Thursday assorted links

1. A Bayesian approach to Bernie Sanders (show your work).

2. Should libertarians ally with Bolsonaro?

3. In which I interview Tom Kalil, Chief Innovation Officer at Schmidt Futures (other sessions too, scroll down for mine).  And Phantom Tyler says solve for the equilibrium.

4. New British fast-track visa, aimed especially at scientists.

5. Taste for Indian food predicts Bernie Sanders support (NYT).  But what does an interest in Pakistani food correlate with?  In the United States, Pakistani food usually is better than Indian.

6. “A professor at one of China’s top universities has quit what many academics would regard as a dream job after he gained celebrity status through an online “knowledge-sharing” platform.”  (former GMU student, 2008 Ph.d)


"But what does an interest in Pakistani food correlate with?"

Missionaries and federal government workers

Sanders talks about jailing bankers, compares drug co. executives to murders, calls for criminally prosecuting fossil fuel co. executives and has proposed national rent-control.

Whatever he is, it ain't good.

It could be worse. He could be Warren....

Even More Worser.

Cue the crime wave. Blame it on the NRA!

Lunatic Bernie Sanders promises exec orders to end immigration enforcement; close prisons;and [unrelated] ban crude oil exportation.

In other news, Soros spending big money in DA election races to inflame the crime wave with, among other crazy things, ending bail.

Whereupon, we will hear sincere regrets from Republicans for not restraining Presidential powers when they had the chance and promises never to elect anyone like Trump again -- unless it can help them reduce tax collections from high income people.

It is so trippy how history began yesterday!

It's psychotic out there and getting more pathologically psychoticer.

You can keep predicting crime waves all you want. They probably aren't happening.

Hilarious that Warren and Sanders are so scary, but we have to put on our thinky faces when it comes to Bolsonaro.

I mean, fascism is good for business. But locking up white bankers?

Bolsonaro is an asshole. He's also saving Brazil.

Tyler, please render your thoughts on how Imran Khan, the ostensibly friendly and humanitarian PM of Pakistan, never denounced what China is doing to the Uyghurs. It looks like China really has Pakistan by the balls. When probed on the issue, Khan went out of his way to minimize the oppression of Chinese Muslims.

1: What’s the Bayesian probability on whether “libertarian” apologists for plutocracy like Caplin and Cowen are in fact crypto-Nazis? Well above 15 percent, given the ludicrous, hysterical reaction they have to the faintest whiff of social democracy infiltrating Fortress Murica. In any event, far too high to allow them to grant them access to impressionable young minds.

-1, your post is just a call for censorship of ideas you don't like.

As opposed to censorship of ideas that YOU don't like.

We’re more than happy to debate any individual issue. It’s the left that wants to throw blacks, women, gays, planet earth before the bus and actually debate the policy issues!

Exactly where am I calling for censorship?

If I've read the playbook correctly, next they will call your speech violence, and demand that you be silenced. That's not censorship, of course, they are merely engaging in self defense.

Jesus, what a bunch of snowflakes.

Here’s what happened:

Caplan wrote an incredibly offensive and childish blog post about how Bernie Sanders is a secret supporter of one of the most murderous regimes in history because he thinks people should be able to get medical treatment in the richest country in the world without it bankrupting them.

Then Cowen links to it approvingly.

Then I make a joke about how people with the same ideological commitments as Caplan and Cowen have historically been very cozy with various fascist regimes (which is of course true, see eg Juan Peron), so of course they’re probably covered with swastika tattoos, ha ha.

And then the snowflake brigade shows up and cries about how I hurt their fee-fees.

Fuck off.

This is the dumbest comment of all time. Sanders went to the Soviet Union for his honeymoon. For two decades a Soviet Flag was displayed behind his desk in his mayoral office.

He wasn't a "secret supporter" he was a supporter!

I too was severely affected by that link.

also, -2 for lack of ideological nuance. apologists for plutocracy not really the same as nazis, whereas bernie's socialism is an ideological cousin of communist totalitarianism.

