Friday assorted links


The "rules" in 5 are not too bad, but I'd add some cautions: First, even ignoring the over-statement about "everyone" knowing a lot about something, often enough, what someone knows a lot about may not be worth asking about (at least to you.) People's tastes and interests differ, and even given the good of finding out new things, there's no point in pretending like this isn't the case. Finding out something about, say, Dungeons and Dragons is of no interest or use to me, even if it is to others.

"spend more time listening to music" is only very good advice if the music is good. If not, it's not better advice than "spend more time reading the comics" or "Spend more time looking at birds" or whatever.

"If you can help, then help" is fine, even good, as far as it goes, but it's only a start. How much? At what cost? How? Those are all pretty important and much harder questions.

Spend more time listening to bagpipe music.

It's going to get old very quickly if Tyler keeps posting

"12 Rules For Life, of Which Maybe 2 Are Actually Rules For Life, Plus 2 Bullets To Show You How Worldly I Am, 2 Attempts At Offbeat Humor To Show I'm Hip, and 6 Bullets Of Blatant Virtue Signalling So I Can Retain My Job."


Throw in "2 Attempts To Display Wisdom I Do Not Actually Possess"

Another list that is fine.

I am comfortable with such things until they start to be -isms and pick up followers who might be called -ites.

Save that for the time proven, thousand year old, philosophies. In other words, make sure your guru is long dead.

His 5, 6, and 7 are all bad and should be cast aside with extreme prejudice.

5 is actually the only defensible use of blog comments

Ok, that and jokes that are actually funny.

#2- Choose freedom. She walks. She talks. She's full of chalk. The lactic fluid extracted from the female of the bovine species is highly prolific to the nth degree.

#4 - Violence? Does that entail getting a brioche smashed on one's face? I've made it 67 years without Nutella. PB&J on toast is the breakfast of champions.

#5 - Again, God only gave Moses ten.

13 - Schedule three hours each day to not stare at your navel.

Re: UNESCO - Trump ended US funding for it. Trump triumphant.

But how is the US going to sleep at night, knowing it is not paying the bills for a "Historic Mosque City in Bangladesh"?


1. Will it pay to be on the ground floor of the flying car industry? I'd wait until the industry takes off and then jump aboard. According to the link, 50,000 have applied to the self-driving car course. That makes no sense: if the car is self-driving, what is there to learn? I already know how to ride in a car. Glenn Turner went to jail for teaching his students how to be great, while Donald Trump went to the White House for doing the same thing. Live and learn.

"I’d wait until the industry takes off ..."

yeah, after 70+ years of pursuing the pipe dream of "Flying-Cars" --- Nobody in the WORLD has yet come up with a practical flying car, just oddball vehicles that are lousy airplanes mated to lousy cars.

Self-Driving-Cars are in the same pipe dream. Despite the massive media hype --- Nobody in the WORLD is even close to producing a practical autonomous-car that can replace our ordinary human-driver-cars. The real world technical problems are extremely misunderstood and understated.

The confusion stems from the name, and the history of trying to make auto-monoplane hybrids.

What their doing now is growing electric drones until they can carry a person. Not for the faint of heart, but it works. Kinda.

Given better batteries it might actually work, but I probably won't be the first on the block to try one.

It could use a better name though. Hoverpack? Just hover?

Gravity is a bitch. F = ma. On Earth 'a' is approximately -9.81 m / s^2.

@Jay - I know you know this, but technically F = (mv)' or the derivative of momentum. Mass usually does not change--except in the rocket equation--so this reduces to F = ma.

There's no "technically" about it. One is no more basic than the other. And neither is any more "technically" correct than saying momentum is the integral of force in relation to time.

@Roger Sweeny - haha, don't be silly. Technically, Newton's equation is the integral of the derivative of work over distance, over time: F = Int( (Force dr)' dt), where dr would be the unit vector gradient pointing in the direction of the work being done.
PS--you're arguing with somebody who majored in physics here (and flunked out, like I did in law school, but still...)

Ray, go fuck yourself.

...or, to give it more obscurity, substituting F = (mv)' into F = Int( (Force dr)’ dt), where dr would be the unit vector gradient pointing in the direction of the work being done, then: F = Int ( ((mv)' dr)' dt), with mv differentiated over time in the direction of the gradient for work. Of course work would be the sum of potential energy (change in energy state in the potential energy field due to gravity) plus kinetic energy (1/2 mv^2) and any magnetic, chemical or even nuclear energy changes accounted for when taking the tensor derivative of the total work done. Dang, I'm good.

#4 - every 100 grams of Nutella contains 57 grams of sugar and 32 grams of fats, one third saturated. Must be the most dangerous food around, short of eating cobras alive. Strange that I never heard any nosy busybodies like Bloomberg to ask for its prohibition.

It's not given for free in restaurants (like salt) and you can't order 100 grams of it. How much Nutella is in a dessert? 15-20 grams? Less?

And yet the French are overall healthier than Americans.

Remember the taxes on "sugary" drinks applied to sodas but - somehow - don't apply to Starbucks products....

