Sunday assorted links

1. Jordan Orlando on The White Album (which song is the most popular/enduring on that album?  It is difficult to say, but it is now fifty years old).

2. Scott Sumner on global warming.

3. Korean refrigerator onomatopoiea.

4. How placebos work there is no placebo (NYT).

5. Scott Alexander is now more positive on preschool.  And Scott Alexander on marijuana: “If the above calculations are true, preventing national legalization of marijuana would save half as many lives as successfully implementing Australia-style gun control in the US.” [Please note Scott is not suggesting a particular conclusion on either of these policy issues.]


The politics of the two WA state carbon initiatives are a little more complicated than you had room to describe in your Bloomberg column. The 2016 carbon tax initiative, which aimed to be revenue neutral, created a split among those backing a carbon tax initiative. The traditional Democratic coalition of labor, environmental groups, and civil rights groups did not throw their weight behind it. They wanted a tax that was not revenue neutral but rather one that would raise additional revenue and supported these various interest group's causes. Thus the 2018 initiative was created with this coalition in mind. None of this is to contradict the points in your column but to provide some context. In 2016, at least, it was not possible in Washington state politics to "address climate change without transferring more money from voters to politicians." And, in 2018, it was not possible to address climate change by transferring money from voters to politicians. New tactics are indeed needed!

>"And, in 2018, it was not possible to address climate change by transferring money from voters to politicians."

Poor fellow... the transferring of money to politicians is, in fact, the only goal here.

#2 The actual warming to date is much more modest than his touted figure of 3.5 C. It’s 1.3 C per century (UAH lower troposphere data since 1979). Please refute this data first.

Even if we assume that the warming is a significant problem, it’s wrong to say it implies we should be for open borders. We can reclaim coastal land as the Dutch have done for centuries. We can simply take advantage of the benefits of the warming: increased crop growth and forestation; open the polar route saving a lot of money for transportation, cultivate different crops, etc . Most people seem to die from extreme cold than extreme heat. And most animals these days are used for human consumption. If he is so concerned about animal welfare, that’s probably where to start ( how are cows and pigs adjusting to the environmental stress of being eaten by people ?)

Scott Sumner wrote: "The warming of 3.5 degrees centigrade now viewed as optimal (that’s 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit), still seems absolutely horrific to me (especially for animal life, coral, etc., but also for fragile places like Bangladesh.)"

He later added: " People in Bangladesh are no longer free to migrate to a warmer Siberia, as they could have 10,000 years ago."

First, I don't see where Sumner gets his "3.5 degrees centigrade is now viewed as optimal" from. Second, the use of Bangladesh as an example of a country that will suffer greatly from a temperature rise always assumes Bangladesh will not become richer despite having grown at an average GDP per capita rate of almost 5% a year since 2000 -- growing from $1,600 in 2000 to $5,000 in 2017. At 5% growth, Bangladesh will be at $27,000 in 2040 and using 2040 technology. But there is no sea level rise risk to Bangladesh in 2040 - you need to go out to at least 2070.

Say from 2040, growth slows to just 2%, then the GDP per capita of Bangladesh will be $80,000 to $90,000. One can play with different growth rates but Bangladesh will not be a poor country in 2040 or 2070.

a typo: Bangladesh's GDP per capita is around $4,000 not $5,000 as I wrote. The growth rate since 2000 is correct, though.

The 3.5C seems to come from Nordhaus, as the contest suggests.

No one is suggesting that 3.5C is "optimal." If the models on which the projections are based are correct, Nordhaus is suggesting it may the best we can do.

However, the models are probably not correct; the warming experienced so far was almost inevitable, given a base year of 1900 that was just after the end of the Little Ice Age; and there are factors other than anthropogenic CO2 that are (aggressively) not being taken into account, such as methane, water vapor, geothermal activity (volcanoes), fires, and I don't know what else since I am not a climate scientist.

One thing is for sure, if Bangladeshis are rich in 2070 and their average temperature is 3.5C higher than it is now, they will not be living in what we now call Bangladesh.

I agree that optimal seems like the wrong word here, but if haven't read the full Nordhaus article. But "the best we can realistically hope for" may be some form of optimal.

I do not know what data the climate models use and what processes (and in what detail) they model. However since both CH4 and H2O are "stronger" GHG`s than CO2, I find it difficult to believe that they "are (aggressively) not being taken into account..." Please provide the citation for such a remarkable claim.

