Friday assorted links

1. Anonymous and pseudonymous inventions other than Bitcoin.

2. Bhaven N. Sampat long NBER survey paper on evidence on patents and copyright.  I won’t get to read this soon, but it looks very useful.

3. “When young sailors need a minor course correction, he said, instead of ordering a spell in the brig, he often orders them to write reports on works by authors like Patrick Henry or Ayn Rand.”  (NYT)

4. Data on founders of billion-dollar start-ups.

5. Why is Serbia a nation but Karnataka not?  Recommended.

6. Is loneliness rising?


4. This: "Contrary to the popular belief, most founders don’t have any directly relevant work experience in the industry they are disrupting. There’s also a clear distinction between the CEO and CxO where the industry experience is even less relevant for the CxO. However, this does not hold true in healthcare and biotech, where almost 80% of founding CEOs had directly relevant experience." And this: This has always been a debate; technical vs. non-technical founders. They have had a similar level of success as a CEO, and naturally, the CxOs are much more technical. Please note that for a pharma/biotech company, being technical refers to being sufficiently scientific in bio/medicine. And while this seems to go against intuition, when the 1st person in rank was non-technical, the second person in rank had a higher chance of being non-technical too!"

One might conclude that the less one knows, the more likely one will have success. Or looked at it from the other side, the more one knows, the more likely one will be distracted from the goal (of making lots of money).

Its the process and motivation that produce results, not the "invention".

Eg, facebook was not an invention; myspace was a better and earlier innovation on the same invention, but myspace was sold too early to a rent seeker who lacked the motivation required for success.

I am Doctor William Scott, from Chattanooga, a city located along the Tennessee River near the southeastern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee.

Maybe it is just me, but I find it weird that Mr. Trump has time and inclination to talk to dictators such as Kim Jong-un, Prince Mohammad bin Salman and Xi, and ungrateful Europeans such as Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron, but neither has found time to visit Brazil's leader Presdient Captain Bolsonaro after he was stabbed by a leftist terrorist nor has made his mind to be present at Mr. Bolsonaro's inauguration, a moment that marks Brazil's liberation from 30 years of socialistic rule.

According to Mr. Araújo, Brazil's soon-to-become Minister of Foreign Affairs, God has chosen Mr. Bolsonaro to lead Brazil to freedom. Furthermore, Mr. Araújo supports America. It mistifies me that Mr. Trump is snubbing our good friends from Brazil and commingling with dictators.

I hope that little but honest open letter can help to right what is wrong and convince Mr. Trump to be present at Mr. Bolsonaro's inauguration as a gesture of recognition and friendship.

Are you a little bit crazy, hun?

Connie, I kinda love you, hun.


Doctor, it appears someone named Thiago Ribeiro is pretending to be you. I hope you are able to bring him to justice and punish him for his crimes.

I think it is a system bug.

It is sad that you are too cowardly to confront your attacker. I guess that is the Brazilian character. Or the Tennessee one.

You are a liar, Brazil has never been defeated in war. As the famous Brazilian anthem says,

"You got blood on your face, big disgrace,
Somebody better put you back into your place!
We will, we will, rock you!"

That is not a Brazilian anthem. I speak Portuguese and have studied extensively Brazil's history, culture and symbols.

As I said, I think it is a bug. Maybe a RAM.

Girl, that dude is hella crazy.

"Brazil delenda est"
It is not, quite the opposite actually.

Thiago, it is absolutely beyond hilarious that you forgot to change your username the first time you pretended to be Doctor William Scott.... and that didn't stop you. You switched over to William Scott and just ran with it.

You are the most fascinating person on the internet. Literally dozens -- DOZENS -- of people who for some reason read MR wonder what the hell is wrong with you, and none of us will ever, ever, find out.

As I said, it may be a bug.

And as I said, you are effing insane, and the most fascinating person on the internet.

I am not insane. I am just presenting my view of our contry's alliance with Brazil. Brazil and America were partners in WW I, WW II and Dominican Republic.

You will be pleased to hear Doctor Scott, that Americans will not let this insult to Brazil go unpunished

But people want to punish him for the wrong reasons. For the Russian thing and all that. The point is, when Brazil achieve a trade surplus with America after almost a decade of deficits, Trump insulted Brazilians and branded them as trade manipulators. It was uncalled for and mean. And he keeps not visiting President Captain Bolsonaro. Mr. Netanyahu, the Zionist Entity's leader, met Mr. Bolsoanro and praised him and his people. Why won't Trump?1

Putin is nothing but a cat's paw for Bolsonaro. This is well known.

