Sunday assorted links


Good stuff, I'll be the first to say "Happy Catholic Easter".

Actually, Easter is not a "happy" holiday.
Sure Jesus rose from the dead but we all knew he was going to do that.
and yes it was nice that he rose from the dead, but we all knew we are all going to live forever: Easter did not teach any of us anything we should not have known all along.

Christmas is the "happy holiday".
One reason people are entranced by the biography of Churchill is that he experienced something closer to Christmas than most of us can imagine ----
he was faced with a war against an evil power that wanted to invade his country, murder all the Jews in London and everywhere else in England, murder most of the homosexuals and talented book-collectors that lived in London and everywhere else in England (among whom Churchill numbered many friends), and probably cut down lots of trees and rape lots of the young women.

And one day, while the Nazis were preparing to do these evil things in England, some crazy Japanese admiral convinced the height-challenged little Hirohito to approve a raid on Pearl Harbor.

For Churchill, Pearl Harbor was Christmas. The Enemy was put on notice that his evil days were numbered. Similarly, when the devil, who did not know that God cared so much about this world, found out that Christmas was a real thing - remember, the devil could not have known that God would do such a thing---- well, when the devil and his poor little minions found out about Christmas --- well, it was a happy day for people who think a bad day for the devil is a happy day.

Easter is a nice day but, seriously, if you care about someone and watch them die: even if they rise from the dead three days later, as you expected them to do, there is still a groundswell of sadness in your soul.
It may be a day of triumph and joy, I won't deny that, but it is not a 'happy day ' - I mean of course it is, but to call it a happy day is like calling ...
it is like calling virtue mere luck or Bravery mere coffee.

Oh and by the way the word "Catholic", to those of us who speak Greek, does not mean anything less that "all of us Christians". Greek is a real easy language to learn and if you know Greek you are not ever going to think you are witty by riffing in a negative way on the word 'Catholic'.

How sad it would be not to know that!

And yes Greek is easy to learn.
There are about 2,000 Greek words you already know, if you speak English, and the "weird" grammatical rules are childishly easy to understand - the optative case, for example, is merely that weird inflection in the voice that valley girls used to have when they said "shut UP", and, to give another example, the aorist tense is simply our past tense, with that look in our eyes we have when we describe an action that was completed:

Lou Gehrig SPOKE his last words. as opposed to

they were PLAYING baseball on TV last night but the game was too long and I do not know who won.

Happy Easter!

optative tense.

(btw I prefer that people do not respond to my long comments, this is not my website and I am humble - and I feel sort of bad that I write long comments on someone else's website - but I console myself that it is a website with about a billion words of comments and counting, and my few thousands of words of comments are minuscule in comparison -----but when someone tells me that there are people "debating" whether "death" is an enemy, I, who have long been a friend to people who know a lot about that question: and, to tell the truth, I have not been one who has never felt a little pity for poor "Death"... knowing what I know about his ultimate failure to live on in happiness and comfort: --- ah the poor creature ----- as always feel free to know that I know many people disagree with my take on this world.
that being said I am ugly, but on metro trains and on elevators and even at funerals people like to brush against me, to touch me, because I look like a faith healer, like someone who has experienced year after year of unrelenting pain and who still looks, while old, and not all that handsome, like someone who can tell you what you need to know to experience healing:

Just pray, pray not as if your life depended on it (there is a good chance you do not like yourself as much as God likes you ... a very good chance) .... but pray as if the life of someone you love depended on it.

And if you choose not to pray, that is ok, in its way.

God loves you anyway, and believe me, God knows what challenges you have faced, and God loves all of us.

Listen to this: God created everyone who was nice to you.

And if nobody was ever nice to you: well I feel your pain. It is no big deal.
That only means that you were given a great commission.

Pittsburgh 2010. I remember.

"The wish to pray is a prayer in itself" ---- Bernanos said that.

He married a descendant of Joan of Arc's family.

Joan of Arc had no descendants.

Listen to this: God created everyone who was nice to you.

and if you feel sort of bad reading these words because you were once a friend of Death or a friend of the devil ---- remember this,

Jesus died for all of us.
Jesus does not love you any less because you once were a friend to Death or a friend to the devil. Trust me.

