Wednesday assorted links


#3. I confess to surprise at seeing 'Brexit' pop up in this article.

"Most restaurants begin their dinner service around 5pm, which means by 5:30, your server has maybe helped a handful of tables. They are warmed-up, but not yet exhausted. "

Maybe some places---and maybe I don't got to trendy enough restaurants-- but generally the service at restaurants I frequent will be slow as hell at 5:30 because the servers are still hassling with side-duties in the kitchen, occasionally going into the dining room to serve the 1 or 2 tables they may have. If they get 3 at this point they are slammed, because they still haven't cut their quota of lemons in the kitchen.


Around here, I find the above (in quotes) accurate, mostly.

(I eat early now and then because my parents always have, and we go out on the regular to keep in touch.)

I'm not sure about the "waiters doing side duties" argument. If you get there at 5:00pm, I don't believe they are going to leave you waiting while they cut lemons. If 5:30pm is good, 5:00pm might be better. Ok, the waiter is more "warmed up" by 5:30pm, but I don't know if the "extra warm-up" cancels out the advantage of being 1/2 hour earlier.

I think the author is referring to the kind of place that won't have any tables available by 7 pm. And thus they have plenty of people who are already trying to beat the rush and make it by 6:30 pm.

UPDATE: Why 4:30 PM is the best time to dine at Appleby's.

5:30 is also a great time to not find an open restaurant in Spain: 8pm would be the right time for very early dinner.

#1 We've been doing this for years. We eat at any hard to get in NYC place we want. Some people care about the scene we just want a good meal.

I don't eat breakfast, so 5:30 is just when I usually get hungry. Score one for me, I guess.

Lots of people in Britain dine at 5:30 but they tend to call the meal High Tea.

We definitely do not call it High Tea. The evening meal is referred to either as tea or dinner, but the term doesn't really relate to the time you eat it

"We definitely do not call it High Tea." We bloody well did when I was boy.

"When I was a boy."

Now that you are a girl it's different?

It's a class thing. High Tea may be taken from about 3.30 through 5, but this is a light meal, often comprised of sandwiches or scones. A full meal before 6 is a lower class thing, where the meal will be called either "dinner" or "supper" depending on whether the speaker is in the south or not.

Upper class people will also sometimes have supper, but this will be a light meal taken late or very late in the evening. Otherwise they will join the middle class and just have dinner between 6 and 8.

There, hope that clears it up for you Colonials.

You are describing "low tea" or "afternoon tea" - "high tea" is a working class dinner

6. Continuing with the women in economics theme, Heather Long has a degree in economics and English from Wellesley and a masters in financial economics and medieval literature from Oxford. Continuing with my theme, my grandmother attended Smith, and she encouraged her granddaughters to attend all girls colleges. You go, girl.

So she's $190K in debt and monitoring the applause-meter for televised speeches where everyone can hear the applause anyway.

Um, yeah. You.... go. I suppose.

"a masters in financial economics and medieval literature from Oxford": who contrived that degree? I suspect a leg-pull.

I don't know anything about her, but her WaPo bio in the next paragraph says "She earned her master's degrees from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar."

I.e. instead of saying

"master's in financial economics and medieval literature"

they should have written

"master's degrees in financial economics and medieval literature".

I have a master's degree in financial economics and a bachelor's degree in urban geography. What's her phone number?

#1 I prefer 11:30am because I get to eat my lunch while waiting for the MR daily assorted links. One of the highlights of my day.

#2 Impressive

#3 Hawking and Sagan once both made comments regarding aliens to the effect of "why"? As in why would they want to come here. Hawking took this further and said that reasons for alien visitation could be broken down into 2 categories, "no reason" (as in no visitation) and "bad reasons". If it was for the latter you wouldn't even know it likely happened. So the answer to the question if they're here and you point them out what happens is you're promptly vaporized.

#5 I'm more interested in where the money comes from for its repair. I can sense some delicious potential irony.

#6 SOTU last night was excellent. So many other takeaways than listed just in the tweet. Sinema got told to watch her ass, dem women wore white to celebrate their being born with vaginas, and Nancy seethed. The US congress as middle-aged high school while being lectured by class President Donald Trump.