6. I may not have skimmed thoroughly but neither Taylor nor his sources seem to've used the term "solitude" once, surely a curiosity of locution even in a short piece otherwise devoted to "loneliness" and "aloneness".

Why were available metrics on the incidence of solitude (singles' home ownership stats and rental stats both, to begin with) not cited?

Why were the distinct contributions of mobility to trends in solitude across the 20th century not cited?

(Too early to begin wondering what impacts "the end of mobility" will have? Having begun to acclimate ourselves to "the end of locality", illusions of travel might soon have to be parlayed by the all-glorious internet, too.)

Physicist Lee Smolin quoted a mathematician, who spent a couple of years in near isolation to work on a math problem, in "The Trouble With Physics". The gist of the long quote is that among the most important things a person needs to learn is how to spend time alone and that most fail at this.

6 Just from my own experience and looking at older family members, it seems that people today have higher-quality friendships and relationships than people in the past. There is much more sorting today where friendships and relationships are based on compatible personalities, interests, etc. instead of just geographic proximity. Social life has especially improved for people who don’t quite fit into the mainstream, like nerds, minorities, those with niche interests, etc.

Exactly my experience.
I feel most lonely when I am among the large group of people with whom I grew up or went to school. Now, I can choose the few people I want to associate with.
But then, I don't even feel lonely when I am alone.

I think meaning and post-modern construct of "loneliness" have changed over the centuries, as societies evolve towards tech and industry. Is it a Waldeneqsue loneliness in a rich, pastoral context or an oppressive loneliness, like it's forced upon?

5. Where to start? Instead, just one point which may be unclear to non-Europeans: The author overstates geographic fragmentation of Europe. There's absolutely nothing surprising about a French man marrying a German woman, even though their countries were at war. (Thanks, EU.) It would be more surprising for a French Christian man to marry a Muslim. But even more than that would be for a French Christian man to marry a Roma or gypsy - which is surely the closest comparison to Indian notions of caste.

I would also point at the fact that most countries in the world have borders drawn by europeans, there's little tradition for that outside.

Shows that borders - and states have a longer history in Europe than anywhere else. Redrawing India without any legacy or tradition would lack consensus.

5: Because Karnataka doesn't want to be a nation.
And why would it?
Serbia didn't want to, either. It wanted to remain in Yugoslavia.

It would be more accurate to say, "Serbia wanted to continue to run Yugoslavia." It was sometimes said, pre-WW I, that Serbs thought all south Slavs were actually Serbs. They just needed to be educated to be proper Serbs--by force if necessary.

Tito, the undisputed dictator of Yugoslavia, was a Croat.

And most South Slavs did not have a clear identity, some until quite recently, so even if some Serbs said what you claim they said, they weren’t too far off.

>Tito, the undisputed dictator of Yugoslavia, was a Croat.

Half Slovene, half Croat.

>so even if some Serbs said what you claim they said, they weren’t too far off.

No less than those who would say that all South Slavs are Bulgarians or that all North Germanic peoples are Danes.

I wish I could have put things that well.

#6: *it's not the same as being there in person*
"This report doesn't discuss how the nature of loneliness and aloneness has been affected by an internet-based world. My teenagers often chat and even spend an evening playing games using connections that let them see each others faces. It's not the same as being there in-person."

#5. "I feel it is Hinduism and to an equally important extent, caste, that keeps India together. As caste weakens, I would expect regional nationalisms to emerge. Both the right and the left in India know this deep down. But it is unmentionable."

Ethno-religious nationalism and also caste is fundamental to keeping India together? Tyler Cowen linked this. This is the opposite of diversity and multi-culturalism. Saying anything remotely similar to this in Europe or the US would be outrageous. I'd request Tyler Cowen to explore and discuss this phenomenon.

Europe and the USA are not India. Indians are backward. At the time of the independence, a Brazilian ambassador pointed out Indians were not capable of self-government.

How is caste the opposite of diversity? In order to have a caste system, there has to be more than one caste group. It doesn't encourage monoculture as you seem to suggest. It is in fact another way to do multiculturalism, albeit one different from the way it is done in the West.

Like the US in general, socializing has ceased to involve production.

Ie, sewing circles, hunting and fishing, yard sales and craft fairs, grange, clubs to serve the community (Lions, Rotary, Kiwanis), hot rodding cars, camping, hiking, etc.

