Friday assorted links


2. At one time Haidt was a professor at UVA. Does Haidt believe the left or the right is a greater threat to speech at UVA? Does Haidt believe the neo-Nazis who visited UVA last year should be invited back as an expression of UVA's commitment to speech?

Whatabout this other thing, too!

Whataboutism is the new black. It's how we got Trump as president.

He said Trump! I have an in.

We live in a very strange world. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the President of the United States in his official communications:

DOJ just issued the McCabe report - which is a total disaster. He LIED! LIED! LIED! McCabe was totally controlled by Comey - McCabe is Comey!! No collusion, all made up by this den of thieves and lowlifes!

I think the old argument that we can't impeach this guy because it means we'd impeach other people we don't like ... isn't so scary anymore. Other people like this should be impeached too, if we ever have the misfortune to elect them.

Unless both the Senate and House got Dem in 2018, impeachment (and conviction) isn't happening. Then Trump loses in 2020. Don't worry, he's contained.

That ties to what I said below about what we want and what our expectations are.

I think most Americans want a smart, sane, hard working President. And they know this isn't it.

Should we really acquiesce? Say that we can't have one? Why exactly? What higher principle would we be protecting at this point?

I'm not saying anything about principle or acquiescence, I'm saying something about politics. Whether you think he should or shouldn't be, he will not be.

Well, we ended up with something that from the outside might look like Tyler's Complacency, but it is more Resignation.

A Nation Resigned.

Not the whole nation, many will push to impeach. But reality is resigned to what will happen, or not.

On Election day 2016. (I think I remember it) you smart kids thought Trump didn't have a chance.

It's minimally probable You will be wrong this time.

Actually we smart kids knew he had a 30% chance, which is very doable (and indeed it happened, like it would 3 times out of 10). He probably has a 20% chance or so of being re-elected, which is still not zero but not the way to bet.

That's certainly why I argued against Trump right down to the line and election day. 30% odds were way too high.

And here we are.

Who is going to run against the greatest President since Reagan?

Hillary again?

Elizabeth Warren?

Bernie Sanders?

David Hogg?

And What will be the slogan? "Make America Miserable Again!?"

And, what will be the issues?

Too high GDP growth?

Too high employment?

Too much wealth creation?

Not enough terrorism?

Not enough regulation?

Not high enough taxes?

Not enough spending?

Transgender civil rights?

Forcing bakers to bake wedding cakes for same sex activists? FYI - that energized the Christian Nationalists, you geniuses.

Not enough abortions?

These are all great points. Trump is a lock.

God I hate this format. Which comment am I responding to, anyhow?

> I think most Americans want a smart, sane, hard working President.

Certainly. I also want a President who isn't a corrupt, treasonous plutocrat, which was the alternative choice.

That too is a Whataboutism, and it doesn't really help us now.

But I think one of the things that you should come to accept in the fullness of time is that "Crooked Hillary" was psychosis, offered by a madman and accepted by a certain vulnerable portion of the electorate.

Well no. That is not whataboutism. Because in the end the election comes down to a choice of two. One was Trump. The other was Hillary.

And in the fullness of time, Hillary's criminal behavior will become so obvious even you will accept it. Just as the Left have come to accept that Bill was a little non-consentual with women and OJ did it.

Whatabout(!) the primary? Isn't that a fair question, especially now, when the madness is on full display?

Did the country really have no "smart, sane, hard working" Republicans to put forward? Or did mad king Trump just make fun of their tie or something and you fell in line ..

But that is not what Lee said. Lee said the election was about Trump or Hillary. It was. That is not whataboutism.

And we all know the answer to your other irrelevant question. Of course the Republicans did. They had Mitt Romney for instance - perhaps the best qualified and basically decent man to stand for election in modern America.

The Left and the media smeared him as a Nazi who gave his employees cancer and would throw grandmothers under the bus. The relentless dishonest vile attacks from the Democrats - including people like Harry Reid who boasted about how he lied and those lies worked - destroyed Romney.

So you got Trump. Just think of who you are going to get next.

If you weren't a tired, boring, empty-headed partisan you'd of course know that both choices could be described that way. I suspect you are though.

BothSidesDoIt being the ugly cousin of WhatAboutIsm.

Ugly perhaps, but real definitely.

Nope. Consider "Crooked Hillary" again.

I'll start with one side and you do the other.

George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty. Michael Flynn pleaded guilty. Paul Manafort indicted. Rick Gates in a plea deal. Richard Pinedo pleaded guilty. Also indicted, 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies.

If "Crooked Hillary" is true by "both sides do it," go ahead and dump your list.

None of those people seem to have committed a crime. Not one.

Meanwhile Hillary and her friends smashed their hard drives with hammers to avoid a court order to hand them over. They spread classified information far and wide. They lied about it too. McCabe it turns out lied to everyone - for personal gain. With more to come.

None of those people have been charged. Because the political and judicial process is corrupt. It protects criminals like Hillary and Huma. It persecutes Republicans like Libby and Flynn.

You are citing evidence of the deep corruption of the pro-Democrat Deep State. Not the lack of crimes committed by the Democrats.

Basically we have a President nuttier than any MR commentator. That's saying something.

The President's opponents go around dressed as giant vaginas with pink hats shaped like female genitalia on their head.

He may be nuttier than some here - although at least he is not obsessed with GMU firing him a generation ago - but he is considerably more sane than pretty much everyone who hates him.

So there's no difference in inviting them vs allowing them to speak?

