something happens to him (a serious judiciary affair, a very bad performance at debates, whatever) between the two rounds then all bets are off.

Other (improbable) scenarios may happen that lead to a Le Pen win.
For instance, a small progress of Fillon could still make him beat Macron in the first round. In a normal Fillon/Le Pen second round, Fillon would win by 70% against 30%, but in view of Fillon's current affairs, he would have difficulty to get any vote form the left, so Le Pen would have a chance.

Another (improbable) scenario is that Hamon, the left-wing socialist who is now running fifth in the polls (for a party used to the first or second place) would desist for Mélanchon (forth in the polls), the left-of-socialist candidate supported by communists. Then one could imagine Mélanchon going to the second round against Le Pen, and in such a situation chances for Le Pen would be good.

Factor the possibility of another big islamist terror attack close to the election, etc., and really at 10% MLP seems underrated.

France is not the Anglosphere. Maybe for cultural reasons, maybe the political system (first past post makes for more centrist winners), but Anglos typically vote for change more quickly than Europe. Brexit was significant for Trump, but neither Brexit nor Trump is significant for Europe elections in the short-term. Meanwhile, the European establishment is icing out "far-right" parties. In order to vote for change in Europe, the public will have to hand a majority to a party such as PVV or Sweden Democrats. Then it will be a sign for Europe and the dominoes might tumble one after the other.

Close, but not quite. Words 23 through 31 lack an appreciation of what is usually called, for lack of a better word in English, "recurrences de la mer" en francais. A waltz heard on an AM radio (England, particularly the home counties) does not have the "balancement" (faux ami alert - not balancing, but the sway of a dance that is unstable and unattenuated in its reverberations) of the same waltz heard on the same AM radio in France. The rest of this comment is not a reply to the Mandarin character commenter but are just brief observations, take them or leave them: Generally speaking, all countries go through bad centuries here and there (the joy so many of us feel from fantasy novels and science fiction novels - not me, but so many of us, comes from the idea that thera actually are countries that do not have bad centuries. Well God is good but people are in general not all that good and no historian can name a country that has a really good run for a really long time. Think about that. On the other hand, don't be too impressed by Voltaire - who grew old and unloveable long long ago - or the newsweeklies (seriously, how many people who are paid by a newsweekly have any idea of what is really going on in this world?) And, generally, if predicting the future, don't underestimate the bravery of people whose names you have never heard. (I do not have a Mandarin keyboard if I did i would quote here Li Po riffing on one of Tu Fu's harmonically diminished apocalyptic criticisms of trivial academic trends of his day that bother Tu Fu, the lesser poet, so much more than Li Po: not that they did not both have love in their heart!)

That being said neither Li Po nor Tu Fu would have been a welcome suitor for my daughter nor an acceptable candidate to adopt my beloved dogs or cat. Sad but just as true now in 2018 as then in whatever years they called the years they lived in.

2017 :( :)

Shinjitsu wa watashi no (shinjitsu) ,,, yu jin deirimas(u) watashi no yujin

Please do not read this comment unless you found the previous two or three comments interesting in and of themselves: fortherecordthatwasnotrealJapanesebutaformofthatbeautifulbutoftenmisusedlanguageiamadaptingforacreatedworldinanoveloflegendswhichnobodywhocommentshereiseverlikelytoread.itwasasecondgenerationtransaltionofmagnaestveritasetpraevalebit. inthenoveltherewillbemanytropicaltreesandalmostnoneoftheusuallackofunderstandingofhumanrelationsbutontheotherhandalmostnopreviouslyunachievedversionsofeucatastropheswellmaybeone.
thisisnotasubterfugetoincreasethepricelevelofRyukyystamps> shinjitsu wa watashi.
Sorry if you think I wasted your time. I did not mean to.

on #2 Yes that a right assumption. Growing up in Southern India (late 80s) , most of my village used Buffaloes for most of the agricultural work or anything that needed transportation and for milk consumption (their fat content is better than cows milk, hence more butter and ghee), the cows and oxen were only symbol of wealth in village for competitions or village festival presentations, so only very few people owned them..

