Wednesday assorted links

1. Why David Roberts doesn’t write about overpopulation.

2. Larry Summers on antitrust against the tech companies.

3. What Tinder knows about you.

4. Rexford Tugwell’s New Deal collectivist dream for Puerto Rico.

5. “As cities are basically two-dimensional in space and one-dimensional in time, this implies that most visits to a place are by people who live nearby (not so surprising), and also by people who visit very infrequently (quite surprising).”  Link here.

6. Photos of Belfast 1955.  And Pigou club for ghosts.

Comments

1. Don't bother, it's exactly what you think it is - we can't discuss overpopulation because RAYCIS.

Also, David Roberts (link 1) is a LIAR about the Sierra Club. Roberts states that some anti-immigration insurgents with "help from powerful funders" tried to "take over" the Sierra Club, but "the Sierra Club won that fight" and drove those evil xenophobes "to the fringes."

In fact, the dues-paying membership of the Sierra Club supported immigration restriction as Sierra Club policy for over thirty years, from the late 1960's until the early 2000's. Then one "powerful funder," a hedge-fund billionaire named David Gelbaum, paid the Sierra Club Board $100,000,000 (a hundred million dollars) to never mention immigration again. That sole PRO-immigration "grass root" was a plutocrat whose portfolio companies depended on exploiting cheap migrant labor, and "the Sierra Club" (meaning the dues-paying suckers who thought their "membership" meant the Sierra Club belonged to them) LOST "that fight." At the time, the annual total of dues paid by members was about $25 million/year and much of that money had to be spent on member service like sending out magazines. So to the Sierra Club Board, Gelbaum's "one vote and only one magazine sub along with $100 million" easily outweighed all of the votes of all the members for maybe six years in a row!

Here are the LIES Roberts wrote:

"History is replete with examples, but perhaps the most germane recent episode was less than 20 years ago, at the Sierra Club, which was riven by divisions over immigration. A group of grassroots members, with some help from powerful funders, attempted to take over the national organization.

"These members advocated sharply restricting immigration, saying the US should be reducing rather than increasing its population. Their contention is that the country’s open immigration policies are hurting the environment by bringing in poor immigrants and making them richer, thus increasing their environmental impact. Of course, they swore up and down that xenophobia had nothing to do with it.

"The Sierra Club won that fight, and the “green anti-immigrant” movement has mostly been driven to the fringes, but conservative media is still getting ratings out of it."

Here is a link to the TRUTH, recounted in her inimitable style by Ann Coulter:

http://dailycaller.com/2017/04/19/coulter-decide-between-a-green-america-and-a-brown-america/

Yeah, it was a dismal showing all around, but the Sierra Club bit was simple propaganda and lies.

That's what happens when you tell a story without even checking Wikipedia.

"In 1998, 60.1% of Sierra Club voting members voted that the organization should remain neutral on America's immigration policies, while 39.2% supported a measure calling for stricter curbs on immigration to the United States"

Votes! Imagine.

Why do you shill for billionaires?

Wierdo.

I am not a member, but since I live in the state with the actual Sierras, and I have camped and backpacked in them this summer, I do appreciate their preservation.

So I tolerate some weirdness on their part as well.

Me too, and I also agree with the non-anti-immigration policy. Allow immigrants into our country and make them richer? How awful :-)

Open Borders or environmental preservation. Choose one.

Sam you for the proletariat? lol no money.

Yep, it's actually pretty funny:

"Mitigating some substantial percentage of that population growth would be one way to better environmental conditions in 2050. It would also have more impact than virtually any other climate policy.....Tackling population growth can be done without the enormous, unnecessary risks involved in talking about population growth."

But he did forget to include a trigger warning at the beginning of the article.

You did it again, Tyler. By including #1 in this set of links, you've ensured that MR comments section racists will talk extensively about it, crowding out those of us who wish to discuss things like #3 but don't want to wade through Steve Sailer muck.

No one says we can't discuss #3, which is basically a yawn considering most people should already be aware of the vast quantities of data these advertising companies are gathering on you.

Regarding #1 the real question that people are only now beginning to ask more frequently is, "with 'quantity' being easy and having been done to death, shouldn't we really start talking about human 'quality'?"

I have to admit enjoying wading through the Steve Sailer muck, but lately he's been acting more Kevin McFührerish. Maybe he got energized by the alt.Nazi rally in Charlottesville.