1. I think Caplan’s probabilities are way off. Sanders was the mayor of Burlington for a decade and did not try to abolish private property or implement communism there. I have been to Burlington and it is a nice place with lots of privately owned shops and restaurants catering to people’s niche tastes. I’d put the probability of an actual communist like Lenin or Mao liking Burlington at less than 10%. Bernie Sanders also said he’s proud of the money he made from book sales, again something I’d find it hard to picture Lenin or Mao doing.

2. Yes, as a libertarian, I would support Bolsonaro as long as he is boosting the Brazilian economy. The greatest threat to liberty in the world today is the US government and its ability to impose extraterritorial laws on virtually everyone because of the reach of its sanctions. The only solution to this in the long run is the economic development of third world countries so that the means of production are not all controlled by the US government. Greater economic development in those countries will also reduce immigration (just look at how immigration from Mexico is now net negative or how Chinese students went from almost all staying in the US in 2000 to mostly returning home today), which will also reduce the US government’s authoritarian infrastructure around immigration. Unless they are actively committing ethnic cleansing or something, third-world leaders should be judged solely on their ability to develop their countries economically.

If you are arguing on item 2 that a ruined America is better for non-Americans, I'm not so sure (Pax Americana really was a thing).

But a ruined America is certainly not better for Americans.

I never said America should be ruined, I said developing countries should develop to match America.

Don't worry, Zaua -- I, at least, thought your point was clear enough.

1. It’s a meaningless exercise since the probabilities are made up.

2. The Uighers would disagree with you.

1. The point Caplan seems to be making is that there is a significant risk that Sanders is an actual communist. That seems to be a risk worthy of discussion even if the actual numbers are meaningless.

2. China oppresses people within its borders but it doesn’t try to claim jurisdiction over everything that happens in the world the way America does. Uighurs are free to leave China whenever they want and are outside Chinese jurisdiction once they do. I have never heard of China having a Uighur activist outside China arrested for their activities outside China, yet the US has foreigners arrested for their conduct in foreign countries all the time.

“Uighers are free to leave China whenever they want”


"“Uighers are free to leave China whenever they want”"

Certainly, except for the one million in the re-education camps. And the rest who can't get an internal travel visa, let alone an exit visa. But other than that, sure they can leave. {rolls eyes}

And if they go to anywhere neighbouring with a similar cultural mileau, like Kazakhstan, well, China exerts power there too.


Sort of gives the lie to China being a country that only manages people within its borders. (If you even believed that, contra, say, Chinese government influence in NZ).

Advocating for the self-exile of peoples from their homelands as sort of a "Well, there's not actually a problem because..." is kind of a novel one though, even to the extent it is actually feasible.

"Sort of gives the lie to China being a country that only manages people within its borders. "

Well that and Tibet, Mongolia, the Spratley Islands, etc...

Zaua, reducing between country inequality seems to be for what reducing within country inequality is for a Bernie Bro.

That is to say, there's probably some case for it... but you seem to argue for doing it in almost any context, appear to compromise absolutely any other libertarian principle for an opportunity to do (including advocating for outright authoritarian Communist regimes, provided they are in "poor countries"), and appear to be as motivated by dislike and distrust of rich countries as the Berners are by dislike of rich individuals, and with an equal strength feeling that the rich (countries / individuals) have somehow cheated to get where they are.

Seems somewhat bizarre, given you arguing in a recent thread that we should only care about absolute wealth, not inequality. When it comes to between country inequality, inconsistent that you generally argue more or less the opposite?

The anti-inequality Left makes the same arguments you make, that excessive fiscal power attributing to individuals gives them inordinate fiscal power over society, only in a within-society context. Why do you feel they have so much more force in this context?

"The greatest threat to liberty in the world today is the US government and its ability to impose extraterritorial laws"

This kind of shit is why I identify as an Objectivist not a libertarian.

#1 The guy is on record as such. Nonetheless, I believe he will be the nominee.

#5 Nonsense. I love both cuisines and Tamil cuisine and I'm Trump 2020 all the way.

#6 Cut. Out. Middlemen. Do you want to restore meritocracy? Do you believe in it? Then why are you getting the knowledge from the person that has it while obtaining the piece of paper from other then them. I know lots of MBA types that are completely useless and totally uninventive in their thinking. I think it's only a matter of time before educators start mimicking the young when they say they'd rather be youtube stars than teach in a classroom.

