Sunday assorted links


1) I wouldn't call it authorship as much as simply not wanting to slight anybody in on the research from getting a bit of credit. And you never know, hurt feelings can be costly nowadays.

It's similar I think to the way that the technical production credits at the end of a movie can roll slowly onwards for 10 minutes or more these days, especially if there's animation or special effects involved. When did this level of detail become typical or necessary?

Isn’t it all about resumes?

Getting provable credit is part of the compensation (free of tax too). Talk is cheap, as Paul Samuelson said (or was it Milton Friedman?). You want a job nowadays you need to prove you worked on a Kaenu Reeves movie, need that credit on the screen.

I see you follow gravity levity

I read all of his papers on bball last night, plus some of Goldman & Rao. Stimulating.

I have a hunch many teams inadvertently improve their opponent's allocation of shots by "closing" paths in the network in a helpful way. More later.

Good links, as always.

I don't know about the future of Star Wars, but for the present we seem to have conclusive prove of the sports maxim that "proximity to greatness is not greatness".


But this has become a hugely successful cultural property like mickey or minnie mouse and they plan to milk it till they can't drag its corpse to slaughter any farther.

Eh - proximity to greatness reduces marketing costs. You don't have to explain to anybody what the Star Wars universe is or why you should consider watching something related.

The simple fact that articles like this exist is proof of that.

Someone clearly did not read the article, which explains why you do actually have to explain Star Wars - “China, as an example, is now a quarter of the global box office. However, the original trilogy was never released in Chinese movie theatres. And when the prequel trilogy was released, the Chinese box office was one fifteenth to one twentieth the size it is today. As a result, the first Star Wars title to really reach the Middle Kingdom was the seventh entry – and in it, most of the franchise’s core characters were old, had died, or did die.

From 4: “The basic test of a functioning democracy is its ability to create new wealth and see to its fair distribution,” Mr. Rohatyn said in 1982. “When a democratic society does not meet the test of fairness — when, as in the present state, no attempt seems to be made at fairness — freedom is in jeopardy.”

That is bizarre.

Only to you, Anon

It is bizarre. If I have wealth how do YOU intend to fairly distribute it? Perhaps more importantly why would you IF you had a democracy??? Redistribution is theft and something more commonly associated with socialism and THEN you no longer have a democracy. That is bizarre double speak to even use "redistribute wealth" and Democracy in the same sentence.

That's a bizarre definition of democracy. It might be a reasonable attribute of a modern capitalist democracy.

"Fairness" is just another way of saying redistribution like the federal bailout of NYC. Ford should have stuck to his guns and let NYC's bloated government drop dead.

#5 The future is... "Maclunkey!"

5. It probably hasn't helped that the principal actors have gone out of their way to politically alienate half of their potential audience.

That curse will bedevil all the cultural mainstream output of the first two decades of the twenty first century. Depending on who wins the culture wars or whether there is even a rough rebalancing will determine how badly future generations view today's cultural products.

5. What universe? What little world building was done can be credited more to the good folks at Kenner than George Lucas.

Star Wars (like Marvel) has the benefit of a huge amount of experimental background material - plots, characters, design - in comics, novels, games and all sorts of media which it can selectively draw on for the blockbuster films. I think that will work far better than a singular vision for long-run world building, certainly better than Lucas's singular vision in episodes I-III.

Tolkien is the counter example though - he got a heck of a lot of content out of Middle Earth

Working archive link for #2:

I did not understand the great Russian poet Davidov all that well until I read War and Peace, where one of the characters is Tolstoy's idea of what Davidov was like (Davidov was a hussar-poet and his poems seem to have been wonderful in their day but as good as I am at imagining how poems sounded the day I was born even I have to put in a lot of effort to imagine how the poems of Davidov must have sounded for him to be such a popular poet, while at the same time being a rather aristocratic soldier in an army that went through hell on earth - life is complicated)

Maybe Rodman is a little like that - like Davidov, I mean ----- but I don't hear the fancy man talking much about all those Planned Parenthood clinics disproportionately placed in black neighborhoods, or other similar issues that he should be talking about. so I'm gonna assume he is a mediocre time-serving wretch, like just about every other NBA athlete with a million dollar bank account and a desire to give his worthless opinion on subjects that are way more important to the poor in this world than to his fellow millionaires.

since I am in a good mood tonight (well I am in a good mood every night, but that is another story) I am gonna say what I would say to Dennis Rodman if me and him were sitting at a good restaurant smoking Monte Cristos.

