Saturday assorted links


2 and 6. Model that!

What 6 is describing are the limits of machine learning. I thought of Chomsky who describes language function as innate to be filled with the specific language that surrounds the child. Much of the structure of communication is already there. So for machines to be useful they have to be coded to be useful. The more complex the task the more code is required. And the developer would need a deep and specific understanding of the task.

" The more complex the task the more code is required. And the developer would need a deep and specific understanding of the task."

This is the kind of mindbending insight that we've come to expect on MR. A real gold nugget in a sea of turds.

Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long
as I provide credit and sources back to your website?

My blog is in the very same niche as yours and my visitors would really benefit from some of the information you provide here.
Please let me know if this alright with you. Thank you!

Yep, a lot of code has to be built-in for the organism to be able to learn efficiently, the way that animals and humans do and that ANNs manifestly do not.

A corollary is that I continue to be wary of the fad for machine learning techniques in data analysis. Pure empiricism places insufficient reliance on priors. OTOH, even the ML fans agree that good analysis requires the researcher to have some domain knowledge and to use it to guide their use of ML techniques.

#4) We can now stop debating whether life has improved over the last 35 yrs. in the developed world. If it hasn't, then people would be clamoring to move from France to Poland. Apparently, the improvement in lifestyles has not been limited to the top 1% after all.

Remember polack jokes? The German immigrants that came to America brought their stereotypes with them. Some Polish Americans are still salty about it.

That is my point. The Poles are ridiculuous. Their regime is ridiculous.

Brazil is the ridiculous one. They can't even keep their rainforests safe. Sao Paolo was covered in ash, it was pitch black in the middle of the day.

How does that follow? Someone might as well claim that the large back migrations beginning from England->Poland of Poles who came in the 2000s shows the declines in the developed world. Again, that doesn't follow either.

If we want to look at quality of life indicators, look at quality of life indicators. Objectively to me it seems most things improve, other than housing and debt (which are quite big things) and disposable income. (There are various qualitative things about politics and culture, but this doesn't seem solved by moving to Poland of course). But it's silly to claim that the only way we can gauge these things is by a mass exodus of poorer people (which may be quite restricted by receiving states' policy and many other factors) and in the absence of that, all is peachy.

3. Clearly wide latitude in posting this for the second time so soon.

#3 does seem redundant, does not discuss hedonic quality improvements, but it's also evidence indeed we have a Great Stagnation that only patents can break. Patent and Brazil becoming, finally, a country of the future!

Bonus trivia: I'm staring at Marshall C. Eakin's workman-like, pedestrian but competent history of Brazil, "Brazil: The Once and Future Country" (1997). I somewhat suspect, listening to him lecture at the Teaching Company, that he's a dependency theorist, but his knowledge of facts (as opposed to interpretations) seems sound enough.

This future, I am told, is becoming the present under Brazil's President Captain's leadership. Labor, road and tax regulations are being thrown away. Business are having more latitute to make investments. The markets are rallying, the interest rate is as low as it could be. Red tape is being repealed. Brazil is rising again.

Michael Grant, there’s a name to conjure with!

I’ve read your translations of classical authors, especially Suetonius and Tacitus.

You might be projecting ...

only at the revolution do you get to read a sentence
this funny 2 days in a row
"Preliminary analyses suggest that cultural and psychological diversity often need to be partially understood in terms of latitudinal variations in integrated exposure to climate-induced demands and wealth-based resources."
+1 postmodern

#1 - I left a comment that the next video should be on PATENTS. Amazing that hardly a single Econlib post, mention or video on such a fundamental concept. Free trade is lauded to the moon despite only having a marginal effect on US growth (important but not that important) while patents, the only reason the USA is still (for now, but they're slipping) #1, gets no mention, either good or bad. It's like these economists really believe that MR = MC (commodity pricing) is how progress is made.

MR = P rather, for a commodity market.

