Thursday assorted links

1. Why do the Chinese hug less?

2. Linguistic practices of Chinese state media, recommended.

3. “No less than 72% of the most ‘authoritarian’ group voted to leave, while just 21% of the most ‘libertarian’ group did so.” A post-mortem on Brexit (pdf).  And in Germany there is a pub The UnBrexit.

4. This piece is a good meditation on what efficiency really means (with apologies to Benjamin L.), here is one bit: “[Chris] Paul can’t consistently create easy shots against an elite defense, but he’s also too disciplined to take bad shots, which limits his upside against higher levels of competition. Paul has averaged more than 25 points a game in a playoff series only once, and it was in his most recent seven-game battle against the Jazz. Westbrook has done it nine times, and Curry has done it eight. Paul’s tricks don’t work as well against his All-NBA peers.”

5. Eduardo Porter on tax reform (NYT).

6. Russ Roberts on emergent order.


The Chinese hug less but like to be crowded together, go figure.

Surely not in mixed (gender) company?

I know this is off topic, but it is just too funny. Maybe it could have been fixed with a hug? That's the best connection I can think of at the moment:

"Secret Service vacates Trump Tower command post in lease dispute with president’s company"

One heck of a news dump Thursday.

Trump lacks irony. In another news story from today, Trump apparently asked his generals whether the USA could extract the mineral resources of Afghanistan to justify fighting there. At least he's transparent...

I think he actually believes Democrat talking points like "war for oil" but then thinks he's supposed to be for that now, since he's a Republican.


"Trump lacks irony."

I didn't think that at this point anyone could make an original observation about Trump.

I don't think so

5. I kind of worry that the best and most "efficient" tax system would be a consistent and national framework (head to toe, national to local). But of course that reduces the opportunity for state by state experimentation. I suppose it could be one system with pluggable values for state income and local sales taxes ..

I'm not sure of the answer, but I don't like states competing to lose money on battery plants or sports stadiums .. or politicians at all levels celebrating a new subsidy for Foxconn to locate in Wisconsin.

I do have an open mind though, and would not oppose big changes along the lines Mr. Porter suggests.

Porter's assumption is that a VAT, which taxes consumption, and a Henry George style tax on real property, which is hard to avoid (and funds local governments in the USA almost exclusively) are better taxes than a corporate tax, which taxes investment. As a property owner, who's family got rich being in the DC area since the 1950s as the federal government expanded (dang we should have held that property on Embassy row, now it's worth a fortune), I am talking against my book but I think Porter is probably right. But I doubt VAT tax reform takes place any more than Social Security becomes 'means based' (another necessary reform).

Bonus trivia: the Reagan tax cuts of the 1980s were largely symbolic except for the very wealthy, debt replaced taxation, and in fact government spending as percent of GDP rose in the 1980s compared to the 1970s, read the "Triumph of Politics" by David Stockman (not to be confused with the Trump of Politics by the idiot who is now POTUS).

Reagan's tax 'cuts' were a restructuring and simplification of the tax code. Shallow analysis may see revenue neutral as being only symbolic.

The revenue neutral tax cuts were the second round of cuts. The first bill actually just reduced a number of tax rates.

Sorry, but anyone who starts a discussion of corporate tax rates complaining that it's a major problem that US marginal rates are the highest in the world loses credibility immediately. That's a hack talking point that ignores the reality of how much tax US corporations actually pay.

If Porter wants to make a case for changes - and I suspect there is one to be made - let him do it honestly.

Same with anyone who starts with marginal rates under JFK, Eisenhower, Clinton.

"That’s a hack talking point..."

Anybody using the phrase "hack talking point" in a non-humorous manner is probably .....

What is your definition of "hack talking point?"

Porter's statement may be true on its face, but is highly deceptive when one looks deeper, and Porter ought to know it. It is not the case, as he would have us believe, that US corporate taxes are unusually high. When statements like that gain wide currency as arguments parroted by those favoring some policy, I think they can reasonably be described as hackery, or BS if you prefer.