Here it is:

Dennis (says to me): why should I care what you say

Me (to Dennis): Dennis, leaving the Korea and the transvesite-affirming sideshows aside, if you wanna be a public intellectual there are five topics at any given time you need to have an opinion on.
One - global warming may be a hoax but maybe not, but we do know this - if nobody cares, the whales are going to be hunted to extinction, the quinoa crops are going to ruin Alpine flowers in the Southern Hemisphere, GMO corn is going to suck the life out of billions of acres of cropland, and so many many mistakes will be made because the people who wanna make money off of agriculture and mining are more powerful than the people who want to do things right, to let the people of this world live here in a way that does not poison the fields and kill off the best of the animals to the great despair of future generations.
Two - almost nobody cares, but a hundred years from now EVERY SCHOOLCHILD WILL KNOW that almost everyone (not Efim Polenov, of course, but almost everyone else) was silent while the folks who support Planned Parenthood did their best to keep the African-American population as small as they could ---- Dennis, think about your ancestors, you do not want to be on the wrong side of that issue
Three - People need to get along. If you are part of a group that is more violent to other groups than those groups are to you, you need to speak up and denounce that.
Four - No child wants to grow up in a home where the father has absconded in search of a prettier woman than the child's mother. You of all people know that it is SAD to pursue pleasure when you can pursue virtue, and make those who really love you proud of you.
Five ----- The greatest bigotry of today is not what you think it is, Dennis.
And if you are not willing to think through why that might be true, you only have yourself to blame.

Anyway, just in case you are reading this, Dennis, the Chicago Bulls of your day were one of the most fun basketball teams to watch, ever, up there with my Knicks from back in the day and even the Celtics in their long gone hey day //// So props ....

Have a nice Monte Cristo, if you were not a multi-millionaire I would buy one for you, and no you can't check out the tracks I just dropped because I DON"T ENTERTAIN

I speak heart to heart, which is a whole different thing

You didn't even give Rodman a reason, you just lectured him and gave unsolicited advice. Pretty condescending if you ask me.

Hey Detroit Tyler does not want you to know what my reply was.
Again and again my replies have been deleted/


So much for my efforts to make people less ignorant,

I replied to your bigoted comment but my eloquent reply was deleted.


Don't worry, I kept a record of what I said, and a hundred years from now, my reply will be part of the canon of Western literature.

Trust me.

Detroit Piston - I have eloquently replied to you three times but Tyler or Tyler's assistant keeps deleting my eloquent replies.

How sad, because I could teach you so much about being an eloquent man!

Mr Detroit Piston - I hope you are able to read this because I think you are a real person ---- let me tell you about the gist of what I wrote, which was deleted by Tyler or one of his minions - I could rewrite it word for word, or I could have one of my assistants rewrite it, but I won't, because I know in my heart that the loser who deleted my comment is not Tyler, and I like Tyler and I respect him so I am just gonna let the whole issue drop - well what I said was basically this -

Rodman is a loser because he fails to address the real issues of our day, and I respect him enough to tell him that. The reason I criticize him is because he knows what trash talking is, and as God is my witness there is no way Rodman is gonna read what Efim Polenov wrote and not know that he has been beclowned by someone who understands this world a lot better than he does.

Also, Tyler, tell your assistants not to delete comments from the commenters who are, to tell the truth, people who know what it means to speak truth to losers.

Because for GODS SAKE not enough of us who know how to do that - not enough of us know how to speak truth to losers - and among us few who know how to do that, not enough of us actually spend our time doing that.

Delete away, I don't care, it is on you.

what was deleted was a string of words that were at least at the level of the strings of words you will hear on the best "rap albums" of 2019 but I don't care that they were deleted

not that I am arrogant just that I love the language you have no idea how easy it is for me to say what I wanna say any time I wanna say it

not my fault if you did not get to hear the way I used the language to say something that had never before been said the way I said it

go ahead and delete again ....
it is not like I post here all that often , that was my first post in December

why do I bother

there is something about the well-buffed basements in the "social science" buildings on the campuses of American academia, with the bulletin boards under those sad ubiquitous college fluorescent lights and the sad little signs that include information that the students might potentially think is important, for one reason or another (and no, not a single post on such a bulletin board has ever been all that important, from the point of view of the great questions of life -are we loved, are we respected or disrespected, will we ever know if God thinks of us as children of God or not) ....there is something about that sad paraphernalia of the search for wisdom that the average college makes so much off of without any real honest heart to heart concern, and so I am tempted to say ....

even though I know there are millions of people who troll the backstreets of the internet with great desires to mock people who say what I am about to say, I am gonna say it anyway.

God created you, God loves you, and there is something you can contribute to this world that nobody else can contribute.