As for #1, my advice is to have all the kids you can afford. Then one more. The real popluation problem is that Europeans and East Asians are dying out.

Re Sailer: it seems that way to me too. As if he's decided to double down and sabotage the Establishment attention he's received, knowing the relationship can't work. Maybe a younger man might take a different tack. It's unfortunate, because he throws light on some interesting things, things that should make a lot of people a little less smug.

My least favorite thing about intellectuals is the way, now and always, they actively don't want people to get along, and they can't stand it when people do. So I can't ignore that very thing about Sailer, much as I enjoy his taking the wind out of the sails of our intellectual betters.

I haven't noticed much of a change in Sailer's emphasis, he's always talked about the JQ.

"As for #1, my advice is to have all the kids you can afford. Then one more."

What about MGTOW?

Even using the phrase "the JQ" is very Goebbelsian. If you're right, then maybe I've been engaging in wishful thinking. I've noticed some Jews are finally giving up on Sailer. The comments section is particularly irritating, where you have to step into several piles of steaming shit before finding one nugget of wisdom.

"What about MGTOW?"

Since I actually had to look up the acronym, it's definitely not my cup of tea. I'm a middle-aged, married, and a father of three young children, about as far as you can get from that. I think it's difficult to have long-term satisfaction without having a family (particularly children), and it's very harmful to civilization for too many people to behave this way.

There's something for everyone: #1 for racists and #3 for sluts.

Shut it down!

The last conservationist of national stature that I recall talking about overpopulation was a guy named Dave Foreman (you are unlikely to have heard of him, coincidentally - or not). I don't recall a single thing he ever said having a racial component. Indeed, when population discussion was still permitted on the agenda, the thrust was usually - we ourselves shouldn't have so many children. And whether it was wise or incredibly foolish: we enviros didn't. I'm not sure what speaks louder than that. I think Roberts is mis-remembering the 1970s. And probably also that Sierra Club fight.

The Sierra Club has been irrelevant since, that's for certain.

"I think Roberts is mis-remembering the 1970s. And probably also that Sierra Club fight."

He is being incredibly dishonest:

http://articles.latimes.com/2004/oct/27/local/me-donor27/2

No more Edward Abbeys:

http://compassrosebooks.blogspot.com/2009/10/edward-abbey-on-immigration.html

Thank you for that Ed Abbey link. I think he was definitely a big inspiration for the people Roberts is gesturing at. And he did go dark, it seems like.

Roberts may or may not know it, but those are the same people - the only ones - who are dismayed at Trump's effort to un-monument Escalante/Grand Staircase (reaching back to the Clinton years out of revenge, apparently).

I haven't read "Desert Solitaire" or any of his essays in thirty years, but if memory serves, it misrates Abbey to say that he was a misanthrope - he wrote more often about people he knew than about animals or plants, for a "nature writer" - and to the degree that he detested people, no reader could mistake on whom he heaped the most scorn: bourgeois American businessman, wife,and kids in the Cadillac or station wagon, cluelessly motoring with insufficient appreciation through Abbey's own private Utah, Arches National Park.

I've thought of that since, having been to canyon country quite a bit, but never to Arches even though that book meant a lot to me and the direction my life took. The number of people who visit Arches every year is surely vanishingly small. I realize now Abbey didn't give those people enough credit! They were practically intrepid by current standards.

BTW, I'm assuming this David Roberts who wants questions phrased just so at his important speaking events ("Mr.Roberts, such an honor to talk to you - where do you stand on empowering women?") is not the David Roberts who writes about climbing, and wrote a sort of travelogue on Anasazi [or insert whatever term is preferred now] archeology I really liked, "In Search of the Old Ones."

Ed Abbey went dark by virtue of dying in 1990 or so.

What Dave Foreman was up to in 2011: http://earthfirstjournal.org/newswire/2011/09/30/dave-foreman-still-aligning-with-bigots/ lol

I think we're all aware that Ed Abbey is long dead.

That explains why no one's heard of Dave Foreman in forever. He chose not to abandon his stance on population growth, which ended his career. Abruptly.

"The number of people who visit Arches every year is surely vanishingly small."

Unless you mean "every year" to literally mean people who return to Arches annually, this statement is dead wrong. Arches is the 16th most visited national park (ahead of Mt. Rainier, Shenandoah, Haleakala, and the Everglades) and even 40 years ago it was crowded (partly because it's so small and the visitors all go to the same spots, namely the arches).

