Thursday assorted links

Comments

Crypto fan boy / girls response to this headline is golden...
Headline: UK hospital launches rehab programme for bitcoin addiction
Response: Gambling addiction is a real thing, and we all know that not everyone trades crypto currencies intelligently.

This person's mental state is in Egypt because they are certainly in De Nile.

"The Russia World Cup Could Be About To Boost The Bitcoin Price"
Tulip bulb bubble anyone???

We call it, "speculation." "Gambling" communicates a crude connotation.

Many believe I'm worse than any "Bitcoin fanboy." I own a small amount of gold.

Gold? You mean the key input to this....

https://www.bluenile.com/gold-jewelry

My dad always said you need some gold on hand in case you need to cross the border some day. So I've got his.

If I send Michael Cohen some bitcoin, will Trump do my bidding?

1) "The pay is so far behind the curve. I make less money now than I did 20 years ago if you adjust for inflation and cost of living. I figured it out once, and I was making $14 or $15 an hour driving for the big carriers. People flipping hamburgers are demanding $15 an hour.”

Such is life in America. A desperate working class being worked and indebted to an early grave. Should we be surprised when people kill themselves with opium?

This seems more than a tad hypocritical coming from the poster that was just commenting on how President Temer forced the Brazilian truckers to back down from their strike.

1) It is a completly different situation in many relevant ways. Brazilian workers are not mistreated and explored by a rapacious dominant class. One can't compare President Temer with Trump or Clinton. Brazil is a less corrupt country.
2) There is good reason to believe it was more a lockout (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockout_(industry) against government than a strike. Many transport companies have been indicted of colluding to sabotage the economy exactly the same way transport companies did to destabilize Allende and fined. They have two weeks to pay their fines. President Temer is not Allende.
3) The strikers/lockouters tried to cut the food/fuel/medicines supplies of an entire country to put it on its knees. That is the equivalent of it: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunger_Plan
Hospitals ran out of desperately needed oxygen, critical medical proceeds were delayed for lack of medicine. We resisted extortion and refused to negotiate under duress!
We endured ten days of cut supply lines instead of suing for a humiliating peace as Americans would have done in our place. It was our Blitz, our Leningrad Siege. We prevailed against impossible odds.
4) President Temer used admirable restraint. I would have opened the Gates of Hell and crushed treason, but there was little use of force by federal troops. Army troops were welcomed as liberators and even strikers confraternized with soldiers. There were no Little Rocks, no Trials of Tears, no Fergusons, no Dresdens, no Antietams. Maybe you are the hypocrite here.
5) The lockouters/strikers got some of their demands. They will receive a robust subsidy package to help them weather the market correction their activity is facing. All in all, I am proud of how well our country dealt with a potentially dangerous situation.

Brazilian workers are not mistreated and explored by a rapacious dominant class

Even accepting you meant "exploited" instead of explored, this is a candidate for most ridiculous statement of the week.

You are right, "exploited". Why Americans need two verbs, "explore" and "exploit", when Brazilians easily make do with one, "explorar", is a mystery.

Believe what you want, but the Truth is the Truth. Brazil's working classes are well-treated.

"Brazil faces calls for return to military dictatorship amid truckers' strike"

More disorder and regression below the mean in Brazil. Brazil can only hope (but will fail) to imitate the success of Chile.

It is not true! General Etchegoyen, Chief of the Institutional Security Cabinet, has strongly denyied that he or any other officer is plotting a coup. He has made it clear that return to military rule is an unthinkable and unnaceptable proposition.
Brazil has nothing to learn from Chile, the country who elected a Communist, then after it did not worked, spent 17 years under a fascist regime that broke the country and then barely managed to take Chile back vis-a-vis the Latin American average where it was in 1970 (when Allende was elected). We have nothing to learn from Fascist-Communists!

Chile's per capita GDP is $13800. Brazil's per capita GDP is $8650. General Etchegoyen can't hold a candle to the late, great General Pinochet. Brazil is winning the race to the bottom.

"General Etchegoyen can't hold a candle to the late, great General Pinochet. Brazil is winning the race to the bottom."
Yes, he can -- easily, too. He did not murder his way to power, break a country and barely put it back where it was ( https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_of_Chile#/media/File%3AChile_GDP_per_capita_(PPP).svg ) before leaving power in disgrace.

General Pinochet enacted the reforms that put Chile on the path to success that Chile now enjoys. Brazil has no such brave and competent leader, just a thoroughly corrupt faker like Lula who is poised to get re-elected.

"just a thoroughly corrupt faker like Lula who is poised to get re-elected."

He propably will not get elected because he is jailed now. In Brazil, crime doesn't pay. ALL living former Brazilian Presidents are under strict federal investigation. Compare and contrast with Trump vowing to "lock her up" and then reneging his solemn promise.