Fear not, the good guys are a lot stronger than the bad guys, and .... to tell the truth .... lots of the bad guys turned to the good side when you weren't looking.

Let not your heart be troubled.

Happy Easter

if you were once a friend of death or a friend of the devil, don't worry about it.

Trust me.

People like me know how to convert poor Death from its love of Death and how to pray for people who mistakenly followed the Devil.

It is not a big deal, it is easy to pray when one has love in one's heart.

Pray for those of us who are praying for you, and I and people like me will pray for you, and it will all be all right.

2010. I remember. God loves us all, but even God will never understand how difficult 2010 was for me.

Well God loves you more than God loves me. And I am all right with that.

Hitler died before doing all the evil he could do because of people like me. Thousands and millions of us, but I was one of them.

Just saying.

That being said could you please not brush up against me on the metro, on purpose: if it is by accident that is ok! but if you are going to do it on purpose please ask first!!!!

God loves you more than God loves me, and I am all right with that, but please, don't forget how much older I am than you are. Politeness is important.

I remember.

Blessed Easter,
my friends,
and may you see,
as I have seen,
that kind look Death had on his face when he realized he had been defeated,
let not your heart be troubled.

Of course Christmas is by far the better holiday ----
but Death is happy, now, on Easter Sunday, to know that he was never a success (the poor creature never wanted to be a success, to tell the truth) and maybe some of us know at least one reason why we might consider Easter a greater holiday than Christmas.

We would be wrong to think that, because the only important thing in this world is this:

either you care about other people or you don't.

Christmas is the holiday where we celebrate the fact that God cares.
Easter is a good holiday but we already knew God cares and Easter presents no new information that we did not all know the moment the angels sang from the skies on Christmas.

Thanks for reading.

Just my way of saying Happy Easter!

My second favorite holiday

2010. I remember, that was the year when I wanted to be happy in this world, and when I finally realized that I could not be. Sad!

As God is my witness, God himself will never understand how much I suffered in 2010: but that being said: God loves us all: God certainly loves you more than God loves me, but I am fine with that.

I hope you had a blessed Easter. Please don't think that I did not want you to have a blessed Easter, but please remember this:

while you had a good Easter, hour after hour, I spent a few minutes explaining why it is not such a bad thing to pray, as people like me pray, for the conversion in one's heart that would mean so much to death and even to the devil: don't think that God cannot convert the heart of anyone.

God is lots more powerful than you think, and listens to your prayers.

Let not your heart be troubled.

Magna est veritas et praevalebit.

L'amitie c'est le plus beau pays

for the record 2010 was a pretty good year for me - if not for the fictional character I have sometimes portrayed for a few minutes a week on the internet (I type much faster than I talk) - that character may have had a bad 2010 - but even that character vastly exaggerated, I think, to say 2010 involved so much suffering that God himself could not have understood ...
thanks for reading.
(of course I am not a genuine faith healer but I do pray for people, and my prayers are sometimes effective).
Happy Easter! (it is still Easter Sunday on the West Coast....)

Cor ad cor loquitur.

If you think I, with my few handfuls of a hundred words here and there, have wasted your time, I apologize. Other people have wasted the time of their readers to a greater degree than I have, don't you think? Anyway ....

God cares for you more than you can imagine.
Trust me on that.

If it has been a while since anybody told you that, well,
I am telling you now:
God cares more for you than you can probably imagine.

My great joy in life has been meeting people who have shared that truth with those, like me, who remember what it was to never have a friend in this world.

"La nuestra ultima esperanza esta la injusticia de Dios"

Tyler, Alex, this is what happens when you do not post an Easter greeting!

and today, Easter Monday, as the sun is setting over the beautiful woodlands and gardens and roads of my beloved Northern Virginia, let me say this ....
I pray every day for the commenters on Marginal Revolution, so you don't really need to ask me to pray for you.
In fact, I have some friends who live in a convent in New Jersey who, because they like me (and why wouldn't they - I have my faults but I have prayed for them for decades now, it seems....) .... (well, I send them a few shekels now and then, too - this is an economics blog after all, which is why I add that information) (and even if I hadn't prayed for them these long years) ... I have some friends who live in a convent in New Jersey who , because they like me, will pray for anyone I asked them to pray for ---- I have asked them to pray for you too.

