Sunday assorted links

1. “All-day Chelsea restaurant the Wilson has debuted a new menu — except it’s only for dogs. The dog food was put together by culinary director Jeff Haskell and includes fancy (and wildly expensive) dishes like a 16-ounce grilled ribeye steak ($42), pan-roasted salmon ($28), and grilled chicken breast ($16). It’ll be available on the restaurant’s side patio for now, but will expand to the front terrace once the weather is warmer. See the full menu below.”  Link here.

2. The strange death of Tory economic thinking.

3. Images of Pedro Figari paintings.

4. No great stagnation for the complacent class.

5. Northern Irish cultural pride.  By Megan McArdle.

6. You’d better not encourage radical Chinese scientists (NYT).


6. Scientific ethics has gone too far. Gene editing could potentially benefit billions of people to an enormous degree. It is an angle worth pursuing, as long as the parents consent (the embryos’ consent should not be required as no one consents to being born with specific genes). If gene editing can be done by a rogue scientist against the wishes of his institution and government, that’s all the better because it disproves the argument that these technologies will only be available to the rich and powerful. In psychology, many of the most important research projects in the field such as the Milgram obedience study would be considered unethical today. Thus, we instead get weak research results and a replication crisis. Let’s not repeat these excessive ethical constraints on research in other fields.

Isn't this about impatience? Gene editing will happen. It's just a question of how much scientific and ethical consensus should come first. The impatient want none of that(*), and so they are destined to cteate test cases, probably more than they know. Certainly if any of these early kids suffer painful or wretched lives that will slow the whole thing down. Possibly more than a measured approach.

* - blaming government or not

I think a lot of the thing will be that changing one or two SNPs, and doing what He did and substituting a variant that's already common in another population (10% in Europe), is just not gonna do that much either way.

Perhaps you get more off target mutations than you think and the whole thing is a wash in terms of mutational load, but have to be pretty unlucky to inadvertently get a bad Mendelian disease mutation? So the whole thing is somewhat of a storm in a teacup, unless really serious massive editing becomes a thing.

I really don't know, what are the odds of unintended damage elsewhere in the sequence?

The genetic code is very detailed, and not anti-fragile with respect to small tweaks.

"It's just a question of how much scientific and ethical consensus should come first."

That's also a question of how much more suffering and death we're willing to accept first.

We have *tens of thousands of years* experience with gene-editing and people are screaming about it now, now that we actually have a safe, reliable, and repeatable method of editing genes. No one cared when we were exposing organisms to radiation and mutating chemicals and hoping for the best for the last ten thousand years.

There will never be an ethical consensus supporting gene-editing in humans.

*We've already had the internet for thousands of years! It's called pigeons!*
This style of argument is never convincing.

"the embryos consent should not be required"

I've an instinctive dislike reproductive technology, but I admit the hadnwringing over this in atmosphere where abortion is copacetic confuses me. When an embryo is aborted is not its entire genome well and truly edited?

Sorry for typos, I'm not wearing my glasses. And if time travel and gene editing should coincide I retroactively give my consent to have my genes edited in utero so that I won't have to walk around the house with two pairs of glasses in my hands, useless for the given task, in search of the third pair that I need.

Yeah, I know about progressives, will get them eventually; they just sound weird and swimmy.

China is pushing the frontiers of genetic science. America is virtue signaling and using puritan shame to discourage science. Something is wrong here.

The US acting puritanical? How unexpected.

It's not virtue-signalling if you actually are being virtuous.

#5 was good, but 'As I write this, I am uncomfortably aware of how easily this sort of talk can sound like the white supremacists I revile.'

Don't worry Megan, no, it really doesn't.

In other words don't you dare be proud of your culture or we will call you names. This is what now passes for tolerance by the left.

Megan is no leftist, you idiot.

No, she is not, but she's been raised in NYC, lives in DC, and works for the WP. Given her surroundings, she's probably not aware that that sentence is absurd.

You are wrong. She is right to freely speak her mind. You can't shame her into saying something else. White supremacy is a scourge these days with these terrorists chanting "Jews will not replace us", massacring Jews in their temples, Muslims in their mosques, and burning black churches to the ground. Megan is right not to associate with these animals. You are absurd for not seeing the obvious.

There is nothing more absurd than comparing "white supremacy" involving terrorist acts to Irish national pride or Quebec national pride that seeks to maintain distinctiveness from the English.


"White supremacy" is a fraud/hoax deployed by totalitarian liberals to try shut down nonstandard opinions.

