Tuesday assorted links


4. I saw this meme blowing up, and really didn't get it. I do variations on themes, but I try not to repeat meals in a week. Just because I see it as an easy outlet for creativity, and light hedonism. Well, that and being a wide ranging omnivore seems an easier way to get your nutrition without calculation.

But having done some YouTube research on it lately, I'm more open to the fact that "high quality protein," for instance, is substitute. I don't really have to eat a different critter at lunch and at dinner.

Still, creativity strikes me as more fun. Saturday was eggs and chicken sausage for breakfast, banh mi for lunch, sushi for dinner. Sunday was protein bar for breakfast, chicken, rice and asparagus for lunch, hot stone bi bim bap for dinner.

I guess I could have had peanut butter and jelly, like I did when I was 14.

I have no problem with this.


But not every day

What do the people under socialism eat everyday?

To be fair he’s never said he’s a socialist.

He just strongly believes in a: (Utilitarian Welfare vs Freedom) Manichaean world. Freedom has an associated cost on the margin in terms of well-being, that’s his view.

His ideology could be used to justify anything from the Holomodor to chattel slavery. No reason to think it’s socialist.

You have to be pretty far out on the libertarian wing to thing gun licenses or higher alcohol taxes or lower residential speed limits are great infringements in freedom. They are all in place in the free world!

Good thing those things are irrelevant to the discussion then!

Keep better notes ;-). You are talking about what I believe, those are a few things I mentioned as welfare/freedom trade-offs in the last week.

"What do the people under socialism eat everyday?"

Back in the day "socialism" had meaning, our socialist household had 7 different meals per week:
Monday, housemate Debbie cooked a veggie casserole, like brown rice with tomato sauce topped with eggs and cheese, Tuesday I fixed something from Joy of Cooking like beef stroganoff, Wendesday George fixed something vegetarian,.... Bill never cooked but led the cleanup dishwashing because he wanted others to fix things he couldn't - each according to ability,... Most Saturdays people ate around the party setup. Sundays we generally drove to Ihop or Ponderosa or Pizza Hut. All the food receipts were tossed in a box which I tallied and divided among all residents, along with the $10 weekly rent and share of utilities, plus each persons long distance, and then I acted as banker, and as i was the 10% of the house regulars with big paycheck, I paid the house rent in excess of what others paid only for the weeks living in the house.

Following that, in my capitalist phase, I was either picking which of the immigrant sub/pizza shops to eat at based on coworkers prefence for the one unique thing each did with the identical supplies from some sort of money laundering enterprise, or for a few years going down to the 99 for a burger, if we got there before they closed the grill, and drinking until closing time.

In my experience, socialism provided more variety and quality for less, capitalism was monotonous and costly.

Of course, today, fixing your own lunch and thermos at home and and drinking your own coffee and eating your sandwich or leftover at work for free is socialism, and capitalism is getting coffee and a sandwich at Starbuck or food carts for $25 a day.

Then, value was whether the food was good and filling.

Today, value is the price. Thus the stuff fixed at home has no value, but the coffee and sandwich you didn't like is much more valuable at $25.

I thought fixing your own lunch was evil capitalism, because you're stealing jobs from restaurant workers. That's what Wikard v. Filburn teaches us. Trump would probably go for that too if it involved steel.

there are indications that
the meme zombies are rebranding "meat" as "protein"


got it
so why doesn't the newyorktimes
actually name any of the schools involved?

Cute. Yes meat is high quality protein, but look for milk to make a comeback. A more serious YouTube:


If I could tell my younger self one thing it is that protein should be divided, not all at dinner. I might have bulked up while wearing pastels to 90s Nautilus.

+1 creepy
+1 scarey

If you're going to eat the same thing every day, pick something healthy.
Peanut butter and jelly is highly processed food and refined carbs.

I've been following a lot of these stories lately about "Blue Zones", where people are more likely to live to 100. They tend to eat beans and whole fruits and vegetables. Less meat. Some fish.

Also lots of walking/hiking and they are religious. Loma Linda California is home to a community if seventh day adventists.

