Monday assorted links


#3 - America can do better.

So this is what America has become? Stooping to compete with puny Brazil?

St impersnating men, running dog, blackguard!

1. I don't understand the bordering-on-cultish libertarian fascination with this guy.

I know huh. Arnold Kling is great but not THAT great .

I think he was talking about the cuckold Kruzweil - an inspiration to the dickless cuckold nerd fanboys such as yourself.

Duh, you expert humor detector.

When, if ever, do you think the Singularity will occur?

1436 and multiple independent inventions of agriculture were a pair of loverly singularities.

Kurzweil would be on top of my list as overated.

I think he was a great visionary for his time, and probably had a better grasp on technological trends than other "futurists" of the 80s and 90s, but the world's moved on without him at this point. The Age of Intelligent Machines is still an excellent read.

Nah Kurzweil is a hasbeen cuck.

2. Good luck with that, although he probably has as much chance as anyone at pushing the situation towards a more non-interventionist US foreign policy. There are just so many interlocking institutions and interest groups pushing interventionism that it's extraordinarily difficult to see how you'd make a draw-down short of a massive war or other catastrophe.

3. Good lord. Why is Brazil so violent? It's not like they have an on-going civil war or anything like that, or a totally ineffectual central government.

It is a lie. President Temer is taking necessart steps to solve the problem. Violent crime is illegal in Brazil and there are very few places that are unsfe. Unlike America, where a desperate demoralized populace tears each other apart as the teeming mnasses rise up against their oppressors.

Stop impersonating me.

Normally I don't like these impersonations, but honestly, I couldn't tell it wasn't really you.

Than I feel sad for you, and I am also sad about how badly we Brazilians are treated with these impostors. Brazil is a loyal ally of America and this our reward? So this is life in Trump's America.

If this is really an impersonation, it's perfect! I don't know why the original "Truth Seeker" is so upset! {:^)

Becuse Brazil being slandered by the minions of the malefactors of great wealth who control America is no laughing matter.

"Don't bogart that joint, my friend. Pass it over to me." Country Joe and The Fish.

It was the Fraternity of Man but there's a close similarity, And Little Feat's cover was better than the original.

#3: Brazil is stuck in the worst of all possible worlds. It is a country very far to the left economically (it's 1988 constitution is a huge drag, and the old labor laws are perhaps the worst in the whole planet), it has a very liberal sex culture (carnaval is the obvious example, but the biggest problem in my opinion is that kids are hyper exposed and introduced to sex very early) even though it is very homophobic, and it has a religious majority that is close minded but not charitable. I honestly don't know what is the solution there.

The solution is already there, Brazil is morally and ethically far superior to so-called America, where the worshop the almighty dollar and the greedy Moloch. And we are not homophobic, there are no gay people in Brazil at all. At least I have never seen any and I am from proud royal stock.

Then Brazil is as virtuous as Iran:

It is completly different: they murder gays. Homosexuality re all but unheard of in Brazil. I have never talked to a homosexual person.

I had a little trouble finding a straight one, so YMMV.

I don't know much about gun control in Brazil, but Wikipedia reports this:

"In 2005, a majority of Brazil's population voted against banning the sale of guns and ammunition to civilians in a referendum. However, the Brazilian Department of Justice (Ministério da Justiça), which performs each individual's mandatory background check (which is made prior every gun acquisition, and every three years after it is acquired, which allows gun confiscation at the discretion of authorities), have been forbidding almost every citizen from buying guns,[8][9] based on the Executive Order # 5.123, of 07/01/2004 (Decreto n.º 5.123, de 1º de julho de 2004),[10] which allows the Federal Police to analyze the given reasons for owning a gun, under which "self defense" is not considered a valid reason because there are allegedly sufficient public police officers to maintain nationwide security.[11]

Thus, disarmament is effectively happening in Brazil,[12] as are massive gun confiscations,[13] notwithstanding its refusal by Brazilian people (at the referendum of 2005). Some argue that this will increase gun homicides. Other research shows that there is a decrease in firearm deaths correlating with disarmament.[14][15] However, 2012 marked the highest rate of gun deaths in 35 years for Brazil 8 years after a ban to carry handguns in public went in to effect.[16]"

It is sad how shabbily Brazil is treated here. Such is life in America.

