Thursday assorted links


The other side of the pincer, the low cost of Shenzhen

Those Eastern Men have a bit of a special situation, but not that special.

I want to use gel medium to adhere dried flowers I found in my grandmother’s books. Hesitating a bit because I don’t want to screw this up. Wonder it such a thing is covered in that magazine. Hmm

I want to learn how to use geso and how to blend the mist colors.

I think I've spotted them at their new job:

Mostly one guy hand-assembling a luxury product.

"These engines deliver around 500 normally aspirated horsepower and around 460 lb-ft, depending on tune and application, from what feels like 0 rpm all the way to a 7000-plus-rpm redline. In its ultimate form, in the SLS AMG Black Series, the hand-built monster produced 622 hp."

5. I am a lawyer and frequently give legal opinions on proposed transactions or actions. I always approach the task by asking myself what fundamental legal principles are implicated in the proposed transaction or action; indeed, defining the issue is the lawyer's most difficult task. If the lawyer can't correctly identify the issue, her time and the client's money are wasted. The law is based on fundamental legal principles, even if that may not appear to be the case (the law is a ass, right). Sure, it takes more to render an opinion than knowledge of fundamental legal principles, and a particular issue may require specialized knowledge, but the specialized knowledge has to be layered over the fundamental legal principles in order to make sense of it because legal issues never fit neatly into black letter law. Economics, as Cowen points out in the short video, is like that. Sometimes lawyers wander around aimless when confronted with a challenging issue. And so do economists.

@#5 - all I got out of that video is that the demand curve slopes downward, but I did not hear the whole thing.

Bonus trivia: New Caledonia crows, next to certain parrots the smartest birds in the world, act as if the demand curve slopes downward!

If all one knows is that the demand curve slopes downward, that is a fundamental principle that will help answer many if not most questions in economics.

So as costs, including labor, rise in developed nation manufacturing processes ..

If the Cost of labor rises, the relative cost of capital to labor falls.

Hence automation. More importantly:

If 2 billion people enter the world labor market in low cost countries with agreeable regulations and at 50% lower tax rate, you can expect offshoring.

Macro might be full of magic and dsge and bullshit.

Micro rests upon solid foundations.

One answer is to let millions more immigrants in to lower wages for unskilled labor. We could absorb 5 million a year from the Americas. Which is the right call.

Another right call would be to allow 5 million skilled immigrants a year from Asia to lower the Labor costs for skilled labor.

Somehow I believe that you don't really believe in immigration and low wages to solve everything, that it is a canard.

But either way, I will suggest my alternative. This is something I did suggest as a compassionate conservative years ago, before the populism arose.

America should have a moderate and uniform tariff (3-5%?) on all imported goods, and the revenue from that should fund social programs for displaced workers.

I think that is economically informed, that a moderate and uniform tariff is least destructive to the economy.

The old argument against was that any moderate tariff was protectionism and would lead to recession. The new argument against is the we only need to stop the Central American Caravans. I think that makes even less sense.

A low to moderate tariff preserve the best of globalization while providing for the displaced.

Yeah so you’re a populist racist. No big surprise there.

You don’t have the right to do that, thankfully. It’s in the hands of the WTO, and that’s an obvious violation of international norms, customs, and laws.

I never knew you were a Trumpista. I will refer to you only by Trumpista, or Trump Adherent, or Trump Acolyte from now on, if you actually support these insane Trump bs policies.

On a serious note, unlike you I’m not a fascist. Let the immigrants in. Most of my income is from capital and it’s time to let a thousand flowers bloom with giving hard working immigrants a chance at life here.

You want to be a fascist abuser of immigrant children, then that’s what you stand for and you can stfu with your faux moralism.

I’ll be the one that supports them with open arms, and votes that way.

You can be the supporter of sexual abuse of 9 year olds at private immigrant concentration camps.

In a better blog that would be a perfect example of things that get deleted.

Yes, I’m sure you would prefer that every blog comment start with “Heil Trump.”

Thankfully we don’t live in that world.

Another Trumpista heard from I guess.

I don't know how many (as my young son would say) anony-Mooses there are, but this comment wasn't wildly off the mark.