My great joy in life has been meeting people who have shared the truth of God's love with those, like me, who remember what it was to never have a friend in this world.

#2..."Capitalism remains the best engine of prosperity and growth, and the party of the working woman and man should not abandon it."

Amen to that, and, if Prof. Cowen's book leads critics to such a conclusion, all well and good, and it's a fun book. But I suspect we need thinkers like Henry Simons and Michael Oakeshott who, while defending capitalism, face up to problems it produces and seek solutions. We've had a run of ideas and people recently seriously damaging the brand. We need better CEOs of defending capitalism.

Disagree. Entirely.

For some reason we’ve given a bigger bullhorn to the somewhat smart and economic also-rans in academia and now politics. They have been diligently working to undermine the system that has pulled billions out of poverty and into a life of abundance. The shocking thing is that it is working! More and more people are somehow disillusioned with the system that has succeeded far more than any other. It is an amazing thing to behold.

"More and more people are somehow disillusioned with the system that has succeeded far more than any other. It is an amazing thing to behold."

I think you just made my point.

People care about relative status most of all. Billions out of poverty also means that many people now are not as wealthy relative to those billions as they used to be. Most people would prefer to be high status in a poor society on Earth than to be a janitor on a starship.

@Anon- agree. That's one meaning behind Matthew 26:11 in the Bible "the poor will always be with us". Relative poverty is what people count. In the Philippines workers are happy to get minimum wage in Manila, about $10 a day ($5 in the provinces). You can't get the neighborhood 12 year old to mow your front lawn for that in the USA.

“People” would rather be middle/upper class in venezuela than lower class in the USA? Not buying it. Seeing as I don’t hear of many reports of people flocking to venezuela.

But the choice is more stark. “People” would rather high class in 18th century Europe than low/middle in the US? Not buying it, I don’t see people flocking to become Amish either.

I do see people complaining that they want more stuff though. This I believe.

The desire for relative status is well established.

The san culottes didn't revolt because of relative status. They revolted because they were starving to death.

Stated preference vs revealed preference

Scared: "“People” would rather be middle/upper class in venezuela than lower class in the USA? Not buying it. Seeing as I don’t hear of many reports of people flocking to venezuela."

Question: Do you live in some alternate world where lower class Americans could easily expect to be upper class in Venezuela, if they migrated? It's always interesting to encounter sliders.

Capitalism doesn't produce any real problems though. It's perfect or at least as close you can get.

Indeed. The working class continues to see their paychecks shrink from healthcare costs while the GOP preoccupies itself with cutting the estate tax

".... healthcare costs ... GOP ... estate tax ..."

Partisan drivel.

#3. Aging is, by far, the leading cause of suffering in the world. There is much more we can do to maintain the human body to prevent the debilitating, and ultimately fatal, malfunctions they currently all develop with time.

What is the leading cause of suffering in the world? ----- I'm gonna go with the mix of trendy ugliness and spiritual stupidity which afflicts so many people worldwide.
Yes it is difficult to grow old but our elderly years go by a lot faster than the years when we were young. And old people often have the consolation of good memories.
Look at a chart of relative ages. There are more total people under 30 right now than there were total people not that long ago.

Osteoarthritis, bad backs, etc... cause a lot more suffering than cultural failings for a lot of people.

‘ hurt-butt’ is going to argue that something that a large portion of the population wants shouldn’t be researched due to his feels? Ok.

Amazing Thiel spent any time with this idiot.

Thiel is gay. He likes to get 'hurt-butt'. Makes sense.

1. Contemporary fascist fonts and typography:

No, they are not fascist. They are typical Brazilian fonts and typography. They are xleary remanescent of Brazil's flag:

Current Brazilian flag:

That is not Brazil's flag at all. Brazil opposes Nazism. Brazil sent troops to liberate Italy from Nazist occupation.

Here you can see American president Roosevelt and Brazilian president meeting to discuss their anti-Nazism strategy

President Captain Bolsonaro has given his unconditional support to the Zionist Entity.