3.1. Brazil's violence problem is a huge data-point against gun control. Thing is that in the case of countries like Brazil where there is a completely ineffective rule of law if the population has guns the rate of crime decreases because the only thing standing between the criminal and the victim is the gun since the police doesn't exist. It's different in countries like Japan or UK where the population is much more civilized and so having guns could result in more violence as most violence is not anonymous crime committed by professional criminals but family fights. In other words, gun control might have opposite effects in "civilized/tamed countries" and "uncivilized/untamed countries"

3.2. Butler doesn't understand the implications of what she is doing. Butler is just providing more ammunition to the cultural Marxists who seek to destroy the institutions of western society in order to replace them. These institutions include the family, her research is good ideological tool to destroy this institution. While she might not be conscious of it, her ammunition supply to the Marxists mean that she has been regarded as an enemy by some of basic institutions of our civilization.

4. Modern physics is crap. Physics stopped advancing after Heisenberg died.

3.1: Interesting point. Would you say the US is civilized/tamed or uncivilized/untamed?

I'd say somewhere in between, though I don't know why are less civilized that say the Brits or even the Italians to may the point more stark.

"because the only thing standing between the criminal and the victim is the gun since the police doesn’t exist. It’s different in countries like Japan or UK where the population is much more civilized and so having guns could result in more violence as most violence is not anonymous crime committed by professional criminals but family fights.

Maybe that is why those civilized narions need to kill Americas or drag Americans into their wars: not enough guns... And, everyone knows, one of the problems is that there is plenty of guns around because the neighbouring countries traffick guns. It is hard to secure one of the biggest borders in man's history, an area bigger than the Roman Empire at its height. It is the exactly opposite of the traditional argument about the state keeping the monopoly of guns and tyrannizing everyone else.

"Butler doesn’t understand the implications of what she is doing. Butler is just providing more ammunition to the cultural Marxists who seek to destroy the institutions of western society in order to replace them"

Yeah, the cultural Marxists expropriated my family and make me share it with the neighbours... File under ""Mendel is just providing more ammunition to capitalists who will seek to destroy the institutions of the Soviet Union in order to replace them" and "Einstein is just providing more ammunition to Jews seek to destroy Aryan Physics in order to replace it".

I must insist you stop this impersonating at once!

The problem goes beyond gun control. The concept of self defense is so weak there that even egregious cases are tried as murder (see this - - sorry it is in portuguese, but Google translator can help. This was a very public case, and the large majority of people think this is completely absurd)

Brazil's judicial system is just a disgrace. There is no doubt in my mind that criminals understand that the system in on "their side" and that is one of the major components of crime prevalence there.

The article paints a very sympathetic picture but completely ignores that there is any other side to the story. If the case is as cut and dry as the author makes it, why did a prosecutor take on the case? Why did a jury convict him? Why did multiple judge's uphold the conviction?

Because America is a systematically racist country.

2. Charles Koch knows how to make money. Lots of it. And for that, I admire him. But what he knows about public policy is a different matter. There's a tendency with rich people that, because they know how to make money, they believe they know something about public policy. Peter Thiel has lots of money, and last year he decided that Donald Trump would make an excellent president, presumably by causing the disruption that Thiel highly values, so Thiel made a large campaign contribution and even endorsed Trump at the convention. Now, after a year of Trump's disruption, Thiel has realized that Trump is as likely to cause a catastrophe as to spur innovation and economic growth. To his credit, Charles Koch did not support Trump's candidacy. To his discredit, Mr. Koch is spending a small fortune to get Trump's tax cut proposal through Congress. With Mr. Thiel, I cannot complain that wisdom came late since it often never comes. With Mr. Koch, wisdom came early and then vanished when it came to a tax cut that would benefit him and people like him. God help us if Mr. Koch can influence over foreign policy. Maybe Mr. Thiel will call Mr. Koch and enlighten him.