Speaking of food, I've been itching to mention that Western breakfasts are atrocious. Lots of processed meat (ham, sausages, bacon) and carbs (toast, potatos, pancakes, waffles). If we reformed breakfast that would be half the battle.

"a peanut-butter sandwich, with various fruit, vegetable, and dessert accompaniments" seems like a pretty healthy, lunch. vegan too, for those "meat is killing the planet" credentials. I'd guess the guy has pretty great bloods and BMI for his age, though I could well be wrong.

High protein breakfasts with eggs and pork products with some bread or potatoes in the British Isles tradition is kind of a weird thing to go all in on against as a big problem with diets when most people don't eat it, and those who opt for another breakfast usually go for cookies, donuts, pastries and sugary cereals (porridge with syrup, any American cereal) which are pretty unequivocally worse in glycemic index, nutrients, satiety, etc. when they don't skip breakfast entirely for mid-morning snacks ("chips", etc.) which are even worse again.

Indeed, I was putting the BEST face on American breakfasts. Eggs and processed meat is as good as it gets, and then it goes down hill to sugary cereals and dessert foods - muffins and pastries.

If you actually want to eat healthy you're confined to oatmeal and a hard-boiled egg. Maybe a veggie omelet with no side.

Bread is highly processed food, to be avoided even in whole grain form.

If you want to get creative you could make hash browns out of sweet potatoes and that would be ok.

Nanny Bloomberg, is that you?

Some years ago the NY Times Sunday mag did a terrific photo spread of representative breakfasts around the world. I remember the American breakfast was pretty uninspiring, but we were saved from last place: one country's featured breakfast - can't remember which - was a piece of white bread, buttered, with colored sprinkles.

a piece of white bread, buttered, with colored sprinkles

Holy God. I must speculate. Disneyland?

Here you go, Dutch treat!


4. Anyone else bothered by the fact that the first example guy they brought up didnt actually eat the same meal every day?

EXACTLY. WTF? These people aren't eating literally the same thing every day. "OMG, like you eat a sandwich EVERY DAY? and the only thing you vary is the filling and the side and the dessert? OMG!"

If I'm making it to take to work, I tend to eat the same thing every day. Reasons for this include:
1. Speed. You eat the same thing every day, you can get really good at making it fast in the morning. That can mean an extra snooze button-pushing in the morning.
2. Easier to budget in quantity. If I eat a ham sandwich every day at lunch (which I do), I know how much ham I need to buy at the grocery store to get me through the week. If I'm mixing up my lunches, then I have to monitor my ham, turkey, and peanut butter inventories more closely, and if I don't I wind up with matching problems, like having roast beef, but no mustard, turkey but no swiss cheese, tuna and no mayo, etc. I do not want to be bothered with this, but I also don't want to be stuck with a half-made sandwich. That's simply intolerable.

Even easier is to just make an extra portion of dinner and pack it up for lunch. That way there is zero preparation in the morning, and very little extra work when making dinner. Also, assuming you don't eat the same dinner every night, you get variety as well.

I have done this, but quite frankly, the whole "you get variety" thing is wrecked by the fact that you're eating the same thing two meals in a row (since I don't eat breakfast).

You can also stick the pre-prepared leftovers in the freezer (assuming it's something that can be frozen) and then that way you have a stockpile of lunches to choose from. I've done that from time to time and it works well.

But then you have to monopolize the microwave for 5-10 minutes while you try to defrost that penne pasta. This will not ingratiate you with hungry coworkers.

You don't have to eat the same thing two meals in a row if you eat the day before yesterday's dinner leftovers.

For me, it helps with tracking my protein and calorie intake if it stays relatively the same day-to-day. If I eat enough that makes me not hungry and not put on weight, why mess with it?

#3 So a diatribe that's fundamentally pro-Ethiopian nationalism? That was my takeaway.

#4 Being able to eat something different every minute, every meal, of everyday I think is a very very recent ability for most people. I do eat the same thing for lunch (over the course of a week) every once in a while. It is no less nutritious, delicious, is certainly cheaper, and have actually found it to have physical (and mental) health benefits. It also doesn't have to be any less social.