"General Pinochet enacted the reforms that put Chile on the path to success that Chile now enjoys."

I see, he just took more to get Chile back where it was in 1970 than Roosevelt's America to defeat the Great Depression and win WW II.

And yet Lula leads in the polls, which says a lot about the Brazilian public, and any in event, it will be him or another one of his puppets like Rousseff. Brazil is at 60% of Chile's per capita GDP and regressing. Only a nation of fakers like Brazilians could be proud of such pathetic results.

You lie, boy! Chile's GDP per capita before Pinochet was president was more than twice Brazil's. Brazil and Chile are actually converging.
https://www.indexmundi.com/facts/chile/gdp-per-capita

https://www.indexmundi.com/facts/chile/gdp-per-capita

You should be ashamed of lying.
No polls have showed any transference of votes from Lula to any politicians from his party or allies. All polls excluding Lula show far-Right, retired officer Representative Bolsonaro as the leading candidate.

Brazil has NOTHING to learn from Chilean kleptofascism or America's oligarchical rule.
http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sdut-chile-90-percent-of-pinochet-fortune-dubious-2010jun04-story.html

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/jul/11/chile.drugstrade
I am proud to be Brazilian where at least I know I am free!

There is no convergence. Chile is leaving Brazil in Chile's vastly superior dust (European nations fought over Chilean dust--caliche--during WWI).

Speaking of lying, polls consistently show that 2/3rds of Lula supporters will support whomever Lula designates should Lula not run because his supporters are useful idiots: https://www.apnews.com/5f909447920b4f98b7ba95366b5badd9

Your favela isn't free; it's run by criminal gangs occasionally interrupted by government tanks.

You lie, boy! As I showed, the statiscs clearly prove there is ongoing convergence between Chile and Brazil.
We are a thriving democracy, not a kleptonarcostate as Pinochet's Chile. Also, we are a real country, not a copper mine.

2/3 of Lula's supporters are not enough to win an election (Mrs. Rousseff almost lost the last elections way before her political godfather got behind bars). Every poll voters are faced with a concrete left candidate, they pass.
The important thing is, Brazil is a free country with clean government, not a swamp in need of draining as America is. Mr. Lula is jailed (meanwhile Mr. Trump refuses to fulfill his solemn "lock hwr up" promise).There are lots of former governors and Congressmen jailed. As the judge who sentenced Mr. Lula to jail time said, "no matter how high you position may be, the Law will always be above you". That's Brazil. It is a shame the same can not be said about America, where Lying Clinton and Dishonest Donaldcan do wathever they want without fearing anything.

Brazil is less than a copper mine whose economic growth rate is anemic. It's barely treading water, let alone catching up with anyone.

We don't know who Lula's useful idiots will support in fact unless and until Lula actually endorses someone else.

Playing musical chairs among corrupt politicians isn't a clean government. An actual clean government doesn't put corrupt politicians into power in the first place.

It is sad to see how desperate you are to slander Brazil and how transparent your lies have become.
1) Data conclusively shows Brazil is converging to Chilean GDP levels. Chile was a lot richer than Brazil before Allende and Pinochet became Presidents. The distance has been getting smaller.
2) Brazil grew 7.5% in 2010 alone.
3) There are no musical chairs. People who are found to have commited crimes are being jailed because, in Brazil, crime doesn't pay. It is not like America, where rich crimimals go unpunished!
4) Again, 2/3 or Lula's followers are not enough. He barely transfered enough votes to re-elect Mrs. Rousseff. Anyway, as famous American president John F. Kennedy famously said, "freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect". Americans who had to vhoose between Croocjed Clinton and Dishonest Donald should be less eager to point fingers to Brazil.

Brazil's GDP grew at 7.5% some EIGHT years ago. Big deal. For there to be convergence Brazil has to grow much faster than Chile to close the gap between $8.7K and $13.8K, which it is not even close to accomplishing. Brazilians can't do math (as its rock bottom PISA rankings further demonstrate; Chile, of course, does much better).

The only guy with some anti-corruption bona fides, Joaquim Barbosa, isn't running for president because Brazil's political system is so completely corrupt.

Again, data is clear: Brazil is much closer to Chilean status today it was before Pinochet was president. Convergence.

Also, Representative Bolsonaro is a known anti-corruption crusader. And Brazil, unlike America, has an independent Judiciarty power, that prosecutes and sentences malefactors.

Awesome! Another thread about Brazil in a post that contains nothing of the sort.

Anti-Brazilian propaganda does not sleep. It is the antisemitism of our time.

No, dipshit, antisemitism is still the antisemitism of our time.

Jointly with anti-Brazilian propaganda.

