Monday assorted links

1. “What does Adam Smith’s moral philosophy owe to the literary discourse of his time?”  A Berkeley dissertation by Shannon Frances Chamberlain, #GulliversTravels.

2. “OK, that’s the essentials I think. Happy new year, everyone!”  A fiction reading list from 2018 by Jenny Davidson.

3. Here you can donate to Conversations with Tyler.

4. The labor market really is strong: “Here’s a help wanted ad for you: Hard-working, career-oriented cats being sought by the Ontario SPCA for a new program that aims to match unsocialized strays with farms, warehouses and breweries where they can work as mousers.”

5. Some AEA sessions will be live streamed.

6. “No students from mainland Chinese schools have been admitted to the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) through its early admission programme this year…

7. Judith Harris has passed away.


#7: her story should embarrass run-of-the-mill academic sociologists and social psychologists. If such buggers were capable of embarrassment.

Why should it embarrass them? She advanced a provocative thesis (animated, ahem, by a certain amount of motivated reasoning). She didn't have the tools to prove that thesis and did not attempt to do so.

Happy New Years, C U C K S !!!

#6: I think the less politically correct will point out that the top Chinese applications are always, without fail, a product of cheating and/or fraud.

Well, MIT can only take in so many yellows. If they expect to be forced to take in more local yellows, it's simple math that they must cut down on the imports.

Another reason to abolish affirmative action.

zing, yikes, splash


#4 "Hard-working", "career-oriented", "unsocialized", "stray cats"

What this ad really just described are Wall Street brokers. They just forgot to add "predatory" to the description, and also forgot that they don't work for mice. It's rats they're thinking of.

#6 I've been hearing Chinese enrollment is down across the board nationally, which isn't surprising.

6. I believe university admissions should be meritocratic, picking the students who show the most potential to benefit from the education and add to the university’s educational and research mission regardless of the students’ demographic characteristics. Historically, supporters of meritocracy saw the left’s emphasis on racial balancing as the biggest problem, but recently it must be acknowledged that the right’s emphasis on nationalism has become the far bigger issue.

but recently it must be acknowledged that the right’s emphasis on nationalism has become the far bigger issue.

It's not an issue at all unless you're assessing the admissions policies of Hillsdale and Liberty.

Any school that rejects nationalism should also reject any taxpayer supported subsidies to the school and the students to include non-monetary subsidies and externalities. Problem solved.

Start by eliminating all athletic scholarships and while at it trim bloated athletic departments.

Both "the Right" and "the Left" here are realistic in seeing the universities as pillar institutions of state power, prosperity and capability.

The problem the cosmopolitan "Centre" has is that it seems to want institutions to be open to all, really to virtually all talent across the world, on individual merit, without giving up the role of those institutions in their control of their home states and as a pipeline for political power in their home states. Or accepting limits to the degree that it even is possible to do that.

(Taking "the Right" here as meaning essentially what "the Right" would do, since "the Right" clearly has no actual power in admissions).

'regardless of the students’ demographic characteristics'

A whole block of alumni will not open their checkbooks to a university with that attitude. Or to put it differently, some student demographic characteristics are more equal than others.

And in modern America, apparently the surest sign that a process is accepted as meritocratic is that the wealthy are able to dominate it.

#6 Flow of stolen technology slows down

'The optimist sees the donut, the pessimist sees the hole.' - Oscar Wilde

However, I believe (without finding a citation) that it was Heinlein that said you see things better through the hole. But when searching, this quote from him was the only one to appear - 'Don’t ever become a pessimist… a pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun, and neither can stop the march of events.'

And to end with another quote from Wilde - 'The basis of optimism is sheer terror.'

Wilde had some good ones.

That Heinlein quote reminds me of what outfielder Mickey Rivers (pro baseball player) once said:

“Ain't no sense worryin' about the things you got control over, 'cause if you got control over 'em, ain't no sense worryin'. And ain't no sense worryin' about the things you don't got control over, 'cause if you don't got control over 'em, ain't no sense worryin'.”

People that subscribe to the MBTI as a roadmap for humans often infer that among the intellectual the INTJ is the pessimist, and the ENTJ is the optimist. The INTJ wants to replace the whole in the donut, while the ENTJ just goes out and makes a new donut. If all works out well in the end, both have a complete donut.

If it doesn't, well....

However, is it optimistic or pessimistic to consider a jelly filled doughnut a doughnut?

Pessimistic, because a jelly-filled doughnut isn't a doughnut, it's heresy. It's a French Choux pastry posing as a doughnut, a kind of trans-confection if you will.

They also represent waste and demand gaps within the marketplace. Ever notice which ones are left at the end of the day? Yeah.

This might be the best comment of the year, and that's saying something on Dec. 31.

She looked up and placed the book down, the prickly skin facing up, a skein around the spine.

And Boston Creme doughnuts?

File under profiteroles.

Optimistic clearly...just good ol' fashioned American theft of a French concept. Make it 3x as big, anglicize the name, and fill it with hydrogenated milk product and call it crème. No European pretension for us thanks. Americans make everything better...and BIGGER...a system that increases the size of the doughnut.

God I love this country.

Happy new year!

your losing your grip do not let Rene Descartes fall flat of course you are just covering up a fault line in California!

+1 to Matt Ridley.

+1 to msgkings, who sometimes seems to be the only normal commenter on this blog.

Thanks, but, uh, no one reading this will think this isn't me talking to myself LOL

1 is a pleasure to read, whether it is exactly right, or not. It sounds plausible.

#1....It sounds like Isaac Kramnick's Bolingbroke and His Circle, a great book.

