Friday assorted links

Comments

Isn't it Friday?

You passed the test! Observant you are.

mebbe Dr. Cowen went to australia

Si,
la tierra abajo bajo

Me gusta Hombres Trabajando!

si, senor
Si cruzas la fecha límite internacional llegas al sábado antes.

inda va a marte

Lindagotomars

necesitamos más huevos
repetir
necesitamos más huevos

"Inquire of the mediums and necromancers who chirp and mutter"
1806 Cumberland road

6: Brazil, naturally, has very strict gun control laws, which hasn't stopped the criminals there from getting and using them (like Mexico). Open question about whether a potential US result would be more like the high income countries (for reasons of how income affects violence) or more like our various neighbors to the South (for reasons of how, e.g. the cultural legacy of slavery affects violence and attitudes towards it, something already seen in divisions between murder rates in the parts of the country that experienced slavery and those that did not.)

My first thought was: The NRA Is Strong In Brazil.

In case you hadn't noticed, millions of our neighbors to the south have come here. Felicitations! The dreamers among them prefer machetes to AR-15's.

5. It was suicide not murder. Certain profs go nuts when informed that there are only two genders. That pretty much illustrates why satire is dead in academia: which righteously should be carpet bombed.

Yes. I find it amazing when liberals here try to compare the US to Japan or even the UK (small islands, not huge countries that border poorer countries). We should look at Brazil as a nice comparison to many of the issues we have here in the US and how certain policies worked out there. Gun control in Brazil is a disaster from beginning to end.

"We should look at Brazil as a nice comparison to many of the issues we have here in the US and how certain policies worked out there. Gun control in Brazil is a disaster from beginning to end."

Before having thighter control over guns, the country was paradise, I guess. No, it wasn't. Just read the statistics from the 90's. Rio de Janeiro is safer today it was back then (not a great feat). Why the pro-gun makers' lobby must lie if not to hide what data clearly show.

Why the richest country in history is more lie Brazil than, say, Italy or France or even Cuba or Argentina is anyone's guess, of course.

First of all, gun control is not new in Brazil. There's no 2nd amendment there, so getting a gun legally has always been difficult (I lived there in the 80s and 90s). Second, this is true for all latin american countries, not only Brazil. If you think Argentina is not violent, check your stats again. Finally, I don't think comparing countries is really that useful due to the huge amount of variables and interplay of these variables, but if you want to justify changing something like gun control you have to account for border size and what kind of countries surround you. So yes, America is *a lot* more similar to Brazil / Mexico in that regard to any European or Asian country for obvious reasons.

"First of all, gun control is not new in Brazil. There’s no 2nd amendment there, so getting a gun legally has always been difficult (I lived there in the 80s and 90s)."

No, it hasnt. And pro-gun nuts go on and on about the good times when it was easy to buy guns. It was easier to buy a gun under the 1964-1984 military regime than it is in virtually any democratic country today (and the pro-gun market lobby evidently grows nostalgic about those good, old times - "can't we have a junta again?"). But it is true: criminals and mad people were never legally entitled to guns in Brazil.

"but if you want to justify changing something like gun control you have to account for border size and what kind of countries surround you. So yes, America is *a lot* more similar to Brazil / Mexico in that regard to any European or Asian country for obvious reasons."

Will you do it with drugs too? "Hey, it is futile to fight dope and LSD. Our coasts are too big, there are those no good Mexicans and Canadians. We can not even regulate it because black market will sell for whomever they want. Let us just give a cigarette to every kid and go on with our day."

Chile has a big border, so does Argentina, so does China, so does Mongolia. None of them approach Brazil's levels of violence. But again America is like Brazil because , just because.

We think of the US as a "white" country for some reason and compare it to Europe, but its racial composition is somewhat closer to Brazil's. The huge disparities in homocide rates by race certainly matter when we're talking Brazil ~50% white, USA ~60%, and Italy/France 85%.

Also relevant for gun control: culture of neighboring countries, size of border, history as colonies, and many other things. It's a sort of implicit racism and denial of our shared history with African and native people that the USA is only ever compared to Europe.