"What is your definition of “hack talking point?”"

Something that's clearly untrue, but one side brings it up incessantly as if it were. It's fair to point out that the marginal rate of US taxes is very high, but the effective rate is lower. However, the US effective rate still makes it the 3rd highest out of the 20 G20 countries.

You pretty much just inserted a one talking point with one from the other side.
According the

Your link seems to deal not with corporate rates in general but with rates paid by US-owned companies incorporated elsewhere.

In any case, ther is a difference, I think, between saying US rates are relatively high, which they may or not be, and claiming, as Porter does, that

the federal tax rate on corporate profits is stuck at 35 percent — the same as 17 years ago, and more. This inability to adapt to economic reality is a signal of the impossibility, in the United States, of pragmatic, sensible tax reform.

Once one of the lowest among economically advanced countries, the American tax rate on corporate profits is by now the highest.

Note the absence of the word "marginal," and any reference to effective rates. Here is some more data, not comparative, but still of interest if we are worried about 35% rates.

#1 The Chinese lack of hugs, PDA, and in some cases abject cruelty ( to other Chinese is due entirely to a lack of sentimentality and genuine intimacy . Intimacy by it's very nature is all about closeness. In a culture which frequently lacks distance and personal space by nature as a luxury (especially now), closeness has traditionally been conveyed to be disrespect, especially in situations where deference to authority and attention to the hierarchy of relationships (very Confucian) is paramount.

When I lived in China in the early 2000s this was very apparent. My girlfriend was very upfront about any displays of affection except in private. The sign that Chinese youth are warming up to this concept represents genuine evidence for growing economic health. At least I hope.

Different cultures have different levels of intimacy.

In many places (southern Europe, the Philippines, etc) a kiss on the cheek is a common greeting. In the US or Canada, it would be regarded as a huge invasion of privacy.

I'm not sure we can have a set, global standard for what is the "right" level of intimacy.

But even in the Philippines, where I live most of the year (I am a US/Greek citizen), hand-holding is frowned upon.

I saw something the other day that I've never seen before. A Moslem couple, judging by her headscarf thingy and their skin colours, strolling along, side by side, holding hands.

I hope nobody decides to murder them in the name of "honour".

Or because they are Muslim - 'A man from Cardiff is believed to be responsible for a terrorist attack that left one person dead and 11 injured when a van he was driving ploughed into a group of worshippers near a mosque in north London.

Darren Osborne, 47, is alleged to have shouted “I want to kill all Muslims – I did my bit” after the hired van hit a crowd that had gathered to help an elderly man who had collapsed near a mosque.'

The likelihood of their being killed for "honour" is much greater than being killed by someone copying Islamic tactics, I'd guess.

I saw 2 gay Muslims in Bora Bora. They seemed to be having a good time. Long way to go, though....

I've seen many Muslim couples - with the woman wearing the headscarf - making out in the park, laying next to each other on a blanket. Holding hands is nothing.

Regarding the Chinese, that is mostly true in China. But that is not the case with American-born or America-raised Chinese people. When I see young Chinese kids hugging and engaging in intimate displays in public, I know right away they are American.

I Honduras at family gathering all the young girls must kiss everyone on the cheek before they leave. It makes it take a long time to get out of the door.

As an American I'm uncomfortable with how hugs have become more commonplace among strangers and acquaintances. I think it should be reserved for close family and friends.

The handshake is a good compromise between the distant bow and the close hug. Some physical contact, but I don't get to smell what you had for lunch.

#1. The patriarchy strikes again!

Exactly, I think so

'Linguistic practices of Chinese state media, recommended.'

See, that becoming extra-Straussian suggestion is being incorporated already, as the linked article itself is called 'Here are all the words Chinese state media has banned'

"the blind, the deaf... Instead, use the sight-impaired, the hearing-impaired": but they are not the same. I'm hearing-impaired but not deaf. My eyesight isn't good but I'm not blind.

Why don't they copy good American habits rather than bad ones? Not that anyone ever does, of course.