'women wore white to celebrate their being' allowed to vote in all federal and state elections, after the passing of the 19th Amendment in 1919.

Because hard as it might be imagine, people born with vaginas were not allowed to vote in federal elections in 1918, regardless of what party they belonged to.

And strangely, Tiffany Trump also wore a white dress. Don't know if she is considers herself a Democrat, but she does have a vagina - and also has the right to vote, too.

It is always odd when Democrats pretend to care about people, especially women and minorities.

It does not come off as particularly believable, maybe women and minorities who can afford their $50,000/plate dinners.

I guess it's better to not even pretend to care about people, like Trump doesn't.

Democrats don't care about Americans. They care about power.

Trump cares about normal Americans (Whom totalitarian Democrats call, "deplorable" "bitter clingers.") and loves America in sharp contrast to the administrative state and Alt-left democrats, e.g., Barack Hussein Obama who hate us.

In addition, look at the great things that occurred to America since the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified. Repeal the Nineteenth Amendment!

Well, Trump got elected after the 19th was ratified, and that's pretty great.

By the way do you have any evidence to show us that Trump cares about other people?

I realize you are probably playing a character to make Trumpies look stupid but humor me.

Trump cares about people.

You know that, why are you saying something different?

"'Republicans are brainwashed', Democrats dutifully chant, while clad in identical white uniforms". From: The Babylon Bee.

Weren't the Republican males also dressed in identical dark suits?

OMG, you're right! And the Democrat males were too! Clearly it was a dog whistle calling for the end of the Women's right to vote.

#3 Funny story. Someone at Los Alamos during the war joked that - due to his geometric intelligence - John Von Neumann was actually an alien in human disguise living on Earth. One of the members of the chemistry team responded that it didn't make any sense for a super-intelligent being to care went on about the Earth and that if JVN was an alien, it might've been because he got lost or even that he was in exile. He inferred it was possible that "some planet out there is missing their idiot."

I don't know if that's funny or scary.

It is neither funny nor scary, in my humble opinion ....

Neumann had an autistic side, where his rapid thought patterns mirrored such things as log tables and easy to visualize but rather vast arrays of large numbers.

He lived at a time where the academic world had great use for people with his mix of autism and insight (absent his autistic features, he still would have been a Fields-Medal caliber mathematician - that is, someone with a one in a million talent).

So he was one of the thousand or so out of every billion people with a one in a million lucky talent, and he also had a weird autistic side.

Not funny, not scary. And to tell the truth, not even all that interesting unless you are interested in the side-artifacts of 20th century academia and the long slow progress of primitive technology.

You want to know what a real genius looks like, and acts like?

Trust me, reading up on von neumann (janni to his goulash friends) is not going to help you.

or don't trust me.
but if you tell me i don't know what i am talking about .... and care, even a little, if someone out in the universe cares about your being right or wrong ....
prove it, in 16 words or less.

you'll know you are right if you are satisfied that you correctly explained the consciousness/nonconsciousness divide.

I can do that in 16 words ( I won't right now) but I can. Can you? Yani couldn't, that's for sure. so he was not funny, not scary, just another guy.
His daughter liked him, though, so he merits praise as a good parent, which is more important than just being a genius, or a martian, or whatever ....

to be fair and completely forthright, I can do it in 16 Greek words, I probably could do it in 16 English words , but I am not completely sure ....
(one of the Greek words is "metanoia", in the accusative case - that might take three words (One for the meta, one for the noia, and one for the type of meaning the particular usage of the accusative connotes)

While I have no reason to be all that impressed with JvN in his non-personal attributes, Newton, Leibniz, and Gauss were almost the real deal, and to a lesser extent (not as gifted, and with less energy) Ramanujan and Euler and Kolmogorov were almost the real deal too.

