Sunday assorted links

1. An estimate of SB 50 impacts.

2. Why books don’t work, and why lectures don’t work.  Recommended.

3. China is cracking down on Hayekian economists.

4. Danielle Steel’s productivity advice: she averages seven books a year.  And she had nine children.

5. “Chinese consumers for the first time last year bought more Cadillacs than Americans did, helping drive profits at General Motors. And though the designs for those Cadillacs may have been drafted in Detroit, nearly all of the luxury automobiles were assembled in China by some of GM’s nearly 60,000 local workers.”  Link here.

6. Puffin picture.

7. “Really though who doesn’t want to watch the Air New Zealand safety video?


3. “Let a hundred flowers bloom.” Here we go again.

#3 It couldn't have happened to a more deserving bunch. Hayekians say Fatherland, freedom and Justice don't matter, only making the rich richer matter. They helped to sell the Chinese ruse to rubes everywhere. I really hope they pay.

First they came for the Hayekians.

I thought they had come for Tibetans, Muslims, the Falun Gong, Christians, human rights defenders bedore, but Americans must have been distracted thinking about money.

Fair point TR,.

TR scored a point, true enough

Thank you. I praise President Captain Bolsonaro for his insights on Red China.

Thank you. I praise President Captain Bolsonaro for his insights on Red China.

Totalitarians got to be totalitarians.

"Hayekians say Fatherland, freedom and Justice don't matter, only making the rich richer matter". Thiago is this comment based on careful reading of the relevant literature or is it an emotional outburst?

3. how china does the midterm harvard climate review?

So, Hayek, and presumably Milton Friedman and the rest of the Chicago school are leftists, and China and Keynes are conservatives?

Or has Bloomberg messed up the script on economic reporting and commentary?

Keynes advocated making capital cease to be scarce by paying workers to build so much that workers will no longer save to fund paying workers to build more capital.

If you define wealth as high prices for scarce capital, then Keynes advocated destroying wealth, but Adam Smith argued, and Keynes agreed, it was the production of workers that was the wealth of nations, not merchants controlling and monopolize everything to extract high profits from workers.

I grew up when socialism was not owning where you lived, because housing needed to be owned/controlled by the ruling elites, not owning a car because transportation needed be controlled by the elites. How else can the masses be kept away from the elites?

Today its conservatives arguing for workers never owning housing or cars. These must be perpetually owned by the wealthy elites who keep increasing the debt on these assets to extract more rents from workers.

The parents of my peers grrowing up in the 60s sought to celebrate "burning the mortgage papers" and living debt free, owning homes and cars and boats and cabins debt free. I thought that was capitalism....

1. Just guessing here, but I am willing to wager that this will push the impacts onto the middle and lower-middle class areas. Probabably by accident I'm sure.

Coastal and historic districts and exempt, very low income and polluted areas are exempt, and other yuppie communities can choose to opt out. And the rich areas are exempt by their distance from transit.

Since circa 1980, economjsts changed the meaning of zero sum.

And of property rights.

Before, zero sum meant the marginal cost of housing was the added costs of building infrastructure to abundant vacant land, which wasn't actuality vacant, but just farmland or woodland, or maybe a farm economy village of farm services and trade.

To add housing you simply paid more workers by taxing existing workers and future workers to build infrastructure to land on which workers would pay workers to build housing and complements, and probably pay workers to keep people moving between work and home.

But since 1980, increasingly requiring workers to pay workers costs too much, and the high costs kills jobs.

Which gets to the change in view of property rights. Before, government not only protected the right to own a singlle family home, it encouraged the develooment of land so everyone could own a single family home by allowing farmers to sell land that was unprofitable to developers, and seek to have government build better roads by taxing and paying workers.

Since 1980, economists argue for property rights based on economists view of who should own the property. Paying workers with taxes to open up access to unproductive farmland is evil becauuse farmland must be in excess to produce too much food to make workers fatter and fatter without higher living costs. (In most of the world, living costs are so low its impossible to buy enough food to get fat, even when the US ships excess food at high cost to taxpayers to give away carbs but few nutrients.)

So, to solve the shortage of single family hiuses, economists argue property rights are excessive government regulation preventing the zero sum conversion of single family houses into multifamily houses, and any single family home owner is a radical leftist thwarting the creation of wealth by the Donald Trumps who would use eminent domain to optimize land use.