Green tea bitches gonna green tea bitch . . .

matcha aye your grace? Are you certain it is he?

That Russ Roberts piece was OK, but speaking as someone who has read a bit on chaos, artificial life and emergence, he didn't really talk about emergent order. He talked about iterated patterns, repeated games.

Emergent behavior is different. It was first gained prominence with this famous simulation:

I'd say that emergence, proper, occurs not when you continue some old pattern of buying bagels, but when you say "I think I'll try avocado toast." Why did you say that? You might not be sure, especially in early stages of the emergent trend, but it is probably because your neighbors in the flock, in our social species, made a move that you noticed if only sub-consciously.

Haven't read the R.R. piece, but that small distinction between iterated patterns and Boids is quite a flight of fancy, you sound like a Sturnidae murmuring about something or the other that's over our heads.

It may be a bit pedantic, but I don't believe the agents can be aware of the action they are taking which is emergent. That is birds are really just staying close to their neighbors, avoid threats. They don't think they're maintaining the integrity of a flock. We are the ones who see the flock.

When I order bagels, and the baker orders flour, and the miller orders wheat, those are all intentional actions that we are all aware of. I don't think you can say "wait a minute that is emergent," because that's the same thing we just did intentionally.

You can't make yourself a plate of avocado toast and then say hey look this avocado toast is emergent.

Roberts' piece is fine, though hardly brilliant.

I'd recommend it to those who don't quite get the idea of how markets and information work, which is too many people.

BTW, I discovered avocado toast independently. The only social connection I had at the time was the book-knowledge of "Midshipman's butter." That and an excess of avocados, bread.'s_butter

We lived in Queensland during a mild recession. The local rag recommended that people saved money on butter by rubbing their bread with avocado.

I should really say re-discovered, if that. Some Midshipman made the discovery.

To some people including myself, "Midshipman's butter" sounds too much like a sort of foul nut butter and not appetizing. Reminds me of the "Juice Weasel" Jim Carrey skit. I discovered avacados back when I was a kid and my mother would pack me lunch; the other kids would make fun of me since they ate Popsicles and junk food for lunch while I ate healthy.

Fancy horsemanship. I see. I want. I get. I get. Equally. Favor for favor. For those that have understood, we shall keep it thoro. Look I don't much know about Stanford White Anonymous, I don't know why he spanked Evelyn Nesbit in such a fashion. Somehow I could never support the idea. Yet Anonymous, if the arch still stands as Archimedes declared, favor for favor. Then as he asked of Herodotus, I ask you to find something in the world to care for, better than a conquering race or architexture and tactile presumption, to have one thing left to have their own, a roan-colored robe void of stains. How careless you have been, Anonymous, to fancy to continue to building with a tool. Read the commandments. There are more than ten. Good night sir.

Check out 3047 N. Lincoln Avenue Friday August fourth from 7-10 pm for a student gallery show.

I want to achieve growth. We’re the highest-taxed nation in the world, essentially, you know, of the size. But we’re the highest-taxed nation in the world. We have—nobody knows what the number is. I mean, it used to be, when we talked during the debate, 2 ½ trillion (dollars), right, when the most elegant person—right? I call him Mr. Elegant. I mean, that was a great debate. We did such a great job. But at that time I was talking $2 ½ trillion. I guess it’s 5 trillion (dollars) now. Whatever it is, it’s a lot more. So we have anywhere from 4 to 5 or even more trillions of dollars sitting offshore.

6: Interesting complementary article to I, Pencil.

Right. That and Roberts' piece were good, but "emergent order" has a different meaning in a different domain. It's term-stealing.

4. Is just wrong. Chris Paul's statistics are excellent in the playoffs against good teams.

Paul doesn't score a ton of points in the regular season either. It has nothing to do with his tricks not working in the playoffs.

He simply hasn't had enough help from teammates and coaches. He has been on two of the most dysfunctional franchises.

Last I checked, Westbrook doesn't have a ring either and Durant had to join a team that was already the championship favorites.

