Tuesday assorted links

Comments

"Don't you see? We have to kill them, or else they'll die!"

Cuckold dooodle dooo!! A Cuck-old doodle dooo!

No -- sane people everywhere need to continue to dispute the obvious lie that mankind is the driving force behind the weather.

End of story.

Cuckold doodle doooooo

No - sane people everywhere are probably pretty ok with the idea that human industry is a significant factor in the current rate of change of the climate. Most of us just differ on what to do.

End of epilogue?

Significant ? Maybe. Sane people could argue anywhere between 10-60% IMHO.

6) Interesting article in many respects.

It could be added that the reality where police in a non-negligible share of cases - including in non-dictator countries - actively provoke 'violence-worthy response' is completely ignored. (In such cases, protestors who are not aware of this possibility can be easily manipulated, but the presence of individuals aware of such possibilities can also influence the environment away from police demeanours and/or physical positioning which tend to provoke 'violence-worthy response'.)

Interesting but odd. In the end they count EVERY instance of harassment as an attempted rape, and then say that most of the harassment did not end in rape, but this is assuming a bit much. I also do not think it is accepted that if a man were to say, verbally "harass" a woman, and she then had sex with him, that this would be a "successful rape".

What will be the significance of #4?

Nothing. Dierdre has been complaining about "stargazing" for years, and we can't get away from it. I'd also like to add it's pervasiveness in natural sciences and finance.

3. Wrong metaphor?

What a difference might be posed here resulting from citing Greek political theory (however astute) to the exclusion of citing Roman political history. Why would anyone today see "theory" as holding greater explanatory power than "history", especially when American politics is being considered?

Are "elite" or "elitist" citations of political theory necessarily informed? are they better informed than informed citations of political history? (Has America in its history conformed more to the lineaments suggested by Greek political theory or to those suggested by Roman political history?)

Has the modern disdain for (or outright repudiation of) history run its course yet? (Does the broad modern repudiation of history [and American neglect of history specifically] itself conform more closely to Greek political theory or to Roman political [and ostensibly, republican] history?)

Valid questions; Turchin and his "cliodynamics" remind me of Asimov's Hari Seldon and "psychohistory". But theory that ignores history may be fatally limited.

OTOH, it's not as if the historians can give us correct answers about what's going to happen and what we should do about it. I'm not familiar with Turchin's work aside from that article and glancing at his website, it seems like an impossibly ambitious research goal. But I thought his response to Tyler's essay was pretty good. Maybe it would be better if it incorporated Roman political history, but he did mention Caesar. Presumably you have in mind some Roman antecedents of fascism or tyranny -- or some other metaphor? Roman emperors overthrowing the Republic? But again Turchin did mention Caesar.

Grazie. Turchin seems capable of invoking as much Roman political history as he cares to, I'm sure.

Perhaps no more extensively than he alludes to Caesar, I have meditated a bit lately on the Roman Republic's career: under the terms of its instantiation, the Republic initially fared intact for just over two centuries, and the decline of the Republic then continued for two-and-a-half centuries, until Caesar seized the day.

With that quasi-historical/quasi-metaphorical citation: the American Republic 242 years into its career faces severe Constitutional overhaul that, lo and behold, no one seems actively contemplating these days if they have even tentative plans to attempt to avert the deep civil unrest that Turchin alluded to. (Trump is NO dynastic figure as much as he may want to be, but I'm sure he's provoking all kinds of bright ideas in his fellows and colleagues, whether Senators or generals.)

Meanwhile, each of our leading political parties is in dire need of reconstitution (I've wondered that Republicans could become Constitutionalists, Democrats could declare themselves Populists or Progressives): but do these two think and believe they can wait to reconstitute until AFTER a Constitutional overhaul is convened (by someone)? I begin to suspect that several someones' hands will somehow be forced. Dire days for the republic, until.