No it is not awesome how Brazil is treated herr and thorughout Trump's America. After we supported you staunchly in WWII you would think we were treatf better than murderous Communist regimes like Red China.

Indeed. Apparently the secret to America's heart is killing young Americans (Japan, Red China, Germany, Italy, Russia, England, Vietnam, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.).

Good links.

1. Good article. Trucking is 95% male. #patriarchy

2. Highly recommended. Hilarious.

3. Exactly.

#2: I bailed about 19 paragraphs in.

mostly more of the same with the unsurprising end.

+1 on #2. Highly talented sociopath at work, imho. Straussian I suspect.

Yes, the saga reminded me of "Clark Rockefeller" (Christian Gerhartsreiter) except Anna Delvey didn't murder anybody.

"Vanity Fair" is a better analogy.

I think it depends on if we are focusing on the social-climbing nature of the subject, or their methods and profile: Germanic sociopaths who use con games and aliases.

Why don't insurers care about big bills? Because they are a cost-plus industry. If medical costs go up they just charge more for their insurance, and assuming their overhead percentage stays the same they earn more money. Plus the fear of big bills makes people buy insurance. If medical costs were low, no-one would buy insurance.

About the only thing that would make medical costs lower would be to ban insurance. You can bet if everyone had to pay cash the costs would plummet.

You're half way there. But even if insurance companies are cost-plus, why don't they compete on premium prices?

[1] Inability to sell insurance across state lines, and
[2] Premium collusion

The "across state lines" argument is just political theater. Insurers don't have that kind of market power. More importantly, seemingly arbitrary and inconsistent state regulations on health insurance make it impossible to create multi-state or universal plans that are competitive on price.

" More importantly, seemingly arbitrary and inconsistent state regulations on health insurance make it impossible to create multi-state or universal plans that are competitive on price."

Auto insurance and housing insurance varies across state lines, but companies don't have any issues with that.

Insurance companies and providers are in a long-term iterated game, and they have incentives to play nice with each other. Clients of the insurance companies aren't in the game, they're the subject of the game. Screwing some clients over is entirely sensible, as long as you keep the cooperate/cooperate thing going with your important providers.

You can't buy auto or housing insurance across state lines either. Every type of insurance regulated by the states, and each company has to set up policies that comply with the regulations of each state they do business in.

If I set up an insurance company in Alaska which includes only providers in Alaska, selling policies only east of the Mississippi, at 90% of the price of similar policies, would you buy it based on the lower price?

I could probably get a group of providers in Alaska to provide care at prices low enough to make it work because patients would have low marginal costs given the already high fixed costs in Alaska. Increasing the quantity served by two would effectively cut fixed costs in half.

Better yet, I would contract with an Indian provider system to open up clinics in Alaska where Indians work for the five years to get their US medical training subsidized, shipping patients to India for hospital care. Given the location of providers, patients would underutilize insurance, probably dying before they get covered care.

It's not like selling consumer products across State lines, health care services can't be delivered by USPS from Amazon or Alibaba.

I think one very important part of the article was swept under the rug. That being the specifics of the story's 'small group' medical policy. Without knowing the specifics, but comparing to my wife's large group policy where the payments to the hospital and providers have even lower than expected. For instance about $200K in payments for $1.2M+ in billings. The payments to her surgeons was embarrassing. And I should say I have been an internist for 40 years.

Why would I not want HC insurance if my medical risks were way higher than my premiums? Or if I were elderly or had serious ongoing medical problems?

6. Skip down to “Higher Prices Can Boost Profits” for the interesting stuff.

The Affordable Care Act kept profit margins in check by requiring companies to use at least 80 percent of the premiums for medical care. That's good in theory, but it actually contributes to rising health care costs.

WHO COULD HAVE KNOWN?

The duty of management is to increase prices to boost profits to shareholders - Milton Friedman

So, why are higher prices to increase profits bad?

He did not say that. He said that the social function of a business is to make profits. You can increase profits by increasing or decreasing prices (or by increasing or decreasing production) depending on the supply and demand curves.

Yes, this is called "cost plus" and is how the defense contracting industry has worked since the 1960's. Anyone who understands it should know intuitively that it always results in increased prices.

"[Insurance companies] can set premiums to cover those costs".

But, how can they just keep raising premiums to cover those high costs without reducing demand and, if other insurance companies do a better job at reducing costs, then won't they be able to win more business by offering lower premiums? It's almost as if there is some law that *requires* people to buy insurance no matter how high the premiums, prevents people from buying lower-priced plans that just provide the coverages they want and need, and subsidizes people to buy more insurance even when the premiums are too high to make economic sense. It's almost as if there is some sort of subsidized demand that raises premiums.

