Monday assorted links

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#6 Boy oh boy I wish I had more time to write a response in detail. TL;DR yes. America's air defense strategy for roughly 70 years has been air defense is a function of air superiority and air-battle-space management. It's been marvelous and effective. It has also been a no plan B strategy should a near peer/access denial adversary manage to upset complete air superiority by '3rd day of war' scenarios with enough resources to mount a counterattack. THAAD was a start but more is needed for asymmetric threats, especially threats like drones and multi-track-and-intercept of massed rocket fires (similar to Israel's Iron Dome).

I can imagine a world where the USAF maintains air dominance. I can and must also imagine a world where USAF tries to maintain air dominance and fails.

I think America has more than enough IMBCs to prevail against any adversary. We should stop wasting money on magical solutions (three decades later and many billions on the hole, are we finally able to stop those Soviet missiles as Reagan wanted?) and be ready to expand our means of retaliation.

No human cockpit can be within 6,000 feet of the battle in any direction.

$500 autonomous kamikaze drones put a stop to human flying, altogether, except the good old rusty B52, loitering way back out of harms way, releasing drones.

How many V22s full of marines are you going to send against these $500 kamikaze machines?

I wouldn't send a single marine. I would send so many Minutemen and Tridents that it would be impossible to see the Sun.

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"How many V22s full of marines are you going to send against these $500 kamikaze machines?"

That might be true in the future, but currently that's sci fi.

I hae a room full of them now, made them from foam but carbon fiber is more popular. I have a linux system on USB bus with camera, GPS and off the shelf flying software. Look up a youtube video, demolition derby at the RC plane fair, the sky is full of these drones. They routinely travel 100 MPH, and hitting te large metal thing against a blue sky is well known technology. No, the drones are here today, in the hands of hobbyist teenagers across the middle east. No human cockpit below 6,000 is a good rule, from now on, this our first drone war.

100 MPH isn't going to catch or easily intercept a V-22. Sure you could theoretically nail it, but so could a cheap surplus anti-aircraft gun. And if your plan involves the V-22 flying into your trap, well, that's been the core plan of AA units for 80 years.

Now granted, drones are improving rapidly, and I expect drones to start closing off airspace. But $500 drones aren't there yet.

In any case, I think it's largely academic. I expect lasers to close off air space at some point and be far more effective than drones. And at that point, cheap drones may well be the only survivors, since they can be flown in large numbers with expected high attrition rates.

$500 drone, GDP capable, off the shelf, $500 today. Good drones, the ones used by ag go for #2500, comlpete with visual surveillance.

These drones have everything needed except the simple visual software to find targets. I can buy the component off the shelf, put them into a tin can surrounded by a foam airplane. The airplane costs 20-60 dollars, store bought.

Some hobby drones are jet powered, most of the jet powered drones from Iranwill be powered by hobby jet engines, they cost two grand. But looking at Irans new drones, they are indistinguishable from a collection of Dollar Tree foam planes I have right here. There is a whole group of 'foamies' determined to make all plane from Dollar Tree materials.

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I'm going to with hold my judgement until a cheap drone actually manages to take down an American military craft that is expecting hostile fire.

It is definitely within the realm of possibility. But you don't use one cheap drone. You swarm your opponent from all angles. I'd give it a 90% chance you'll get your wish in the next 10 years.

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Are you willing to use nukes to defend Quemoy and Matsu? If not, then what?

No. Nor Osaka, by the way. Let the Asians kill one another. They like it. If, however, America's essential interests are ever threatened, then we must send as many nukes as possible.

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"I think America has more than enough IMBCs to prevail against any adversary."

Imperial Majesty's Battle Cruisers? Hmmm, no not yet.

ICBMs, I meant. We can defeat any conceivable enemy.

This seems almost...nekulturny.

Not at all. I just misplaced a few letters. Anyone can make mistakes.

Indeed. Including, say, someone in charge of a vast array of nuclear weapons.

I doubt misplacing a few letters will trigger nuclear Armageddon. Quite the opposite, indeed. America has built pretty robust safeguards to ensure the proper use of nuclear weapons. I don't think America can be defeated.

Hmm... Movie suggestion: Dr Strangelove.

He's back with this new handle. At least he has dropped the Brazil bullshit and is all in on his Asian racism.

