Saturday assorted links


So soliciting gum is a crime, but chewing is not. What a country.

"when a ban was first suggested in 1983, LKY thought it was much too drastic a measure."

Then, shy he ordered people who want to xhew gum to chew bananas instead?
"If you can't think because you can't chew, try a banana."

Maybe we ahould not trust the Chinese.

Reading people happy about being told what to do in Singapore makes me glad to live in a country where sociability and normalcy are valued.

Such is life in Lee's Singapore.

I'm guessing you guys have never actually been to Singapore..

Brazilians can neither think nor chew, let alone do both at the same time.

We can do bothat the same time and much better than you can.

Speaking of Singapore, America has a potential leader with the vision of a Lee Kuan Yew in Andrew Yang, a candidate running for the Democratic nomination for President: rational, thinks out of the box, knows where to let markets be and is committed to a disciplined approach to government. As a former CEO, Andrew Yang understands business and technology but he also sees the economic anxiety caused by automation and has practical ideas on how to fix them. He is a capitalist that wants to protect capitalism from eating itself. Yang is the most sensible candidate running for President. #yang2020

Yang on Fox Business:

Yang on Joe Rogan:

Sounds boring. Does he hate the same kinds of people that I hate?

It seems like we have a candidate for chewing Brazil nuts excessively.

"Brazil nuts are known for their selenium content. A consequence of selenium toxicity is brittle nails and hair -- and eventually, possible hair and nail loss. Less common side effects of eating too many Brazil nuts include problems with your digestive system. This can include a garlic smell on your breath, a metallic taste in your mouth, rashes or lesions on your skin, diarrhea, spotty colored teeth, fatigue, irritability and irregularity with your nervous system."

Chewing gum is sold in Singapore. You have to go a pharmacy and show your passport (IIRC id was not enough) but it is sold. No need to go to MY at all.

Good way to get yourself in a database. No thanks.

3. Training teachers how to shoot.

The D and F students, generally.


Pan shot!


How can you tell?

Because I am myself.

##3 Teachers with Guns

... so any government employee with a gun is somehow a great idea -- but normal peaceful citizens should be heavily restricted or disarmed.

why are people with government paychecks so automatically superior & trustworthy compared to ordinary citizens?

Based on no actual research -- I bet most of the places that choose to arm teachers are also fairly 2nd amendment friendly. In other words, the teachers are seen as ordinary citizens already in regards to firearms ownership.

Why not arm the students? They outnumber mass shooters thousands to one.

My impression is that the arm-teachers people tend to be pro-gun, not anti-gun. The anti-gun people say, "We need to do something about school shootings. Banning guns is something." The pro-gun people don't want to ban guns but feel cornered into suggesting something else. They feel that "doing nothing" wouldn't be politically acceptable. So, they suggest arming teachers. It's intended to provide an alternative choice to gun control when "none of the above" is not considered an acceptable choice.

Maybe, none of the above is the best choice. It continues to allow people to defend their own families, unlike gun control, without placing teachers-turned-armed-amateur-policemen into schools.

In any case, school shootings are not even a notable problem in the US, barring the media-driven hysteria around it. There was an LA Times article recently on how schools are an order of magnitude safer with respect to gun violence than restaurants, homes, or just walking down a typical city street. But the culture of statistically illiterate hysteria shall persist.

It sounds remarkably like it was someone else's kid shot, another family forever burdened.

Sure, that kid could have been run down in a crosswalk, but parents who have lived it aren't glib about that one either.

MIE Germany: there's a "waste separation" rapper, to raise awareness of such an important ecological issue.

3. Why will teachers be better shots than police?

Heard the report on the nnight club mass killing, and the police fired 200 rounds, with zero hitting any person, much less the shooter.

And why do teachers ant to be killed by cops?

A person, club security, I belideve, with gun was aiding a victim in a night club shooting, and was shot and killed by a cop responding to the shooting.

A person with gun was fleeing gun shots in a shopping mall with others and was shot and killed by a cop responding to the shooting.

And all the cases where a good ghy with a gun stopped a bad guy with a gun, the bad guy had already shot and killed multiple people and was no longer shooting anyone in most cases. In most cases, it was the bad guy with a gun that stopped the bad guy with a gun by killing himself.