Each thing you cited is something some people did.

I suspect that the absurdity of that sentence was fully intended, given that the subject of the piece was to take a look at a place which had strong nationalism in order to show that nationalism at its root isn’t xenophobia or some kind of caste system (though it could be a defense of that if those things are traditional to a culture), but something quite different. It was an implicit argument for the English remaining English and not becoming part of the deracinated Anglophone cosmopolitans of which McCardle acknowledges she is a part of. She then argues that cosmopolitan Anglophones are themselves very xenophobic and imperialistic and should cut that out so that other cultures can continue to exist.

Her hypersensitivity to anything that has the faintest resemblance to the ever expanding notion of "white supremacy" is a sign of her capitulation to the left.

Lol. Triggered? Your hypersensitivity to her reasonable sensibility is a sign of capitulation to your knee jerk, reptilian brain. Find a safe space.

Unlike your ilk, I don't need a safe space to endure the follies of the chattering classes.

You apparently do because one little sentence you disagree with from Megan, who you usually agree with, is just enough to set you off. Can't live life scared of your own shadow.

The only person who was set off is you. Your hypersensitivity to Anon7's reasonable sensibility is a sign of capitulation to your flatulence. Find a safe space.

Megan should pepper her writings with more of these sentences to trigger you snowflakes. Noncontroversial to me but clearly it rubbed you the wrong way.

Basically, the Donald Trump technique.

Yet clearly you were just triggered by the comments. Since you agree with triggering everyone, we will continue.

#2 Silly article; "Current government does not think economically. My evidence for this is proposals of how to regulate the internet (which are happening fucking everywhere across the developed world btw).

Anyway the reason for this lack of economic thinking is that simple minded Home Office thickos are in charge, and have an awfully direct approach, and want to do things like helping 'mediocre' firms rather than the 'best'. Btw, at the same time I'm also arguing that our 'best' firms need more help and assistance, and the 'medicore' firms are doing relatively well, but if anything should be shut down and bought out, presumably by the "best firms" (and presumably their shareholders will collecting a nice dividend for this)

Of course, maybe you don't agree with me on my economic arguments for what is best (rather than say UKG's), but you definitely have to agree with me that the UK government isn't pursuing economic policy for economic reasons they think best ('economic thinking' whatever this formulation means)."

"Pericón bajo los naranjos" makes a nice background for the phone.

Just curious, could someone explain whether the gene editing He (!) did also altered the DNA in the embryos' germline cells?

Yes. As I understand it "gene editing" is what you do before a baby is born. "Gene therapy" is what you do to someone older, possibly an adult.

To the extent that big changes become possible for adults, many ethical dilemmas are eliminated. It just becomes body modification. Rather than engineering a future adult who may or may not be pleased.

Thanks. I just wasn't sure if they got to all the cells.

Some-one should tell Macardle that the Scots were a Gaelic tribe that originally came from Ireland to colonise western Scotland in the dark ages, so it is a bit rich of the current Irish people to complain about them returning the favour in the 17C. This clinging to past wrongs, especially ones which occurred hundreds of years ago, leads nowhere except more misery.

The planters of the 17C, Scottish and English, came in the name of the Jacobite British crown, and continued after the civil war as a British exercise led from England.

To be honest, the Ulster Scots on the plantations were largely a poor, excluded religious minority in Britain (not even Anglican) moving to settle a land that they thought was a legitimate part of Britain, after a backlash to treachery by the local earls against the crown had caused them to flee.

If anything, quite more sympathetic than Gaelic warlords moving into Pictland (or Anglo Saxons into Prydain or Danes and Normans into England). If any migrants within the British Isles were ever the poor, huddled (but comparatively literate) masses, this was them.

2. Whenever possible, use cross country comparisons. When all the populist movements abandon economics, that's your answer.

I don't know if you saw the tweet, but Donald Trump suddenly likes quantitative-easing.

Is there any kind of economic case for quantitative easing all the time, through the entire business cycle? Or is it typical of the populist abandonment of expertise?

MMT. Its not for leftists anymore!

On #2 - given the way that the UK economy has continued to power through all the "Brexit Uncertainty" maybe the current approach is correct? Unemployment is at records lows, incomes and the economy is growing, debt is being paid off. What's not to like? Of course the detractors love to throw the low measured productivity out there, but we can be sure this is just a factor of the measurement system. As an example the UK statistics authority announced for instance in 2018 that it had failed to spot huge cost-efficiencies of up to 90 per cent over a five-year period in telecoms and so had to hugely upward revise productivity growth due to that. This is in an area of pretty easy to measure statistics that just about anybody knew was rapidly improving in technology. We can be sure that their measurements in the services areas are equally flawed, and services make up most of the UK economy.