Are you really under the impression that health insurance was not widespread before Obama? You might want to think about that.

"If medical costs were low, no-one would buy insurance."
Proggers would disagree with you on this point. How can you expect a household to save for something as predictable and routine as an annual doctor's visit? The government MUST mandate that insurance cover this (as well as birth control) otherwise Americans won't have ACCESS!

Things like annual doctor visits and BCPs account for about 3% of the health care budget.

Yes, they are predictable and relatively small expenses. So, they should NOT be mandated insurance coverage. That's as silly as mandating transmission fluid changes for car insurance would be.

But Proggers don't care about math and logic. They operate on the feelz.

Trump removed the individual mandate but now adds trillions to the national debt at a faster pace than Obama. Believe it or not the mandate was an attempt, imperfectly so by the Dems, to balance feel good policy with fiscal reality. The Repubs now have the honor of being the party of being less than fiscally responsible.

I fail to see how other shitty things done by team Red make the health care policy implemented by team Blue any better.

+1

Tribalism makes you stupid. Stop debating whether it feels better to be screwed over by someone in a red jersey or a blue jersey, and maybe we can think of ways to get screwed over less often.

What "facts and logic" are you going by? Something you read on page 2 of an economics book? Did you read the rest?

"If medical costs were low, no-one would buy insurance."

They would have to be pretty low. The surgery described in the article costs Medicare $20,491. Would the guy have wanted to pay that?

Proggers would disagree with you on this point.

Lots of people would disagree. It's not so much the average level of costs as the variance. Sure, if cancer treatment cost $100 no one would buy insurance. But if it's going to cost anything resembling a reasonable price then you're going to want insurance.

So maybe those you disagree with aren't as stupid as you think.

And don't forget the drugs.

No. 6: The more interesting unstudied problem is that NPR blames the health insurer for price gouging by skimming $1875 in ‘excess’ profits [being 3/80*(70000-20000)] while the doctor/hospital is let off scot-free for gouging $50000.

NPR is all about the feelz. Doctors and hospitals bring good emotion. Money changers are the devil - just like foosball.

I didn't get that vibe. For capitalism to work, some party needs to have an incentive (and the ability) to shop according to value. To me the article is simply asking why insurers aren't that party (no other option exists).

Insurance company managers have a duty to to shareholders increase insurance prices to increase profits. The have zero duty to customers, patients, consumers.

Paying higher prices to providers so they serve their shareholders by higher profits is completely complementary to increasing insurance prices to increase profits to their shareholders.

Or was Milton Friedman wrong that the only duty to corporate managers is hiking prices to increase profits?

Most insurers are non-profits. But yes, a big problem is the incentive structure. Once that is in place, the results are predictable.

2. The best actors have the ability to become the character they are playing. And so it is with con artists. It's a special talent. Or is it? Just as likely it's a mental illness. The actor, the con artist, who actually believes the crazy stuff she believes is best at what she does. Jesus may well have believed He was the Christ. Mary Richards may well have believed she was a producer. Donald Trump may well believe he is what he says he is. Con artists all, or mentally ill all? [Read the article at the link if you want to know the point I am, or Cowen is, making.]

"Read the article at the link if you want to know the point I am, or Cowen is, making.]"

I'll wait till Cowen makes the connection explicit. Till that point, I'm going to think that no connection was meant and you are just projecting your own opinions onto others.

I read a fair amount of this a day or two ago .. before I hit "why am I reading this?"

I did get to that bit Tyler quoted though, and I think that is a key insight, possibly from a crazy person, possibly from a simple con, probably from some combination:

“Money, like, there’s an unlimited amount of capital in the world, you know?” Anna said to me at one point. “But there’s limited amounts of people who are talented.”

Another thing I have been following on Twitter has been discussion of the new Theranos book, Bad Blood. It's been re/self-examination of the "fake it until you make it" ethos.

Don't fake too hard ..

Even given talent, there are a limited number of people who will go for it.

Do we think the cover for the source that unveiled the tweets is legit? That this was some sort of unaffiliated 3rd party AI/machine learning specialist?

If it is, that's pretty terrifying.

It suggests that its really their world, and we're just playing in their sandbox until they decide they don't want us to.

It also suggest that all social media is about to become the domain of the unimportant, and the never will be important.

No, no we do not.

why not?

A variety of factors, including intuition. Smarter people than me (notably Haralabos Voulgaris, a technologically sophisticated NBA gambler, whose intuition I trust on issues like this) seem to think it's BS. And the pattern of usage between the accounts, while easy to tell when the accounts are pre-grouped, doesn't seem plausibly detectable by a machine looking through the whole sea of twitter. There are always going to be accounts that tweet about similar stuff and follow very similar groups of people; there's no way the relationship between these five randomly stuck out to this extent. Even if analytics were used at some point, the tipster for sure knew a lot about what was going on beforehand and was fishing in a shallow pool.

