Friday assorted links


3. I am paid to give advice; and if it turns out to be the wrong advice, well, I'm so sorry. And so is my malpractice carrier. But I digress. Academics are often asked by their students for advice. It's free, which may explain why it's so often asked. If one follows the advice and it results in something terrible, is the academic sued for giving bad advice? I don't think so. Ms. Callard's little essay on giving advice (she is mostly against it) hits all the right academic points. And misses all the lived points. Such is the life of an academic: no real responsibility for those seeking guidance. What's the lesson here? Markets. If you want advice, pay for it.

Are you realy? Seems to me based on the essay’s definitions that you are probably coaching.

Unless your clients pay to hear you talk in a way that pretends to be customized, without first learning about them and their situation

Here’s some free advice: if any Republican has a shred of integrity left, they’ll vote for Bill Weld in the primary, and vote for the Democratic Party nominee regardless of who wins.

And if Trump does try to stage a coup after losing the election, which he is widely reported on contemplating (New York Times and Atlantic), Republicans can stand in solidarity with our nation’s laws and constitution.

TLDR : e Pluribus unum; not e Pluribus Trumpum

BUT - *anonymous* is going to stage a bigger coup, and that is reported in the much more widely read marginal revolution comments section.

FWIW, there are 2-3 Anonymouses on any given page, some of them trying to be cute parodies.

It's the structure of the place, so whatever.


Obama wasn't able to complete Alinsky Control Level # Four - disarm the people.

You crazy man if you think we will peacefully co-exist with hateful, vicious people that attack13 year-old girls and old women praying on sidewalks; Trump; Bret Kavanaugh; the Covington Children. .

Let me clarify what I'm trying to say...

Because of the 2nd Amendment, our side is heavily armed. We will literally murder your side. We will not peacefully co-exist.

And if the second amendment fails, you can always use a rental truck filled with fertilizer

NH4NO3 is the best fertilizer there is but you can't buy a 20lb bag of it because 50,000lbs (soaked in diesel fuel) will cause an explosion.

Your side is doing a pretty good job killing people on a daily basis. Congrats, you're murders.

Yes, reality has a liberal bias, but It’s a well known fact even among conservatives that the Trump demographic (white uneducated males) commits :

80% of the murders
85% of the rapes
98% of domestic terrorism
95% of mass shootings (with gang related shootings removed)
90% of domestic violence

Should we be scared of the refugee? Or the white male next door, seething and boiling over with resentment, guns, and hatred for the other...

The FBI should switch from drugs and the once per decade radicalized non-Christian Religious extremist attack, and spend 99% of resources on the American Christian Taliban like our gun loving friend upthread.

Harry Potter starred in a documentary about this recently.

Daily basis? Seriously?

Provide a list. Name names.

The shooters the other day in CO hate Christians and one is a tranny - that would be your side, Jansky.

Also, on your side are Omar Mateen (Muslim); Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik(Muslims); James T. Hodgkinson; antifas terrorists trying to buy Mexican cartel guns; terrorists Holder (contempt of Congress) and Barack Hussein Obama (Fast and Furious) buying/selling cartel guns to kill Americans and US border officers; the baby murderers running NYC where late-term abortions/infanticides outnumber murders 1,485 to 352; . . .

Why we can't get along.

Haha. Someone's been cucked. I'm getting you a "cum and take it" hat with an AR-15 on it for your half birthday so you can turn it around backwards and show your wife's lover what a big strong freedom loving boy you are while he does his thing with her.

Haha, said the loser

Meeeeooooowwww noooo

We will vote for our nasty old tomcat Truuummmmpuuuurrrr

He delivers the mice, and we tear them up.


I was asked for advice from a friend preparing to close on a house. They wanted to know what was going to happen to the interest rate so they could time the closing when on the day with the best rate and figured that finally an economist was going to be useful.

I thought carefully for a moment contemplating all the recent economic news and said "the interest rate might go up." Then I pondered a little more and said in dead earnest "or it might go down." They looked at me with disgust and walked away.

The question is really about competition and the market for mortgage loans. The correct answer is "Shop around really hard, especially with online lenders. Find the best rate offered and lock it in. Refuse to ever pay for a rate relock. If the rate goes down X% (calculate the cost differences) between when you lock it in and when you plan to close, go to the second best offer and play them against the one you locked with until one of them gives you the improved rate."

In my youth, academics gave no advice.

Instead they taught how to obtain facts and reason, and the history of those who acted with and without doing so.