True. Also, Brazilians tend to be a lot more diverse than people think. People rarely guess that I am Brazilian. Not to mention that the second largest Japanese population also lives there. If anything, Brazilians look more American than Mexican in the majority of south/ southeast regions.

"Not to mention that the second largest Japanese population also lives there."

A drop at the sea. Compare USP or UFRJ with Caltech and tell me who got more Japanese students.

"The huge disparities in homocide rates by race certainly matter when we’re talking Brazil ~50% white, USA ~60%, and Italy/France 85%."

Except for the obvious fact that Whites in Brazil are mostly what you would call Hispanics or at least Latinos so the comparison makes no sense anyway.

"Brazilians tend to be a lot more diverse than people think."
So South Africa (before we even talk about Zulus, etc.) is very diverse. Hey, they have Whites! They have Blacks! They have some Asians! There is some mixing! Russia is even more diverse! Mongols, Koreans, Slavs, Turkic peoples, etc. China has Han, Tibetans, Uyghurs, Myao, etc. Brazil is no particularly diverse, it is just divided 50/50 between Hispanics and Blacks.

Russia, Brazil, and the USA are much more "diverse" than France, Italy, and Norway, yet the US is far more likely to be compared to the latter than the former. Unsurprisingly, they have much higher crime. Slavery/serfdom has a left a lasting impact on all these societies, both culturally and genetically.

I have wondered about the correlation between violent crime and slavery. Here are some interesting facts:

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/african-americans-many-rivers-to-cross/history/how-many-slaves-landed-in-the-us/

http://www.slaverysite.com/Body/facts%20and%20figures.htm

I married a non-white Brazilian woman of mixed African and native Brazilian heritage. We have been married for more than 20 years and have 2 children. I speak Portuguese and have traveled all over Brazil, and I can tell you, from my personal experience and that of my extended family of in-laws, that it is hard to imagine the magnitude of the threat of violence in Brazil. Nobody is safe there. A tourist or a white person has a Target on their back. Middle class Brazilians live in gated high-rise apartment buildings with 24x7 security. Car hijackings are common - 2 of my in laws (they are educated middle class) have been carjacked. In one case my nephew was locked in the trunk while the hijackers drove around. In the other case the 4 hijackers were immediately shot to death by the Policia Militar - they are everywhere and they are armed. It is totally crazy.

More telling, the average Brazilian cannot imagine how people live in US suburbs without tall, barbed or razor wire topped walls surrounding the property.

One of the newer - last 2 decades or so - trends is the construction of "condominios" , which are gated and walled neighborhoods of suburban single family houses with small yards and 24x7 security at the gates and private guards walking around.

I was thinking about buying some rural acreage at one time but it is absolutely not safe. Even if you weren't a victim of violence you would be a constant target for theft. One property I looked at consisted of a small house with every window covered by a hinged plate of appx. 3/8 inch steel plate that, once lowered over the window, could be locked from the inside. The land had been reclaimed - replanted with native tree saplings- from the heinous cattle ranching overgrazing widely practiced there. However, every night the locals trespass and cut the trees down with machetes to be used to make charcoal used for cooking. As we sat at a bus stop in the middle of nowhere - the buses are great in Brazil - we watched the locals sneak in and out of the diminishing woodlot of a nearby property. The foot traffic in and out was amazing. I finally figured out these people were using the property as a toilet. The place is a mess.

From time to time I would see cardboard communities of these rural refugees camped along freeways or in empty city lots. They are called "invaçoes" (invasions) and the residents are called "sem terras" (landless people). Those communities are hornet nests of crime. It is all so sad.

I can't help thinking this is all part of the legacy of slavery.

Trajectories matter.

I have no doubt that slavery is one of the main reasons for Brazil's current state. However, other latin american countries that did not have the same history face unusual high levels of violence as well. Poverty by itself cannot explain these levels of violence either. It is probably a combination of factors at play.

I would not recommend anyone to spend vacations in Brazil. Americans are a prime target for crime, and the level of violence is something that a regular american simply does not understand. Trying to run from a mugging or speed away from a car jacking, for instance, can easily result in being shot in the head. People tend to make silly comparisons to Chicago or New Orleans. Trust me, there is no comparison.

Genetics, expressed in low IQ and high time-preference.