Yes, of course the hard right says ‘nothing to see here, be optimistic.’ Talk about fiddling while Rome burns. Manchurian candidate. Msgkings: Trump supporter, or useful idiot? Either way, a supporter of the cause.

Have hope: Savior

God I hope this is someone sockpuppeting our regular anonymous (polar bear/shrug) guy because this is grade A retard stuff right here.

Savior? Polar bear guy claims he's a centrist Republican.

I would say no way it's him but the mention of Trump on something totally unrelated is his signature.

“Polar bear guy claims he's a centrist Republican.”


Well, just passing along his own words. One can hate Trump and be a centrist. That's why his savior link made me wonder.

I don't know about the other guy(s), but I am registered Republican, identify as independent.

Looking for a boring, nondescript Democrat in 2020, who can coast to a win on normalcy.

Normalcy is so previous millennium, unfortunately don't think we are going to get it. Even if we do , as the previous Republican primaries proved , hard for normalcy to win the primaries.

Any centrist Republican at this point would support a President Elizabeth Warren. She’s everything the Republican Party supports:

Consumer protection
Equality of opportunities and outcome
Strengthening social security and Medicare
Affirmative action for minorities and ivy legacies
A sane border policy that doesn’t murder children
An interventionist foreign policy, not a cut and run To appease Russia

Poe's Law?

Sadly no. Looks like it's really him

It ain't me, but it is interesting. She is sort of the Noah Smith candidate.

Neoliberal, in everything but personal likeability and electability.

She'd be Hillary Round Two, an own goal. Or at least that's what it looks like right now.

And congratulations to the troll, for sailing close to truth, and bending just a bit beyond.

This is the real anonymous/polar bear. Calling Warren (and Hillary) a neoliberal. As ridiculous as as he being a republican.

I guess not just "sort of"

And apparently Noah thinks Venezuela just ran into some 'bad luck'.

Sadly this is what being a "bad candidate" means in the early 21st century. It isn't that Warren has ever had a policy remotely resembling "Venezuela!" It is that something in her past squabbles or her personality has set up this Pavlovian response.

The other anonymous used the word "misogynist." That too was sailing close to the truth.

Something dark and Pavlovian happens when a Democratic woman approaches power.

So no response then. Ok.

"Something dark and Pavlovian happens when a Democratic woman approaches power." Misogynist Doesn't have 'Democratic' in the definition. I'd vote for Nikki Haley or Condi Rice in a second.

You kidding?

I just called you a nutjob who sees Venezuela in every shrubbery.

In a veritable litany of cliches — including fiddling and Rome; Manchurian and candidate etc. — you outdo your tribe’s silliness in hoping for that cliche: a savior. Personally I just want someone who is competent and not narcissistic. Sanders is not narcissistic but that’s the best that can be said for him. Warren?! Who else you got? Of course there’s plenty of time.

Also, I wonder if it will be possible to ever return to a time when one could just write “right” or “right wing” without the inevitable prefix (be it hard right, toxic right, far right, or alt right)?

Alt right is our euphemism for racist misogynist.

You’re welcome. Warren 2020

Ok my mistake, he overplayed it. It's a puppet.

Yet it cannot be said that they cover both common book prayers and fictional biographies.

I don't know. anonymous says dumber sh*t than that.

I will say this on Russia - many Republicans are slow to accept much which is in the public record. You can test yourself on that.

But the troll was trolling me too with "Manchurian," as if the only standard is that this does, or does not, exactly follow the plot of a 1962 Frank Sinatra film.

One can be optimistic and still think there is serious work to be done.

Optimism might be necessary in order to take that work seriously.

Remember, friends, eternal light, to many years, to eternal friendship.


Remember, friends, the light of the eternal, to the many years to friendship eternal.

memini, amici, lux aeterna, ad multos annos ad amicitiam sempiternam

non ignara mali miseris succurrere didici

sane memini

et, memini ....

verba amicitiae ....

in quorum consortium ..... non aestimator meriti, sed veniae, Amice ... (memini)
largitor admitte ....

memini, amice, memini

non ignarus mali, memini

miseris succurrere didici

the night was quite and the stars were bright

amice concelebrem

3. Instead of asking for handouts like Trump farmers and Democrats why don't you charge lots of $$$ like a real capitalist? Is this is a Marxist blog or a free market one?

Farmers, Democrats, and Marxists don't ask--they tell people what to give at the point of gun because anyone who disagrees must be selfish, evil, and/or suffering from a false consciousness.

reasons for optimism ---- Hot Jazz Saturday Night returns for another year on WOWD FM, a low power FM radio station in Maryland and DC, but which streams for free on the internet ...

oh, and as for number one, in 2019 I plan to read the dissertations of Nash, Gauss, Shannon, and poor little Nietzsche, and as a fan of Richardson and Sterne I may add this dissertation to the list.

Bamberger's back, and WOWD's got him! Well, at least for tonight. Thank you for that news.

swells and calms though

6. I applaud this. Far better than tariffs, let's have all our elite universities block mainland Chinese students from studying here. That's a way to get at the party elites in China.

Only 26 years until I arrive on the scene! Aren't you excited?

Maybe the elite schools stopped accepting Chinese students because of the reputation of widespread cheating on the SAT in China:
It sucks for the honest and truly talented Chinese students, but perhaps schools started seeing that there were too many questionable admissions.

Harvard requires all mainland Chinese applicants to go through two alumni interviews (the standard in the US, other countries, and even Hong Kong, is one) to prevent fraud. It's too easy to buy off an alum. It's not that hard to buy off two either, but it's harder. Harvard sees the interview as the best way to ensure continuity of the traits they have valued in the past, and a final check that the applicant does in fact speak English (among other things).

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