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2. Well, there has to be a place to keep these people so they aren't wandering around hurting themselves on the streets.

Congress?

+1 very funny

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While it's easy to dismiss the preamble to the question in the video, the actual content is exactly what I would expect from a bright econ student. Given that individual voluntary resource restrictions have heterogeneous costs and are unlikely to have real impacts, what are some plausible structural policies?

Aside from the superficiality of their understanding of climate change and their glib, rehearsed talking points, note well that they never raise the issue of cost benefit analysis in solutions.

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Follow our policies of the last 2 decades of building out solar and wind and lowering the cost of energy storage.

Solar/wind have been increasing their proportion of the US's electricity production roughly 0.5% per year for the last two decades. And the rate has been growing, it's roughly 1% per year currently. Furthermore, costs have been declining over that time period. Assuming the trend lines extend out another 5 years or so, coal will have disappeared from the production mix by 2050. At that point renewables and nuclear together will be roughly 70% of primary power production.

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The preamble is indicative of the depth of thought. We wouldn't want to be too far off from the orthodoxy du jour. Gender pronouns are more important that the issue that is going to kill us all. Sure.

Essentially that question is how poor can we make people before they get upset and hang us. The current Canadian election is over this very issue, unless everyone can be distracted enough by blackface.

The solution is technical. 6 billion people want a better life and will get it through consuming fossil fuels. So what is the path to prosperity that isn't through fossil fuels? Some economist isn't going to come up with the answer, it is going to be through trial and error by people who know the hard sciences.

" So what is the path to prosperity that isn't through fossil fuels?"

Effectively there isn't one. However, the decreasing costs for renewable power probably indicate a peak fossil fuel usage (as measured by CO2) in the next 20 years. So, the world will be 2-3C hotter. Most of that heat will be experienced in the high latitudes. Human civilization will be substantially richer at that point and will cope with the issue. It will not be an existential threat.

That's the thing about climate change I really don't get. If you listen to the debate, you're supposed to believe only one of two camps:

1) Climate change is real and apocalyptic, so we have to trash everything in order to survive. Also stop business because boo rich people.

2) Climate change is a myth and it's not happening anywhere, ever. Also, you better be burning more fuel and creating more waste to do the same thing because boo efficiency.

No one ever says that climate change is real, and that solutions include learning how to harness its effects for our benefit. I mean, heck, if we ever want to colonize Mars or beyond, figuring out how to change climate is a very, very good skill to have, and if it means that we can make inhospitable places more habitable and productive, and not just have presently productive lands become unproductive, that's a good thing.

Vehicle fuel efficiency standards plus a carbon price mostly fix the problem. Renewable energy plus battery cells for electric vehicles are now so cheap cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80+% could pay for itself through reduced health costs due to decreased air pollution. It's a very cheap and simple fix.

A carbon tax hurts the middle class (if there is one) and the poor while allowing the wealthy to buy indulgences. That's not going to work in democracies, unless you plan on getting rid of democracy.

Transportation is just one part of the equation, so electric vehicles will have less impact than you think, especially if the electricity is generated by fossil fuels.

HVAC is an important contributor to CO2 levels. Life is unbearable in the warm regions (India, Africa, Latin America, the southern USA). Then there is heating in the cold and temperate regions.

Burning wood for heat and cooking, especially indoors, is a contributor to CO2 and is a serious health problem. In addition, much forest in the third world is destroyed by harvesting wood for heating and cooking.

Agriculture is a major contributor to CO2 levels - clearing forests for agriculture is bad enough but in many parts of the world the forests are burned, not even harvested, to make way for soybeans, palm oil, and cattle. If that's not bad enough, cattle have their own special contribution to the problem. Rice growing is also a major source of atmospheric carbon.

This is a wicked problem to solve. Solar and wind will never be much more than minor contributors to the grid. Both have availability problems. Ironically, solar is dropping in price because China has entered the market in a big way, and China burns coal to build solar panels. Not good.

That pretty much leaves us with former NASA scientist and global warming alarmist James Hansen's favorite - 4th generation ( fuel recycling) nuclear power, but nuclear power is a non-starter for far too many people.

I'm the short term, we are stuck with fossil fuels to lift the rest of the world out of poverty.

Nothing is going to change that, but there will be the wailing and gnashing of teeth.

I meant to write, "life is unbearable in the warm regions without AC".