FYI - I agree with you except for the comment about other Latin American countries. Brazil was the #1 importer of slaves at 4,000,000 and the Spanish empire in Latin America #2 at 2,000,000. See my links above, especially the second.

The correlation between murder and slavery is there. As for the cause, who knows? Is it poverty? Brutality? Class resentment? ???

"More telling, the average Brazilian cannot imagine how people live in US suburbs without tall, barbed or razor wire topped walls surrounding the property.

One of the newer – last 2 decades or so – trends is the construction of “condominios” , which are gated and walled neighborhoods of suburban single family houses with small yards and 24×7 security at the gates and private guards walking around."

My in-laws from Honduras where so delighted when they visited here that they felt safe to let their children bike around the neighborhood.

Seems not to be the legacy of slavery but what it is I don't know. Some Hondurans blame it on US war on drugs and US deportation of criminals but I have my doubts.

El Salvador has a similar problem. Perhaps it is the absence of the rule of (fair and impartial) law. Perhaps we are an anomaly but are unable to appreciate that fact. We can be groupish (tribal) and selfish and prone to motivated reasoning. Perhaps the wall between civilization and anomie is the rule of law.

I dunno...

Lanigram.. consider genetics and environment influencing culture. Genes that are more prone to low iq, impulsivity, violence, and more brain damage from lead exposure for example in some countries where leaded paint and gas weren't banned like the USA did. The same genes in the USA are similarly violent. But they're outnumbered by the less violent, more intelligent, who are able to keep society from crumbling to the point that the criminals take over the culture.

They also have strict abortion laws, and yet a high number of illegal abortions. Would the same thing happen in the USA? If it would for guns, why not for abortion?

You have been penalized 1000 points for uncreative trolling

Brazil also has the odd distinction of last using the death penalty before it abolished slavery. It has not executed anyone for a long long time.

The last person actually sentenced to death was a terrorist called Teodomiro Romeiro dos Santos who murdered two policemen. He is now a retired judge. That, in a nutshell, is what is wrong with Brazil.

The Brazilian justice system has been run by well meaning liberals for a very long time. This is what you get if you put the ACLU in charge.

It's not about the guns, it's about social dysfunction: an enormous, poorly educated underclass; lack of the rule of law; corruption; an economy largely dependent on commodities; a massive, decades long migration of a poor, uneducated rural population from the rural areas to the big cities, similar to the depression era migrations in the USA ... let's not forget the drugs. There are a lot of underemployed young males hooked on drugs and alcohol, a very bad combo. This is what widespread underemployment looks like, for those enamored of the end of average.

To make things worse, there are restrictive trade policies that handicap Brazilian industries - tariffs etc. Many of the agricultural industries have mechanized making the rural population irrelevant. Unfortunately, there is gold, so they have murderous garimpeiros ravaging the rain forest and killing native peoples. There are major infrastructure problems - poorly maintained and undersized roads, lack of trains, buses stuck in city traffic, lack of sewage treatment. and a problem delivering clean water. Basically, it's a big f*cking mess.

The good news, if you get caught messing around in the restricted native areas, pretending to bird watch when you are really looking for gold or planning a cut and run illegal logging operation, the natives will give you a "bala na pena" ( a shot in the ass) and will kill you outright. Good!

I sound like a PC lefty, but the native peoples there are the last hope for the rain forest - they really do care.

The gutting of public universities by right-wing politicians, the brute transformation of colleges into exploitative institutions that run on adjunct and graduate-student labor — these changes have resulted in a landscape so desolate it hardly seems worth mocking.

LOL. Universities have been fat, rich, left-wing sinecures since the 1960's, and there's never been a time when aspiring academics did not think they would be poor unless they had rich friends or family.

People don't satirize universities because the academics who could write such satire take themselves so completely seriously.

People don’t satirize universities because the universities self-satirize. If the focused on education, it would go out of business. To satirize academics beyond what is already true would just seem mean.

The untapped ground is in horror. Think prof Bret Weinstein at Evergreen State surrounded by the mob. In the horror version, the students start killing the professors and each other. Maybe it begins with something similar to the Stanford prison experiment and then it goes horribly wrong.