#6 That's a really fancy way of saying people don't really care what other people think of them at the end of the day...or maybe that it's becoming increasingly easier to?

On 3: "I am not a student of industrialization, economics, and all the language and technical jargons that come with that terrain."

"I'm gonna critique industrialization and economics but I can't be bothered to know anything about them!"

That's not fair! Give tools and materials to the average Washington Post writer, and she doesn't have a clue about howto build a house!

But at least the reporter just might be able to find someone who actually knows something about building a house.

A member of the GMU faculty? The typical examples I have known in my life would make a reporter look like an experienced construction hand.

(Really, it is hard to overstate just how utterly impractical the vast majority of faculty members are. There are exceptions, such as a woman who earned a bachelor then a PhD whose family were New England mill workers, possessing a number of practical skills.)

-5 Gryffin_clock - for attempting to turn a complete unrelated comment into a story about GMU.

Douglas Adams 3 stages of civilization:

1. What can we eat?

2. What should we eat?

3. Where should we go for lunch?

Lulz. And #4, What can we eat?


Arthur Dent, Sandwich-Maker.

#3 - Coincidentally and tragically, the author, Pius Adesanmi, was one of the many killed in the crash of the Ethiopian Airlines 737 this week. He was one of 18 Canadians killed among the 157 victims. So ironic and unhappy that I just found his writing through this post the week he left us.

That is sad news. I also found the essay thoughtful.

Sad news.

2. Julian the Apostate didn't only influence Hitler, but Gore Vidal, who made the 4th century emperor the subject and narrator of a 1964 novel, "Julian". Vidal, who had a paranoid political outlook, and elective aspirations of his own, put everything he had into "Julian", which is the very best of his mixed fictional output.

4. I laugh at the rest of the world as it frets and fusses over breakfast and lunch in steaming cafes and crowded cafeterias, while I dine neatly on the same breakfast and lunch month after month, year after year, in perfect simplicity and ease of mind.

Eating the same thing every day makes it easy to monitor your dietary inputs, and not be surprised when that extra two or five pounds sneaks up on you - for you know exactly how you've varied from your routine, and can choose to drop or maintain the weight-adding variation.

I can say with full confidence, I'd very happily eat the same evening meal every day as well, if it weren't for the fact that my wife loves to cook different things, and is very good at it, and that I need to do what i must to preserve domestic tranquility.

'which is the very best of his mixed fictional output'

Lincoln is interesting from a literary perspective, the years flowing without a reader being aware of it unless they are paying close attention. Creator has its moments, but it probably not as good as Julian unless one enjoys a more panoramic perspective.

Superstitious superstar Wade Boggs quirkily insisted on eating chicken every single day, so his wife developed a vast arsenal of recipes.

People who eat the same thing every day remind me of Steve Jobs buying a huge shipment of those black mock turtlenecks, so he never had to waste a moment wondering what to wear each day.

3. "We keep telling them that South Africa's infrastructure is a referendum on the black man; that they have a duty to break that chain of the African taking over things from the White man in the continent and running everything aground. The South Africans are not listening to anybody. "

While a certain sort of middle aged white American is going to love hearing this from a black African, is it really fair?

We might have had higher hopes, but handing power to a majority careful kept from education, management experience, and civic responsibility was always going to be a long shot.

Also, geez Tyler.

Why would any American, white or black or purple, have an emotional stake in the state of South African infrastructure ?

Is this a woke meme I don’t get? Are Americans now being blamed for poor infrastructure in Africa? Or is this a sign of the deterioration of your mental state, looking for racist reactions to an article that has zero to do with the United States?

You're right, I don't get emotional about the infrastructure of South Africa. Good call.

+1. I was a little surprised to see the author title his piece in such a racially stark manner as:

"Africa Rising: A Little Warning For Ethiopia And The Black Race"

He's on the lookout for more White Judgement violations, because a white person can never judge the behavior of a black person, because of different lived experience and oppression. This is part of his personal ethical code, but don't think you aren't bound by it, anyway, sonny!

Adesanmi was a Nigerian who taught in Canada and wrote about Africa, primarily for an African audience. American racial obsessions don't travel well. Our categories and language around race seem incoherent and irrelevant to African concerns. An unsympathetic observer might be tempted to call them "racist."