And they delivered "failure" as an important lesson in life. This was useful when they explained how the failure was related to failing to obtain facts and failing to reason, as lived history.

The biggest frustration was getting the point of the questions given as answers to my questions. Over time, I learned in needed to ask better questions to get more useful questions in response.

3. It seems to me that advice can be aspirational, and useful in that sense, even giver and taker don't follow it precisely.

You should probably do 100 push-ups every day.

Thats instruction not advice



You really should, you'll feel better.

I dont think that captures the spirit of the OP essay

I think that "exercise every day" and "write every day" are very much alike, in terms of life goals and human flourishing.



Exactly. Thats what the essay is getting at

You ability to accept entire classes of generic advice, which are broadly applicable, may vary.

This does not make useful, actionable, advice somehow inferior.

It might mean that people who want a cute custom message are missing out.

Because "get out more" or whatever, was beneath them.

Advice I've read on writing includes: "read widely," "if you can NOT write, you won't be an author," "get lots of life experience" (which often means "hold lots of lousy jobs"), "watch people and make up stories about them in your mind, then write those stories down."

If you can't come up with stories, you can't write fiction. Seems obvious, but a lot of would-be writers seem to think all they need are ideas. Ideas are easy; making them into stories is hard.

#5: There is a 12 year old claim that Botswana is governed like old fashioned republicans, before they all became RINOS, and South Africa is governed like Democrats like to govern when there is no opposition.

"before they all became RINOS"

Was it before Nixon's price controls or Reagan's deficits? Are you saying Botswana leaders are like Eisenhower or Hoover?

"South Africa is governed like Democrats like to govern when there is no opposition."

Is South Africa as bad as Detroit?

I would call a comparison between Detroit and South Africa a tossup. If we should be as lucky to have another statesman like Eisenhower! One that saw JFK as the freak he was, but kept his mouth shut.

So the Republican Party is not the Republican Party since 1960?

Neither are as bad as that sh*thole Brazil.

Brazil is actually doing fine, thanks.

Only if having a thoroughly corrupt ruling class qualifies as doing fine:

Under President Captain Bolsonaro, two corrupt former presidents are behind jars. Has Trump already locked her up? Or was he just fooling the rubes?!

So the Republican Party is not the Republican Party since 1960?

You and Art Deco and Dick the Butcher would know.

Would we?

I am a [small I] independent.

The establishment GOP (for open borders, for unlimited government, for gun confiscation, for high taxes and deficits, globalist, elitist) as seen in the Bushes, McCain (de mortuis nil nisi bonum], Romney, Ryan, et al is not materially different from the nearly-extinct once-moderate clache of the execrable democrat party.

Republicans represent purely corporate interests and stomp on freedom every chance they get. That's why they still support keeping drugs illegal, banning abortion and open borders to make the rich even more money.

Are you a mouse also?

Is South Africa as bad as Detroit?

It will be....and for the same reason (??)

Botswana has a very low population density. Generally, countries with low population density are easier to run, for obvious reasons (in Africa, Namibia is other relatively well run country with low population density, Kazakhstan is the best run of the Stans and also has very low population density)

Less crowded houses are more pleasant and easier to run than more crowded houses. I don't get all the people who want to turn the US into China or India.

Who knows?

They think 40 or 50 million criminal invaders will vote Democrat up to the moment everything collapses.

Apparently, they hate America, Americans, and the uses Americans make of their liberties.

Or, they're agenda driven imbeciles that literally know nothing.

That's what Dick the Butcher would say. Remember when America only had like 5 million native born,WHITE individuals,all with good genes? Shoulda kept it that way!

Dick the Butcher:

"...they hate America...Or...they're imbeciles..."

Or both. I say "both"!

That is why the far-right supports birth control... Oh, I forgot, it is about skin color, not crowded spaces. My bad. Proceed.

Botswana minus diamonds is another African dump. The "tyranny of distance" and its landlocked nature make it so. The article says: "Botswana is possibly the nicest place in Africa—it is quieter and more stable than, say, Greece." - I'll take noisy and unstable Greece over Botswana, but I speak Greek and own property there. I would not mind visiting Africa.

its landlocked nature make it so.

There are two and only two doubly landlcked nations(landlocked by other land-locked nations). One is Liechtenstein (World's highest income per capita). The other Uzbekistan which has some cotton and a lot of desert.