Of course, when eminent domain hits someone in the economist's favored tribe, white people, all of a sudden property rights are being destroyed by government rezoning, or even rezoning, or even worse, enforcing the supreme law in existence ffor a century or more.

Like the water front being public land open to all.

On the one hand, its outrageous when a beach front land owner can't exclude the public from the beach.

But one the other hand, its outrageous to economists when a bunch of working class people bought land and formed a community for working class people and zoned it half a century or more ago as single family, and now their children refuse to turn the land over to Donald Trumps to create wealth and more working class housing for families able to pay a million dollars for a condo in a beach front high rise.

Elon Musk got it right. What California needs is lots of fast public transit that is as revoultiinary as the first US subway in Boston a century ago at about the same time as the first subway in Europe in London.

The enabling technology was the electric motor capable of driving a train and the means to transfer electric power to the moving train. Digging tunnels was "easy" because that was simple mining. Tunneling under rivers, and where ground water was, required new technology, "the shield", but that was mostly to protect workers.

Everywhere but the US, tunneling has advanced a lot with boring machines. Elon argues that tunnel boring still can advance a lot. And that with cheaper tunneling, new public transit options become viable, in that many will spend lots of money paying workers in their quest for profit by opening up access to vacant land on which million dollar homes can be built for only $200,000 paid to workers. For that kind of profit, paying $50 million for land and $200 million for transit, to sell 10,000 million dollar homes is a sure thing.

I do remember the opposition to cities expanding. The radical leftist were objecting to midwest cities and towns turning highly productive flat (river) bottom land into housing tracts. Where would food be grown if all fatmland were turned to housing.

But that's not the problem today. The cities with housing shortages are not surrounded by farms because a century ago transportation built by government policy made Midwest farmland production cheaper than of the poorer quality soils of the coasts, except for some bottom land which normally flooded regularly. Once this farm land stopped being flooded, it became less productive. Industry using rivers as sewers meant farmland being flooded destroyed the value of the land with toxic waste, so farmland could not be allowed to flood to replenish soils.

LA sprawls because land developers built trolley lines out to vacant land so they could sell the land for housing. Once they had sold the land, they stopped subsidizing thr trolleys and government replaced them with more and more wider roads. The same happened in coastal Florida all the way to the Keys. Once real estate development no longer paid for keeping the railroad service good, the railroad stopped providing servicee privvately, and government built lots and lots of roads. Including a long road to the Keys.

But that was then. This is now when taxing workers to pay workers to build transportation infrastructure costs tooo much, destroys wealth, and kills jobs.

Much better to increase demand, making capital scarcer and scarcer by blocking all building of public capital to increase the supply of private capital which would eliminate capital scarcity, thus inflating capital prices creating wealth without any labor costs, wealth out of government monopoly policy.

California has no shortage of land. It has towns that are depopulating and disincorporating. You just can't get to this land in a reasonable travel time, and the old economy of the town, farming or mining, is dead. But building trannsportation requires paying workers, but paying workers to work harms workers by requiring them to pay the costs of paying workers.

Instead of SB50 create strict and effective laws to identify and deport all illegals. The net result would be an abundance of affordable housing in California. A side effect would be billions less spending and the California budget would have surpluses and taxes could be lowered.

5. Cadillac makes some good cars now. Still for those of us of a certain age they'll have the stigma of 1970's land yachts. What grandad drove. What my girlfriend's dad drove. My dad set my course with a Pontiac, 396 cu in high output.

So maybe I should give them a chance now that they have a performance tilt. The ATS coupe with 350 hp, 29 mpg, 5.3 zero to sixty.

Of course dad might want me in the mid-engines C8.

The Chinese love the idea of American consumerism that "made america great", but Trump is pissed that no only is America not buying and thus GM making big cars with big fins, he's pissed that China has stolen the American idea of working class people buying luxury status of a big caddys wuith fins sitting in front of a single family home of 800 sq-ft to distinguish that home from alll the other "tiny boxes" because its a pink caddy with the trendy really high fins, not the low fins, or horizontal fins.

China has stolen the IP of American consumerism to create status.

That's pretty good. My grandad was parking Caddies in front of 3br 1ba postwar construction.

#3) Well, people have been saying for quite some time that China will show us whether one can have economic freedom without political freedom...