Several dozen students out of a student body of 400 or so at CUNY Law School in Queens went into an exhibitionistic emotional meltdown when the local Federalist Society invited a law professor from Texas whose outrageous thesis is that Obama had no authority to issue his DACA orders. He was actually speaking on an unrelated topic. About 5 people show up for his talk and another two dozen loiter in while he's speaking. These shnooks are all standing around with hand-marked signs yapping that he's Darth Vader.

Why not ask them why they can't handle this guy before we get to a discussion of neo-Nazi micro-associations?

There is something very unsettling about hearing law students chant 'f*ck the law!' and holding up signs saying, 'The Constitution is an instrument of white patriarchy.'

On the other hand, this is CUNY, so we probably don't have to worry about the effect on the legal profession. It may, however, cause the New York Barista community to move farther to the left...

Oh, most CUNY graduates pass the bar. I hear the mode there is to find work as a public defender.

The Atomic Bomb spy ring was pretty much the work of a group of former CUNY students.

So yes, these people can do a lot of harm.

In other words, all but a few students were meh. Doesnt sound like much of a free speech crisis.

When our kid was at school, that was his response to televised protests on his campus. "oh, those are the such-and-such kids, everybody knows they are crazy."

In other words, all but a few students were meh.

Do you know what share of people work on campaigns, contribute to campaigns, sit on party committees? When I was of a certain age, the share was about 3%. Political party membership in places like Germany (which required paying dues) encompassed a similar share of the public. All but a small minority are not motivated enough to actually appear in meatworld or contribute money. That so many students were there out of a student body that size is telling.

The problem you're not acknowledging is that a collection of law students were incapable of formulating an argument with minimal intelligence. They offered absolutely nothing but incoherent anger. And for what? This guy is a common-and-garden Republican who'd offered an unremarkable argument.

Some of us are of a certain age. You had red haze types when I was in school. They weren't very numerous and with one odd incident excepted (which cost them members), didn't make obnoxious idiots of themselves. They manufactured signs and pickets when they were trying to get the attention of motorists passersby, not to shlep around indoor auditoriums. I've worked on campuses and attended contentious public fora about neuralgic issues. Some people were spoken to rudely by students asking questions, but they weren't no-platformed. That wasn't in the mists of antiquity. The most contentious controversies occurred about 15 years ago.

These kids are damaged goods.

But garden variety Republicans are consistently described as alt-right (or "the extreme right"). The few possibly right of centre-ish colleagues I know are now very very carefully calling themselves classical liberals.

are now very very carefully calling themselves classical liberals.

What's implicit in your remarks is that their are faculty members vulgar enough to confuse ordinary public discussion with what's peddled by Richard Spencer or that there are students that vulgar who your faculty colleagues find physically intimidating. Neither thought is pleasant.

So... They weren't invited. By either UVA or C'ville. A few dozen young confused idiots had to be flown in from all over the country. Orders of magnitude more people from the local area exercised their free speech to protest against them. The whole episode is an example of free speech working? Not sure what alternative you would rather have.

7. I'm very tempted to have some Korean instant Ramen for breakfast this morning. I am pretty sure that one bag of Korean Ramen shortens your life by much more than 30 minutes. Ah well, maybe I can hike enough later to burn off those strange manufactured fats and flavors.

6. This reminds me of the debate we have in Florida whether August or September is hotter. It's hot, real hot! In both months.

News we need!

#4 is important stuff?

It cannot possibly be as important or as serious as the advent of the Zuckerberg Booster Seat: regardless of default surveillance or privacy settings, the ZBS (having been tested in education labs from Harvard to UMass-Amherst) has been shown to increase rear-brain cognition performance levels in sedentary adults, just as it enhances performance in hours-long VR games permitting candor before Congressional panels.

Exactly right ... in any case, facebook’s lawyers will just find a loophole in the european law, or facebook’s software engineers will create a work-around

1. This sad saga about Singapore could be about Florida. Too bad Yogi was wrong when he said: "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded."

My 15 second reading and summary of each of these links (to save you, reader, the time):

1/ Singapore conquers the sea - cool photos of old 1960s Singapore and some musings about how reclaimed land from the sea ruins the nearby fishing (bonus trivia: today's San Francisco's Financial District was underwater in 49'er days, it's all reclaimed land)

2/ Campus speech crisis (which has roots in the late 1980s, as I recall): "We show that students on the left and right used to be similar in their desire to “disinvite” speakers or shout them down, but since 2013 the right has used those tactics much less often while the left has used them much more often"

3/ Uganda to tax social media platform chats since they lose money when people don't use state-sponsored telecoms to chat. Nice headline writing.

4/ EU's new data privacy law, the GDPR, is not explained with concrete examples, making it tough to understand. Let me try: if you complain to your Euro ISP that somebody has dissed you, the Euro ISP has two hours (one proposal from last year, it might be more time now) to investigate. Consequently most Euro ISPs will simply yank any allegedly offending communication. Also there's no US style "Safe Harbor" where an ISP can avoid liability for defamatory posting, so ISPs must police their customers more. Both of these laws will have a chilling effect on free speech. That's btw is a better summary than reading all these links.

5/ Sorry the site took too long to load. I'm sure it says Russia is evil, which it is. Nuff said.