If buffaloes are better at producing milk, while worse at farm labor, shouldn't mechanization have resulted in them displacing cows in America?

Indian buffaloes don't exist in the U.S. Who knows if they could survive here

"It depends on various factors. Cows give more milk than buffaloes. But buffalo milk fat content is twice as much as cow milk so buffalo milk gets better price. Milking a cow can be automated using milking machines - for buffaloes it is difficult. Buffaloes are more disease resistent than cows. Cows are cheaper than buffaloes. Detecting heat cycles in cows is easy. So there is no easy answer for the question. So ultimately It comes down to what is important to you. Personally we prefer buffaloes. You can also have both of them."

"Factor the possibility of another big islamist terror attack close to the election, etc., and really at 10% MLP seems underrated."

But factor the possibility of the whole Islamic terrorism fad fizzle before the election, and she seems overrated.

Yeah sure. At some point in the future, the whole islamic fad will fizzle, people will understand that islamists with their ideology have no chance whatsoever to win, the terrorism will appear as a police issue, the academic left will stop to irrationally hope that islamists would bring the social and economic change the long for but are too complacent to struggle for, and will stop supporting them, and we could all left them to their insignificance. But I don't see all these happy events happening before the French election in six weeks.

Who knows, it can happen any time now. Also, it is hard ro be too hard on the academic left regarding terrorism when entire generations of American politicians have done their best to fret about Iran while they pretend they do not know the Saudi regime is THE problem.

Theoretically I want to say that the Left has adopted, so to speak, the Muslim cause because it needs adherents or "voters". But practically speaking I know a number of Leftists, and truth be told, most of them are just driven by a profoundly overwrought sense of empathy. I'm talking about America now. It will be different in Europe where there are actual communist parties in many of the towns and cities.

3. Summary: "The other researchers didn't factor in enjoyment into their research on sex. Wankers."

6. Bayz is surprisingly solid.

Here: "If your explanation for “why don’t people commit crime X anymore” is “they passed a few laws against it,” I would advise you to seriously rethink your theory."

And here: [re: the violence/bombings in the period circa 68-72, aka the protests of the Sixties]: "The question we should be asking is why did the bombings and riots start, but Cowen does not ask this question. In connection with the riots and bombings, the word “communism” never appears. The rioters are said to be plain old “Americans,” one ignorant of history might assume it was the residents of Lake Wobegon, MN, who were burning cities and setting off bombs. Cowen writes as if that decade was the historical norm, with us moderns as aberrations."

Yeah, I was impressed with Bayz' review too.

But he seems to have missed out on something here - ' “Online stalking” and “online harassment” cannot at all be compared to the real-life equivalents.' Making one wonder, what is the real life equivalent of Swatting?

'Swatting is when someone attempts to get police or S.W.A.T. (Special Weapons Attack Team) forces to raid an unsuspecting person’s home for unfounded reasons. Usually this is done by calling in a fake 911 report about a serious event of violence, such as a shooting or hostage situation. Perpetrators will use manipulated caller ID data and disguise their voice to conceal their identity. If they are successful, the “prank” will lead to local law enforcement—or even highly armed S.W.A.T. forces—raiding the person’s home or business at gunpoint, causing a dangerous situation for all parties.

How Did It Start?
Swatting took off as an Internet trend in just the last five to seven years. The FBI coined the term as early as 2008, when it labeled swatting a dangerous new phenomenon. While many people have fallen victim, it’s most common amongst the gaming community. Indeed, many swatting incidents have occurred while online gamers are livestreaming on Twitch, the popular website that allows users to share videos of themselves and their gaming sessions live on the Internet.'

And from that article, one can see a certain trend - 'Those who speak out against the practice have also fallen prey to it. Congresswoman Katherine Clark of Massachusetts became a swatting victim earlier this month after sponsoring the Interstate Swatting Hoax Act, which the Boston Globe reported “would make it a federal crime to spur an emergency response by any law enforcement agency without cause.” Swatters falsely reported an active shooter at her house, prompting a large-scale police response.'