Ponder this:

[Great Britain, Parliament, Parliamentary Debates, Fifth Series, Volume 365. House of Commons Official Report Eleventh Volume of Session 1939-40, (London, His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1940), columns 701-702.]

At this most fateful moment in the history of the modern world the Governments of the United Kingdom and the French Republic make this declaration of indissoluble union and unyielding resolution in their common defence of justice and freedom, against subjection to a system which reduces mankind to a life of robots and slaves.

The two Governments declare that France and Great Britain shall no longer be two nations but one Franco-British Union. The constitution of the Union will provide for joint organs of defence, foreign, financial, and economic policies. Every citizen of France will enjoy immediately citizenship of Great Britain, every British subject will become a citizen of France.

Both countries will share responsibility for the repair the devastation of war, wherever it occurs in their territories, and the resources of both shall be equally, and as one, applied to that purpose.

During the war there shall be a single war Cabinet, and all the forces of Britain and France, whether on land, sea, or in the air, will be placed under its direction. It will govern from wherever it best can. The two Parliaments will be formally associated.

The nations of the British Empire are already forming new armies. France will keep her available forces in the field, on the sea, and in the air.

The Union appeals to the United States to fortify the economic resources of the Allies and to bring her powerful material aid to the common cause.

The Union will concentrate its whole energy against the power of the enemy no matter where the battle may be. And thus we shall conquer."

Churchill, De Gaulle, as opposed to Trump and Johnson. What is more important, Justice and Freedom or Nationalism? And here we'll wait for conservatives to mock the past as teaching us nothing about the present.
Oh, right, they're not conservatives. They're nationalists.

Trump offered an indissoluble Americo-Greenlandic Union, which was every bit as feasible and realistic as this historical pipe-dream footnote from the darkest days of the fall of France.

Anthony Eden was responsible for this strange and beautiful offer. Churchill and de Gaulle were doubtful (see their respective war memories). Anyway, on June 16 of 1940, Laval had already made his coup against the French government, and there were no one in effective power in France who could possibly be interested by this offer.

But I wonder what you think this interesting historical anecdote teaches us for now. Are you proposing an Anglo-American union? (that, by the way, was a dream of Churchill). Or are you suggesting Britain should cancel Brexit and stay in its loose union with France? I am sincerely asking.

But there is one thing to consider in any case : the union Eden proposed was a French-British union *against* German domination. The union the UK voted out is a union *under* German domination.

Joel, It's a fair question. "in their common defence of justice and freedom." What I'm suggesting, which is undisputed, is that the focus is on justice and liberty being more important than nationalism. The fact that this was proposed under extreme circumstances tells you what was more important when the chips were down. I 'm suggesting to all parties that remembering this point could lead to more sensible resolution to the problem, and to everyone the limits of nationalism as regards ensuring justice and freedom. The current debacle is simply painful to watch, and, I believe could have been much better handled whatever the resolution, and nationalism is not the highest value we should uphold. I do understand your point that's it's not a clear roadmap or definitive point, which is why I said ponder. You did, and thanks for the comment.

The fact that this was rightly rejected by the French tells you that nations will not be willing to select a false choice between their nation state and opposition to a common enemy. There is no reason to believe it would have done any good, nor would have stood any longer test of time, during the course of WWII, nor after it.

"Reynaud presented the proposal to the French Council of Ministers, but it was rejected as a British plot to seize the French empire. Marshal Pétain, 84 years old and the great hero of World War I, believed it was his duty to save France from total destruction and accept an armistice with Germany. Britain was doomed, he said, and union would be “fusion with a corpse.” Another minister concluded: “Better be a Nazi province. At least we know what that means.” Reynaud later wrote in his memoirs, “Those who rose in indignation at the idea of union with our ally were the same individuals who were getting ready to bow and scrape to Hitler.”

It was rejected by the people who became the Vichy Government, not by De Gaulle and Reynaud, the heroes of the unfolding story. It might well have worked, and preferring the Vichy Government is mind boggling to me. As to your last point...