Degas was an anti-Semite. If the Musee D’Orsay offloads it’ wonderful stash of Degas pastels I’d happily scoop them up. All proceeds to the charities who do the best work for genocide victims.

To forstall comments about seeming to be insensitive, I am trying, however infelictously, to make a point about the difficulty of drawing lines. And perhaps part of the solution relates to some restitution from the owners of contentious works.

its. Why do internet spell checkers assume people want the grocer’s apostrophe.

....but you clearly understood his comment, despite any trivial spelling or grammar malfunctions.
what compels you to be a text-policeman on an informal blog ??

Yes, I did understand his comment - it was mine that I was commenting on. What compels you to not read things closely?

I gave up on autocorrect for now. It seems to favor the statistical likelihood of what kids today are trying to text one another.

Maybe someday we can choose our pool. Completion based on 50 years of an old time newspaper.

#2 think outside the box

#5 rule #12 is recipe for disaster. It should be changed to "if help is asked, then help". There's more than enough people asking and welcoming help to worry about the ones that need it but dismiss it.

#5: I'd rather have Chauncy Gardiner's.

#4: Dramatic increases in demand when the price drops would seem to indicate a relatively FLAT demand curve (i.e., one with high price elasticity of demand), rather than a "seriously downward-sloping" one.

And of course we cannot draw conclusions about the shape of a demand curve using just data on prices and quantities, anyway, as these are equilibrium phenomena and some other parameters have likely shifted.


Came here looking for this comment.

I'm not sure the consumer behavior tells us much of anything about the demand curve. If the price declined permanently to 70% off, I doubt consumption would increase much at all. It seems to me that the frenzy is because the change is temporary, not because of the shape of the demand curve. I like Nutella well enough, but I'm not sure I'd eat any more of the stuff if offered a free lifetime supply. It's already cheap enough that the price is really not a consideration.

In Brazil we have more downward slopping curves:

A flying car has to be both a flying machine and a car and, to date, the compromises necessary to make a car fly (or to make a flying machine driveable) have resulted in a vehicle that's both a not-ver-good flying machine and a not-very-good car.

Mostly, since flying machines that can carry people cost far more than most automobiles, the compromise has been to make the machine barely driveable so as to avoid compromising the flying function too much. And if one reduces "barely driveable" to vertical-takeoff-and-landing, then perhaps there's some possibilities here, at least for short-range travel. But is a vehicle that can't move (except up) once it's on the ground a "flying car"?

Yes, there are reasons why airliners don't convert/transform into buses when they're on the ground so they can conveniently let their passengers off in midtown instead of at an airport ...

Yes, when it's in the air you're dragging around several hundred pounds of clutch, transmission, and differential you don't need. When you're on the ground, the lightweight construction of an aircraft makes for poor survivability in road accidents. There are so many design goals that are mutually antagonistic in mating a car with an aircraft.

How 'bout a spacecraft with a car, MT?

US$50M, only three made.

Rarer than a 206 Dino!

Flying cars imply the prime real estate for the wealthy is under the flight paths of big airports like JFK, O'hare, BWI, DFW,..

#3 - sexual harassment allegations- part of the snowflakes race to extinguish the developed world by those who feel guilty for being wealthy and/or envious of others like me in the 1% (msgkings, looking at you).

Bonus trivia: there's a good chance that somebody reading this will be accused of sexual harassment before they die. This is because as a man's brain ages, it loses the part of the brain responsible for inhibition. My going senile uncle would often parade semi-naked on the balcony of the multi-story apartment in Greece we own (we and he are wealthy, we own the whole thing). A meddlesome middle-aged woman complained to us because she said her kids on the way to school might see my uncle's genitals. In the USA probably he would have been arrested and put on a sexual predator list. He's in a home now, but the same could happen to you. I recall a famous music producer in the UK who had all kids of honors, had a gravestone overlooking some beautiful part of England, and just after he died allegations of sexual misconduct so sullied his name that the family tore down the gravestone (it was vandalized repeatedly) and his body was cremated and scattered. Could happen to anybody. Nobel in medicine winner D. Carleton Gajdusek had to register as a sex offender because he had gay sex with kids from Papua New Guinea, where such "rites of passage" are ritualized and routine for many boys.

First the sex police came for the deviants, and I did not complain; then they came for the queers, and I said nothing...finally, they came for me (that's objectionable!).

Are you talking about Jimmy Savile? He seems to have been an unequivocal monster who doesn't fit the rest of your post.

Try harder Ray.

It's totally OK to drink on the streets in Western Europe. Try drinking in public in the USofA. People judge others based on local customs, not foreign ones.

How hard is to understand that one thing will get you general applause in one country and condemnation in other one? Just because drinking in public is banned in the US, will you start saying "first the sex police came for the deviants......"?

@Axa - I'm saying in western Christiandom, that would be EU/USA, sex crimes are made into big deals. Should taking photos of nude youth put you in jail for life, absent rape? It's getting that way. And BTW getting drunk in public is a USA thing; when I lived in Europe (as I do) I hardly ever see that, ditto here in the Philippines.

