Monday assorted links


Ray Lopez you snooze you lose

I bookmarked something for Ray, where he gets his confidence?

Tyler in one of his end-of-the-year review posts in late 2015 (when Jaroslaw Kaczynski's PiS won presidential and parliamentary elections in Poland):

"This was the year when it became clear that much of Eastern Europe probably won’t end up as free societies. (...) Poland and Slovakia (...) took big steps backward toward illiberal governance."

Vague wording aside, this grandiose declaration pissed me off to no end and I claimed in the comments that pendullum will swing back in the next election cycle or earlier and that Tyler's knoledge was skin-deep.

The swing-back has already started (however unevenly) in regional elections (second round was yesterday):

"...the populist anti-immigration PiS had lost mayoral posts in Warsaw, Poznan and Lodz to a centrist pro-European Union coalition, led by the Civic Platform party. On Sunday, the ruling party lost at least three more of Poland's largest cities to the opposition. Those cities were Krakow, Gdansk and Kielce"

Overall my claim is looking pretty good.

1. Polarization is about race. So is home ownership: home ownership by blacks lags way behind home ownership by whites. So it's not surprising there is a correlation between falling home prices during the Great Recession and polarization. Further, polarization based on race spiked during the Great Recession as the black president was viewed as threatening by whites. Sides, Tesler, and Vavreck, Identity Crisis: The 2016 Presidential Campaign and the Battle for the Meaning of America.

Ray's toolbox: one hammer

*as the black president (and his staunchest supporters) threatened whites.

Fixed it for you Ray.

How did that big black president threaten you, hun?

There’s nothing big about him.

It’s his base that unabashedly calls for institutional discrimination against heterosexual white males.

He simply holds their views and enacted what he could to further “progress”. Likely the most direct and lasting threat was his appointment of Sotomayor.

Poor baby.

Poor country.

Where you live I have no doubt.

Hayek now has a tiny fraction of the relevance of Marx, versus an incredibly tiny fraction 30 years ago.

#1 "While renters do not..." Yeah...I'm going to say that's way way off.

#4 Let the continentals do their continental thing. It's still a failure.

#5 I would like to see this compared and correlated to other "strike" forms such as bomb hits from manned aircraft, sniper shots, artillery strikes, and car bombs. My theory? Attacks increase anytime a leader is struck, as opposed to a 'miss'.

1: I have my doubts about this as well. It appears that his research focuses on a downward housing price shock. No surprise that renters won't get up in arms about that.

Upward housing price shocks though, caused a local rabble-rousing bookstore owner in Portland, OR to upset an incumbent city councilman a year or two ago. The insurgent ran essentially a one-issue campaign around skyrocketing rents. And won.

It's just another form of the Dems' horrific "There's no point in fighting terrorism" canard. Yawn.

5. Well, yeah. The desire for revenge isn't restricted to those in the west. The terrorists, newspeak for stateless militias, get upset when the relatively new governments that they've never honored or obeyed seek and obtain the help of technocratic foreigners. At the same time, these advanced foreigners have lots of money to distribute. An end to "terrorism" would be an end to a gravy train that feeds everyone involved, from Toyota pick-up mechanics to share-holders in Lockheed-Martin. There's now a status quo of simmering violence that's likely to continue for some time.

The fragility of crystal is not a weakness but a fineness.

2. Great first paragraph.

Heartily seconded.

5. Perhaps there is indeed a spasm of “adrenaline” before death ensues, and perhaps — being passional and rage fueled — it will i) peter out or ii) be less effective than carefully planned out acts of terror. I’m less worried by the flailing and thrashing of a wounded beast than I am by a methodical and sober clique of killers.

Hayek is doing OK? Or is it Friedman?

Indeed. I wonder if the graph would be more useful if the vertical scale were measured in the logarithm of percent, instead of percent. Beyond the top 3 or 4, it's hard to discern what's going on with the lines on the graph.

"Furthermore, extreme politicians benefit electorally from negative house price shocks to their contributor network,"

Further evidence that Obama did not vere sharply to the center as president, but remained extreme.

I'd like to see the case for that. Clearly, Reagan, GHBush, Clinton, and GWBush all worked to pass bipartisan legislation. Neither Obama nor Trump went nearly as far. There seems to be a growing move away from the center.

#5 Attacks increase by more when there is a hit than when there is a miss. Either way, they want revenge, but in case of a hit there is a competition among the surviving leadership to show decisive action.