" I think it's only a matter of time before educators start mimicking the young when they say they'd rather be youtube stars than teach in a classroom."

Yes, but doesn't that mean the truly talented educators will reach many, many more students? Students who will be far more likely to pay attention because it's somebody they picked and not a random class that happen to be the right subject matter at the right time and the current semester. This would seem to be a far better use of the best educators time and talent.

I wasn't implying a value judgement. I think it would be. What Prof. Xue has done is both cut out the middlemen and created a perfect supply-demand model for his expertise. I think it represents where things are headed, and that universities as 'knowledge-aggregation & certification' services will become increasingly irrelevant. We're seeing some of this already.

Smaller class sizes = lower productivity. YouTube has the potential to reverse the trend and “educators” should seek gainful employment elsewhere.

High school and elementary school teachers fill a role that is as much coach as educator. Only half their job is transmitting knowledge. The other half is creating and maintaining a classroom culture such that the students do what they need to do to absorb the knowledge (This does not come naturally to most people under the age of 18). The second half is very difficult to scale.

+5 i.p., solid comment

+1 agreed. I wouldn't expect this to scale to grade school. It might work with high school aged and exceptional younger kids.

2. "Bolsonaro's inner circle has embraced the one aspect of libertarianism that overlaps with its own ethos: opposition to socialism. But the critique is articulated in the language of a paranoid right-wing nationalism."

Sadly unsurprising. This is how nations fail. They decide to stop picking up the laundry or doing the dishes, and come to believe it is a "socialism or fascism" moment.

See also Dershowitz on democracy.

There is nkt fascist about Mr. Bolsonaro. This is slander created by Cultural Marxists.

+1 Bolsonaro has Brazil on track to eliminate deficit spending by 2022, has greatly reduced the prevalence of crime, is working to privatize state industry. No wonder The State Capacity Libertarian Elite despises him. Unfortunately the libertarian governor of Minas Gerais appears to be floundering in response to the flooding there. But thankfully the good and noble people of Brazil live in an authentic representative, pluralist multi-party democracy and will have a meaningful opportunity to address such incompentence in the next election.

This is how nations fail. They decide to stop picking up the laundry or doing the dishes, and come to believe it is a "socialism or fascism" moment.

Oh, that's how nations fail. Would you mind listing a few examples?

Many of the most disappointing Indian food experiences I've had in the Washington DC area have been at places that market themselves as "Indian food" but are clearly run by Pakistanis. I haven't come across this amazing Pakistani food Tyler claims is out there.

I've had good "Indian" food by Pakistanis but I agree the situation is confused.

#2 Yes, unconditionally and unreservedly. Mr. Bolsonaro himself is a libertarian. He has implemented the most radical frew market reforms the world has seen since the Perestroika. He supports businesses. He is slashing labor rights. He opposes unions and Indian reserves. He is making easier to explore in a economical way rain forests and Indian reserves. He has refused to endorce onerous laws to businessmen. He reformed Brazil's pensions system, saving taxpayers trillions of dollars. Brazil's stockmarkets are breaking all records. Crime is down. Unemployment is down. Mr. Bolsonaro refuses to increase taxes. He opposes tariffs. He is fighting waste and corruption. He has just fired an acting minister (who was an old family friend) who requested a government airplane instead of flying on a common airline. Mr. Bolsonaro said it might not have been illegal, but it was immoral because one must be careful with the people's money. He is supported by Brazil' main business associations. He opposes public services except Defense, Public Safety and enforcement of contracts. He said private property is sacred. He opposes immigration. He is fighting a protracted war against educational bureaucrats, human rights activists and environmental activists. He has called Mrs. Thurnberg a brat. He is slashing Brazil's welfare state. He is expanding guns rights as no previous Brazilian president has done. He wants to approve a law making easier for security forces kill criminals. He supports President Trump's Two-State Peace Plan for the Middle East. He supported the strike against Soleimani. He opposes homosexuals visting Brazil. He has banned controversial questions on Brazil's state universities entrance exam. He supports America against Red China. He has overhauled the countries' Culture Secretary to sideline extremists. He built a $100 million-dollar Navy base in Antarctica. He is strong on defense matters and has been awarded an army medal for saving a soldier's life. He is depriving leftist publications from state publicity and is investigating leftist businesses.