Quick question: If Xi's rationale for deplatforming Unirule was a belief that the Koch Brothers' capitalist ideas made the poor and other marginalized groups feel unsafe, would that suddenly make such deplatforming ok?

Stop that. Xi is not 'deplatforming' Uni he is oppressing them.

#3) "For the long term, you can very clearly see that the public sector has major problems and the private economy is very dynamic....For a market to be efficient, it must respond to market forces, not government.”

Would voicing such a view today earn a stronger rebuke from the Chinese government or from the Democratic primary electorate?

Despite his marginal propensity for repression, Boss Xi's economic policies will be to the right of that gaggle of nutty socialists.

Given Trump's recent tariffs, you have to include the Republican party too.

I would be quite pleased were Democrats to criticize Republicans for not being pro-market enough.

Sadly it is not going to happen. Populists from both sides are in the driver's seat.

Trade wars are so easy!

It's all good. For eight years, I let China rip-off America. I was otherwise occupied fundamentally transforming evil, unjust America and protecting globalists' billion dollar business plans.

Hope and Change! Where did Orange Man Bad! find that magic wand to generate real GDP growth?

1. New Calif. housing development legislation? Hola!

2. Why books (and lectures) don’t work. Every now and then a smart person makes this argument but the real questions are, what new technologies would best replace books and lectures, and how long would the novelty last? This chap thinks he’s onto something. I find that good teachers break up their talking with group work, questions, quizzes or other exercises. We will see.

3. Given enough time, China, being a one party communist party ruled (Xi dominated) state, will eventually crack down on everything it thinks can challenge its rule. Free market (independent thinking) economists are a natural candidate for re-education. Perhaps the most natural candidate...

4. “Hey kids, watch some TV or go free range. I’m busy writing.”

5. When I occasionally slip up and say to my History undergrads that Thucydides “is a Cadillac of historians”, they look at me blankly and I must add “I mean Thucydides is the Lexus of historians.” (Mainland Chinese students would understand me. Chinese immigrants to the Pacific Northwest, not so much.)

6. Tyler likes puffins.

7. Maybe the safety video makers should add a quiz or a tactile test? Clearly not enough incentives.

If getting the plane turned around and kicked off isn't enough incentive, then you are beyond incentivising.

I don't think it was the author's point but maybe #2 should teach us that we should simply do less reading and lecturing.

1. An estimate of SB 50 impacts.
The law will jam the courts and thus be ignored. This is Calizuela, home of the Spanish appointed judiciary with the job of arbitrating the king's edicts. Nothing but a jammed court system.

3. China is cracking down on Hayekian economists.

Doing it in 'round about' manner.

OMG SB 50 absolutely must be renamed the land use consultant and attorney full employment bill

How a Bill Becomes Law
1) Officials announce complicated new set of regulations
2) Interest groups make campaign donations in exchange for exemptions
3) Lawyers neutralize the remaining substance

"2. Why books don’t work, and why lectures don’t work. "

I wouldn't expect them to work if written by that bloke. Golly he's dull.

Really disappointing. Should have been titled "Why Long-Winded Dissections of the Obvious Don't Work."

"Why long blog entries written by Andy Matsuchak don't work."

Stupid guy reads smart books and remains stupid, stupid guy blames books.

1. That's an amazing use of data, and computation.

Not sure why impoverished areas need density less tho.

I guessing that they don't have the resources to manage, litigate, etc, or the infastructure to support more development.

Low living cost, low housing cost, low tax places like dying towns in Kansas and northern New Hampshire cant afford to pay lawyers or lobbyists.

And why would anyone in a dying town with no jobs paying enough to get global corporations to build infrastructure to pprovide high speed Internet access do anything that would increase kiving costs? Anyone wanting higher living costs and Internet can simply move to a leftist high living cost, high tax city.

And by moving out, the supply of goods and services increases from the demand curve shift from less consumer spending, which puts money in the pockets of those paid so little they can't afford to move out.

Free lunch economics 101 which is making GOP run rural areas great again.

They should have accepted that free municipal Wi-Fi, but you know. The socialism.

Yep, they’re one subsidized wi-fi connection away from paradise.

Nothing is 'free'. Someone pays.

I'm guessing that bit is a concession for anti-gentrification activists.