That's because they do tend to be racist.

Incoherent, irrelevant, racist. Fertile ground for sowing cognitive dissonance among the woke, if one has a light touch.

In general one can make a better and more general case by stepping back from the race issue and treating it more generally. How did the subjects of communist states, lacking the education and experience in (a) fair business and (b) honest government make *their* transition from the fall of communism to a freer political economy? Or perhaps the subjects of Saddam's Iraq attempting the same transition ..

There might be some broad lessons here.

Are you equating white and black people? Different lived experiences. Can't be done. Man, that's ignorant of you to do that. I am offended on behalf of all of Africa.

So ... "equating" human beings is bad?

And sure, I'm very open to hearing about lived experiences. I'll never get tired of it.

"While a certain sort of middle aged white American is going to "

anonymous - "The bible says "judge not," and that's good advice for daily living."

Shouldn't you be taking your own advice and not judging people.

I am really astonished that you would be so early (or late?) in your moral development. "Judging not" does not mean letting evil slide.

"I am really astonished that you would be so early (or late?) in your moral development. "

So you start the comment by judging me.

LOL, your level of unawareness is just off the scale.

You can't learn without guidance, sorry.

This is always a good place to start:


Where do you think "you can't notice racial disharmony, or *you* are bad" really lies?

-20, Raven_mouse - For a brazen attempt to move the goal posts

What I see is you retreating from a bad claim.

And FWIW David Roberts, retweeted by Will Wilkinson, gets it.


Human beings have agency and dignity of choice.

Denying human beings agency is the first step in dehumanization, slavery, or the gulag/mass starvation/genocide.

Congratulations, you’re making literally the exact same argument slave-holders in the antebellum south did, as well as the Nazis.

By all means, show yourself to be as crazy as possible there, Hmmm.

"kept from education" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberation_before_education - "Liberation before education was a slogan of some activists in South Africa from 1976 in rejecting the education offered black children in Apartheid-era South Africa."

There's a point at which you wonder if the divergence between, say, Singapore, and South Africa is because no form of education was offered, or whether it was rather more deep rooted in structure that than.

You also wonder how much primary and secondary education was even needed to make South Korea, Singapore, etc. the successes that they were.

Or you don't, and just don't think about anything hard to face like that.

I see what that says, yes. A slogan of "some activists."

Meantime tell me about all the junior colleges and business management classes available to blacks in apartheid South Africa.

I mean, shoot. You probably knew this, but you chose to emphasize what "some activists" said instead:

"The 1953 Bantu Education Act was one of apartheid's most offensively racist laws. It brought African education under control of the government and extended apartheid to black schools. Previously, most African schools were run by missionaries with some state aid. Nelson Mandela and many other political activists had attended mission schools. But Bantu education ended the relative autonomy these schools had enjoyed up to that point. Instead, government funding of black schools became conditional on acceptance of a racially discriminatory curriculum administered by a new Department of Bantu Education. Most mission schools for Africans chose to close rather than promote apartheid in education."

#5. So, we all used the same language for a really really long time, then something happened. Sounds like the tower of Babel story

I don't think it shows that we used the same verbal language. It could be that the symbols were used by different tribes to communicate between tribes when they didn't speak the same language. Like having universal hand gestures.

I recall that petroglyphs in Arizona were used as markings by various tribes to claim territory and/or indicate which other tribes were welcome to visit. This one time I was out on a hike looking at some and people were pointing at things and making up all sorts of stuff like "this indicates the birth canal, it must be some sort of birthing area for the tribes women". And then we looked it up in the petroglyph handbook and it actually said something like "watch out for snakes". Universal symbols can be left behind to assist other humans.

language is only written. verbal language is not language.

#5: https://www.google.com/search?q=Erich+von+D%C3%A4niken

#2: Oh no! There is not only Ibsen, there is also Bjørnson!