...picture Thiago literally climaxing as he wrote this? It's much longer and more urgent than his usual stuff.

Thiago would be very disappointed if he found some referring to President Captain Bolsonaro as "Mr Bolsonaro".
The only permitted way of referring to President Captain Bolsonaro is "President Captain Bolsonaro".

It is not true. One is authorized to call him Mr. Bolsonaro, which is an improvemente over the link description calling him simply "Bolsonaro". Evidently, however, the form "President Captain" is to be favored (for pointing his accomplishments) provided it neither make him look pompous nor make the text a dull reading.

Improvemente. That was good, 'Allan'.

That is the imposter.

Putting #1 right next to #2 feels a little Bayesian.

Jesus Christ. What are you suggesting here, Tyler?

Straussian, surely?

Honestly, it's neither. He's not really being subtle at this point. He's advocating tyranny as a means to prevent socialism.

I do not think it is tyranny per se, actually. Mr. Bolsonaro is a Conservative, something like an Eisenhower Republican or an Al Smith Democrat.

I'm gonna need a refresher on the time Ike told people it was okay to commit criminal assaults. Or maybe I'm missing the time Bolsanaro ordered a parachute brigade to protect a minority group.

#1 What was not factored into this Bayesian analysis was the attitudes of Bernie's supporters, many of whom appear to be very non-crypto, open totalitarians.

IMHO it is this (and Bernie's obvious choice not to rebuke the totalitarian attitudes and behaviors of, say, Antifa) that create more concern than what's known of his political past.

Yes, it is so easy to imagine supporters chanting 'Lock them up' at a Bernie rally, isn't it?

Imagine, that is. The reality of what created the basis for that fantasy has a now years long history of being chanted at political rallies.

There's no reason to Imagine this. You can just watch the video.

""Lock Him Up" Chants Break Out At Bernie Sanders Rally With Rep. Ilhan Omar"

"Bernie Sanders wants to take fossil fuel companies to criminal court"

Why do people not take 5 seconds to Google something like that before jumping in? It's not hard to find. I mean, it came up at one of the frigging debates, for chrissakes.

You have your answer.

1. Are the numbers and formulas supposed to impress us? This just seems like like some shoddy analysis coated with formulas and name dropping Bayesian to give it the air of credibility.

Indian food is already highly regional, so "Indian vs. Pakistani" cuisine is bizarre. Much northern Indian food is mostly the same as what is served in Punjab, JK, and Khyber Pakhtunwa. I can get Peshawari naan at any Indian restaurant, but Peshawar is in KP. Even more ridiculous would be to compare "Indian vs. Bangladeshi"; it's all Bengali cuisine, but a Bangladeshi restaurant would be more likely to serve halal food.

The main difference I have observed that marks a place as "Pakistani" rather than "Indian" is the presence of beef on the menu. Likewise, even though some sects of Islam approve of shrimp, its presence correlates strongly with Hindu (and therefore almost certainly Indian) ownership/management.

"it's all Bengali cuisine"

To clarify, not all Indian food is Bengali, but Bangladeshi food would not be in any significant manner different from Bengali food served in West Bengal or by a Bengali immigrant from WB.

Would it be ok to say "the best Punjabi places don't serve alcohol"?

Exactly my thought. I'm not trying to have a Pakistani dosa

In the UK, where Bengalis have had the Indian food scene on lockdown, prawns have always been a staple. A cultural difference from Pakistan, I guess.

Maybe that is why they are no long East Pakistan.

#2 should Libertarians support Bolsonaro or should Libertarians even support globalization?

Why do we see increasing globalization arm-in-arm with decreasing human rights globally?

I think it is because globalization leads to Clover labor shares of income and greater income stratification, thus increasing racial, religious, sectarian, and class tensions. This leads to either populism or repression, and of course, often-times both.

Globalization also seems to produce an alienation of the governed from the governing. When officials in Washington say that they are protecting US interests in the Mideast, does anybody know what they are talking about?

