Thursday assorted links

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4. I never ask sensitive questions. I'm not sure whether this is something particular to my nature, or a residue of a Scandinavian-American upbringing.

I don't jump up and randomly insult other commentators for similar reasons.

Eat sh*t, mouse!

Is Trump still double downing on the 'Alabama' hurricane?

Trump is a bizarre character, no doubt.

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Excuse me, that ain't me.

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Poor, mistreated anonymous.

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If these guys had a better mental model of me, they'd know I find these responses funny.

Only you could take 17 pompous words to say "LOL"

I'm trying to give a little friendly guidance. Just going off on people isn't really a good look.

We're all mortal. We all do it sometimes, but the rarer we can make it, the better.

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Agreed. That's some Dunning Kruger nonsense.

To recap, I say I don't just randomly insult people, and a little group just run up to *impale* themselves.

...that we are amusing ourselves, and your complaints enhance our amusement. Relax, we're just killing time here.

9307 days isn't that much more to wait.

Speak for yourself, Sing! I'm ready now!

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The insults were not random. You were accusing people of what you yourself are guilty of.

You insult me for pointing out that we now live under a Manchurian candidate.

Russia points and you follow. Every Rethuglican policy is just a Russian attempt to weaken the US. It’s time to bring back McCarthyism.

Have you ever been involved in the alt-right, or any affiliated associations. Have you ever voted Republican.

We need concentration camps.

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"...despite askers’ reticence to ask sensitive questions"

RELUCTANCE. You mean reluctance, not reticence.

The "reluctant" sense of "reticent" is a mid-20th century introduction. Though it is now well-established, this newer sense bothers some people - Merriam-Webster on-line

"Reluctance" would indeed be better but since the point concerns asking questions "reticence" just about does.

Where it makes no sense, and is just an advertisement of the speaker's poor education, is in cases such as "he was reticent to travel to Boston".

On the contrary. I think it shows good sense and perhaps a good education, not to travel to Boston.

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And all the words in the Scrabble dictionary are real words too, I suppose.

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#2 Herodotus doesn't speculate on the construction of the pyramids, he simply repeats the inscriptions on the quantities of supplies required. It never crossed his mind that it was impossible or the work of Giants or Gods. The pyramids bored him, the Labyrinth was by far the more impressive monument.

The interesting questions all revolve around what it all means, not how it was done.

What does anything economists debate mean?

"It was just really, really difficult, requiring that virtually all of the resources available to them that weren’t required for the basic maintenance of their civilization be bent in the direction of Giza."

That reverses cause and effect, just as economists seem to consistently do today.

It was building the monuments that made Egypt a "great civilization" aka an economic capable of building big by paying workers to work.

Today, economists seem to think it's not paying workers to work that makes an economy that produces a great civilization.

For example, economists object to pretty much every ambitious project based on high costs.

And costs are entirely "paying workers to work".

Economies are zero sum. The benefits, eg production, must equal cost.

For Egypt to have the great monuments as named today, they needed to create/invent an "industrial state" to organize the division of labor and capital production to increase costs of paying workers to produce more, including the durable goods of bigger and bigger monuments.

The "bent" pyramids are "engineering failures". The bases are too small to withstand the forces of the mass of stone built to the target height. Several prior attempts collapsed into rubble.

To build successfully, workers needed to be paid to build the "failed" pyramids. A small number of people could not have controlled the thousands of workers needed to fail multiple times without compensating the workers sufficiently.

Egypt like many places, has land that produces in abundance by human labor for a small portion of the year. The industrial state maximizes the production fof those short periods and builds capital which can then be used to pay workers in the rest of the year to produce different capital.

Instead of workers feasting during high productivity and then subsisting during low productivity seasons, their productivity is increased overall, at the expense of feasting, replaced by constant consumption most of the year.

The monuments of Egypt are like the moon landings, something of value to all the people, not just a small elite. Dead Kennedys did not get the benefits of the moon landings, but all the people, in all sorts of ways. For some, the moon landing are a symbol of American Exceptionalism of the dirty commies. For others, the technology the required industrial State producing a hundred thousand nukes, plus rockets to deliver them, as well as land on the moon to pick up some rocks, is the benefit.

Elon Musk got the benefit of inspiration/ambition from moon landing before his birth.

Today Elon Musk pays lots of people to work with no benefit to himself other than seeing really big things being built. If he just wanted to consume lots of stuff, he had that in 2000. Instead he decided to pay $50 million to workers to build stuff, annd when he spent that, he spent all the rest of his money paying workers, and just barely got others to give him hundreds of millions to pay even more workers to work.

But what does it mean that Elon has paid tens of billions to workers for two decades?

"Economies are zero sum"
Nope.

They’re zero sum as long as Trump is in charge.