But it's popular for a good reason, the arches are fantastic natural formations. Everyone should endure the crowds and go there at least once.

I do agree that Abbey was not particularly misanthropic in "Desert Solitaire". But I think he got more crotchety with age.

I had high hopes for Roberts' "In Search of the Old Ones" but I haven't been able to even read halfway through it. He's a decent writer, but like most mountaineers who write about themslves he has a narcissistic streak, writing again and again about his mountaineering adventures with himself at the center of the story. And that carried over into "In Search of the Old Ones"; it had way too much about what David Roberts was doing and not enough about the ancient Indians and the archeology about their past.

Ha, my info was from "Desert Solitaire," not Google. Abbey might go days without a car coming by. Paving the road of course changed all that, but I expect the visitation built slowly, probably on the basis of Abbey tourism! And later the new sport of mountain biking centered around Moab. It has exploded in the last decade; perhaps they may have to institute shuttles buses as at Zion.

https://www.grandcanyontrust.org/arches-national-park

"Many people know of Arches from writer Edward Abbey’s Southwest classic, Desert Solitaire, a book based on his experience as a seasonal park ranger in Arches during 1956 and 1957. The Arches that Abbey knew was quite different from today. Then a national monument, Arches was rugged, remote, difficult to get to, and sparsely visited. The dirt roads were dusty, infrastructure rare. The year after Ed Abbey left his post, the National Park Service began paving the main park road, dramatically increasing accessibility and visitation."

I don't mind that about Roberts, that he doesn't disappear into his text. He's not a smooth born writer like - I dunno - Erik Larsen (though Erik Larsen is great). He definitely wouldn't pass muster with the New Yorker. He's a former climber, now a canyoneer, conservationist, and amateur enthusiast, who tends not to dissemble about the various axes he has to grind. Unpolished. If you ever do get to the end of "In Search ...," not to be confused with his newer one, "Lost World of Old Ones," which I haven't read - it has a well-earned climax.

1. Having only read the first two lines I'm already tuning out:

Impact = Population x Affluence x Technology

Technology and Affluence are BAD people. Got that?

Tuning out is exactly what people should do with your comments.

Thats what i thought as well. Maybe Technology is < 1?

It's particularly odd, because I frequently meet environmental types who insist that they aren't anti-technology, that they are actually pro-green-technology. Like with the solar and wind power advocates. They're always hyping up advances in solar cell technology, and talking about "smart grids", and stuff. It should be pretty obvious that the relationship between technology and environmental impact is far from linear, or even monotonic.

Yeah but even then the technology is only compensating for the other technology which creates pollution. The equation does describe human history thus far of course maybe there is a point out there where it flattens out and even starts decreasing. Of course technology affects affluence do those variables are not independent.

Well, not really. When you're talking climate change you're really talking about burning fossil fuels, which is just one particular technology. Lots of technology uses energy, but if your energy sources don't burn fossil fuels then they are not compensating for something else, they're just not producing carbon. But aside from that, "technology" can just mean thing like the development of a different kind of rubber or a more efficient way of compressing data, which might use less energy. It's just really silly to think there's some sort of direct relationship between technology and the environment.

Almost everything technological in a modern society burns fossil fuels and creates carbon dioxide in some way unless the society gets their electricity from nuclear, hydroelectric, solar or something. Even technology that reduces energy use can still increase environmental impact if it's reduced energy use just causes people to use it more.

Even technology that reduces energy use can still increase environmental impact if it’s reduced energy use just causes people to use it more.

Well, yes, that has something to do with why affluence is a multiplier, but nothing at all to do with technology being a positive multiplier.

I didn't quadruple the number of light bulbs in my house when I switched to CFLs and then again when I installed LEDs.

One screamingly obvious fail with the article and "Technology" is that the energy intensity of economies decreases over sufficient time; specifically the J/$ ratio decreases exponentially. A unit of wealth today is much less polluting than the same unit of wealth 50 years ago.

Obviously this is impossible.... /sarc

Almost everything technological in a modern society burns fossil fuels and creates carbon dioxide in some way unless the society gets their electricity from nuclear, hydroelectric, solar or something.

This is just another way of saying "whether technology increases or decreases environmental impact is a function of what sort of energy supply it relies on and how much energy it consumes". Which is pretty much saying that it is a complex relationship, rather than something that can be simplified to something as stupid as Impact = Populaton x Technology x Affluence.

