Saturday assorted links

1. QuantEcon is a NumFOCUS fiscally sponsored project dedicated to development and documentation of modern open source computational tools for economics, econometrics, and decision making.  Main link here.

2. Learning others’ political views reduces the ability to assess and use their expertise in nonpolitical domains.

3. The new American songbook? Thirty song selections.  (How did Oasis and Celine Dion get on this list?)

4. Are there eight main channels of innovation?

5. Nebraska school cook who served kangaroo meat chili loses job.


"Learning others’ political views reduces the ability to assess and use their expertise in nonpolitical domains."

I'm fond of saying that, the better I know someone from Facebook, the less I like them—and others may feel the same about me.

Facebook does seem to be a political-talking-point-sharing machine, and I read a good description of it this morning:

"Of course, I was nosily waiting to find out what happened in Sexton’s own marriage. We never learn. But perhaps there’s a hint in his unequivocal advice about Facebook: Leave it. Or, as he titles his chapter on the perils of social media: 'If We Were Designing an Infidelity-Generating Machine, It Would Be Facebook.'"

5. Let them eat kangaroo tail soup, WITH a generous side of jellied moose nose. (No dessert of chocolate-covered ants unless they clean their bowls and plates.)

(How about panda-on-a-stick [bamboo skewers de rigueur] with avocado slices, dipped in Worcestershire sauce? Mmmmm . . .)

But Kangaroo is just standard stuff. It's at out local supermarket.

Koala burgers? (Side of eucalyptus chips?)

I would continue to guess that most American schoolchildren have had no memorable encounters with servings of jellied moose nose (an authentic Upik delicacy, if memory serves--alas, I have only heard of this dish).

Try it and you'll 'roo the day -- it makes people too jumpy

Of course, in Aussie-Cajun gumbo recipes it's a 'roux

I've never seen or heard of Koala being eaten.

Why do you mention strange foods alongside Kangaroo? I could list hamburgers alongside penguine testicles but it doesn't add any information about the strangeness or ordinariness of hamburgers.

3. "So we asked critics, musicians, and industry professionals to predict which tracks from the past 25 years we’ll still be dancing and singing along to for the next 100 years." Americans' poor taste in music is no different than Americans' poor taste in politicians: it knows no bounds. I'm not familiar with Fuck and Run (not the song anyway), and I've never heard of Israel Kamakawiwoʻole, but I predict for the next 100 years people will be listening to It's a Wonderful World by the incomparable Louis Armstrong.

Americans' poor taste in music is no different than Americans' poor taste in politicians: it knows no bounds.

You might consider improving the quality of life for all of us by emigrating.

That didn't work with clockwork_prior, unfortunately

"That didn't work with clockwork_prior, unfortunately"


Snowflake cucktards like you get deported.

"I've never heard of Israel Kamakawiwoʻole"

Perhaps. But you've presumably heard of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". His version of it (which is what put him on this list) is an instant classic even if the listener is not from Hawaii. And for those who were, he provided a voice and soundtrack for the revival of Hawaiian culture. When he died his body lay in state in the capitol and the burial of his ashes at sea was attended by thousands, as seen at the end of this video.

Iz's medley of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "It's a Wonderful World" is, well, wonderful. His version of the latter tune was featured in Good Morning, Vietnam.

Over a decade ago I wrote a longish post about that medley at The Valve [now dormant], The Song of Israel Kamakawiwo'ole. Here's the opening of that post:

Sometime in 1993 Israel Kamakawiwo'ole called his producer at 2AM and set up a recording session ASAP. He records a handful of tunes, just his voice and ukulele, one tune after the other, all single takes, and goes home. One of those takes was a medley that inserted “What a Wonderful World” into “Over the Rainbow.” The medley was issued on Kamakawiwo'ole’s 1993 CD, Facing Future. In 1998 the medley was on the soundtrack of Meet Joe Black. In 2005 Facing Future went platinum (1M or more units sold), the first Hawaiian album to do so.

In this post I want to take a look at that medley and its subsequent history. The two songs in the medley are standards – a term of art in discussing pop music of the Big Band era and more recent music of that kind. Judy Garland recorded “Rainbow” for The Wizard of Oz at the height of the big band era, 1938. It became an instant hit and has been recorded hundreds of times. Armstrong recorded “Wonderful” in 1967, when big bands had been thoroughly eclipsed by rock and roll. It became a hit in the UK, but not in the USA. Armstrong’s recording got a second chance when it was used on the soundtrack of Good Morning, Vietnam in 1987. Though not the first, Kamakawiwo'ole’s cover of the song was one of the earliest.

I hate to break it to you. But it is 2017. That song is about fifty years old. And at that point, like the Beatles, almost all songs begin to disappear as the fans die. And it's not even as if there is broadcast TV any more, for these to live on somewhere. Where would a kid hear artists of the 50s, even Elvis?