6/ China growth not overstated, based on 'intensity of night lights as measured from satellites', however, note that the Chinese countryside is emptying while the cities are filling, so (my thesis) what you may be seeing is 7%/yr GDP growth in the cities caused by under-reported non-city (country) migration. Hence, like GDP growth since the 1970s from housewives working (a First World phenomena), you might not have total GDP growth as great a people assume. Recall if you're off-the-grid (Farmer Subsistence Chou), you're not part of the GDP.

7/ Alcohol's one-cup-a-day benefits maybe overstated. Reminds me of the 2014 study that found: "But this latest study, which assessed a large group of Italians - who consume a diet rich in resveratrol - found that they do not live longer and are just as likely to develop cardiovascular disease or cancer as individuals who consume smaller amounts of the compound." Bonus trivia: it's all in your genes/jeans. I have relatives who drank, smoked and womanized and lived to be 100. It was said they were granted a long life in order to have time to repent ("only the good die young" theme).

Care to provide summaries of the summaries for those of us who are really busy?

Ruy L., your bonus trivia to point one was good. * similarly, much of Greenwich village was once a glacial lake, starting in the Ice Age and ending in the 1800s when it was filled in (it had been pristine for a long time, more or less, but at the time the construction crews finished the job of filling it in with dirt from elsewhere, it had been filled with household junk and had smelled of sewage for a few decades. God help the people who did that). * my favorite example of art from the borderlands of renumerative kitsch and heart-felt empathy is that picture of that beautiful woman with Bob Zimmerman, a true poet in his lonely way, walking down that Greenwich village street, that picture was, I think, taken near what used to be the southern part of that filled-in glacial-era Manhattan lake; the beautiful woman and Bob don't know this, but I know it: that is basically the spot where the swans used to cruise in and out of the shadows cast by the maple and birch trees lining the southern shore of the lake (to be as accurate as I can). * (to picture that vanished now-dehumanized and innocent lake, Imagine a lake halfway between Lake Ronkonkoma and your favorite New Jersey lake of similar size and similar Ice Age glacial provenance - I love every memory I have of New Jersey geological history * if you have no emotional attachment to New York, imagine I just described a similar change in the city that you probably (unless you are very unusual) considered "the city" when you were young, just as all of us, in those early years, consider the first "the hill" or the first "the valley" or the first "the beach" we ever saw to be the idealized, more than nostalgic, if we get to heaven that is what the hill or valley or beach we see in heaven will first remind us of, version of whatever hill or valley or beach we are fortunate enough, as humans created by God, to remember being born near - I remember things that way, probably you do too * if you do not know who Bob Dylan and the beautiful woman were, imagine Carolyn Jones in her roles as the most elegant of Beatniks, before her money-making days in sitcoms and soap operas, walking through Greenwich village, where people like me remember there used to be swimming swans, happily and innocently, because they are so happy, walking * one imagines old Asian cities as being forever unmappable with forever unnamable long-gone streets that were almost, but not quite, where the streets of today are * I could continue this comment with long explanations of the Thai beatnik equivalents of a generation or two ago, or their Chinese or Japanese equivalents, and how they dressed, and some of the jokes they said that were so poignant and funny at the time and that will never be understood again, at least not by anyone any of us are likely to meet, outside of an academic department devoted to such things. Cor ad cor loquitur, as a good friend of a good friend of Tolkien's liked to say, you can look it up.

For the record, when I wrote "I could continue this comment with long explanations" this is what I was thinking ... *** well, if you thought you knew what I was talking about, and you almost certainly did if you bothered to read the whole thing, so could you (so could you continue this comment, that is) , if you didn't quite think that (know what I am talking about), well, you are a human, and that comes with privileges: you could still probably change the subject (you are human too) and tell us about how you remember something similar (something similar to a vanished lake in a beloved city, where people you loved lived or in which people you loved were frequent visitors, a city that is long gone, so to speak, but which, before it was long gone, you used to be able to afford to spend so much time in) *** none of us do not have something similar to say, leaving aside the obvious reasons people do not put in the effort to communicate, some of those reasons are very good, some of those reasons are not, but here I am following the old rhetorical trick of ending a string of assertions with a basic C major chord *** not pleading assertions, not proud assertions, just the simple assertions we all remember when we think of vanished lakes, and the swans swimming in and out of the sunlight and the shade courtesy of the sun (to the south) and the green-leaved maples and the silver-barked birches which more or less make the southern shore of that lake as beautiful as any lake has ever been ***

signed, E.P., incorporating memories of Greenwich Village, 1977 (lots of macrame), 1978, 1980, 1981, 1985 (big jump - eleven years) 1996 (all the macrame basically gone), 2012 (a wedding), 2016 (another wedding).

and memories of Lake Ronkonkoma!

When Don Colacho said "Pelagianism has at its root a Gnostic definition of the soul" he forgot, not that I blame him for it, that we all have guardian angels to protect us from error, if we pray for such protection, and that nothing incorrect has something else incorrect at its root, the randomness of error does not support genealogies that are not boring - only that which is true is interesting enough to have a genealogy that bears thinking about for very long. Nothing against Señor Colacho, he is right almost all the time, but still ...

Half a century ago when I first heard of Lake Ronkonkoma and rode a cheap bicycle with cheap tires - for 2 hours - along nasty commercial roads and God-forsaken (I thought, wrongly) suburban roads, to see what Lake Ronkonkoma looked like, I probably knew in my heart that it is not all that important that "pelagianism" might have "at its root a Gnostic definition of the soul", not that I would have posed to myself the question. Thousands of cars passed that sad little kid on that sad little bike who thought that it would be a wonderful day if only because it would be the first day he saw Lake Ronkonkoma (half a century ago is just an approximation - maybe more, maybe a little less). Thousands of cars passed that sad little kid and now I, like the people in those cars, can't really remember that day as much as I would like. Well, that is not sad at all, because it is nice to have something in common with everybody who remembers a random day, you remember too, long ago, even if all you have in common is that you would like to remember that day better.