So, now the idea is to train teachers to be like angry people who kill family and friends to stop killers. But first, they must wait to see the kid kill someone before killing him, or else he ends up killing the wrong person.

The training helps ensure the wrong person will be killed:

"The videos, instruction, and repetition play a trick on my mind, though. I start to think in terms of students and attackers, those I would protect and those I would kill. The latter are strangers— unnamed, faceless adversaries like the targets."

And its interesting that hollow points are chosen to ensure mistakes maximize harm to innocent people.

“And its interesting that hollow points are chosen to ensure mistakes maximize harm to innocent people.”

Glad you here to mindread! Perhaps someone other than Mulp — someone with actual knowledge of bullets/rounds — can explain why hollow points would be the choice here?

Generally speaking, hollow points do not overpenetrate as compared to full metal jacket bullets. This is literally the opposite of "hollow points are chosen to ensure mistakes maximize harm to innocent people."

The FBI chose a new standard round in 2018 - hollow point.

Here's a discussion from 2013:

"Also, since hollow point rounds expand on impact, they are less likely to penetrate completely through a body and place innocent bystanders in harm’s way by being struck by a stray bullet passing through the body of the intended target. This makes the hollow point round a safer round to use, especially in urban settings. Simply stated, hollow point ammunition is more effective and safer to use."

When my father was in the army one man accidentally shot himself through the chest with a pistol and killed the man behind him. If it had been a hollow point round the person behind him may not have been killed and the shooter may have died. As it was, the shooter made a full recovery in three weeks.

In another incident a soldier was resting his arms on the table. Another solider improperly handled his weapon and his carbine went off when he put it on the table and shot the first man through both elbows.

These were not poorly trained conscripts but volunteers and highly trained.

do you think it is a coincidence that the 2 incidents
of fatal friendly fire you mention occurred close after the parkland school shooting where the first responder was literally diagnosed as a coward by cable news& other moronic media outlets et all for not immediately rushing in & attacking the shooter?

#1) If one accepts the author's claims that blogs have many positive features relative to twitter, then why aren't more people still paying attention to blogs? This is not meant as a rhetorical question to slam blogs. I myself read and comment on blogs but do not spend any time on twitter. I agree that blogs allow for more elevated discussion generally than twitter, which I view as the 21st century version of bumper stickers. So, why are policy makers, academics, serious journalists, etc. even allowing themselves to be influenced by twitter (if they even are)?

In the absence of technological regress away from blogs, my only suggestions: social media are addictive by design; social media can spot a bad blog post and shame the author; fewer professional writers these days, with less time.

It is not that simple. There is more than meets than eye.

Blogs are elitist: they were made to discuss highly specific things that interested small groups of highly specific people.

Most people are not sophisticated enough to enjoy this kind of environment: they want to be part of a more animalistic environment, that is provided by the likes of Instagram and Twitter. As the internet became more and more "mainstream" so its average degree of specialization and sophistication declined.

This kind of process of convergence to the lowest common denominator almost always happens to any sort of artistic and communication mediums. There is nothing surprising here.

Yes, but presumably academics, policy makers, and serious journalists would be part of the small groups of highly specific people interested in highly specific things. Yet, many of them seem to hang out on twitter, while complaining about the incivility and low-quality discourse. Why not stick to blogs if that is where the higher quality discussions are?

There is a by-now-old meme about needing to correct someone that is wrong on the internet. Before twitter, lots of people would say lots of stupid things while sitting on proverbial corner bar stools. But, since most people weren't around to hear those stupid things, they wouldn't bother responding, nor would they deliberately seek out such drunk commentary. Now that the stuff is circulating around twitter, even serious, thoughtful people feel the need to engage with it for some reason.

I'm not sure blogs are elitist as such, though they certainly favor writers who can articulate thought better in longer form.

But I do think part of it is that blogs do enforce a guest-host relationship with limits on how strongly you can disagree with an author or use their posts to articulate your thought in response. "You read me, and I pay for this space. I do not read you and you do not". Twitter and forums (usenet, etc.) both have a more egalitarian, symposium dynamic.