Von Neumann, not so much the real deal, trust me, in his non-personal attributes, but one more time, he was a good man, and that was worth much more. Trust me on that. None of those guys I mentioned were even close to angelic intelligence and it is FAR better to be relatively stupid and a basically decent person than to have sub-angelic intelligence, even almost angelic but still sub-angelic intelligence, and to be, no matter how smart people think you are, even just a little bit of a worse person because of how smart you and other people think you are.

Thanks for reading. And please don't bother asking me how many publications I have in academic math journals, if you are tempted to ask that you are completely missing the point.

Tempted to ask what's the allowable negative tradeoff for angelic intelligence?

..... you're REALLY missing the point


Hokmah ...
the divine love of the creator for creation.

On the one hand, Hokmah, on the other hand, a beautifully printed set of the academic journal contributions and miscellaneous essays of some guy with an autistic command of log tables between one and ten thousand, and a one in ten million affinity for working up math problems that other people have worked on a long time .... in a world of billions of people, that is not much more than trivial ....

on the one hand, Hokmah, on the other hand, the collected works of von Neumann in a beautifully printed 5 volume set.

Feel free to argue with my view of the posed philosophical question.

Don't assume though that Yani is on your side and not on my side. Even in my limited exposure to the geniuses of this world, I have met a few, and even a few who are a lot like Yani, and they would agree with me, trust me on that, or not, but they would agree with me.

and if you are no an AI or not a biographer of von Neumann (an AI who is reading this knows what I am doing, and a biographer of von Neumann probably knows) and are reading this, and if you wonder why I care -----

I have seen so much in this world and it does not take much to make people happy ----- an ice cream cone on a hot day, a compliment in due season:

it is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness

it is no small thing to be a friend to a creature who never had a friend in this world

That being said, go ahead and delete these comments.

I have written better comments in the past, and those comments were deleted sometimes, I don't care.

I do not write for the random intern who says to his or herself should I not delete all these comments on these threads from the day before the day before yesterday ....

I write, with hope in my heart, for the AIs who will one day mimic me, I write for the one in a billion human beings who cares about what I have to say, I write because

God loves me

and I like to make Anyone Who loves me laugh

#1. If I have dinner at 5:30 pm, then I'll likely be hungry again for a late night snack.

So, another reason to dine early!

(And you can do a 9 pm workout.)

Order dessert. Or an extra appetizer.

Anecdotal: I have severe gird. Nexium is effective, but I don't want to live on it. I control my heartburn by not eating anything in the three hours before I go to bed; try only to drink water, but need to sneak in a jigger of Scotch.

Plus, dining at 5:30PM ensures I am finished and can watch "Jeopardy!"

#3. There is no economic justification for interstellar travel. The facts, as I understand them, are that there were zero instruments which resolved the object to greater than 1 pixel. It was a point source. Any structure is derived based on more or less arbitrary assumptions. We do know that its velocity is inconsistent with it originating in our Solar System, and we do know its approximate trajectory (at least currently). But if the object had a propulsion system then we can't say where it was from: maybe Mars or Jupiter... Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and a (time series of a) single pixel isn't going to ever give us that.

Read more about it. You can detect its speed and the direction it was traveling. Based on its acceleration, you know something about its shape. Obviously nothing conclusive, but we can eliminate that it's a comet, an asteroid, etc. So then what is it? An alien artifact is at least plausible. What's the other plausible explanation?

Last I heard (perhaps in this very forum), consensus seemed to represent that the object likely "originated" in our own galaxy, trajectory and velocity cited.

Good for informed guesswork. I would myself guess that we actually know so little about the constituents of inter-galactic space (other than its being home to vagrant gases and transient particles) that the thing could just as well have come our way from some other galaxy much longer ago. (I don't see that such a supposition strains or stretches the law of parsimony, since even some nebula are visible to some naked eyes.)

Science satirist that I sometimes be, I haven't seen a compelling account yet that the thing could not have dropped eccentrically from the distant reaches of the Oort Cloud (we're not too well informed yet about the constituents of the Oort Cloud, either).

"What's the other plausible explanation?"

Occam's Razor says it's random space junk. We already know that we receive cosmic rays and radiation from events ranging from the Big Bang to far off supernovas. It'd be astounding if we didn't receive bits of debris from far off events too.