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We already know very well how the pyramids were built based on sophisticated computer simulations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaZHKVPdlDE

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You can't treat #4 seriously until they have a metric for dealing with outsize negative reactions, or social conditions under which reputation effects multiply. Risk-reward. This is the kind of study that's useless to understand the phenomenon under study.

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3: More proof that Burning Man has been dead a long, long time.

Says the guy who's never been there.

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#6: Paul Romer talks a bit about how cities are important for raising living standards and wanders around Burning Man for a bit. Lots of fluff. Not worth the time, really.

#5 - Romer on Burning Man: the burning question is whether he visited the orgy dome and got a bit of betty.

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Asking sensitive questions is certainly something that comes up when interviewing people for a story -- and some editors want you to pry for more chatty, personal stuff when the subect would rather stick to the subject.

But I was disappointed by their example. "What are your views on abortion?" really doesn't seem too personal. "Have you ever considered abortion, had an abortion, how would you advise your daughter about abortion etc" -- now that would be personal.

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#5) For some reason NYT is letting me read this entire story -- too bad they sent Boring Woman to chronicle Burning Man. Where's David Foster Wallace when you really need him?

looks like while psychically shifting the path of the hurricane away from the florida we inadvertently gave jbiden (syracuse $51,000/anum)
a bloody eye!

Syracuse charged a fraction of that when Joe went there.

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But DFW is 6 feet under.

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Too bad they didn't have Paul Romer take some LSD and see what new urban planning ideas he came up with.

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#2) An Egyptian pyramid construction article that doesn't even mention Jean-Pierre Houdin? Points off for this whole blog.

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Is the following question too sensitive to be asked?
Regulators, why do you think that what is perceived as risky is more dangerous to our bank system than what is perceived as safe?
http://subprimeregulations.blogspot.com/2019/03/my-letter-to-financial-stability-board.html

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4. Why don't I ask sensitive questions? I really don't want to know.

Are you a morning person? tells me who to avoid before 10am. Useful information. The only time asking someone about abortion is useful is before shagging them.

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5. Who goes to Burning Man to study the urban planning?
What is wrong with people?

Nobel Prize winners, that's who. What have you done?

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"5. Who goes to Burning Man to study the urban planning?"

People who want to expense a trip to Burning Man.

I have to go to Burning Man ... for research .... I'll turn in the expense reports later.

+1

I laughed.

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See also,

I need to fly to Zurich, Switzerland. And then take a helicopter to Davos. For a 3 day summit ... on Global Warming.

Yes how dare activists gather to stop a global armageddon.

Famous people fly to a climate change event. Conservatives complain. Activists propose decommissioning nuclear power plants, preventing pipelines, refusing leases for oil, refusing natural gas replacing oil, and conservatives throw a fit.

Either you’re against nuclear, or you aren’t green. Replacing coal with natural gas and nuclear doesn’t reduce global warming.

You have to pick: either we need to urgently reduce our carbon footprint, or we need to eliminate nuclear power.

Wanting to do both is an indication of sloppy thinking.

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"Famous people fly to a climate change event. "

If they truly believed that climate change was going to cause "global armageddon" they would have just teleconferenced or at the very least just flown commercial airlines. They probably would have held the conference somewhere besides an exclusive ski resort, also.

There were over 1,500 private jets flown in for the conference. Helicopters were chartered to fly in from the local airport. Mega yachts were sailed to Europe. It was a giant party for the wealthy and world politicians to hob knob with each other.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2019/jan/22/record-private-jet-flights-davos-leaders-climate-talk

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"Replacing coal with natural gas and nuclear doesn’t reduce global warming."

Yes it does. Nuclear power is probably too expensive to be built, but it's abundantly clear that replacing coal plants with natural gas drastically reduces CO2 emissions.

"Natural gas is a fossil fuel, though the global warming emissions from its combustion are much lower than those from coal or oil. Natural gas emits 50 to 60 percent less carbon dioxide (CO2) when combusted in a new, efficient natural gas power plant compared with emissions from a typical new coal plant"

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Actually, that's exactly what it does. Global warming isn't caused by heat generation, it's caused (if the CAGW story is to be believed) by CO2 emissions. Ii thought everybody knew this.

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It was just really, really difficult, requiring that virtually all of the resources available to them that weren’t required for the basic maintenance of their civilization be bent in the direction of Giza.

Using WWII as a GDP benchmark at its height WWII was costing $700 billion a month. What could we build if we were spending $700 billion a month on it?

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@Tyler
"2. What is the best current knowledge on how the pyramids were built?"

A related question, what is the best current knowledge on the origins of Adam's Bridge in Sri Lanka? Do we already have a conclusive understanding of it?

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Walgreens and CVS are banning guns from their stores. God Bless America!

Guys willing to murder people will surely bow down to mega-woke corporations!

Corporate America is fed up with gun nuts. And they run the show. It's over.

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They are coming for your guns, America, your defense against tyranny.
Next, they'll be after your drugs.

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Walgreens and CVS are banning guns from their stores. Uff

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