That would appeal more to Tanner Greer (and I say this despite him being one of my favorite twitterati), as a man who is somewhat adrift from the rest of the online right by being strongly on the side of our Western culture (and specifically American) hierarchical knowledge producing, family forming, state managing etc. institutions, and the literary canon and cultural norms of the professional-bourgeois who run them.

Most of the rest of the right seeming to view institutions like the church and university as increasingly illegitimate as it is increasingly apparent that they are captured by either the radically left or centrists who are unwilling or unable to oppose them, at best powerless to keep their institutions much as agents serving their nation state and their specific parent civilization and culture rather than internationalism and humanity as a whole.

There is a claim that "go start your own twitter!" is impossible, unlike "go start your own blog!" But the claim is false; Mastodon allows individuals to start their own Twitter-like servers, with their own moderation policies, and still be able to interact with other servers.

However, much like with bittorrent, no one is going to get rich off of it, and since something like Mastodon pretty much gets around the 'censorship' debate, there is little incentive for those hoping for either profit or control to talk about an effective competitor that undercuts those goals.

I would say there is more bad externality of chewing gum than most drugs, so if you are ok with banning drugs then chewing gum should also be on your list.

#4) The article says that some Chinese feel that the game insults Chinese. I am confused. I thought that the Chinese considered Taiwan to be part of China. How can someone feel like they are being insulted by themselves? Are they saying that Taiwanese aren't really Chinese after all, so that the Taiwanese game indeed represents foreigners insulting the Chinese?

They are saying that Formosa, which is a rogue province of the former Empire of Brazil, mocks mainland (Red) China.

Please inform us of this lost chapter in the history of the Empire of Brazil.

The OB is not dead, it's just resting. Beautiful plumage.

#2) "there's no demand for gum here."
Then, why do you need a ban?

"if you really want gum, it's a twenty minute cab ride to Malaysia, and you can bring it back."

So, the ban doesn't really prevent people from leaving gum in undesirable places because they can still get gum from Malaysia if they want it?

I predict in the next 18 months:

- One educator shoots a peer on purpose
- One educator shoots themselves on accident
- Two educators commit suicide in the classroom
- Fifty guns are lost or stolen at school
- One gun goes off while being handled and puts a hole in the wall
- One educator pulls a gun on kids for goofing off

And: no active shooters are defeated by an armed educator

2. How many lashes?

Now have angry Singaporean Twitter guy defend the ban on flying kites

Teachers and students really need to be given gum instead of guns: there will be enough to go around from the Singapore ban.

2: weak argument. She claims Singapore had to ban gum because gum vandals were sticking their gum on train sensors. Unless Singapore has off-the-charts bad gum vandals, or off the charts vulnerable sensors, this leaves the question of how do trains in the rest of the world manage to work despite rampant free gum chewing?

Her argument doesn't work. I doubt that the trains were being seriously disrupted by gum (she even claims that Singapore was uniquely vulnerable to gum attacks because it's subway system had only two lines; well Seattle's light rail has only one line, and they manage not to be gummed up, as do all the other cities in the world with just one or two rail lines).

And if Singapore were to make gum more freely available now, raise your hand if you think that will cause slowdowns in their train system.

I suspect what really happened is a combination of our stereotypes about Lee Kuan Yew being a control freak were correct, combined with horrendously sloppy littering habits by the population.

I think you are correct in her overhyping of the threat to trains but improper disposal of gum is still a serious issue in many places due to the difficulties in removing it. It defaces public spaces and costing money to remove. I would implement a pigouvian tax on gum rather than ban it though.

Hong Kong, the place that is probably most similar to Singapore in the world, has not banned chewing gum and does not have a problem with improper disposal of it (at least nothing compared with American cities). Trains and elevators function more or less without a hitch.

#5, golden age of piano. Two things:

1. The new cohort of young classical pianists includes two who perform transcriptions of improvisations by jazz pianists: Art Tatum and Bill Evans.

2. There seems to be a higher level of technical skill. I notice the same thing in the trumpet world (I'm a decent jazz trumpeter). In the past couple of days I've seen (on Twitter I believe) a pair of videos juxtaposing women's gymnastics from the 1950s with current practice. It's now a different sport with a much higher level of technical skill. Is this true across a wide range of disciplines involving physical skill, either as an end in itself (sports) or supporting artistic performance (music, dance)?