What if the public policy he knows well is the policy that helps him make more money? I imagine he knows that stuff cold.

Mr. Koch spent millions lobbying Congress for TPP. Was that because TPP would be good for America or good for Mr. Koch? I supported TPP, still do; indeed, I support the liberal world order that Mr. Trump rejects. Mr. Koch has a long history of an American foreign policy of non-intervention, going back to Vietnam. Of course, there's non-intervention and then there's non-intervention. The America First Committee opposed American intervention in WWII. Would it surprise readers that many of those behind the America First Committee supported America's intervention in Vietnam. I would prefer a foreign policy that achieved its goals through economics not military intervention, but we must have a foreign policy for the world as it is not the world as we would like it to be. Mr. Koch has his man as the VP. That Mr. Koch didn't support Trump has made little difference, since his man, the VP, is determining much of actual domestic policy for the administration. The investment in Mr. Pence has paid off in spades for Mr. Koch; not so much for the rest of us. Having foreign policy determined by someone with connections to Mr. Koch likewise could pay off for Mr. Koch; unlike most domestic policy, however, foreign policy is fraught with enormous risk to us and the rest of the world.

4. The weirdness of dark matter and its necessity to make the equations balance is probably the strongest bit of 'evidence' that we are living in a simulation. I'm not really convinced we are, but this would be where my doubts start.

That seems like a weak correlation to me. If our universe is a simulation, why wouldn't the creators create dark matter or something like it?

Maybe they ran out of processing power or time, and they figured their creation would never evolve far enough to notice the squishy parameters at the farthest reaches of the 'known' 'universe'.

I don't really think we are, but if we are, there's no way to speculate why they did anything they did. Kind of like trying to understand God's reasons. If you believe in God, we are kind of living in His simulation aren't we?

I see. So we are replacing God with Alien computers. Fair enough :-)

We? Nah, talk to Elon Musk about it. :-)

I don't believe dark matter even exists. It's more of a plugin to fill the gap in the math involved, or a fundamental understanding of gravity.

That's my point, if we need this plug-in to make the equations work, maybe at the most fundamental level they don't add up. Same thing with all the weirdness of quantum theory/string theory/N-dimensional physics, etc.

Again, I don't think we are in a simulation, but if we were, why couldn't there be some system parameters that don't make sense at the most outer and inner reaches of physics. The creators probably figured those wouldn't matter.

Almost everything in the known universe is some kind of cobbled together kludge. And temporality is an issue/obstacle. Perhaps the originators of the simulation figured “the subjects will never progress enough to ponder the stuff on the edges.”

I'm not about to rule out a simulation.

But... the equations we are talking about here (with respect to the galaxy velocity curves) are pretty straightforward applications of Newton's law of gravity. You could probably put a question about it on a physics test for Freshman STEM majors and expect half of them to do the math correctly. I don't think *this* is where the sim would screw up.

Calculating the rotational velocity of every bit of the galaxy moving away from the center is a bit beyond freshman physics, but your point isn't wrong.

1. I love the euphemism "cultural drag" for "there is no demand for these technologies". Yes, if humans weren't humans the world would look more like it does in Kurzweil's imagination.

You sound like a partisan zombie. Maybe you should befriend a libertarian and open your mind.

2. Then what the fuck is Charles Koch doing about it? In reality the 'Peace' candidate has won every Presidential election except for 2004 Bush re-election and yet the President are always drawn into wars that are risking our national security. (If you think about the 2004 Bush reelection over John Kerry by 2.4% victory really was not a significant win considering we nearing the height of the housing boom.) In reality, I am huge peacenick but we have to allow that some situations or wars will get out of hand if the US plays less in other nations affairs and this is hard for people not to react. And how much did Trump run against the Iraq War and still claim to the toughest military leader. And notice how many people blame Obama for Syria Civil War.