Yep, 100%. The quoted paragraph is preposterously bad. I think the Clippers just make good villains, so people who don't quite understand how statistically elite he is are willing to rationalize themselves into takes like this.

The key point of the article is not that CP3 is inefficient, but that CP3 is so focus on efficiency that he rarely does something that maybe inefficient in isolation but actually may increase the chance of his team winning in the aggregate. A cross-profession example I can think of: Consider a neurosurgeon with a very high chance of success with surgeries he attempted. Absent all other information, we may conclude that he is a very "efficient" surgeon. But in reality we need at least one more piece of information: does he purposefully only select operations that he knew he can complete with high chance of success? This is essential the beginning plot from Dr. Strange, who only performs surgery on cases he knew he can succeed in order to keep his success rate high. The article is basically saying that CP3 is essentially the basketball equivalent of this: he would almost always make the optimum decision each time, with the caveat that he would likely not even attempt something that may be seen as “inefficient”, like forcing up a contested midrange jumper. But sometimes basketball does call for “hero ball” when things get tight; it may be that CP3 hasn’t consistently found that balance yet, other than that 2015 Spurs series.

Bill James admitted that one of his favorite baseball players, scrappy little Craig Biggio, might not have been as good as his sabermetric regular season stats suggest. Biggio may have ripped lousier pitchers during the regular season, but his mediocre stats against frontline pitchers during the postseason might indicate that his regular season stats were due to his maximizing his potential while his postseasons stats were due to his potential not being as high as you'd guess from his tendency to go deep against a long reliever in a blowout in July. (Note: James hadn't done an in-depth analysis of his hypothesis yet, so I don't know if this is true.)

I think this applies to everyone not just Biggio. It's almost tautological to say hitters hit better off of bad pitchers. All hitters inflate their stats off bad teams' 4th and 5th starters and mop up relievers. This is why pitching wins in the playoffs, the gaudy hitters stats were made during the regular season against bad teams and 4th and 5th starters, in the playoffs it's all good teams and starters 1-3 mainly. The SF Giants were underdogs in every single one of the playoff series they won en route to 3 championships in 2010, 12, and 14. Because they had pitching and the other teams had hitting.

Bill James didn't have proof for his contention that Biggio was exceptionally more likely to run up stats in easier regular season situations than the average player, but he thought it likely. It would actually reflect well on Biggio's character: he gave 100% all the time. He helped get the Astros to a lot of postseasons, despite not performing all that well in them.

In contrast, Derek Jeter, say, hitting just as well in the (more competitive) post-season as in the regular season suggests that Jeter might have been on cruise control a little during less crucial regular season moments. Baseball regular seasons are long and tiring: you work six days a week for six months, living out of a suitcase half the time. And, then, after all that, you are supposed to be at your freshest and best come October.

As part of Biggio's dedication to the game, around age 29 he developed a knack for getting on base by getting hit by pitches, which he hadn't done much of before. Between age 29 and 37 he led the National League in getting hit by pitches five times, and is second all time for his career in most being hit by pitches.

Perhaps the wear and tear of being hit by 285 pitches tended to leave Biggio banged up when the postseason came?

Derek Jeter got hit by pitches quite a bit early in his career, although never leading the league, but prudently cut back from age 34 onward. Jeter had some surprisingly good hitting seasons from age 35 onward, being an MVP contender twice in his dotage. Biggio continued to play decently through age 41, leading the league in hit by pitches at 35 and 37, but was never an MVP contender or All-Star after age 33.

Biggio is a first round Hall of Famer and Jeter is likely to be one too.

But Jeter played a full season of postseason ball, 158 games, and hit .308 with 20 homers, which would be the second highest number of homers out of all his regular seasons. Biggio played in 40 postseason games, hitting .234 with 2 homers.

One difference might be that while Biggio frequently was on a good team (with slugger Jeff Bagwell and some other hitters) that could make the playoffs if he gave 100%, Jeter was frequently on great teams that could make the playoffs with him giving, say, 90% during the regular season, and could win the World Series if he was then ready to play up to his full potential in October. (Jeter won five World Series rings.)