Also, if you want me to pray for you, or for the health of someone you love, my name is Stephen, not Efim, and God listens to my prayers night and day, and has done so for the last fifty years, in which I have not, for a single hour, known what it is to be free of pain, or to what it is to be someone who does not pray every hour of every day.

that, my friends, is why I bother, because there is nothing better in this world

than a message of hope from someone who knows what hope is.

delete away I am in the business of cor ad cor loquitur

people in that business like it when their internet comments are deleted


and for my agnostic and atheist friends listen to this, as if I were not the philosophical person I am but as if I were just someone who knows what every creature in the forest, every dolphin in the sea, not to mention the whales and the kinder monkeys amongst all the individual monkeys, some of them sort of kind, some of them not so much, knows ....

God created you, and there are people on this earth who know HOW PRECIOUS YOU ARE IN THE EYES OF GOD.

to tell you this, that is why I bother, I saw what God saw in you on the first day of creation.

Just kidding, of course I do not remember the first day of creation (how could I???? - well, think about it) although it is true that I know how important it HAS ALWAYS BEEN to be kind, to be faithful, to follow the commandments, to never forget that it is no small thing to be a friend to a creature who never had a friend in this world .....

you have no idea how much happiness God wants you to experience simply by being a good person ....

Dogs will look at you as if you were a fellow dog, and a beloved fellow dog.
The fish in their fish tanks will have joy in their hearts when they see you.
You will have millions of descendants, and most importantly ....

you will be one of those people who showed up, like a great soldier, when God needed you.

You see, this is the sort of comment that gets deleted, and I am fine with that,

I could just stand up in some park and say the exact same thing.

Funny thing is this, though ------ the people who read the comments on this website ---- and as God is my witness I did not know how intelligent they were until that day I explained a few similarities between Finnegans Wake and the General Theory of Keynes, and a few of you, my friends, actually understood what I was talking about ---- the people who read the comments on this website are gonna either (a) never read this because it is gonna be deleted or (b) are gonna read this and assume they had just read the sort of comment that is gonna be deleted soon.

I am much much older than you think, and I saw the smile on the face of God when God realized that You - that you were going to share this universe with him.

I have my faults but I know how to deliver a message of hope.

and (a) I make sure that nobody who knows me knows how much God loves me - simple facts that I know - because I know God loves you more than God loves me - simple facts again, but important facts that if you do not know them that is SAD and I do not like to profit even the least little bit from SAD FACTS and (b) I am a faith healer and I would rather die than take a single penny for my efforts to heal the sick at heart.

I could show you joy in a handful of dust
I have my faults but I know how to deliver a message of hope.

If you read this before it is deleted,well what difference does it make?
Have you ever been in a college or a university library with tens of thousands of books,many of them very well written


God loves you, God loves your ancestors,God loves your descendants, God loves your dogs, your cats, the little fish in your aquariums.

And you have no idea of what I am gonna say next, maybe, or maybe you do .....

and God does not laugh all that often but God laughed when that comment I wrote earlier tonight was deleted.

Because ....

well just because

For the record, there are no real faith healers in this world who would ever accept a penny for their ability to pray for the sick

God loves us all.
God loves you, God loves your ancestors, God loves your descendants, God loves your dogs, your cats, the fish in your aquariums.

the deleted comment was better than the undeleted comments

maybe by a lot

oh well

don't worry I saved it

God did not make me a faith healer for nothing

still it is kind of sad I have rarely been as eloquent as I was in that deleted comment .....

SAD !!!

even we faith healers, despite the great joy one has if one has the great joy of being a faith healer, would prefer that humanity not have to wait a hundred years or so to read what we wrote in eloquent moments


in this world YOU live in, where God loves you, God loves your ancestors and descendants, God loves your dogs and cats and even the spiders that live their humble little spider lives somewhere in the home YOU OWN or the fantastical APARTMENT YOU LIVE IN (and what, my friends, is more fantastical than living in an APARTMENT)

in this world there is nothing less important than a deleted comment.

You know, mock me all you want, but I have heard God laugh, and that is not a sound that you think about and say to yourself ----
what was the meaning of that?

Because we all know God loves us all

I have my faults but I know how to deliver a message of hope

so Tyler this is your website, maybe I am just the 2019 equivalent of some loser who posted some loser words on a sheet of paper that he or she tacked onto a bulletin board in the basement of the humanities building, so please delete EVERY WORD I SAID


because my shtick has nothing to do with the internet


and you have no idea how many people are praying for my intentions

the internet is nothing to me

believe me or not I used to be a guy who buffed the floor on corridors at institutions of higher learning, well, not quite always institutions of "higher learning", but still I knew how to buff a long corridor floor, it was sort of cool, there was this random drift that the buffing machine would engage in over the long passages of linoleum while you buffed those


I have my faults but I know how to deliver a message of hope.