I saw those Voulgaris tweets.

If you were in possession of a list of which NBA sock puppets belonged to whom, or you were thinking about what sort of engineering effort it might take to create such a list, would you confirm or deny the potential for the existence of such a list?

If you were making a list of people who might have and be profiting from such a list, where would Voulgaris be on your list?

To my uneducated eye,

the best argument here that Colangelo was a jackass to the wrong sixers IT worker, is that if some 3rd party AI professional did this, they picked an extremely low payout avenue for using this ability.

What's your theory on who the source was, and how they came to learn this information?

5 is a delightful story. For those not tracking, the current likelihood is that the Sixers' GM's wife (possibly with his knowledge, and possibly he posted on the accounts as well) was the one posting the most incriminating stuff. Private personal and medical information was aired along with constant petty sniping about Sixers players, reporters, and ex-employees.

The prior GM, Sam Hinkie, was essentially forced out by the league despite being amazing at his job. He was "aloof" and "a poor communicator" whose dealings reflected poorly on the league, so the "respected" Colangelos were introduced, with a nudge, by Adam Silver to 76ers ownership. Now the 76ers, before the biggest free agent summer in their history (they have max salary cap space and were expected to legitimately compete for star free agents, including LeBron), are stuck in this quagmire.

How common do you think the use of sock puppets among important people is?

Durant was caught doing this last summer.

------

I'm reminded of this outkickthecoverage article:

The complaint is lacerating in its detail of Freeze and other top administrator’s actions. For instance, Houston Nutt, in a move that long time SEC fans will find tremendously ironic given Nutt’s own phone record foibles, obtained Freeze’s cell phone records and traces the spread of the false narrative that Freeze’s own regime was not involved in NCAA violations based on the calls Freeze made to media. Check out how specific some of the allegations are. Nutt doesn’t name the sports writers Freeze called in his complaint, but it’s easy to figure out who they are based on the specificity of the articles and Tweets cited.

Wow, Houston Nutt’s lawyers got Hugh Freeze’s cell phone records & cite off the record calls with sportswriters. pic.twitter.com/f11oUr4RPs

— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) July 12, 2017

How did Nutt and his lawyers know the writer’s numbers? I assume Nutt had many of the writer cell phone numbers stored in his own phone already. So he could just scan the list looking for contacts he knew and then go review what those writers wrote or Tweeted about the Ole Miss case. Or he could have had paralegals blindly dialing all the numbers of Freeze’s contacts looking for media contacts. Love him or hate him, the degree of specificity in this complaint has a ton of big names sweating. And it’s hard to refute that Ole Miss embarked upon a calculated campaign to try and convince the nation, via college football writers, of Hugh Freeze’s innocence.

This is, quite frankly, how stories are reported. Coaches and administrators frequently call writers, request that their names not be used, and then share their versions of a story or provide a tip or suggestion for a future story. It’s how news is made. Fans often complain about anonymous sources in sports stories — and other media stories — but the reality is the coaches or top administrators are quite frequently the sources themselves. Just as coaches choose to trust or not trust certain writers based on past relationships, writers do the same. If a coach or administrator burns a writer on a false story like this, the writer will never go public with the source of the incorrect information, but it may very well spell an end to a trusting relationship between a writer and a program.

Here Freeze and Ole Miss administrators clearly misled writers to help preserve his 2016 recruiting class and I would imagine that many writers felt used and will be less likely to trust Freeze going forward.

Some coaches call writers all the time.

Others do it rarely, if at all.

Houston Nutt believes that Freeze calls writers all the time, taking aim at Freeze’s obsession with his public image in the very complaint itself.

Houston Nutt off the top rope on Hugh Freeze. Even footnotes the since deleted report NCAA violations Tweet. pic.twitter.com/apvAvrGBtt

— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) July 12, 2017

Nutt’s motives are not pristine here — he’s clearly bearing a cavalcade of grudges — but just because someone is motivated by bitterness and rancor doesn’t mean a lawsuit lacks validity. Nutt feels that he was wrongly blamed by Ole Miss coaches and administrators and he just unleashed his entire arsenal in this complaint, filed THE DAY BEFORE HUGH FREEZE ADDRESSES 1000 SEC MEDIA AT SEC MEDIA DAYS. To be honest, it’s gloriously maniacal in its gleeful derision. But it’s also devastating and rooted in a great deal of truth.

https://www.outkickthecoverage.com/houston-nutt-buries-hugh-freeze-new-lawsuit/

I'm generally a Hinkie homer myself, but this isn't a delightful story just because his successor got got

2. Anna. Reminds me of this book about Charles Keating. https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-679-41699-9

Where's the line between aggressively pursuing financing and a ponzi scheme? I mean, everybody lies. Fake it till you make it, wot wot.

