Thursday assorted links


#1 link seems to be broken. Perhaps this is the correct one

Thanks for the link. It looks like the experiment was done in Denmark, a well-run and stable country. In such a country, one can be relatively certain of the return on future investment. This makes it rational to have a low discount rate.

Now in a country where returns on future investment are less certain (whether because of bad domestic policy, hostile foreign powers, or inhospitable natural conditions), the above results may not hold. Delayed gratification would not have done you a whiff of good if you had lived in China in 1930, for example. In that circumstance, it is rational for discount rates to be higher to reflect future uncertainty, which means there will be less investment and planning for the future, which means the country will be poorer in the future.

This is probably a big reason why prosperity often follows stability and stability-enhancing institutions like private property and rule of law promote prosperity in the long run.

Good point -- anyone who works in the developing world knows that the high levels of cheating and stealing are in part caused by a lack of certainty over the future -- witness, e.g., Ukraine.

Yup, I've also read about research in the US (or maybe it was some other developed country) where people in high-crime low-income neighborhoods had high time discount rates. I don't recall what their causal evidence was but their argument was that a high time discount rate was an adaptive cultural or even personal response to a highly uncertain environment. I.e. the direction of the causality could go either or both directions.

Well-liked way to arrest/charge leads to a assurance.
Wall Street begun to wonder whether Starbucks was overdoing it.
Another thing you may use a website for will be always to expand your organization.

Zaua is correct. In addition, it's worth remembering that wealth is not the same thing as utility. If you experience strongly diminishing marginal utility from having more wealth, smoothing your consumption out over time, even at the loss of potential total wealth, is rational. It always irks me when economists try to frame this as a moral or character issue ("meticulous mary vs. myopic mary"), as this is not necessarily the case. Some people just don't enjoy yachts and private swimming pools as much as, say, marginal leisure or freedom from being told what to do.

Paul Ryan has a 12% favorability rating? Jeez, you Kochsuckers need to find a better stooge to play your game.

Does having a low time preference make you rich or does being rich change your time preferences?

Our hunter gatherer ancestors would gorge themselves on the meat of a recent kill because who knows when the next successful hunt would be?

If you always expect your parents to be able to feed you whatever you want, all the time, you don't feel the need to eat that first marshmallow RIGHT NOW. You can trust that the adult will actually give you that second marshmallow in five minutes.

But if you grew up in poverty and your parents continually broke promises to you about future rewards, maybe you trust adults less and think it makes sense to satisfy your immediate needs RIGHT NOW.

(Why Rich Kids Are So Good at the Marshmallow Test

Affluence—not willpower—seems to be what’s behind some kids' capacity to delay gratification.)

here is what we need from you
no birds
no applause
don't talk about china
we just need you to go into the kitchen before sundown and say alexa are you having any issues with your stepparents
then come back here and tell us what she said

Only if you believe in blank slates. Normalising by parental wealth would also be removing a lot of inherited delayed gratification gene effects.

What if your parents were poor and continually broke their promises because of their own high time discounting, and they passed that behavior along to you through some combination of nature and nurture? How would you distinguish between that possibility and your explanation about lower trust?

That's precisely the problem. If you grew up with unreliable parents in a war torn country, your discount rate will be much higher than if you grew up with affluent parents in Canada who always kept their promises.

I'm not convinced. You could control for war-torn origins and flaky parents in your test subjects; why didn't they? According to that Atlantic article, from what I can tell all they did was control for the mother's education. Also, please note that your view is not entirely consistent with what the article says, either: Similarly, in my own research with Brea Perry, a sociologist (and colleague of mine) at Indiana University, we found that low-income parents are more likely than more-affluent parents to give in to their kids’ requests for sweet treats.

These findings point to the idea that poorer parents try to indulge their kids when they can, while more-affluent parents tend to make their kids wait for bigger rewards.

That's a lot different story, and one I think is actually more plausible. I could imagine more affluent parents putting their kids in more situations where they can do better by delaying gratification, and thus just get more practice at it at younger ages.

On the other hand if you have affluent parents you might not care about getting the 2nd marshmallow.
It amazed me how my sons would have enough cookies and leave some while my brothers and I given a chance would always eat every single one.

Re: causation v. correlation. From the abstract: "... and it exists after controlling for education, school grades, income, initial wealth, parental wealth, and credit constraints. "

#2 Warren Beatty with 2 exceptions. First the god-awful Hollywood liberalism. Second his trans-kid. I like pretty much everything else about the man, including his youthful sexscapades, which I can totally relate with.

#4 The dedication page to that book reads "Learn to speak Hindi or Chinese". The rest of the pages are surprisingly empty.

#5 Law(especially common law) is very much a process in distinguishing things that should be "understood" from things that aren't. I.E. prohibitions might be understood, but are the de facto for establishing that foundation. English and American common law, unlike other forms, are unique in this tradition in that for the most part something not expressly prohibited is "at liberty". Most other systems start from the precept "there is no liberty" unless otherwise granted. So "wait for green" is in fact a suggestion. Thanks, but no.

“Wait for Green” is an odd one, but a lot of traffic laws are not all that explicitly stated and traffic courts in strange states are not places to argue about it.

