Thursday assorted links


#2. Is it just my biases or is the lady being intentionally obtuse?

She is. I lost count of the number of times she misrepresented what he said to try to gain the upper hand in the argument.

It's aggravating and stupid.

Nice that J.P. keeps a really cool head through it.

Peterson handled that interview like a boss.

The interviewer was openly hostile and he deftly deflected each and every attack, and rebutted each and every ‘argument’.

Complete loss by the media. Excellent, just excellent.

If that's the best that she can do, then she deserves a much bigger pay gap than 9%.

Peterson was just too agreeable for my liking in this interview :)

Typo in #3. Should be "Arvind" not "Arving".

5. I've never been on Facebook, so take this comment with a grain of salt. My younger friends, who are Facebook's bread and butter, claim they don't use Facebook anymore. How can that be, since Facebook's (advertising) revenues continue to climb. Maybe the advertisers haven't been told that Facebook is, well, like, you know, email, something younger folks don't use because they use social media to stay in touch with friends, but not the Facebook version of social media. Maybe Facebook has been able to stay ahead of trends and buy social media competitors that are more to the liking of their (formerly) young devotees. That seems like a strategy destined for failure, for how many upstarts can Facebook buy to stay ahead of trends. This reminds me of my Friday evening bar romps, from long time ago. Some readers may remember: this month's popular Friday night bar becomes next month's forgotten memory, replaced by another popular Friday night bar, that will be replaced, and so on. What was the bar owner on the way out going to do, buy up all of the other bars? I never understood why the once most popular bar would become a forgotten memory since bars are, well, bars. Like social media, which is just another bar. Bottoms up!

#7: Are those really marginal costs? Is what you paid for a piece of chicken that you use to make a sandwich its cost, if it was already sitting in your refrigerator? If only there were an economist around whom we could ask.

No, those aren't marginal costs.

"Is what you paid for a piece of chicken that you use to make a sandwich its cost, if it was already sitting in your refrigerator? "

Yes, actually that would be the marginal cost. But Marginal cost wouldn't include property taxes, manager salaries, insurance and other fixed costs.

You are right, of course, that those fixed costs are not marginal costs. But the cost of using something you already have in your inventory is not what you paid for it, either.

You need to replace it once used, correct? That should be the cost charged.

Yes, your doubts are completely legitimate; it's a mystery to me how Mr.Cowden (apparently) bought the restaurateur's self-serving razzle-dazzle. Excuse me for not providing much detail. but the secret to success in the restaurant business is 1) pleasing your customers even if there are just two of them at a time, and 2) skimming exactly 10 to 12 per cent every day. You need to keep it uniform so that without keeping any written record, you can easily determine your actual profit and loss numbers, keeping it always in your head only. I suppose this would be anathema to any graphophile economist. As far as the ethical problem, grow up for god's sake. Failed restaurants provide no tax revenue at all, so why have make your staff unemployed? Within that framework there are a large variety of wide-ranging menu options that can be profitable, whether you are a humble diner or a Michelin four star place. For sure, if your highest food cost item is also your best seller, you don't quite have the hang of it.

#1 - Having loosely followed Professor Terry Tao's blog over the last few years, I get the sense that he and possibly some other top mathematicians have a suspicion that actually you can get finite-time blowup in the Navier-Stokes fluid equations and that solutions *don't* always exist for all time for all initial conditions.

Of course it's still unsolved, and even assuming that this suspicion is true, I think people are only on the barest of foothills of the actual task of proving it. Every now and then you get a tiny bit of progress. Here's one of Tao's posts on the topic:

My intuition on Navier-Stokes is the same as Tao's. A truly physical Navier-Stokes probably needs correction terms for the finite size of atoms, and for the effects of special relativity, to work in all circumstances. But, the circumstances that implicate the need for those terms are so extreme that the simplified classical equation, that ignores relativistic and quantum corrections, probably just works in almost all circumstances without corrections of those kinds.

And is it possible that beyond that, a model that truly describes what we observe needs to use quantum mechanics?

That the Navier Stokes equations are probably not exactly right should not surprise anyone: They were so far ahead of their time that they were intractable with the lack of technology of the time. They were "rediscovered" many years later, when we could attempt to solve them for some cases through practical numerical methods.

For Navier Stokes to be perfect would be just like Newton's work being perfect: Given what the tools were at the time, we got equations that are useful in far more cases than we deserve.

6. That the larger gender wage gap for exporters is attributable to less time flexibility among female workers is certainly a plausible explanation, but couldn't there be another type of flexibility at work here, namely the flexibility to work with different people, i.e. foreigners. Actually, I don't know the commonly held belief about females and foreigners, but I could make a case that females are less trusting of foreigners because foreigners are less familiar and therefore more threatening. Or stated another way, men like adventure, women not so much. Of course, there are very adventurous women and not very adventurous men, it comes down to matching personality traits with the job.

Foreigners may have a greater preference for dealing with men.

The article incorrectly states that only one physics equation is eligible for the prize (Navier-Stokes). This is incorrect. A second one of the problems is also a physics equations (Yang-Mills and the mass gap) and indeed that one was the one I expected the story to be about from the headline.

Both of the physics questions pose similar issues: does an equation have a finite boundary or not, below which (in the case of Yang-Mills) or above which (in the case of Navier-Stokes), the potential value of the equation cannot go. Both also purport to describe physical systems that seem to exhibit the properties the Prize asks mathematicians to prove mathematically from first principles. Proof that the respective propositions are true would confirm experiment and makes the math used in physics more rigorous. Proof that one of the respective propositions are false would be even better - it would establish that there are new physical phenomena out there which have never been observed before and would tell us how to find them. This would be analogous to progress that has been made discovering high temperature superconductors, Bose-Einstein condensates and quark-gluon plasmas, all of which are states of matter that we didn't have any reason to think could exist, until the math told us that they did and told us who to create those states.

"4. The passport culture that is Swiss (Dutch)."

"Swiss town denies passport to Dutch vegan because she is ‘too annoying’"


It was posted here when new last year

1. What makes the hardest equations in physics so difficult?

The equations assume incompressible fluid our to infinite velocity, but one gets cavitation which violates the assumption.

Didn't you post #4 several months ago?

He's simulating the annoyingness of the Dutch vegan.

#1. On an abstract level, for the same reason central planning doesn't work - the knowledge problem. You don't (maybe even can't) know what's going on at a micro level well enough to be able to predict what will happen on a macro level. This is generally true of all complex systems.

#2) I knew it was the lobsters the created the pay equity gap. That's what JP is saying, right?

Interestingly, this ancient problem in the lobster community has been largely resolved. That fact that it continues to plague human society is disheartening.

Activist lobsters comparable to Chairman Mao are clearly what we need to solve this heretofore intractable issue.

2. Tyler, have you considered inviting Peterson for a conversation with you?

3. What does Tyler think of the exchange rate manipulation prescribed by Arvind? I thought that's an odd thing for Arvind to suggest.

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