1. Ahh, but theatrical roles and role-playing have migrated from musty theatre stages into the world at-large with such force (in academia, in government, e. g.) that it's become next to impossible to insist on a strict stage/world distinction. (An Elizabethan scribe alluded to this danger.)

Maybe this is some late modern eruption of the traditional mind/body problem.

The theater ("theatuh") is obsolete technology in the age of movies. The sooner the number of roles are reduced to zero the better.

I find the public displays of theater even less convincing and more annoying than the staged versions.

Are there counterexamples to Callard's essay--non-personalized bits of advice that are generically helpful in some situation? I think there are, but maybe there aren't so many pieces of impersonal advice that are:

a. Helpful to a lot of people (who will recognize that this advice is useful to them).

b. Harmless to most other people (who either won't be harmed if they follow it or won't think it's for them if it's not).

c. Not already in the drinking water.

For example, "Get enough sleep and 30 minutes of exercise every day" is good advice--most people should follow it. But it's pretty widely known good advice.

Similarly, for some people, "Make your art the focus of your life" is good advice, but for people with not so much talent, that's probably pretty lousy advice. "Have a couple drinks to calm yourself down in social situations" might be great advice for someone with moderate social anxiety, but it would be pretty awful advice for a recovering alcoholic.

I think she's overstating her case--I think there probably are useful pieces of advice that aren't widely known and aren't dependent on knowing a huge amount about the person taking the advice. But they're probably not things that most of us can generate on the spur of the moment.

On the other hand, a lot of commonplace advice probably has a bigger impact when it's delivered personally by an expert--so Margaret Atwood responding to someone asking how to become a writer by saying something like "the most important thing is that you need to write a lot, keep practicing your art, so that you can get better at it" might still be useful, even if it's basically the same advice your high school English teacher would have given you.

The essay calls that instruction; do X and most people get Y.

What the essay defines as advice is more like cornering a doctor at a party and describing your cousin’s rash

Dude.... you promised you wouldn’t say anything.

"cousin's" rash, sure.

#3 "When starry-eyed students come to my office to ask for tips and strategies for becoming a philosopher..."

And there's the problem. The author is a philosopher who feels uncomfortable giving honest advice to idiots wanting to waste 4-8 years of their lives (and tens of thousands of dollars of loans) becoming...cough... philosophers. I'd feel uncomfortable too if my options were to either 1) lie about what a great choice they're making or 2) tell them not to become philosophers because my life is based on a fraud. No wonder she's taking the 3rd way.

Learn to mix drinks. Relocate to the Bronx. Run for Congress as a democrat.

Wow you are so mean!

Yeah - imagine how much more wisdom those fathers of economics (Smith, Hume, Mill etc) could have imparted if they hadn't wasted so much time with philosophy.

2 is odd. First, does anyone really believe that it will increase vaccination rates?
Next, often I'll get my flu shots at a grocery store pharmacy. They manage to do the insurance. Why can't dentists?

I'm not sure about the insurance, but our pharmacy offers free shots and I have to pay at urgent care, which I find weird. That said, dentists have a lot more practice with injections than pharmacy staff.

You go to Urgent Care for vaccination? Use Emergency Room, it's even cheaper!

Modern urgent care should be called mundane care. They also offer physicals.

My first reaction is that the dentists sought -- and have gained -- entry into a market for services that they were previously prohibited from providing.

Total vaccination rates might not change much, but demand for dentists' services might increase a bit.

I'm a bit surprised that the other providers (doctors, nurses, pharmacists) didn't fight against this bill. E.g. for years California had disputes about who was qualified to provide dog grooming services, i.e. did they need to have some veterinary training.

But maybe vaccinations are largely unprofitable and the competitors are figuring that if the dentists want to use them as a loss leader then go ahead and let them.

Or maybe this is all about the common good and coming up with ways to raise vaccination rates, but that's usually lower on my list of what I expect the true explanation to be.

I think Atwood might usefully have asked, what are you trying to do? - and depending on the response, offered Snoopy's timeless advice: "A great book needs a mighty theme."

But that would presuppose that she was offering advice that would benefit not just her amateur/wannabe writer but everybody who might read it.

Or, she could consider the odds that her interlocutor was going to write something worth adding to the civilizational pile, and advise this person to go chop wood, fetch water. But naturally people find it hard to be rude in person, as they should. This is the most important thing to take away from the sort of pablum-as-advice that troubles Callard. It would be difficult to have to reinvent conversation every day. Asking the famous author or philosopher for advice is also a polite way of further expressing one's admiration.