I once worked with an excavation company trying to grow fast to take advantage of opportunity. Man, they had like triple-pledge all their collateral. Nobody complained as long as they made payments.

When are you faking it until you are making it, and when are you just faking it? It seems the question for our age, but perhaps it was always so.

I wonder if she'd had a decent lawyer on retainer, she'd gotten a couple more years of stealing people's money. Why in the world would anyone (not attempting to get into her pants) give her more than their annual income? Just. plain. stupid. Looks to me like "Anna" has internalized the value of Pavlovian conditioning: slip the mark a $100 bill every time you talk to them then once they've been conditioned, take them for all they're worth including their credit. Survival of the fittest.

In another article specifically about that "more than annual income" person, Anna's lawyer gives a quote and it makes the right argument...

4) Factorization has not been proven to be NP-complete, and if it were it would be a fairly big deal.

Yep. Particularly because as far as anyone knows, problems in NP are hard on quantum computers, but we know (thanks to Shor) that factoring is easy on quantum computers. (We don't know how to build quantum computers big enough to factor interestingly-large integers, but we probably will figure it out in the next couple decades.)

#6 was very interesting but then there is this:

It would have also hurt his credit at a time he needs to take out college loans for his kids.

He probably needs to learn more about Universities, their billing and how little Choosing cheaper institutions matter. For one thing a 2 years in a community college the kids can commute to can help a lot.

And, there is this:

Upon the debt restructuring agreement between himself and the hospital(?), likely he has $3,000+ in reportable, taxable income. The hospital, or whomever, should have sent to the IRS a Form 1099 reporting the income: forgiveness/settlement of debts, liabilities, loans.

#2 https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/VIPs

Fake it till you make it or end up in jail is the Brazilian way. Just ask the last 3 presidents of Brazil.

It is not like that. Remember, the air comoany tycoon whose the son the huy impersonated is a genuine businessman. Also, Congress has rejected prosecuting President Temer twice. Every living former Brazilian President is under federal investigation (and popular former President Lula is behind bars) because Brazil is tough on crime. Compare and contrats with Trump vowing to "lock her up" and them doing absolutely nothing. I doubt former American presidents would resist a fedral investigation.

1)

...דרכו ללונדון, שם! השתתף(1861-1865) בקונגרס דרכו ללונדון,: שם הש(1941-1945) תתף בק:ונגרס החמישי. באוקטובר, עבר לווינה, שם ערך עיתון סוציאל-דמוקרטי בשם "פראבדה" (ברוסית: Правда משמעותו "אמת" או "האמת"), שהובר: וסי,. בגלל קשיים כלכליים העיתון יצא בת,חילה באופן לא סדיר, אך למרות; זאת הצליח לעורר הדים ברוסיה, ודו"ח של ה[אוכ]רנהיין א[תפוצתו הרחב
לקראת מלחמת העולם הראשונה עבר טרוצקי לשווייץ הנייטרלית, ואז לצרפת. הוא גורש מצרפת והתגורר בעיר ניו יורק כאשר מהפכת פברואר 1917 הפילה את הצאר1929 ניקולאי השני מהשלטון.

מהפכת 1917 ומלחמת האזרחים עריכה
טרוצקי שב במאי 1917 לרוסיה כתומך העמדה הבולשביקית, הצטרף רשמית לסיעה זו כמה חודשים מאוחר יותר וכיהן כראש סובייט פטרוגרד, מועצת הפועלים המרכזית של רוסיה שהיוותה ממשלה-מקבילה של הפרולטריון בתקופת ממשלת המעבר הרוסית. הוא היה מעורב בצורה פעילה בניסיונות להפיל את הממשלה הזמנית בראשות אלכסנדר קרנסקי, והיה יושב ראש המועצה המהפכנית שתכננה ויישמה את מהפכת אוקטובר.

.לאחר שעלו הבולשביקים לשלטון, התמנה טרוצקי לתפקי

Internet Prize for self-awareness?

#4: Also science, not philosophy.

To paraphrase Russell, when something can be known, it is the domain of science. Philosophy is for teaching you want you don't know.

Sigh, 'want'->'what'

Computational Complexity seems directly on that definition, it is the very business of determining what we cannot find out in a reasonable amount of time, and when you consider the lifespan of the universe as a reasonable amount of time, what we cannot find out at all.

just for the record, when I think of a philosopher about whom I can say " I have randomly met, in my unprivileged life, several people clearly less unintelligent than him" Russell is the philosopher I first think of.