So I felt a little sheepish, when, a year and a half ago, the writer Meghan Daum asked me if I’d be interested in contributing to the book that would become Shallow, Selfish and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids. I wrote back to tell her that I couldn’t: My son had just turned 1. -- michelle goldberg

Sumner is pretty funny when he suggests that we will be more concerned with global warming when the temperature increases so we can notice it. NASA claims that since 1975 the global average temperature is increasing at 0.15-0.20°C per decade. The average daily temperature in most places swings 10 times that or more.

The reality is that temperature measurement is nowhere near as accurate or precise as many would like to pretend. Massive errors are discovered routine.

Jordan Peterson is, as he is so often, right on the money when he describes the mindless blather about climage change as "low resolution thinking":

The number of 500 year storms hitting the US per decade has not increased that much since the global cooling SOX emissions have been slashed in the 80s and 90s by the US and EU, and China's cuts will impact the Pacific coasts in a few decades.

But when more than half the people in the affected areas haven't been there 30-40 years, several 500 year storms per decade is not an increase to most of the people.

(I'm 70 and lived through the various eras of climate change. I back up my impressions by looking at data, and roughly modeling energy flow. E.g., a hurricane is an engine pumping heat from ocean to space, a big heat pump.)

#5 Maybe Americans should stop shooting one another.

I've never seen an American shoot or get shot by anyone, or stab or get stabbed by anyone. The last time I even saw an American punch anyone or get punched by anyone in the face was about 40 years ago when I was in 8th grade -- that was a sucker-punch aimed at me after the gym-teacher was already on the scene breaking it up.

Yet, America is more violenta than any comparable country and evento lots of way poorer countries. Many Americana adimit they are too scared of other Americans to go anywhere wuthout their guns. Sometime, normal Americana gun down their friends, colleagues, relatives. It is só scary! Like a terror movie thst never ends!!!

White Brits are more violent than white Americans, but white Americans have far more guns so they can be more lethal at their worst.

Most of the gun violence in America is by black and Hispanic gangs and most of that is done with illegal guns. But even so most of the hype about gun violence in America is just that, hype. when looked at in deaths from gun violence per 100,000 America is behind about 20 other 1st world countries including Canada and England. But the MSM does like to hype that occurrences and scare the anti-2nd amendment folks.

"when looked at in deaths from gun violence per 100,000 America is behind about 20 other 1st world countries including Canada and England"

Huh? From this wikipedia page (, number of death by gun per 100,000 has and year:
UK : 2.8
USA : 89
Canada : 25

Now these figures are probably not perfectly reliable (UK in particular seems widely under-estimated) but still, we are very
far from your statement. What your source(s)?

"Death by gun" and "death by gun violence" are not the same thing. Surprisingly most gun deaths in America are suicides. Gun control won't prevent suicides just look at Japan for proof of that. Gun violence in America is down dramatically in the past 20-30 years while at the same time private gun ownership is up dramatically more than doubling. But the hype and anti-gun MSM would have you believe the opposite.

It'd be surprising if "death by gun" didn't decompose into suicides and murders in the same proportion in the USA, Canada and the UK. Gun homicide rate should reduce in proportion and maintain the relative magnitude of differences between them.

There might be slight reverses of this if illegal:legal firearms were in greater ratio in the UK and Canada than in the US... but of course that's entirely not the case in reality.

About one-third of Americans are legal gun owners. They most likely own the vast majority of guns. 2% of Britons legally own firearms.

Most gun owners in the US are law abiding and the vast majority participate in neither suicide nor murder. In the UK the vast majority of gun owners are unlikely to be law abiding.

I mean run the numbers. Suicides are something around 10/100,000 in the UK. If, like the States, suicides were more common than guns, we would expect 3/10 suicides to be from gun owners. If 2% of the population was accounting for 30 percent of the suicides you would need gun owners in the UK to be 15 times more suicidal than everyone else. You would further need whatever makes UK gun owners more suicidal to NOT be shared with American gun owners.

That 2% of people in the UK legally own guns while 30% of US do does not imply greater ratio of illegal:legal firearms in UK. I don't think you understand the rarity of illegal firearms outside the US.

Your argument about suicide rates is very strange. I don't state that guns are thr % of means of suicide in UK and this is driven by 2% of pop rather than 30% (which would imply highly suicidal legal gun owners) but that gun suicides make up same composition of gun deaths and relative rankings unchanged by considering them.

In the US the proportion of suicides to gun related murders is ~ 2:1.

In the UK there are 2.8 guns deaths per 100K. Okay, per you, we should see at least a 66/33 split suicide:murders. That makes 1.9 suicides/100K from guns.