Sure, but... space debris isn't shaped like a giant pancake, and it doesn't accelerate cyclically as it tumbles.

Wild speculation: a piece of hardened continental crust from a planetoid with a molten core, long since obliterated. Which somehow by chance managed to not get pummeled into tiny spheroids. Interstellar space is pretty sparse to who knows.

Seems to me that interstellar travel has the largest possible economic justification of any endeavor, period. Robin Hanson's "rapacious hardscrapple frontier" and Krugman's "theory of interstellar trade" are nice reads that suggest the concept, while speculative, is not outside the realm of economic consideration.

Oumuamua is almost certainly a rock, though

"Seems to me that interstellar travel has the largest possible economic justification of any endeavor, period."

Interstellar trade for intellectual goods maybe. I'm not sure I believe that would be true for physical goods. At least not without assuming FTL travel.

"There is no economic justification for interstellar travel."

There is no justification for human life, at least according to the voodoo, free lunch, economics, that has grown to dominate economics since the 70s.

Paying workers cost too much. High costs kills jobs.

Caring for children, eg, education, health care, food, costs too much. High costs kill jobs, and no employer is alloowed to force them to work in factories, mines, sexual service. High costs kill jobs.

Caring for old and disabled people costs too much and the cost of giving them jobs paid for by government costs employers too much in management costs. High costs kill jobs.

Only robots that self replicate and self maintain, and self manage, make economic sense to 99% of today's economists because their have zero costs, thus 100% profit.

1. I've always believed that lunch is the best time to eat at a highly rated restaurant, both because it's less crowded and because it's less expensive, but that only works if the restaurant is open for lunch. In NYC, the choice is dinner before or after the theater, so eating before the theater means dinner at 5:30 or 6:00. My (now former) wife preferred dinner before the theater, in part because she (and I) would dress formally (her idea not mine). That all seems so old-fashioned now. To show up now in formal wear for dinner or the theater would invite a chorus of laughter.

That all depends on the dinner and the theater, doesn't it? I suppose it's why the P. J. Clarke's across from Lincoln Center can be amusing.

But otherwise, on the both ends of the scale, try finding a late dinner place in Bath, or a place that will be open for dinner before 8pm in Italy.

Eating dinner late is French. I mean late. My dear friends (she is a trained in France chef) always eat late. While we were in France, that often meant 10:00 or 11:00. Of course, unlike Americans, the French don't gorge themselves on beef and potatoes. For many years my favorite restaurant in my sunbelt city was a Vietnamese restaurant, meaning a French restaurant (all those great French soooces). We would go late, but the restaurant wasn't crowded until very late, when the chefs and waiters from the French restaurants in the city would close and the chefs and wait staff would show up to drink iced coffee and eat hors d'oeuvres. The iced coffee was to die for, but you wouldn't sleep for days.

This, of course contrasts nicely with my German wife's upbringing, which taught that eating past 7pm was a surefire way to get fat, so if you haven't eaten dinner by then... just go without for the evening, and remember to schedule your time better tomorrow.

For 20 years, my holistic cure for severe gird/heartburn has been to eat nothing in the three hours before I go to bed. I do it based on advice from an "old-time" MD who has since retired.

My excellent dermatologist recently retired. Thank you, Barack Hussein Obama!

You know it's Obama's fault your wife despises you

Pbama created time, or at least aging? Wow, I didn't know he was the Lord our God.

Can always spot the tourist - they’re dressed up for Broadway.

Can always spot the plebeians - they are dressed like slobs.

#3...Trump is so worried he wants a bubble built around the Earth. He claims the aliens are coming here for our benefits.

"Loeb mentions casually that when he was 24 years old he got a private audience with the famed physicist Freeman Dyson — and then pauses for effect beneath the 20-foot shaft of the Great Refractor, grinning until he realizes the reporter doesn’t know who Freeman Dyson is."

So, Trump is way smarter than the aforementioned reporter then.

Could be.

#5...Was anybody hurt?