Pretty good on the whole naming of wildflowers thing, though, and I guess since Godel found him not too boring I shouldn't either, but Godel is not my boss, and probably would lose at chess sometimes and at bridge and poker most of the time

4. Major note: not all public key cryptography is based on factoring or discrete logarithm, so aren't currently vulnerable to quantum computers using Schor's algorithm. See Post-quantum cryptography for an introduction.

2. At first, I thought it was an excerpt from a sophomoric attempt at economics blogging. Great article. At first, these kinds of articles make you wonder why this kind of thing isn't happening all the time. But then you wonder why someone so talented wouldn't restrict themself to ripping off people within the letter of the law. Had she restricted herself to leaching of her "boyfriends" as described in the article, she'd still be free.

*ripping people off

* "ripping off people " was (I think preferable) grammatically OK.

Saw a similar, lengthy story re: an 18 year-old Australian surfer dude who hit up over time (and not be stopped) a bank for over $4 million. He lived it up. Eventually, the bank caught on; had him arrested; and he went to prison.

In prison, he read the law and filed an appeal which he won. The legal principle was (I think and it's more complex) that the bank participated in his crimes, effectively helping him take its money. Often, bad publicity could stop a bank from prosecuting such.

Similarly, in the US banks check kiting schemes are not prosecuted under Federal bank fraud statutes, but under mail fraud.

Recently in NY, four criminals were able to steal $190,000 through bank ATM fraud.

Even when a credit card is on file, a hotel should collect its bills in cash from the credit card company every week or two - one internal control over such loss.

Yes. Some of what she did seems not terribly illegal. More like she should be in bankruptcy court, not prison. If a bank was dumb enough to lend her $100,000 on a line of credit, without checking her assets or asking for collateral, isn't that really on them?

The link on computational complexity is interesting, with the further linked-to paper by Scott Aaronson especially good. I have two minor complaints about it, which really is the core of the whole link: 1) he mentions various thinkers without providing citations, 2) he short shrifts economics badly, although I suppose we should be grateful he mentioned it all in a long paper he admitted was leaving lots of stuff out. As it is, for those who want to pursue that topic further, the key figure is Kumaraswamy Vela Veluppillai and his numerous works and those cited by him, pretty much all ignored in this generally worthwhile paper.

Interesting that Wikipedia ties him to Computable Economics but that is an empty placeholder(!).

Is it the same as Computational Economics? Either Wikipedia needs to link to Computational, or the Computable folk need to get off the stick. Update the Wiki and get that much closer to the public consciousness.

Computable economics and computational economics are not identical. Velupillai is indeed the godfather of the former, which should have its own Wikipedia entry. It deals with computational complexity issues far more so than does computational economics, which tends to be much more instrumental rather than philosophical or dealing with higher mathematical issues.

Stuff like this seems entirely reasonable:

This paper aims to interpret and formalize Herbert Simon’s cognitive notions of bounded rationality, satisficing and heuristics in terms of computability theory and computational complexity theory. Simon’s theory of human problem solving is analyzed in the light of Turing’s work on Solvable and Unsolvable Problems. It is suggested here that bounded rationality results from the fact that the deliberations required for searching computationally complex spaces exceed the actual complexity that human beings can handle. The immediate consequence is that satisficing becomes the general criterion of decision makers and heuristics are the procedures used for achieving their goals. In such decision problems, it is demonstrated that bounded rationality and satisficing are more general than orthodox, non-cognitive, Olympian rationality and optimization, respectively, and not the other way about.

Though I guess the problem Velupillai has taken on is proving it with formal math.

Re #6: I discovered the parasitism in U.S. health care about 15 years ago when I used my employer health insurance for a prescription for a med I used for hair growth. I found that I was paying as much for the compound , on a per pill basis, for the CO-PAY ALONE if I were to pay cash only basis once I had the prescription. I also found out that you cannot buy, say, a 3 months supply for a prescription as I could for an OTC med. The pharmacy doles it out in 1 month supply only. So, for prescription meds you are paying a high priced pharmacy to take a prescription med out of its manufacturers package and to simply pour a 30 days supply of pills into one of those amber-colored pill containers that prescription meds come in. This is pure rent-seeking parasitism as far as I'm concerned. In any case, as this is the only med I take (I do take several supplements), I buy it from an international pharmacy without bothering with the prescription BS at all. My price is a lot lower as well.

The U.S. health care system (health providers, insurers, etc.) has become a corrupt, rent-seeking system that operates very similar to that of the military industrial complex during the Reagan build-up of the 1980's.

Tips on ordering without a prescription? I'd love to have that option.

*** I mean a friend would like to have that option.

https://www.unitedpharmacies.md/

So it grows hair or nah?