How do songs disappear? The sheet music, fake books, and even recording mostly remain.

Song books are, or were, the guide to singing, performing songs.

Playlists is a different thing, a way to rehear songs that effectively dead or disappeared performers can't sing any more.

But the Beatles Abby Road was essentially never performed, so it didn't enter the playlist, while the Stones not only performed Sticky Finger a lot then, they still perform Sticky Fingers, and other bands perform it.

Offer the Rainbow is in a song book which lots of people have pulled out and sung from, with many reinterpreting it, just as the Bach, Beethoven, et al song books are constantly pulled out and performed, with occasional reinterpretation.

And the Beatles started off playing from old song books, and then writing their own song books in the style, but updated, and then when they could not perform over the screams, invented completely new song books that could not be performed in the way music was performed at the time.

Pink Floyd wrote new song books and invented new ways to perform, as did the Who, then David Bowie, and on and on so that performing a song book became much harder to meet expectations.

But at the same time, Pete Seger performed an old song book, inspiring new song writers like Dylan who wrote new song books that a Seger could incorporate.

I watch live performances when I can just to see fans singing along just as people did at a Pete Seger, Judy Colin, etc folk concerts.

The songs that belong in a song book of special note are those that the audience joins in on in a concert.

Which is what Car Pool Kareoki taps into.

And yet most of these names contribute little to the song knowledge of the average 18-year old, never mind the personalities. I would guess extremely generously, she knows 5 Beatles songs and 2 Stones, 1 Floyd (the one about the wall), maybe 0 Who?

I gotta say, no bs no snark, this is my favorite Mulp post ever, that was cool.

"Where would a kid hear artists of the 50s, even Elvis?"

Video games of course.

Google: "fallout 4 soundtrack"

The new American songbook?

Um, what about Drake (Canada), Adele (UK), Alanis Morisette (Canada), Robbie Williams (UK), and Carly Rae Jepsen (Canada)?

This may seem like a rhetorical question, but are the people at Slate just a bunch of retards?

The best American music is made in Canada

Right. Great American Songbook vs New American Songbook.

Not even close. They are totally whack. Ppl are going to be singing renditions of Wonderwall in 80 years??? Hahahaaaaaahaha.

"... are the people at Slate ... retards?"

Yes. Delusional, treasonous retards.

Not to forget Daft Punk (France). Anyway, I thought it was quite a good list as far as they go. Often the authors of those lists try to promote their crappy own selection, that's been done in moderation here.

4. Surprised Madonna or Britney Spears did not make the list. Some of these artists I have never even heard of.

Oh! my coloured breathren, all over the world, when shall we arise from this death-like apathy? And be men!! You will notice, we ever become men, (I mean respectable ….)

Wilkommen, David

The real #4 .. not what I expected but sure. And a society that encourages all 8 channels innovates the most.

#5 As "currently most kangaroo meat is sourced from wild animals as a byproduct of population control programes" (wiki), I can see how this might be off-putting for a couple reasons. How good was the inspection of wild animals? Was Joey enjoying his life before Bruce showed up with his rifle?

A large dairy animal approached Zaphod Beeblebrox's table, a large fat meaty quadruped of the bovine type with large watery eyes, small horns and what might almost have been an ingratiating smile on its lips.

'Good evening', it lowed and sat back heavily on its haunches, 'I am the main Dish of the Day. May I interest you in the parts of my body?'

Basically, we pretend our farmed animals are almost that.

3: Ah yes, Cole Porter wishes he could have composed lyrics like the #1 song on the list:
"Don't want to meet your daddy (oh ohh), just want you in my caddy (oh ohh)
Hey ya! (oh, oh!) Hey ya! (oh, oh!)
Don't want to meet your momma, just want to make you cum-a (oh, oh!)"

"Birds do it, bees do it / Even educated fleas do it / Let's do it" is not even two steps away from that, and more cliches to boot.


No, not seriously. Either that or Millian is a space alien.

Seriously. What exactly are the "birds and bees" but sex? What the hell is an "educated flea" anyway? Old people were really forgiving to irrelevant stuff in their songs. I think people had less lexical cognitive ability to process dense texts back then. If it weren't old and justified by age, conservative curmudgeons would be unforgiving.

I mean, come on, that's clear cherry-picking. As an avowed anti-poptimist, Hey Ya is still pretty good, with some clever lyrical bits:

"We get together
Oh, we get together
But separate's always better when there's feelings involved
Know what they say -its
Nothing lasts forever!
Then what makes it, then what makes it
Then what makes it, then what makes it
Then what makes love the exception?
So why, oh, why, oh
Why, oh, why, oh, why, oh
Are we still in denial when we know we're not happy here"

I thought the Great American Songbook was composed of the songs themselves, not particular performances. I also thought that what made a song part of that canon is that it was covered by numerous artists, starting soon after it was first performed and continuing for many years afterwards. None of those songs, except “Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "What a Wonderful World,” which were already part of the songbook, meet those criteria.

