Tuesday assorted links


I recognize that the time has come for me to be a over and to allow the Chinese to insert their thin chop-stick like penises it my anus.



A fitting tribute to Lord Napier who died at the hands of the Chinese devil at Canton!

Stop impersonating me.

#1 Lol it was only a matter of time!

#3 One of the best finance movies in recent memory and in my opinion highly underrated was "Margin Call". My favorite scene is where Jeremy Irons character - the firms chief executive Mr. Tudd - asks the board why he sits in the big chair, why "he makes the big bucks" which he promptly summarizes as his ability to predict the future and make executive risk decisions on less than ideal evidence.

At some point, somewhere the buck has to stop with someone. We used to trust warlords, monarchs and aristocrats with this responsibility which over time revealed itself as increasingly ideal in an industrial world that had moved on from post-Roman warlord agrarianism.

You can trust in god but everyone else bring data but at some point someone/s are going to have to make a calculated risk. The evidence and data for the success rate - being any more efficacious - is still lacking however.

#4 I would be completely unsurprised if by the turn of the century human beings aren't being killed by fist sized drones carrying mini-shaped charges piloted by 10 year olds. I would be totally unfazed.

#5 Very nice. I'm going to dive into this one. I was surprised to hear last week that the 300 ISIL fighters hold up in Baghouz have actually been in negotiations with US and US backed forces to get food and give them "a corridor for escape" but will not "surrender". That's a new one. I think the underestimate their value and the value of the optics of the mangled and burned corpses being broadcast live worldwide. I for one would enjoy seeing that.

#3 Increasingly *less than* ideal in an industrial world....

Eventually, senility sets in and he just keeps muttering to himself as he types increasing disjointed comments on the keyboard....

3. 'Except for pure marketing purposes, I find this terminology to be a misnomer, a misleading portrayal of academic discourse and the advancement of understanding. While we want to embrace evidence, the evidence seldom speaks for itself; typically, it requires a modeling or conceptual framework for interpretation. Put another way, economists—and everyone else—need two things to draw a conclusion: data, and some way of making sense of the data. '

Certainly puts those that do something like build dams to provide electricity and irrigation water in their place.

Except it really doesn't - the whole link seems to talk about economics, without any actual relevance to policy based on something like dredging a port to handle sea going vessels as silt is deposited.

"the whole link seems to talk about economics, without any actual relevance to policy"

Back in my youth, the argument was framed as "positive" vs "normative" [economic] theory.

I don't recall specifically whether Friedman limited his debate to economics, but studying malaria or measles to develop theory, can be positive, ie, explaining the difference in disease spread, or normative, figuring out why a malaria vaccine is not possible to find a different means to stop malaria spread, which presumes disease spread to kill people is a bad thing.

Studying cosmology is purely positive physics. No one is attempting to create or prevent new universes.

Studying the quantum physics of different solar cell materials is 98% normative: solar power should be cheaper.

Note, cosmology was originally positive theory. Ie, societies, leaders, paid people to study the stars based on the stars predicting the future, ie, which day to start battles, or who should you kill to prevent them killing you.

Opps, cosmology was originally normative theory, not positive, but today is positive. Ie, it was once based on what should be, a leader victorious and living forever; today its simply based on what is, everything dies.

The reason being that in this case "policy" isn't meaning "anything done by government or quasi-government actors," but typically policy to solve specific economic/social problems, e.g. development or inequality. You don't really need a theory of how to dredge a channel to get a sense of how to go about doing it. You probably need a theory of economic development to suggest what may or may not be a good use of scarce development resources. Hence the push to "evidence-based policymaking" that has things like the World Bank doing RCTs to figure out what sorts of things work. Those "things" are still generally theory-driven, not atheoretical.

"4. Ender’s Game in China."

Ender's Game was about using children, who in the books assumptions had flexible minds and weren't as concerned with losing their own troops, as Military Leaders.

The article is about an apprenticeship program for military scientists.

That is, to train youngester to murder.

Just like the Jedi.

This is an impersonator.

I tmakes no sense.

It is not that simple. The Jedi were a group task with a defensive mission. Red China, much like the Empire, has aggressive designs. It conquered, invaded India, invaded the Soviet Union, invaded South Korea, supported Pol Pot, invaded the Vietnan, threatens South Korea and Formosa. Rwd China ia the Evil Empire of our time.