Technology <1 and affluence could be. Because Environmental Kuznets Curve.

Having read the rest ... it doesn't get any better.
The author argues, in all seriousness, that environmental impact can be reduced by reducing the number of wealthy people.

Another way to approach the problem would be, rather than prevent the birth of extremely wealthy people, prevent the creation of extremely wealthy people. In other words, prevent the accumulation of massive wealth. You could do that by, for instance, taxing the shit out of wealthy people.

The author neglects to notice that the "Richest 10% of world population" include basically the entire population of the US, Japan, and Europe. The inequality he wants to reduce is that between subsistence farmers in Africa and Americans who own a car. Effectively, that would mean "taxing the shit out of" the entire population of US, Canada, Europe and Japan, until none of us can afford to own cars or have air conditioning, in order to reduce our impact on the climate. Yeah. literally.

Hazel,

You're actually missing the point. The math and statistics is mere window dressing. The real reason he won't discuss population is TEH RACISMS: When political movements or leaders adopt population control as a central concern ... let’s just say it never goes well. In practice, where you find concern over “population,” you very often find racism, xenophobia, or eugenics lurking in the wings.

Hazel supports that part of the essay. The mask slipped yesterday and her anti-white leftism peaked out from her soi disant libertarianism.

Indeed, you'll notice the slight of hand too. He leads you to believe its something like taxing the top 10% of the first world, not the entire first world. In reality, his whole premise is that we should tax the first world into oblivion, though hopefully what we give to the third world won't make them rich either. He also dodges the immigration question. Makes you feel he's against immigration restriction (that be racist), but then his whole argument is that if you bring third worlders to the first world and make them first worlders that would increase the number of affluent people fucking up the environment.

And he doesn't want to reduce inequality by raising the third world up to first world standards because that would increase environmental impact according to his model.

The stuff on teaching third world women not to breed by getting them to watch western television is nice and all, but otherwise its a mess of contradictions.

Right. He's opposed to third world countries becoming affluent developed countries, because that would create more wealthy resource consumers. Basically, he's against all of the industrialized, developed world, and thinks that as many people as possible should remain at third world living standards.

And the irony is he thinks that would be good for the environment.

The only people that support the development of the third world are immigration realist that believe the talented 3rd worlders should stay in their own countries and foster development there.

Open borders is tantamount to global third worldism so you and David Roberts are working to the same goal- he's just a lot smarter than you. Not that your anti white animus doesn't make you an easy mark.

You really need to break out of the alternate reality that you live in in your head. It's getting more and more convoluted.

"The author neglects to notice that the “Richest 10% of world population” include basically the entire population of the US, Japan, and Europe. The inequality he wants to reduce is that between subsistence farmers in Africa and Americans who own a car. Effectively, that would mean “taxing the shit out of” the entire population of US, Canada, Europe and Japan, until none of us can afford to own cars or have air conditioning, in order to reduce our impact on the climate. Yeah. literally."

Well, at least he wants to do it for a reason, something that can't be said about you open borders traitors.

And then there's the "and do what with it" angle.

Redistributionist taxation arguments usually start with the poor having a greater marginal propensity to consume or a greater marginal utility for the incremental dollar than the rich. You have to be making very odd assumptions about the carbon intensity of that marginal dollar to assume that redistributionist taxation reduces carbon output.

(And if the data exist to show that, then the same data would make carbon taxation a progressive taxation policy, contrary to the usual debate.)

The taxation proposal here is not to tax the rich to make the poor less poor. It's tax the rich and do absolutely nothing with the revenues.

Environmentalists often have a misanthropic flavor.

Considering his focus on the non-human part of the world, I see why he doesn't like population or affluence. What I don't see, is how technology possibly causes larger environmental impact, given population and affluence. Seems like it would be a inverse relation, if one exists at all.

The entire equation is completely absurd from the start. It's like a sign that what is to follow is not worth reading.

I would strongly agree with that. While many environmental policies are beneficial, people who identify as environmentalists, who make it their life, tend to be anti-human and have much lower levels of fertility. 'Cause, you know, on your deathbed it will be so comforting to think about all the dogs and cats you've had.

You're assuming that a larger impact is always bad and that the marginal impact of technology is always in the same direction.

Exactly. I mean, HE is. More technology and affluence can and often do reduce environmental impact.

