Monday assorted links


1. Some state appeals courts have career clerks. Not law professors, but career clerks. Most clerks are hired out of law school and clerk for about two years. In the federal courts, clerks often work their way up, from the district court, to the circuit court, to the supreme court. The history of hiring only recent graduates at the top of their class has several practical justifications. First, the relatively low pay (as compared to the pay at a top firm) isn't that big a deal for a recent graduate without a family or a home mortgage. More importantly, the recent graduate arrives with pretty much a clean slate, not having developed the kind of special expertise and prejudices that come with experience. Most law professors have developed a point of view, a point of view that they will take to the Court. Indeed, if hiring law professors as clerks becomes a trend, I would expect efforts to pack the clerks similar to current efforts to pack the courts.

I’m not sure that’s entirely accurate.

The majority of clerkship are 1 year.

My guess is only about half of the 3,500 hundred clerks hired each year come straight from law schools. The rest are a mix of off-cycle hires (for a position to begin a year or two after graduation) and straight alumni hires. My guess is most circuit judges prefer a healthy mix between their four clerks.

It’s traditionally been really rare for SCOTUS clerks to have district court experience, although that’s changed somewhat. While it’s much more common for a circuit clerk to have previous clerkship experience, it’s still not the norm.

The reality is all judges and justices are looking for two qualities: (1) fit (which is as much about work-styles, writing, and communication as it is ideology), and (2) guaranteed not to be a dud. It’s unlikely professors are any more likely to posses said qualities.

3, From the abstract: "we find a large negative impact of robot exposure on employment and wages of Chinese workers. Effects are concentrated in the state-owned sector and are larger among low-skilled, male, and prime-age and older workers". I will guess that the impact is greatest in the state-owned sector because it has the least automation; it has the least automation because that's the way the prime-age and older workers want it. That would suggest a preference among the most affected (prime age and older) for state-owned firms (i.e., resistance to privatization). Of course, that leads to inefficiencies (as compared to firms that automate) in the state-owned sector and eventual inability to compete. How long will the state support such failing firms? Consider public higher education in America. What the states have done is shift the cost of inefficiencies from the states to individuals in the form of student debt. How can failing public sector firms shift the costs of inefficiencies from the state to individuals?

The goal of "the state" should be lower GDP, lower wages, higher unemployment?

If, going to the limit, robots replaced all workers, who would be able to afford to buy what robots produce?

Would the robots get paid to produce so robots can buy what robots produce?

Economies are zero sum.

The money to buy GDP comes from the wages paid to consumers producing the GDP.

Eliminate, or slash, the money paid to consumers of GDP, GDP must go down.


Do not confuse price and cost. The price of a cell phone in 1900 was infinite, so the cost was zero, quantity zero. The cost of cell phones, the total spent, is huge today because the quantity sold/serviced has grown far faster than the price has gone down. The number of households that have gone from zero cost annually to thousands per year is a very large number. Further price cuts increased the number going from zero cost to hundreds of dollars per year.

To afford the higher costs, labor costs have had to increase because costs of food, for example, can't go down enough, except by not going up when household incomes go up, thus becoming a smaller share of a bigger whole..

If lots of stuff is being produced and no one can afford it, the price of the stuff will go down until either people can afford it or to their cost.

I don’t buy the idea that automated production will reduce output by producing lots of stuff people don’t buy. If robots really can produce everything we need, the price of those things should fall to zero. If robot production remains expensive so that it is out of reach of some people, then those people will still create demand for cheaper human-produced goods and services. The only way the problem you posit could occur is if the government passed laws to create artificial scarcity (such as copyright laws that ensure that zero-marginal-cost copyrighted works still have a positive price).

"Economies are zero sum"?

That's not accurate, to put it mildly.

6. Why are Indian-Americans (and judging by the names, mostly South Indians) so utterly dominant in spelling bees?

I think when learnt as a foreign language, speliing is given more importance.
And among South Indians there is often a significant focus from parents on academics ( not that there isn't from others like North Indians, but probably more among south Indians).

Yeah, white people can't even spell their own words.

