Monday assorted links


1. "Simpson, in an email, added that, "The Bureau prefers to gain voluntary compliance when addressing a violation of Portland City Code or Oregon Revised Statute.""

Does this mean "we're not enforcing these laws" or "we asked him nicely before the beating started."

Portland is on many levels dysfunctional. There is a cabal of leftism and tens of thousands of useful idiots ready at a moments notice to try to make things worse. It is impossible to elect sane people to office there so the insane run everything with pretty much exactly the result you would expect. The best thing that could happen is to route I-5 around Portland and then brand every Portland resident with a "P" on their forehead so that the rest of us would have a chance to avoid the lunatics when they escape the asylum.

And yet Portland is still a rather nice place to live. Insanely left wing politics actually work, up to a point, if the electorate is White and mainly middle class. Conservative in values and behavior even if not in the public poses they strike. Real dysfunction take leftism and a majority non-White population.

After all, Portland's politics are probably more left wing than Detroit's. Or Baltimore's.

You are correct. However the amount of highway funds diverted from highways to fund the Max is really hurting Portland today. Portland is not really a "big" city but it has traffic that rivals big cities. And then there is the Max itself. Before the Max was built (and I remember that well and even inadvertently left a footprint in the cement rail bed they poured one night in the rain) crime was most concentrated to the area where the thugs lived and of course downtown. Today any Max station or neighborhood within walking distance of a Max station is a shooting gallery. The thugs use the Max to take their guns to town and suburbs. Portland is very expensive and a big part of that is the taxes and regulations and now this too is coming home to roost. Portland's livability is sliding downhill. In fact has been for so long that you cannot ignore the fact that the worst traffic is the result of people who work in Portland leaving Portland every evening to go home. Most working class live in Washington or South Suburbs. Portland is only affordable for the well to do and the subsidized.

First things first I wake up and have a big spaghetti breakfast, roll out of bed and then take a shower or a bath in the upstairs bathroom if my son lets me. Work on my Tae Kwon Do and meditate to come up with next butthole tinglers.

For #3, it sounds like they're selling food that's expired for 10p. So its possibly stuff that was getting thrown out anyways.

"best before" dates are almost always set ludicrously early, at least in the US. Assuming that's true in the UK, we should in fact applaud this move -- except, of course, for the pasta, crisps and rice suppliers. The fact that it also makes the co-op a tiny bit of additional money is a nice incentive for them to keep doing it.

#4 An obvious counterfactual is of course the potato blight (1844 and beyond) in Europe. Here's the Wikipedia page 'revolutions of 1848'


Also, the Musket Wars in New Zealand, which were arguably driven more by potatoes than muskets.

Potatoes don't kill people. People kill people.

Deep fried potatoes can kill people.

I do not eat those. Only purée, mashed potatoes or cooked with meat.

All BAD in fact the fried potatoes might actually be slightly less bad.

No, they are not. They are tasty and give us the energy to move our country ahead and support President Temer's bold reforms.

Ir is Russia. Slavs are careless. It can't happen here. And why do they keep going into the cellar no one can return alive from? They look like badly-written characters from a terror movie.

Potatoes helped the navy win a WWII battle:

#2: Commercial enterprises are not charities and public thoroughfares are not beds. Public order maintenance requires vagrants be rousted, with some discretionary economy about doing so in libraries and parks. The okupier they interviewed thinks there's a 'housing crisis' and that that's what generates vagrancy. There is no crisis and problems with housing which push edge cases into vagrancy are attributable to effective demand and regulatory controls which cause the supply of flop houses, boarding houses, and apartment buildings with shared kitchens to dry up. There was a move in the Oregon legislature to permit local rent control ordinances earlier this year. It failed. You want to make wagers on what these okupiers opine on that subject?

Let charities, with some help from the local police, minister to vagrants. The proprietors of sporting goods stores can help in their spare time.

"At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge," said the gentleman, taking up a pen, "it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and Destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir."

"Are there no prisons?" asked Scrooge.

"Plenty of prisons," said the gentleman, laying down the pen again."

Nice try, but Scrooge didn't turn either his home or his offices into social clubs for vagrants.

You have two choices with the vagrant population. You can provide austere and in-kind benefits for them to keep body and soul together, or you can shut them up in asylums. There is no third option. But you're not the least bit interested in practical care for vagrants. They're just a hook for you to strike poses.

"And the Union workhouses." demanded Scrooge. "Are they still in operation?"
"Both very busy, sir..."
"Those who are badly off must go there."

Why don't more Progressives in Portland open their own homes to the homeless? A business lacks the facilities of a house such as a shower, kitchen, bed, etc.

The anti-statist position is the state shouldn't be providing these services to the needy, private groups and individuals should. Progressives are statists. You should take a couple in yourself if you don't want to be a hypocrite.

I see the interns the moderators employ to use these sock-puppets are declining in quality.

I'm so in your head Art you should charge me rent LOL.

Columbia Sportswear gave $1.7 million to charity last year, plus paid for 3000 hours of community service for its employees. Seems like far beyond "are there no prisons".