I'm not sure I agree with it, but it didn't warrant the full-flush chain pull Hmm gave it.

6. Not enough women and not enough sex makes men angry. Same problem in the middle east as in the eastern part of Germany (the "best" women left the eastern part of Germany for a better life, better jobs, and better men in the west). Men have sensitive egos. Something similar has occurred in the rust belt of America: as factory jobs left, the "best" women did too. I suppose men are the same everywhere. God love em. Because women don't.

#7 - Magnus Carlsen is cool. Playing rap in the background. @1:25 Magnus in Norwegian: " We don't need to replicate the Chessbrah style when it comes to the music". (Chessbrah is a Canadian banter blitz site that plays electronic dance music in the background).

Notice he plays well even with 1 minute per game, and even commenting on his games while playing, which decreases performance. But who would watch 2 hours of bullet except a diehard fan? And the audio dropped at the end of the video. Keep in mind that they have cheater engines that will automatically read the screen and play a PC chess engine move even in bullet. This is a problem when there's a cash prize of $3200 total, as here.

#6 mentions "far right" or "far-right" 16 times in the article, but never once says what that actually means other than 'votes for AfD'. What does "far right" mean in this context? What does the AfD stand for that makes them far?

Anyone who favors restricting immigration in any way, and in particular restricting immigration from specific regions of the world (like say the Middle East or Africa) is considered "far-right" by Western media.

'What does "far right" mean in this context?'

Well, if you read German, there is an answer to be found from yesterday -,kurz-auslaenderfeindlichkeit-100.html

'What does the AfD stand for that makes them far?'

Shooting women and children at the German border? ' Alternative for Germany (AfD) leader Frauke Petry triggered outrage last week by suggesting police should have the right to shoot illegal migrants at the border "if necessary."

The idea was echoed by her deputy Beatrix von Storch. When she was asked on her Facebook page on Saturday whether German border guards should use weapons against illegal female refugees with children, she answered with a clear "yes."

But in the face of outrage across the political spectrum she decided to water down her comments:

"The use of firearms against children is not permitted," von Storch said, before adding that "women are a different matter."

"The use of weapons against them can therefore be permitted," she wrote "within the narrow legal framework."'

"Shooting women and children at the German border? "
That statement out of context sounds horrible, within context it is the application of the law as it would be in any other country of the world: Police are allowed to shoot if attacked.

Of course, she should have known better when answering the journalist's questions that directed her straight into delivering those beautiful PR-trainwreck soundbites.

German press was never known for accuracy - it's a bit similar to the British in ways, though maybe even more political and tabloid-like. Their journalism culture (ranging from FAZ to Bild) is...pretty weird. Such cherrypicking of words would go down as lawsuit in the US with an easy win for the politican.

I doubt it. Public figures such as politicians have virtually no rights to prevent libel in the U.S.

See below for what the AfD vice chairman wrote on Facebook - no cherry picking required. People in the AfD are not exactly shy about what they would like to do when in power, after all.

And German media reporting is weird, absolutely. For example, the German public figures who are interviewed have the expectation that they get to approve what is printed. Meaning that reporters from countries with other traditions have a bit of a conflict - they can either get an interview and publish it without approval once, before never getting an interview from any public figure again, or they can go against their own training, and play by German rules.

To put it a bit differently - you have never wondered why there are so few interviews of German figures in the non-German press?

'That statement out of context sounds horrible'

Well, here is what the vice chairperson of the AfD actually said (sorry, in German) - '„Wer das HALT an unserer Grenze nicht akzeptiert, der ist ein Angreifer“, schrieb sie am Samstag auf Facebook. „Und gegen Angriffe müssen wir uns verteidigen.“

Ein Facebook-Nutzer fragte nach: „Wollt Ihr etwa Frauen mit Kindern an der grünen Wiese den Zutritt mit Waffengewalt verhindern?“ Von Storch antwortete: „Ja.“'

Basically, she said that anyone not respecting the border was an attacker, and should be shot. When then asked if that meant women and children too, she answered yes.

It is not really all that hard to understand when someone is advocating shooting women and children, and there really is not much context necessary to recognize such barbaric thinking. Of course, as noted, she did backpedal, saying that shooting children is actually beyond the pale. Their mothers, however - 'Feuer frei' is the German expression that would apply, apparently.