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"A carbon tax hurts the middle class (if there is one) and the poor while allowing the wealthy to buy indulgences."

The burden of taxation falls on who the government chooses through its taxation policy. When Australia introduced its carbon price the overall effect of the package was mildly progressive.

I don't know what buying indulgences is. Our carbon price didn't include them.

In medieval Europe the wealthy and the powerful would commit mortal sins - like rape and murder. They would then buy "indulgences" from the Catholic Church, basically bribes,bwhich would, so they thought, give them divine forgiveness and the ability to go to heaven.

In other words, the poor are condemned to hell for eternity for their sins but the rich can buy the stairway to heaven no matter what they do.

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+1

If this were an international student, would we be mocking their preamble? Cultural differences in how you introduce yourself, nothing more. I don't state pronouns, but I also don't think it's necessary to state what institution you are from or your title either.

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#6 "U.S. military has let its short range air defense (SHORAD) capabilities wither on the vine."

yes, the U.S. is so used to engaging in secondary warfare in extremely permissive environments that it is unprepared to face serious air superiority opposition from modern threats. Russians are way ahead of U.S. on SHORAD technology -- and is exporting it to places like Iran.

In the 1973 MidEast War, Israel was totally surprised by Soviet air defense technology and almost lost the war. For the first time in history, ground air defenses alone established battlefield air-superiority and smashed the Israel Air Force (initially).

We won't be seriously challenged anywhere by any country in the air or sea. This includes China and Russia. Our tanks will easily dominate the land.

Our weakness, because of numbers, is in MOUT.

I'm far more concerned about a lack of focus on Artillery than Air Defense. The MLRS is a truly awesome artillery system, but I dont believe we have enough nor have we recently integrated them into tactics. Cannon cockers have been guarding gates at bases. Artillery has been provided mostly by aircraft and organic mortars.

Both artillery and air defense have been somewhat ignored for decades.

There is a white paper by an Army Officer called “The King and I”. It’s public now.

For those interested in a discussion about these issues it is a professional assessment. Not endorsing, but I found it interesting when it arrived.

Dick the Butcher, your son would find it interesting.

Also to Dick, Cheers, I was also an infantry PL in Afghanistan, one year later than your son. My father doesn’t call my mother “the warden” but she had an equally terrible 13 months while for some reason the army decided to email her casualty reports of my platoon. I hope your son at least missed Obama’s “surge.” That was the nail in the coffin for me regarding any federal government solution to anything.

I don’t blame Democrats. The entire system was Wilsonian to the core. It needs to be torn down.

We have neither the will nor the staying power to fundamentally transform civil societies of countries we do not understand. Where is our Democrat candidate ?

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Isn't current US SHORAD capability adequate to deter or even operate effectively against both the Canadians and the Mexicans simultaneously? Maybe the Pentagon's concentration of defense in the DC area could be expanded to protect places like Cincinnati, Tallahassee, Biloxi and Miami.

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EverExtruder is correct. We rely heavily on Air Dominance as a strategy and will likely maintain that in every theater. The threat from UAVs shouldn't be ignored or understated, but we have the capabilities to attack them.

Stinger is a great MANPADS and Avenger gives it mobility. The Chapparal was a problematic system and the Vulcan was used tactically more for anti personnel than anti aircraft.

Little known outside the army, Air Defense units were a dumping ground for the least intelligent officers and enlisted. Their discipline problems were legendary. It was virtually a criminal MOS. (Also little known is that the top officers mostly selected Infantry or Armor)

Can drones' radio-controls be jammed?

Some of those troops were so big they could physically carry them truck-mounted quad .50's . . . from the old days.

Still true. The most motivated cadets apply Infantry, only the top get it. That despite the fact that the life expectancy of a shave-tail in a shooting war is short term. 2009 was hard for the Warden. Our son was an infantry PL in Afghanistan.

"Can drones' radio-controls be jammed?"

Yes, and there is hardware to do that.

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#2

She is a grad student with blue hair studying "empathy as communication."

Before that she stuidied the following...

Undergraduate/Graduate Institutions: BA in Theatre Arts from Kalamazoo College; MFA in Dramatic Writing from Savannah College of Art and Design; MA in Performance Studies from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

She lists the following as her research interests...