1. As environmental conditions worsen, I can imagine a world in which Facebook vigilantism would be considered an affectionate kiss by comparison. As the hurricane force winds knocked trees on hundreds of houses and tidal surge flooded hundreds of homes during our last hurricane, I witnessed neighbor turning on neighbor for real or imagined actions that may or may not have increased the risk of falling trees or flooding. Desperate people can act crazy. I've yet to figure out the scope of Cowen's concerns about "complacency". It strikes me that people have been complacent about the risks of global warming and rising seas for a very long time; indeed, it strikes me that people have been complacent about building homes in hurricane prone and flood prone areas for a very long time. Cowen seems more concerned about avoidance of risk not taking risks (i.e., he would encourage risk-taking). I recently listened to Cowen's TED talk given in 2009 on "stories". In it he advises to avoid "stories" and to accept the "mess" that a less-ordered life entails. Maybe Cowen has exceptionally nice neighbors.

Did people forget what hurricanes were like because of our recent quiet spell? Did last year's return to normalcy seem especially bad?

Hurricanes have been less frequent in the last few years:

https://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2017/09/daily-chart-5

Let us get Acemoglu eat al. straight. Current production is premised on the combustion of hydrocarbons the primary cost of which is something called “carbon” — in addition to other apparently real externalities that follow from the fact that carbon is “not clean technology”. The point of this paper — even admitting that all the premises are not only correct but precisely defined and precisely translated into the math I did not read — is that technologies which attenuate damage from the primary cost of emitting hydrocarbons are actually bad because they will not lead to the taxation of carbon the relative benefit of which, in this case, is the coincidental reduction of “dirty tech”.

Why don’t these “benevolent social planners” just tax “dirty technologies” in that case. Something about “time inconsistencies” that result from genius benevolent social planners and firms that won’t invest in yada-yada because they know that the geniuses can’t commit to some sort of “higher than optimal tax”. Elected of course by people who apparently need to be nudged and tricked into saving an extra several billion dollars (assuming of course this is a good thing like all the serious people say it is). Or am I getting my Nobel prize winners mixed up?

Removing the buzzwords, isn't the basic intuition here that if you mitigate the worst effects of C02 emissions, you'll undermine support for C02 taxes? That seems basically correct. I dunno if that makes it a good argument against geoengineering; that seems shakier.

It’s worse than shaky, which would it’s a “good” theory simply in need of better arguments. No, it’s a downright weird claim.

2. Big hit for the signaling model as applied to K-12? WWCS?

"The environmental movement has long been captured by people who want to see higher taxes, bigger government, and more onerous regulation all become reality for ideological reasons,"

Then why are there attempts to create pricing mechanisms and markets to regulate emissions instead of blanket command-and-control regulation? Even tax schemes are an alternative to regulation because they don't ban emissions but instead try and make emitters take on the real cost of their emissions. The climate change denying right won't even allow for the most market based forms of "regulation", like carbon pricing schemes based on markets for pollution "permits". Those who see climate change as major collective problem are willing to use any scheme available to reduce emissions and prevent more damage. Because that's their focus. Not an ideological attachment to regulation, bigger government, or taxes all for its own sake.

The only way you can say "The environmental movement has long been captured by people who want to see higher taxes, bigger government, and more onerous regulation all become reality for ideological reasons" is if you consider any social scheme to reduce emissions as per se "bigger government" and/or "more onerous regulations". But tradeable pollution permits are just a form of property right and therefore seeing that as "regulation" or "bigger government" is admitting all property rights are a form of regulation and bigger government. Why are these types of property rights some form of leftist plot while the tradeable property right to your home is a natural right which isn't a form of regulation and exists outside of government?

The truth is the side which bases their position entirely on ideological reasons are the climate change deniers. They are against any form of collective interference in what they see as their personal choices and seem to believe there is a natural right to use their property however they choose regardless of the impact on other people (or at best, allowing for the use of common law concepts from tort law to give a private right of action as the way to make emitters compensate those harmed by the emissions). But really, that's true for almost every political issue. The right bases their views on almost every issue through their deontological position on the nature of private property rights. The consequences are secondary to the primary goal of following the "golden rule" of property rights. See: The classic Volokh Conspiracy debate on the asteroid coming to destroy earth and whether that gives license for the collective to abrogate individuals' property rights to save us all from certain death.