1. They need to get in there the right people to ensure they can protect the inalienable rights they invent.

1. Well, as long as the Federalist Society approves of the choices, no problems.

#4 Take the helmets and shoulder pads off. Make it more like rugby or Aussie rules football (but not flag football!). You get more blood and broken noses so it is still a tough man's sport. But you get fewer brain injuries.

Makes no difference. Rugby players have the same problems with brain injuries and CTE as American football players.

In brief, and I’ll let the readers do the research, but it’s not necessarily the blows to the head that do long-term damage. It’s the contact to the body that jars the brain inside the skull and how often it happens.

Add to rugby's physical jarring the post-game drink-ups.

Link? I've literally never heard such an assertion before ever.

Rugby yields more concussions than American football. Which version do you prefer?

1) Peer-reviewed article:

2) Simplified science communication article:

3) the 2018 rugby career ending tackles and deaths on France by a French sports newspaper.

If sports managers keep kicking the can down the road, football and rugby will continue to destroy its players, and therefore self-destruct.

Football is being replaced by lacrosse (not just soccer). Still helmets and pads, plenty of action and physical play, but far less dangerous.

Is it? The issue with CTE is lots of sub-concussion hits, not concussive hits.

The subtle thing is that players practice live (full speed, full contact) in sports like lacrosse, soccer, basketball, etc. They don't in football. But, because you practice 20x as much as you play, that additional time adds up to a lot of sub-concussive hits.

1. Why not? I suppose the left can/does manufacture outrage at all things. Which is yet another reason they are becoming more irrelevant.

3. Good. This is progress.

4. Progress.


SCOTUS clerks have undermined the judicial integrity of the Court.

The Court now resembles nine discrete law firms, each with a managing partner (a SCOTUS Justice) whose ego is stroked, and whose most arduous labors are usually performed, by a cadre of bright and ambitious twentysomething lawyers. Older law professors would be even more corrosive to the Court.

Those clerks eroded that Court as a cohesive judicial institution. Justices rarely communicate directly with each other about the cases before them -- the clerks typically mediate.
Clerks don't see themselves as public-servant federal employees of the Court, but as loyal personal supporters of individual Justices.

The first Justice to employ a clerk was Horace Gray in 1882.
But until 19920's the few clerks employed ...primarily performed secretarial/admin work. SCOTUS Justices actually did the hard legal work.
However, in classic bureaucratic fashion -- the Justies have sharply reduced their workload over the decades... by accepting fewer cases AND hiring swarms of junior lawyers to do the heavy work.

Abolish the clerks or put them under the full control of the SCOTUS Librarian administrative section.
Abolish these llittle private fiefdoms of the Justices.

hiring swarms of junior lawyers to do the heavy work.

What heavy work would that be? A primary reason for joining the legal profession, aside from dreams of wealth, is to avoid heavy work. In the case of the Supreme Court, whose decisions are based on the US Constitution, its work is decidedly simple, the constitution being the most uncomplicated of legalities. Any literate, English-speaking person should be able to read and understand the constitution and determine if laws conform to it. No genius needed.

There is a whole body of court precedent, case history, judicial interpretations, legal philosophy, and scholarly work that needs to be absorbed to come to a defensible position. I agree that any literate person should be able to read and understand their own laws but that doesn't make them a judge or a Supreme Court justice. The average American can barely handle the legalese on one page of an IRS form.

Hilariously ignorant

"Any literate, English-speaking person should be able to read and understand the constitution and determine if laws conform to it" That should indeed be the target for any written constitution. But if it were applied in the US it would mean overturning generations of precedents. Which would be good.

The architecture at Harvard is impressive, all those old humble but sturdy but still indecisive Puritan buildings, built so well and so grandly and quietly aware of their merit; and Stanford, as described by Yvor Winters, is nothing less than the Platonic ideal of a place, in the West of today, where deep thoughts can be discussed:

but is there philosophy in Harvard, in Stanford?

