Monday assorted links


3. Sorry for digressing. But on a completely different note, what are the best measures of genetic distance between any two individuals of a given species?

Also is there indeed greater genetic diversity among human beings compared to say Dogs? Is a Nigerian more distant from an Icelander than a Pomeranian is from a Great Dane? Is there a universal measure of genetic distance that can answer this question?

There is no universal measure because different weights can be assigned to an event. An insertion of 6 nucleotides could be given a weight of 6 for the number of nucleotides changed or 1 for one insertion event or something else depending how protein expression might be affected.

What is the capital of Djibouti?

No more of that talk; this is a family-friendly blog!

No, it is not. It is a pro-Chinese totalitarism blog.

Shut up, Thiago.

This paper examines the relationship between immigrants' genetic diversity and economic development in the United States during the late nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries,

Oh. So it's counting various European groups and a handful of Chinese?

#1 - "the Fungus mentioned by the French Author" - any idea what that refers to?

Ergot maybe? It’s sounds terrible actually. Maybe peyote

Presumably ergot (of which LSD is a derivative), described in the 1670s by Denis Dodart who was a contemporary of Boyle.

Denis Dodart reported the relation between ergotized rye and bread poisoning in a letter to the French Royal Academie des Sciences in 1676. John Ray's mention of ergot in 1677 was the first in English.
Convulsive ergotism is characterized by a number of symptoms. These include crawling sensations in the skin, tingling in the fingers, vertigo, tinnitus aurium, headaches, disturbances in sensation, hallucination, painful muscular contractions leading to epileptiform convulsions, vomiting, and diarrhea

#4 Djibouti. Makes sense given the strategic location in the what you call it strait, for international shipping and naval routes

Its also designated as a possible intermediate evacuation port, for many organisations working in the Middle East and Africa.

4. Earmarks are the U.S. version of an industrial policy. While I would prefer an actual industrial policy, it's better than no industrial policy. [Earmarks are typically for things, like buildings and roads and bridges, not social welfare programs.] When he was campaigning for president, Trump promised an industrial policy, and many supported him as a result. Since becoming president,however,Trump has all but abandoned the promised industrial policy, which may disappoint some in his base but it has thrilled mainstream Republicans. Americans are so opposed to industrial policy, they even object when China implements an industrial policy. From time to time one might get the impression from some of Cowen's blog posts that he is concerned that the American model may not measure up when compared with China's model. Thus, earmarks.

4. Earmarks are the U.S. version of an industrial policy.

No, they're not. They made for a tiny fraction of capital investment in this country and dealt primarily with construction.

Reading is an acquired taste.

Earmarks are not the US version of an industrial policy. Tea museums, interstates & bridges connecting low population areas and funds to renovate the local military base are not industrial policy.

Military bases. Military contracts.

Locations of various government offices, like the IRS office in Cincinnati where not-for-profit organizations filed their claimed status. The IRS individual tax filings were once sent to about ten offices, that gave Congress plenty of opportunity to pick winning cities for thousands of jobs, but electronic filing has eliminated paper filings for 80% of returns, thus eliminating all but two offices handling paper returns.

Johnson Space Center has no particular reason for being in Texas other than some very powerful members of Congress, including LBJ.

FDR, more than any other spread the jobs out to get votes for his projects and to win elections: jobs jobs jobs. Not hard to see how the latter meshed with winning votes in Congress.

Military bases were generally sited near traditional centers: ports, cities, but in the era of the large standing army, bases, and other facilities, were sited in many cases for economic development. VA facilities were built on top of the Civil War vet homes, to serve vets near family and friends, but larger facilities were places in some small communities, not the larger metros in the region.

The downsizing of the military was supposedly done objectively, but the BRAC commissions were mostly cover for political deal making. The best example is Maryland vs Virginia, where military jobs and facilities were slashed in Maryland with Virginia getting big increases. On the other hand, Maryland got expansions in domestic admin, science, health, etc. That is true for much of the division of jobs funded by taxes, North vs South. Lots of prime, potentially, real estate freed up in California and the Northeast, supposedly by objective BRAC decisions.