Big comment. Small cock.

Put an end to all airplane travel. End it all and it would end 30% or so of the global warming emissions. But no! They don't want to stop it at all they simply want to tax it or enact regulations that will benefit one group at the expense of another group. If they were actually serious and concerned they would stop it.

1. How would 'they' 'stop it'? Who has the power to stop airplane travel?
2. Just because something has negative externalities doesn't mean you have to ban that thing, especially if there are valuable benefits to that thing.
3. That said, I am far from a climate alarmist. We should strive to reduce negative environmental externalities, but we don't have to lose our minds over it. Market-oriented solutions like carbon taxes (offset by tax reduction elsewhere if you like) seem useful. So is subsidizing lower-polluting energy sources like solar.
4. Grow up.

Global emissions continue to grow. Global temperatures continue to rise. But "grow up" and "get over it" because someone has an "answer" in the wings, lonely and ignored.

+1 I'm less of a believer than you, but that's the right approach. Reduces actual pollution as well, which I see as the main benefit. I don't agree with 'grow up' though. If one really believes this is an extinction level problem, then a ban is the answer.

The solution would be to determine the optimal level of CO2 in the atmosphere and cap hydrocarbon-burning activities in order to maintain that level. We did the same sort of thing with particulates and toxins in water and air and it's worked out beautifully. Carbon taxes are just a way to enrich rent-seekers.

Those who see climate change as major collective problem are willing to use any scheme available to reduce emissions and prevent more damage. Because that’s their focus. Not an ideological attachment to regulation, bigger government, or taxes all for its own sake.

It'd be nice if that were true, but let's not making sweeping generalizations we can't support, like the OP did. Naomi Klein, as an example, wrote a book a few years ago that I of course didn't read, but the basic argument seemed to be "Climate Change is real, therefore socialism." Needless to say, there was a bit of motivated reasoning involved.

Or go take a look at Bill McKibben's 350.org website. Is there anything about carbon taxes there? Not that I can see.

1. Acemoglu and Rafey on the economics of geoengineering."

"Geoengineering advances, which reduce the negative environmental effects of the existing stock of carbon, decrease future carbon taxes and thus discourage private investments in conventional clean technology"

That's similar to arguing against building prisons because it would lead to less crime which might lead to a curtailing of policing budgets.

Actually I think it’s more like arguing against preemptive policing budgets because these would inhibit the likelihood of people prone to violent crime committing violent crime thereby depriving society’s opportunity to have them thrown in jail outright. While it is true that violent crimes are the most salient downside of people prone to committing violent crimes, these people are also likely to be a menace in a number of other manners, and so attenuating the effect of this most negative feature is not worth the cost of having to deal with these people in less dire circumstances.

And with models and math and stuff.

Actually this is a little too charitable because the case for violent criminals being bad people seems way more credible to me than vaguely discernible trends based on politicized science — the saving grace of which is that the central mechanism was discovered by eminent French scientists (real scientists) in the 19th century with last names like Fourier

That would presuppose that facilitating networking between convicts, while simultaneously restricting access to non-crime sources of income, is likely to reduce crime.

Surely there is a non-zero level of incarceration. But to extend upon this to claim that building more prisons and incarcerating more people will always result in some improvement, simply is not supported by some diversity of research on recidivism.

I disagree. The majority of research on crime is not worth the paper it is printed on but we have done a massive experiment on this. Letting people out causes more crime. Locking more people up causes less crime.

There is no limit to the number of prisons we could build that would not reduce crime.

But I agree about the networking thing. Which is why hanging is a better idea.

"But I agree about the networking thing. Which is why hanging is a better idea."

Fair point.