Looking at the numbers, it would appear that Biggio and Jeter were highly rational and effective ballplayers who chose different strategies, but both for good reasons.

Steve - the 5 HOF pitchers (okay, HOFish because I'm counting Schilling) that Biggio faced most in the regular season were Maddux, Smoltz, Glavine, Schilling, and Pedro. Maddux, Smoltz, and Glavine were actually the 3 pitchers he faced the most, period. He had 535 plate appearances and 484 at-bats against them. He went .250/.315/.349. In their careers, all batters against hit:

Maddux: .250/.291/.358
Smoltz: .237/.293/.360
Glavine: .257/.319/.378
Schilling: .243/.286/.387
Pedro: .214/.276/.337

Now, I'd say that's pretty much battling those 5 guys to at least a draw, and given that Biggio had other value (baserunning, the position he played, not hitting into double plays - his fielding takes a major hit late in his career), I think those are pretty reasonable numbers. Yes, when I'm comparing to all batters I'm lumping Biggio in with Mickey Morandini (who hit Maddux at .337/.361/.490) and Biggio was a much better player than Morandini, but I'm also lumping him in with Bonds (.265/.376/.508 against Maddux), who was a vastly better player/hitter than Biggio.

I don't put much stock in the small number of postseason plate appearances Biggio had (185) relative to his regular season numbers. He probably had a stretch in his career where he hit .240 over 185 plate appearances. And he was always facing Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz in the postseason (especially early in his career, except for the one year they played the Padres and ran into Kevin Brown). Jeter faced Helling, Loaiza, and Sele in the 1999 ALDS. I'm sure Jeter faced plenty of good quality pitchers in the postseason, but there's a common misconception that postseason pitching is always Smoltz, Pedro, Randy Johnson, Bumgarner, Bob Gibson, etc., when it's really not.


One thing I noticed looking at Biggio's splits was that he tended to wear down in September, his worst month, hitting an average of 15% worse in September than for the season as a whole.

So maybe Biggio went as hard as he could for as long as he could, but he did a lot of things that took a toll on his 5-11 185 pound body, such as playing second base (2nd basemen get spiked and knocked down a lot from behind while trying to turn the double play), getting hit by pitches, and stealing bases (sliding isn't good for your body). So by the postseason his body wasn't at its best anymore.

All in all, a heroic character.

Biggio did more little things than his fellow middle infielder Jeter, such as attempting as many as 58 steals in a season compared to Jeter's max of 39.

Also, Biggio appears to have been a more generous team player than Jeter, who notoriously camped out at shortstop in Yankee Stadium forever despite being a below average defender (forcing Alex Rodriguez to switch to third so he could stay at short). Biggio played over 400 games at catcher early in his career, then became a star second baseman. And at age 37 Biggio switched to centerfield for a year to help his team out of a jam.

And yet, Jeter was an icon of serene leadership in the glare of the sport's most exposed position, calming the Trump-like George Steinbrenner.

Yankees fans always had the same complaints about A-Rod: he knocked the cover off the ball vs bad pitching in the regular season and then K'ed his way through the playoffs.

@JeffR, that's a very common fan complaint about various players, but it's usually just failing to understand a small sample size. This narrative built around A-Rod based on a few series, but he hit very well in other playoff series. His drop-off in postseason production is nothing unusual given the elite competition.

Biggio's postseason drop-off is bigger, but it's in only 40 games. Really too small to say anything. I think James was just blowing smoke. He's a brilliant guy, but he shoots from the hip a lot in terms of proposing speculative theories. This is arguably what makes him great, but it can also be a weakness.

Steve Sailer,

I believe that effect does exist but that it does NOT apply to Chris Paul. His stats are just as good in the playoffs.

There are players who beat up on weak competition and do worse in the playoffs (David Robinson, James Harden).