I have never seen Charles Koch bankrupt a non-intervention Republican ever.

7. This is looking more and more like "tax what you want less of" where the "what" is higher education, and all those left leaning graduates.

Because these are way too trivial to be genuine revenue seeking.

"Because these are way too trivial to be genuine revenue seeking."

And I think I should be expected from taxes because the amount of taxes I pay is way to trivial to matter.


Lol. Seriously? Comparing a total to an instance?

They are going after the sports revenue.

The revenue related to knowledge is limited. Very limited.

Destroying university sports would be a good thing. Tax the hell out of it.

# Imagine Humans lived with sentient gorillas, and the gorillas kept challenging the humans to wrestling matches, and we kept losing. Would it be sane to think we need to be initiating more of the wrestling matches? No, we need to fight the gorillas in another kind of game in which we have an advantage.

As long as engaging with the court system remains as expensive as it is, it will always be a power amplifier for the wealthy, regardless of who sues whom.

#6 Imagine Humans lived with sentient gorillas, and the gorillas kept challenging the humans to wrestling matches, and we kept losing. Would it be sane to think we need to be initiating more of the wrestling matches? No, we need to fight the gorillas in another kind of game in which we have an advantage.

As long as engaging with the court system remains as expensive as it is, it will always be a power amplifier for the wealthy, regardless of who sues whom.

7. The tax proposed is a tax on knowledge.

What is bizarre is the anti-taxers free lunch crowd argued for private taxes on knowledge, ie, copyright and patent be taken out by tax funded universities to replace taxes to fund the common good provided by universities.

This was supposed to increase the quantity and value of knowledge from universities.

It hasn't.

But in limited areas, royalties have been high to just a few departments at a few universities.

And the biggest source have been from sports, which are unrelated to the purpose of universities, as sports are run as entertainment in contradiction to education - players must put sports above education to get scholarships.

So, now the anti-taxers want to tax the revenue that was supposed to offer the free lunch of more knowledge at lower taxes to redistribute the very limited revenue their oriiginal plan generated.

Sports entertainment by colleges and universities do help raise money from alumni for knowledge purposes, but inefficiently. But many fund raisers prefer raising five million to fund four million sports, one million knowledge to raising one million with no sports at all. I say that from experience data mining in 1970 to raise two million for a small college. Half the fund raising then and since has been tied to sports. And lots of the capital spending. And I doubt anyone has ever heard of Earlham in sports.

" The tax proposed is a tax on knowledge."

The tax is only on unusually large endowments. From endowments Harvard makes more than what it costs to educate 2x as many students it has enrolled. Harvard is a tax on education.

You are absolutely right. This proposal is a tax on knowledge. But you don't take this fact far enough. In order to increase knowledge, we should encourage universities to engage in unrelated businesses and then exempt all the income from them. Money is fungible and any money they get from other businesses will just go to the university's charitable mission.

Lol. You're right, but why not go even further? exempt all non-knowledge based activities even outside of education? then that money saved could go to education? I mean we should trust all the large corporations (universities included) to do the right thing and pay for random people's education, except for: foreigners, people from out of state, rich parents, and nonlegacy students, am i right? I mean its not like universities are separate countries with their own police forces, immigration policies (admissions), citizens(students/alumni), governing bodies (think titleix), right? Totally benevolently raising price of admission(immigration/citizenship) for decades, all while crowding out private sector economic activity. Tax on knowledge (ignore the internet, its not taxed knowledge at all?) indeed.

Don't tax you, don't tax me, tax that fellow behind the tree. At the heart of every argument over taxes and spending.

