Friday assorted links


2. I remember at the height of the MOOC backlash that we were told "not everyone can learn this way!"

Shrug. Maybe we were too accepting of that. We expect all college students to be able to sit and study quietly. Online education is that.

How does Devon know that the white people were Britons? Is this racist?

Northern English accents are very distinctive. British drunkards are not quiet; you hear them coming long before you see them. If someone has been here long enough to pick up an accent, then they're as British as hot Bovril as far as I'm concerned.

Glad to get your approval Jack! Although she trod carefully, there was never any way Devon was going to say anything interesting or off piste about the race of the people she was observing. She writes well and her observations were interesting. But she was hardly going to start complaining about the immigrants was she.

#3 " 'It’s a weird situation that this very elegant proof of something that wasn’t previously known was posted in such an unlikely place [4chan],' Houston said." Okay, can we stop acting like 4chan is not one of the most important places on the internet? It is:

- Almost 70-90 million page views a day
- Argument could be made it is one of the last vestiges of truly free speech anywhere, with some board mods being practically asleep and board rules that are by-and-large unregulated
- No up-vs-down vote (can "hide", but that's about it...), which disincentives the echo-chamber effect and gives unpopular ideas equal footing in the marketplace of ideas
- Not entirely populated by knuckle-draggers and Nazis. Sorry...its cultural importance is highly under-rated.

This lower-bound proof plus Cicada 3301, project Chanology, and yes...gamergate all sprung from what people derisively but correctly attribute to the "swamp of the internet". Furthermore, it is intensely watched, manipulated and banned by numerous governments specifically for the freedom and speed with which true and falst information can be spread there.

Screencap this if you want, but if there was ever a location where a 21st or 22nd century "95 Theses against indulgences" might be posted, it is 4chan.

#4 And I hope there isn't one. Anywhere. Ever.

#7 "British women love leopard print. Coats, skirts, blouses, lingerie, wallets, headbands... if it exists, the Brits have put leopard print on it." In all my travels this is 100% true. You can literally spot them from Spain to Singapore

Um. I think the authors refer to the unlikelihood of math proofs being found in a sub-chat on the cult classic television series The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.

Of _course_ the proof would show up in a Haruhi sub, where else could an anonymous proof of a previously unsolved problem show up as an off the cuff remark?

It was on the math/science board, so a bit less out of left field. Although the thread was derided for being "about dumb weeb stuff," since the super permutation was about watching eight near identical episodes.

#1: when you start reading about economic growth, you will notice there relatively few novel ideas and fewer still that can be tested. If you are reading to understand economic growth rather than just learning interesting facts about history, you will soon become bored. You will notice there really, really is not much difference between Mokyr and McCloskey, that Acemoglu and Robinson are basically just plagarizing North, Wallis, and Weingast, and Clark has the best book titles.

There's a lot written about British economic growth up to 1850, i.e. the beginnings of the industrial revolution, a lot of rah-rah about how innovative British culture was blah blah blah. Why isn't there much written about what happened in the late 19th century, why Britain was a failure at becoming a leader in the second wave of innovations; electrical power, automobiles, chemicals and they quickly lost their place to Germany and the US.

Oh God, fake dearieme is back.

But can the "real" dearieme answer the question?

It was not really a question; rather an assertion that too much written about why industrial rev happened and British relative success and not enough about catch up and British relative decline.

There is a literature on everything.

#1 - I am reading this excellent textbook: "History of the American Economy" by Walton and Rockoff (students of econ Nobelists Fogel and North). What you find is fascinating facts like blacks in the US north were less healthy that in the US south, and reproduced less (almost like they did not have the right environment to reproduce) and innovation in the pre-Industrial age was driven by cycles, not unlike the cycle we have now (i.e., a Great Stagnation lull). Further, Walton & Rockoff mention the importance of patents (even giving examples), which I doubt some of the other economic historians do. Then instances of productivity enhancements that are not technology driven are given (for example, reducing crew size, making barrels bigger, streamlining negotiations and reducing port stays from several months to several weeks, made transportation costs fall by half in the 100 years before the Revolution, despite rising ship costs and the size and speed of ships did not increase). This book is highly recommended.

#5...A favorite writer of mine, fiction and belles- lettres, "On Being Blue" being my favorite among his books. Interestingly, he has diaries and letters on his list, which is excellent. I first encountered him many years ago as a philosopher.

#3 was super cool to read -- thank you!!

#4 EU just wants to tax/tarrif US internet companies and seeks roundabout ways to do it under the guise of "protecting privacy". Shooting themselves in the foot really.