Right turn on red is a sensible one, but it was shoved down certain states throats back in the 1970s and well into the 1990s police in some of those states, Minnesota for example, would occasionally still ticket you. Nothing is quite like going out in the snow to take a picture with a film camera to show that there was no sign there. And right of way is a morass.

Why is Warren Beatty's transgender son an exception for you?

Do you ascribe his son's status to him? Why would you like him any less for respecting and supporting his child?

#2. In general, the elderly with media attention do an excellent job of accentuating the positive and hiding the negative. I do not know enough about any elderly person that would be known to others on this thread to think that I'd like to "resemble" them. The difference between who you "would like to resemble" and "whom you'd like to mentally and/or physically resemble when you get old" is pretty obvious. There are a LOT of 60 year olds that I'd like to "resemble" when I turn 110.

5. When I first moved to California there were a bunch of odd and confusing signs like this I had to learn, thankfully most of them had already disappeared.

However the specific local ones, even one’s I like, here I am thinking about Cali’s blocking intersection rule, is where traveling from state to state gets very confusing. Obeying that one in a place without it, say Texas, creates a true mess. But considering oddities like the Idaho Stop, or states with it is amazing how little trouble these things cause, with the exception of roundabouts of course. Arizona and Colorado’s are often nightmares.

Around 10 or 15 years ago Pasadena CA installed traffic lights that had a new coding system for the lights for left turns. I have forgotten the details; it was somewhat intuitive but not perfectly so. IIRC the problem they were trying to solve was how to communicate to left-turners the transition from a green left arrow (go left now with impunity) to a regular green light (go left but only if there's no oncoming traffic), in particular the transition state: what do you use? A yellow left arrow? A flashing green arrow? Flashing yellow left arrow?

Presumably the previous system was for the green arrow to turn directly into a regular green light and the oncoming traffic would after a delay be given their own regular green light. I think the idea here was to remove that delay by giving the left turners a warning that their green arrow was about to disappear.

I don't know how well the system worked; I know that many people were confused when the green left arrow turned into ... whatever it was that Pasadena was experimenting with, yellow left or flashing green or whatever. But at least they were getting warned that something was about to change.

As Roy LC points out, there are local variations in traffic customs. (Which BTW is another obstacle for self-driving vehicles: training them in Mountain View or AZ is one thing; good luck having that vehicle drive to Boston, or Pittsburgh where jumping the green is apparently routine.) I wasn't familiar with the Idaho Stop.

Another example of differences in local traffic: when the light rail Gold Line was constructed in Pasadena, the rail crossing lights were timed to stop traffic for 55 seconds. That's a long time considering it takes a light rail train less than 10 seconds to traverse the intersection. But although drivers in LA are not bad compared to drivers in some eastern cities, they are very bad about knowing to stop at rail intersections. For years there were multiple deaths per year when vehicles were hit by trains on the Blue Line south of LA. The traffic arms that drop down had to be installed in both directions because LA drivers would routinely respond to a dropped traffic arm by driving around it (i.e. swerving into the lane of incoming traffic, with predictable results when the train arrived at the intersection).

So light rail in LA needs 55 seconds of red light to make sure that the dumb LA drivers have cleared the tracks.

In Portland, OR there are no dropping traffic arms, and when a train come the traffic light turns red for 25 seconds. Because Portland drivers know to stop when the light turns red.

As for roundabouts, there's one in Portland, OR that combines the worst attributes of a 4-way stop and a roundabout. Because when you reach the roundabout, there's a frigging stop sign. So you get none of the benefits of a roundabout (smooth traffic flow, at least when traffic is light) and all the disadvantages. Plus the right lane as you enter the roundabout is essentially a right-turn only lane because you're required to take the first exit off the roundabout. A nightmare of congestion whenever traffic becomes even a little bit heavy.

Maybe they had to have the roundabout because there's a statue of Joan of Arc in the middle of this roundabout, one of five copies worldwide of the statue. But I believe the roundabout came first, the statue was added later.

1. They are also more likely to get revenge. Eventually.

2. Katherine Hepburn.

1) What is the optimal train speed to view things with concentration?
2)She once said, "I'm alive therefore I exist."

#1 isn't a web link. It's just a file system link. I think you just gave us the path where it sits on your computer, which is inaccessible to anyone but you.


Bolsonaro has been bought by red China:

I want to resemble Gandalf, who was thousands of years old and a super high being. Noah Smith once said I was sort of like him, but my beard will never be long enough, sob!

In a similar vein as 5, there is a cross-walk in Vienna (VA). Vienna installed a signal light as 123 is often busy. The light is actually dual red lights that flash (or flash part of the time -- forget if they are solid red for a bit).

I found that quite confusing as the flashing red is supposed to mean it's like a stop sign and not a red light. (train crossings use the dual flashing red but they also tend to have the gate down too!).

Most people seemed to stop and wait until the lights stop flashing, even when no pedestrians are present.

I check with the Vienna police. Flashing red is flashing red even when there are two lights. If pedestrians are not present, stop and then proceed. Why two lights?.... Is that the culture that is Vienna?

#2, what do you mean with your comment? I don't expect you'd want to be more like Hugh Hefner.

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