"Research Areas: Fandom Studies, Video Game Studies, Human-Computer Interaction, Interspecies Communication."

lol, when i read her homepage i was a bit surprised she didn't mention her photography skills (everyone is an amateur photographer nowadays). sure enough its on her twitter profile.

i always google these people to make sure they aren't plants from the right. she is the real deal.

I don't have anything to say about her, except she is a normal kid and hopefully has a great life. The college seems to have sold her a bill of goods; her normal and predictable attraction to artists and actors becomes Fandom Studies. $50,000 per year and you get a piece of paper.

Is this a serious issue or not? She was asking a question to a politician who knows nothing and intends nothing that would deal with the issue in a way that is net positive. That is the level of discourse on this issue. If the doom mongers are right was are royally fucked.

The doom mongers are never right. Never have been.

That's myopic because you're not taking into consideration the possibility that the doom mongers motivated enough change to prevent doom.

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She is an issue. I mean, what she represents. Did you read the criticism of UBI tyler posted not too long ago? Our social institutions are breaking down and we are not really sure how to replace them.
The social conservatives were right.

"The social conservatives were right."

I mean, if we only had kept women in the kitchen, Blacks in the back seats and gays in jail, like God wanted, our social institutions would not be breaking down. What have we wrought?

The social conservatives were wrong about those issues but right about the idea that if you get married before you have children, stay married, and finish your education you are very unlikely to be poor or become a burden on society. And that it is better to be a maker than a taker. Nobody is right or wrong about everything.

"Nobody is right or wrong about everything."

One can be right or wrong about what matters. I can't say I care about Herr Hitler's ideas about modern art or Robert Lee's opinions about zoning.
Social conservatives railed and ranted against 99% of the good social reforms we have had in the last 100 years.

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Because you are making her an issue, doesn't mean that she is. You haven't said much except that she chose to study things you disagree with and this somehow leads to a break down of social institutions. You've assumed a conclusion without making much if any of an argument.

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"i always google these people to make sure they aren't plants from the right. she is the real deal."

Well, her list of accomplishments reads like a right wing parody of a modern left wing student. Unfortunately, she probably is a legitimate left wing student. Hopefully she hasn't borrowed $100K to get her degrees.

" This is how college students talk today" So, these two random students are indicative of how all ~16 million college students talk?

I guess determining the factual truth through statistical data and reasoned analysis goes out the window when you can play the culture war card and beat up on your perceived enemies, eh?

The Twitter post was troll-bait. Nothing at all odd about the two girls, the lesbian-leaning and attractive first one simply said she identifies with feminine pronouns and the second girl, also attractive even if a bit chubby, simply said she has "visceral anxiety" which is a perfectly good use of English. Move along, nothing to see here.

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What do you think her SAT score was

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Nearly 30 years ago, when no one alive would now be deemed woke enough, a meeting was convened of parties who, if they could agree on a framework and strategy, had been offered a substantial grant - the Pew Foundation, IIRC - to pursue a particular lobbying effort in Congress.

So they got together, these people from across the country, out in California, to hammer this out.

My husband's aged mentor was in the room, by then very hard of hearing and also not above playing on the fact occasionally.

The meeting had somehow moved away from how to come together to use the money and devolved into a grievance session over underrepresented voices at the table - really, they were way ahead of their time! - and after every conceivable group had been namechecked by somebody, the aged mentor, silent and seemingly dozing until then, broke in, and (possibly feigning a little more than his actual deafness) quavered: "I'm sorry, I didn't catch all of this. Are you saying we should ask teenaged girls? HAVE we asked teenaged girls? Should we maybe get more teenaged girls in the room?"

They never did get it together enough to claim the grant, that was all but in their hands.

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#3: I left Australia to "find my life" in the United States because, in general, the problems which Rudd identifies are both relatively obvious and seemingly intractable from the Australian context. Unfortunately, Rudd's recommendations will almost certainly fall on deaf ears.

Maybe Australia needs more recessions like America.

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Wouldn't you say we (usa) have many of the same problems?

Some, yeah. But it's scary how economically fragile Australia is relative to the USA, essentially entirely pegged to China's appetite. Australia produces nothing substantial of the complexity (and financial significance) seen in Silicon Valley, Wall Street, Hollywood, and other sectors such as aerospace and pharmaceuticals.

