Thursday assorted links


3) Have you noticed how little there are of skin blemishes in paintings depicting people? It appears the artists are rendering their own impression of their subjects rather than producing a photographic like replication. Shocking!

I am a big Justin Timberlake fan.

Nobody is a big Justin Timberlake fan, for now.

Just like nobody really considers Shakespeare their favorite writer, even I don't (in my case, reading a good Shakespeare play, one asks oneself - how would dear Sappho have written this better, or good Isaiah? - other people think of Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, or poor Chesterton, just to stick with people who grew up in southern England)

Well Phil Collins finally (30 years into his career, 100 years after his Victorian grandparents fell in love with each other) achieved art gold with "Everyday", a sweet work of art from the first trailing shot of the summer-morning traffic on the west side of Manhattan, near the Hudson, so there is hope for Justin Timberlake yet, I guess

and Camille Paglia liked his cry me a river video but she is sort of a hysteric when it comes to people she thinks are good looking

as if she knew, nice girl, and it is nice to hear her opinions, but still, she is not very religious, is she (too rich? that is probably it) and sort of a hysteric (Squaresville ... !)

God loves us all and does not even bother to care about our bad taste in art (or in my case about our good taste in art, in the long run, as William Arkle's paintings demonstrate, Joy wins, when we are talking about the triumph of good artists)

6. ski jacket, chilblains, iPhone, Internet porn habit, childhood memories, body and all: gone in a nonflash. I-as-my-soul-rotate and transverse through the pale door.

My first reaction was "Why would France want to?"

Is greater discretion over staffing and salaries the main reason? Hmmm

Finally! Do you think Dr. Sheldon Cooper will relocate?

Thx. Catholic school upbringing, comparison shopping, the to/with debate.

6. Sounds like a bargaining chip for Macron to use in pushing through much needed reforms to the higher education system:

Of course following the US lead would be the worst possible outcome for France. Observers in the US though should watch this play out closely if we ever hope to address the orgy of waste that is the US higher education system. opposed to the 'orgy of waste' that is the US MIC.

How come so called conservatives never call this out?

Unlike the blame America first/appeasement crowd, conservatives have long favored a strong military that can project U.S. power around the world. The U.S. spends less as a percentage of GDP than Russia (about 3.5% v. 5%), and that's at the lower end of spending since WWII. Providing for the common defense is a constitutionally delegated responsibility of the federal government, unlike the parasitic welfare state that dwarfs the defense budget. Pork-barrel spending and waste are nonetheless an unfortunate problem inherent in the procurement process that can be reduced but not eliminated.

Not sure anyone could posit an exclamation point inflation if they read Robert Ludlum novels as I did in the 1970's. "He got out of bed! And brushed his teeth!" This is not even to mention all the Clive Cussler novel titles of the same era, e.g. "Find the Undersea McGuffin!" or whatever they were named.

One the more interesting things I learned when reading Eire's Reformations was that there were prisoners in Spain under civil jurisdiction who tried to get their cases transferred to the Inquisition (sometimes by blaspheming or shouting heresies). Another interesting thing was Martin Luther's penchant for using scatological insults.

Gotta hand it to Tyler today. Isn't it striking the way the theme of Nr. 1 is picked up in the title to Nr. 4. And, how the lightning theme in Nr. 3 shows up again in the photo in Nr. 4. That's art!

The problem with the exclamation point is that you risk irritating others if you don't use it. I have always thought it was a bit undignified but I found out that when you don't use it, people assume you're uninterested, arrogant, or rude....

Do you blame males, including you, for everything?

No, of course not.

Only white males.

Yes. It's because of text chat.

I don't even mean this as snark, but it tends to be women and the more effiminate males who feel this impulse. Your screen name and comment are in harmony.

#5: Devil's Advocate: if you're worried about the health of the field and white nationalists are your biggest fans, maybe forget about broadening its appeal and just double down on the white nationalism. Really build up that customer loyalty, eh?

#3 quality photographs of lightning look different than to the naked eye. With photo/videography, you can see the bolt grow and all the veins, but the main vein is much much brighter than the others, and to the naked eye you frequently only see that main vein and perhaps 1 or 2 others.

Correct. Nowhere in the article is it noted that the duration of an average lightning flash is under 50 microseconds.

Is it just me, or is Cowen now resorting to clickbait in his “assorted links” section?

Sometimes clickbait is essential reading. Like check this out:

There's "You Won't Believe What The Kid from E.T. Looks Like Today"-style clickbait and then there's the above. Crucial difference.

2. America needs more true contrarians right now. And the nice/terrible thing about being a libertarian at the moment is that you get to be a contrarian to both sides of the political divide. In some ways it's a riskier place to be, you have to withstand attacks from both sides, but in some ways it's also safer - neither side sees you as marching in lock step with The Enemy. And being willing to dissent from both tribes also provides two further benefits: 1. You can think more clearly about what you really believe - you can be more honest with yourself, when you no longer care about what your tribe thinks about you, and that leads to greater clarity and great ability to see both sides of an issue, and 2. it gives you greater credibility with your political opponents, because you are going to be seen as having a willingness to dissent from your side when your side is wrong. And because you're also going to have greater clarity about what they think, it makes it easier to persuade them. In other words: They're going to be more open to your arguments if they don't see you as allied to the enemy, and you're going to be more able to understand their concerns if you don't see them as the enemy. And that makes it easier to change their minds.

Sounds like being a contrarian has a lot of benefits. Maybe you should give it a try sometime.

Sorry, you were kinda askin' for that.