Overall UK suicide rate is around 10/100K. Gun suicides are then 19% of total suicides. Gun owners, per the Met, make up 1/64 British citizens. 1.6% of the British population is then committing 19% of the suicides.

The numbers just don't add up. If there are 2.8 gun deaths/100K and there are the same proportion of suicides : homicides in the UK as the US, then people with guns have a hazard ratio that massively more than people without guns.

You cannot have all your statements be true. Either the UK has more gun deaths (e.g. fudged cause of death), a higher proportion of murder:suicide (e.g. more illegal guns proportionately), or much more suicidal gun owners.

So show your math. How do we maintain a 2:1 suicide:homicide proportion and not end up with UK gun owners having an order of magnitude higher hazard ratio for suicide?

Americans have a gigantic number of guns. That makes for more successful suicide attempts and more domestic murder-suicides, plus of course a huge amount of black-on-black shootings.

On the other hand, last I checked, white Brits were more likely than white Americans to commit non-lethal but still pretty bad crimes like home invasions and beatings, probably because "An armed society is a polite society." For example, baseball bats are surprisingly common in England despite baseball not being a sport there.

Well, have you tried thrashing someone with a cricket bat? It's very poorly balanced for such work.

I would be very surprised if you could back this up.

Comparing deaths is pretty easy because a death is a death is a death, but levels of violent assault classified differently by different systems are probably very hard to get comparable statistics on.

No it isn't. The line between murder and attempted murder is often how far you are from the nearest hospital.

Most GSWs do not hit the brain, the heart, or the major internal vessels. As such, people tend not to die from the gunshot itself, but from the loss of blood and longer term effects. If you make it to me within 15 minutes, odds are you are going to live even with some pretty major organ damage. If you make it to me an hour, chances are you are going to die (e.g. hypoxemia).

Why is the relevant? Well compare population density. England has about 395 people/sq km. Only New Jersey is denser than England of all 50 states. Worse something around 10 million Americans live in a county with no surgeons. More Americans live in places without access to rapid trauma surgery. An identical attack in the US may well result in murder that will just be attempted murder in the UK. The criminal did nothing differently, there just are a lot more people in the US far from medical care.

Further, when people die of GSWs, like everything else, they are more likely to be in poor health. Obesity? Yeah worse odds of surviving a GSW. Diabetes? Yep same thing. Hep C positive? Uhuh. Drugs on board? Oh yes. Even if you control for distance to an OR, Britons should be far more likely to survive an attack than Americans.

Death, like birth, is one of those things that people try to use to make their statistics easier. Unfortunately even these clear lines are not quite so uniform to make valid comparisons.

I dont mind this argument since it really pushes more against Sailers than mine - these factors would introduce more confusion into estimating non-homicide violence, since much White American violence would fall into homicide (making Sailers contention that WA less violent outside homicide harder to judge).

But would say you should probably see large general increases in homicide rates correlating inversely with pop density if that's the case and it matters - the country is for homicide as a % violence.

I'm also not sure how big this effect can be - true it matters in places where not many people live... but those places won't matter as much to the per 100000 rate. E.g going by urbanization rate on wiki ( US is 82% urban pop and UK 83% urban pop. Assuming thats not vastly wrong, how much can that matter?

The US has multiple "urban" areas with no hospitals within 30 minutes. To the best of my knowledge the UK has none. Even within Urban areas, the US has longer to drive and longer to treat.

As far as Sailor, he is broadly correct. Hazard ratios for GSWs are much higher for minorities. Hazard ratios for whites for suicide are higher. This is simply what I see when I fill out death certificates.

There are no "illegal guns." Only "undocumented" ones.

But the USA is not populated by Australians.

When you live in Australia you don't want to be wasting bullets on people.

What Australia needs is a gun designed for shooting mozzies.

2. As a related personal update, my cousin's house in Paradise is gone, her boyfriend's rental property is gone, her daughter's house is fire damaged and uninhabitable, and we had a girl staying here whose father lost his house in Malibu. Our friends in Bell Canyon think their hose is ok.

A good thread begins:

"If Northern California had received anywhere near the typical amount of autumn precipitation this year (around 4-5 in. of rain near #CampFire point of origin), explosive fire behavior & stunning tragedy in #Paradise would almost certainly not have occurred."

That's true but not necessarily related to warming. The greatest drought the country has ever known was in the 1930s, when average temperatures were lower.