#6 what? is it shameful to be drunk or do stupid things while drunk? alcohol is versatile, you can be drunk, chill and chat , drunk and dance, drunk and headbanging, drunk and watch the sunset.

Axa: #6 is Magnus Carlson. #7 is the drink. And what is going on in Great Britain? Moderate drinkers tend to give heavy topers a lot of permissive leeway out of fear of giving aid and comfort to the forces of prohibition. But the Gin Lane behaviors recorded in Manchester should give us all pause.

If you're looking for a Great Frontier in your life - a place where you can get away from the clamor of the current culture and remake yourself on firmer foundations - try not drinking. Totally new perspective on life.

If I could, I would completely ban alcoholic imbibing. You don"t imbibe! Aren't we men?

When will this callus perserverence end? Just saying. Cold as rock.

When I was a student I went to Oxford to visit a friend who was studying there. At night the town centre was full of the most hammered people I have ever seen. I think it is a British trait.

4chan is the intellectual powerhouse of the internet. It is there and reddit the_donald where most memes originate. It is full of brilliant people pretending to be idiots, unlike most of the rest of the internet where idiots pretend to be brilliant.

Bah, mainstream media is usually better at hard news. The odd nut that 4chan and reddit produce (where I was banned as a troll) are exceptions that prove the rule.

And this (did you know our own Robin Hansen is a Greg Egan! They share some of the same themes in their fiction. Prove me wrong, how do you know Robin != Greg?!)

(Wikipedia): Egan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of Western Australia. He published his first work in 1983.[6] He specialises in hard science fiction stories with mathematical and quantum ontology themes, including the nature of consciousness.

Egan does not attend science fiction conventions,[10] does not sign books, and has stated that he appears in no photographs on the web,[1] though both SF fan sites and Google Search have at times mistakenly represented photos of other people with the same name as those of the writer.

#7 would have been enjoyable back when we could laugh about people and their foibles. In today's climate, I couldn't help reading it feeling like the author's motives were tendentious and he's kind of a preening dick.

That would be a she, Brian. That would make her a preening___________?

Ah, androgynous name. I thought when reading "This man is a rather oddly sheltered and sensitive character" but much is explained by author simply being female (and San Francisco female at that).

When all preening dicks with tendentious motives looked like Devon, it would be more than a marginal step towards a better world, as there is a surplus of preening dicks, but a deficit of Devon Zuegels:


Also, she hosts her own site, rather than using facebook or wordpress or youtube or some other site than can be supressed by mob rule, see Alex Jones.

"now being hailed as significant advances": and what do they signify?

When all preening dicks with tendentious motives looked like Devon, it would be more than a marginal step towards a better world, as there is a surplus of preening dicks, but a deficit of Devon Zuegels:


Also, she hosts her own site, rather than using facebook or wordpress or youtube or some other site than can be supressed by mob rule, see Alex Jones.

Coding your own site does nothing for me, but she is a creative and well-informed thinker on many topics of interest to people on this board. And beautiful too.

yes, who better to curate papers on economic growth than...the CEO of stripe? jesus, how stupid.

Come now, Prof. Cowen is just trying to remain relevant in this growing sea of money from digital enterprises. Well, 'relevant' may not be the right word, admittedly.

Online education is growing for (1) adults who never finished their B.A. or who need and M.A. and can't stop working and move to acquire one, and (2) students at brick and mortar campuses who channel some of their classes into online (like Accounting 101). The former is definitely valuable, and the latter in moderation may control costs of a largely brick and mortar degree. Virtually no good and psychologically stable students of traditional student age do an online degree, and no prosperous and/or well educated parents send their students to online degrees, unless those children have significant social issues. That speaks to quality and the value of networking, and I don't see that changing in the near future. Has anyone on this board with decent 6 figure income and stable children had their children do online college degrees?

College is the best $15k/yr summer camp money can buy

While that interpretation is not entirely incorrect, college networks create a lot of value for graduates. My personal "college summer camp" network is extremely successful and valuable in a way that my high school network is not, even though many of my high school friends are just as successful as my college friends. Many of my college friends ended up in much better places due to connections made by my college friends.

Where did you go to college,?

Dartmouth College. But I think most kids from decent dual-six figure earning families can and should and do go to comparable schools.

"That speaks" to an entirely normal new technology and acceptance cycle.

Early adopters are never mainstream.

So you’re sending your kids to Phoenix online?

Hmmm ...

Don't "kids" make their own choices?

Stanford has free classes online (Lagunitas) as does MIT via EdX.

I love online classes - I consume and collect them like books. I hope they stay free or almost free for a little while longer. Coursera and EdX are hell bent on monetizing the platforms.

