Sunday assorted links


4. The difference between eSports and traditional sports is that eSports are not very fun to watch for people who don't play the game (or at least another game from the same genre) themselves. The rules are typically more complicated so that an outsider can't easily figure out what is going on in the game.

True, but at the same time esports are much easier to play than traditional sports. This creates a much stronger bond between the spectator and the spectical.

Watch pike top in a pro game? This it out yourself this afternoon.

*try it out yourself

If you've played games from a similar genre, it won't be hard to figure out. Take an American to a cricket match and even if they know baseball they will be scratching their heads.

6. This is an interesting claim:

As the Democratic data analyst David Shor has noted, you can take a cluster of nine Democratic positions that each poll over 50 percent individually, and find that only 18 percent of Americans agree with all of them. And a single strong, focused disagreement can be enough to turn a voter against liberalism, especially if liberals seem uncompromising on that issue.

But isn't the thing voters are turning against democracy itself?

The article as a whole suffered by using "positional" terms like "center" and "left-of" without really defining them, but in this paragraph something is really off.

Stubborn personal beliefs, and spoiler politics, are placed higher than those majority beliefs, and enshrined as some kind of anti-liberalism.

Rather than "does not play well with others."

People are reactionaries about the things they know and care about most, and accept polite opinion otherwise.

Communism sounded really good until it got to the murdering of 5-10 million Ukrainians. Or people with glasses.

You started sounding reasonable until your hatred of people with differing opinions was expressed. They are turning against democracy because they disagree with you.

Why does this ugly intolerance infuse your soul?

I worry about anyone who can twist themselves into "democracy == communist dictatorship."

I really do.

My worries are smaller, such as how anyone could honestly talk about murdering 5-10 million Ukrainians. Millions? Definitely. And at the very high end, 5 million is at least conceivable, if not documented. But 10 million? Not unless you include all the dead due to the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, an invasion which is pretty hard to actually pin on the Untermenschen - not that the Nazis ever bothered to fake anything in that regard before rolling their panzers east anyways.

Aren't you a Canadian, hun?

"But isn't the thing voters are turning against democracy itself?"

I'm not really seeing that. For some time now liberal judges have been expanding their own power and creating new rights that were never legislated. Push back by the electorate has been to elect a President that appoints judges who are more faithful to the law ad allow congress to write the law. Democracy at work. Just not the way you liked it.

A smoothly functioning legislature would be a better example of people playing nice together, if we had that.

We start to have this focus on executive powers and judicial rulings because of that power vacuum.

Frickin' "emergency" arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

"For some time now liberal judges have been expanding their own power and creating new rights that were never legislated"

Rights are not inherent, but merely legislated if the majority agrees to grant them?

Given women are in the majority, how about women ganging up and getting a law passed requiring all men to get counciling at least 48 hours before having sex from both a doctor and lawyer who explains the consequences of engaging in sex, and failing obtaining such documented counciling, they would be guilty of rape?

The first abortion law in the US was in response to the outrage over a evangelical preacher demanding his mistress get an abortion, and then participating in two attempts at abortion which failed,but that led to his mistress suffering medical problems, and a still birth. His actions could not be punished because he did nothing in violation of even British Common Law. The year was 1820 in Connecticut. At the time, women and children were chattel, more property than person under law. This preacher had damaged another man's property.

But the classification of who was chattel was creatted by judges, not by legislators until populists objected to judges deciding women, children were chattel, property, not persons.

Trump is promising to return women and children to chattel status from being persons. With men deciding who got to decide who was a person or chattel, or neither. Including men deciding with no relationship to those Trump and backers think are currently illegitimately determined to be persons under the Constitution.

Its clear the right to life exists for Trump backers only before birth. Once born, there is zero right to life to right-to-lifers.
But where does the right to life before birth come from? Its an invented idea within the past decade or two. The idea of a person existing before birth is totally invented in recent years by politicians.

Your argument says women and non-whites can deem white men should be slaves by redefining person to exclude white men, thus eliminating the prohibitions of the 13th Amendment, 14th, 15th which apply to person as defined by judges. Ie, judges decided the 14th and 15th excluded women as persons, and transferred women and children from white slave owners to fathers and husbands of any origin.

Natural rights may be inherent, but legal rights only exist as they are specified in the Constitution or the United States code.

Judges who invent such legal rights without regard to the underlying text sieze for themselves a power that they were not meant to have. They effectively usurp the authority of the legislature. No about of incoherent chest thumping about "chattel" can disguise that reality.

"legal rights only exist as they are specified in the Constitution or the United States code."