No, he is not. You are.

Oh I see what you're saying. In some cases environmental impact is a good thing. We don't all want to die of malaria, for instance.

Wow. Some people reject terms before the discussion.

FWIW the equation works as a swag for me. I like a hot shower in the morning (technology!) But obviously the more people who take them (population! affluence!) the greater the environmental impact.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_wild-ass_guess

Some people reject terms before the discussion.

Shouldn't you examine the terms and identify any assumptions and question begging that are smuggled into them before the discussion starts?
The equation begs the question - it presents, as if it were fact, a linear relationship between technology and environmental impact. It would be stupid to accept such a thing as a given, I'd be conceding the argument before it began.

Those second order details matter, but only then.

Consider the automobile. Its impact has been much more by population and prosperity than technology. So far. We hope and dream of Teslas for everyone, of course.

If you go back over the history of automobile technology, it has certainly not been a simple linear relationship in which better cars = more pollution. As fuel efficiency has increased, cars have polluted less. Just look at the smog statistics. The air is getting cleaner despite both increasing affluence and advances in automobile technology. Indeed it's getting cleaner *because of* increasing affluence and advances in automobile technology.

I think you have gone to the iteration that proves the point.

We got so many cars and so much pollution that we had to attack the problem, yes.

And the problem was solved by more technology, not by making people poorer or preventing them from being able to afford cars.

Come on Hazel, was "so let's use less technology" ever on the table?

That equation is not a recommendation, it is a swag at impact.

Impact to be addressed, including by different technology. Note not necessarily newer. Bicycles are better than Teslas.

I reject the general premise that more technology necessitates more pollution. It's not a swag, it's a question beg. It's not even a rule of thumb. Many of the most horrendously polluted places in the world are in third world countries. Burning wood for fuel is lower tech than fossil fuels, but emits MORE carbon, not less. Subsistence agriculture uses more land, causes more soil runoff, and more habitat destruction than conventional high-tech farming with chemicals. Poor people in India defecate in the school playgrounds, and dispose of corpses in the same water they bathe in. Anyone who thinks there's some sort of correlation between level of technology and environmental impact just doesn't know what they are talking about.

"Consider the automobile. Its impact has been much more by population and prosperity than technology. "

Sure, if you discount the "technology" aspect of inventing the automobile. I think the equation is roughly right, I just have different priorities. To me Humans > Environment. It's not even close. To say we should limit our own population or affluence just for a bunch of trees and barely sentient animals is absurd. Human Power!

So all technology produces a greater environmental impact? Solar panels? New version of windows? Fiberglass bicycles?

Hazel rejected it because its nonsense, makes as little sense as impact=time X tomatoes X TEDx talks.

Not all, no. But as a swag, yes.

Why not define your terms in ways we can ACTUALLY MEASURE and then check the data, before throwing words like "science" about? Or better yet, use accepted definitions rather than dreaming of your own? (Your example with the shower is very strange and suggests you don't understand the common meaning of the terms or are committing category errors in classification.).

Also, it's not a SWAG - it's a hypothesis. And not supported by the data.

"FWIW the equation works as a swag for me."

I don't see how the equation works as a swag, since improvements in technology can generate values of "T" that *must* be less than the values of "T" that previously existed, in order for the equation to work.

For example, nationwide sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides emissions in the U.S. peaked many years ago, so new technologies *must* have generated lower values of "T" than older technologies.

Ehrlich's equation is useless. In contrast, an equation like the Drake equation provides a useful framework to begin to evaluate a problem (the problem of figuring out how many intelligent civilizations might be in the Milky Way galaxy).

It appears to be a formula with mathematical precision, but it is just a string of words. Take the toilet, for example. One million people without the ability to purchase toilets and sewage systems has less negative environmental impact than the same population with toilets and sewage treatment systems? They why is India trying to retrain their population not to excrete outside? Are they trying to destroy the environment?

While his claim is moronic, India isn't doing it to reduce their level of pollution, but to improve public health

It depends on how you define "pollution".
Can fecal matter be considered pollution? Some would say yes.

He's a god damn idiot since affluence is a function of technology.

Further, it seems that the environmental impact of affluence is non linear. Early improvements in affluence seem to have a disproportionate impact on the environment.

In short he is a leftist dork.

+1. Note that technology both increases affluence AND decreases environmental impact. Very poor people make a tremendous mess per capita. Their numbers have historically been so limited this has not always been apparent, but you're safer drinking the water the Richmond on Thames than downstream of a peasant village.