#3 - Songbook...When I think of American Songbook, I am thinking of songs that can and will be covered in every style imaginable for years to come. Songs that will be used over and over again in movies and television. Songs that will be wedding mainstays. Songs that will feature at open mics for another 50 years, songs where weird quirky people will specialize. Get Lucky, and You Outta Know might hits those points. Rolling in the Deep seems to miss some of those.

If you go to the panelists' picks underlying the article, there are even more improbable picks. There seems to be alot of wishful thinking for what should be in the American Songbook. Also, I know it is Slate, but can the picks skew very "left" in some ways. There was almost no country mentioned anywhere in the panel. Are there no country songs that can appeal to non-trump voters at this point? Friends in Low Places does not make the cut for 25 years, but that will likely be a Standard. Only one mention of Taylor Swift? (mentioning not because she was country for a second, but just because she is phenomenon with many great hooks.

For better or worse, I would expect Closing Time by Semisonic to have more staying power than a lot the picks. Also, not a single Weezer mention which seems like an oversight.

Also, I'm 42 years old, I listen to multiple formats of Radio. I am nominally aware of the music zeitgeist, or at least I was until about 3-4 years ago when I stopped recognizing a lot of artists on Saturday Night Live. I dont recognize a surprising number of the songs in the panelists' picks, like I can't hear the hook in my head, or wouldn't recognize it on the radio which make me think that maybe those choices are not as strong as they should be. But maybe that really just says more about me, and maybe just how out of touch I am am.

And for what it is worth, there seems to be a ton of "signaling" going on in these panel picks.

Well said! I’m in my mid-40s and drive a gaggle of musically inclined teenagers to school every day. Most of the songs in the article aren’t even hits today.

I’ve alwags thought Slate is some conservative long con designed to make us think liberals are stupid.

I would think you would get a much better sense of what will be "standards" in the new American Songbook by talking to professional gigging musicians who play weddings and corporate events. Find out what is in their playlists. Find out what is often requested, and just ask them what they think is a new american songbook. That will be far more interesting than a Slate panel.

Correct answer. Ask a wedding DJ. Nobody has a better understanding of how people feel when they hear old music. A wedding DJ could probably have told you that ABBA would be about the only survivor of the 1970s.

And ABBA's not even American.


They’re Ikean. The true test of musical genius is the ability to make DYI furniture

Or Weird Al. He's got a good track record of picking songs with staying power.

"Passion Projects" can be flushed down the toilet bowl with Stephen Pinker's inert "Mind over Mass Media." The spine of the internet is not, as commonly assumed, the 1.8 trillion searches on Google this year. Look at how the NYT cannot pass a basic composition class The spine is the subversion of the NYT culture. WHere you have people on 4chan, coming with slogans like Pepe (which are then considered racist) for made-up snobberies like cuckholdery. The Onion, etc, all in the vein of the Lampoon, highly misunderstood, and at the same time, powerful?

Ay Clockwork Orange, no fear, no sorry, no maybe, nothing saved. As the Poet Robert Lowell writes, "Yes, and no strength exerted on the heat Then sinews the abolished will, when sick And full of burning, it will whistle on a brick.

Most of those somgs nobody listens to now (alanis, Liz Phair just too obvious examples) I can’t understand why they’re certain they’ll be listened to 100 years from now.

More on the kangaroo from a local source for those inclined:

#3...Good one. It took me a few seconds to realize it was a parody.

2 - Certainly true in my case. If I see a resume from a “Studies” major, or membership in a “social justice” organization, I throw it out immediately.

A lot of you "threw out" information from people who understood Trump immediately in 2015. Much to your detriment.

3. & 5. It's a pity "Who Put the Roo in the Stew" by the Webb brothers didn't make the American Songbook. After all, it is about Ronald Reagan and the Webb brothers dress like Americans and even mention the American military hero Colonel Sanders:

#5 Someone losing their job over this has me hopping mad.

Their decision is totally out of bounds.

So you're saying they will roo the day they fired him?

I'm putting an official letter of complaint from Australia in the diplomatic pouch right now.

if ur gonna serve skippy in american schools
it better be the peanut butter
not the marsupial

Australian schools skip lunch every day of the week.

is that how Australian schools
keep their girlish figure?
choosey american mothers
choose skippy the peanut butter
not skippy the marsupial

In Australia students are expected to get their own lunch. They can either bring it with them or purchase it at a monopoly called a tuck shop. The money from the tuck shop goes to the school so they have an incentive to turn kids into giant porkers.