No, the closest thing we have to an industrial policy is the millitary-industrial-complex.

Have you dabbled much into research in biology, climate science, nutrition, or medicine? Their methods (and weaknesses) are very similar to those used in the social sciences. Sure, they can do experiments like the other hard sciences (but so can the social sciences), but once you start to try to explain the broader world and all its complexities, they start to rely on observational data that's susceptible to omitted variable bias and heavily reliant on theory and modeling.

+1 Add cherry picking data to your list as well.

The worst thing though, is when people don't know they are on the wrong side of it.

So, do you know that you are on the wrong side of it? And if you don't, wouldn't that be the worst thing?

Who argued for decades "there is no warning, heat islands, the hockey stick is a lie, scientists are liars, paid liars?"

Now you all pretend that was never you, and you are rational little AGW believers, only concerned with costs.

Oh, and who was on the right side of this?

Who are you attempting to argue with here? Yourself?

Obviously I cited NOAA and you said that was the wrong side, JWatts.

I recalled the b.s. my side, the side that tracked scientific opinion from uncertainty to confidence had to put up with.

"Obviously I cited NOAA and you said that was the wrong side, JWatts."

No, I didn't actually say that. I asked a Socratic question. Your response seems to be more dogmatic than open minded.

Were you missing a word?

"So, do you know that you are on the wrong side of it?"

Actually as written both sentences are accusations.

The questions aren't accusations if you have humility and are willing to admit that there is significant uncertainty to both sides of those questions.

My questions were a follow on to your comment: "The worst thing though, is when people don’t know they are on the wrong side of it."

Did you mean to exclude yourself from your own comment? Or are you humble enough to realize that everyone falls prey to the common mistake of not realizing when they are on the wrong side of cherry picking facts to support their argument?

If you asked "how can we know" that would have been very different than "do you know," without the "how" and clearly implying that you thought this was about me and not NOAA or scientific opinion.

To answer that different, better question, you sum over scientific results, and believe a moving average of scientific opinion. You do not remain wedded forever, but move incrementally and constantly.

So much anger. Yes you are correct, my comments weren't directed towards NOAA. They were instead about about your comments. And, of course the inherent irony about your seeming dogmatic positions on a thread that was specifically about scientific dogmatism.

"So, do you know that you are wrong" to shorten it just slightly has one meaning and one meaning only.


Anonymous is laying down the law in this thread! Look out people! This is like a WWE Pay Per View match!!!!!

Yes, that became a flame war but I am sticking by my guns that "people ignoring NOAA science" is a better example of "cherry picking" than ... I don't even know, "citing the NOAA science?" Citing scientific reference?

Funny thing about your 'who argued' post is that the heat island effect was used by the Skeptics to say the measurements were inaccurate. And the hockey stick was proven to be cherry-picking.

And here I was, thinking that most cogent criticism would have been along the lines that humans being human, there is no way to get rid of the human factor. Except for a rigorous devotion in avoiding the 'broader world and all its complexities.' Like these climate scientists, and their real/near real time empirical data -

What I mean is that causal identification (i.e., a strong research design that shows that X causes Y) is much more achievable in a lab setting than outside of it. Once you exit a lab setting where you can control the treatment assignments and make sure they were administered properly, all sorts of problems can derail your ability to identify a causal effect. Take nutrition. Sure, you might be able to show that human cells do better in an environment with less insulin present. But then try to do an experiment testing a low carb diet on health outcomes and you run into problems of people in both the treatment and control not sticking to the diet. And that's just in a setting where you can still do a randomized experiment/control trial. Many of our biggest concerns are not ones that you can test with an experiment. They can depend on experiments as part of the evidence, but they often require observational data that is susceptible to omitted variable bias and rely on untestable assumptions to hold true. For example, if you're a biologist studying a species that is suddenly dying at higher rates, how do you determine what is causing these deaths? You can do experiments in the lab on these species (maybe) to identify some things that might be detrimental to them, but it's hard to know if that same cause is at work in the field. So in addition, you start to gather data from the field on potential causes and hope that you're able to separate out what things are having which effects. It's hard. It's why we don't have definitive answers on why bee populations are decreasing. (And if there now is a definitive answer, it took a long time to find it.) It's not the same as adding chemicals together or launching sub-atomic particles at each other in the lab and measuring what happens, which is also hard.

