Tuesday assorted links


'“More human than Hanson and Caplan is still not that human though.”'

Excellent AND self-recommending on twofer Tuesday.

Immigrants and nuclear power are the same thing!

And fusion cuisine is just around the corner?

Presidents are a quasi-mythical realiy (mainly, the argment goes, a propaganda (chance to profit) and so on (good sin). The war on poverty origins are forgotten: Gang violence is a habit of being now no different than ear wax, set upon by Jim crow era laws. The reversal of factualilty shows incompetence. The telescope is useless. Et al. - On Edward Said

3. Belt and Road is both real and a metaphor, for China opening up its connection to the world around it. Bruno sees it as a direct challenge to the West. The challenge in the West is of its own making, which is the West's withdrawal from the rest of the world. Reaching out vs. withdrawing in, building high speed rail vs building walls. It doesn't have to be that way. The U.S. could once again open up and connect to the rest of the world as it has done since WWII. But that will require a change in the U.S. not in China.

> building high speed rail vs building walls

I cannot contain the rolling of my eyes.

Trump's wall will be a Great Wall. Oh, wait a minute.

Look at CNN, talking about Ivanka's use of personal email. The broadcaster says, it's not fake news, that it happened. So too does Edward Said. "About the fact of dispossession, Wilson appears to take no particular position, except as in the Bible, that it happened...We cannot fail to remember that Wilson is win a place where dispossession and intolerance are actually happening."

“The U.S. could once again open up” — this is practically without content. How open up? In what way? If you mean borders, go ahead and open your own house/home first. But don’t imagine that those of us who feel we are already the most immigrant friendly place in the planet should seek to add to the 1,000,000 plus that already arrive per annum.

US ain't the most immigrant friendly place on the planet. Lots of other countries are more friendly: Canada, Australia, Switzerland, etc. Even Japan for instance is more friendly to qualified immigrants than the US is. The degree of immigrant friendliness of the US is about average for a developed country.

"Mr. Trump, tear downthis wall!"

I dodn't think Bruno Maçães made much sense here:
" Russia has sort of accepted that China knows how to do economic growth and Russia doesn’t. It’s quite remarkable. Two years ago, they were still saying in Moscow, “We are going to follow China’s example.” Now they’ve sort of given up. “China has the economic might we don’t,” they say in Moscow."

"They say in Moscow." Right. Russia's GDP per capita is $25,000 compared to China's $16,000.

Nor will there be a "Sputnik moment" in China.

"The Belt and Road will be a world of soothsayers, saints, and spooks" doesn't actually mean anything.

> Right. Russia's GDP per capita is $25,000 compared to China's $16,000.

Right. If you want to have a rough estimate of average personal living standard you look at the per capita data. If you want to look at what the country can do, you look at the total PPP and what that can buy you.

PPP(USD Trillion) PPPpc Country
21.286 15,395 China
3.862 26,926 Russia

China has about 5.5x the purchasing power of Russia.

Which is meaningless. By the way, Russia has way more nukes than China, which is also pretty meaningless.

Meaningless? China can throw money to build domestic made super computers. China might have more nuke designs than Russia.

#4 The stagnation of Japanese companies

Is it because the Japanese regime jails on trumped charges executives who rescue their companies from the brink of failure as did Mr. Ghosn, who is now a political prisoner in Japan?
#Mr. Ghosn Free
#Remember Nanjing
#Cubans Go Home
#And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free

@ #4 - Yes, Carlos Ghosn is a political prisoner, not unlike Peruvian dictator Alberto Fujimori was. You have to balance the good and the bad, which with both these men was not done by their enemies. In Ghosn's case, his salary was average by US standards ($8-$10M/yr) but apparently 'excessive' by Japanese standards, and the amount he allegedly 'stole' was about equal to his salary, so, given his "indispensable" qualities to keeping the Renault-Nissan alliance going, you could argue the amount he 'stole' was trivial. Further Nissan actually paid for one of his bachelor pads in Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In addition, why was Ghosn arrested rather than simply sued in a civil court, and arrested without the board of directors voting on his conduct? You only arrest flight risks and petty criminals, not white collar CEOs who technically run the company. I think the Japanese officers in the Alliance were jealous. Apparently some officers in the Alliance are already saying Ghosn is being given a bum rap.

Bonus trivia: Ghosn looks like Mr. Bean, Charles de Gaulle did not say "the graveyards are full of indispensable men" anymore than Keynes said "When the facts change...I change my mind" (Samuelson said that), and Copacabana beach is apparently a crime wave, pun intended, where armed guards sometimes have shootouts with the criminals. TR?