"In the collapse of the Franco-British Union, we can discover the seeds of the European integration project. One of the civil servants who crafted the plan in 1940 was Jean Monnet, who would later become an architect of integration and be known as the “father of Europe.” Monnet said, “Ideas do not die and if nations can come so close together in war, perhaps we can carry some fraction of that accord into the peace.” The lesson that struck Monnet and other federalists with such force in 1940 would become even stronger after 1945. Only European integration could overcome the catastrophe of nationalism and militarism, which delivered two world wars in a generation. And the story of the Franco-British Union also reveals another powerful reason for integration: threat. In 1940, the German menace convinced ardent nationalists like Churchill and de Gaulle to back the union idea. After 1945, the Soviet peril was a driving force behind the European project."

I certainly value more, as you do, justice and freedom, and democracy, than nationalism. But I would not reject nationalism entirely, as I would have done a few years younger. In the case at stake, it is certainly meaningful that Churchill, a world hero of freedom, and de Gaulle,
the most democratic leader of France in centuries, were both, as your quotation says, "ardent nationalists".

De Gaulle, for instance, was from a very conservative, we could even say reactionary, background. It was his nationalism (or call it patriotism if you prefer, but I am not sure what the difference is) than made him a republican and a democrat: he understood that, beyond the small
reactionary military and literary milieu he grew in, the vast majority of the French people were very much attached to democracy, and to the republican form of government, and that France was stronger with this kind of regime.

My larger point is that the history of the last two centuries shows that democracy works well in nations-states, and that nationalism, the ideology that promotes the formation and conservation of nation-state,
is therefore a natural ally of pro-democracy forces.

As for a multi-national democracy, it will be, like nuclear fusion, an absolutely great idea when it works on a large scale (say beyond the size of Switzerland). The experience of the EU, where union has come hand to hand with less, not more, democracy, is really disappointing in this respect. Not a reason to lose hope, but perhaps to try slightly different methods.

Joel, You make good points.

Preferring an idealized fantasy of a happy-clappy Franco-British union, and better yet, preferring one that would be short lived and die with the end of the war and not lurch on into some misbegotten Frankenstein's monster of British-French shared peoplehood... well, I suppose you might.

But you may as well prefer another fantasy, like "Rocks from the sky by random act of god, crushing Hitler and the Nazi state".

Preferring reality to a misconceptualized implementation of a last ditch, poorly prepared scheme of national union which would have overextended Britain while trampling on British and French national identity and immeasurably strengthening the case for Nazi collaborationists in both countries ... well that's quite easy.

British troops fought the war, and French partisans too, for their national identity. The fought mainly against the Germans (or "the beastly Hun") for Britain and France, not for liberty against the Nazis. Trampling on that in aid of... what exactly?... would have strengthened the war effort how?

It's true. I prefer the fantasy world to the world where Jews were rounded up and sent off to die by the government that was formed, a proud moment in national history, Jews not being French I guess. You seem to forget Churchill and De Gaulle were for it. I think they're a better judge of values and possibilities than you are.

I think almost anyone who is after the fact probably has a better chance of comparing what they proposed to the counterfactual, as highly capable as leaders Churchill and De Gaulle were. Hindsight's a bitch.

It was a last ditch proposal, and Churchill proposed a bunch of derpy stuff in his time, including gassing various peoples, an obsession with the "soft underbelly of Europe", and many other things in his time.

The fact that you here are posing your support for this particular fantasy in terms of how useful you imagine it would be (probably wrongly) for the Jewish nation, while decrying nationalism, seems to be pretty bloody rich.

"French partisans too, for their national identity"

As of 1945, French Identity included surrendering to and then appeasing Hitler, by , among other things, allowing some of their neighbors to be forced to wear yellow stars, then imprisoned in their homes, and then deported to death camps. France didn't free itself. The Allied forces, mainly consisting of American and British troops, did. Thomas Mann made the point somewhere that nationalists always manage to edit out the portions of history that don't fit their narrative. Better by far to join with Britain than have Vichy France as your national identity, the few fighting partisans not overwhelming that reality.