Also, if the leader survives, he wants revenge, but he also wants to find out how his security failed and this divides his attention.

There seems to be a lot of trolling on this page by frustrated Trumpists, but I am happily spending the day in my center-right, moralist, rationalist silo on Twitter.

There is a lot of great writing out there today as people make their final arguments. Branch out.

Here is a good example of that,

I think what we will learn tomorrow is this...

Promising to crack down on illegal immigration is a winner in theory with suburban white swing voters, but a huge loser in practice in the Internet age. Nothing that photographs well will stop them, desperately poor migrants leaving Central American semi failed states for greener pastures. And it will hinge on suburban women who viscerally react to photos.

If I’m dems, I know this. We know from numerous academic disciplines that women are less likely to reason abstractly and much more likely to react viscerally to imagery.

The precedent and incentive structure created will matter zero percent to white women. It’s not how they process information.

Dems should quadruple down on photos of consequences. If I’m the dems my picture of the trump administration is a wailing child and a smug fat white border patrol agent smiling in the background.

Hopefully white women will act as the soul of the country and continue our de facto open borders policy. It allow desperate people a chance at a better life. And it allows me to push down wages to nothing. And I’m the humanitarian! I hope dems win the house and we can get back to 2005 levels of immigration.

Wages went up 3.1 %. That’s dangerous for stock prices.

This open border stuff is either trolling or madness.

The nice thing about my center-right, moralist, rationalist silo on Twitter is that everybody knows those facts.

"This open border stuff is either trolling or madness."

Yes, advocating for open borders is madness.

(I gave you a generous link there, a group complaining about the historic levels of enforcement, but that's the key. It has been enforcement all along.)

2. I actually read this essay (thanks, Cowen). Does this statement in the essay accurately describe Strauss's view: "The logical empiricist Hans Reichenbach warned against confusing the ‘context of discovery’ with the ‘context of justification’: where a theory came from, and whether it was in good epistemic standing, were two distinct questions. This distinction, which has served as a presupposition of much of the philosophy of science, has also served as a pre-emptory defence against the idea that philosophy – as the inquiry into timeless truths - should care about the context from which its own representations emerge. Karl Popper went further, joining the conservative political theorist Leo Strauss in arguing that historicist inquiry was not only irrelevant to the pursuit of truth, but also morally pernicious."

No. Why not have a glance a fine thoughtful book like “Leo Strauss, Man of Peace”?

Neither Popper nor Strauss are against history. In fact they value it. They are, however, against historicism, the idea that there are constraints in each and every era or epoch that render truth and evidence relative.


4. Back in late 2016, the Europeans would say, "Haha, what sort of fool are you? Why would you ever elect Trump?"

Now in 2018, they're saying, "...Oh."

Straightforward explanation: We've all incurred serious brain damage from facepalming so hard for the last two years.

From the abstract of 2: "Please do not circulate, quote or cite without permission."
Well, so much for that. (No, I don't think Tyler had permission. No, it's not really a big deal, but a bit funny.)

1. wait, so if house prices plummet, then homeowners, who just lost a significant portion of their life's savings and may in fact be insolvent get upset, but renters, who just received a windfall in the form of reduced rent going forward, do not get upset - is this what the article is saying?

Re: Genealogy

The author seems mystified (at least in the introduction) about the force of genealogical anxiety, but it makes a good deal of sense from a Bayesian standpoint. For belief like "there's a person in front of me," we are more likely to have that belief when it is true, so the fact that we hold the belief is evidence for its truth. For a belief like "the gods have human likeness," we are (arguably) no more likely to have that belief than if they looked like cattle or horses, so the fact that we hold the belief is not evidence for the belief.

(I'm overloading the term "belief" a bit here; on the one hand there is the qualia associated with believing something, and on the other hand is the posterior that a perfect Bayesian would have given access to our qualia. A belief-in-the-first-sense is evidence for a belief-in-the-second-sense if and only if it has a suitable genealogy.)

#4 US commentators probably would view this in culture war context (Trump made the good Europeans realize their pro-migration anti-nationalist attitudes) but remember this happens during a period of relative European economic growth and where European politicians made more pro-EU arguments following UK Brexit ref, and global media tipping the hand to Germany as "leader of the free world" (rather laughable).

In reality, European opinion remains more economically nationalistic (national champions, state owned industries, export oriented strategies and goverment managed distortions) and hostility to migration from outside Europe still rises.

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