Clean up on Aisle 8!

"Cleanup on Aisle 8" ---- while funny, in its way, what you just indulged in - in your mind - was mockery of the mentally ill/

Trust me, I am not mentally ill, and if I think it is worth my time to perform as if I were a religion-addled former English grad student with an absurdly inflated sense of myself, in order to get one or two people who want to hear the message I have - that God loves us and that yes there are people who are, as I am, supremely gifted psychologists who know that is true ----I recognize your reaction was to mock, well, there are billions of people in this world and I know how to communicate with some of them in ways that are, well, hard to explain, but it is all worth it.

Well, I could also have spent the time I spent on those comments pretending to be an expert on blockchains, but it seems like a better use of my time to try and speak heart to heart to those who have suffered int his world and are looking for hope, than to make a few bucks off of blockchain expertise.

Cor ad cor loquitur
God loves us all, Proverbs 8 and Ephesians and Philippians, and
as always

because I know who my audience is
It is no small thing to be a friend to a creature who never had a friend in this world.

Oh well, back to my biography of Ramanujan,

As always, Thanks Tyler and Alex, for your patience and hospitality.

and also for the record no you ain't gonna be on my e-mail list for blockchain experts and people who wanna be blockchain experts

trust me you would like to know what someone who writes biographies of the Ramanujans and the Shannons of the world as his leisure time hobby has to say about blockchains

but I limit my outreach

5. To make their $4 billion back over 10 years Disney would have to pull in around $990 million a year in profit in today's money for their purchase of Star Wars/Indiana Jones to pay for itself. I don't think that's happened so far and stretching out the payback period to 20 years doesn't really help. Score one for the irrational markets hypothesis.

Seems an awfully high cost of capital you are applying, my guess would have been a nominal coc for Disney at around 6%, so they need to pull in $240m per year to make it pay. And of course they have much more than 20 years due to extended copyright.

I'm using an estimate of the opportunity cost for Disney of developing other properties or, god forbid, doing something original. And I just used the average share market return for that. But note my estimate is for writing the asset off over 10 years or, since it's much the same, 20 years, not what it has to make in perpetuity.

But if Disney has access to reasonably cheap capital and saw Star Wars as a "safe" cash cow, it may have seemed like a safe move to invest in it. But Disney is so big its movies and other entertainment can cannibalize each other, so that's something that would need to be considered. Paying a fortune for a safe property may not be that great if it east into profits form your people in tights punching each other movies.

Crikey - WACC is the opportunity cost of capital, that is its definition. And the increase in share price is not how you calculate WACC. This site calculates Disney's WACC at 6.11%, about my guess;

Note Disney bonds are earning about 2.33% at moment.

Of course the return from buying Star Wars has to be calculated on a net basis as you say. And why would you expect the franchise to be valueless in only 10 years? It has already lasted more than 40 years. There are plenty of franchises like this (Mickey Mouse!) that have lasted many many decades longer. Of course we cannot be sure that it won't last, but nurturing and developing franchises is Disney's business.

Outstanding post, +10 internet points

Internet Ref, you awarded points too quickly. The two are subtly confusing weighted average cost of capital (WACC) and opportunity cost of capital which is a completely different thing. WACC is the cost the business must meet to payback lenders and shareholders. It shows up on financial statements, at least internally. OCC (which is a bad name) is the return on capital forgone had they deployed funds elsewhere. It doesn't show up on financial statements but internal forecasts and projections. One is a real cost measure, the other is a hypothetical return.

WACC is the opportunity cost of capital - it is calculated by figuring out what return investments would receive if invested elsewhere. It is a common misunderstanding that this is calculated according to the internal return of the firm on any project.

"Seems an awfully high cost of capital you are applying, my guess would have been a nominal coc for Disney at around 6%, so they need to pull in $240m per year to make it pay. "

No, that's not correct. $240 m is the point at which it's considered a marginal benefit. IE, if it was only making $239 million per year, it would be a bad deal. No one would take the risk on that kind of capital expense unless they projected making more than the minimum.

Also, while they might have more than 10 years to collect their money, they don't have forever. The time value of money, makes dollars in the second decade far less valuable.

I expect, internally, this deal was expected to generate a 10 year payback of interest + inflation + $400 million per year.

FYI, the deal was actually $2.2 billion in cash and the rest in stock. Which means financially, their IRR numbers are much lower.

