Thursday assorted links

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1. Isn't the term 'speculation?'

I am sure I am missing detail, but what I think this says is that while people were looking at the internal security of the blockchain, someone was committing old fashioned price manipulation outside it.

In retrospect, of course.

Price manipulation intended to pull in ever more speculators and increase the price of bitcoin, at least in the framing of the research.

Basically, exactly the sort of thing one expects from the historical record when looking at how speculators get taken to the cleaners by those able to manipulate markets.

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You should have asked readers to solve for the equilibrium of the Country Time offer.

6,000 dollars? That figure is in the article as the limit that the company will pay out before ending this marketing effort at 11:59pm ET, 8/31/2018.

And this in that article too - 'I guess it’s nice of these companies to step in here, but it’s sad that America’s crumbling infrastructure and antiquated legal system have become promotional opportunities for massive multinational corporations that spend millions each year trying to avoid paying local, state, and federal taxes that might conceivably go towards fixing problems like this in a non-ad hoc way.'

Who knew that Prof. Cowen would want to highlight such a situation?

"6,000 dollars? "

$60,000 (max $300 per case)

You are absolutely right - my mistake.

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Lol how much money do we have to spend for the police to stop enforcing anti-lemonade stand laws?? That would actually save money

+1 small government Anonymous

Sorry, typical Anonymous, pay government, then pay government not to do what they are paid to do. Stupid X double down.

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The crypto crash might finally be happening.

After it sinks some more I might buy some tokens from the most promising Ethereum alternative on the hopes that it might actually survive (and on the assumption that non-coin tokens could actually have long term value).

As what? Collectors' items? Crypto-numismatics is a coming fad.

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#5: Pretty sure Gregory Clarke and, I think Acemoglu as well have posited that plague was a factor in the East/West divergence, as it hastened the demise of feudalism in the west, but not so much in the east.

Are we sure the premise here is correct, though, that plague was such a huge problem in the Ottoman Empire, as opposed to anywhere else, though? There is no actual evidence presented in the piece.

That was my main question too. And I wonder about China, which seems to have been the source of many influenza epidemics, which didn't prevent it from being perhaps the world's leading civilization for several centuries -- until it wasn't anymore. Did it get victimized by disease more often after the 1500 or so?

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In America, today is Flag Day.

Three cheers for the red, white and blue!

Actually, you left out a major reason to celebrate today, an event that shines as blessed as Old Glory, and the Army in which he did not serve - "I am blessed to have shared my birthday with the Star Spangled Banner and the US Army for 71 years now. Again, on Flag Day, I am deeply grateful to live under the red, white and blue, and all for which it stands."

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My favorite kinds of flags are the ones used by airport safety personnel.

Yay, Flags!

https://www.safetyflag.com/products/29-flags-airport-runway-closure-misc/93-airport-flag

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And for the yellow, green, blue, white!

"Take the affection enclosed

In our youthful chest,

Dear symbol of the land,

Of the beloved land of Brazil!

Over the immense Brazilian Nation,

In times of happiness or grief,

Hover always, o sacred flag,

Pavilion of justice and love!"

Felicitations!

Thank you very much. Felicitations for you, too.
Actually, Flag Day is celebrated in Brazil on the 19th November, when Brazil's Republican flag was made official. But why not celebrate sooner?

Thago, serious question. Why don't you live in Brazil?

I live and it is awesome.

"I live and it is awesome."

So, you claim not to be a Bot, then. Hmmm....

Obviously, "in Brazil" was implied.

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You forgot Brazil's motto: "Desordem e Regressão"

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Second Life? My gosh, reminds me, I need to check my MySpace account... lol. I actually met girls in the Philippines around 2008 using MySpace, wow, what a blast from the past.

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5. A fact that's often ignored is that while seventeenth and eighteenth century North America had many diseases that posed problems for both the native Americans and the European invaders, smallpox, malaria, typhus, cholera, etc., it didn't experience a plague epidemic, unlike practically every country in Europe. Plague wasn't an issue until 1904 when it erupted in the Chinese section of San Francisco.

No consideration seems to have been given to the economic advantage that a plague-free North America had over Europe, where substantial portions of the population died in various outbreaks.

There was no plague epidemic in north America (among white people at least) in those centuries for a large part because there was no large concentration of humans. Cities were small and houses had only one flour, so they were low density, and many settler lived on isolated farms anyway. But for the benefit of having no plague the American settlers also lacked all the positive externalities of big cities and of a well-populated countryside.