7. The tax proposed is a tax on knowledge.

The mulp least hard hit


So that's what America's moneyed interests want, now, to slander Brazil...
Brazil has murdered fewer young Americans than almost any of the blue countries. Maybe we should more like Iraq, red China, Japan, Vietnam, Russia, Germany, Italy, Laos, France, Cambodia, Mexico, Libya, Turkey, Austria, North Korea, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Granada, Haiti, Panama, Cuba, Bulgaria,... Brazil helped America to defeat Italy and Germany and to invade Dominican Republic. You know what, one day, enough will have been enough and you won't have loyal Brazil to kick around anymore and you will only have yourselves to blame. Brazil reaches out with an open hand and all we get is a clenched fist.

Stop impersonating me I tell you!

It is sad to see how Americans can't stand a honest discussion.

Then again, what more can we expct from Trump's America?

#7: I laughed. My what fun.

Do you think Putin knows Rasputin personally?

He’s pretty Rah-Rah re: Rasputin.

#3b some people should at least have more confidence in their own ideas. Leave her alone her ideas have next to zero chance of sticking around simple because they are so obviously wrong.

Same on North Korea BTW.

Act 5:39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God."

"Dark matter", as a placeholder term used in galactic dynamics -- to designate shortfalls in the amount of observed matter that would make galaxies spin the way they are observed to spin -- cannot be given up on, unless you want to replace the term "dark matter" with, as the article alluded to, some term like "baffling gravity" (to account for the shortfalls, which are not going to go away with the wave of a hand).

By the way, physicists, despite the pet theories many of them wackily hold on to well past their sell-by date, are hearteningly humble compared to some of the A to Z biologists who rule the academic roosts these days (an A to Z biologist is a biologist who claims that we have fairly accurate knowledge of the mechanisms of evolution from a given point A billions of years ago up to the point we are at today -- knowledge that, expressed as models, could reasonably compete with a genuinely accurate model of the evolution that occurred in the real world over aeons).

When, recently, a cleverly rigged computer managed to teach itself the game of Go and in the process rendered hundreds of generations of deep Go theory - how can I say this kindly - 'less than competitive', one might have thought a lesson would be learned by the A to Z biologists. Perhaps their model mechanisms are not as competitive with the real mechanisms as they thought. One might have thought ....

The humble physicists constantly question and test their basic assumptions, so they had no lessons to learn from the recent Go eschaton.

So, if I were a theoretical scientist, I would say this of the world we live in: "Order is a deception. But disorder is not a solution." (Don Colacho). Well, I am not even a natural scientist. Still, this summer I saw a hundred different moths, which comparatively, is only like seeing 10 different butterflies, but I saw something I have never seen before, in half a century of observing this sort of thing, a night-flying moth deceived at twilight by a very unusual slanting of atmospheric light and bouncing up and down in its little moth way over the tops of a field of wild carrot blossoms (shady below, unusually slanted twilight glow above) almost like a porpoise, but attracted back downwards not, as the porpoise is, by an inability to go any higher and by the corresponding demands of gravity, but because it was a night flying moth who kept reminding itself, after every excessively upward set of flittering motions, to head back lower into the shadows amongst and below the tops of the wild carrots (daucus carota)).

The humble moth neither seeks nor accepts real changes to its relationship to the things of this world. Compare the progressive lyrics of "Let it Go", or, more impressively, Isa. 2:2-4.

Yes, there's clearly a lot of ambiguity about how evolution happens. Maybe it's natural selection involving selection for favorable genes, maybe it's... well.. some other thing

"The humble physicists ..." The ones who taught me were the opposite of humble, so much so that I decided not to pursue a career in physics after all. A mathematician friend refers to theoretical physicists as crooks and bandits.

dearieme - that is interesting. I don't personally know any talented physicists, it was just a general impression.