It's astonishing isn't it? Those events just completely bypass the authors of articles like this. We're increasingly living in different epistemic universes.

No wonder they can convince themselves that Ben Shapiro should be no-platformed and mobbed out of town. It's people like him "gutting" universities!

re: their gutting by right wing politicians: https://www.cbpp.org/research/state-budget-and-tax/a-lost-decade-in-higher-education-funding

Of the 49 states (all except Wisconsin)[4] analyzed over the full 2008-2017 period, 44 spent less per student in the 2017 school year than in 2008.[5] The only states spending more than in 2008 were Indiana, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Wyoming.

Those brave left-wingers running Montana, Nebraska, ND, and WY! And those dastardly conservatives running California etc

5. Reports (which may be exaggerated by one) are that Trump is raiding the Fox News on-air talent for two Administration positions. I would say look for satire elsewhere. If satire is even possible.

Bonus link: the real reason "conservatives" don't like conservatives. (vox)

Obsession .... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIs5StN8J-0

I am just highly conscientious.

Your shrink needs to up The dosage.

Hunter S Thompson muttered something about the weird turning pro.

"Reluctantly I have concluded that President Trump is a serious threat to US national security. He is refusing to protect vital US interests from active Russian attacks. It is apparent that he is for some unknown reason under the sway of Mr Putin."

https://twitter.com/mccaffreyr3/status/974748724176941056

Because when i want to understand what conservatives are really thinking, I turn to Vox.

tl;dr, the reason right partisans complain about right thinkers like Tyler Cowen or David Brooks is that the thinkers are offering ideas (and sometimes even solutions), not feeding the mob.

TMC and 8 above, know how to feed the mob. Revisualize Evergreen, over and over, worse each time.

I cant speak for others, but the reason i hate David Brooks is because he is an insipid bore.

And what a surprise! Vox's conclusion as to why conservatives dont like conservatives is because they are all a bunch of dumb partisans who dont like "ideas" and "solutions".

Well, one of the reasons it did ring true for me is that I have seen the more populist commentators at MR call Tyler an elitist. Ivory tower cocktail parties etc.

And I did read the article at #5. It says that the reason liberal arts academic satire doesn't work is that liberal arts academics are much less sure of themselves, less sure of their place in the world. It is hard to satirize the unsure.

Which brings us back to the satire playing out in the office of the Leader Of The Free World. A guy so sure, he is going to stuff his Administration with the people he sees on TV complementing him. Can you satirize that, or is it already?

They say a fanatic is one who can t change his mind and won t change the subject. I should have known better than to try and communicate with you.

Well, MOFO. Since this is a blog on the political economy, I would say you have an excellent opportunity to prove the converse of my "satire" story.

"Larry Kudlow is the Economist America Needs"

Go!

"I have seen the more populist commentators at MR call Tyler an elitist. Ivory tower cocktail parties etc."

Obviously this is true. Whether it is relevant is not always clear.

...and you link to a site that's focus is to feed the mob.

I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer so it took me several Vox articles to realize that Vox is a step down from the current New Republic (which itself is 8 steps down from what the New Republic used to be).

I know the outrage mill needs to grind its grist and all, but is it too much to ask that we wait until it actually happens before we start getting irate? I don't like Fox News or Trump, either; I just don't get the point of getting outraged about rumors.

To be clear about my 1-2:

"The Trump administration promoted the U.S. Department of State's spokeswoman, Heather Nauert, to the fourth-highest ranking position within the division."

"Trump eyes 'Fox Friends' personality Pete Hegseth to take over Veterans Affairs"

No one cares but you.

What would it take for you to care? Trump fires Mueller?

Every skirmish determines whether he can or will.

To me, the better question is that since your opinion doesn't matter one way or another, why make any emotional investment in the situation?

I understand that I am only an atom in the firmament of internet opinion, but I am free to bounce. The measured temperature will be a sum of all our motion.

"Trump fires Mueller?"

The President is entitled to fire any subordinate.

Bob, Bob, Bobby. If the President cannot be investigated, there can be no rule of law.

Maybe that should be the bigger warning to Jeff. There are Bobs out there.

"The measured temperature will be a sum of all our motion."