Heh, at least a couple people post as "anonymous," and now Hmmm chases them like a dog chases a car.

#7. Found this on Man City football. It's interesting. Yeah, they might play in Manchester but there's nothing
Manchester about it.

Drunk ppl get left behind.

4) Always fun watching governments strain to find some spurious reason for a new tax or fee.
5) At least Gass squeezes in a salute to Under the Volcano

I get William Gass confused with William Gaddis.

But this piece by Gass is a lot of fun.

5. It's too bad literary people never speak up for taxpayers. They live in a fantasy world.

7: In Portlandia the motto was "put a bird on it", I guess the Brits put a leopard on it.

Interesting that Magnus likes his options best at the beginning of the match, when, in practice, where he will have the best advantage is in case of a tie: Fabi isn't half the Rapid or Blitz player Magnus is.

#6 - Magnus' sister says Magnus wants to lose the chess championship so he can have a sort of revenge rebound, tired of being king of the hill. The first match yesterday was exciting, Magnus posing difficult questions to Caruana (e.g., the best move for Caruana was 24.Rxf4!!, which Caruana missed, which is essentially an 'exchange sacrifice' but with compensation. Humans don't like these moves, hence Fabio missed it), yet Caruana hung on for the draw since in time pressure Carlsen failed to find the best move before the 40th move time control. I think Caruana 'won' an important psychological victory in game 1.

I have only been to Manchester once, about 12 years ago, for about 5 days. I didn't notice anything at all like the behavior described, even though I was in the center of the city. I didn't stay out late, though, as I was there for a conference that started early each day, but was often out until at least 10pm. I wonder if the situation has gotten worse since 2006, or if I was just lucky to miss the "fun".

(The bit about a woman beast feeding in public was odd. That's pretty normal behavior in many US cities now, even if it is, of course, much less normal to be feeding two twins at the same time. It's certainly not a particular "Manchester" thing. Not knowing that this is not that unusual makes me doubt the power of observation of the author a bit.)

Woodruff kept sending Coke syrup to Keith, too — until America entered the war in December 1941. The U.S. Army declared Keith an enemy, and communications with Woodruff were severed.

In 1957, Coke USA also gave boxing legend Max Schmeling control of bottling operations in Hamburg, and made him brand ambassador for Germany.

As for Fanta, it’s sold today and celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2015. Coke released Fanta Classic, a version of the wartime recipe, in the original bottle.

The upbeat ad proclaimed, “75 years ago, resources for our beloved Coke were scarce.” It didn’t explain why. Then: “We are bringing back the feeling of the good old times.” There was an immediate backlash.

The "drunk" Brits were actually most likely all high on new highly addictive drug known as "spice". An epidemic of which has been gripping the city for some time

Brits do drink a lot more than Americans. But then Americans take a lot more drugs - including opiates. Which is better I can't say. In my view the reason the Brits drink so much is a mix of factors. Part of it is historical - the British pub culture started a millennium ago - in those days going to the pub was about there was to do for entertainment for most people. Heavy drinking was just the usual way of passing the weekend of centuries. This is just not possible in the US, the system has too many cultures mixing together and now people live too far apart in the suburbs to have a pub culture. England also generally has a beer culture, wine was for the upper classes, spirits for the scotch. The beer they drink is relatively low alchohol - 3.5% to 4.5% - which means you can drink a lot of it over a long time before getting completely comatose. So it is good for socialising with your friends - sprits and wine get you drunk far too fast for extended sessions. By the way Manchester from my experience is more on the extreme end of drinking - it is a leftover in my view from the heavily industrial past and lots of Irish immigrants (who are even more heavy drinkers than the English). On the city itself - it is mess as the OPs says - the British labour party is responsible for most of this mess by their awful economic policies in the 1960s and early 70's when they tried to turn the UK into East Germany. The outsides of the city are better of course, where private property was not messed with. Longer term Manchester will be a nice city again but it will take money (look at what's happening to LA's historic downtown). And making the country rich doesn't seem to be an important political factor in UK politics - it seems they would rather focus on finding new ways to tax you.

1. Julian Simon wrote a paper on population growth and economic growth. He concluded that after population growth, a society needs freedom, rule of law and individual rights, especially property rights, to have economic growth.

#3 "I'm Greg Egan, and in my science fiction story I'd like to tell you a mathematical proof dressed up as a plot. It's really exciting; the characters avoid all unnecessarily realistic sex, politics, action, and social behaviour in favour of talking loudly about Numbers theory. For convenience this will be set on a spaceship crewed by autistic eunuchs with Aliens who obsess about their Mensa membership.

Like all good science fiction, this will tell you something about society"

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