2. A long time ago I read a theory of memory. It was somewhat neurologically and computationally inspired. The story(*) might have been that novel experiences are easily recorded, but repeated experiences are compressed onto the same template. You remember your first drive to a new job. After 10 commutes they start to munge. After 100 you remember the pattern, and then interesting exceptions. That time a car was on fire.

As I read the introduction to #2, I felt the author was making a mistake. If we are learning a subject, we don't want to remember each line. We want to acquire the pattern. This happens most easily when we have related existing knowledge, and that is when we are least likely to remember unsurprising material. In that case we'll be able to remember and recall the surprises just fine. If we were paying attention.

The second part on new methods might be all fine. But I'd say mastery is more about what you can do than what you remember learning.

* - a memory of a story, about memories as stories.

"God gave us memory so we may have roses in December." J. M. Barrie

Right. We read to discover new ideas, not to commit text to memory. I read Thinking Fast and Slow. I couldn't tell you much about the exposition and argument in the book, but the notion of the two ways of thinking I have foud quite useful.

With data, it's called deduplication.


blah blah.........................................................................................................blah

let's build some slums.

3. In some dimensions China is already declining: its growth rate has fallen to less than half its peak level over a decade ago, the wave of privatization and deregulation has passed, and now China is reverting back to a Maoist system under Xi's totalitarian rule. The future outlook for China is looking bad.

Because when it was growing at a two-digit rate, it was not totalitarian...

Books don't work but notes posted online do work?

4. Recommend reading this right after the Callard anti-advice piece.

4. "And pardon me, but I think your twenties and a good part of your thirties are about working hard so that you have a better quality of life later on. I mean, I never expected that quality of life at 25. I had three jobs at the same time, and after work I wrote. "

Yeah, piss off. I'm really not interested in your borderline bipolar disorder or the dementia you're gonna get from your lack of sleep.

That article on books and lectures not working was pretty howlingly funny. Such a note of discovery! Every high school teacher on the planet is saying hey, motherfucker, hold my beer.

He actually has a rather self-contradictory paragraph:

"The lectures-as-warmup model is a post-hoc rationalization, but it does gesture at a deep theory about cognition: to understand something, you must actively engage with it. That notion, taken seriously, would utterly transform classrooms. We’d prioritize activities like interactive discussions and projects; we’d deploy direct instruction only when it’s the best way to enable those activities. I’m not idly speculating: for the last few decades, this has been one of the central evolutionary forces in US K–12 policy and practice."

If that has been central to K-12 education for "the last few decades", than the classrooms have been transformed. In point of fact, anyone in the business knows that no one lectures for 50 minutes and everybody tries to get students engaged.

But there are two big problems. As the article states, "people struggle to absorb new material when their working memory is already overloaded". There is just way too much that say, high school students are expected to absorb in a 6 1/2 hour day. This cannot be fixed unless the explicit curriculum is substantially reduced. Second, much of that explicit curriculum consists of things that students are not inherently interested in--and that, to be honest, they probably won't ever use outside of an academic context. And--surprise! surprise! surprise!--though K-12 teachers try to be interactive and engaging, students aren't learning anything more than they did 20 or 50 years ago.

Danielle Steel sounds like a good guest for Conversations with Tyler!

#1: Portland, OR is considering similar legislation: higher density mandated along the transportation corridors, upzoning to allow four units on formely R-1 parcels.

They key, as the article says, is how many loopholes, exceptions, and other complexities are getting thrown in?

#2: Bleah. A ton of words to express obvious facts: books are hard to learn from, and active learning beats passive learning.

So now he's trying to come up with an innovative way for people to learn stuff. He can save himself the trouble, we have institutions called "schools".

2. Very interesting article and I really felt I understood his point as I was reading it. Unfortunately I can’t seem to explain much about it now for some reason.

sorry I made the same joke without seeing your response.

#2 young guy reinvents the scientific article.........I really hope he's young.

I thought that essay by Matuschak was excellent. I found myself nodding along as I read it. But now as I write this post, I can't really remember what he was trying to teach me.

2 - "Picture some serious non-fiction tomes. The Selfish Gene; Thinking, Fast and Slow; Guns, Germs, and Steel; etc. Have you ever had a book like this—one you’d read—come up in conversation, only to discover that you’d absorbed what amounts to a few sentences?"

No. I think that this Matuschak guy should have some reading compreension issues, or perhaps dyslexia or some kind of ADHD.

Direct Instruction works, as previously described on this very blog:

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