Next time you hear a really good Gospel song think a little about that, if you want. Can you imagine how nice it would be if there has been a day in your life that everybody who lived that day with you still wanted - wherever they are - to remember with perfect blessed clarity? I can imagine. Of course you can too, I may be long-winded and I may not be as eloquent as my beatnik friends from Tokyo and Guam and Seoul and similar places told me I would some day be - but of course you can too, you can too, yes you can.

This Old House, for example, or better yet O Sacred Head how wounded , or my most fondly remembered person's favorite, Be Still My Soul.

You see, everyone who comments here has someone who is the person whom they most fondly remember. Guardian Angels, too. If you already knew this, well God bless you, if you didn't, God bless you too.

7: The authors clarify later but this:

>"Drinking will shorten your life, according to a study that suggests every glass of wine or pint of beer over the daily recommended limit will cut half an hour from the expected lifespan of a 40-year-old."

Is a terrible sentence.

All I can think is, "Yes, but that person who foregoes that extra drink will spend that half hour fretting about missing out on quality time with friends, so it's not like it will be well spent."

A day without wine doesn't really make your life last 30 minutes longer, it just makes it seem 30 minutes longer.

You must see the Heidegger lecture by Rick Roderick. He makes great fun of our fitness culture: "You can jog your butt off and you still will die." "You have 34 more years to walk up and down the stairmaster." :-) But you have to hear it from his mouth.

I saw a funny on Facebook where an MD (in lab coat) lectured that the human heart is a "biological machine" and like any machine it will wear out. It's lifespan contains a finite number of beats. So, exercising raises heart rates causing more rapid depletion of its life span. His conclusion: :"Take a nap."

" It's lifespan contains a finite number of beats. So, exercising raises heart rates causing more rapid depletion of its life span."

First of all, those who exercise have much lower heart rates. Second, the idea that there are a finite number of beats is wrong.

4. There are a number of issues on which Americans poll for change, the declared preference of a majority is different than the status quo, but yet at the same time they seem to have a low expectation for change.

- Some 74% say it is “very important” to them that they be in control of who can get information about them, and 65% say it is “very important” to them to control what information is collected about them.

- Fully 91% of adults agree or strongly agree that consumers have lost control of how personal information is collected and used by companies.

And yet, from my reading here and elsewhere, we have no expectation of change.

(Source: <a href=""Pew State of Privacy, 9/2016)

Goofed my tag, sorry.

Pew State of Privacy, 9/2016)

Does Facebook track data on the how many (100%) ads referred to my email are sent to the spam folder? The ones on my Facebook feed are 100% ignored.

Assuming you are like most people, and you use HTML for e-mail, they know precisely how many times their embedded images/links contacted a server, and they know, as a single data point among many, that you are one of those people that has direct e-mail from Facebook sent to their spam filter. They also know that targeted ads not from Facebook feed, but created using Facebook data, do not go to your spam filter.

That is really basic - the only way not to give them information is to not be involved with Facebook at all. And to live in the EU, where shadow user profiling is not allowed.

As a general rule, anyone who thinks they are "managing their privacy" probably doesn't understand the problem.

#2. Post-secondary administrators and academics (Boomers) by and large abdicated their intellectual responsibilities a decade and more ago? (Melissa Click's academic career was itself forged decades ago, e. g.)

#5. The term "evil" is a bit hyperbolic. This guy is playing realpolitick with Russian interests in mind. He's not any more evil than Henry Kissinger in the 1970s.

I agree: he is only discussing political and military possibilities which could lead to evil results. And please see my stand-alone comment on 5.

Right. He's basically saying that there's no way that Russia could "win" a conflict over Syria with the US, short of resorting to mutual annhilation, and then he ironically jokes that maybe the West deserves that.

It struck me as a pretty reasonable analysis. Discussing nuclear war in a rational manner is not evil.

Well, as long as it is a MAD discussion, that is.

Which is why the US and the USSR/Russian Federation have spent trillions of dollars over decades to ensure that the discussion remains on MAD terms, rationally.

Refreshing to read an analysis of the results of nuclear exchange that is something beyond “and then the world ends”. Certainly if China could stay out of harms way they would emerge as the world’s leader.
Great last line:” That (the decline of euro American hegemony) is because getting manipulated into rage quitting on your own civilization by some Middle Eastern tribes is really, really retarded, and stupidity needs to be punished.

Apart from the FF crap over Duoma, (oh just come off it, guys, think of a plausible lie), it was fairly reasonable analysis.

Big weakness; ignoring Western options for lateral escalation against Russia in event of extended conventional conflict. Baltic dominance is one thing, but Russia has so many vulnerable points about its periphery where pain can be brought to bear, not to mention its export profile.

"The term "evil" is a bit hyperbolic. "

He thinks:
"Douma false flag gas attacks"

Evil is correct.

Because a militarily worthless gas attack that is sure to bring American retribution is exactly what any rational person would do when he is literally I am one day from clearing out a jihadi nest. /s

If anyone is evil I would say it is the people who dutifully echo this blatant neocon propaganda, but then again, never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity, etc.