Well then you need to be bouncing harder to make up for the rest of us. Otherwise, .... something bad will happen?

@Bob: worked out great for Nixon. Let's see if Trump tries the same play.

Remember JWatts, Edmund Burke mumbled a thing about good men and doing nothing.

Ah yes, Edmund Burke:

"Burke was a proponent of underpinning virtues with manners in society and of the importance of religion in moral life."

I'm glad you agree that religion is important in moral life. He was also a critic of high taxes. Indeed we don't want to forget the important lessons of Burke.

The Niskanen Center says:

"Trump lawyer’s call for end to Mueller probe is unacceptable. It is morally imperative that the Republican Party and the conservative movement stand as bulwarks of the rule of law, not enablers of its erosion and violation. Now is the time for choosing."

But as long as your taxes are cut, forget all that?

https://t.co/O52d3FKRFq

Vox and FOX cancel each other out. Ignore both!

I think it is possible to skim both for facts or logic, and I use Fox references from time to time.

Precisely. +1.

6. Wow. The most amazing thing about that link are the crap posts promoted as answers. Structural problems in social media.

(I assume that Brazil has a 'violent frontier' problem. Compare the murder rate to the Old West.)

I suspect those high murder rates are coming from the urban centers, not the Amazon frontier.

There are maps!

http://www.geocurrents.info/place/latin-america/brazils-changing-geography-of-murder

At a glance it doesn't look like just one or the other.

The worst hotspots are small coastal states, presumably ones with big cities. But you are right there is little broader pattern. Remember though, that any statistic aggregated over the whole country will be driven mostly be the high-population areas, not the Amazon.

The Amazon is also dangerous - look at the map. When my wife and I visited the enormous and delightful "fish market" - it is really an everything that floats down the Amazon river market - we were warned by 3 people in the Policia Militar that we shouldn't be wandering around without protection, so all 3 of them - one guy and two young women, all 3 packing heat - escorted us all around the market, just following a few feet behind us. That said, that market in Belem in the state of Para in the mouth of the Amazon is well worth it. There is nothing like it in the world. The mouth of the Amazon is awe inspiring! I could barely see the other side of the river, only to discover that it wasn't "the river" but just one channel in the river. Now THAT is big!

The murders come from everywhere, but I do not know the exact distribution. You really aren't safe anywhere, though the degrees of danger probably varies.

I read your account above. It was quite sobering.

Disappointing links.

1. Incomprehensible
2. Not his best work, but mildly interesting.
3. Tweet
4. Podcast
5. Didn't get past the first paragraph
6. Tweet

I sure a refund is being posted in the mail as we speak.

If you still have you recipe.

2. The food in this place is terrible, and the portions so small. I've commented before that one can make the case that Singapore combines the best attributes of a market economy with the best attributes of a non-market economy, while the U.S. combines the worst attributes of a market economy with the worst attributes of a non-market economy. Sumner prefers to pretend that up is down. One of the many secrets to Singapore's success is that Singapore knows where its bread is buttered; thus, Singapore's sovereign funds, which can be funded in large part because China's billionaires shift part of their wealth to Singapore, invest heavily in . . . . China. Just to point out the contrast, many of America's most successful companies invest heavily in . . . . China. I'm not trying to be critical of Sumner (the fellow can believe whatever he chooses to believe). After all, isn't this blog committed to the proposition that people will believe anything?

Yes, more or less what I was going to say, Singapore, with a mere 5.6 M population, ten times less than Italy, is like Ireland, a tax haven for rich Southeast Asians, and SOEs not being bailed out is not the reason (I'm reading Joe Studwell's book "Asian Godfathers" now, showing how 50 families control much of the wealth in SE Asia).

I can't say this on econlog.econlib.org since I've been banned there, for innocent comments, less provocative than I make here, by a librarian from several years ago, but my email is still in her database.

the U.S. combines the worst attributes of a market economy with the worst attributes of a non-market economy.

Yes, starvation certainly is rampant

5. Straight Man was hilarious. My own impression of the current state of academia is simply to extrapolate from that story.

Now we are treated to a long article bemoaning the death of academic satire, one which yearns for a future right-wing takeover of universities that will allow us to make douchy white guys the butt end of the joke once more. Impressive bubble fantasy there.