As the beneficiary of the flight of the Saxon woman, I've had plenty of opportunity to go back to visit Dresden and the like. The Museum of the City of Dresden is an interesting place; it shows how the city grew from the Middle Ages to today, and how integral the city was for the Nazis, then the Communists. Looking back over centuries, it's clear that the city has a tendency to cleave to authoritarianism. The rise of the AfD looks only natural when you see the entirety of the history.

A thief ran off with my bike once and I managed to track the little weasel down and reclaim it. The Chinese art situation isn't any different. More power to them.

4. was excellent.

"I will call Knausgaard’s kind of writing ‘itemisation’. We have, in postmodernity, given up on the attempt to ‘estrange’ our daily life and see it in new, poetic or nightmarish, ways; we have given up the analysis of it in terms of the commodity form, in a situation in which everything by now is a commodity; we have abandoned the quest for new languages to describe the stream of the self-same or new psychologies to diagnose its distressingly unoriginal reactions and psychic events. All that is left is to itemise them, to list the items that come by.

So it is not only the objects Karl Ove buys and uses that are itemised here: it is the people, the emotions and feelings, the thoughts, that are itemised as well."

I wonder if Europe is going to have a Century of National Humiliation soon.

Also, when does Greece get the Elgin Marbles back?

"I wonder if Europe is going to have a Century of National Humiliation soon."

They had one last century. But that doesn't mean they can't have two for twice the price.

"Also, when does Greece get the Elgin Marbles back?"

When they can afford to take care of and display them appropriately, which may take some time.

About East German men.

The big blunder was unification with an overvalued East German currency. Chancellor Kohl got East Germany to accept unification with a promise of one-to-one currency exchange. Really, East Germany's currency should have been devalued 50% or more. That meant that East German wages were much too high. With downward nominal rigidity in wages, East Germany was not competitive on manufacturing, and it collapsed.

A more general point: the Exodus Strategy. In Exodus, God kept the Hebrews in the desert for 40 years after they escaped slavery in Egypt. The point was that all the slaves would die off and be replaced by young Hebrews who had never known slavery, before entering the Promised Land.

Eastern Europe needs the same thing. It needs 40 years for those who lived under Communism to die off before there can be a society that does not have a slave mentality. In the meantime, there will be trouble.

Yeah. This is why China is an awful nightmare, and India and Pakistan are paradises.

Also why Estonia and Latvia are basically peasant drudgery and no growth. And why France’s economy has been bursting at the seams since the overthrow of Napoleon Insert #.

Or that’s bullshit, but hey it’s the internet. Say whatever you want.

So to sum it up: Eastern Europeans suffer from slave mentality.

You've made it. For the first time in a while I find empathy for the progressive, safe-spacy triggerisms of Snowflakes across the West's sit-ins, because I realize your statement deserves not even a fraction of what empathy I have for theirs.

And here I thought BB stood for Brian Boitano.

There goes that email address. if only there were a delete function.

But East German marks were converted to West German marks at a 2:1 rate, with no change in prices (a 2 East German mark item now cost 2 West German marks).

And so the East Germans were extremely wary of the EU, because marks were converted to euros at 2:1. Prices did get cut in half (so a 2 mark item cost 1 euro), but many East Germans didn't believe it would happen.

Isn’t a correlation of 0.98 a red-flag for nonsense?: “The increase or decrease in the percent of male victims correlated ‘almost perfectly’ with the increase or decrease of homosexual men in the priesthood, he said, citing a 0.98 correlation.”

From my experience in statistical analysis it’s a more than a red flag. Even if everything he says is true, you couldn’t get that correlation from the data he describes. Likely some tautological definition was snuck in there that forced the variables to correlate.

It's a politically motivated magazine that is presenting a very flawed report. Quite disappointed to see it here

I'm disappointed, too.

Tyler's style is to put things out there without any framing. It's often hard to discern off the cuff why it made the cut for assorted links.

Did it make the assorted links list to expose it to the sanitizing effects of sunlight?