You forgot that legal rights also exist in precedence set by judicial decisions. The United States is a common law system inherited from the British Empire. You can learn a lot about it reading this link:

Again, democracy is fine, just not working out like you wanted to.

5. We'd be a darn sight better off if everyone, everywhere, demanded rational plans of action for their problems.

Rather than another rally, this one about "treason" at the FBI.

I'm tired of winning.

Aren't you tired of whining?

I love Trump, warts and all. He annoys all the right people.

Never get tired of winning.

And, it's contagious. Andrew Sullivan, "The populist right is winning everywhere." Italy, Greece, France, Poland, Hungary, Austria, U.K. and others . . . " Brexit now has party largest number seats in Brit Parliament. Trump, Brexit, Netanyahu, Australia . . . ordinary people everywhere are rejecting the elites', looters', and mandarins' total disregard for their interests.

Re: 6. It's not democracy if the elites don't like the results of elections. See Obama's politicized bureaucrats' Russia coup d'état, not simply a hoax.

Is it really wrong to be against treason in the FBI or anywhere else? Years ago both parties would be happy to rid the agencies of it. If for any reason just that it can be weaponized against you as well as for you. The Dems do have a history of thinking about 12 minutes into the future though.

3. China should be considered extremely carbon efficient because of the one-child policy. If China had an extra 300 million people today, it would also be generating vastly more emissions to provide those people the same standard of living. No other government in history has voluntarily limited its own population, at great cost to its own society, economy, and geopolitical importance. The only way for the world’s poor to enjoy the same standards of living as the rich is either an unpredictable technological breakthrough or for other poor countries to hasten their demographic transitions like China did.

6. People said the Republicans needed to moderate their positions after 2012. They didn’t, and it worked. People said the UK Labour Party under far-left Jeremy Corbyn was done for in 2017, but it wasn’t. Unfortunately, I think there is something to the theory that base turnout is a better predictor of electoral success than persuading moderate voters.

6. Well, this time genuine moderates should understand what is going on, and what is at stake.

This is the President of the United States, in his own words:

"North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me. I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me, & also smiled when he called Swampman Joe Biden a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?"

The guy is played and proud. Dunning-Kruger squared.

Isn't the corollary of your first point that China should be considered incredibly inefficient due to its early 20th century population boom and high population density then?

It seems odd to insist that only after some arbitrary point and only by government fiat, low population growth is suddenly considered to grant a country extra-virtual persons to be taken into account when considering the pollution efficiency of their economy...

(Unless the point is generalized 'panda hugging' / 'panda pandering', in which case the logical lapse becomes more comprehensible....)

China didn’t have an early 20th century population boom. To the contrary, due to the extreme poverty during that time, China’s population only increased from 400 million in the last Qing census in 1850 to 500 million in the first PRC census in 1950, during which time the rest of the world’s population more than doubled. From 1950 to 1980, China had about the same population growth rate as the rest of the world. So the one-child policy was not catching up for some period of abnormally high population growth.

Zaua: China’s population only increased from 400 million in the last Qing census in 1850 to 500 million in the first PRC census in 1950
And the Qing was the time of a huge population boom in China, in which China's population *quintupled* in a mere 200 years, an ultimately unsustainable boom that stalled out exactly in 1850!

"From 1950 to 1980, China had about the same population growth rate as the rest of the world."

Well, yeah, and most of the world was Latin America, Africa, India, all of which had a population boom? That's not China *not* having a huge population boom, it's them not booming more than the whole non-Western world of the time! A boom is a boom regardless of whether the world is booming or busting.

But admittedly, the timing is mid 20th century, not early. Chinese stagnation in birth lasted longer than I remembered. However, the general point stands that we can't suddenly give declare that it's time for credit for Chinese population reduction after a history of high population growth. History does not arbitrarily start where it pleases us to give credit to some group or other.

And especially not in the interests of some weird, ultra-authoritarian, utterly illiberal Maoist policy that allowed Chinese Communist elites to extract fines from the captive populist, and to the extent it functioned, distorted a totally normal process of birth rate adjustment that would have happened everywhere. I mean, this is MR, so I'm half expecting self proclaimed "Libertarians" to turn up and launch into a defense of this profoundly anti-freedom policy (it seems they'll defend almost anything but tariffs these days), but c'mon.

I don’t agree with China’s one-child policy; I said in my first post that it had a “great cost” to China’s “society, economy, and geopolitical importance.” My point is that one of the beneficial side effects of this policy is that it significantly reduced global emissions. So I don’t think it’s fair to criticize China for having high emissions (a criticism which is frequently used to justify non-libertarian policies).