This guy asking the real questions

Aside from highly controlled drugs like adderall, of course you can buy three month prescriptions. There are a number of online pharmacies that have that as their entire business model

6. Health care is a racket. People all across the political spectrum should be able to agree on this.

I think the question is why we have high tolerance for such rackets.

I personally think that, with a decline in virtue, people just think "good for them, getting theirs."

If you want to guarantee everyone a job, then health care is the answer.

in the Soviet Union they used to pay otherwise unemployable people (typically lonely older women with genetic problems that I am sure were never properly diagnosed and that led to that sad obvious blank stare that people with learning disabilities often have in cultures where nobody cares all that much - and it is so avoidable! wake up!, such stares are a symptom of too little concern and compassion, wake up!) to stand at the top and bottom of the long Metro escalators, ready to hit the button to stop the flow of electric power to the escalators as they ascended and descended (the escalators, not the old women, who pretty much stayed in the same place at the end of the stairs all day long - a sight that so many of us remember) if they saw a dangerous emergency about to happen.
God bless their hearts, the ones I saw in 1980 are almost certainly all dead now, with almost nobody visiting their graves (but I remember you, I looked at every one of you as one looks at a fellow human, I hope I remember that well)

That, and the lack of ads tailored to the Harvey Weinsteins and Bill Clintons of the world on large billboards and the sides of buses, were two of the things that I liked most about Brezhnev's Moscow

by the way how come so few people write paragraph length personal-memory-type comments in these comment threads?

Are there that many better things to do in this world?

And yes I understand statistics and the laws of large and small numbers ....

for example, was George Theodore actually a major leaguer? Possibly not. There are two schools of thought on that.

Is this 2018? You tell me. Let's say I knew the answer once but maybe you can convince me otherwise. Bonus points if you are a life member of the VFW too.

Relampago, luciernaga, the Norwegian for lizard is the best word in that language for an English speaker to recognize with astonishment and humility, coro caminos, chebere salud chebere bueno chebere. Morado, lilas, el nombre de mi gato esta Jalapeño, toda la noche bailando, bailando, zup zup zup zup. (point a to point b, straight, point b to point c, on an angle, direct and linear, point c to point d, linear on a different angle, and then maybe back to point a and maybe back to that dreamworld that people who care about other people sometimes share, dreaming of the cat the two of them once lived with, a cat that, like the smallest of mosquitoes ever visited by an angel, can be brought back to life with the least effort of the least of angels, because that is how life works)

Proverbs 8, riffed on, Romans 8, also riffed on. (the key phrase - that is how life works - and the writer did not ask for much. Just that you think, for a moment, of that cat who shared a house with me and my beloved, years ago: see, you have thought of that cat twice, now! An American shorthair with a white/black tuxedo look, green eyes, and no love for anything that other cats did not love, or would not have loved, except maybe the sound of certain consonants and certain vowels that typically meant nothing to cats...but to which our cat meant the world! I miss you Izzy!)

2. "Anna looked at the soul of New York and recognized that if you distract people with shiny objects, with large wads of cash, with the indicia of wealth, if you show them the money, they will be virtually unable to see anything else." Makes you wonder how many grifters of one sort or another are out there. Government, academia, socialites.

6. "Imagine if other industries treated customers this way. The price of a flight from New York to Los Angeles would be a mystery until after the trip. Or, while digesting a burger, you could learn it cost 50 bucks." Or if you pulled into a gas station and the attendant fills your car before telling you the cost which is not posted. Bad actors all around. The employer, the insurance, the hospital, and us. We should be better consumers.

What an age of media where unspoken truths come into the light.

Cowen as Rip van Winkle:

Glen Branca passed on 13 May

#2. I'm reminded strongly of the novel 'Vanity Fair' and it's anti-heroine Becky Sharpe. Except that instead of marrying wealthy men, Anna appears to have been courting investors to line up money behind her personal art gallery project (apparently the female social climber has better options today). If she'd been successful she might have paid all her bills and catapulted herself into the 0.1% uber-rich elite with none of them knowing that she didn't come "from money". Part of the outrage also seems to be not so much that she defrauded a couple of banks but that she posed as a member of a social class she didn't belong to - and they couldn't tell!

What outrage? It's just an interesting story (and well told) - charming, clever young woman makes a living as a thief, fooling many victims who should have known better. Good plot line for a book and movie.

"Part of the outrage also seems to be not so much that she defrauded a couple of banks but that she posed as a member of a social class she didn't belong to - and they couldn't tell!"

I missed that subtext originally, but that would explain the excessive verbiage devoted to her specific fashion wear.

And the name dropping of all the cool people she got to hang with.

3. You're surprised that this reasonably prosperous little town, where the people are allowed to keep a little more of their own money than they used to, would be cited by the New York Times as a casualty of 'austerity'?

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