Well, poisoning the Skripals' was completely unnecessary too. They still bloody did it. Putin just seems to like poisoning people. It seems to be a KGB thing.

The Kremlin has established a pattern of taking not entirely judicious risks and hanging out with other risk-takers too.

No one is alleging that THE RUSSIANS dropped the chemicals, are they?

Is "we should not respond to gas attacks on civilians because we should fear WWIII" an evil construction?

#7: I think it is very misleading (almost criminal) to discuss these marginal health benefits when overall we know that alcohol is an incredibly destructive force. 250 billion a year in the US alone. Not to mention all the social issues caused by it.
Why do we keep focusing on these useless data then? Is it because solving the larger issue is too difficult? Is it because people don't even want to think about it?

Truth is, the right was to lretend alcohol is harmless to justify the difference in treatment of marijuana. And the left wants to keep drinking itself to death. Many times I have criticized the shills of drugs, both legal and illegal ones. They are destroying our civilization, destroying families, jobs, business, lives.

The only thing that was more destructive was that time we tried to coerce people not to drink.

Was it really? Do we have serious studies comparing the pros and cons? People who are against this kind of legislation usually compare it to nirvana, which is absurd. Everything is a trade off. I say that the current system sucks, with 30k plus people dying every year from it and billions and billions being spent for no apparent benefit of society. Is that really the best we can do?


5) I still think Obama was wrong to arm the moderate rebels but Russia is definitely wrong with their military assistance as well. (Also the Russian is not effective either here.) At this point the Syrian Civil War is bad that it is big California Wildfire where you can do is contain it (to Syria) and let itself burn out. I bet if all foreign countries stayed out of Syria it would have end years ago.

Is "West Kurdistan" a foreign country? Is Lebanon? Is Iraq foreign to Syria? The nation state in this area -- the Middle East -- is particularly fragile, and maybe that's the way it will be, given that tribe, clan and creed mean at least as much as "nation" around there.

Frankly, I'd just like to see us stay away, Russia to get its nose bloodied, ISIS to be eradicated, Assad to be replaced by a moderate agreeable to a plurality, and Iran to mind its own business (or bled financially). See? Not asking for much am I?

7. It would be helpful if they said why.

Alcohol cumulative burden on liver? Blood sugar impact? Sulfites? Late night snacks? Staying up watching stupid tv shows? Second hand smoke? Carrying out heavy recycling bins...

Confirmation bias

Rule, Singapore. Singapore, rule the waves.

4. 'This is important stuff.'

Yes, it is, and in typical MR fashion, it was ignored while exploring a bunch of unimportant stuff regarding Facebook over the past weeks.

"Yes, it is, and in typical MR fashion, it was ignored "

You could always go somewhere else if the site is too burdensome to you.

However, I fully expect you to keep hanging around and posting. Indeed, you enjoy posting here. Your public proclamations of how bad it is are nothing more than transparent signaling.

If you say so - oops. Sorry, my mistake.

The point is not that this site is burdensome - it is immensely entertaining actually, over many years.

The point is that between the 2011 FTC consent decree and the EU, Facebook is facing serious problems that have zero to do with congressional hearings or paying for its services or whether it has depolarized the U.S. or influenced the 2016 elections or whether cutting back on its newsfeed is a good thing, etc.

'Indeed, you enjoy posting here.'

Indeed I do, along with waiting for eurogeddon to arrive.

'Your public proclamations of how bad it is'

Is that what they are? If you say so. I find this place immensely and reliably entertaining, the same way I find Trump immensely and reliably entertaining.

'nothing more than transparent signaling'

If you say so. Care to elaborate on what is being signalled? I would be interested to find out, actually.

"If you say so"

You do realize that's transparently passive aggressive?

So transparently that I used it three times.

Which might be a hint, actually. Of course, I find the very idea of passive aggressive in a comment section amusing, along with the idea of demanding how people should act. However, what phrase (or phrases) would you suggest to be used when acknowledging what someone said, while not actually agreeing with it?

Because I will happily use such instead.

"So transparently that I used it three times. Which might be a hint, actually."

Yes it's a hint that your a jerk. I got that. Everyone understands it here. But why do you insist on being such a jerk?

"However, what phrase (or phrases) would you suggest to be used when acknowledging what someone said, while not actually agreeing with it?"

You could try, "I don't agree."

#5. I am not sure TC meant that the author of the detailed post is evil, only that the forces arrayed in the world in general and in the Syrian conflict in particular present some non-zero risk to trigger great evil being inflicted on the planet. The post is worth a read IMHO not because I agree or disagree with any part of it, or am even remotely qualified to evaluate it, but because it reminds us all that behind all the bloviating and posturing in Kremlins and White Houses and in many other places there are vast quantities of real weapons, real soldiers (and sailors and fliers) which could all too easily be triggered into action. We're all too preoccupied with whether Donald said something stupid or Putin said something nasty to remember the vast forces at their control. (And yes, I apologize in advance to everyone in Syria now or in recent years, who are all too aware of those forces. I am speaking here of the "person in the street" in the USA or Russia and elsewhere.) And while we're all playing Risk here, keep in mind that almost mis-step by the USA or Russia will likely most benefit... China.

2. The disinviting metric is horse apples.

Looking at top line number of disinvites, not ratios adjusted for changes in the denominator is just silly.

Although the entire exercise is silly and is dangerously close to parody.

Though for one example, is there a difference measure for jewish students shouting down neonazis who advocate concentration camps, versus conservative economics students who complain that their econ prof gave them a "C" because they aren't Marxist, and not because they didn't start work until 10 pm the night before?