In fact, I would say that many Chinese policies are like this; China makes bad oppressive policies that handicap itself and when Chinese people experience some modest economic success in spite of these policies, the US claims unfairness and puts more oppressive restrictions on Chinese people. The result is that Chinese people are oppressed by both their own government and foreign ones.

A worldview in which the fastest industrialization fuelled by export led growth built on a trade policy asymmetry which the US allows is merely "some modest success" that happens in spite of the Party, and the process of correcting that asymmetry is dismissed as mere sour grapes?

I am not sure that the 1 Child Policy really has had immediate costs on China's economy or geopolitical importance though; its oppressive to people in that society, but if its enhanced the "demographic dividend" which along with above policies has fuelled Chinese growth, it may have aided China's economic power and geopolitical importance, and probably increased their consumption per head (so the next effect may well have increased emissions a little).

5. Will Wilkinson was once a dependable libertarian foot soldier, but his time completing an MFA seems to have cured him of the fantasy that real world problems will if by magic cured themselves.

If one is interested in knowing how Christianity became a cult of Luddites, read this: Don't blame us Southerners. While it's true that Southern evangelical Christians are immersed in the cult, the cult didn't have its start here. One might say something similar about the cult of libertarianism: the cult didn't have its start in Silicon Valley, but the boy wonder billionaires are immersed in the cult.

They finally abraded the bartender, Jeanine, who came around and peremptorily sat next to me. She had freckles and big eyes, wore a buttoned blouse, and pulled on her braided pigtails with hands that contained the heads or tails of serpents.
“Boy, do you guys feel obligated,” she said.
“We’re scared of feeling fraudulent,” I said.
“What do you do?” she said.
“Sporadic acts of ingenuity,” I said. “Look at them.” One was hunched, the weight of the world on his shoulders, his forehead almost to the bar as if he was unraveling a bandage. The other’s eyes were closed, his arm was extended, one hand open, solemnly lecturing.
“It’s too late,” I said, reading her face. Her eyes and cheeks and the creases between them were plumed. Her eyebrows raised in a split-second for a glimmer. Yet her lips barely moved. She spoke nonplussed.
“I used to know this lifeguard,” she said.

Cult? Dude, 2 billion people on the blue orb claim to be Christians.

5. Wilkinson seems to think rural voters always voted republican. Didn't they vote for Obama and bill Clinton before flipping to Trump because of the weak economy?

Voting for president has little relationship in rural areas on voting for the 400,000 elected officials who matter. Rural America, having far more jurisdictions, elect a disproportionate number of elected officials. Ie, a city might have 1000 elected officials for 10 million population, maybe, but 10 million rural people will live in 1000 counties, 5000 towns and small cities,, each with 10-50 elected officials. My SWAG.

From these pools you get the State officials which matter the most to rural populations.

In 2010, Obama and Democrats successfully delivered this:

"We should adopt fiscal measures to “equalize,” or share, national wealth, which are standard in other advanced countries. This would help prop-up state budgets and ensure the healthy functioning of our decentralized federal system."

Eg, the "stimulus" and Obamacare.

Conservatives convinced rural voters that getting paid to deliver health care in government single payer delivery is designed to kill rural voters. If government pays for treating chronic medical problems thus reducing the number of people applying for SS disability to get Medicare, qualifying because they can't show up for work reliably or can't work continously due to problems breathing, or collapsing, or can't move fast due to pain, or test positive for opiates without a prescription, clearly Obamacare is killing people so they can't apply for SS disability.

Thousands of Kentuckians were disappeared based on the reduction in Kentuckians granted SS disability status. And the reduuced unemployed. Leftist Gov Beshear used Kynect to sign up 410,000 to be killed its first year.

He was replaced by Gov Bevins who ran in absolute total opposition to Wilkinson's radical leftist wealth redistribution.

What's interesting is obamacare virtually eliminated the giver-taker blue-red State divide. Obamacare poured so much cash into blue States to pay health care workers and their employer providers while red States refused to allow cash be paid to health care workers and providers, while Federal current and imputed tax revenues increased by equal percentages across all States from Obamacare, and the "stimulus" had similar effects: red States cut infrastructure spending by more than a dollar for each stimulus dollar while blue States increased spending by a (future) tax dollar for each stimulus dollar.

On the stimulus "wealth" redistribution, California got more stimulus dollars by matching them with State dollars. State dollars piled on top of Federal dollars drew more stimulus dollars building factories, and while one factory closed after over a billion was paid to workers mostlly in California (Solyndra), another factory is now employing 20,000 workers in California, plus more conservative Californians have crossed over the State line into Sparks Nevada to work in Gigafactory 1, now about 5000 direct factory workers, which got/gets State subsidies on top of Federal subsidies. Sparks is in the least rural part of Nevada, that on the California border reaping benefits of leftist California spending..

