Saturday assorted links


Good Post.

This high school kid seems more electable/qualified than all the Democrat crazies running for POTUS.

you have to be Dick the Butcher to see the Republican glass full.

Imagine if you will an America ruled by psychopaths who hate America and Americans.

We had eight years of it under Obama. We barely survived.

a demographic.

The WSJ reports today on a woman who has been to 30 Trump rallies, for the only news she can trust.

Nominated for the Ideological Crap Most Wasteful of Bandwidth Comment of the Internet 2019.

Number your comment, Dick. You already know the rules. Don't be so lazy.

we gonna vote for the first democratic pres. candidate that eats
72oz of dead cowboy ribs with two choices of either pinto beans,
baked potato, shrimp cocktail ,salad & a roll in under an hour!

I walked on a line of evergreen trees and followed tracks until I came upon a deer dipped in a pail of syrup. The deer reared its head, inquisitively sniffing and fraying the bark. I squawked effeminately and two deers split from behind the trunk. The first one raised its front legs and spun, first toward me, then around another, its white tail bright in the undulating den.

+1 good one!
so did anybody else around here notice last week which fuckwit new age democratic pres. candidate/california scam artiste claimed she had psychic ability to control the path of a category 4 hurricane right before it turned into a category 5 hurricane and destroyed the bahamas!

Karma's a bitch.

if a new age democratic pres. candidate psychically steered a hurricane away from florida and into the bahamas it looks david brooks and the would have a few questions!

smith college?
karma is mostly magical thinking, confusing correlation with causation and retaliation

5. Advice from Avinash Dixit.


If I got the Nobel in economics I would consider it a disgrace, an award for being politically correct. Like being singled out for stupidity.

Everyone does. But the check takes a lot of the sting out of the insult.

Yes Dixit should have shared it with a certain other trade economist whose name must not be mentioned. It would be better if they just sunsetted it. Then renamed it and distanced it from the Nobel prizes.

We all know who the real smart ones are.

#4: Really the question could equally be "Do people speak more slowly in less elegant languages?" (where less elegant means more complex phonologies - those of a Vietnamese rather than a Japanese, or an English rather than a Finnish).

5. The Atlantic essay is pretty good.

I liked this bit:

"As Bach demonstrated, teaching is an ability that decays very late in life, a principal exception to the general pattern of professional decline over time. A study in The Journal of Higher Education showed that the oldest college professors in disciplines requiring a large store of fixed knowledge, specifically the humanities, tended to get evaluated most positively by students. This probably explains the professional longevity of college professors, three-quarters of whom plan to retire after age 65—more than half of them after 70, and some 15 percent of them after 80. (The average American retires at 61.) "

I'd put it a little differently: teaching is the only job where young people have to care what you think.

Also, once you're out of teaching basic classes, the students signed up for the class you're teaching. So even if most students at the university don't care about the Marxian perspective on Chaucer, the eight grad students who signed up for your seminar on the subject probably do find the subject pretty interesting.

3. Interview with Enrico Moretti.

Geographic differences in economic well-being, it seems, have become increasingly salient in American policy and political conversation. These differences are a longtime concern of University of California, Berkeley economist Enrico Moretti. In his research, he has found that the sorting of highly educated Americans — and high-paying jobs requiring a lot of education — into certain communities has led to other communities falling behind. Moreover, they've been falling behind faster economically as time goes on. This pattern, in turn, has been reflected in other socioeconomic differences, including divorce rates and life expectancies.

All true.

7. Where’s the scandal? Why shouldn’t MIT or any other organization not have taken money from Epstein? His private conduct made him a criminal, yes, but there is no suggestion that the money was stolen, laundered or otherwise criminally obtained. If a criminal gives his legally obtained assets away, it’s better they go to a legitimate use.
If a criminal gets ordered to provide community service and he or she offers to work for a not-for-profit organization, should the organization respond that they don’t accept services provided by criminals?

His private conduct made him a criminal,

No, a quasi-Christian obsession with sex extended to general culture and the legal system made him a criminal. The NYT interviewer and his readers that were scandalized by Epstein's assertion that having sex with younger women was a "cultural aberration" don't understand basic biology. Furthermore, the real failures in this episode are the teens' parents, who apparently were unable or unwilling to protect their supposed children until media investigators showed up to get a story.

That wasn’t the point of my post. Describing him as a criminal is not a value judgement, it’s a factual statement. He pleaded guilty to a crime and was convicted. My point is that it is counterproductive to expect that academic institutions should not accept money from a convicted criminal if the crime had nothing to do with how he or or she obtained the money.

I worked in development for an all girls high school. Higher targets were privileged, and only a lead could make a sale. I once received a $150k donation from someone whom had been convicted of attempting to contact children on the internet.

Read the New Yorker article by Ronan Farrow not this tut-tutting Twitter slag. MIT explicitly blacklisted Epstein from donations. Ito hid this and even took a little extra money into his own funds. Lying to your employer definitely deserves a firing.

Nothing to see here, move along. Thank god he is dead. Don't believe those terrible women.

So it is ok to traffic in underage girls to rich people now? It is a 'christian' hangup? You are sounding like the Rotherham bureaucrats. The girls deserved what happened to them.

The "underage" thing is the cultural aberration. For instance, in the case of immigrants from non-western cultures, Americans are perfectly willing to endorse and marvel at their interesting cuisine, colorful costumes, exotic music and dance. But when they continue their custom of marrying off 13 year-old daughters to older guys it's time to call the cops. Perhaps that's what's meant by assimilation.

Nevertheless, normal parents don't allow their post-pubescent daughters to jump on private jets to Caribbean retreats with even middle class pervs, not to mention hedge fund managers.