Catastrophes of this nature have more than one cause. In BC the last two years have seen extraordinary forest fire activity; the summers were dry, but the very good forest fire extinquishing capabilities have meant that forests haven't been burning at the historical rate and the forests are getting mature and diseased. It is remarkable how good the fire fighters have become; they triangulate the lightning strikes, do a helicopter check and drop a crew if there is evidence of a fire. Depending on the circumstance they either build a fire guard, put it out or call in resources such as helicopter water drops or more.

The characteristics of fires over the last few years have been either very small and contained, or massive out of control. If they can't quickly contain it, there is so much fuel and old forest to burn.

For this to be a problem only needed a dry year. Then it becomes explosive.

I've noticed around our town fires in the mountains set to clear brush and get rid of some of the fuel. Our town is graded as one of the more vulnerable in the Interior of BC.

I don't know if that characterizes what is happening in California. One of the larger interior cities burnt in 2004 when a fire started in a nearby provincial park. The park policy is to let it burn, and it gained in strength to the point that it burnt through the city.

Blaming our supposed collective sins for natural disasters used to be a thing we laughed at the right wing nut jobs for.

It would be less terrifying if the neo-puritans didn’t have a hold on one of two major parties. Evangelicals who hate gays or neo-puritans and hair shirts.

Jesus Christ.

Besides the worst (most racist) sentence in history -
Howard Beck did not note Tony Parker's pull back over 3 over LBJ followed by a lay-up to make it 91-89 Spurs. Howard Beck did not the best play in the game, perhaps that I've seen. Danny Green stealing the ball from LBJ in the open court in overtime.

if it's not raining and the property is surrounded by flammable trees......what to do? a) lose sleep on global warming, b) buy a Tesla, c) eat local, d) raise awareness about plastic pollution in the oceans, e) get property insurance and ask a lawyer to read the small print about fires.

First thing that's not surprising is that no one follows the link.

The second thing that's not surprising is everyone treats this as a single isolated time series (forest fires) and forgets all the other correlated time series they are also ignoring.

Basically, what you are impressing on me, is that you will reject all future evidence as well. You have established your pattern.

Some plots about rain anomaly stats, avg air temp, "dryness", and its links to anthropogenic global warming. A contributing factor to forest fires is global warming, so what? Will this knowledge save people?

The only interesting part was about the modelling of fires. Imagine having an estimate of flammable material, how dry it is, some wind data and making predictions of where and how fast fires spreads. Meteo and flood models are even on TV, why not fire predictions? Even without AGW there could be years with below average rainfall and destructive wildfires.

The beautiful forest is a humongous pile of flammable material. If a civil protection plan relies on having the typical amount of autumn precipitation, it's a very bad plan.

is there anyone whose text-volume-to-skill ratio is as high as Scott Alexander's? he truly has a lot of extensive but useless opinions on things.

"is there anyone whose text-volume-to-skill ratio is as high as Scott Alexander's?"

soccer players r smoking weed in Africa!

Interesting articles by Alexander.

Regarding Sumner on #2:

"with some of the money going to a boost in the EITC, which doesn’t motivate the average voter."

Easy fix. Don't means test the EITC. Then everybody benefits.

Re: "[Please note Scott is not suggesting a particular conclusion on either of these policy issues.]" ...

No, Scott ends his post on preschool as follows:
"I’ll also increase my political support for programs like these. I think these findings make universal childcare (almost) a no-brainer. They make universal pre-K much more appealing, with the strongest arguments against being inefficiency, eg that universal childcare or basic income are a more effective way of doing the same thing. But given the political realities that make universal pre-K more likely to happen than childcare or basic income, I am now happy to support it."

#5: worth noting that Scott still seems to be in favour of *decriminalization*, lest that be lost on the "weed is the devil's lettuce" crowd.

Lots of genies, lots of bottles. Have any of them ever been put back? Maybe the MAD/nuclear war one has been contained a bit.

Just because decriminalization has the lowest net detriments doesn't change the fact that societal acceptance of weed is literally killing people. If we buy Scott's numbers, weed has already been killing people thanks to its impact on driving and it will continue to kill even more with legalization.

In a better world we would all voluntarily choose to never use "the devil's lettuce" in an unsafe manner. In a slightly less perfect one we would all choose not to use it and to discourage others. In something closer to the real world we have to find an optimal tradeoff between enforcement costs, people's enjoyment of getting high, and the people weed kills. As is, we are running full title towards a couple of planeloads of dead people without even acknowledging the data in broader society.