5. Obligatory link to Yukaghir semasiography here: https://historyview.blogspot.com/2011/10/yukaghir-girl-writes-love-letter.html

'Semasiographic writing is when the writing/drawing represents the idea itself rather than any spoken words ie speech. The spoken words which are used everyday by the reader and the writer to communicate are not recorded in the written communication. The idea is recorded ... Semasiographs are not the same as pictures. They are very much language based communication and are fluid in the sense that they can depict tenses and are very precise in interpretation to those who know how to read them, unlike pictures which are frozen and hence perhaps timeless and are also open to subjective interpretation. But most importantly any person using a semasiographic system will have to represent the same idea in the same way. "

Emphasis on "any person using a semasiographic system will have to represent the same idea in the same way."

Fascinating. But how do we know that the letter writer is writing in the first person? I.e. how do we know she isn't telling a story about some other lovelorn girl, or about her sister, or about her mother's experiences?

That is, how do these letters express the grammatical person and the verb tense? Without those, these letters seem open to a wide variety of interpretations.

Further googling turns up that it evidently was not a letter at all, but a game of Siberian pictionary played circa 1892.

Good find!

I'm also reminded of how during the Cold War the Soviets liked to claim that Russians invented the first light bulb, the first airplane, etc. Looks like they can claim to have invented Pictionary too!

#5. Super interesting discovery. Would be interesting to know if Neanderthals used the same symbols. That would show wether the symbols spread by learning or by tribal migration.

#6. it seems as if negative social recognition can also incentivize people, as in cases of mass shootings. In which case the utility function would be convex (high utility for large amounts of negative social recognition, negative utility for smaller amounts) , for some people.

#3: The author laments that South Africa inevitably transitions from first world to third world: But he is unfair, according to ANC, it must be a Zionist conspiracy, just like the Zionists gave them nukes before.

"Members of the ANC have accused the DA of fabricating and exaggerating the water crisis to benefit Jews and Israel. This is so as Israel is a global leader in water desalination technology, and would be a potential partner in helping Cape Town set up her desalination plants. Relations between South Africa and Israel have always been rocky, with the former accusing the latter of apartheid (in handling the Israel-Palestine conflict) at the United Nations. This has hampered effective collaboration in water management; for instance, a Johannesburg conference focusing on the water crisis was canceled due to Israeli participation in 2016.[90][59]. "


SA made her own (crude) nukes with vortex tube enrichment- the hard way. Israel got the French to give her the ingredients.

5. Stanislas Dehaene, a biggie in brain imaging and cognitive research, explains things like this as the brain being able to recognize quickly only certain kinds of "letters". So it may be a matter of convergent evolution, not diffusion of one primeval system. (The book is Reading in the Brain.)

5. -- or maybe it didn't spread but humans/primate species being rather similar and living with relatively similar resources all came up with similar symbols. For it to have spread the symbols must have the same (or very, very similar) meaning. I think that is an unknown that will likely stay that way.

6. -- can we run that model with normal punishments to see if that has the same deadweight losses and if we want to call them losses?

The third article is one of the worst piles of drivel I've ever seen in my life. No attempt to backup what he's saying.

Thank you Cyto. I don't like to speak ill of the recently deceased, but his article is just more whining about how the world, or his part of it, is getting worse and worse when it's obviously not. He is pining for a golden age of African sweetness and light that never existed.

2: This does seem like good evidence that Hitler had Ibsen in mind in his speeches, writing, etc. and that some of his imagery was inspired by Ibsen.

It's not clear how much that really affected his policies and beliefs however. The bullet points over-reach with items such as this one:

"Hitler’s original plan to invade Russia, with a baffling northward turn of key panzer units away from Moscow, defying military logic but recalling Julian’s avoidance of the Persian capital by marching north instead"

Even if he was a devoted Julian-ophile, it strains credulity that he would avoid the capital by marching north in some sort of echo or tribute. He mistakenly thought that Moscow would be easy to capture later and reallocated troops to reinforce not just the northern arm (where Soviet defenses had stiffened at Leningrad and indeed it never did fall to the Germans, withstanding an epic 900 day siege) but also the southern arm, with the aim of capturing resource-rich lands in particular oil fields in the Caucasus.

No need or indeed justification for invoking Julian here, just grand strategy.

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