Disagree. The Jedi always had it out for the Sith. #Empiredidnothingwrong

Damn right.

Star Wars is a tragedy in which a brainwashed farmer turns into a religious fanatic and murders millions in terror attacks to overthrow a legitimate government and usher in a period of unending lawlessness in the outer rim, random violence, and 30 years of civil war.

Not true. The Empire was a totalitarian regime who murdered billions of innocents and destroyed freedom. Think about Alderaan.

The Sith were the aggressors. They plotted the destruction of the Republic. They follow the Dark Side of the Force. You are being lied to.

I’m a shitting mule!

I blow mules!


I'm baffled by why women won't date me!

At least I think so, but since they won't talk with me, I'm not really sure. ☝️

#4. I see no Blacks or Browns in the group photo. I bet there are not even any Uyghurs or Tibetans in the program. Their lack of diversity dooms the project.

"Evidence-based" is the current buzz word in science, as well. I don't understand it. Next the science leaders will be arguing that we should be "logic-based" or "literate-based". Another cbw is "active learning" as if it is universally better than any alternative and has no costs. I'm positive that "active learning" wastes far more talent and time than most of its competitors. Do we really want everyone who takes Biology 101 to go to graduate/medical school?? I don't think so.

What is evidence? It is a new paradigm. That's the confusion. It's not only a piece of a fact but the feeling of fur.

And then it happened. In the spring of 2001, one Sunday morning his senior year in April, on a walk back from the library, he figured out that nothing stops. On the sidewalk alongside the tennis court chain link, he stopped when he noticed the ants picking up the litter of leaves and placed his hands on hips. Indeed, everything did stop. The sun not shining, but the light spread across, too early to call the shadows shade; the birds chirping a morning melody, too distant to call their calls anything else, it felt like a new wave cresting to a standstill.

The state of this comments section suggests that MR should bite the bullet and ban obscenity from posts. In the interest of coherence, if nothing else.

And then there is the obvious XKCD reference.


"Do-gooding 21st century Indiana Jones."

My, someone thinks highly of himself.

#1 I don't like to be a killjoy, but there are 130+ million people living in UNESCO heritage protected cities. These people sell/buy real estate, opens business, live there. The protected status is about following some conservation rules not banning humans.

3. "Purely" does too much heavy lifting here, and the rapid turn to climate change leaves much more basic questions (tax rates vs growth or even receipts) laying in the street.

3. Purely evidence-based policy does not exist.
"This is intuitive"
says the author, careful not to promote any evidence.

5. The diffusion of military surrender.

Be nice to your prisoners in the first battles, more surrender in the second.

4. Ender’s Game in China.

They be hacked by libertarian bots.

The language on this blog is really too much for an old gal like me. You boys are far too bawdy.

Most days I'd prefer a bit of bureaucracy to a meteor strike.

#3 I was at a conference some years ago when one of the speakers made what I consider still a good point about "evidence based policy" She didn't regard this as what we needed most but rather "policy based evidence". That is, if you implement a policy expecting outcome X you better have some process to specifically measure you are getting X, and collecting that is some part of the policy implementation cost. Often some existing measure is used (e.g. GDP, employment) but don't accept substitutes but have the real deal. You know, the ceteris paribus issue.

2. This chap believes that there were 300 "transformative researchers" in the entire 20th century, and his oil company funded at least 14 of them by spending £2 million a year over 10 years. If this is meant to illustrate the necessity of venture whatever participants to manifest self-belief in the face of all reasonable evidence, count it a success. What the hell were RAND Europe and the UK Department of Health doing propagating it, though?

in medicine, treatment and diagnosis are based mostly on evidenced-based practice because it's a positivist approach - reimbursement is linked to empirical outcomes. it sucks but i didn't make the rules.

6) Cyber funerals are nothing new https://youtu.be/MEpv7YxnLCQ


From a purely economic point of view, Amazon was expected to generate $27.5 billion in tax revenue over a 25-year period, 9x the $3 billion government incentives offered. Anyone arguing that $3 billion was an overly excessive offer accidentally chased out $24.5 billion from the city. And that is just the first-order effect.

If New York City had opened its arms to Amazon, the city would have been rewarded with product, labor and capital benefits.


This is from anther article in favor of the deal.
There is little evidence that Amazon would contribute those taxes, there is plenty of evidence that Amazon barely makes money. There is other uses for the land, most of which have higher margins than Amazon.

Comments for this post are closed