You get mad over the dumbest things.

Pine bluff is watcha player haters hate to say

Pine Gap is where Americans eat kangaroo all the time:

When I visited Australia my favorite meal was the one where I got to eat kangaroo, crocodile, and emu.

Provided the exact opposite of eating your meal didn't happen when you got to the second course, you did well.

It was really tasty. The kangaroo was like venison, the crocodile kind of chicken with a seafood feel, the emu was like duck. Must have been a good chef.

You got me feeling like some kangaroo now. I'll check what price it is when I go to the supermarket.

You can buy it there like any other meat?

You can buy it ground in your grocery freezer compartment [Coles, Woolworths]-good for Spag Bol, per the article.

You can buy steaks at your butcher shop [usually pre-ordered].

I've never had tail.

In South Australia kangaroo is often sold fresh in the supermarket but they don't shift nearly as much of it as other meats. It is lean and healthy because it's a wild animal, but people do like their fattened meat.

Pet food is often kangaroo. It's a minor source of income in small rural towns. People Shoot kangaroos, skin them, and then dump the bodies in the roo bin for pet food.

There are strict rules requiring humane shooting and the pay is minimal so you have to be a good shot.

4. The most important innovations were not done by any of the 8 modes listed as far as I can tell.

Rockets go back over a thousands, at least solid rockets. It took government driving the development of rockets, obviously for war, and then trying to justify the spending to voters by trying to find civilian uses. The innovation came from government funding incremental improvement, rapidly when funding was high and directed.

Paved roads are an innovation and better paved roads come from government funding road building, innovations coming from higher government funding and specific government direction.

Railroads are a great innovation, with the innovations coming from government to satisfy requirements set by government. Consider, that as US government backed away from setting requirements on railroads and cutting funding, innovation stalled and rail performance backtracked, rather than being driven by innovation to retain market share.

Universal mail and parcel delivery is a great innovation that happens only from government stepping in and providing it, then innovating rapidly as customers begin to use it in ways not anticipated.

The Internet is a great innovation because it's owned and controlled by the public, making it universal. The idea of networks providing methods of exchanging data between individuals and firm's on a proprietary network was invested in heavily by all the means author lists. Global message boards existed by volunteers setting up relay computers to move data hop by hop between computers in the same telephone calling area, which overlap at an edge. Calling from NYC to Boston was long distant, but a computer could be put at the extreme of the NYC calling area that could call toll free part way across CT, then further, then further, until into central Mass, and across towns to reach Boston. Throw in some big corporations with telephone lines into distant States and nations for business calls, left idle at night, and now the BBS network becomes global, faster, and operate without cash, just connected volunteers.

Of course, IBM had networks, AOL, ATT, MCI, and then Microsoft hoped to become the de facto standard with MSN.

Then a few members of Congress stuck a paragraph in a big funding bill that got signed by HW Bush and government picked the global innovation winner, and innovated it into universal use by all nations, with various central planning efforts with limited funding required. The actions by the central planners created the pull that force Bill Gates to dance to faceless technocrats and abandon hundreds of millions in innovations and direct Microsoft employees to back the government picked winner.

Jet planes. Government, most importantly British. Commercial schedule passenger flight. Government, by way of subsidized Air Mail that directed the Post Office to get contracts for daily carriage of mail from scheduled air carriers. Which didn't exist at the time. GPS, invented by sci-fi, but all the innovation was driven by governments, and still is.

2. Learning others’ political views reduces the ability to assess and use their expertise in nonpolitical domains.

Too much work learning politics leaving the learner too tired for much else.

5. Nebraska school cook who served kangaroo meat chili loses job.

What! No kangaroo burgers?

'Roo Burgers:


Not enough fat.

You add an egg.

Next you'll probably tell me you don't know how to cook a galah.

I'll try it!

Step 1: Put the galah (a pink and grey parrot for those that don't know) into a pot and add two stones roughly the same size as the galah.
Step 2: Fill the pot with water and bring it to the boil.
Step 3: When the stones are soft the galah is ready to eat.

Why the fascination with having other people choose definitive lists for things which we should choose for ourselves?
It's ritualistic. Okay, boys and girls; it's time to reshuffle last years best songs of all time into this year's best songs of all time even though we are taking out some of the best songs from last year and replacing them with songs from various years. I.E; - We're bored, but we're not going to let that stop us!
Mediocrity is as persistent as the most stubborn drug-resistant STD.

#3. That list is ridiculous. Most of it is what people who don't really like music listen to. (Not all!)

4. They forgot partnerships (law firms, consulting all work that way). Massive oversight IMO.

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