And Swatting stands in direct contradiction to this - '. If you’re a teenage guy, you don’t care about being “insulted” or “harassed.”(Well, you do, but you don’t think you do).'

"’ Making one wonder, what is the real life equivalent of Swatting?"

Duh. Calling in a fake tip to the police is real life. The police actually show up at the house. The call is from a phone. Swatting may have been common amongst the gaming community, but that doesn't make it "online". If my wife records video of the kids at the park and post it on Facebook, that doesn't mean the kids were playing online.

Your comment has absolutely no bearing on the good point that Bayz made.

"“Online stalking” and “online harassment” cannot at all be compared to the real-life equivalents. In real life stalking and harassment, there is an implied possibility of violence, the target can’t just push a few buttons and make the offender disappear from view. For the online equivalent, one can. "

““Online stalking” and “online harassment” cannot at all be compared to the real-life equivalents. In real life stalking and harassment, there is an implied possibility of violence, the target can’t just push a few buttons and make the offender disappear from view. For the online equivalent, one can. “

This reflects a misunderstanding of how online harassment works in reality. It is common to try to identify a target's employer, colleagues or potential business partners and send harassing or defamatory content to them in an attempt to get the target fired or severely diminish their ability to earn a livelihood. Another tactic is to create fake Facebook or Twitter accounts in the target's name and post racist, lewd or offensive content and set it to be public and searchable by Google so that it comes up when someone (for instance, a potential employer or someone you just asked for a reference as part of a job search) googles the target's name.

The notion that swatting is commonly prosecuted doesn't seem to hold up either. Some swatters don't even live in the same country as the victim and use VPNs located in yet other countries to mask their identities.

'Calling in a fake tip to the police is real life.'

Of course - how often was that happening in 1992?

'but that doesn’t make it “online”'

No, but the part where in many of the cases, the person causing it attempts to see the online video of the events as they unfold is.

The "real-life" equivalent would be calling in a bomb threat. It's not really the same thing, Cowen's point was that "online harassment" and "online stalking" are rarely ever punished, whereas "swatting" is undisputedly illegal and the offenders are commonly caught and punished.

You write in your review, "“Online harassment” most of the time means “criticism” and those most likely to complain about it are political activists who aren’t trying to live as private citizens, and who are entirely willing to throw “harassing” insults at those they disagree with."

As a counterpoint, see this: "Take for example the case of Ian Barber in what was New York’s first “revenge porn” case. According to court documents, it’s alleged that in 2013 Barber posted naked pictures of his then-girlfriend to his Twitter account and sent the photos to her employer and sister. He was charged with three offenses, including Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree. However, Judge Steven Statsinger of the Criminal Court of the City of New York dismissed all three charges. With respect to the charge of aggravated harassment, the offense requires the defendant to have communicated with the victim, either anonymously or otherwise, through telephone, telegraph, mail, or any other form of written communication. Since Barber did not send the photos to his girlfriend, the judge concluded he could not be held responsible under this section of the penal code."

Cowen is correct.

'The “real-life” equivalent would be calling in a bomb threat.'

No, it wouldn't be. A bomb threat is certainly disruptive, and certainly will involve the police, but the idea that the police will storm a private dwelling with full tactical gear and ordering everyone to get on the ground now or be shot because they have received a bomb threat is not exactly likely, to be charitable.

This comment form the Bayz review was a good point:

"This illustrates why I think “complacency” is a very slippery concept. It applies the same word toward the bum who lives with mom and spends his days playing video games and the undoubtedly conformist teacher’s pet, when they are, in terms of personality, polar opposites."

Yeah, this review is much better than many TC gave a link to recently.

A question: why does Tyler call it an "Alt Right Review"?