That's a really good observation and question. Just about every major -- and for that matter minor -- sport that I can think of -- basketball, football, x-games, swimming, track and field, etc. (and the last ones on that list have objective measures) -- the athletes on average are notably superior to the ones from 30 or 50 years ago.

There may be sports that are declining in popularity and thus declining in skill level and performance; maybe bowlers or jai alai players are not as good as they used to be? In a non-sports field, I'd have to think that whale harpooners are not as good as they used to be, except maybe the ones in Japan.

But except for those areas of decline, I think the sports world shows clear improvement. And it may well be that the same has happened in the arts. And the sciences, and business too??

Maybe even government -- yeah yeah I know, but consider Steven Pinker's argument about how we're doing less killing of one another than we used to. Even India and Pakistan may've reached a better governance level, in the crucial form of not starting the ... I've lost count, would this have been their fourth war against each other since Partition? Despite having seemingly plenty of reason to fight each other: disputed territory, religious differences, violent acts of terrorism, internal divisions, etc.

Back to music. Yeah we haven't had another Beatles or Rolling Stones level group come into existence. But when it comes to technical skills, YouTube is rife with videos of 9-year old boys -- and girls -- who are just shredding on a electric guitar. That doesn't mean they'll become the next Jimi Hendrix, but yeah talent and skill levels do seem generally higher.

I'd guess a composite of more people involved, more leisure time, different personality types (drawing in more nerdy perfectionist types, less pioneering types?), more information.

The ease that a fairly large share has of mastering skills that seem like technological virtuosity at the time is one reason generally why I tend to doubt human capital limited theories of technological and scientific history generally; it doesn't seem likely to me that Einstein or Newton or Mozart or whomever genius was the sole guy who could've done much of what he did, and that the population had to meet some threshold of natural ability for even him to exist. Must be lots of untapped talent out there at any given time.

Thinking about things in the trumpet world, my impression is that we also know a bit more about how to do things. So pedagogy is better and so are practice regimes. I can imagine that this is true for a wide range of physical activities.

Technical superiority in the arts is not what superiority is made of. Soul?

"Technically superior" in that arts is NOT what superior is made of

6: Nice story, and given that Ethiopian restaurants have become increasingly numerous and popular in the US (and I imagine in other parts of the world as well), sure why not, let's have Ethiopian coffee houses.

But as with the article about chewing gum in Singapore, the logic in the article is poor. It talks about Ethiopian coffee culture but fails to describe what it is, except for their jebena buna coffee ceremony. It does specifically state that those new coffeehouse chains are not performing the ceremony (who would have time for that; even if someone is planning to hang around the coffeehouse for awhile it's so they can have a conversation, read a book, or surf the web).

Ethiopian coffee undoubtedly tastes somewhat different from coffee in other places, but the article also says that these new places are not roasting the beans in the same way (medium instead of dark roast).

So it's not clear what Ethiopian coffee culture is, and even less clear that Ethiopian is exporting it. As opposed to engaging in some entrepreneurship, innovation in marketing in particular labelling and branding, etc.

Still, I wouldn't be surprised if Ethiopian coffee is rising in popularity, just as the restaurants have been. And Ethiopia can use the revenue and profit and economic development so I hope they succeed. (But don't look to me to help them: I don't drink coffee.)

#2: I don't know what's dumber, the guy not knowing how to spell "small" or "guys," all the cursing, or the fact that he believes in the food desert myth.

Tyler, stop posting twitter threads. Twitter is not the place for real conversation.

Old-style blogging requires much more time and effort than drive-by tweeting. There was much talk about finding a business model for blogging, but it never happened.

It's cool to look at abandoned blogs that are left over from the golden age.

It's also interesting to see the remnants of writings by today's liberal academics and pundits who were conservative between 2001 and 2005. These guys have often tried to delete their old stuff.

If you're not against banning gum by the time you're 20, you have no heart. If you're not for banning gum by the time you're 40, you have no head.

I turn 40 in April. Singapore forever!

We can do bothat the same time and much better than you can.

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