I mean, indeed, if you are going to eliminate right wingers who deliberately try and provoke the left, then, well, the invite list would drop to near zero. There's an entire industry of right wing book writers who's sole economic purpose is to gain notoriety through provoking the left.

It is entirely plausible that the spike in disinvites of right wing speakers follows an increase in dubious speakers. The neonazis, gun nuts, and confederate flag freaks have been breeding like bunnies. They are crawling out of the shadows all over the place.

I think they should study comparative book tours:

Noam Chomsky. How Republican language framing induces lower class voters to misidentify with conservative economic proposals.

Coulter/et al. Liberals traitors, are they destroying America or trying to bring about world socialist totalitarianism. Should they be shot or castrated? Or shot then castrated?

It is totally possible that in the last couple of years, campus conservatives have gotten notably more offensive.

Although, the language framing stuff is really a leftist specialty. There's a cottage industry of leftist political theorists whose entire modus operandi is to frame issues in terms favorable to the left. That's part of what is driving the right so nuts. The left consistently doesn't argue in good faith and plays linguistic games to paint the right as evil rather than engage them. No-platforming people who express, for instance, mild specticism of rape statistics is an example of the left's hyperventilating framing tactics. There may be more crazy nazis around in the last two years, but they've been calling the right crazy nazis for 30 and getting away with it.

It is totally possible that in the last couple of years, campus conservatives have gotten notably more offensive.

Yeah, offensive conservative students are why 10% of the CUNY Law School student body are loudly picketing Prof. Blackman from South Texas College of Law and Jerilyn Luther is screaming obscenities at her housemaster.

What is happening with a couple dozen students on the liberal arts campus at CUNY is no more representative of the national situation than whatever it is they do back in their dorms at Bob Roberts U.

But you would never figure that out from the Breitbart you seem to read.

What is happening with a couple dozen students on the liberal arts campus at CUNY is no more representative of the national situation than whatever it is they do back in their dorms at Bob Roberts U.

They're law students. That aside, it's happening every week all over the country at every kind of institution.

I think it is more fair to say that the left has been calling the right "dumb" for the last 30 years. Admittedly not a winning strategy. however, most of the ones they call Nazis have deserved it (not always literally of course).

And to be also fair, the right is pretty damned adept at delegitimizing and dehumanizing their targets. With a notable exception in the 60's/70s, the vast vast majority of violent rhetoric and political violence has been a one-way street from right towards left.

Going back to McCarthy and through Nixon and on to nearly every right wing pundit on radio and TV: the left insults the right that's true, but the right threatens the left with imprisonment, disenfranchisement, and violence.

It's one reason the ant-anti-fa hysteria is so amusing, them skinheads can dish it out, but they can't take even a taste of it.

I think it is more fair to say that the left has been calling the right "dumb" for the last 30 years. Admittedly not a winning strategy. however, most of the ones they call Nazis have deserved it (not always literally of course).

Well no. The Right calls the Left dumb. The Left calls the Right evil. Nazis usually. And in America virtually no one who is called a Nazi is actually a Nazi. Probably not even most Nazis - I don't think Richard Spencer is likely to be an actual Nazi so much as a silly boy playing with fire.

With a notable exception in the 60's/70s, the vast vast majority of violent rhetoric and political violence has been a one-way street from right towards left.

This is, of course, garbage. Over 3000 people were lynched by Democrats. How many were lynched by Republicans? About zero. Four Presidents have been killed over the years. Lincoln by a Democrat of course. Kennedy by a hard core Communist. McKinley by another Leftist. And only Garfield was killed by a fellow Republican.

The fact is that in America violence comes overwhelmingly from the Left.

"The fact is that in America violence comes overwhelmingly from the Left."

You just McKinley to make your point. That's perfectly hilarious. Thanks for making my night.

+1 Hazel

strong unbiased take here

"Though for one example, is there a difference measure for jewish students shouting down neonazis who advocate concentration camps, versus conservative economics students who complain that their econ prof gave them a "C" because they aren't Marxist, and not because they didn't start work until 10 pm the night before?"

This is almost worthy of Poe's law.

Most of the right's obsession with their victimhood is self-parody. Or rather, projection.

I merely had some fun illustrating it colorfully.

No, we're complaining about gratuitously bad behavior. Since you like the bad behavior and the vulgarization of higher education generally, you resort to striking adolescent poses.

A leftist complains about victimhood and projection. Lack of self awareness is amazing.

Sorry to trigger you Steve. Is this a no-bias zone? I guess I missed the sign.

Where have you seen "neonazis who advocate concentration camps" on campuses in recent years? Or conservatives complaining blaming their professor for not doing their homework?

I have seen leftist Berkeley students want special exam treatment because they were triggered by someone disagreeing with them:

I also have seen clips of a Jordan Peterson (personal responsibility, free speech, centrist, weird quasi-religious mysticism) speech where leftist students block doors, and one yells "lock them in and burn it down".

I have yet to see a video from recent years that matches either of your scenarios.

A lot of the no-platforming has been of right-wing provocateurs like Coulter and Milo Yiannopolous.

I'm not in favor of no-platforming. I'm in favor of speech in response to speech. But it's probably fair to say that you should expect protests at a Yiannopolous event.

However the left hypervenitlates into conniption fits of fake PTSD over the slightest deviation from orthodoxy. On purpose. It's an essential element of the notion that speech is violence because it's so triggering that it causes actual mental health issues. If they were actually calm and rational it would invalidate the theory that speech is harmful. They have to act like they are insane or they would be contradicting themselves.