Hazel - that was the thing that stood out for me as well. I wonder if this is why Tyler linked to the piece, as an example of what key environmental people are thinking nowadays? Truely horrifying since the only why that impact can be mitigated if you believe this equation is true is by reducing one of the terms to zero. Actually it is funny that people castigate racists so much when "respectable" opinions like his are allowed to be published in mainstream media, at least racists don't hate all of humanity, just part of it. My only hope is that he actually mathematically challenged, like many in the environment movement, and doesn't actually understand that these symbols are liable to be taken literally by educated people.

The formula has been around for ages (decades) in environmentalist circles. That they continue to believe it in the face of valid criticism and the total absence of empirical support tells you a lot about their scientific and economic literacy.

And remember, these are the ones who will shout "science denier" loudest when it suit them.

I think he just linked to it because it's hilariously stupid.
Also, maybe an oblique way of saying "If there weren't so many racist idiots out there, maybe we could have a real conversation about overpopulation." Although, given the overall level of stupidity in the article, it's hard to imagine having a real conversation about anything with the author.

Tons of environmentalists believe this formula. But it's complete rubbish. It has no empirical foundation and the theoretical basis is also crap. The sloppy equivalence between wealth = "resource consumption" = environmental impact should be plain to an undergrad. And technology clearly REDUCES pollution for any given level of wealth. How could having MORE options to make the same amount of goods make a situation worse?

Even if the guy plotted HIS OWN DATA from the lower graph he'd see that wealth and tech did NOT predict carbon per-capita carbon emissions under a linear relationship (and that's not considering other "pollution" impact - the rich don't shit in streams, overgraze pastures and cut down forests for farmland). So simple; but too blinded by his dogma to check the actual data. FWIW, the real function looks a lot more like:

Impact = Ln (population x wealth) / Technology

The sloppy equivalence between wealth = “resource consumption” = environmental impact should be plain to an undergrad.

Yes, if you use resources more efficiently, you get more wealth without increasing impact. Technology helps you use resources more efficiently. Even then it's not really clear that resource consumption = environmental impact since some resources are renewable. And wealthier people don't necessarily use more resources, unless by wealthy you just mean "first world living standards". I don't think Bill Gate's resource consumption is a factor of 100 greater than the average person's. The extremely wealthy spend their money on $30,000 handbags, which don't take any more resources than a regular handbag. It's all status markers and buying art at that point.

1. "So if you are concerned about the growth in population, make yourself a champion of female empowerment in the developing world."

If by "you" he means me personally, I'm not going to make myself a champion of female empowerment anywhere. I liked it when men made the mess and women cleaned it up. http://nailheadtom.blogspot.com/2014/09/according-to-oswald-spengler.html

Spengler was fascinating, but if we followed his advice and maximized our fecundity, other kinds of material and moral progress would be impossible. The end of the population explosion is a great boon for mankind.

4A: cool photos! Moar!

#2...Larry Summers is a George McClellan award recipient. He can only go so far advocating policy. Real solutions, like Narrow banking, strict enforcement of actual competition, or Buiter's helicopter money, terrify him.

#4 is a giant "citation needed" -- a whole lot of partisan smears and two-word "quotations" from Tugwell. It may be accurate, but it sure looks like it's not. This is like quoting a random Huffington Post piece.

Tugwell was a collectivist.

2. Summers has stated that two of the largest tech companies, Google and Facebook, provide their services for "free" and that traditional anti-trust doesn't apply. Something's amiss. Those two companies have enormous revenues and profits. I looked it up! How can they do it when they offer their services for "free"? And I know the services are "free" because Summers says so. Maybe I don't understand the meaning of "free". Maybe Summers doesn't understand the meaning of "free". Maybe language has been so corrupted by the "dynamic tech sector" that we are in a fog.

I'm wondering if someone tricked senile old ray here into paying a dollar every time he googles something.

Summers is confused. Google and Facebook are paid handsomely by their customers, the advertisers. It is we the users who get it free: "If you get it for free, you are the product, not the customer."

3. A disappointing article.

While I have no doubt the gleaned information is huge, the article says nothing about the privacy or security risks which are merely asserted and supposed. It's not necessarily true that the information can be traced by a hacker to a particular person. It depends on how the data is stored and amalgamated.