So, German EU election results (forecasted).

The AfD went from 7 to 10 seats. The CDU/CSU lost 6 seats, and the SPD lost 12. Several smaller parties picked up one or two seats apiece.

And the biggest winner? The Greens, who picked 11 seats, almost 4 times as many as the AfD. Or in more practical terms, the Greens gain in seats itself is larger than the total number of seats for the AfD.

Right. In France as well, it seems that the Greens (EELV) did well. The impressive progress of the anti-nuclear fanatics is a very bad omen for the planet and the environment.

'The impressive progress of the anti-nuclear fanatics is a very bad omen for the planet and the environment.'

We will see - you may want to read another perspective, at least from someone who was actually in charge of the American NRC.

'As a physicist who studied esoteric properties of subatomic particles, I admired the science and the technological innovation behind the industry. And by the time I started working on nuclear issues on Capitol Hill in 1999 as an aide to Democratic lawmakers, the risks from human-caused global warming seemed to outweigh the dangers of nuclear power, which hadn’t had an accident since Chernobyl, 13 years earlier.

By 2005, my views had begun to shift.

I’d spent almost four years working on nuclear policy and witnessed the influence of the industry on the political process. Now I was serving on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, where I saw that nuclear power was more complicated than I knew; it was a powerful business as well as an impressive feat of science. In 2009, President Barack Obama named me the agency’s chairman.

Two years into my term, an earthquake and tsunami destroyed four nuclear reactors in Japan. I spent months reassuring the American public that nuclear energy, and the U.S. nuclear industry in particular, was safe. But by then, I was starting to doubt those claims myself.

Before the accident, it was easier to accept the industry’s potential risks, because nuclear power plants had kept many coal and gas plants from spewing air pollutants and greenhouse gases into the air. Afterward, the falling cost of renewable power changed the calculus. '

And that falling cost of renewables? Yep, the Greens are responsible for much of that drop.

Current nuclear designs are bad, and designed (to a greater or lesser extent) to deliver weapons grade fissile material. But if you wish to talk about other technologies, such as thorium, well, who knows if the Greens would be on board (probably not - they certainly include a significant number of anti-radiation hysterics).

But Japan, where the Greens are not running things, provides an interesting perspective, as noted in that article - 'Would shutting down plants all over the world lead to similar results? Eight years after Fukushima, that question has been answered. Fewer than 10 of Japan’s 50 reactors have resumed operations, yet the country’s carbon emissions have dropped below their levels before the accident. How? Japan has made significant gains in energy efficiency and solar power. It turns out that relying on nuclear energy is actually a bad strategy for combating climate change'

Gregory Jaczko was a disaster as the head of the NRC. His background was in particle physics, knew nothing about nuclear power, and after handing in his PhD went to work for the most anti-nuclear representative in Congress, Sen. Ed "natural gas" Markey. Jaczko not only was forced to resign but also embarrassed the NRC by declaring to the world that a pool at a plant at Fukushima had become dry when Japanese and French engineers insisted it wasn't - and also theoretically impossible given the time frame.

Jaczko has always been anti-nuke.

Jaczco: "Fewer than 10 of Japan’s 50 reactors have resumed operations, yet the country’s carbon emissions have dropped below their levels before the accident. How? Japan has made significant gains in energy efficiency and solar power."

No, almost nothing to do with solar. Japan's consumption of electricity was 0.5% solar right before Fukushima and 7% today. That is still tiny when considering Japan's energy consumption. CO2 emissions have declined in part because 10 nuclear plants went online and because natural gas increased from 9.4 in 2008 to 11.8 in 2013.

#3: So, carbon emissions (along with meat eating, alcohol consumption, life satisfaction, life expectancy) are another factor that exhibit a logarithmic relationship with GDP per capita:

Probably relates to the switch to services during economic development and switching out of carbon intensive industries.
And like the Preston Curve, the logarithmic relationship is in addition to a Pinker-pleasing "improvement" over time*:

This of course reflects improvements in technology over time, improvements which are the fruit of the copying that is fueling China's growth.

China is more efficient in terms of carbon emissions than Western nations (and Latin America etc.) were at the same level of GDP per capita. But it is not more efficient than would be expected for its time, and it is less efficient than the likes of India will be when they reach the same level of GDP/capita.

*and note for life expectancy this explains some (although far from all) of why the US has an apparently poor life expectancy outcomes relative to GDP; the US achieved higher GDP earlier in time that the comparison countries (ex-Soviet states have particular bad outcomes when normalizing for this relationship!).