P.S. I think humans are contributing to global warming based on the evidence we have. But I'm not a "believer." I save that for metaphysical and religious concerns.

Some people say "I believe," intending it to be interpreted "I currently believe," unless you evidence to the contrary, your honor.

2. It could also be collectively rational if not for publication bias. What I mean is that motivated reasoning among participants on either side of an argument is very good at identifying all of the strengths and weaknesses of the issue at hand. Those watching the debate who can avoid motivated reasoning themselves can benefit immensely. The problem is that we don't always get to see all sides of the argument since null findings are rarely published.

Adversarial systems of justice (broadly speaking) are widely accepted.

People should set their own limits for their advocacy though, and should leave the door open a crack for alternate truths.

I think most people manage this in the long run, and resistance to change is slowness to change, rather than true inflexibility.

Look at American history.

1. Eclectic, indeed. How about this one: The use of Pendulums at Sea and in Journeys, and the Application of it to watches. Does anyone besides me have a vintage Accutron watch (which was given to me by my parents when I was a child)? Okay, it doesn't run by a pendulum, rather it runs by a tuning fork.

Lucky you! You can get Bulova Accutrons on eBay, and I have thought about getting one, but I don't like wristwatches. I do admire the technology of the time. It's like IBM punchcard data processing machines. Impressive achievement for what they had to work with. But I don't want an IBM 604 calculating punch in my house, and I got rid of my ASR33 teletype a long time ago.

The one in AdMo is $45.

My wish list closer stuff:
Much cheaper good batteries (400 mile range in a BEV at the cost of ICE)
Much cheaper solar and/or nuclear electricity.
Autonomous cars
C4 Rice:
Flying cars
Nitrogen fixing in many more crops

Of and new antibiotics

Cure for cancer

Cheaper batteries are probably just a matter of time. Batteries have historically improved at 1-2% per year per unit of cost. Furthermore, the largest issue with solar and wind is intermittency. So, cheaper energy storage (battery or otherwise) will make renewable power much more functional and economic.

Faster cars
Older whiskey
Younger womenyoun

. . . More money

I want a way to be limited to 140 characters when I convey my thoughts in written form. Something like a computer telegram.

Sorry, the only thing out there like that limits you to 280 characters. But I guess you don't have to use them all if you don't want.

#3, Fulford, Petkov and Schiantarelli already described this relationship, and explained it -

"Finally, our results suggest that while ancestry diversity is positively related to county GDP, diversity in attributes is negatively related to county GDP. We show that part of this relationship is explained by the close link between occupational variety and ancestry diversity."

"Different ancestries have distinct effects on county GDP and these effects are correlated with measures of origin culture such as trust and thrift, with measures of origin institutions such as state centralization in 1500 (Putterman and Weil, 2010) and constraints on the executive, and with the human capital that immigrants brought with them. We then construct a weighted average for each county of the endowments brought by immigrants, using the fraction of people from each ancestry as weights. Changes in these ancestry-weighted measures of culture, institutions, and human capital are all significantly related to changes in county GDP per worker when controlling for county fixed effects, both in static and dynamic specifications. Many of theses results are reversed when we do not control for fixed county differences, which illustrates the importance of having a panel. This reversal reflects the fact that over the broad sweep of US history, people from high-income countries settled both in urban and rural areas while later migrants from poorer countries went predominantly to cities."

"The cross-section results shown in the second column of Table 2 supports this observation that people from poorer countries end up in richer counties on average."

There's no positive effect of genetic diversity; it's all accounted for my county level attractor characteristics for later migrants (who move to wealthier places).

I mean, c'mon, you already *know* there's no positive genetic diversity story. There's state history and technology in 1500AD and urban geography and that's about it.

Excited to see Boyle's list referenced here. He, of course, was one of the founders of the Royal Society, and was heavily influenced by Bacon's New Atlantis.

He also was Director of the East India Company, and an aspiring theologian himself, Such an interesting historical character that it seems so little has been written on.

