Thursday assorted links


There are good threads, I'll be the first to say.

#7 does a nice job refuting most of the comments against billionaire philanthropy. Loved when he said people are worried about billionaire philanthropists taking over democracy through donations but "I would be more worried about this if a completely repulsive billionaire known for never making the slightest attempt to do good in his life hadn’t just captured the state using a completely different method, but maybe this one might happen sometime too"

you mean #6. did MR remove a link?

Yeah! Nothing wrong with guys like us dolling out cash! I just love science!

You have given away <$8 Million. So the government is missing out on <$3 million in taxes... Do you understand orders of magnitude? Get outta here with that weak sauce.

The SSC comment section (normally quite good) didn't exactly cover itself in glory on that one. One long wail of status anxiety.

Maybe if the billionaires were not squeezing normal Americans dry, people would not feel that way. Have you ever thought about that? That common Americans may ressent the ruling , exploitative class?

It is a lie! The common people are happy to be ruled by their betters. They both respect and admire billionaires and are happy to hand over money to them.

I am pretty sure you are a 50 Cents Party impersonator.

Billionaires may be squeezing people dry but I don't know of any examples of this. Can you provide one?

Well, is it any coincidence that, while Red China (and its Army and political police) grows richer and richer, Americans face living stwndards stagnation with entire regions having become destituted and economically devastated?!

Was it what our revolutionary forefathers fought for? Was it what Nathan Hale died for?

Wage stagnation, debatable; standard of living stagnation? Not a chance.

I forgot. We have trinkets.

Trinkets are good. Trinkets can buy you Manhattan.

Only if you are a Dutch dealing with a bunch of ignorant savages. Or a Chinese dealing with a bunch of ignorant savages. We have sold our children into bondage for a mess of trinkets.

How about this example:
Or, in China:

The idea that humans older than 16 are still children is a relatively new one and not common in many parts of the world, including the rural USA, where teen-agers are a significant part of the agricultural work force on family farms.

But working 10 hours a day, every day, is very tiring.

Welcome to the real world.

I propose a Stanford Prison Experiment where SSC commenters pay the prisoners and MR commenters play the guards.

... play the prisoners


The fact that I haven't been mentioned on this blog despite the fact that I'm good buddies with so many of Tyler Cowen's faves like Steve Pinker should raise alarm bells!

If you think Steven Pinker and Jeffrey Epstein are friends you are part of the fake news problem. Shut up and go back under your bridge.

I guess you're just naive - and let me tell you Tyler knows far more than he's letting on!

Good points.

Regarding #3, I am not sure the author is right. I mean, much has been said about Russia and collusion lately, but I wonder if Putin's retime is the real problem.

Lest we forget, Red China is the one supporting North Korea and preying on American workers. Japan is the one pushing fascist policies while refusing to recognize irs crimes of war against the Asian peoples and we, Westerners. And, last but no least, let's remember it is India provoking our allies Pakistan and Brazil, which have been, unril now, showing admirable reatraint.

I think we should cut Russia some slack and admit it is mostly a force for good in the Concert of the Narions as it presents itself nowadays.

+1 good aka
the collusion buzzword is past peak
the new meme zombie buzzword is "complicit"

#2 First, the link to the source of the plot. The goal of $1000 per genome was achieved around 2015.

These plots beg some interpretation and scientists oblige:

"The cost of DNA sequencing itself is rapidly plummeting, encouraging researchers to generate sequence data at an unprecedented rate. At this point, generation of sequence data is no longer the major obstacle; rather, it is the computational power and storage needed to analyze them. Storing the data files for the 18,000 whole human genomes that an Illumina X10 can produce annually requires approximately 5.4 petabytes."

I don't want to downplay the great advance of lowering the cost of gene sequencing, but it is just generating input data for further analysis. The machine can generate 5 petabytes of data per year, who, how is going to analyze all that data? I'd assume researchers are focused now on the "big data" angle.......therefore NO great stagnation.

The Debunking SPE article can also be found here for those without access.

If I'm understanding the nut of their contentions, Dr. Zimbardo has spent 40-odd years misrepresenting the study's actual design. Guy's still alive. Ouch.

4. More debunking of the Stanford prison experiment.


... so another sacred-cow of professional psychology research topples

the Psychology profession seems to overflow with false research and analysis

Psycho-Babble rules that branch of social science; all other branches have impeccable records

I'm in over my head trying to read about experimental psychology, but if I'm understanding correctly, it's not their contention that this is just another unreplicable study. They're accusing the researcher of a species of fraud.