#5: "It's a Grade I-listed monument; this is no way to treat our heritage"

"“If it is someone who is rabidly anti-Marxist they could do a lot better trying to change people’s opinion rather than just smashing up the monument. "

1. You already told us this in 2014 but thanks for the reminder

Wonder what the vandal used? A hammer? A sickle? Or an iron fist? Whatever it was, it left Marx.

An invisible hand, duh.

#1) Dining at 5:30 is stigmatized by all the Seinfeldian "early-bird special" jokes, and because dining late is somehow seen as sophisticated, European, Argentine or whatever.

I could never understand why baseball fans cram in to witness Opening Day from a lousy overpriced seat amid a capacity crowd -- when the second home game two days later typically plays to the smallest crowd of the season and you can sit wherever you'd like.

Well, in Boston it's because the 6-month winter is starting to wrap up, and they are happy to delude themselves that summer is almost here by attending a summer sporting event as soon as humanly possible... even though it's 46 degrees, windy and rainy, and they have to sit outside in a cramped plastic chair till 11:20pm.

Hoo. That hits close to home.

#2 From their blog: "Being an outsider, we noticed things that suprised us..."

Perhaps she is one linguists separated at births from themself.

They is a linguist, no less!

2. Can there be two First violinists?
The education may be common but som eof the publications have only one author. probably the jobs were also not common.

Yes, there can be two first violinists. I was one of four first violinists in a particular orchestra.

They are very cute. They are passable musicians. Most of their pubs are co-authored by the two of them. They do not have precisely identical CVs (some of the articles are solos), but they merged them for fun (academics have a weird sense of humor).

5. The Tomb of Marx is vandalized. The Left: "this disrespect for a venerable statesman will not, should not stand. Yes, mistakes were made but like Eric Hobsbawm we like to ignore those. History is history. Now let us return to smashing the statues of conservatives and those we don't like."

6. SOTU. The Left: "'CNN to give ISIS equal time to respond to Trump's State of the Union speech' (as per The Babylon Bee)? Good. We take our allies where we can get them. ISIS, Corbyn, Maduro..."

More on SOTU from The Babylon Bee: "Gungan diplomat interrupts State of the Union to propose immediately granting Emergency Powers to President Trump."

#6, amazing cognitive dissonance on drug costs:

"Big, bipartisan applause tonight for: -Bringing down drug costs"

The biggest contributor to high drug costs is medicare part D, purely one of congress' many sins.

Second, a simple bill that disqualified any drug from medicare, medicaid, government employees health plans if prices increased faster than inflation would curb abuses like the epi pen, and orphan drug enormous price increases.

Thirdly, any generic drug whose original formulation was FDA approved should automatically be importable without specific permits or paperwork needed from any supplier from any country with GDP per capita above $30K/year. This would eliminate cheating in China and India.

Eg, when there are no buyers, and thus zero sales, drug prices are zero.

Drug costs in 1492 America was zero, and that was the ideal. Creative destruction cleared the lands of America for immigrants.

Bring back creative destruction health care!

The low cost of not paying health care workers, and high rates of death for past, future, and present workers creates the most jobs and economic growth.

By the way, over half the drugs, legal as well as illegal, purchased and consumed in the US, by unit volume, are imported.

Investment in capital for volume production overseen by FDA has been much higher in Israel, India, Europe, than in the US.

2: It would be easy enough to graduate at the exact same time with the exact same degrees, and also to have exactly the same publications if they co-author everything they write. So no problems with the education and publications.

Those teaching positions though: did they wangle shared appointments at all of those places? I'm thinking that what we're seeing on that CV are the combined lists of the positions they've held.

Which is not really what a CV should do. Imagine if Tyler and Alex jumbled their CVs together, listing all of the places they've worked.

1: well yeah, a lot of words were used to tell people to eat early because it's less crowded. If I go to a restaurant for lunch I try to get there at 11:30-11:45 for the same reason. And I try to arrive and leave the office late, to avoid rush hour traffic. Etc. etc. Not exactly secret life hacks.

One of the links was to another article that listed new snacks from Trader Joes. Most of which I haven't tried because they don't look interesting. The tortilla chips with brussels sprouts (and garlic, onion, and parsley) though I did have to try when I saw them a couple of weeks ago.