A non-complacent next step Tyler? make your own list and share it here!

+1 excellent suggestion. I would like to see Tyler's list.

#6 - It's like Pachinko, the form of Japanese gambling. The prize is actually a cheap toy, but the winner then exchanges that cheap toy for real money at a 'separate" business next door, which is actually owned by the same parlor. It's another illegal wink-wink thing that the authorities have chosen to turn a blind eye to.

Maybe the genetic diversity just reflects the point that many people did not immigrate to the slave states.

2. Depends on what you mean by scientist. Marx claimed to be a scientist. Maybe you mean scientism.

Genetic diversity of U.S. immigrants is positively correlated with county income.

And I was always told my dad was a $100 bill.

#3. I'm inclined to think that is an artifact of the fact that cities attract a lot more immigrants and are also richer. More immigrants is always going to mean more genetic diversity. But it's more the city attracting the immigrants than the city getting rich because of them.

On the last link: is the author really saying that WW3 could be started by an overabundance of seamen in Djibouti?

6. It reminds me the book “the vampire economy” of Gunter Riemann, a surprisingly good communist. The book was written in 1939 and published in New York in August. It was about the distorsións of a corporativist economy, preparing for war to boot. So, because of price controls, he recounted that most farmers in Germany had a dog, and they were selling the dog for, say, 10 marks, and throw a couple of sausages as “free gift”. The dogs, of course, were freed a few miles from the farm and returned home to be “sold” again.

1. The list is awesome, but it's the penmanship that makes me feel shamefully inadequate.

1: "Varnishes perfumable by Rubbing."

I'm not sure what Boyle is asking for here ... scratch 'n sniff?

According to The Telegraph: Yes

"16. Varnishes perfumable by Rubbing – scratch and sniff"

Good find! The column is slightly off-target with this one:

"11. The practicable and certain way of finding Longitudes – GPS"

Yes, GPS accomplishes the task with great convenience for the user, but as several books and documentaries have attested, the search for a practical method of finding longitude was so vital that the British government offered the X-Prize of the day, a 20K pound prize to whoever could invent a practical technique.

The solution was a chronometer that had enough accuracy and reliability to do the job, centuries before satellites and GPS came along.

I hadn't realized that astronomers also solved the problem, by making accurate observations of the moon. At least that's what this website says:

Yes, longitude was solved not long after Boyle's death. I would be shocked if the author of that article was ignorant of that, though. GPS is probably just listed as the most advanced modern technology that solves the problem.

A link to you Tyler: Bitcoin price manipulation. It's as if we were learning about stock markets all over again.

Tyler already posted a link to this story.

#3 ungated earlier paper, Took 4 years to appear in a refereed journal ?

A similar paper from Harvard,

The Harvard paper used separate diversity index for high and low performance origin countries and the results were reported to be the same for both. Little 'superstar' immigrants effect.

No time to read them in detail. Diversity index is tricky to use, previous experience with presidential election and university research output were that they often exhibit non-linear effects. With the same diversity index the county could be White, Black or Hispanic dominant. None of the top rank US university WFC scores (> 300) from are with low university diversity index (< 0.3) from , diversity does not determine the performance but they seems to establish the upper performance envelope.

3. Sorry Tyler, not buying your immigration as panacea bromides. In Orange County, California, "low income" is $84,000 per year or less and it is only 44% non-hispanic white, yet vast stretches of it are covered in homeless encampments that one has to see to believe.
Is this really the USA that you want? Check out this bike ride through the Obamavilles:

better link to orange count homeless camps video:

Well that video sure was an eye opener. California rampant poverty problem seems to be worsening.

"immigration as panacea bromides"

Previous generations had the Magic Negro, Tyler has the Magic Immigrant whose mere presence increases all manner of social outcomes because..... magic!

Truly a gleaming comment section. without even a hint of public imperfection.

1. Robert Boyle’s scientific wish list. Item 1:
"The Attaining Gigantick Dimensions."

It appears that we have achieved that as well. Not so sure it is a good thing though.

Owner of the incredibly shrinking penis.

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