"Thomas Mann made the point somewhere that nationalists always manage to edit out the portions of history that don't fit their narrative."

And yet the phrase for our worlds primary example of selective crafting of historical narrative is "Whig history".

France fell. But it would do good and probably bad to have tried in ill advised anti-national union, alienating normal folk in both nations (and yes, perhaps more Britain) who would go on to fight for their motherland, not for a faceless international regime of "freedom and justice". As they were right to prefer.

Interesting factoid, in Britain, our most notorious fascist was also pro-European integration -

"Europe a Nation was a policy developed by British Fascist politician Oswald Mosley as the cornerstone of his Union Movement. It called for the integration of Europe into a single political entity. Although the idea failed to gain widespread support for the Union Movement, it nonetheless proved highly influential on the far-right thought in Europe."

"The idea of a united Europe began to develop in the final days of the Second World War. Concepts such as Nation Europa and Eurafrika, both of which looked for an ever-closer union between European countries, gained some currency in the German far-right underground in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War."

Interesting history...

"Winston Churchill, a former army officer, war reporter and British Prime Minister (1940-45 and 1951-55), was one of the first to call for the creation of a ‘United States of Europe’. Following the Second World War, he was convinced that only a united Europe could guarantee peace. His aim was to eliminate the European ills of nationalism and war-mongering once and for all.
He formulated his conclusions drawn from the lessons of history in his famous ‘Speech to the academic youth’ held at the University of Zurich in 1946: “There is a remedy which ... would in a few years make all Europe ... free and ... happy.
It is to re-create the European family, or as much of it as we can, and to provide it with a structure under which it can dwell in peace, in safety and in freedom.
We must build a kind of United States of Europe.”
Thus the driving force behind the anti-Hitler coalition became an active campaigner for Europe’s cause."

On mosley..

"He was opposed to both the United Nations and its predecessor the League of Nations, dismissing both as part of a Jewish plot to undermine nationalism.As such, Europe a Nation was to include an anti-Semitic dimension, with the entire Jewish population of Europe to be expelled to Palestine, where they could decide their own fate"

I think you misunderstood what Mosley had in mind.

And yet another post where countries' GDPs are not properly compared...

Here is the GDP per capita (PPP) of Poland and France in $2010

Poland at the end of 2018 was where France was in 1988/1989, not 1985.

3. Distance from the equator.
In Minnesota one knows a lot about moving and storage of energy, otherwise one is an ice cube.

6. “Because the wiring diagram is far too complex to be specified explicitly in the genome, it must be compressed through a “genomic bottleneck”. The genomic bottleneck suggests a path toward ANNs capable of rapid learning.“

The theory of everything. The bottleneck is a tree trunk, we want the learned to develop the extra line of symmetry when the trunk is round. The artificial line of symmetry generates the hologram effect.

All natural forces use this system, which inevitably is analyzed as a queuing problem. You heard it here first.

Winter puts pressure on evolution. Big fucking surprise.

4. Poland is the odd European country you can admire for its present as well as its past. Do wish they'd increase the number of children they produce. A 50% boost ought to cover it.

That is not true. President Duda has not only stopped the Zionist Entity but will again defeat the savage Russian invaders.

Read the Bible. Focus when you can on the scenes in which bravery and hard work are lauded .... but also focus on the intensely true lines in which


I am assuming you are male: and so, Remember this: there are almost as many beautiful women in this world as there are sad men: and if you repudiate your sadness, and try to be the man a woman can love, you will prosper in this world.

You will never be at my level, but there is much happiness to be found at the levels to which you can aspire.

If you are female, listen, I love you babe, but it is so easy for a woman to get good advice from another woman, just find some older woman to help you out, you do not need to look for advice on some obscure comment section on a blog.

Just saying .....