Has anyone calculated the stimulus provided by stockpiling? Ah. These folks make that connection:

Most of the growth is in services - you cannot stockpile services. From the latest report; "The services sector was the largest contributor to rolling three-month growth, expanding by 0.4% in the three months to February 2019." Of that most of the growth was in Computer Programming area.

CNN cannot be relied upon as an unbiased source. I suggest reading a wider range of news media and perhaps even some primary sources rather than relying upon them.

Chris, also in late 2018 - - UK productivity gap narrows with new measure

"However, research from the OECD, a club of mostly rich nations, suggests a substantial amount of this gap is due to differences in the way in which working hours are measured.

The UK’s statistical agency makes very few adjustments to self-reported estimates of people’s usual hours, but French number crunchers adjust survey responses to include holidays, sick leave, strikes and work done in the “illegal economy”. If the figures were produced on a comparable basis it would reduce the productivity gap between the UK and France to about 10 per cent, the OECD estimates. “The average [British] worker is working less (hours) than we thought before,” said Nadim Ahmad, one of the authors of the report.".

Overestimation of how many hours Brits work relative to Europeans. Productivity gap is still there tho to some degree.

Note measurement shift also puts Sweden into the productivity top league of Europe too.

Yes, and I am sure if you wanted to dig into it there are probably many things like this. Measuring services productivity is an art not a science and this is now the biggest chunk of the UK economy.

5: Good article, but this is not the first time Ms. McArdle has experienced ancient traditions. Rather, it’s the first time Ms. McArdle has experienced -her- ancient traditions. She’s only human and I can’t fault her for her earlier blindness, but there’s a little bit of the ‘conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged’ going on.

The essay does speak to the power of organizations like Birthright Israel, by the way.

Let us be blunt, Zionists are thugs. The West may be being driven to practical copperation with them -- as it did with Stalin in the 1940s --, but let's not lose sight of the fact they are thugs, like communists and Nazis before them.

Too bad Tyler does not do a better job of blocking antisemitism masquerading as anti-Zionism (as if there is really a difference). You would think there would be some eager grad student at GMU who might read the stuff before it is published.

If Zionists are not satisfied with the West, maybe they should go back to their country. I am sick and tired of their victimism and their whinning.

“maybe they should go back to their country.”

So, unlike your Palestinian allies, Thiago, you believe that the “Zionists” have a home, in the ME! Good.

Braxil has officially recognized Jerusalem as the indivisible capital of the Zionist Entity. Mr. Netanyahu, who was with President Captain Bolsonaro at the Wall of Lamentations, said Israel is for Jews, other groups have their own countries. Zionists have their own country and its time to them go back there. OpI am sick and tired of ungrateful Zionists bleeding me dry. If they are not satisfied - and they are never satisfied -, they should go home.

This is a libertarian blog. We prefer free speech around here not political correctness.

Exactly. Once we give Zionists the right to decide what we can or can not say, everything will have been lost.

If you're going to pose as the great, no belligerent EdR, you'll have to do a better job.

I think EdR just needs some kombucha, an avocado and sprout sandwich on gluten and gmo free bread, and some sensitivity training and he'll be ok.


But it's still not -her- ancient tradition. She's an American, born and raised. She can go and learn a thing about her ancestors, eat their food, pet their sheep, but that's it. Once she's on the plane she's back to writing a thinkpiece about how wrongheaded Elizabeth Warren is and leave the green fields behind. In other words she's not one of them, she's one of us.

One of us, one of us!

5: You've titled this "Northern Irish" cultural pride, but the area described (in Donegal) is in Ulster, and in the north of Ireland, but not in Northern Ireland. Only six of the nine counties of Ulster are in the UK. The article is very good.

Yes, Donegal missed being in Northern Ireland by a handful of votes. Protestants and Catholics seem to get on famously there, unlike in NI. My own biases are that the protection of the Queen is more reliable than government by the quirky democracy of the Republic, but Donegal seems happy in its current state so maybe I'm wrong. i have spent enough time there to have talked to many people and get a sense of the moon.


I have the opposite biases, and have lived along the border. Protestants were treated badly during and immediately after the independence conflict, but they are such a small minority within the Republic as a whole that they aren't a threat, and have at least enough wealth that they don't require welfare. In NI the Catholic population is a large, growing minority that was poor enough to need the state but was discriminated against. I think these factors are more relevant than the county makeup or the government doing the protecting.

