Sunday assorted links

1. Chilean citizen lasers take down drones.

2. Those new service sector jobs is this a Straussian reference to the Rolling Stones song?

3. “Lotto lout Michael Carroll reveals he is ‘happier now’ working seven days a week as a £10-an-hour coalman after blowing £10m jackpot on drink, drugs and brothels (and claims he slept with 4,000 women).”  Link here.

4. BallerBusters “calls out” the phony rich people who in fact don’t have much money (NYT).

5. They let 70 different teams study the same fMRI results, you can imagine what happened.


4. If I was on Instagram, I'd be following BallerBusters - that sounds fascinating. Lorenz has what I consider a companion piece to that from her Atlantic days on "fake sponcon", or people pretending to make sponsored content so it makes it look like they have sponsors, hopefully netting . . . real sponsors.

"Fake it till you make" never dies, just takes on new iterations in new mediums.

And this is why people have a NYT subscription.... they let people know what is being posted to Twitter that day!


The instinctual response to a drone is that South America must be the 3rd world antidote to American supremacy. Look at Russia--it's never been a question of how drones function there because we are assured of destruction. By antitdote, I mean to imply what American hegemonism looks like in a virtual world.

3. Is this a Straussian post in support an estate tax at high rates rather than a wealth tax?

And the Straussian post on tax cuts:

Well, he left 4M pounds to friends and family. Are you saying that the tax system should penalize such generosity towards one's family to push people to spend even more on booze, drugs, and prostitutes?

It's ill written, that abstract, but I think it's saying, in a rather mealy-mouthed way, that interpretation of fMRI results is a bit of a lottery. Or, put another way, don't believe anything you are told based on such results.

That's disappointing: I know that was the state of play a few years ago but I had assumed that fMRI had moved on from the fairy-story stage.

You do understand that the purpose of an MRI is to give you more information than you have without it. What you do with that info isn't the fault of the mri.

You get data but scarcely info: you'd need a near-unanimous agreement among the interpreters of the data before you'd call it info.

That doesn't seem right. Anything that increases the probability that you'll ultimately come up with the right answer is information. Even if the fMRI was 100% guaranteed to lead you in the wrong direction, if you knew that you'd improve your diagnostics (a lot, actually), and so the fMRI would be giving you information, not just data.

"Anything that increases the probability that you'll ultimately come up with the right answer is information."

And... does it?

“ Even if the fMRI was 100% guaranteed to lead you in the wrong direction, IF YOU KNEW THAT [caps added] you'd improve your diagnostics (a lot, actually)”

But that’s the kicker: you don’t know that.

#4 Do you think he could look into how certain people came into their money?


Was he just an imposter or did he really earn his money through the hedge fund?

The only thing I’m sure of is that Ghislaine Maxwell will never darken the door of a jail cell nor courthouse.

Even the rich don't have money. They have assets.

Even this guy ?

Money is mainly the numerator; their assets aren't exactly pressurized.


'Bjg Hat -- No Cattle'

...deceptive signaling of status/wealth is commonplace and often successful in human societies.

(what's Trump's actual personal net worth? $$$?)

Maybe like Becky Sharp and her husband in Vanity Fair they will succeed in fooling other people like themselves.

No, she is not as is her wont. Sen. Fauxahontas thinks that manna stolen from billionaires showered on minimum wage workers will make minimum wage workers happier. Like most lottery winners, the guy is present-pleasure oriented (unlike most billionaires who have made and expanded their fortunes).

More prisons and workhouses!

lol, that's a slightly overwrought answer to a mild joke.

But remember, Warren is not at the liberal extreme, and doesn't want to end billionaires. She just wants to tax them more.

Sanders might more honestly represent the "cancel" end of the spectrum.

And the good news is Buttigieg is leading in Iowa? With a middle class tax cut? So what's to complain about?

I hope you aren't the kind of right wing cannon fodder who complains that the middle class should pay more, so that the billionaires are more fully insulated.

(Buttigieg would be fine.)

Buttigieg polls literally zero percent with African Americans. He has as much of a chance of winning the nomination as Yang.

Warren is your candidate. Start memorizing your talking points.

So far you’ve been either unable or unwilling to speak to your opinion of the risks of a Warren presidency compared to Trump.

Remember? In terms of actual specific risks to everyday Americans....

What are the specific risks of another 4 years of Trump?

What are the specific risks of 4 years of Warren?

....figure out an answer yet ?

You are so cute.

Trump is self-destructing. Ted Lieu calls it.

Your "what's the worst that could happen" is 4 years out of date.

1) still unwilling to discuss relative actual risks of four years of Trump to four years of Warren?


2) completely unwilling to discuss risks of Warren presidency at all?


3) unwilling to accept Buttigieg polls 0% with most important Dem constituency?


You’re not just a paid shill/troll, right? You can talk about actual risks of candidates and the state of the actual race.

Unless it’s all bs and you’re a troll.

I’m sure you’ll prove us wrong.

Remember? In terms of actual specific risks to everyday Americans....

What are the specific risks of another 4 years of Trump?

What are the specific risks of 4 years of Warren?

Buddy, when Trump launched in 2015, and his comments about McCain surfaced (“I like people that weren’t captured”), I said that alone was disqualification. It was a window into his lack of values, and his complete disregard for honor and service.