I was asking around for the names of star athletes who do NOT look like they are abusing PEDs and Chris Paul's name came up as somebody who looks clean, judging from his not being very ripped. He looks like a basketball player from 1977, not from 1997.

I would hazard that very few NBA players would dabble with anabolics except to recover from injury, but would bet that a lot currently do EPO, homologous blood loading, and the like. Superphysiologic amounts of mass, muscle or otherwise, is often a bad thing given the sport-specific demands of basketball.

I don't disagree with your point, that selection bias is possible. But the stats used to get there don't make sense. Paul's career PPG in the regular season is 18.7 ... while his career playoff PPG is 21.4. Why would we expect him to average 25 PPG in the playoffs?

Curry is at 22.8 regular season, 26.2 playoffs.
Westbrook is at 22.7 regular season, 24.1 playoffs.

I checked a bunch of people - Jordan, Malone, Kobe, Duncan, Shaq, Wade, LeBron, Carmelo, Bird, West, Olajuwon, Magic, Kareem, Garnett, Drexler, Nowitzki, Pippen, Russell, Robert Horry (he is Big Shot Rob/Bob), David Robinson, Nash, Isiah Thomas, Durant, Iverson, Ewing, Stockton, Baylor, Reggie Miller, Barkley, Dr. J, Paul George (mentioned in the article) even George Mikan ... the only one I found with a PPG outside of +/- 4 points than his regular season PPG is Olajuwon (21.8 PPG regular season vs. 25.9 playoffs).

Okay, a second person, now in reverse - Chris Mullin 18.2 regular season to 13.8 playoffs (though in fairness to Mullin, if you cut out his last postseason when he only played 10 MPG, and cut out his last two regular seasons, his average is within +/- 4). Marbury is a similar case, where it looks like he way underperforms in the playoffs, until you cut out the last season when he didn't play much in the playoffs. Wilt is way below in the playoffs compared to the regular season.

It seems clear that over a career no one (at least no one with a long career in both the regular season and the playoffs) will be much more than +4 PPG in the playoffs than in the regular season. But perhaps it is possible in a single series? I'll only point out the extremes for Paul. Paul was much worse in the playoffs in 08-09 (over 6 PPG worse), but in 10-11 he was 6 PPG better in the playoffs. In 12-13 he was 5.9 PPG better in the playoffs. He was over 7 PPG better in the playoffs in 16-17. It will take too much time to look at everyone else at the individual level, but I'm guessing they all have some years way better, and maybe some years worse.

But somehow the PPG argument illustrates something different for Paul than it does for everyone else. Perhaps Tyler is waiting for someone to say Paul is just too ... complacent.

It's mostly the Jordan Effect.

MJ led the league in regular season scoring in each of his six championship seasons, but he averaged a couple of points even higher in the playoffs than the regular seasons during those years. Jordan defined Hero Ball for a generation.

Some of the appeal of the NBA is that the Finals aren't really that much of a team game, they are a showcase of who is the league's alpha dog to use Bill Simmons' term. There's a pro wrestling vibe to the Finals. In the 1990s, for example, it was usually Jordan crushing all pretenders. In Jordan's absence, it was Olajuwon crushing David Robinson and Shaq.

One reason stars average more points in the playoffs vs the regular season is they play many more minutes per game in the playoffs. They aren't resting for entire quarters in blowouts, and they aren't being subbed out as much.