The crime waves ("arrastões") and shoot outs has experienced a remarkable fall. Future Governor Judge Witzel has vouched to order the police to shoot to kill people carrying assault guns.

Amnesty International is working around the clock to secure Mr. Ghosn's freedom.

I hope they succeed.

Stay strong!

#Today, we are all Mr. Ghosn.

At least at Pearl Harbor the Japanese had the basic decency to mostly confine their bombing to people who made less than $1,000 a year.

It does not matter.

Wow - something objectionable about Duisburg in connection with #3?

It seems that every recent blog post at MR is intended to provoke a response that is proof of confirmation bias. Could I be wrong?

Summary of #5:
1. We can dismiss arguments based on aesthetics.
2. Here's some arguments based on aesthetics...

Yes and extraordinarily weak piece. I am very surprised Tyler linked to it. We are supposed to reject a physics proposal because it confuses our sense of self?

To be fair the author somehow segues seamlessly from this think about self to the argument about why squared amplitude equal probability -- which really is a genuine challenge for the MWI.

#1 was well written and very interesting, though perhaps a bit too straussian for me to pick up every meaning.

#3: I don't think we will ever have a Chinese centered world in the same way we had an American centered world since 1945. China is indeed going to be the world's largest economy for the rest of this century (as it already has been since 2013-2014) but they will never become a unipolar power of the same degree as the US's peak relatively prosperity in 1950 when the US had 27% of the world's GDP (China has now 18%) and 44% of it's manufacturing production (China has now 26%). China is not going to achieve this level of domination because the US achieved due to exceptional historical circumstances as it was the only major power that was not heavily damaged in the two world wars.

Perhaps if a war between Russia and NATO breaks out while China supplies Russia with ample munitions, allowing Putin bleed out the west dry in several years of attrition warfare, then after such devastating war the US might end up broke (like the UK was in 1945) and Western Europe heavily damaged. Then China will have a huge vacuum to fill up like the US had in 1945.

But such historical circumstance is hard to come by, specially because now India is also developing at very fast rates (growing faster than China since about 2012-2013) and soon will also surpass the US and the EU in aggregate size as well. I expect to have perhaps a tripolar world by 2040, with US, China and India as the 3 biggest powers with the US being decadent and India rising (filling up the US's shoes as the main stronghold of democracy).

Decadent or no, I think the tripolar forecast is likely to be correct but the United States will be the richest of the three countries for the rest of the century. It has an almost 4-to-1 advantage over China in PPP GDP per capita.

(Copy of my post on Quillette RE: Stubborn Attachments)

Much as I respect Cowen, his approach to future value of life makes a fundamental ontological error, even if you allow for his utilitarian ethic.

The “utility of future generations” is a seductive but ridiculous concept. Let us be clear: these “people” don’t exist. They may never exist. They have no claim on us, the living. Insofar as “their” utility is a consideration, it is only the utility we ourselves enjoy upon apprehending their prospective utility. That is, our own vicarious utility. We, the living, and our wants, are the only moral units of calculus

If those wants include the existence of future generations, and the happiness of such, well to the good. But such “future generations” don’t exist and have independent claims apart from our consciousness.

Indeed, if the objective is to maximise the utility of some hypothetical entity set at some future state, you don’t have to go far to get to absurdity. Should we prefer a future of great happiness for Billions, or satisfaction for Trillions? Or should we not prefer a future where Billions of Humans are replaced by Quadrillions of intelligent insects? Perhaps numerous future AI’s will constitute the bulk of future experienced utility, and hence our goal should be to immanentise them? And why stop with future AI? Entire realms of hypothetical entities can be arbitrarily conjured into existence and imbued with moral claims on our current behaviour. Suppose I diligently affirm that intelligent unicorns will shortly be created and constitute the majority of future awareness. Surely we should sacrifice all our utility now to ensure lush green future pastures for our pointy-equine successors?

Cowen’s approach is flat out wrong. The future only has value in the present minds of the living. Reifying non-existent entities from “the future” and giving them moral claims on the present is a fundamental error. I think of it as slightly less psychotic version of Roko’s Basilisk.

Probably most people who have kids put a pretty high value on their future happiness, and that of their grandchildren.
And of course, the selfish gene wants to keep existing many, many many generations in the future.
Perhaps we are all slaves to our code, but it's some pretty fun code, at least half the time.

#5. Who says those universes are distinct ? What decoheres can maybe cohere again.

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