3. Interestingly, no one asks professional baseball players to give advice to little leaguers expecting any reply besides “practice”

Oh joy, another sports podcast. Like hanging out in a bar listening to a couple of your most tedious friends -- with your own eyes and mouth duct-taped shut.

The best moment in recent sports talk was when the WFAN morning guys started daring each other to drink the mysterious pan of water that had been sitting atop the break-room fridge for the last five months.

This is like me when my co-workers start talking about sports when we're going to lunch. Once, someone asked me what I thought about some sports thing or another, and I said bluntly "Its been years since I stopped even pretending to care about sports."

Except maybe the figure skating at the winter Olympics. The response to that was "Congratulations, you're a girl."

You girls! You probably fall hard for those weepy human-interest stories that have deluged Olympics coverage. It's like Queen for a Day on skis.

I do follow several sports but enough talk already, just play. So much of this blather is aimed at bettors and fantasy-league players, not to mention cable TV's crying need to fill all those hours before and after the game. Thank God horses can't (or don't) talk.

No, I hate those. Everyone hates those. I would infinitely prefer to watch coverage of some other event if they need filler. Surely with so many events happening simultaneously, they can switch between them or even split-screen them.

Sorry you're being forced to listen to something that doesn't interest you. Oh wait....

It's friday:

O/T but relevant to love letter.

Here's an example of how corporations control the agenda: with tax deductible grants to universities or federal labs. With this "donation," they get to control the agenda, control the publicity, scare the executives leadership and make them dependent, co-op the researchers, control what gets studied and what does not and how, preview reports, squelch any adverse findings, and reap the benefits of any results.

"Renewable energy lab in Golden strikes $100M agreement with oil giant ExxonMobil "

Do you have any proof whatsoever of these claims? Specifically this:

“to control the agenda, control the publicity, scare the executives leadership and make them dependent, co-op the researchers, control what gets studied and what does not and how, preview reports, squelch any adverse findings”

This seems like whacky tin foil hat conspiracy theory shit to me.

Are you also a 9/11 truther and vaccines cause autism type ?

In some circles, $100 million dollars is still a lot of money. Most circles, actually.

Companies that throw around that kind of money are able to command attention.

It’s not that hard to imagine. Picture how you feel when your successful college roommate picks up the tab at Hooters

What a ridiculous example. Scary "oil giant" spends money as part of the big conspiracy to foil renewables. Muahahaha!

My favorite indication of the idiotic nature of right wingers is how they prattle incessantly about the magical power of money, then they pretend like money doesn’t matter.

It’s adorable actually

More like 'scary energy company' is willing to spend money on a new source of energy that people are willing to pay more for.

2. Oregon dentists can now give vaccines.

Do a blind study with other states, prove that dentist offices spread measles and tetanus.

Re #1:
The same issue afflicts music groups. Bands have shrunk over time, mostly because the individuals involved realized they don't get paid much more for a concert if there is a brass section or if they're just a trio. Same reason criminal conspiracies attempt to stay small, less people to divide the loot with.

3. Against advice.

Best advice:
Don't listen to me, I am generally wrong.

I wish the vaccinations given by dentists was the vaccine against caries we were promised 40 years ago

So the article about Botswana was saying that diversity and division among elites is bad, and that the US messed up in giving up on rulership by Yankee WASPS? I didn’t know that Ross Douthat had fans among political scientists who study Africa.

Pure coaching, from a life-coaching standpoint, is about helping the client come to their own answers. In contrast with consulting (advice giving), the idea is to support the client in arriving at their own insights because a) the client is assumed to be creative, resourceful and whole (they don't need me to tell them what to do), b) what works for the coach won't necessarily be what what works for the client anyway, c) evidence from social science work suggests that insights arrived at by oneself are much more likely to stick than those received from another, and d) we want to support independence from as opposed to dependence on the coach as some sort of expert or guru. Of course there are many times that the consultation of others is very valuable and appropriate. That said, I would say that on average most people do much to much consulting and relatively too little pure coaching. Though I think Ms. Callard's vision of coaching is much more directive than mine, as I see pure coaching (in a life-coaching context) as much more facilitative. As a professional life and leadership development coach for many years, my value is rarely sharing brilliant insights into who the client is. Sometimes I will share what I think I see, but these are offerings for them to take or leave as opposed to some sort of psychoanalysis that I present as fact. Rather, my value is almost always in asking open ended questions that provoke the client to reach their own brilliant insights.

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