@steve- yes, that's the guy (Jimmy Savile). From his Wikipedia page: Former professional wrestler Adrian Street described in a November 2013 interview how "Savile used to go on and on about the young girls who’d wait in line for him outside his dressing room ... He'd pick the ones he wanted and say to the rest, 'Unlucky, come back again tomorrow night'." Savile, who cultivated a "tough guy" gimmick promoted by his entourage, was attacked with legitimate strikes {I.E. UNSCRIPTED BEATINGS} during a 1971 bout with Street, who commented that had he "known then the full extent of what I know about [Savile] now, I’d have given him an even bigger hiding – were that physically possible.”[105] - Note also Savile was friends with Thatcher and Prince Charles, both of who praised him. Seems that Savile is like Cosby, accused many years after the fact when he cannot defend himself, and reading between the lines, ignoring the eight year olds alleged to be molested, there was a lot of consensual activity.

5. This whole thing, this thing about making lists of rules for life, is proof that the Flynn effect has reversed itself.

#4. Well the controversy over their change in formula didn't last long.

#5 - How will I ever explain how to make sourdough bread? I guess instead of “culture” I’ll call it “the sticky housepet”.

Explaining how to make sour dough bread is easy.

Explaining why it is horrible to eat is not.

Taming the wild, ie, real world, requires experience.

I like rye.
Orowheat (/Arnold/Brownberry) used to have a "Russian Rye" loaf that was the best supermarket bread I've ever had. Sadly they appear to have discontinued the brand.

I keep reading that people are researching the genealogy of the right-wing hardliners that demand huge reductions in immigration and finding out that these bigots are in America because their ancestors migrated in similar patterns. If "chain migration" is bad now it was bad in the 1800s as well (according to the bigots). The Democrats should counter the White House immigration proposal with one that requires anyone who is a product of "chain-migration" be deported back to their country of origin. While Trump is no genius he is certainly smart enough to reject such proposal on personal grounds.....

That is a textbook example of an "ad hominem" argument. This is vile, Jay.

So the products of chain migration are terrible, therefore we need more of it, and to expel the people trying to stop it.

On "flying cars": All the interesting work (and there is a lot of it, with a large number of start-ups and skunkwork projects of large companies) is for short-distance "air-taxis", which are Short-or-Vertical Take Off (S/VTOL) electric aircraft, often intended to be operated autonomously or with a back-up remotely located human pilot, much as a Predator drone. There is a technology convergence of fairly energy dense batteries, extremely power-dense e-motors, and cheap control systems that is making all of this possible technically. Uber is doing a lot of the heavy lifting in the US on the regulatory side, assisting and pushing the FAA to come up with a regulatory framework that makes this possible. Some of these projects will probably succeed. Thrun's Kitty Hawk may well be one of them, as it has the deep pockets of Google founder Larry Page behind it, and a world-class technical staff.

The very few projects that are trying to create true hybrid auto/airplane "flying cars" will almost certainly fail, as have all their predecessors.

As long as you're not trying to make it airworthy and roadworthy at the same time, maybe it has a chance. Maybe we need a new word for these things to eliminate confusion with car/airplane hybrid fantasies. I nominate "hoppers". If I can take a hopper from my driveway to the parking lot of Trader Joe's and back, I'll use it all the time. It better be autonomous, because I don't want to share airspace with a bunch of kids just out to make a youtube video with the latest challenge that probably involves scaring the crap out of old codgers like me.

No one should offer "12 rules" nonsense without being prepared to go to the gallows 10 years from now over the list they submit. Peterson would sign up for this; I don't think Cowen would.

#13. Have the self awareness and humility to realize the absurdity of you dispensing rules to live by and censor yourself before it's too late.

1. The wonder and glory of the internet. It probably would't be practical to offer this course at an earth-bound college but when anyone can pursue those studies from the comfort of their own hovel it has become almost a necessity. This is also the case with my own on-line course in ball point pen repair. We're getting vibrations that the dynamic American economy might soon crash. If it does you can be ready to take advantage of the new frugality that is sure to follow. Damaged and worn ball points will no longer be discarded, because of their usefulness for writing and as advertising vehicles and increased value due to the failure of over-extended manufacturers. Be prepared for the austerity sure to follow economic catastrophe. My course covers the history of the marvelous ball point pen, its design variations, and videos on its construction and repair. Registered students receive a special took kit containing all the wrenches and specialty items needed to disassemble most modern ball points, a wide selection of common repair parts, three different colored inks and advice on setting up your own repair shop. After only eight weeks of study and laboratory work in your own home you'll be able to maintain, repair and even modify ball points for friends and neighbors and join the growing number of craftsmen that will soon be making big money in ball point pen repair. Visit my website for more information.

#2 It is only a speculation that the 'cow' ran off from a farm. There are other possible explanation,

"""European bison (Wisent) have also been crossed with domestic cattle to produce the żubroń. These were first bred in Poland in 1847 as hardy, disease resistant alternatives to domestic cattle. Breeding was discontinued in the 1980s. The few remaining zubron can be found at Bialowieski National Park."""

Through random combination of the latent genes a descendant that resemble the ancestor before the admixing can be produced. Just like this case for human,

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