2. Excellent riposte from Sumner.

A bit disappointed with tyler linking to the original piece a free weeks back

Being the target of satire is sort of a compliment. There's just not much humor or complexity to mine for satire with, say, a Margaret Atwood or Ta-Nehisi Coates.

That was in response to ... somebody.

3. Suffering from a case of rightness. With current computing capacity and the ease of communication, we should be able to connect the dots. Mistakes are the driving force to success.

5. Suffering from a case of niceness. Dissent has become too improper. The best satire critiques the in group. It forces us to reckon with uncomfortable truths.

As an aside, the best Onion headline besides the last mass shooting unavoidable bit, https://www.theonion.com/cnn-panelists-warn-north-korea-situation-way-too-comple-1823705350.

The gutting of public universities by right-wing politicians, the brute transformation of colleges into exploitative institutions that run on adjunct and graduate-student labor — these changes have resulted in a landscape so desolate it hardly seems worth mocking.

Lessee, Straight Man was published in 1997. In 1995, Fall enrollment at public 4-year institutions consisted of 4.08 million full time students and 1.73 million part-time students. The 'gutted' state institutions of 2015 enrolled 6.08 million full time students and 2.27 part time students. The number of (full-time-equivalent) faculty at public institutions in general in 1995 was 476,000. The number in 2015 was 673,000. By the way, the net change in the size of annual birth cohorts in this country between 1952 and 1997 was ... nil.

State legislators might consider giving this self-indulgent chump something real to cry about.

Interesting stats. Do you know the same one for private universities?

It's all in the Digest of Education Statistics, conveniently online.

Gutting? That word has been covered:

http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2018/02/where-the-money-is-going.html

6....."it tolls for thee", Thiago.

They already linked that map. Why are they linking it again? Again and again, I ask myself why are we hated so much? The sad part is, it gets clear that Americans hate us because we supported America against monsters such as the Kaiser, Hitler and Bosch. If we had murdered young Americans in their prime like the Germans, the Chinese, the Susia, the Japanese, the English, the Israelis, we would be treated like kings by the NYT, the Kocks and Wall Street. We are tired of being kicked around every time Americans want to signal virtue. Taking a page from Portugal's anthem, I can say, "Brazil has not perished yet". We will not go quietly in the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive!’

"Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate,

I am the captain of my soul."

In other news: 16 Mar 2018
Tens of thousands of people in Rio de Janeiro and other cities across Brazil have taken to the streets to mourn a murdered politician who had campaigned against police brutality.
Marielle Franco, a 38-year-old Rio city councillor, was viewed by many as a champion of women's rights.
Ms Franco and her driver were both shot dead while in her car on Wednesday.

Well Brazil per capita is less murderous than say Honduras or South Africa, a small consolation. But, strangely, if you combine murders plus suicides, Iceland I think is #1 in the world.

Suicides are more frequent in America than homicides. Americans feel desperate, they seek leadership and find nothing. They are thirst and drink sea water.

Suicides are more frequent than homicides in the Nordic countries (and Japan) too. And yet they are the happiest nations on earth. It's almost like Thiago is a clown.

Evidently, people kill themselves when they can't stand being so happy anymore. It must be that.

Approximately 33,000 deaths by firearms in the US per year - 22,000 are suicide and about 11,000 homicides. In comparison, there are around 35,000 killed/year in traffic accidents, 40,000 deaths/yr due to second hand smoke, 88,000 d/yr from alcohol, 300,000 d/yr from obesity, and, the big pappy of them all, 480,000 d/yr from smoking.

We should ban the car, the cigarette, and the jelly doughnut!

40,000 deaths/yr due to second hand smoke,

Someone's pulling your leg. There are about 150,000 deaths from lung cancer each year, north of 85% are attributable to cigarettes and most of the rest to radon exposure, asbestos exposure &c.

I'd kill myself too if I had to live in the cold dark and eat smelly fish all the time. Otoh, it's a great location to film a depressing movie or to shoot "Fortitude".

#5 Tyler the elegant troll, he's awesome.

"stunningly adept at theorizing about sex, markedly less so at having it."