"Zionist Entity" is a term used by antisemitic fascists.

No, it is not. It is a term used by many fine people who refuse to accept the illegal Zionist occupation of the Holy Land. Anyway, it has nothing to do with Brazilian official foreign policy. Brazil's government supports the Zioniat occupation of the Holy Lands and has recognized Jerusalem as the individible capital of the Zionist Entity. It also has vowed to send money to the Zionizt government. Itis the opposite of Nazism.

Why are you so pleased with Bolsonaro supporting the "illegal Zionist occupation"?

I am not, but I don't have to agree withneverythingnhe doesbto understand he is our best option.

I am hopeful about Bolsonaro. If you'd refer to him as he refers to himself, as Presidente not Presidente Capitan, you'd make him sound quite a lot less Fascist. I don't think he is a Fascist at all.

1. I thought 20-PETE-20 looked folksy in a positive way. Others less appealing. Will Wilkinson was in the tank Warren, but perhaps a green page will change that. Or not, if it is part of a capitalist anthem.

Now do Bill Weld.

3. Thiel begins by saying how there has been stagnation in cancer research/treatments "and other diseases we're completely stuck on - things like dementia and Alzheimer's." Toward the end he repeats this about cancer and adds the slow progress of stem cell therapies.... "Not much is going on." A *lot* has been going on in all of these areas including immnotherapy for cancer, very promising stem cells for heart attack patients starting, gene therapy and the recent realistic hope of preventing dementia from occurring in the first place by the mid 2020s. (Hurlbut brings up the fast pace of change in genetic engineering at the end.)

Theil also says that in the "era of secular stagnation," standards of living haven't gone up. He doesn't say if he means the past ten, twenty or thirty years but even in the past ten there has been a notable decrease in air pollution, laptops are much more powerful, broadband and wireless is everywhere, music has become extremely inexpensive, youtube has a huge amount of free music and lectures, there are very good free podcasts on most topics and...oh, the smartphone is a bit better than the flip phone that almost everyone had in 2008.

Then again, Thiel *still* doesn't have his jet pack or flying car.

At least Thiel can still drink the blood of the youth if he ever gets too sad about the current state of affairs.

Your evidence for better living standards is all about slightly better tech. More to life, technoutopian dreamer

Billions of people have risen out of poverty in the last few decades. "Standards of living haven't gone up" is a very narrow view, rather avoiding the global perspective.

Yeah, the same as Thiel - can't be bothered to actually look anything up in cancer treatments, stem cell therapies, NAD+ boosters - just remain oblivious to what has been going on in labs around the world.

And Theranos will rise again!

Whether he's right or wrong, this paraphrase suggests that Thiel is talking about a believed lack of progress at the frontier.

A world where humanity were stuck at 1950 US tech and living standards at the frontier, but the whole world had progressed there by 1985, would be pretty clearly a stagnant world, at the time as having improved standards of living for most of the global population.

Thiel is talking about his own belief about stagnation in the West. In a debate with Eric Schmidt, Thiel pointed out median U.S. wages have been stagnant since 1973 without understanding a major cause has been the fairly rapid entrance of lower skilled women and immigrants into the labor force since the mid 70s while higher skilled/experienced males at that time were leaving at a higher rate then.

Theil told Schmit how much higher the increase in the standard of living was from 1932 to 1972 than 1972 to 2015.

In today's dollars GDP per capita in 1929 was $13,6000 (no point in starting at the bottom of the Great Depression as Thiel did) and in 1972 was $31,000 for a 128% increase. From 1972 to 2015 ($60,000) when he spoke, there had been a 94% increase, which isn't much difference over a 40 year period.

"You went from no planes [in 1932] to supersonic jets." There were 175,000 airline passengers then. That isn't the same as zero.

More Theil: "We've had no progress in energy [since 1972]." All you can do is smile at that...

Thiel profited quite handsomely from those "stagnating" decades. What does that say about his contributions?

#4: I always thought ANC was the biggest risk to the south african economy. I learn something new every day.

If my last name were Hurtbut, I'd change it on my 18th birthday or sooner with parental permission.

And now I don't feel so bad about having a Polish last name.

It's just a typo. Hurlbut. Bad enough.

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