Expt. Psych. has a big problem, which is that it awarded tenure and status to a lot of people before their work was replicated. This sets up a huge incentive for fraudulent rear-guard actions, because these people have so much to lose.

Not a psych prof myself, but my understanding is that the problems with the SPE were known from the start. I dont think this is some sacred cow, just more confirmation that a publicity seeking fraud was simply publicity seeking.

6. Much less on billionaire philanthropy:

Philanthropist: a misanthrope with disposable wealth or discretionary income.

3. Nuclear exchanges between India and Pakistan over Jammu and Kashmir, et cetera, before the end of 2019?

Since grave and huge miscalculations were possible among the world's cognitive elites c. 1914, I suppose huge miscalculations and grave errors of judgment remain possible even today, even for our "most-" and "best-" informed public intellectuals.

(Intellectual: one who deems hypertrophy of the mind just compensation for constipation of the soul.)

'among the world's cognitive elites c. 1914'

Well, 1914's events involved a lot of hereditary elites, though it is true that they were consistently proclaimed to be the best of the best by the sort of people that one generally considers lackeys,

True. But was Tsar Nicky any duller than Pres Wilson, to take an example? And how much do brains matter? Hoover was probably the ablest US Pres in the 20th and 21st centuries but much good that did him.

'But was Tsar Nicky any duller than Pres Wilson, to take an example?'

Well, depends on what you think of Wilson's career before being elected president of the United States, including being the president of Princeton University.

But 1914.....The Entente Powers and associates behave reasonably. Including Russia. The problem is not "miscalculation" or "miscommunication" leading to war between innocent sides; the problem was the Central powers are set on humiliating Serbia and take crazy risks.

It's a mistake to see WWI as an "accidental war" in any meaningful sense.

3. Establishment organs appear to be alternating between contentions that the President is a Putin stooge and contentions we're in the midst of another Cold War. Givin' me whiplash.

No doubt everyone would be happier if billionaires went back to lighting cigars with $100 bills while cackling greedily and leering at the scullery maids.

It would make it easier to hate them, thats for sure.

A no-shit they really believe this complaint on SSC was that billionaire philanthropists are getting in the way of some world communist revolution.

Go back to it? You should see what I got going on down at Little St. James Island!

Oh I'm sure it's got nothing on a run-of-the-mill Tory party conference or an average work day back in Margret Thatcher's cabinet. You Americans always think you know how to do it best.

#1: I'm too scatter-brained. After winning the jackpot, I would forget that the auto-renewal is there, and I would keep buying lottery tickets even after I no longer needed the money.

#2: is it stagnation when the cost has dropped to near zero for a "raw megabase of DNA sequence"? Is it stagnation if the price doesn't go negative? I don't know how many megabases you need, but if you need lots of them, perhaps this graph is not the one you want to use to make your point.

I have to say, now that I'm in my fifties, producing raw DNA sequence has gotten a little more difficult than when I was a younger man.

That had me rolling!

#3, im not convinced that Russia's nukes would even work at this point. These are not bullets, they take quite a bit of work to maintain.

I can’t see a bunch of rich oligarchs putting their kids inheritance at risk either for Kalingrad. My guess is that in such a scenario there would be some rapid behind the scenes reorganisation of Russian politics.

#1 - people who get into the habit of playing the lottery every week with the same numbers worry about a week when they forget to play and their regular numbers come up. Of course better to choose different numbers each time, or not to play at all.

That's the reason I buy quik-pik tix. When I picked, I never looked at jackpot winning numbers.

I'm a believer. I bought three chances in Saturday's PowerBall. I have a one chance in 320 million, one chance in 319,999,999, and one chance in 319,999,998, or something, to become a multi-millionaire. That's about the same odds as being shot by an assault rifle.

I keep the change ($6 this week) from money my wife forces me to squander on groceries to pay for Lotto tix.

1. Auto-renew for the children!

1. Yes. I sometimes buy a ticket per drawing over a few weeks rather than a few tickets for the upcoming drawing. I have only ever won between $0 and $5, but waking up to an email saying "you have won the lottery" is the part that is fun, so that is what I'm maximising. It is extra fun if I have forgotten I bought the ticket.

Dr. Zimbardo was a believer in the "power of the situation". He went overboard with it.

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