That's how I understood the paper. I was hoping that someone who had a favorable view of it could explain in a more supportive way where its value lies, but everyone here seems to find it absurd. Tyler perhaps ?

Just done one read through, so may not have all settled yet, but the key point is Remark 1 on Carbon Leakage, that this is an extension of the literature on carbon leakage to incorporate the Undiscovered Country of the future.

To build on the above posters analogy to building prisons. "That’s similar to arguing against building prisons because it would lead to less crime which might lead to a curtailing of policing budgets."

What the paper is saying is that:

in a situation where a judge proposes the optimal sentencing to minimise recidivism, the work of others to make prisons more rehabilitative (less reoffending) will lead to the judge in the present setting his sentences at a level that discourages less crime in the present.

The analogy shows a key issue in the assumptions made in the paper, that policy makers are setting the perfect tax and the perfect amount of geoengineering (They also model policy makers setting too lenient taxes and find it exacerbates the issue).

#5 David Beckworth interviews Noah

I would like his thoughts on the Flood and Ark building techniques.

"The right contributes to this when it chooses to dispute climate change instead of trying to propose more conservative responses to climate change."

For example, overhauling Mankind's entire living space.

Coooooockkk

#6: "Attempted rapes often fail, and many kinds of sexual advances do not get very far."

The author makes the implicit assumption that all aggressors are after intercourse, therefore no penetration = failure. What if the aggressor just wanted and succeeded in dirty talk and groping? It's a failure in Mr. Collins framing. From this assumption he produces some "stats".

This framing is very very wrong. It's similar to assuming all thefts end in the victim being murdered. Then, if someone only robs my car at gunpoint and I get a non-fatal shot it's good because I was not murdered. Then babble about "micro-interactional conditions by which ____ aggression can be deterred-- locally, on the spot, by participants themselves".

Google “Oakland cafe refuse to serve cops”.

AKA: We can do policing ourselves, without microaggression etc etc!

For #1
We could always change our approach.
See The Seedling Stars by James Blish.

Re #2, I wonder what Bryan Caplan has to say about that?! Do strikes prevent the kids from signaling or whatever?

2) Unclear how applicable to the US it is, but good research. Paper looks at primary school teacher strikes in Argentina, average length of about 3 months. They find the aggregate shortfall in earnings is equivalent to a 19% increase in average teacher pay, suggesting that paying teachers higher salaries to not avoid strikes is likely worth it.

Should say " to avoid strikes".

I'm pretty sure teacher union advocates would admit that the students directly hit by the strike are harmed, but that this is made up for by improving teacher working conditions (which they would insist improve student outcomes) overall.

Even though I think they are wrong, the refusal to do a job is pretty basic right. (So, of course, should be firing the people who aren't working.)

I agree teachers would admit this; it is what gives them their leverage to ensure adequate working conditions and pay. Though they may think of it more as an inconvenience with minor effects than something linked to real effects like earnings. And when it only lasts a few days, or if the days of instruction are made up, that's to be basically true.

Firing striking workers seems appealing, but if it occurs on a large scale without the ability to quickly replace them, that is ultimately worse for the students and elected officials may pay for it at the ballot box.

Here in Tennessee teachers are under paid and often must buy supplies for their classes out of their own pockets. We are the richest country in the world and can not even fund a decent education for our children.

Teachers do often do pay for supplies out of their own pocket. But it's silly to say they're underpaid. The actual salaries are public information. Indeed, my wife made nearly the exact same comment this weekend. So I pulled up the salary information and showed it to her. (She was under the impression after talking with various teachers that they were making less than $30K per year.)

Kindergarten Teachers Except Special Education = $46,960

Elementary School Teachers Except Special Education = $47,770

Secondary School Teachers Except Special and Career/Technical Education = $49,250

http://www.teachingdegree.org/tennessee/salary/

Keep in mind, this is base salary, and doesn't include any addition paid responsibilities or the class room expense money they receive.

How good (or not so good) are the pensions?