Multinationals, of course, are the guiding power behind globalization and they prefer regime stability, while indifferent to human rights.

Human rights have been steadily improving since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Perhaps you'd like to correlate globalism with reduced computer speeds, lower American GDP, or decreasing distance between Voyager and the Sun?

Audio is quite bad on the Kalil interview.

Gets better after they fix it.

Sanders is not a "crypto-" anything. Not today, anyway. Perhaps in the past, who knows. He openly declares himself a socialist, and when asked how he'll get his legislation past congressional gridlock, he vaguely states that a "political revolution" will take place. To his opponents that sounds ominous, as if the streets will rise up and invade the legislative halls. And if he was making even the most basic attempts at concealment, he'd be a Democratic senator instead of an independent socialist. All in all, there is sufficient truth in advertising.

However, Sanders is almost certainly Putin's true preferred candidate. Not a Manchurian candidate, mind you. But he'll divert US military spending to social programs, which is what Putin cares about the most. And those military cuts will be permanent, because when new entitlement programs are enacted, history tells us that they will be practically impossible to repeal by any future administrations.

Putin very much hopes that Sanders will be an American Gorbachev. In the West, that would be considered a compliment, but not in Russia. Chaotic reforms and economic collapse abruptly terminated the Soviet Union's military superpower status. Even today, Gorbachev's approval ratings in Russia are in the single digits. And Xi Jinping very much shares this view of Gorbachev's legacy, harshly criticizing it as an example of what China must never do.

Sanders isn't a crypto-communist, but Putin is most definitely a crypto Sanders supporter. Russia right now is like a pro-wrestling bad guy, strutting in the public arena. The goal is not to defeat the good-guy wrestler, but to make it look like that's what you're trying to do, while whipping the crowd into a frenzy cheering for the opposite outcome. And in this case, the crowd is actually the electorate that decides the outcome.

Of course Sanders supporters are patriotic, none of this is a reflection on them. Putin's motivations and long-term aims are very different from theirs. Putin blames the US for the Soviet Union's downfall – not entirely without reason, since winning the Cold War and ending the evil empire were explicit aims of US foreign policy – and he's looking for payback.

In this calculation, Trump hardly matters except as a useful means of cranking up polarization and priming the kind of reverse-direction swing we've seen in the last few presidential cycles. As a former intelligence chief, Putin certainly knew how to read Trump and how the US political system works. Trump was never going to deliver on the grandiose goals that Putin truly cares about for his legacy. This was never about lifting sanctions or other small stuff.

#1. The calculations would be improved using information on Sander's track record in the chapter on him in the excellent new book Profiles in Corruption. Live every communist plutocrat (Castro, Xi, Putin, Obama) Sanders is first and foremost about lining his own pockets.

2. Liberals (in the correct definition of the term) have always been a tiny minority in any country. In Brazil what is happening is that we have two choices: either hardline totalitarian Marxist-Leninists (Lula and his ) or "light-fascists" such as Bolsonaro. Any liberal one will certainly support the latter vis the former.

It is true that there were some liberals that voted for Lula but that I think is due to imperfect information regarding the risks of Lula vis the risks of Bolsonaro. In other words, they believed in the left-wing propaganda that Bolsonaro=Hitler, instead of actually being reasonable regarding the evidence.

If they try hard enough UK can get back to a policy no more restrictive than freedom of movement between UK and EU. Ditto a policy of no restrictions on trade in services and goods. It seem like a lot of extra cost for formal "sovereignty" and loss of influence on single market policy.

#2..I'd rather have "The Humungus" from Road Warrior lead my country than Bolsonaro.

Yep. He's much worse than The Humungus.

The only reason to bring up Bolsonaro is to move Trump towards the moderate camp.

#4 Foreign chemists may avoid UK labor market.

#1: Is Caplan trying to be sarcastic? Sanders' socialism has never been hidden. And knowing the differences between socialism and communism is high school level political science.

About these British visas...

Cambridge sociologist’s visa fight ‘sends shockwaves’ through universities
Academics say case of Dr Asiya Islam, turned down after 10 years in UK, gives the lie to assurances Britain is open to experts

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