Another way to compare baseball players: a guy who hits 280 against pitchers who are having an easy day because they are pitching against a 10 million dollar payroll is a "better hitter" than a guy who hits 300 against pitchers who are having a hard day because they are pitching against an 80 million dollar payroll. By this stat, Jeter's pampered days against pitchers who the other Yankee hitters wore down are not comparatively as impressive as Biggio's days against the fortunate pitchers who were pitching against the typically semi-triple-AAA Houston lineup of Biggio's day. That being said, Biggio, who grew up in New York, must really like horses and ranches because he could have played for the Mets or Yankees for most of his career but chose to stay in Houston. Good for him - I would make the same choice, particularly if I were playing in the now mostly forgotten and nobody cares about it anymore steroid era of crude-PED-debased baseball. That being said, in any given country the main entertainments (Hollywood, baseball, football, national politics in the US - in France, maybe cooking, novel-writing, philosophizing, soccer) are designed (not in the causation equals correlation sense but in the "intelligent designer" sense that makes sense to people who understand numbers and logic and the vastness of what we do not know)-are designed, as I was saying, to limit the number of truly elite participants that people need to know about to completely understand the entertainment in question. There are never more than three or four truly elite people to argue about in any entertainment field that is thriving in any given country. There is a reason for that, but that is another long comment. Anyway, from that point of view, Biggio, the marginal first year of eligibility Hall of Famer, was not truly elite by any plausible argument: Jeter, an inevitable 95 percent or more first vote Hall of Famer, was, in his best few years. (Final actual fact to show that I know what I am talking about - if you look at the number of blown saves by Mariano Rivera in the postseason, and if you count them correctly, and if you know baseball, you could not possibly imagine that a relief pitcher on a pennant-hopeful team who started the regular season with that ratio of saves to blown saves would not be 'benched'. But the postseason is different: and, in the last generation or so, it has become, within the world of baseball, an almost completely different sport than regular season baseball. Which is why Rivera remains an inevitable first round hall of famer. )

which is why mathematicians need to stop bragging about "their field" being so special - beyond the top 3 or 4 - and, given the very limited number of times a baby is born with the potential thought in his head that "I would like to someday devote my life to math", let's allow those 3 or 4 to have been born anytime in the last several millennia - in any event, beyond the top 3 or 4, they (mathematicians) are not elite, they are mostly just entertainers who happen to have chosen the limited-entry field of math to entertain. As Kolmogorov might have said, it is a human attribute to create and discover patterns: the perfect prosody of a poet on a-great-day-in-poetrytown ('Nada te turbe...', as the Carmelite poet once said) is as objectively mysterious as the things that Newton said that surprised even Newton due to their nature of having been said so well, even by his elite self; regardless of the underlying subject. Funny thing, though, even Kolmogorov was not all that good at poker, I think. That being said, if you were looking for a conversationalist who could talk with his friends about poker all night, without getting trite, Kolmogorov was probably your guy. His biographers indicate he was a little too uptight to be really fun to be around unless you were in his inner circle, but biographers, like cigar labels and internet commenters, are wrong sometimes.

either (a) or (b) is true for more than half of the people who have read the last 2 comments with empathy: (a) I could have beaten Kolmogorov at poker one night out of ten in an imagined decade where we were both in our 40s or (b) I could have struck out Mariano Rivera at least once every 40 at-bats in an imagined decade where we were both in our 20s (Rivera became a much better hitter in his 30s).

The great Chinese emissary Jacques Lipchitz wrote once the move toward one central time zone was greatly impacted by the US purchase of Alaska. Friday, 6 October 1867 was followed by Friday, 18 October. Instead of 12 days, only 11 were skipped, and the day of the week was repeated on successive days, because at the same time the International Date Line was moved, from following Alaska's eastern border with Canada to following its new western border, now with Russia This made sense to a lover of General Tsao's chicken like Lipschitz, who despite the Americanization, reveled in the notion of ordinance and caulking.

Chien-Hao Hsu, that may have been what the article was trying to say, but it came nowhere close to proving it.

#3 Authoritarian versus Libertarian

The explanation of how the author derived this scale is on page 14 of the the technical appendix at:

It is based upon a 6 question survey:

Young people today don’t have enough respect for traditional
British values. [TradVals]
People who break the law should be given stiffer sentences.
For some crimes, the death penalty is the most appropriate
sentence. [DeathApp]
Schools should teach children to obey authority. [Obey]
The law should always be obeyed, even if a particular law is
wrong. [WrongLaw]
Censorship of films and magazines is necessary to uphold
moral standards. [Censor]

Given the wording and the questions, the questions are obviously designed to get "no" answers from young people and "yes" answers from older people. Since it was already known that the young opposed Brexit and the old supported it, the results are of course a baked cake. Although a great opening for Tyler to demonstrate his mood affiliation, this study is just one more data point confirming that academics have forfeited any legitimate claim on the public's attention and is a perfect example of why the working class mistrusts "social science" and is right to do so.