Roughly, 50% final salary at 30 years.

That seems like very little pay, given that teachers are tasked with ensuring the continuance of culture and civilization.

They only work 9 months a year.

If you want to say "civilization depends upon teachers" than it needs to become really easy to fire teachers.

I can't say whether they are over- or under-paid in Tenn. If you can attract and keep the quality of teacher you want, they aren't underpaid. In my state, we cannot attract and keep the quality they need, so they're underpaid, but I don't know Tennessee's situation.

And yet, no one else pays them more, except for the Swiss (depending on current exchange rates)

lol

Road builders and foodstuff farmers are also tasked with ensuring the continuance of civilization, but supply and demand matter.

I wonder how much farmers get paid, given that they're tasked with ensuring the human race has enough to eat.

If you look here: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/3/9/17100404/teacher-salary-underpaid-database

You will discover that after adjusting for inflation teachers salaries have declined in Tennessee since 2003. And while it may be true that in some jurisdictions teachers may receive expense money, they do not receive it here in east Tennessee.

We are the richest nation in the world and can not even fund a decent education for our children.

Medicaid and higher education are probably sucking up the available public funds.

"And while it may be true that in some jurisdictions teachers may receive expense money, they do not receive it here in east Tennessee."

You keep saying things that are obviously wrong.

"New Tennessee law doubles supply money for teachers"

"Currently, $200 is set aside for every public teacher in K-12 for instructional supplies. The $200 is divided with $100 given to each teacher for instructional supplies as determined necessary by the teacher and $100 being pooled with all such teachers in a school and spent as determined by a committee of the teachers for such purpose.

The new law removes the requirement to divide the $200, and will allow teachers to receive the full stipend.

In addition, Senate Bill 0859 provides for, beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, a $500 stipend included in the Basic Education Program for every first year K-12 teacher. The entire $500 will be given to each first year teacher by October 31 so the teacher may spend it at any time during the school year on instructional supplies as determined necessary by the teacher."

http://www.columbiadailyherald.com/news/20170627/new-tennessee-law-doubles-supply-money-for-teachers

We are the richest country in the world and can not even fund a decent education for our children.

1. Please stop spamming this until you learn to distinguish between Tennessee and the Federal government.

2. Like with health care, the US spends way more compared to other countries on education.

J. Watts: We are routinely asked to contribute funds to teachers to provide supplies for their classes. I guess you must think they are just lying to us.

D. Weber: Perhaps, as with health care, we spend more and get less. I've encountered many college grads who cannot write a grammatically correct English sentence and I've encountered many high school grads who cannot make change while working a cash register.

We are the richest nation in the world and can not even fund a decent education for our children. If that statement is false then why is there so much effort to privatize our schools?

"J. Watts: We are routinely asked to contribute funds to teachers to provide supplies for their classes. I guess you must think they are just lying to us."

No, I think you are trying to craft a narrative. You said: "some jurisdictions teachers may receive expense money, they do not receive it here in east Tennessee."

This is factually wrong. You repeating it makes it a lie. I pointed to a link which proves it's not correct. But you are doubling down. Almost every teacher and school asks for additional funds for class room supplies. That does not mean they don't get any expense money, it means they'd like to spend more than the minimum. I don't have a problem with that and we always donate supplies, money and time to help out. I do have a problem with you ignoring facts to craft some kind of mental narrative.

"If that statement is false then why is there so much effort to privatize our schools?"

Even by comment section standards that non-sequitur is pretty laughable.

"Perhaps, as with health care, we spend more and get less"

And this is wrong too. We do get more, bu pay way for it.

"We are the richest nation in the world and can not even fund a decent education for our children."

The self-defensive sanctimoniousness of teachers is annoying. Virtually every time the subject comes up on a blog some teacher shows up and makes a comment like that. And no, allowing teachers in general to gorge at the public trough is not a proven way of substantially improving the quality of schools.

I guess you must think they are just lying to us.