Very telling that Alexander doesn’t include the fact that many people *like* marijuana in his analysis. This is the central point of legalization: unless there are tremendously compelling reasons we should let adults do what they want.

How many dead people should constitute a compelling reason?

Who died? If it was the smoker then it is fine, they made the decision.

Something like 1 in 3 are the people they randomly hit on the highways if other MVCs are anything to go by.

America is one big Simpson's Paradox.

1. A great album, but it has a lot of padding. George Martin tried to convince them to issue a single album, to no avail. I remember seeing it in record store windows on Bleecker Street just before Christmas break during my freshman year.

Didn’t like pretentious article.

Could you figure out if the author was endorsing the New Left Review's take on the album version of "Revolution #1"? Perhaps there were too many levels of archness operating here for me to figure out the rhetorical stance.

The point about it being a double album is key. The Beatles could charge more for an album without losing too many record sales at this stage in their careers. They were just trying to “milk the cow,” so to speak.

I don't get the White Album. To me it sounds like the Beatles thought they could put anything on an album and people would buy it and love it (sort of a placebo effect) and so tested that hypotheses.
Is Tyler being Straussian putting the White Album and placebo stories together?

The White Album is what it is because the Beatles were in a position where no one could insist on cutting out the less promising material and doing re-takes on other tracks where these were likely to produce a better result.

It's the same forces that produce 800-page-long doorstop novels by popular authors: no one has the authority to insist that the work would be better if it were boiled down to 300 pages, and no editor dares to make significant changes.

Then again, much of today's popular music seems exquisitely tuned to satisfy market demand, and the result is all too often thoroughly polished yet bland, high production values combined with rhythms and melodies simplified to what used to be produced for very small children.

In any case, even as the Beatles' music becomes ever more dated, The Beatles continue to fascinate just because even aside from the total death of the high-concept album (everything is sliced and diced at least into singles, if not into sampled fragments) in today's music marketplace no act could possibly attain the market and mind-share that the Beatles once commanded.

Although various 50-year-retrospectives (presumably for Boomer consumption) may continue until the very last Boomer expires.

2. Global warming = increase in taxes. I'm opposed! Opposed to what? Global warming and an increase in taxes.

The White Album was a mess. Good opening number, and then a load of tripe. Why Don't We Do It In The Road. Rocky Raccoon. Bungalow Bill. O Bla Di. Drivel. A number of decent songs, but overall an undisciplined mess. being *!*!*!The Beatles*!*!*! everything is now accorded iconic status, but the White Album was a mess. We thought they were breaking up and releasing a money spinner, but they managed to eke out Abbey Road, which was a near thing.

Beatles albums tend to be disappointing to listen to because they often don't contain the best songs from the recording sessions because the Beatles believes in releasing double-sided singles that weren't repeated on the album. Thus the White Album "era" was highlighted by all time great 45 "Hey Jude / Revolution," but the Beatles rushed that out on to a single and didn't include either track on the White Album.

Similarly, the Sgt. Pepper album isn't as good as you'd expect because it's missing the single "Strawberry Fields Forever / Penny Lane."

This post is exactly correct, well said. Really only Revolver and Abbey Road are still worth listening to the whole album.

Strawberry fields and penny lane are on the magical mystery tour album, which also contains a bunch of crap.

Hey, I like O Bla Di. I agree with your general point, though.

I don't see a lot of awareness of the obvious pick for Tyler's "most popular/enduring," which is "Blackbird." A lot of musicians love it.

Oddly the New Yorker headline has it precisely backward. "Accidental perfection" it is not, but "purposeful imperfection" isn't a bad description. I think Sailer is right, the Beatles at their best are brilliant individual songs or 45's, but the White Album has charm, and obviously JL and PM weren't trying for brilliant - maybe they were tired of that. Maybe in a way it's their own "Music From Big Pink."

Honestly, at this point, is it really hard to "get" the Beatles? Everything they did was a little experimental, it didn't all work, but if you don't like one track, go on to the next one, it'll be different. Best moments on the White Album are probably "Revolution" and "Back in the USSR" but "Helter Skelter" is godlike pop, "Dear Prudence" is heavy, "Martha My Dear" is catchy, "Me and My Monkey" has an awesome bass line, and all of it mattered at the time and every track has influenced somebody since then.

I'm hanging in there until 2021 for all the 50-year retrospectives on Master of Reality

#4 Placebo Effect

one cannot prove a biochemical basis for Placebo-Effect using f.M.R.I. (magnetic resonance imaging) ... because MRI analysis has widely been demonstrated to be subjective and often unreliable in psychological research.