6. Homicide rates : Some numbers to compare

South Africa : 34.27

Brazil : 28.68

Mexico : 16.35

Phillippines : 9.84

Pakistan : 7.81

United States : 4.89

India : 3.21

Japan : 0.31

While liberals worldwide give India a lot of bad press whenever there is a horrific rape, they seldom acknowledge the extremely low crime rates in India (DESPITE the very high degree of heterogeneity and very very weak law enforcement).

The credit to this must go to the caste system and the peer-oversight mechanisms built into Indian life.

Is that a list of the most murder-prone countries on Earth, plus Japan? Why did you pick those? The only reasonable comparison is with Pakistan

"Credit to this must go to the caste system and the peer-oversight mechanisms built into Indian life"

Slavery is great if you are the one with the whip. Why not a communist system? It could couple Indian totalitarism (India is among the most closed regimes in the world, why should anyone trust its statistics any more than, say, Cuba's or North Korea's) and growth. China even has bathrooms, which India lacks. Will state terror against religious minorities and lower castes ever stop?

And evidently the fact that again and again known rapists and murderers in India are protected by their friends in high places is a Western conspiration...

It's so crowded in India there isn't even enough room to pull out a handgun. The only way to commit murder is to push someone from behind and stampede. It's less crowded out in the countryside, but no one can look up to fire a weapon because you have to watch your feet - you might step on a human turd or a poisonous snake!

#2 ... How much of the land created around Singapore will survive global warming? I have been to Sentosa Island, nice hotels, casino, and Universal Studios. Will not survive global warming.

So they can build it up all the way from the sea floor but they can't build it up another few feet?

You are onto something Anon, they can turn the lower floors into parking for boats - build up and out of the water, rise from the sea.

No need to worry, at 3mm/yr nothing much is going to happen soon, there's plenty of time to adjust.

"No longer possible to satirize academia" OR "no longer possible for academics to satirize academia"?

--which of course opens up instantly the matter of the academic captivity of American letters, courtesy of networking-heavy MFA programs and collusion with publishing industry reps to vet submissions according to quaint academic standards more relevant to radical lit crit criteria than to humble literary accomplishment. (Lit crit almost merits its own satiric treatment--"almost", because the satire likely would be indistinguishable from actual lit crit froth.)

If not academia and post-secondary institutional excess, perhaps our cognitive elites can be ably satirized (perhaps better satirized) from a perspective entirely outside of American academia:

http://fictionaut.com/stories/strannikov/those-brain-motility-blues

5. " The gutting of public universities by right-wing politicians, the brute transformation of colleges into exploitative institutions that run on adjunct and graduate-student labor — these changes have resulted in a landscape so desolate it hardly seems worth mocking."

I've never heard this. Can someone explain?

Re: #5 - Methinks Mr. Kay doth protesteth way, way too much.

The article on academic satire didn't mention Malcom Bradbury. Surely the genre reached the peak with History Man, closely followed by David Lodge's Campus Trilogy. Both writers captured the absurdity and emptiness of state funded liberal arts teaching. It is the most useless thing in the world to be teaching such things in such a way.

5

What is the straussean reading of this?

When people speak (usually vaguely) about the rise of high theory, often what they’re referring to is a set of approaches to literary interpretation — Marxist, say, or Foucaultian — that share a basic premise: Works of literature should be viewed with suspicion. Neither reservoirs of enduring meaning nor monuments of beauty to be savored, they are sites of cunning concealment, of buried, sordid assumptions about politics and culture that it’s up to the critic to unearth.

I wouldn't know how to provide a Straussian reading, but I learned about the "hermeneutics of suspicion" either in college or grad school in the early 1980s. One was perpetually to ask the question, "Whose power is increased by this text?" And it was always, of course, some white guy, or a class of people like "white capitalists". Hence the hermeneutic was never applied to texts written by a person of color, or a leftist of any gender or color, but it might be applied to a white female conservative. My thought was: "Who benefits from the hermeneutic of suspicion?" Why, that would be the academician using it, who exercises absolute control over the interpretation of texts.

That's why we have NERC reliability standards in North America. In fact, the standard BAL-004 addresses Time Error Correction.

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