Libertarians are a contrarian crowd with all of the pitfalls associated with being a minority crowd mentioned in the article. And by the way, libertarians are The Enemy: Koch Brothers, James Buchanan, etc.=EVIL.

That's kind of a high bar, to have no crowd behind you in order to be a true contrarian. Essentially the only people who would count are people nobody has ever heard of.

We're all contrarians now. My favorite cartoon on the subject is linked:

Well, not only am I a libertarian, I am an anti-alt-right, anti-racist libertarian. Which appears to put me at odds with at least 45% of libertarian commenters these days.

I think my problem is that I keep seeking out the positions that bridge the divides between our cultures divisions, in ever neater refinements. First that was libertarianism, and now it's a position that takes the original culturally-left-leaning libertarianism (culturally right libertarians are an abomination) and mixes in a little bit of social justice (of the private norm-establishing type). Social inclusion and free markets. I really enjoy Bleeding Heart Libertarians, but few libertarians venture into that rarified territory, except the occasional heckler.

I'm partial to bleeding heart libertarianism, but I think your racism detector is turned up a little too high. Obviously we both base it on our own experiences, so take it for whatever it's worth...


yup, strong libertarians require confidence and a thick skin -- most people are instantly dismissive of libertarian views.

Strong libertarian views are rare in this blog, especially from its primary authors.

Moderates & Centrists are such nice cooperative people. /s

2. Everybody hates insiders so insiders pretend to be outsiders, even when they reside in the White House and control Congress and the Courts, while insiders claim that it's the outsiders who are in control. Outsiders, being outsiders, are confused, and don't know whether to claim they are insiders or claim they are outsiders since the point in voting for an outsider is because everyone hates insiders but voters, who profess to hate insiders, keep voting for insiders.

So insiders are sons and outsiders are daughters?

... fortunately, voting never changes anything -- the insiders always run things no matter who is elected.

Trump seems an outsider in face of the massive Deep State, but he's been deeply involved in establishment politics fro decades.

Who does Rayward vote for ?

6. There is no French word for "Massachusetts".

The German language did not have the F-word until 100 years ago when a corporal in a trench in France blurted, "Where the F did all those Americans come from!!!?!!!"

The Spanish Inquisition article is really quite bad. It doesn't mention that even by conservative modern estimates around 2000 converted Jews were killed by the Inquisition between 1478 and 1520.

Sure, but isn't the point, how many more people would have been killed if they didn't have the court system in place as part of the inquisition or how many people were wrongly accused and killed in other judicial (or extra-judicial) systems at that time.

It still doesn't look great. Mary I killed around 300 Protestants in England. During Elizabeth's much longer reign a similar number of Catholic priests, Jesuits, and allies were executed.

I appreciate all of these interesting links. To express the sincerity of my gratitude, I'll include a variety of consecutive exclamation marks and let you choose the one that seems to express the most sincerity.



1. I can't help but wonder if this link is directed at Alex.

"I’m sure I’ve already spent beyond my means, don’t email me."

Like Alex, this author doesn't understand the em dash or semicolon.

1. the fewer the better. reminded of this story.

"The shortest telegram in the English language was from the writer Oscar Wilde. He was living in Paris and he cabled his publisher in Britain to see how his new book was doing. The message read: “?” The publisher cabled back: “!”"

The last time I read this story it was about Victor Hugo.

You are correct. I must have used a wrong internet source.

#1 Sub-editor exclamation mark overload,

""" Yahoo! fined! $35m! for! covering! up! massive! IT! security! screwup! """

""" Yahoo! search! results!, recommendations!, ad! flinging! code! is! now! open! source! """

6: 'the union of the grandes écoles -- currently known only as “NewUni”'

I'm trying to make sense of the linguistic mixture in that quote. Why would the French, even as a nickname, use an English word to name the proposed university, i.e. "new" rather than "nouveau"? That seems like a highly un-French thing to do.

6. Quite ironic as the MIT is a copy of the French Ecole Polytechnique founded during the French Revolution.

Many of the renowned scholarship is of English and German origin. William Jones established the link between Sanskrit and other European languages. Many of the German scholars struggled to reconcile the idea of brown people from North India speaking a language sharing roots with Greek and Latin, but they were nevertheless white. Even today, David Frawley prowls the Indian landscape trying to gin up the out of India movement, and he has a fair number of passionate/rabid Indian followers. If there is one person who bears the inhumane brunt of rabid Indian nationalism it is Audrey Truschke, because she unspools many myths of Hindu India, but I wager that Indians would venerate Truschke if she did not demolish myths of Hindu India. So, it befuddles me that M. Rambaran-Olm cannot teach Anglo-Saxon history because he is brown. Why?

#2: I feel like "Banding together is a healthy human impulse. Banding together in knots of narcissistic fury is not. The rise of contrarian crowds is a measure of our failure to create new, widely shared forms of belonging and community" is the real important line here.

But aren't the "contrarian crowds" actually the new groups of belonging and community, anyway? Whether it's narcissistic or not, they are communities that are forming.

6. France doesn't really have the culture to build something like MIT. The French education system prizes excellence in a few narrow areas (well, primarily mathematics) to the exclusion of many others.

Like certain elite schools (e.g. IIT in India, Tsinghua in China), the grandes ecoles select for and churn out a bunch of people with high intellectual calibre at the undergrad level, but unlike Anglo-Saxon schools, research at the graduate level is comparatively weak.

Also, French people are generally conformist in nature. I can't see the rebellious nature of MIT catching on there.

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