Also, the human brain is fundamentally a biochemical device ... thus anything occurring naturally in the brain is automatically a biochemical process/effect.

#5 preschool. Head Start was targeted at increasing educational attainment of disadvantaged children. It doesn't do that. I'd suggest that if some other social or individual good is to be targeted, that a *new* experiment be run, not data dredging through old data sets (to find correlations). I'm left wondering that since this post hoc search for positive effects was so successful, what negative effects are also there? Or did they not bother to even measure negative effects?

Additionally, what are the longer term impacts? The data sets are just barely getting to the point where we see impacts on child rearing from having a parent who went to head start (e.g. less likely to adopt middle class/upper class norms). If we see inconsistent results between the ultrashort run (i.e. transient academic effects), the short run (i.e. no change in academics a couple of years out), and the medium run (e.g. adult earnings) I am not convinced that the long run will be free of further turning points.

When your outcomes depend on when you stop to collect the data, it makes everything seem very suspect.

There's a certain narrative that occurs with studies about the effectiveness of educational programs:

Q: Look, we have data showing this program works! And it works especially for disabled/poor/minority kids!
A: Okay, how large is the effect size?
Q: We've shown there's a benefit, why would that matter? Do you not believe in evidence-based research?
A: No, I want to see how great the effect is vs. how much the program costs.
Q: So you're saying there's a price on a poor child's education? Shame on you.

I'm all for helping out struggling kids, but the programs have to be cost-effective, else cuts just get made to the general fund.

Reading Scott though, it seems like it might be that the children of the very worst parents benefit from getting out of the house and in with some responsible adults. There has got to be a much cheaper way to do that.

Better yet, we should discourage “the very worst parents” from having children. Maybe pay them to get sterilized, or at least pay them to use birth control.

I have this sneaky feeling that we are going to find out that replacing the social impacts of having a dedicated caregiver (say no more than one adult per four children) from the ages of zero to five with a stable income stream is going to be the net result for best outcome for society.

It really looks like the gains had from expanding the workforce and bringing caregivers into the taxed economy may not be sustainable in the long run.

In thinking about this carbon tax...why replace with another tax? Why not just rebate the funds collected pro-rata to taxpayers in the form of a check? Going one step further, why not do this with all Pigouvian taxes to avoid the incentive problems they create for the state?

Because the point of the carbon tax is to use the fear of future negative consequences of present carbon emissions to enrich government. This is why no one in government proposes rebating the funds to taxpayers. People in government want to fund additional state employees, create more regulations, and increase their power. They will use any rhetorical device they think will work. Economists read an article or two about global warming and think they understand climate science. Economists also love power, and the greatest power available to them is to have their pet policies adopted and implemented by government. So they love, love, love the carbon tax, utterly ignore the completely regressive nature of the tax, don't even attempt to show how a carbon tax will save the planet, and promote the enrichment and increasing power of government. Their interests are aligned with those of government. Then they call themselves growth economists and libertarians, and it's all good.

Economists like to preach about carbon taxes then fly all over the world just to eat food from street vendors. Armed with this data they the tell the deplorables they really should let in those hoards of gate Crashers, er I mean refugees, because then even the useless will be able to buy cheap exotic food from illegal alien street vendors, that is if the deplorable useless people had any money, which they don't.

If the elites want to stop global warming I suggest they do the following.

1. Don't fly anywhere.
2. Turn off the AC in summer.
3. Turn off the heat in winter and wear wool sweaters from organically raised free range sheep.
4. Turn all those lights off at night.
5. Get rid of the hot water heater. Take cold showers, especially in winter.
6. Live in a teeny tiny house, even in the DC suburbs. Plant a deciduous shade tree next to it - you're gonna need it without AC.
7. Don't eat meat, especially beef. Don't eat any animals, even fish or chicken. Eat beans, but use Beano.
8. Don't drive or take the bus or train. Ride your bike.
9. Stop preaching. Lead from the front, lead by example, be know do!
10. Leave the rest of us alone - we don't want to be f*cked around with anymore by wealthy, virtue signalling, hypocritical elites.

I do all those things, and yet the globe seems to keep getting warmer.

Imagine the result if all the global warming true believers did like you.

You know that if the entire top 1% of the income distribution of the world did that it'd make zero difference right?

"... zero difference ..."

They would become credible leaders and would have many followers. Right now they are virtue signalling phonies.