Where people worked with their hands for pay, they had skills that they could share with others, transfer to others, and gain from each other, which in the process provided more opportunity, as well as being productive.

Today, what counts as social activity can be done as easily half a world apart as in the same room. Even making a gun can be done over the internet today while 50 years ago you had to have at least one person with metal working tools in their basement or garage, often several with one unique tool and skill.

As a kid, the train club was too far away, but my dad and I built a train layout in the basement, a bit of carpentry, electrical work, paper mache, etc. As a family we built a camping trailer.

3. A spell in the brig or a spell in the sack with the old hag, which would be worse?

You wouldn't know rayward, the concept of negative rights as forward looking, not stasis, and the foundation of civil society, is alien to you, you're a Lawyer, hence there's always somebody to blame.

#3. Arent there 8th Amendment issues here?


all the bread you can eat
is the mission statement of olive garden
are you suggesting unlimited bread sticks is unconstitutional?

#5 because the Austro- Hungarian empire collapsed?

same thing can happen to Karnataka if an external shock ends the central political power.

also, the author conveniently forgets Jammu and Kashmir which is 70% Muslim and is part of the Indian union. politics above religion/caste.

Kashmiris arguably have acquired a separate national feeling now, but one that has not resulted in a separate nation because of the Indian state's overwhelming military might.

5 days on bread and water or make a report on another godawful Rand* book? Clap me in irons, skip.

*Veteran of Atlas and some other piece of crap.

Says Edm, hands on hips, impressing his boyfriend.

5. Srikanth, the dynamics you describe in India are more similar to Europe than you think. It wasn't too long ago that most ruling families of different European countries (from England to Russia) were part of the same extended family. The Holy Roman Empire once encompassed the eastern Baltic as well as Iberia. And priestly classes across Europe had more in common with each other than with their respective local peasants (the ability to "speak" Latin, for example.)

So your thesis is an insufficient explanation for why Karnataka is part of a larger nation while Serbia is not. As others have pointed out above, history has something to do with it. The most proximate cause is British imperialism and the existence of a pan-Indian army (the corollary of which was the abolition of regional armies.) So Nepal and Sri Lanka are independent countries while Karnataka and Manipur are not.

In Europe, national feeling grew more acute when plebeians acquired more wealth and education, and thereby more "national consciousness." Most Indian plebeians haven't reached that state yet. But India most likely will avoid the same fragmentation simply because of modern communication and transport technology, and the sheer scale of amalgamation that is happening in the country. (If the Gutenberg press had been accompanies by the Internet and the airplane, we may have a nation called the Holy Roman Empire today.)

5. Srikanth, the dynamics you describe in India are more similar to Europe than you think. It wasn't too long ago that most ruling families of different European countries (from England to Russia) were part of the same extended family.

That was a consequence of an escalating resistance (during the early modern period and the long 18th c) to 'unequal marriages' and the consequent practice of declaring such marriages morganatic in law. That began gradually in the German states in the late medieval period. As it spread, more an more monarchical states raided the German principalities for dynastic marriages. The manufacture of dynastic marriages of 'equal' parties grew more challenging with the radical reduction in the number of German states during the Napoleonic period.

NB, the insistence on equal marriages was never the law in Britain and eventually the custom was dropped when the number of monarchies in Europe fell below a critical mass. It wasn't the law in Russia until 1821.

I think your explanations are historicist. Focused on proximate causes like British raj.

I am avoiding historicist explanations. Why didn't history pan out differently. There are more fundamental reasons at work as to why secessionist tendencies do not take off in India and the idea of India is more durable than most people give it credit for. And the most fundamental reason is the vertical axis of caste diversity that makes the horizontal axis of lingual diversity weaker

I feel like asking "Why is Serbia a Nation but Karnatka is not" is like asking why the Five Boroughs are a city but the San Francisco Bay Area is not.

5. Karnataka is a nation. What it's not is a sovereign polity. And it isn't because the political class therein has been satisfied with being a component of a political order delineated not by nation but by world civilization.

NB, India has about 30 states and territories. About a half-dozen have consequential regionalist parties. These states encompass about 1/4 of the population. The national political spectrum is not completely identified with the regional spectra, but the regional spectra are more alike than dissimilar. It's most amazing.

2. How ironic that the paper seems to be completely unavailable outside the paywall. Even sci-hub finds nothing...

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