Reading the review I didn't see anything all right, and on his blog the guy presents himself as follows "I am a college student who is majoring in Computer Science. I am half White and half Jewish. Politically, I am a reactionary and supporter of President Donald Trump. You can contact me at"
But reactionary is different from Alt-Right, at least seeing how mainstream media use the word Alt-Right.

Reactionary(or "alt-Light") is a better word, I stopped identifying as alt-Right after Richard Spencer started claiming ownership over the term.

Didn't Spencer more or less always own the term? It's just that his own ideology changed to more extreme over time (or at least his public views did).

I would call you Alt-Right because of the elements (which do appear in your review of TCC) of so-called "racial realism." I mean by this the speculative assumption that genetic differences in intelligence underlie things such as the black-white IQ gap or other cultural differences among races. That kind of stuff is very jarring to me when I encounter it because the rest of your review was pretty reasonable.

It sounds like you at least acknowledge that there is a black-white IQ gap. What do you think explains it?

Maybe that should be a clue to you that all of the review was in fact pretty reasonable.

Of course there is a statistical black-white IQ score gap. That's a fact and no one can plausibly deny that. I believe that science can't currently tell us what explains that gap, and in particular whether there is a genetic component to that. I think claims, such as Charles Murray's, that we now know that some portion of this gap is explained by genetic differences are wrong. See

I agree. The blogger, whatever he may have done to earn the dark sobriquet, paid him the compliment of engaging with the text, which reviews of the "Cowen is fantastically erudite and nimble and here does a fantastic job full stop"-type do not. What I read of the chapter-by-chapter précis in that "neo-Straussian" review TC linked to the other day was also handy.

I tried to read the Bayz review, but the webpage keeps repeatedly jumping to the bottom focusing on an advertisement that's playing.

Was able to copy text into a document and read. I most agreed with the point discussed about ambition. I don't think people are less ambitious than previously. Young people work harder than ever at school and credentialing I think, it's that incentives may have changed to require more credentialing for those who are ambitious. It can create what appears to conformism, when it may simply more necessary now to raise status and have chance at the best opportunities.

1. Quite reasonably, I don't think Tyler has bothered to find out how weratedogs works (matching shouldn't be relevant).

#5...My ruling would be that the competing products must be virtually interchangeable. Hence, a blind tasting should be given to a number of people. If the products taste the same, then it can be argued that the newcomer is focused on harming the older business by taking away customers. On the other hand, if they are clearly distinguishable by taste, then the newcomer can argue that it can't be argued that he's trying to poach customers from the older business since it's not clear that his customers would even like the older restaurant's food.

Has this been discussed yet?

"Are dogs getting so much better? "
At doing what, sir?

They're good dogs, Brent

#6 """Cowen doesn’t discuss education very much in the book, except to note that it’s a sector that experiences especially little turnover, all the best universities are the same as they were 30 years ago, and no one expects that to change.[11]"""

Many university ranking systems carries subjective fluffy factors called "reputation" which might be from complacent reviewers. Thus UK evaluaters rank UK university at the global top while US evaluaters rank US university at the global top. A more direct and objective ranking is from the offshoot of Nature Journal with a weighted numerical count of the number of reputatble academic papers published WFC (WFC15 is the score for 2015, etc),


1,-125.36,897.69,851.78,858.05,772.33,"Harvard University, United States of America (USA)"

2,48.84,481.99,482.22,477.13,530.83,"Stanford University, United States of America (USA)"

4,-3.14,486.76,511.15,508.61,483.62,"Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States of America (USA)"

5,52.25,346.13,381.99,358.06,398.38,"University of Oxford, United Kingdom (UK)"

6,-37.12,427.66,403.3,406.33,390.54,"University of Cambridge, United Kingdom (UK)"

7,0.38,357.46,362.2,367.03,357.84,"University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley), United States of America (USA)"

Using simple mean yearly rate of change and projected forward, Stanford might overtake Harvard in 4.16 years, Oxford might overtake Harvard in 6.32 years (ignoring Brexit).

As training techniques and owners get better at being parents, dogs are definitely getting better. Oh and dog lifestyle products are better than ever before:

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