For example, the site could plant a cookie identifying you as a Green Bay Packers fan, and everyone so identified has this cookie, but no one is able to track back to identify YOU as a Packers fan.

#6 - photo of Belfast, where they use lots of manual labor in the 1950s. Looks like today's Philippines, but with a lot fewer people per area.

please explain why some words based on the name Phillip double the letter L and some treat it as single.

Because some are based on the name Philip and others and based on the name Phillip. In the case of the Asian country, it's Philip.

In general, "Philip" is the more historically correct spelling because the name comes from the Greek words for lover of horses, phil-hippos, with no double L.

#1. The doctrine of human equality, and its attendant morality, is truly an amusing religion. We learn in this document how to avoid triggering the taboo notion that some humans are qualitatively worth more than others. For all the concern of the author with avoiding what he perceives to be troublesome moral outcomes, he takes for granted Western notions of morality, fully willing to impose feminism on other cultures. Hopefully, non-Western cultures don't fall for the same disease borne from "buying off women with jobs and shiny things," or they too may (non)breed themselves out of existence.

East Asians are "nonbreeding themselves out of existence" without fully accepting Western feminism. I'm afraid low fertility tends to go with economic development. Figuring out the all the causal factors is difficult. Clearly Western liberalism is one. Urbanization is another.

South India has less than replacement fertility.

I, for one, am concerned about population growth. Not being a misanthropic environmentalist, I like people.

You know for people who complain a lot about how leftists reject "freedom of speech", the alt-right right sure is eager to ditch "all men are created equal" .

All men are not created equal; they differ wildly by all sorts of metrics. They don't even get equal treatment under the law: we treat children and the mentally ill differently from majority-age, competent adults. Equality does not exist in nature or society.

"Free speech" is an entirely different policy issue. I tend to favor a marketplace of ideas.

#5

From the link:

Suppose that on average 1600 people visit the area around Park Street, Boston from four kilometers away once a month. .. only 400 people visit Park street from 8 kilometers away once a month. .. how many people visit Park street from four kilometers away but now with a greater frequency of twice a month. .. also … 400 people. (pp.347-9)

Why does population density on the four and eight km radii not figure into this calculation?

Well, it's probably difficult to control for. So first-order, just assume constant density.

You probably do have more density locally than distantly ('cos you start in a city), but all distant bands be about the same value and not worth distinguishing between. The added value of controls for this variable seem slight.

I think the initial values of 1600 at four kilometers and 400 at eight km imply the densities.

But they are the wrong way around for that. The distant band should have MORE people in it than the local band. ...?

I think Tyler Cowen is interested in #1 because it raises the question of when and whether it's okay for intellectuals and policymakers to lie or at least withhold information. As a practical matter, it seems necessary at times.

In general, liberals are better at this than conservatives.

Recently, I read a lot of Garrett ("Tragedy of the Commons") Hardin. Very uneven stuff. He was a big worrier about The Population Problem; in the sixties that was a common term, used across the political spectrum. For a while, he was a cool best-selling intellectual, like Ashley Montagu or Paul Ehrlich. Then he started writing in favor of immigration restriction and he become neither cool nor best-selling.

I've literally only read his famous "Tragedy of the Commons" article, which though not written from an economic perspective does clearly recognize and describe the problem of common property and externalities. There've been other good descriptions but his was indeed a good one and I think deserves its fame and many cites.

Though I haven't read his other stuff I do find it easy to believe that it's much weaker. Partly because, if he did have other good work, people would be citing it and telling other people to read it the way they do with "Tragedy of the Commons". Partly because of the Population Problem aspect.

But I conjecture that this is not that rare a phenomenon, a middling quality thinker coming up with a single very good article or piece of work. We certainly see "one hit wonders" in popular music. (Actually given that you describe his stuff as uneven, I guess he did write some other good stuff. If so, that's not a bad career right there; it doesn't make him a towering intellectual figure of the 20th century but it's better than what most writers, researchers, professors, thinkers, etc. manage to do.)

I think the initial values of 1600 at four kilometers and 400 at eight km imply the densities.

#6 Pictures of Belfast wonderful. Was in N. recently, as I know you were. I was impressed with the fact they consider themselves Irish by all appearances, no Union Jacks, advertising stressing the Irishness of food sources, no signs of the Troubles

No Union Jacks and no troubles but I've had people tell me "I'm British. I'm from Northern Ireland."

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