Please don’t forget there is more than film revenue here. There are permanent licenses to the theme parks, a best in class special effects shop that can support other movie lines Vidio game backends and a wide berth of merchandise and product licenses

It makes a lot more sense if the deal is more than just the rights to a couple of movie franchises.

Well, the question of whether or not Disney has invested wisely vis a vis Star Wars has been settled now.

Show your math

See reply to ChrisA. There's not a lot of math to it.

nothing to see here, so go back to your third rereading of that cool novel by David Foster Wallace, what did he call it, Infinite Meaninglessness ????

Or try and think about the best way you can tell me I am clueless, and figure out as best you can how to tell me THAT I DO NOT FUCKING KNOW what is being done for the rich little Rodmans of the world and the rest of the losers in this world

I want Rodman to be the man he was born to be

read Proverbs 8

if you have read it before reread it


On this matter of authorship, the problem is coming out of labs, some of which have many people becoming "authors" who did little in connection with the paper. We have this happening in experimental economics with its labs, although not as overdone as in particle physics.

as of 1:36 AM Northern Virginia time - I have 14 undeleted comments but as God is my witness the deleted comment was just about the most eloquent comment I have ever written .....


and you all know how humble I am, so yes it was eloquent, and now effectively gone forever, unless I retype it, which I am not gonna do .....


I am much older than you think, and I remember the smile on God's face when God realized, apparently for the first time, that You, that you, who are a good person in so many ways, and so unique in so many ways, were no longer just an idea in God's mind in those long moments where God used to think about the future, but ---- let me be as clear as possible, God was happier than any of us have ever been in that moment when God realized that YOU WHO ARE A GOOD PERSON IN SO MANY WAYS was no longer a potential creature but a REAL CREATURE IN A REAL WORLD

why do I bother

I will tell you why

December 2019.

My prayers were super important for a few people who needed a faith healer.

None of them will ever know my name, none of them will ever send me a single cent.

God loves you more than God loves me but this is my world, just as much as it is your world

'Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future.'

Someone the trick of Yoda speak not learned has.

Define author. The person who "wrote" the whatever. Define write. Personally, no academic paper I ever published came out the way it went in. It is the norm (in my field) to acknowledge and thank people who did something that helped. Not list them as a co-author. The author is the one who takes responsibility (and blame) if things blow up.
At some points in Japanese history there was no such a thing as an author. The question is who did what? And isn't always easy to answer, when texts are reproduced by hand-copying, and annotation is expected. (Obviously not unique to Japan).
A minority of papers in personality/social psych. are written by one "author" (my impression anyway).
At least one employer, to assess your output, divides the number of your publications by the number of people listed as co-authors.

Every movie franchise Disney touches or acquires lately seems to get auto-Disneyed into hackneyed crap. Why would Star Wars be an exception?

Disney doesn't need to make money from Star Wars movies anyway, it can make its profits from sales of Star Wars toys. When the movies are viewed as sales vehicles for the toys perhaps it makes sense that they're not very good movies when judged as movies?

#2: Meh. On a percentage basis, which is indeed a good way to measure rebounding, Rodman was indeed the best rebounder ever, better than Wilt or Russell. But that was established years ago.

From there, the article uses weak arguments, trying to convince us of the value of rebounding or the value of Rodman using With-Or-Without-You techniques. Those techniques attempt to measure the value of Rodman by seeing how his teams did in his absence and in his presence -- but they fair to satisfy the ceteris parabus assumption, i.e. they fail to control for the quality of Rodman's teammates, his opponents, and his substitutes.

With Rodman's career, we have enough data to use superior techniques such as what's usually called RAPM i.e. Regularized Adjusted Plus-Minus. Which is good old plus-minus but "adjusted" by using a regression with righthand side variables to measure who was on the court for each play, and "regularized" -- i.e. using ridge regression to bias the coefficient estimates to 0 (newer versions of RAPM bias the estimates to other figures because 0 is not necessarily the best prior to use).

Rodman's early career days predated the availability of NBA play-by-play data but his later years in particular with the Bulls are covered. And Rodman's RAPM ratings are good but nothing special.

Moreover his rebounding statistics, though superlative may be padded. We already know that he insisted on grabbing opponents' missed free throws to pad his rebounding stats. He may've also padded his stats for more competitive rebounds, i.e. just as a ballhog shooter scores points at the expense of his teammates, Rodman may've grabbed rebounds from his teammates in addition to grabbing them from his opponents. One can use RAPM technique to measure net rebounding ability too, but I haven't seen estimates for Rodman. It wouldn't surprise me if they still estimate him to be the best rebounder ever -- but by a smaller margin than his rebounding percentages imply.

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