Years from now, when your grandkids have no idea what a loser you were, before you acted on my good advice,

remember me

not because I care

but because I cared

Good luck my friend!

most important of all, as you seek to find happiness in this life ---

remember this ----

people like me are praying for you.

God listens to my prayers.

I know what year this is.

Some day, years from now, you will wonder why you are so happy, you will think ---- yes, I was in a bad place then a good place ....

and you will think, yes I was there for the people who needed me ....

Who told me to be a good person?

I know what year this is.

Pleasanton 1974.

Like I said, God listens to my prayers, but what I did not tell you is this

God loves you more than God loves me.

Trust me.

God loves you more than God loves me

but I know how to make God laugh

and you don't

not yet anyway

I prefer friendship to all other values in this world


I know what year this is

By the way, deleter dudes, if you want to delete these comments:

GO AHEAD AND DO IT BUT if you don't do it: here is what I was trying to say.

I was riffing on Wodehouse (I know what year this is - Psmith in the City, 1923)
and riffing on Dickens (early chapters of the Pickwick papers, the purpose of friendship is to MAKE YOUR FRIENDS LAUGH)
and on poor Chekhov (I prefer friendship to all other values in this world, but the poor guy never really fell in love with a woman, because SAD LOSeR)

andI was riffing as I often do on Madden and Scott Adams (Pleasanton)

and if you can read German, the capitalized words were call-outs to poor Nietzsche


even in this God-forsaken place

under the sad fluorescent lights that everyone who is not chosen by God to live a wonderful life often finds his or herself under

(I remember, and I care)

even here, right here , right now---

we can be happy ...

I told a fellow human being what he or she needed to do to be happy

I said it out of the goodness of my heart


and I hope you remember even if you think I am not someone you like to listen to


that was the good advice

that is the best advice anyone will ever give you

You have no idea how much I wanted to write a few paragraphs about the guy who buffs the linoleum floors in the basement and in the first and second floors, under the fluorescent lights, of the HUMANITIES buildings at my local university (in my case, that would be GMU, but that is just an insignificant detail ---- all of us live near a university where, believe it or not, there are many people who consider themselves to be DEVOTED TO THE TRUTH) ---- and God bless their hearts, maybe they are .....

God loves us all.

Sometimes I feel sorry for "lit majors" because I know this and they do not:

God loves us all, and in God's heart, each of us is equally fascinating

(God loves me less than God loves you because I know more about how unkind some people are than God knows ---- that is my gift to Him ---- one loves God nevertheless, whether or not God knows what I am talking about ---- I love God and I hope God does not know what I am saying, because I care)

Good luck my friend!

By the way if you are reading this before it is deleted, and you are thinking, hey I could have said what efim said so much better, if not for the fact that I am an atheist or an agnostic .... and he, EFIM, believes in God ....

and knows that GOD LOVES US ALL (you more than me but that is just an amusing detail)

trust me I know how difficult it is for you to consider yourself atheist or agnostic ....

and I can't just say, pray for faith, that is not enough....

So here is what I am going to do.

Try and remember as I remember those years where

it seemed like God was not real and was far away

then try and remember this

there was a moment in your life I do not care who you are

where you thought

There has to be a God
and the reason you thought that was


try and remember

there is a reason that God answers my prayers

I remember

So do you

You are kidding yourself if you think you don't

I remember better than you can imagine the years where God let people treat me like someone who was not loved by God


(I am much much older than you probably think I am)

Proverbs 8.
Thanks for reading.
I will never comment here again, I have said what I needed to say.
God loves you.
And no, you are not intelligent enough to be convinced that God does not exist.
God loves you and thanks for reading.

I appreciate the words however the cuckoldry runs very deep in my veins. No matter what I do I will always be a cuck.

2. This is what happens when you're not allowed to have guns.

#2: "It’s like a Seinfeld episode.”

Indeed. Or if this were a romantic comedy they'd eventually meet and get married.

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