Let us not mistake the map for the territory:
philosophy is not texts, or at least it is not simply texts:

philosophy is that portion of the truth we understand when we are able, somewhere in havens of peace in the difficulties of life that we all face, to speak, heart to heart, with another creature of God, and to try to understand why we are here, and why we are wrong when we ignore those who would be so happy for whatever little kindness we show them, our thoughtful conversation, our intellectual efforts, our physical efforts, our charity

there is lots of that in China
not saying I am an expert on China
although to tell the truth I have never met anyone from China who was not glad, in late evening hours, to talk with me about the deep history of that beloved far-off country, where so much has happened...
not saying I am an expert on China, just saying ....

is there philosophy in the neighborhoods in California, near (well, within an hour's drive - let us be realistic, not that many people can live near the ocean) the beautiful Pacific beaches that Americans have loved for so long, where many Chinese people live (and where even Michael Savage, the radio celebrity, has stated that there are great restaurants where Chinese people have developed a cuisine from the locally available markets of vegetables and fish and so on, over the years, that is wonderful - full of wonder - look up the philology of wonder .... )

the question answers itself
(for those who do not follow, the question was, is there philosophy in those neighborhoods in the Bay Area where lots of Chinese people have settled over the last 150 year?)

where people care about each other, as GOD wants them to, there you will find philosophy

the question answers itself

You see, my friends, philosophy is not a question of intellectual priority, or scholarship, even extremely devoted and high-level scholarship.
If "Wee WIllie Keeler" took a half swing and popped the ball between the shortstop and the left fielder on some IMPORTANT AT THE TIME baseball field afternoon a few generations ago, well, it was put down in the record books, but if somebody playing the game today does the same thing nobody says "He did what Wee Willie Keeler did"

Same thing for philosophy. Nobody really cares what the texts say, that is just details. And no philosophy is not footnotes to Plato.

Let's begin with merely this: is God intelligent?
If God is not intelligent, then there is no such thing as philosophy qua philosophy - "love of wisdom" - there is simply the virtue of doing what is right.

and if God exists, then philosophy becomes more interesting.
Let us say God has created the future, then philosophy is the most exact of sciences.
Let us say that God has not created the future, that we have free will and that God loves us, then philosophy is something so much more interesting than it was yesterday, when we thought it was a subject in academia.

And if God exists then certainly there is a lot of philosophy in China, and in every country.

Let us not be librarians, my friends, except to the extent that librarians are useful: let us be, after those of us called to be librarians have headed home from their necessary and useful and wonderful labors, let us be philosophers.

And of course God exists, you can trust me on that. Cor ad cor loquitur, if nothing else

and for the record Yuja Wang is a great pianist, at the level of Richter and the wonderful Glenn Gould

I invite those who have insulted me in the past (thanks for reading!, I was not offended) to tell me where I am wrong, or how I have wasted your time by explaining not only what philosophy should be in your life (an adjunct to your love of God who created you, and more than that gifted you with the creation of EVERYONE YOU HAVE EVER LOVED) but also how I have wasted your time by explaining that philosophy is within the reach of us all, of course God exists, and of course we are called, after long 40 hour weeks as librarians or something like that (in my case, a supremely gifted social worker - MSW SUNY Geneseo, perhaps) ... we are called to try our best to reflect in our own lives wisdom, or at least to try and be better and kinder every day of our lives ....

there was this narrative thread on General Hospital, back in the early 1960s - nobody remembers, and even the trillionfold detailed repositories of the internet do not have the original scripts or even a vague outline ----- but I watched those episodes, with a sweet young woman who had been a debutante in the 1890s .... and the moral of the story was, sometimes we underestimate our capability to understand each other ...

I remember the young nurse (the actress is still alive, but in her 90s now) explaining to the young dashing doctor that he had simply not tried hard enough to understand that the patient he had been treating simply needed to be told that

God loves us all.