Besides, the truth is that Boyle's op-ed wasn't about the homeless. It was about lawlessness. As someone who runs a restaurant in an area with lots of homeless people in Portland (Chinatown), I interact on a daily basis with both the homeless and criminals. There is some overlap, but it's not necessarily the same people assaulting people, robbing business, as smashing car windows as are making encampments, shitting in doorways, begging on the street, and shooting up on the sidewalks.

Boyle never directed his comments at the homeless, but at crime.

Failed by one vote in state senate.

But we do have a city ordnance requiring the payment of 3 months rent to tenants if landlord exercise his right to evict for no cause during a month-to-month rental, or if tenant moves out due to rent increase above 10%/year.

#3: Not unique to that supermarket! My family refers to this shop chain in PA as the "Used Food Store"

#3..The sale does not apply to meat and vegetables. But the picture with the article was meat and vegetables. How sloppy is the press?

5. When I read this article in the NYT this morning, I assumed that the litigation that's discouraging research would be the kind often identified at this blog, such as litigation by personal injury lawyers (a/k/a ambulance chasers) against pharmaceutical companies, makers of medical devices, etc. for selling unsafe products. Instead, the litigation identified in the article (the article is by Dr. Carroll, the co-founder of TIE) is against researchers accused of such things as libel for publishing research papers that bring into question the value of products sold by medical companies. These are deep pocket medical companies that can break a researcher, success in defending the litigation little consolation for the researcher who may have to exhaust his savings paying fees and costs (the prevailing view in the U.S. is that the prevailing party in this type of litigation is not awarded attorneys' fees).

6. One assumes whatever the now properly declared co-director of the Charles and Seryl Kushner Foundation wants - though the first order of business might just involve changing international law so that funding specific Israeli settlements is no longer illegal.

After all, it isn't as if he hasn't been trying that already - 'The latest development follows reports on Friday indicating the White House senior adviser attempted to sway a United Nations Security Council vote against an anti-settlement resolution passed just before Donald Trump took office, which condemned the structure of West Bank settlements. The failure to disclose his role in the foundation—at a time when he was being tasked with serving as the president’s Middle East peace envoy—follows a pattern of egregious omissions that would bar any other official from continuing to serve in the West Wing, experts and officials told Newsweek.'

#3...That's about 33 pounds/person/year. Is that a lot?

#1...there is more than one margin here.

#5: if it starts with the notion that guns are a 'public health problem', it is not important research. And its the Sulzberger Birdcage Liner, so we're not going to get any acknowledgement of how faculty Monovox inhibits research.

What's your definition of a public health problem?

Here's an example:

"California’s outbreak of hepatitis A, already the nation’s second largest in the last 20 years, could continue for many months, even years, health officials said Thursday.

At least 569 people have been infected and 17 have died of the virus since November in San Diego, Santa Cruz and Los Angeles counties, where local outbreaks have been declared."

His phrasing is curious, and frankly raises alarm bells about the quality of his thinking. "I often complain about a lack of solid evidence on guns’ relationship to public health." Umm, the lack of solid evidence is because the evidence shows little to no relationship. Gun control is one of those areas that has been studied to death. What Dr Carroll refuses to do is to acknowledge that the copious amount of research show his favored policies simply don't work. The CDC's work on gun control was incredibly shoddy, and got shut down for good reason.

So much for evidence based medicine.

The stuff about guns weakened the article.

So if it was called a "safety issue" you would fund it?

Sorry to still be hung up on stupid arguments for stupid people, but it seems you are pulling one. You are elevating a (possible) category error over a very real threat to public safety.

There are 15,000 sociology professors with salaried positions, not to mention another five-digit bloc of social psychologists. There are mounds of grant money to be had to research such matters without raiding the CDC budget because public health specialists are bored and interested in engaging in political advocacy.

stupid arguments for stupid people, but it seems you are pulling one.

Dunning-Kruger is out in force today.

Good to see you wiggle in that direction.

You accept that the research is good, but now just want to claim, without any evidence, that "sociology professors with salaried positions" are staffed and funded to do it.

"Raiding" was also weak.

The opportunity cost argument should run toward greatest risks to public safety, and not a return to which are semantically "health."

4. Okay, the transition from hunter-gathers to farmers reduced the tension between tribes (absent blight, drought, etc.), but didn't it also increase the time available to trouble-makers (a/k/a "leaders") to devise other reasons for fomenting trouble and enhancing their prestige within the tribe. One might argue that conflict between tribes fighting over limited food (i.e., animals) is moral, while conflict to enhance one's prestige is immoral. Looking at this issue that way, the potato converted us from moral beings to immoral beings. In this regard, I understand that Trump's ancestors were potato farmers.

No... hunter-gatherers have WAY more free time than farmers. Farmers have back breaking work sun up to sun down. On the other hand, farming communities require private property rights, and those lead to hierarchies and in-group conflicts.

#4 Potatoes are bad carbs. Don’t eat that shit.

Potatoes are very healthy, but humans have devised a great many ways to consume them that are not.

Roasted red potatoes, made with just a little olive oil, are a good compromise.