What did large concentrations of humans have to do with it? Other diseases managed to flourish without the benefit of dense urban populations. There's no evidence that a certain critical mass is required for a plague epidemic, in fact, no one knows why plague came and went when it did.

Mathematicians study the critical mass required for diseases.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compartmental_models_in_epidemiology

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Europe's cities in the 14th century were not very large either-- but Europe still had the Black Death. However the extraordinary thing is that the plague bacillus never even made it to the Americas until 1900. 16th and 17th century ships certainly did have rats, and those rats, via their fleas, could easily have brought Yersinia pestis to these shores-- the bacterium has a non-infectious mode which allows it to persist over time without causing disease outbreaks. It could have been lurking here for a long time-- but it was not. It was rather brought from China at the end of the 19th century, and it's not well established throughout the rodent populations of the west. One danger to people these days is that their pets can pick up the disease from rodents they kill and ring it home.

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#4 How self aware do you think this Digg article is? Talk about popular social web platforms that fell under their own weight and continued on ruined last legs.

The future of experiences like Second Life are in VR. Social spaces like VRChat and AltSpaceVR have already largely made Second Life obsolete, even though they still contain most of the same downsides (giant genitalia crashing servers included). I've seen a few projects try to tackle the issue of these spaces being centralized around corporate control, but I don't think any have taken off or moved much beyond idea phases. Projects like High Fidelity and Decentraland have great open ambitions but at this point it's all just vapor-ware.

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Wow! Country time may even use lemons in the future. Country Time contains no lemons.

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WRT #2, Longreads: https://longreads.com/2018/06/14/sex-workers-vs-the-internet/ just posted an essay on this subject.

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#2. Not a single verifiable fact - except the claim that the author has been "adjacent" to the sex trade for 20 years. All the rest is her profoundly anecdotal opinion. I doubt she is even aware of the difference between opinion and fact, but who knows? Why is this worth citing? Doesn't the human trafficking "epidemic" and her claims conflict/contradict? One statement which I have to point to specifically is here claim that the internet personalizes the sex worker to the Johns. Riiight, the internet is all about humanizing relationships and people.

I miss the good old days when opinions weren't expressed on the internet and every tweet had to be peer reviewed.

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I've noticed that among many who dislike sex work and want to get it banned, there is a very visceral dislike of successful sex workers, apart from the dislike of sex work.

This dislike almost seems stronger than the original dislike of sex work.

When sex workers are in the shadows, victimized and vulnerable it doesn't seem to bother people all that much, because it fits in with their expectations When they become super successful suddenly there is enough energy to pass a law to make sure they are no longer successful.

See the 70's obscenity ruling (when porn stars and film star worlds were freely mixing and many porn stars became very wealthy) and now with this law.

I doubt this phenomenon exists.

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The ability of sex workers to use the internet for safer work has been substantially harmed, many say, by the recently enacted SESTA-FOSTA legislation. https://www.thedailybeast.com/sex-workers-fear-for-their-future-how-sesta-is-putting-many-prostitutes-in-peril The internet had made many sex workers safer because they did not ply their trade in public and they could use the internet as a screening device.

If anyone wants to read more about sex work from a highly literate sex worker, I'd recommend Maggie McNeill on Twitter (or her blog, The Honest Courtesan.) https://twitter.com/Maggie_McNeill?lang=en

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#3 -- Pugsley and Şahin cleverly show that in rich countries reduced costs of industrial inputs due to free trade/mass immigration do NOT compensate for reduced industrial profit opportunities due to increased foreign/immigrant competition but rather discourage investment on balance (at least, investment in rich countries). So much for naive free-trade/ immigration boosterism.

Joe Munson (#2) -- Feminists and less-politically-active women are largely opposed to the legalization of sex work, though of course there are a few libertarian women who don't mind it. This attitude is perfectly predictable and only seems illogical because the women do not articulate their logical but rather grubby reasons, preferring to conceal those beneath moralist cant. The whole point of feminism is to increase the power of women. What is the number-one power most women want? The power to obtain commitment and support from attractive men, of course. That means most women want to force up their own value in the sexual marketplace by making sexual services for men scarcer. By selling low-commitment, low-price sexual services to men, sex workers compete-down the price of high-commitment sexual services from other women. Women want to outlaw sex work for the same reason as taxicab firms want to outlaw ride-sharing businesses.

+1. Agreed. This is a war against the budget end of the market.

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