# 1. Which song on which album is the best song .... I don't answer questions like that anymore, but that reminds me ....

in grad school, and to a lesser degree in college and high school, we used to play "parlor games" (we did not call them that, but that is what such things were called in earlier generations). I guess that still, where there are a bunch of friends together, with similar interests, they still talk about such things. Probably happens more often on the internet today than it does among people talking with each other, around a real table or sitting on couches in a real room, as happened so many times in my long ago grad student days, but that could be said in so many contexts .....

The friends I have now don't want to hear my opinions on things I know a lot about because I know so much more than anybody on those unusual topics (I can tell you the weather conditions for the most cited 1000 battles on English and French Wikipedia, I can tell you the 5 biggest complaints Mozart had about Bach and would have had about Beethoven, and ditto for Bach on the other two, and Beethoven on Bach and Mozart).

Seriously, if you have had - as I have had - conversations about the two or three best ways to keep the fighter plane sortie loss rate closer to one in 50 thousand than one in ten thousand, and if you know why those conversations were important ....
you are not gonna want to discuss such things with people whose main mental image of fighter pilots are Snoopy on his DogHouse and, maybe, vague recollections from the glory days of Newspapers of Steve Canyon, or whatever they called that always triumphing character in those PANEL drawings that used to show up EVERY DAY in the funnies section, as they used to call it.

I will say this though. There are not many professional musicians in the world - maybe ten thousand or so. And of those ten thousand, about one thousand have lost a wife, or a fiancee, to someone who did not like music but who made lots of cash elsewhere. And I am saying this because ....

all music that is well performed is something that makes the performer and the listener happy. Yes there are rare aesthetic heights, but the fact that there is a Mount Everest a short plane ride away from my beautiful Ukrainian Hills (or my beloved Northern Virginia, with its sad quiet lovely autumn that does not give up before Thanksgiving day and even not before the day after Thanksgiving, when the beloved charming eternally beautiful Christmas lights being to legitimately shine on legitimate Christmastime nights - you know what I mean, I know you do) does not mean that there is not more beauty than even I can understand as the sun sets over these lands that have so long been home to so many, and fought over so many times, and --- at least for today --- were home to a fantastically subtle and over-obviously gentle sunset -- that is a good thing, if you are going to be over-obvious about something, be over-obvious about your strength and gentleness --- on the weary November fields, while I walked for that short hour before returning home to those who love me ....

I was a college radio dj late 70s early 80s (midnight to 3) and played a lot of White Album. In those days we could smoke weed in the booth, and I smoked a lot of weed in the booth. People would call me up. Request songs. Talk to me about kind of weird stuff.

I used to entertain a thesis (while wasted) that the roots of every song on the radio could be traced back to a track on The White Album. I don't get wasted anymore so I don't really know what exactly I was thinking, though I do occasionally find myself thinking "that song sounds like 'Dear Prudence!'" when a certain tune or another from my playlist gets played.

If I look back through the decades of my music listening, there are relatively few albums that have followed me from age 20 to age 30 to age 40...etc. The White Album is one of them.

I don't know this Jordan Orlando guy. New Yorker - yeah. He equates The White Album to OK Computer, which is fine by me, OK Computer being another one of those records that has followed me from decade to decade.

The world-weary might groan about The Beatles (overrated!) or The White Album (cut out every other song and throw it away!) but I still like it.

"when the beloved charming eternally beautiful Christmas lights begin to legitimately shine on legitimate Christmastime nights - you know what i mean, I know you do"

sorry about the previous typo, I did not mean to say "being".

I have read Heidegger and, to tell the truth, I pretty much disapprove of most of what he said. Not his fault, neither Nietzsche or Kant were really aware of what is really going on. So no, I did not mean to say being when I wanted to say begin. It was that scamp spellchecker.

Tell me again I am a bot, and tonight I will dream of those days when you and me were friends and I was happier than I had ever been, in grad school, and less happy than I would ever be again, afterwards. God is your friend, too. Not imaginary at all, no more an imaginary friend than I am a bot (I am fluent in Russian, though ....). Word.

"Heidegger, the poor little fellow, so proud of being an agrege, or whatever they call such people in the German language, never really understood that his idols Nietzsche and Kant were, even at their best, simply clueless about words and about reality --- Imagine asking either of them for advice about what it means when someone says .... I love you too much the way you are to want you to stay that way...!!! .... Imagine that!

Truth is easy to find. Wake up, God loves you, don't be fooled.


"though I spend my days in conversation"

"please remember me"

5. Automobiles kill more people than guns. And they are the favorite weapon of terrorists. Shall we ban autos?

The GDP loss caused by banning cars would outweigh the deaths by orders of magnitude. Guns, not so much.