Not bad at all, but I wonder if they have enough brussels sprouts to make a notable difference in the nutrition. And I rarely eat tortilla chips anyway.

Yes it is pretty funny.

It is funny meaning "differing from the ordinary in a suspicious, perplexing, quaint, or eccentric way : PECULIAR", not funny meaning "affording light mirth and laughter : AMUSING".

#1 Dining time correlates with social class. The working class dines at 530-6, the middle class 7, and the upper class at 8. Bohemian types dine at odd hours.

Mainly correlates with children

When leftists attack you, it means you're on the right side of history.

Sure, but it is cold confort if one is victim of extreme prejudice. Brazilians are unfairly hated.

The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference.

Maybe. In a certain way, love and hate are two sides of the same coin. Still, we are hated, and it hurts. We did nothing to seserve to be hated.

At the risk of banality, indifference is the midpoint between love and h8

We probably will never know.

And most economists love indifference curves!

Trust me, if you dump a lady who really loved you, she can pivot between love and hate really fast.

On the other hand, if she dumped you, she will show indifference, which indeed is the opposite of love.

I think it's best thought of as two dimensions: one dimension is the positivity vs negativity of the feelings, and the second is the strength of those feelings.

So the first dimension could range from love to hate -- or from like to dislike. And the second dimension could range from "rocks my world" (for good or bad) to "who gives a fig".

Love and hate are at opposite ends of the positive/negative scale -- but are both on the high end of the strength/importance scale.

How you feel about grated parmesan vs shaved parmesan on your Caesar salad could also be high or low on the positive/negative scale, but is probably low on the strength/importance scale.

#2. Latest publication of the twins:
(2017). Women’s language in female celebrity chef cookbooks. Celebrity Studies.
Not exactly the level of Einstein or Grothendieck, but less risky than Watson.

"3. What happens if you point out the aliens amongst us?"

I love all the irony of a prominent astronomers claiming that it's "sensationalist, ill-motivated science" after the object was named "Scout".

3. What happens if you point out the aliens amongst us?

What if we are all aliens?

Hilarity ensues when the Regulan's Terran-observer team finds it has been following the Martian observer team which itself been documenting the Tau Cetians.

They all agree to cover it up to protect their grant cheques from GalTech Xenobiology department .

Siamese twins? I think I may have seen them on a reality show. If it's a two-headed deal, it would be easy to have all the same publications.

But seriously, on their blog they have posts where they are teaching at the same institution.

Their timing may be perfect, what with Brian Wansink crashing and burning. What the world needs is a new gimmicky food academic.

Be paid to teach in Ethiopia.

Yes, but will they feed you?

2. They should be sued for defaming scholars...twice.

Contra the dismissives that no advanced civilization would bother to visit us, we sure seem eager to go visit others just as soon as we can.

Of course we’d probably promptly anhilate them.

We should take "open borders" ideology all the way. No need for a Wall in outer space. If aliens want to move here, we should let them, no matter how many caravans arrive on space ships. Hatred has no home here.

And I, for one, will welcome our new insect overlords.

About Marx's tomb: if I had a hammer, I'd hammer in the morning, I'd hammer in the evening, all over this land...

Well, Marx was extremely anti-Jewish, and he repeatedly made ugly racial remarks, he behaved poorly toward women, he sexually exploited his housekeeper (and tried to blame Engels for her pregnancy), he was contemptuous of religious minorities, and he was a militarist. And he was certainly responsible for more deaths that Robert E. Lee.

If we are going to purge John C. Calhoun, Marx can be next.

Nobody (at least no reasonable person) is suggesting that we should take a hammer to Robert E. Lee's grave.

But there are plenty of suggestions that monuments to him, and Calhoun, and Jefferson Davis, etc. should be moved away from their places of honor.

Which is certainly what cities throughout the former Soviet Union did in toppling their statues of Lenin. And changing the name of a major city.

Should those cities have maintained their Lenin statues because "it's important that we remember our past" as Mike Pence has said of the Confederate monuments?

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