I'm not in favor of no-platforming. .

No, you just make excuses for it because you're an intellectual and moral fraud.


Are you saying speech can not be harmful? Are you suggesting it has no consequences?

What? You think Ann Coulter is seditious? That she'll lead a mob to beat up lying employees of Delta Airlines?

Why yes art, i think coulter is the next hitler.

All her wingnut fanboys will leave their parent’s basements and start marching, eventually annexing the nearest Denny’s

McMike - April 13, 2018 at 4:47 pm 86

Are you saying speech can not be harmful? Are you suggesting it has no consequences?

Well I am not Hazel but let me go with no, speech cannot be harmful except in the few extremely short term limited cases like yelling fire in a crowded theater. And if it has consequences, we do not know what they are and passing laws certainly does nothing to help with those consequences.

The Left is trying to justify its own desire for concentration camps. Nothing else.

"The left.. concentration camps."

Because obviously we know these are a liberal thing. (this is where you, inevitably, insist that Hitler was a socialist, because, inevitably, that's a moronic thing to insist).

The idea that speech has no lasting consequences is idiotic. Obviously, it has huge consequences, WHICH IS PRECISELY WHY THE FOUNDING FATHERS ENSHRINED IT AT THE TOP OF THEIR LIST.

You are simply trying to distract attention from your lack of an argument. Of course the Nazis were socialists - for a whole lot of reasons.

It is moronic to claim that the Founding Fathers thought speech had harmful consequences so that is why they specially protected it. They certainly knew that banning it had harmful consequences. You are just not trying.

"But it's probably fair to say that you should expect protests at a Yiannopolous event." Why ? Because he is gay, or because he is half-jewish ? Or is it just the combination of the two that is too much for the students ?

"They have to act like they are insane or they would be contradicting themselves." That's well-said, and your whole second paragraph is a very good analysis.

"you should expect protests at a Yiannopolous event"

FWIW, they removed events surrounding Yiannopolous from the data set because Yiannopolis' goal was to be disinvited. Presumably, the other disinvitations were against speakers who were more sincere in their desire to communicate.

Still, provocation is not a good reason for disinvitation. The audience for a provocative speaker is the opposition. The best response to a provocative speaker is simply to ignore them. Disinvitation virtually guarantees that he gets his message out since it takes away the limited tool of a bull horn but encourages reporters to try to get a quote from him--one which he was always happy and prepared to give.

If protesters could somehow resist the temptation to attend, then maybe his remaining audience of 50 other people would send a better signal to universities about his impact as a speaker and invitations would dry up in the normal way.

Jeremy, I am honored you took my specific example literally. I guess I should have put a winky face emoticon on it.

My example was meant to be an illustrative caricature, not literal.

It's not illustrative, it's misleading

The analysis explicitly excluded Milo. Most of the people being no-platformed are totally milquetoast conservatives

4- Great article from WaPo, to read and discuss.

(2) As someone sympathetic to the idea that the "free speech crisis" on America's campuses is maybe kinda real, I have to say: this post was a disaster. At one point, they used data from a voluntary survey run on a site called "" I wonder what type of person would fill out a voluntary survey on a site called "" Surely, a raging lefty.

There are issues with the rest of the evidence presented here as well (fundamentally, this seems like a case where perception fuels reality fuels perception fuels reality fuels perception until the only reasonable perspective seems to be, "I dunno. If the centrist advice to liberals, re: alt-right marchers is to ignore the two hundred wackos who show up to march, maybe the proper advice to conservatives, re: radical students is to ignore the 6 'substantial event disruptions' per year.)

But also, and most importantly, like w/e.

I thought the post was extremely strong. It employed a wide array of objective and relevant evidence to reach a reasoned conclusion, which is more than you can say about the works it was responding to, or your comment.

#7. Who the hell drinks three glasses of wine a day?
What is this, the 1950s?

Nobody we have these now

I think the point of those is so you can stick your entire face in the glass to inhale the smell better.

Ethyl alcohol is a toxin. The body has no need for it, but microbes in our guts synthesize it. So, given that we simply do. not. understand. the complexities of our microbiome on our health (and longevity), it isn't surprising that the studies can't "make up their mind" about the effects of EtOH on our health. It is, after all, a waste product of our guts, so sure to be involved in all sorts of feedback loops and synergies and dampenings. The simplest assumption is to treat it as if it is a poison, which it is in fact.

Yes, +1

The dose makes the poison. I choose science.

# "Recent developments over the Douma false flag gas attacks..."

And I'm done. Russian capability for shameless lying is truly astounding. Starting with Putin, Lavrov, Nebeznya and this Anatoly fella over here. He reminds me of one "collapsnick" Dmitry Orlov (was even invited to Stewart Brand's Long Now series once) who now broadcasts pure Kremlin agitprop on his long forgotten blog.

cntr + f "deconfliction line" - 0 results.

This article is nonsense.

This was in reference to link nr. 5

Do we have any good reason at this point to believe that the Syrian government was responsible for the attacks? Circumstantially ... what do they have to gain? It would appear to benefit the rebels, particularly ISIS much more.

The Syrian government has the demonstrated capability. ISIS doesn't. The rebels don't and it's highly unlikely that the rebels massacred their own people.

In any case the OPCW will have investigators on-site tomorrow, Saturday April 14th.

"their own people" meaning the civilians they're holding hostage as shields?