For those who might want to see Sullins' report, here it is:

#5. I am quite dubious that TC's example of the "cost" of the various choices of getting your daughter to do the dishes is in any way economics. His point was, I think, that the "cost" is sometimes "difficult" to determine. I would counter that in many (if not most) real world situations no definition of "cost" can be nor will be generally agreed upon. I believe he attempts to fit economics to real world issues where it has little if any utility.

1. Uh-oh, SPLC doesn’t like it.
2. What a pretentious pile of crap.

4. Never, ever thought I'd see Frederic Jameson mentioned on MR. It's nice to be surprised every now and again.

6. Angry east German men are fueling the far right (NYT).

If they were partial to the Sulzbergers' preferred causes, they wouldn't be angry. They'd be 'passionate'.


Well it's not the first time, a biased newspaper/magazine engages in filter-bubble tourism. That is, venture into a foreign speaking country, take 100% percent of your ideological-local-franchise's viewpoints and copy-paste them into your paper, translated. By doing this, you get the benefit that the bubble that you project to your audience (and the national debate) will have a stronger shell, because critics must know the foreign language, must know about the topic and about the history of that topic in that specific country.

Of course, honest journalism would provide you with the local criticisms as well. But what fun is that?

E.g. I could cite gazillions of US newspaper articles about Germany's glorious renewable energy programs (which fail miserably), but since we're talking about East-German men and the far-right:

- Those areas that are particularly Nazi-stricken were so before WW2 (and yes that means there were and are differences of Nazi-strickenness within Eastern Germany)

- NYT's arguments about the AfD are basically pictures of demonstrations and the party's share of female members.

-- About those pictures: Go to any worker's strike, google pictures of the Million Man March or of any leftists, libertarian, anti-/pro-abortionists, environmentalists, you-name-it Rally. Unless it's one with pink hats, the majority of attendees will always be male.

-- about those numbers: Why doesn't the NYT tell us what percentages of female members other German parties have? Because it would be less fun. Yes, the more to the left a party stands the bigger its female shares but even the offspring of Eastern Germany's communist party (LINKE) can barely claim that more than a third of its members are female. The Green party, being all gender-equal and demanding that there's also at least one chairwoman for any chairmen regularly has to print ballot-papers where the choices for the female chair number one. Also, young parties are disproportionately voted for by men. The German Greens, existing since 1980 saw their male-prevalence shrink for the first time in the 1990s.

- NYT's argument about East German men:
They can't find women, thus they become racists. Wow.

Somehow the NYT inflates "9 women for 10 men" to 27% of votes cast in Saxony in 2017. Well, maths never were my strong suits I guess.

Somehow NYT forgets to mention that 16% of Eastern German women voted AfD, while only 14% voted for the social democrats and only 6% green.

Somehow NYT achieved to apply the same argument that is given by racists, for why all recent refugees are supposed to be rapists, while having the upper hand at morality. Is it because the argument is aimed at another group?

'which fail miserably'

No they don't, but that is only my experience from living in Germany for the last quarter century.

'and yes that means there were and are differences of Nazi-strickenness within Eastern Germany'

Wow - talk about stereotyping and making unsupportable statements.

One play of “Brown-Eyed Girl” is worth the whole of Van Morrison’s subsequent jazzy-wazzy oeuvre. The man needed the Brill Building.

Brown eyed girl is a song, Astral Weeks is an album. You interact with them very differently. Astral Weeks you enjoy with a scotch in your hands in your favorite armchair on HiFi admiring the sunset over the Mountains. Brown Eyed Girl in a group of friends in the pub where you all join in the chorus.

"Forget it Jake, its the MR Comments"

#6 Number of women per 100 men in the age group 25-29 in 2008

The old East Germany looks really bad, less than 85-90 women 25-29 years old per 100 men.

I don't know how to formulate the question. Either, a) why are young women so mobile?, or b) what's wrong with young men that don't go where the women are?


Do a search on these terms: former east germany gender imbalance

Men are left behind - less education and less relocation, less marriageable.

Lots in the search results about why.

But the consequences of "bare branches" is more incels (involuntarily celibate). Not every bare branch becomes toxic, but some do.

6. East German men have no job skills and it is hard to find jobs. Communist East Germany was still operating with 1960s or '50s technology. Many people need to be retrained. They don't need more immigrants to compete for jobs.

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