Believe me or not, that was a real story line on TV in the early 1960s, of course my pal who was a beautiful young woman in the 1890s is not going to back me up but it is true

I do not waste your time when I tell you God loves us all
I get nothing out of it
Not a cent
Just a memory, maybe (or maybe not), of a place long ago and far away where I am still remembered
where I said

cor ad cor loquitur

copyright free as always, to the extent that I can say that here

my pal who was a beautiful young woman in the 1890s would back me up of course if the opportunity presented itself

God loves us all

not as much as we love each other

a trillionfold

I remember this ...

the one or two times I really understood the world I understood this ....
God loves us all at least as much as we love each other, when we are at our best

but probably much more than that.

Be kind, don't say or do anything unkind.
Follow the commandments, whether you understand them or not.
Be brave, don't sin, don't excuse sin in others, be kind.

Send a few shekels or pesos dollars to someone who needs help.

God will reward you a thousandfold.

a trillionfold.

God loves us all, not simply as much as we love each other, when we are at our best, but a trillionfold more than that

that is my best guess anyway

and I am a good guesser

((that is literally what I said, word for word, to my friend --- older than me, by a few decades, but still interested in what I said ---when I explained that, yes, the next episode, the kind young nurse would explain to the dashing doctor that he needed to tell his patient (portrayed by an actor who had not that small a part in 2 or 3 of the better of the Stooges shorts, not that you could look that up now - the soap operas on TV of the early 60s are not well documented, trust me)) --- that is literally what I said, all those years ago," I am a good guesser "

cor ad cor loquitur

"the fool says in his heart there is no God"

well we were all young once

don't worry, there are many angels praying for you.

goddam it, cuck boy. take your medicine before you online.

REPENT you despicable little demon-guided pervert

tell me how much you love me.


God loves you.

This is not about me and you, this is about God and you.

Some day you will have a nightmare where you are forced to read every Kurt Vonnegut novel and in that nightmare someone will tell you hey you can stop reading that.

That helpful person was me.

God loves you, and nobody will criticize you for having once been a Vonnegut fan, Even Kurt will not criticize you


HA HA HA I know you have said tens of thousands of nasty things.

And you will go on doing so. Go ahead, say a few more, it is trivial. you disgust everybody.

This is not 2019, little dreamer, little pervert fascinated by cuckoldry.

This is today, and you will be better tomorrow.

You are welcome, you poor little creature:

God loves you and is disgusted by you; but is willing to forget the foul nature of your constant disgusting approach to life:

tomorrow will be a good day.

Tens of thousands of angels are willing to pray for any troll that they are asked to pray for

Try and imagine a world where you are not ruled by your guardian demons, you sad little neckbeard loser

God loves you despite the filth in your heart, you can be better some day

By the way .... You poor creature, I will pray for you for the rest of my life, and so will those who love me.

First step - next time you are on a date, don't discuss with the woman that you like to insult people as "cucks" ---sure she might nod along with you but she is thinking, hey, maybe this guy would be a great guy if not for his pride at insulting people .... (and believe me, any woman who has ever spent any time with someone like me knows that, for all my faults, or all the faults of someone like me, I am no cuck .... and multiply that out .... your strategy of telling women most other men are sucks is not a winning strategy!!!!)

Women, my friend, think differently than men.

Good luck! I, perhaps the most good-hearted of commenters ever to take part in a "flame war", hold no grudges, and wish you the best in the future! Your grandchildren will bless my name if you follow my good advice!

"Is an Army of Robots Marching on Chinese Jobs?"

Of course. Automation gets better every year. Humans don't get better every year. An average human today isn't noticeably better than a human from 20 years ago, whereas automation is significantly better and cheaper.

However, is this really any different than the history of agriculture. Where over the course of 150 years the work force went from 90% of labor to less than 5% of labor. - about 50% in 1500 to 40% in 1800, thereafter 5% today. Technically! But your general point stands, even if the world tends to be overestimated as a peasant one (in western Europe at least).

Automation is getting better, albeit China is still in the catch-up growth phase.

See figure 4 in the article linked by Tyler. The automotive industry in China uses 25 robots per 1000 workers. For comparison the number of robots per 1K workers in other countries: Japan 125, S. Korea & USA 120, Germany 110, France 95.

That's nothing. Until the other day we had a robot as Prime Minister.

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