People, maybe even you, said that was just talk, tweaking his enemies, not to worry.

This week he granted pardons for legit war criminals, some serving time, and restored them to rank. While of course throwing a half dozen others in government service under the bus, because they told the truth.

He told us who he was the first time. He has no grasp of honor, or decency, or service.

We don't need hypotheticals or rhetorical questions about how bad it could get in the future.

It is bad now.

Literally any announced candidate would be better.

If you can't see that, either yer nuts, or as morally vacant as he is.

Manhattan Family Seeks Social Media Coordinator (and mother's helper)? You can sit down and start writing the film script right now -- Just decide if it's going to be a witty rom-com or a more traditional three-hanky soap opera

4. My southern grandmother-in-law managed to create the same effect long after the money mostly ran out with a mantra of "We don't buy things - we have things."

That Rolling Stones song is a reference to quaaludes, which were prescribed to housewives in the 50s and early 60s to stabilize mood, they were commonly known and even marketed as "mother's little helper".

Not quaaludes, but Miltowns and later Valium. Didn't they say "little yellow pill" in the song? Luudes must be red, since one of the street names for them is reds.

Somewhat off topic, will someone on this site explain what Straussian is taken to mean? All I can find on the internets is that it means following Strauss, but when I look him up he seems to be just a middle-rent academic bullshitter with nothing much to say. Is there some sort of secret meaning?

You don't think he had much to say because you don't understand the difference between the exoteric meaning of his writings intended for the clueless public like you and the obscure esoteric meaning, which is usually closer to the opposite of the exoteric meaning.

You are right, I mixed up my 1960s commercially available and widely prescribed sedatives. Also, I believe quaaludes are usually white.

3: The General Truth is this: give a man an unearned $10 million and he's just going to spend it on his wang. Just like if you give a man undeserved power, he's going to go full Bill Clinton, and abuse women in service of his wang.

How many times do you need to see this play out before you accept it as truth? Maybe five hundred more will do it for you.

While Tyler pretends that driverless cars are right around the corner, just waiting to change out lives... something else actually is. Technology is going to allow a great many men to have sex lives as varied and exciting as Bill Clinton -- but without the rape. It's going to have yuge implications.

Just as you seem to be. Slight correction-- Bill Clinton was serving his wang before he had power, or attempting to serve his wang, same as everyone else. It doesn't necessarily follow that abuse was involved.

The major difference with Bill is the almost 50 year record of him being a known sexual predator.

Um, actually Liz says that guys like this *shouldn't* be taxed. He should only be taxed if he had carefully saved and invested his money instead. Also, the wealth taxes only continue as long as one continues to save and invest one's money wisely. As soon as one stops hiring people to do productive things and instead spends money on booze, drugs, and prostitutes, then the wealth taxes stop. That's the conduct that wealth taxes penalize (investing) and reward (voracious consumption).

Always bemusing when someone doesn't even recognize that a particular observation, anecdote, piece of data, etc. actually refutes, rather than supports, his point.

It's interesting that 10 million pound guy would be below all the wealth tax thresholds.

He'd just be taxed for income (lump sum or annual payments).

#3) "...after blowing £10m jackpot on drink, drugs and brothels"

The rest, he wasted.

Comment of the day!

Many years ago one of my sons asked, "Dad, why do you let Mom waste all your money on clothes and food?"

Question: Are UK Lotto winnings tax free? If not, he likely netted a lot less than 10 million.

#3) Wow, look how bad globalization and multinational corporations have made things for blue collar laborers. Even when one of them wins a lottery, if their life of despair doesn't drive them to opioid addiction, then the despair causes them to spend all their money on booze, other drugs, and women. Or, at least, that's the conclusion that one must draw if one has adopted currently fashionable anti-neoliberal sentiments on privilege, unequal outcomes, and wealth and income inequality.

#5: The authors include Colin Camerer and what appears to be at least one other economist. I wonder how Camerer would compare the range of conclusions that 70 research teams would draw from a set of fMRI scans to the range of conclusions that 70 economists would draw from a big set of economic data?

From the abstract it's not clear to me how far apart the 70 teams were in their conclusions. There was clearly a good deal of distance, but seemingly they could be reconciled with meta-analysis.

Economists still don't agree on the causes of the Great Depression -- OTOH I'd guess there's a pretty good consensus with 50-60 out of 70 being broadly in agreement and 10-20 having contrarian views.

#2 - answer is no.

#2 - in upper middle class homes throughout the land, a woman or teenage girl employed to help the mother is known as a mother's helper. (Maybe a different word is used in Northern Virginia.) In a bit of irony, the song simply transfers that term to a pill (tranquilizer, not soporific).

The new twist is social media coordinator, which turns a perfectly ordinary job opportunity into a really weird one.

What the heck happened here, a discussion on election choice was deleted because it veered to moral dilemma?

I hope Tyler isn't trying to police his blog so that 2020 is only about things like wealth taxes, and stuff like war crimes cannot be considered.

That itself would show a serious moral vacancy.

And if anyone tries "war crimes are not economics .."

Jesus Christ, war crime bans are Game Theory!

Comments for this post are closed