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Are productivity levels declining? I though the rate of growth of productivity gains had slowed, but that we were still becoming more productive.

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About the NBN, do you guys buy Rudd's theory that turning FTTP into FTTN was Murdoch's doing in order to kill competition between FOXTEL and other alternative streaming services? My ADSL connection already allows me to fully enjoy those other services.

Yes I think it was Murdochs doing. His mistake was thinking that was enough. It wasnt. They needed to kill the NBN altogether. It turns out 100MBs is enough for most households, certainly enough for streaming to take hold.

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#2 -- The only thing unusual about the question was her mentioning her pronouns in her introduction. The question itself was reasonable and no less substantive than your typical audience query of a politician. That everyone is dog-piling her for her choice of study/hair colour/use of pronouns, hyperbolically trashing her intelligence, and hand-wringing over the future of humanity instead of engaging her reasonable question is uh, pretty telling of the state of discourse on Twitter and MR.

Yeah, I read the comments here before watching the video and was expecting something utterly inane, but if you just read a transcript of her question (ignoring the PC preamble), you'd be hard pressed to find anything objectionable. Probably better than average as far as questions pitched to political candidates go.

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No, her question was suffused with ideology. You're right, it isn't kind to pile on a young person, so let's stipulate - her teachers' question.

Unfortunately so are her detractors.

It is just about the most natural thing in the world for people to love their home, the Earth, its plants and animals, all they'll ever know; no matter who they are - the only way they wouldn't is if they've had their brains twisted around.

Her teachers and her internet detractors have a lot in common, actually.

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2. True, it’s not an awful question by any means. However I don’t think the insanity is embedded in the content of the question. The insanity is in her introduction. As if perfectly normal, she went straight into what her pronouns were.

After the gender politics intro, she mentions pursuing a doctorate in empathy communication and then poses a question blending social and ecological justice.

The video is like a singularity Of woke-gender id-social justice-gen z millenialism all coming at Corey Booker within 90 seconds. That’s why it’s hilarious and scary.

You can literally see the wheels turning in his head about the implications of what is before him.

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+1 . I love how she presents her stats as if off a playing card (which for CA Higher Ed ISN'T unusual) and then proceeds to blast performative environmentalism and make Cory Booker really uncomfortable.

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" The only thing unusual about the question was her mentioning her pronouns in her introduction"

No, that's obviously untrue. All this was in 40 seconds.

"I study empathy as communication" ... "individual responsiblity to change behavior like veganism, water waste and plastic straw bans..all of which disproportionately effect disabled people and poor people" ... "how can we shift the responsibility to incentivize corporations and high waste industries to change their behavior around climate change"

"I study empathy as communication"
Sociology isn't exactly new. So she's not an engineer or a lawyer, the absolute horror of it all.

"individual responsiblity to change behavior like veganism, water waste and plastic straw bans..all of which disproportionately effect disabled people and poor people"
An objectively true statement. Many disabled people require straws to drink. A vegan diet may be too expensive or time consuming for someone in a low socioeconomic class. These indeed are measures proposed for individuals to shrink their carbon footprint. What's your objection?

"how can we shift the responsibility to incentivize corporations and high waste industries to change their behavior around climate change"
Good question! What was Booker's response? Is no one even a little bit curious if a presidential candidate is interested in something like cap-and-trade carbon pricing, or industry grants for emissions reduction R&D, or some other measures?

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"how can we shift the responsibility to incentivize corporations and high waste industries to change their behavior around climate change"

The horror! The horror!

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#1..I bought the Kindle edition, although the book isn't going well so far. However, it's interesting you've posted a couple articles from The Jacobin because I have a lifelong subscription to it. It's fun to read. Will they convince anyone to become a socialist? luckily, no.

#1 - Foucault, who's prose I am unfamiliar with in general, did say something about PATENTS (once again, Cntrl+F+ "patent" only gives this post as a hit, lol), basically, he said that every invention is a product of its time, meaning if you, modern man, were transported back into the stone age probably you could not convince even one caveman to adopt or build something modern. This philosophy, de facto, is how all modern societies operate when it comes to invention; they assume: 'inventors invent' and await innovation to occur exogenously rather than trying to 'teach' innovation. Sad but true. They are implicitly adopting the Foucault proposition that 'inventors are born, not made, and are the product of their times' which I would argue is not the whole truth.