Well, either they're lying to you or you're lying to us. It has to be one of the two. And you know if you're lying to us, so you know the answer.

We are the richest nation in the world and can not even fund a decent education for our children. If that statement is false then why is there so much effort to privatize our schools?

I am now convinced there is no effort to argue in good faith.

Quoting salaries seems like a lousy way of determining if teachers are underpaid. If salaries were 10 times higher but they couldn't attract and retain enough teachers, I would argue that they weren't paying enough. If salaries were set at the minimum wage and they had not problems attracting and retaining teachers, I would say that they aren't underpaid. Nobody has presented evidence that Tennessee does or does not have trouble attracting and retaining teachers.

As a taxpayer (not in Tennessee), I get frustrated every time that teachers ask for higher pay but continue to insist on level payscales. I'd be happy to give large pay raises to great teachers if I could also cut the pay of bad teachers. When I tell this to teachers, they always wail about how it is impossible to measure who the great teachers are and who the bad ones are (although every parent I know can quickly tell you). If they are indistinguishable in effectiveness, why I am worried about paying more if I can fill the slots?

"Quoting salaries seems like a lousy way of determining if teachers are underpaid"

Quoting salaries is an objective measurement. Underpaid/overpaid is often a subjective measurement. Hence I quoted some actual data so people could make up their own mind.

Both good points.

The Argentine education system is much more advanced than the US system having progressed far beyond one-size fits all residential attendance policies and empowering families to match children’s needs with appropriate venues.

Given that unionized teachers in the US are protected from efforts to ascertain if they are even literate, US children exposed to strikes probably have better outcomes the longer the strike. The US unionized teacher workforce has been demonstrated to have a markedly deleterious effect on long-term student outcomes: http://educationnext.org/bad-bargain-teacher-collective-bargaining-employment-earnings/

As Thiago Ribeiro might say: "In World Cup Of Education, Brazil Is Bad, But Argentina Is Worse."

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesmarshallcrotty/2014/07/12/in-world-cup-of-education-brazil-is-bad-but-argentina-is-worse/#4815d7f1351a

Serious question: what is the conservative solution for climate change? I'm talking "US conservative" specifically, as conservatives in other countries seem to be more inline with US liberals on this issue in terms of their understanding of the science and potential policy solutions.

End globalism.

"The right contributes to this when it chooses to dispute climate change instead of trying to propose more conservative responses to climate change. "

Since the New Deal, when the right proposes "more conservative responses", it just enacts liberal policies more slowly.

Compare this to gun rights. Since the 1994 scary looking gun ban, the right has carried out a no compromise, no small steps position and has won the issue. [This may be breaking up to the detriment of gun rights.] Besides Heller and McDonald, there has been a vast expansion of gun rights in most states.

The rights utter rejection of climate change tinkering has largely stopped all but the most limited new laws and regulations.

The only way to win is not to play.

Win, as in not admit human driven climate change exists? Or win as in not implement any policies to slow or ameliorate the effects of it?

#4, Duh.

#2, so the typical interpretation is that everyone should bow to teacher strikes? What's the equilibrium of that?

Because it's for "the children" we can assume that it will have a much higher equilibrium price than the mafia's extortion racket.

What's with #4? No reference to any of Andrew Gelman's work? Classic economist formula for publication - pretend you discovered everything because you haven't read anything.

4: This article seems to focus on the math, which is less important than the actual hypothesis, results, and the conclusion or new beliefs that we draw. Sometimes a non-significant result will cause us to change our beliefs more than a significant result will. As another commenter said, duh.

This is not to deny the publication bias in favor of statistically significant results, but again, duh. It depends on the situation -- and usually a researcher is looking into some research question that other people don't know or care much about and the only way to get the research published is to show that there something statistically significant going on.

#3...Mussolini fashioned a philosophy based upon what people wanted to hear, no matter how heterogeneous. Trump can't even fashion a philosophy. I can't see Americans killing each other over of any of this. Maybe themselves, but not other fellow citizens.

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