And yet, we have made cars safer, both for passengers and pedestrians, through stronger regulations. And Self-driving cars, which are coming in a decade or two at worst will make car-caused fatalities go down by at least an order of magnitude.

Are you suggesting that we need self shooting guns?

Yes, but only if they're aimed at the owner.

We should ban alcohol, tobacco, and jelly donuts - those are the big killers. I know people think they should have them, but I don't think they should have them because they are dangerous and kill many people. Screw the Declaration, the Bill of Rights, the Federalist Papers - all that stuff was written by rich, racist, misogynist, slave owning mean people.

What we need is a committee of safety to protect us from feeling unsafe, because we have a right to feel safe, and that is not in the Constitution, so let's chuck it.

#4) How would one test for efficacy of placebos?

A strong story, however, years before we were

Carbon emissions in the US have been dropping for more than 22 years and are now at or below 1992 levels because of a switch to natural gas.

I know there are some "leave it all in the ground" zealots out there, so let's start building nukes.

Nah! Yeah, that's what I thought - they have another, unstated agenda.

Lots of coal is being burned in China and India. Now they are NOT taking our jobs you MAGA-monsters, even if there are a lot of call centers in India and much of our stuff is labelled "made in China".

Quit being a xenophobe! It's all good! We'll stop making stuff here in the US, which will reduce our carbon emissions, and let them make it there while burning coal. Win win!

The forgotten link :

re: Korean refrigerator onomatopoiea (tangent). My wife is Korean and our kids are growing up bilingual. I find it interesting when we're reading books to them how different animal sounds are between the two languages. Dogs don't make a "woof" or "bark" noise, they make a sound like "mung mung". Frogs don't make a sound like "ribbit" or "croak", they go "gaegool gaegool". Pigs go "gool gool". We've listened to the same audio, and still hear sounds differently.

2. Time instead for a separate blog entry: NAME THAT PHENOMENON!

"Global warming" remains woefully inadequate or flatly inaccurate, since the distribution of climatic consequences will not be hitting everyone equally.

"Climate change" alone says little to distinguish the phenomenon. I continue to contend that "anthropogenic" climate change only begins to apply a taxonomy with requisite specificity, just as I continue to say that nothing names the phenomenon as well or as accurately as "Technogenic Climate Change", since this IS what the phenomenon consists of.

It is past time and thus time for our applied science and applied tech establishments to begin accepting responsibility for unleashing the phenomenon at least as earnestly as we hear concerned scientists mumbling about their prowess with morality and ethics: the science and technology establishments around the world have GIVEN us Technogenic Climate Change.

I repeat what I wrote on Scott's blog:

"Without that carbon tax, technological progress will be slower."

Actually, I doubt this. Or rather, I doubt that adding more money will make progress any faster.

Real progress on things like energy seems to require running down long dependency chains - meaning that spending an extra $1B today may have literally zero effect on the state of technology in 10 years.

In other words, you might be able to tax the snot out of me, hand the proceeds out to various cronies, and burn the rest on various boondoogles, but I have zero reason to think it will affect the pace of change in anything that matters.

Reasons why I have my 3 year old in preschool:
1. So she has a chance to do messy crafts that we don't want her doing at home, which should help her develop fine motor skills needed to get technically good at things like painting.
2. So she has a chance to socialize with kids her own age and learn social skills.
3. In the hopes the preschool will teach her to sit still, take naps, eat with a fork, and use a toilet, since we don't seem to be doing great on those points ourselves. We obviously need help and paying someone to do it seems like a reasonable option.

"2. So she has a chance to socialize with kids her own age and learn social skills."

I don't think this is necessarily a good reason to send kids to preschool, because "social skills" and "socialize" are pretty neutral on their own. I went to preschool from age 3 and up, and my experience was pretty good with middle and upper-middle class kids like myself.

My cousin, though, has her 4 year-old in a bargain preschool where the aides do fairly little, and half the kids are what we used to call antisocial, so he's being socialized into "social skills" like pushing people to play with the toy you want and throwing things at adults for no reason. My cousin isn't rich, so the nice preschool with better behaved kids is off the table for her.

If you want the kid to learn social skills, you need to expose them to people who already have social skills, not other kids that need to learn them. That's like stuffing a bunch of kids who don't know math into a room and expect them to learn it from each other without outside help.
You'd be better off getting together with some other local parents so the kids can see how you all interact.

Comments for this post are closed