+1. Remind the "libertarian" group that corporations are people too, change censorship to preventing "hate speech," etc., and see if the results are the same.

Tyler's ad hominem attack continues.

Awesome! One of the best comments I have seen recently.

Anytime I see talk of who has "authoritarian" tendencies within the political context of a Western democracy, I assume it is going to be bunk.

What counts as "authoritarian" is always in the eye of the beholder. They didn't ask about government regulation of the workplace, government distortion of the market to impose green technologies, or censorship of speech that offends minorities and religious groups. But these positions favor government "authority" just as much as the more right-leaning things they asked about. (Though how is it authoritarian to think young people should respect a particular set of values).

Also there is a "dose makes the poison" issue here. If you support somewhat stronger government action on an issue or set of issues, but still want to preserve democratic institutions and fundamental freedoms, you are not an "authoritarian" in any meaningful sense.


Libertarianism dislikes government power and wish to minimise the scope of government authority. But libertarians should be entirely cool with the idea that such legitimate authority as exists should be obeyed, whether that authority be civil or private. Similarly, libertarians should be entirely agnostic on the death sentence and the degree of punishment for criminality.

Uh, no. If you don't understand why the death penalty violates the most basic foundations of libertarianism then you have no business speaking on the topic.

But nice try trying to wiggle your Law & Order conservatism into a false-libertarian facade.

Awesome take down. +1.

You know what made me a Brexiteer? The Reamainers and repeated ad hominem in response to politely raised concerns.

Not just that, but

Some may feel that everybody in society should acknowledge and accept a common set of social mores and cultural practices, as this helps to maintain a more cohesive society. Others may feel that people should largely be free to choose their own moral and cultural compass and thus feel relatively happy about living in a diverse society.

This distinction has long been captured by BSA in a set of questions that are designed to tap whether somebody is an ‘authoritarian’ or a ‘libertarian’.

Problem: This distinction doesn't really have much to do with authoritarianism or libertarianism. Authoritarianism, if the term is to make any sense, is really about whether, whichever way you go, a strong leader and strong state should go around enforcing it.

Strong states and authorities inferring in personal life and society to enforce minority preference *is* an authoritarian proposition. To say otherwise is to remove the concept of authority from authoritarianism (and end up with a meaningless, unconvincing gaggle of syllables).

On the other hand, if we do define libertarianism as very strong states inferring constantly in society to protect individuals and minority groups, the libertarianism has a direct link to the rise of the degrading moral culture of victimhood, defined by constant appeals by individuals and minorities to authorities to protect them from victimisation ( In which case libertarianism has even less value as a philosophy than we thought!

4. Sounds right. =) But I keep up with baseball more than basketball anyway....

#6 Muh loaves!

3. So, which of the Kubler-Ross stages have the moderators entered?

1.Embarrassment over wretched hygiene?

Please see the Kreutzer Sonata at the music society in La Jolla. IF your flight gets delayed from Shanghai, don't even worry about it, for people like it us it is proof of unseen television.

I think I get this joke now. Your randomized text can't compete with the weirdness that is daily news (or the utterances of our supreme leader). So they attract the eye, but then shrink, pale in comparison.

So you can stop. We get it.

The church or me? Before we quarrel, let us remember the chair sits on the bedlam pattern of arras. The council is open Anonymouos, and we must come to an understanding. The church or me? A reckoning, amongst other abuses, a civil crime in ecclesiastical raiment Aristotle touched the face of Homer, the brat.

#1 It is their nature.

The Chris Paul piece (#4) was the best hoops piece I've read all year. Thanks.

China are mix base on their strength in population and size they keep helping developing nations in Africa and other part of the world just like American. Thump up to the Republican president.

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