Potatoes are not healthy they’re loaded with carbs fat ass.’

I guarantee you no one gets fat eating potatoes. GUARANTEE IT

5 was remarkably positive and normative for this blog.

Yet you'll be back on this blog tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day...

I wonder if after the smart/stupid essay Tyler is reconsidering the role of "contrarian" thought.

I would encourage that. When the world is overrun with stupid reasons to believe anything, "playing" with bad concepts seems less useful that it might have been, in a more positivist age.

#6 The only legitimate Mid-East Peace plan includes a Sunni Iran, a re-Ottomanized Balkans and Syria, and a Greater Israel with Jerusalem as its undisputed capital!

Your trolling has declined in quality.

3. C'mon Tyler that's rational price discrimination in addition to net reduction in food waste. More food will be sold past its sell-by date than before, but it's not like we're going to end up with a whole-market pooling equilibrium where everyone only buys after expiry.

*I* agree that the sell-by labels are usually meaningless, but try telling my girlfriend that. Same with scratch 'n dent sales for durable goods--it doesn't objectively matter at all, yet Sears scratch 'n dent/floor model discounts still happen (and always show up on intermediate micro exams too).

How is "search" defined in the context of the linked paper?

7. I'm sorry, but I truly don't understand cryptocurrencies or why they're superior to plain old cash. And no, a sudden runup in value (relative to... dollars, I guess? Barrels of oil? Food? My mortgage payments? My tax bill?) does not count.

Blockchains? Can't that be hacked, too? Without a central location to say what the original blockchain looks like?

You can send it over the internet without paying fees to a company. I don't know whether or not it's theoretically possible to hack the network but there would be a huge payout to anyone who does and no one has.

That's separate from the question of whether it is a bubble: it probably is. Tulips had a use too.

What about the structure of other currencies prevents the ability to send money without fees? Or, what's to stop an enterprising person to gain fees? And isn't the act of mining the actual fee generation activity itself?

I would never say any computing paradigm is 100% secure, but blockchain technologies are the closest thing to it. Not just because of the cryptography, but because of very strong incentives.

There have been a number of Ethereum incidents and smart contracts that either get voided or are unredeemable.

But "strong incentives" is exactly right. It's an extremely hostile environment and if you screw up you lose it forever, so the things that are surviving are very fit.

non-gated potato paper

I prefer ad Cock parties!

2: And just below the article about the protests on behalf of street people is an article about the engineer who testified against his wife's conviction for running a red light, and who got prosecuted by Oregon for calling himself an "engineer". IIRC that case was mentioned on MR some weeks or months ago. The state attorney general now says that the state erred in prosecuting him.

It just makes me sad that the general public is too lazy to spend the time and trouble to realize that the lead paint scare concerning children is just scientific nonsense. But the children! They are so vulnerable! Nonsense on stilts that costs billions of dollar to people who renovate old buildings.

There is no safe level? Of course there is, for every dangerous substance. It's just another example of scientific and regulatory capture by a self righteous, self-seeking, and self-supporting social movement.

Levels of serious lead levels. Almost zero, but for new invented standards. Do you want to eliminate even that? Stop immigration of uneducated people from third world countries.

Every day my respect for the wisdom of the voters who foisted Trump upon us only increases.

Fun fact: if your furniture is metal, there is no lead testing on its coating. None needed...

3) Can we measure price more accurately than food decay?

If pricing is cheap, then one could price change over the decay cycle of milk. Thus folks who plan to use it right now will buy the cheap, folks who plan to keep is a few days by the expensive.


So far about $1.3M has been transacted, with multiple kittens selling for ~50 ETH (around $23,000) and the “genesis” kitten being sold for a record ~246 ETH (around $113,000). ...

First off, it’s important to understand that since it’s played on the Ethereum blockchain there’s no central entity managing the game. This means users literally own their kittens. Unlike playing Neopets where everything was stored on a central database and your pet was deleted when the company shut down, CryptoKitties is decentralized and will live forever on the Ethereum blockchain. ...

Kittens can also be created by breeding them, which the game calls Siring. You can put your own kitten up for sire for a specified amount of ether and someone can breed with it, and they get the offspring and you get the ether. Or, you can pay to breed your cat with someone else’s and you keep the offspring and they keep the ether.

Each kitten has a 256-bit genome that holds the genetic sequence to all the different combinations kittens can have. These include things like background color, cooldown time, whiskers, beards, stripes and so on. Some of these genes can be recessive, meaning a kitten without stripes could still breed one with stripes.

#5. Doesn't sound very credible because it has a "too good to be true" ring to it. For instance:

The company asserted, without supporting scientific evidence, that while the article said the stimulant was not “natural,” it had extracted it from a Mexican shrub.

And did that claim turn out to be correct or false? The author doesn't tell us.

Further Despite the absence of evidence of wrongdoing, the judge allowed the case to go to trial.

So what exactly did the judge write as a reason for allowing the case to go to trial? Again, the author doesn't tell us. Repeatedly he makes a highly asymmetric coverage and hopes that our biases against companies and for research/medical advancement will do the trick.

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