The girls don't deserve to be victims just because they had bad parents. In any large group, a subset of children will be badly parented. There is nothing unique about that.

That's an interesting aspect as well. Since time immemorial the world's oldest profession has been called prostitution, a word that has disappeared from the current American lexicon and been replaced by "sex trafficking", in an attempt to shift the blame for commercial sex entirely onto the shoulders of men and portray all whores as victims. This is, of course, complete balderdash.

When the prostitutes are adult women with no evidence of coercion, yes. When they're minors, though, the label seems more appropriate.

An institution taking money from an immoralist and convicted criminal tells one all one needs to know about that institution.

Bill Gates needed Epstein to move $2M to MIT for a donation. Gates denies but the emails are posted all over the web. Are you now going to stop using your immoral operating system with this new knowledge?

The concern and subsequent hush up could be that MIT is caught up in the investigation leading to further investigations of others and bad PR - more so than just the tainted donor.

Epstein is the Forest Gump of intellectuals and billionaire class, so naturally he is connected to people with power and influence of some form. But this whole mess also shows how bottled up and hypocritical the US is with its superficial puritanism and its tiered sex industry.

This also shows the contempt and power of the MSM.

The actual source of his money is unclear and there is plenty of speculation, as to where it came from, and some of that is pretty illegal. Also, MIT banned him from donating, but Joi Ito cirumvented the ban to accept the donations, which makes it look like something much sketchier.

On the tourist-type scam artists, many scammers ask a simple question to help identify your nationality based on the language you use to respond and your accent to help profile your potential response. It's hard enough to dress and walk like you belong, let along having to also make that impression verbally just to stay safe. Under pressure, I have spontaneously said "Nyet!" forcefully and was quite proud of my monolinguistic self.

7. “They were models. Eastern European, definitely,” she told me. Among the lab’s staff, she said, “all of us women made it a point to be super nice to them. We literally had a conversation about how, on the off chance that they’re not there by choice, we could maybe help them.”


The Media Lab was pretty big in the late 80's and early 90's. They still have the occasional hit, but they are hardly a skunkworks.

"The MIT Media Lab will celebrate its 30th anniversary on Oct. 30 with an invitation-only symposium hosted by Penn & Teller, a choice which seems more than fitting given how much of the center’s work over the years has appeared magical .. blah blah blah"

Maybe when your engineering lab books Penn and Teller, that was the time just shut it down.

There might be a utilitarian argument that you can take money from bad people to do good things .. that is if you don't get lost doing Penn and Teller self-awards shows.

It seems it is an expensive social club with 'ahem' benefits.

whathe heck is a media lab exactly?

2. What makes people think that it's a horse? It sure doesn't look like one. Maybe some kind of odd panther or other kind of feline but not a horse.

Joi Ito isn't a member of the nytimes board. He was, and he resigned today,, not sure if before or after this link was posted.

Prostitutes never work voluntarily for the benefits it offers relative to the cost (like everyone else). They are always being trafficked and abused (and obviously, the survivors of some childhood things, and victims of someone other than their own choices).
Maybe I'm overstating it. For occupational reasons, I have had conversational and extensive observational contact with thousands of people in the sex business. Roughly 99% were doing it by choice and approximately all thought it was the best thing for them considering their options. There were a few cases of individuals who were sort of scammed into it (to pay off money they had recklessly borrowed when in dire straights). However I don't generalize to all times, places, and individuals. These were people in or from less-developed countries (at the time). Objectively, their incomes, work conditions, and future prospects, were in general better than otherwise, given prevailing conditions for individuals in their circumstances. Americans seem to believe (1) anyone can be anything they want without regard to objective reality and (2) if they are doing something that the American advocate/journalist/fund-raiser would prefer not to do, then they must be forced to do it and are being abused/exploited/trafficked. And obviously (3) CSA or SRA were probably involved.

That guy with the tourist scam warnings might have had something if he had added up all his data and multiplied by the square root of pi and come up with some sort of useful index.

As it is, all he could say was don't be a sap. Don't follow a guy with scrofula down any dark alleys. That link was pretty much the same as a link to a story in a junior college newspaper where somebody tells you how to grow house plants, without crediting whatever book he copied from.

MR, man, some good stuff but then there are these worthless links and all the commenters who think they are libertarians but who are really leftover Glen Beck without the trademark Glen Beck perspicacity. It's getting sad here.

#1: Perhaps the author is describing only one of the ways in which he interacts with people while traveling, but he sounds like a paranoid phobic, fleeing from or shutting down contact with strangers on the street.

I mainly travel to see the sights rather than for the cultural experience, but I don't flee or flinch when someone wants to talk, the way that guy seems to.

I do wonder what Tyler's approach is when he's traveling internationally. Or domestically for that matter.

He does seem a bit paranoid. However, he's also a bit dim. His advice to "put your hands on your pockets" when interacting with squirrelly humans is NOT sound. You're more vulnerable to having your possessions taken. You're more vulnerable to being pushed/knocked over. Better advice: Hands up, palms forward, back away, and yell "No!".

#2: Fine, but Britain has a number of these gigantic geoglyphs or whatever they're called, including the Cerne Abbas figure with what's probably the largest depiction of a phallus in the world. Who's been maintaining that figure?

#5: Some good links there. I was wondering how long it would take for people to start wondering about the coincidence between Krueger's and Weitzman's suicides. They may be pure coincidence and totally unrelated, but either of them alone was big news in the world of economists and for both of them to happen so near in time is remarkable ("remarkable" in a sad and negative sense).

Comments for this post are closed