By the way, at 4:57 PM "progressive lyrics" was not a compliment, so "more impressive" was an incorrect use of language to express my meaning (I have Buddhist friends who do not like it when I use anything like sarcasm)

2. Hilarious propaganda.....Does this include intervention through the Atlas Network?

4. Should economists abandon free market capitalism? It is as elusive as dark matter.

7. Endowments and tax havens/avoidance, both perpetuate the stratification of society. Stifle away.

Previous: OverConfidence

TED ed: Why incompetent people think they're amazing - David Dunning (of the Dunning-Kruger effect)

Most poeple think in the overconfidence dimension. So I change the sign of the index to become a overconfidence measure. Next I map them to a more familiar scale, i.e. that for the IQ ranges with mean 100 and SD 15. So now the normal range z-scores is mapped from +- 0.67 SD.

In this new OverConfidence Quotient OCQ (or DKQ), the over adventurous countries are
MENA (117.2 ~ 120.9), Turkey (117.0), Isreal (113.29) and US (113.0).
Fireworks might ensue if they encounter one another in some locations. Strangely Russia is at a low value (96.0). Was that why the cold wars was cold?

Switzerland is at the low value of 74.9.

I bet if you had hung out a lot with Dunning of the Dunning-Kruger effect you would have written that comment a lot differently.

Hint - we are all illiterate, if literate means understanding the world we live in.

Achievement is nothing without communication. Communication - cor ad cor loquitur - communio - reflects the inner heart.

If the inner heart of Einstein was a shriveled selfish thing (not saying it was, just throwing it out there), and if Jane Austen never fell in love (not saying she didn't, just throwing it out there) - immune as they may have been to the Dunning-Kruger effect - their lack of overconfidence would not have overcome the substantial addition to the stock of sadness in this world their (under this hypothesis) failure to communicate added.

Back in the day, who would not have wanted to spend a couple of winter weeks in Jacksonville? Switzerland was for the rich, who could afford warm clothes and ski gear. Jacksonville was the place for me.

"if literate means understanding the world we live in": but it doesn't.

Very true.

"""Overconfidence and War
The Havoc and Glory of Positive Illusions
Dominic D. P. Johnson

The data fit the narrative.

#4 The case against dark matter particles as an explanation of dark matter phenomena is actually much stronger than the article, which focuses on the failure to direct detection experiments and the Fermi satellite lets on. But, before saying more it is important to make one point clear:

No serious scientists doubt that the phenomena that has motivated dark matter theories are real. Galaxies and galactic clusters and the cosmic background radiation of the universe all act like there is something more that general relativity as we know it at work in the gravitational sector. Maybe it is dark matter particles, maybe it is an inaccuracy in the laws of gravity or a fifth force, maybe it is both. But, there is definitely an unsolved question of fundamental physics to be solved.

The big problem is that when you use the dynamics of galaxies and galaxy clusters to infer where dark matter particles have to be if they exist, the distribution of dark matter that you get is one that none of the leading models of dark matter particles can give rise to. The shapes of the inferred halos don't fit the shapes that collisionless dark matter should form. The correlations between inferred halo shapes and ordinary matter distributions is too tight and fits too tightly to certain formulas (such as the Tully-Fisher relationship). Heavier dark matter would create galaxy-like structures at far smaller scales than we observe. Any dark matter particle theory would have far fewer high velocity galaxy cluster collisions than what we observe. Efforts to cure this with a fifth force that only involves interactions with other dark matter particles (called self-interacting dark matter theories) have been ruled out. So have not just WIMPs, but MACHOs including primordial black holes, and completely "sterile" dark matter candidates that interact only via gravity. A lack of the predicted kinds of radiation means that dark matter has to be extremely stable and not annihilate with other dark matter particles either.

There are several quite promising modified gravity theories that work much better and over a wider range of circumstances than an early toy model theory called MOND that described galaxy scale dynamics with just a single new fixed physical constant, but was not relativistic and didn't work for galaxy clusters. None of them are perfected and "ready for prime time" yet, but as dark matter particle theories are increasingly ruled out, the balance of plausibility has tipped to modified gravity after decades in which dark matter particles were the dominant paradigm. Work by Bekenstein, Moffat and Alexandre Deur particularly stands out as promising.

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