1. WTF? I mean, if I thought my pets were capable of even coming close to appreciating a $42 steak I would certainly consider it. But they aren't. Pan-seared ribeye or half-cooked beef skirt - its all the same to them. Anyone who thinks their dog (or cat) cares is deluding themselves.

Maybe they know how to recognize the really good stuff.

This is proof that Trumpism is working and America is winning! When America's dogs eat ribeye steak, then you know Americans are living in a great nation once again! #maga2020

These rediculous people care more about their dogs than they care about the working class. They would feed the working class to their dogs if they weren't afraid of contamination.

Don't be silly, we need the working class around, to do the working. My you're uppity.

The working class also care more about their dogs than other people. It's just human nature.

#2...The Tories and the GOP, in large part, offered up egregiously awful responses to the 2008 Crisis. Some of us are left trying to defend Capitalism with their actions tied around our necks. Submitted for your approval, one Stephen Moore, who now defends policies he condemned in 2008. He could do Capitalism a great favor by taking a sabbatical.

6. How wonderful mankind is..O, Brave New World

Such is life in Mustapha Mond's China.

5. McArdle is rather belated in recognizing that it takes active steps that are to varying degrees regarded as "exclusionary" by liberal cosmopolitans like her into order to maintain a robust cultural distinctiveness (is she not familiar with any of the debates surrounding, say, multiculturalism?).

Let us be blunt: Zionists will be Zionists.

And Brazilians will be third-rate fascists (which is good because their incompetence means that they will shoot themselves in the foot).

Brazilians are not fascists. President Captain Bolsonaro has officially declared that genocide and titalitarism are wrong and Brazil oppose them.

there are favelas and fazendas and any third-rate joao can tell them apart.

I went to Carnival and titalitarism is going strong - I saw many. It was good.

I meant totalitarism. This keyboard was designed to Asian hands, andmit is too small.

You mean "totalitarianism". You gotta have an "ism" in dere.

I read McMegan for years when she wrote for Bloomberg. Never once did she suggest she was liberal, and in her policy opinions w
ranged from diluted conservatism to half-hearted libertarianism. Now suddenly she is 'very liberal', to use her words. I guess, whatever pays the bills...

2. In Australia it is the Liberal Party -- our Tory equivalent -- that is anti-market while the Labor opposition sees markets as a useful tool. This is not really a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention.

Did anybody else see smaller refunds this year? I'm kind of mad I voted for these bums who raised my taxes. They literally had one issue. I won't make the same mistake the next time.

Only the high tax coastal Dems got their taxes raised. Your state already isn't voting for Trump so your vote means nothing.

Your refund means nothing with regards to how much tax you pay. I received $0 refund and actually owed the feds $23 dollars, you want your refund or your payment to be as close to $0 as possible. I paid less tax this year than last.

This is a joke, right? Most Americans got their taxes lowered. If your refund was lower and your income was the same, then congratulations! If you are unhappy it means that (a) you were too lazy to update your deductions, or (b) you are a "rich" person living in a rich state -- you have lots of itemized deductions and now are sad that you can't write off your state's high taxes as fully as you'd like, or (c) you like loaning money to the government by claiming many deductions. None of these possibilities speak well of you.

#1 - I got paid on Thursday so today I splurged and bought a jumbo hot dog and yogurt-free frozen yogurt at COSTCO. It cost me around $2.50. With lots of onions, relish, mustard, and ketchup it's a complete meal.

I also bought two HO printer cartridges for $69 ( haha, 69).

So this is what America has become. A once great company like HP has been reduced to giving away printers in order to hawk ink. And I thought Google was bad?

HP got run into the ground first by Carly then Meg. This is an example of GOP leadership. Bankruptcy like a Trump hotel.

Those prices reflect the cost of the printer and the cost of the ink. They are still a great company. Trying printing with somebody else's product.

Also, I don't think Google is bad. They do for free what I would have to employ three full-time research assistants to do much more slowly.

Who will rid me of the clowns that have ruined this place?

Some day someone is going to explain to me the idea that any chef would make the sales pitch, "My food is for dogs!"

Preferably Rachael Ray.

#1 - Post-scarcity.

#2 "The Government gives the impression that it sees its job as to form a moral view on the economy"

To point out the bleeding obvious, May is a Church of England Vicar's daughter.

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