4. Like traditional sports, esports will never make any money as an industry for investors. But that's not a "bubble" and investors know that and are not there to make money (at least not directly).
Btw the author is wrong if she thinks salaries are too high. They will probably go WAY much higher.

#4: Lots of journalistic research there, but also a ton of words to say what Tyler summarized quite well with three words.

Still I found this passage interesting: " the esports division of the Houston Rockets". I didn't realize they had an esports division. I presume it's aimed at creating or providing additional ways for fans to interact with their teams ... or have they literally created a Houston eRockets team, maybe a bunch of Korean teenagers who'll take on an eWarriors team playing NBA 2K or whatever the latest electronic basketball game is?

That website also had a link to a somewhat interesting article about how former NBA player Rick Fox has gotten into esports in a big way -- but quit his company because an investor's racist emails.

6. The Trump fixation of the Democrats will lose them the election. Scott Morrison is a boring moderate conservative with a focus on good economic management and he won the middle class, the miners, union members, electorates with the highest per cent of Asian and Muslim immigrants, and he was predicted to lose badly.

6. Sorry, didn't finish. If the left thinks that the only reason they lost is because of Trump, and not deeper global trends, they are wrong.

It's a novel plan, I'll give you that.

Try to win a reelection by telling people that they shouldn't focus on your candidate.

But it worked for the midterm elections when they took back the House. I personally hate the fixation but I know how politics works.

In any form of government with a chief executive, the quality and character of that executive matters, a lot.

#4: take 2 interactive, one large video game developer, had almost 2 billion USD in revenue on 2018

eSports developer may be inflating the numbers of people watching other people playing video games. however, video games themselves are cash machines.

#5...I grew up in Kings County, California. It's rural. Here are a few facts. 1)... Recipients of Subtotal, Farming Subsidies from farms in Kings County, California totaled $454,266,000 in from 1995-2017 GOV...2) With the transfer of NAS Miramar to the United States Marine Corps, NAS Lemoore now hosts the Navy's entire west coast fighter/attack capability. NAS Lemoore was built "from the ground up" as a Master Jet Base, and has several operational advantages, and relatively few constraints, as a result. GOV ..3) As of Fiscal Year 2002/2003, CORCORAN had a total of 1,703 staff and an annual institutional budget of US$115 million. As of April 2016, the facility's total population was 3,870; 24 percent higher than its design capacity of 3,116. ...For every 100 females there were 134.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 148.8 males. The ratio may be attributed to the presence of three men's state prisons in the county.GOV... 4) The completion of the California Aqueduct in the early 1970s brought needed water for agriculture and domestic use to the west side of the county.GOV ...5) The U.S. Census does not identify how many residents are undocumented immigrants. However, the Public Policy Institute of California issued a report in July 2011, which estimated there were 9,000 illegal immigrants living in Kings County in 2008, which would be 5.8% of the county’s population Allowed by Govt ..6) Kings has long been a strongly Republican county in Presidential elections. The last Democratic candidate for President to win the county was Hubert Humphrey in 1968, and the last to win a majority was Lyndon Johnson in 1964."

There isn't any evidence of turning down help from the Government, or refraining from requests for government aid. It's pretty much standard GOP operating procedure...Talk about small government while getting as much government largesse as you can. So, whatever people say, the way to help rural America is to do so financially via government help. As far as I can tell, government aid helps the people of Kings County, so I'm glad they get the help.

6. Douthat is correct to observe that liberalism would have suffered even greater losses if Trump were more slick, like an Orban or Netanyahu. Indeed, there will be many younger and more telegenic politicians in the coming years further to the Right than Trump, and they'll get a lot more done.

I had a thought fester about leisure and recreation, work and spirituality, but I split the difference—that was normalcy; and in my car, it was me. And I figured whatever maintained or spilled over, I’d carry as a tusk. At a gas station in Lincoln, Nebraska I bought a pack of Turkish Golds and smoked the whole pack along the swiveling and oculate land the entire time like a bird flying.

3. Stuff in China tends to be new and has benefited from efficiency improvements. Japan's Top Runner program has improved efficiency around the world and is an unsung hero of increasing living standards.

#2 ... Didn't the RMB go down? In the short run prices and contracts are priced in USD, so that would not matter. The short run being defined as one year or less. But in the medium run this would allow Chinese producers to maintain the same RMB price but a lower USD price. Thus the Chinese consumer of foreign goods (travel ! ) "pay" for the tariffs. Also, import substitution has not had a chance to unfold. The Trump narrative is that US producers will increase their market share. But in reality it will mostly be non-China producers, but this will take time.

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