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#1. I'd also add that the article is interesting but not relevant. The chief political battle of this century, as in much of the last five centuries was individualism vs. central authority (which manifests itself as collectivism at this time in history; it's also been called the Church, the King, the Chairman, der Fuehrer, il Duce). It's pretty clear that Friedman and Hayek, while disagreeing on many issues in both economics and politics, would have been on the same side of that basic question.

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Mr. Pretari, what I got from this Jacobin article is some warning about taking Foucault in a literal way. Foucault is usually used as the foundation for lots of poorly thought ideas and plans, someone analyzing Foucault in this context is therefore critical of poor thinking. Not bad at all.

I specially enjoyed two parts. In the first one the author argues Gary Becker and Foucault think alike about the origins of crime: economical motivation. If the incentives are fixed, no more crime haha. The second part is the personal ethics Vs politics discussion. Foucault in this case is very close to the stereotypical American conservative that argues that personal actions can change everything. Conservatives propose religion, hard-work, while Foucault proposes autonomy, individual rebellion. Albeit, at the end both are quite similar in the sense that individual actions are deemed more influential to society that collective action and norms.

PS. in recent times, the pseudo-left Latin American politicians support the neo-liberal idea of Gary Becker on crimes and its possible incentives. It would be fun to remind people that the "left" idea comes from an economist from the Chicago school =)

Axa, I am on the Classical Liberal / Whig/ Hayek team, with the proviso that Friedman wrote my favourite political paper called A Monetary and Fiscal Framework for Economic Stability. In fact, I’m a fan of his practical as opposed to utopian views. Becker is a very smart man whom I rarely agree with. Indeed, I used to post comments on his posts on the marvellous Becker/ Posner blog. I did steal one idea from him, Dated Coupons to battle Debt-Deflation. My claim to fame with Foucault is that he borrowed a few books from me to prepare talks, including Anti-Oedipus. I’m still reading the book so I’ll defer any other comment on it. About religion, see Hayek Why I am not a Conservative.I liked your comment.

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Jacobin is fun to read. Flights of fancy in rhetorical and grammatical masturbation are always a thrill.

I can read thousands of pages of right wing capitalist ideology and it’s largely going to be a very tactile story-oil, steel, railroads, investors, cut throats, schemers, entrepreneurs, dirty business men or nerds in garages playing with computers.

But when it comes to socialist writing it’s always a game of religious incantation of what democratic politics can do. At least the Stalinists were more honest and realistic about their socialism. Trying to argue that the hyper democratization of every sphere of economic life is superior to the classical liberalism of the 19th century or neo liberalism of today is a total joke. Socialism stripped of its religious fervor is like Christianity without salvation. It’s a movement not worth believing in.

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I get notifications via email of new posts to MR. Today in addition to these "Monday assorted links" I also got "Tuesday assorted links".

It's like getting tomorrow's news, today! Or that TV series starring Kyle Chandler, "Early Edition", where he'd get the next day's issue of the Chicago Sun-Times, read a story about a terrible event about to happen, and have 24 hours to make that event not happen.

In practical terms, I'm guessing that Tyler not only has some way of auto-posting these MR pages, but also of sending out those emails. Which probably comes in handy when he's on a long trip such as to Pakistan. But somehow Tuesday's email got sent out on Monday.

Spoiler alert: I think the most educational of tomorrow's links was the one to a 1976 article about ACU's (artificial currency units). I'd known about the IMF's SDRs, we learned about them in intro macro, but not about all the other ACUs that have been created historically.

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1 - "However important Foucault’s elaboration of the ways institutions like social security or the justice system could assign us to a certain conception of ourselves, he completely missed the normativity and coerciveness of the market. In his eyes, it was politics conceived on the model of sovereignty, especially via majority rule, that was essentially the space of coercion and normativity; the impersonal and decentralized signals of the market were a seductive alternative to political deliberation in that they seemed to protect minoritarian choices, precisely through the supposedly “environmental” way in which they acted.

Every economic or institutional configuration is normative — the important thing is to figure out what type of institutions we want."

Who is we and what is the potency of a given negotiation. Why is it important to negotiate universally with the state through the political process not only for myself but for everyone else. It is transparently a lower power normative assignment to find one's way in a market. This always comes back to "we didn't get the left utopian world we wanted and we will only accept that outcome".

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