Like Hazel I question the conclusion that Assad did it, he has little to gain. I don't have a handle on how plausible alternative scenarios are -- weren't they still finding the odd cache of leaking Saddam-era weapons a few years ago? Making enough low-purity sarin to produce good TV & a few urine samples is presumably a lot easier than making a real weapon. I just don't know.

The rest is interesting, pushing the chess pieces around a few moves forward. Sitting on the other side of the board to do so seems a long way from Kremlin agitprop.

6. It's obviously going to say Chinese growth is right if you regress the physical variables into the official provincial GDP figures. Overall though, the strongest evidence that Chinese growth is overstated is that PPP GDP benchmarks relative to the US imply in a much lower growth rate than official Chinese statistics. Madison did a benchmark comparison using 1986 data and PPP estimate from Rao (1999) which implied Chinese GDP in that year was 33.4% of the US's, using official growth rates up to the 2011 ICP round, imply in a Chinese GDP level of ca. 175% of the US, however, the direct benchmark PPP comparison of 2011 showed that China's economy grew to "only" 90% of the US's, implying a real growth rate about 2.8% lower over the 25 year period. Also, Harry Wu has developed alternative GDP time series for China and they are much closer to the benchmark comparisons vis the official time series.

Keep longer is overrated.

One minor comment on 5-
It is not clear at all that Israel wants Assad gone in favor of someone else. The relationships their are too complex to render that judgement without significant inside information.

5. Karlin seems nuts going by other stuff he's written. Is there something I'm missing that recommends him?

Well, according to his bio he is a 'blogger and independent researcher' with an undergrad degree in political economy from Berkeley. He likes transhumanism, shooting guns, and playing video games.

What else do you need to know?

He used to post a great deal here. The moderator went to considerable lengths to get rid of him, deleting his posts (which ruined nested threads), banning his IP addresses &c. Eventually he gave up. He wasn't a problem and the moderator tolerates all sorts of bad behavior, so his insistence here never made sense.

He's done some curious things in the last couple of years. After 25 years of living in the U.S., he returned to Russia. It doesn't seem he had a job lined up, either. His English-language posts of late draw considerably on the Russian nationalist grievance-culture, but far less intensely than do the remarks of some of his commenters.

You are a liar. I have made a grand total of about a dozen comments at MR, most or all of which went through so far as I know.

He does seem to be overthinking things. Syria's autophagy is ghastly. It's hard to imagine that the chess moves outside powers are making (for whatever reasons they have) are a prelude to some wider war.

What people do not understand regarding GDPR is that, while it might be painful for the big companies to implement, it ultimately is great for them, as GDPR compliance is not much cheaper for a smaller company than a big one in the same space. The rules help facebook and google's ad machines far more than it helps someone like Doubleclick. That said, we might see something not unlike what happened when Europe created cookie legislation: Every site put a disclaimer at the top, telling you that if you were not OK with their tracking, you could go elsewhere, and ultimately the same amount of tracking happens today.

There are loopholes for some specific kinds of companies too: Tracking for fraud prevention reason will still happen, and you'd not believe the amount of data that is being picked up for fraud prevention: If the first thing that a large payments company has seen of your browser is a straight visit to a digitally-delivered item, chances are you'll be seen as fraudulent. Social media activity tracking? Yep, that can make it easier to tell if you are a fraudster or not, so to the vault it goes.

2. You have students putting on performances with student affairs apparatchicks as an appreciative audience. They make no sense, of course, but that's not the point. Pissing around marking your territory is the point. They're not herded out by campus security, they're not penalized for this behavior, they're not rebuked by the faculty, and their loss of status among their peers is undetectable. Pretty much all the stakeholders in higher education own this situation. Including the Mercatus faculty.

As journalist James Palmer pointed out a few weeks ago, whether the growth statistics are being meddled with isn't even the most dubious part of the situation - they're actually taking steps to make those better. There are a ton more unknown unknowns, both to outsiders and Chinese officialdom itself (probably).

5. You read and agree with some points, disagree with others, and then you bump into something like "The overthrow of Lukashenko by the Belorussian nationalists (zmagars) his regime has been quietly cultivating" and realize that the author is quite mad.

Or perhaps he knows something you don't.

2. The campus speech crisis is indeed worsening.

Maybe, but the free market can sell you free speech from anonymous, but notarized, insiders. The new tech social networks have that capability. You have to pay market price for your free speech.

#7. Yep, people that drink more also smoke more. I tell my students when you see might in a title or heading you could safely replace it with might not.

2. Of course it is. Classrooms as "safe spaces," trigger warnings, microaggressions, etc. are recent phenomena with a distinct intellectual pedigree.

Singapore strictly regulates labor unions.

2. The whole paper seems like a conclusion in search of data. And the data is very thin.

For some good articles on the free speech crisis I suggest you read Roger Kimball at the New Criterion. Leftists control the education system at least at the university level. Very similar to pre-Bolshevik Russia.


You cannot use perceptions of safety as a measure of safety. (Ex.:

Does anyone dispute that changes in perception on physical safety is driven more by media coverage, contagion effects, & cognitive bias than by reality?

* Campus politics coverage is exposed to the same incentives to sensationalize and cement partisanship with campus issues as with crime, which it very much responds to. Similarly, see economic change vs perception thereof. And it's definitely more exposed to social contagion.

Much of the article is responding to allegations that something is a popular myth by showing that people believe in the alleged myth. I'm pretty critical of this...

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