Mar 312016
 

Cant Believe its NotWhy did Apple push back so hard against the FBI?
“When you’re making $50-100Bn a year in profit, you can’t put the money in a bank: you have to *become* a bank. And that’s what Apple Pay is about

The FBI thought they were asking for a way to unlock a mobile phone, because the FBI is myopically focussed on past criminal investigations, not the future of the technology industry, and the FBI did not understand that they were actually asking for a way to tracelessly unlock and mess with every ATM and credit card on the planet circa 2030”

Aaron Burr wasn’t that bad, and Hamilton wasn’t that great.
Serious question that I’m having trouble with: Is Burr hurt by this? He’s been dead for two centuries, it’s hard to claim harm. And the “Hamilton” story is so good, that I feel it’s worth sacrificing historical accuracy for a great mythological narrative.
But I would hate to have my own legacy distorted in such a way.
“It was the Federalists who pressed for a constitutional amendment barring naturalized foreigners from elected offices, and it was that supposed villain Burr, in the New York Assembly at the time, who gave an eloquent speech defending the liberal promise of the young republic. “America stood with open arms and presented an asylum to the oppressed of every nation,” he said. “Shall we deprive these persons of an important right derived from so sacred a source as our Constitution?”

Burr and his wife Theodosia educated their daughter as they might have a son: She could read and write by the age of 3, then mastered French, Italian, Latin, Greek, mathematics, history and geography. The idea that women were the intellectual equals of men was a radical one, and Hamilton attacked Burr for supporting it.”

A rare positive Dawn of Justice Review.
This is exactly what I was hoping SvB *would* be. This is the story I want to see!! It’s unfortunate that, based on everything I’ve heard, it does an awful job of conveying it — basically becoming a muddled mess. But I’ll see for myself and make my own opinions.
“it is no coincidence that the official release date of the film coincides with Good Friday… Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is nothing short of the greatest telling of the Greatest Story Ever Told. It’s the best superhero movie since The Dark Knight and a better Easter movie than Gibson’s Passion of the Christ. It is Miltonic in its message and scope, seeking “to justify the ways of God to men,” doing so with drama on a truly epic scale.”

This is depressing. :( About Female Genital Mutilation, but never graphic or triggering. On “I can’t condemn FGM because of my colonialist past”–A critical discussion of what drives the Regressive Left, and how progressive allies can help.
“a representative of the Goldsmiths LGBT society responded that as a white person, she “cannot condemn FGM because of my colonial past.”

there are indeed ways to critique a harmful cultural practice without simultaneously enabling bigotry against those who practice it or are subject to it. The ability, the social and linguistic tools to undertake this type of critique are present. So why is that critique not happening?

The truth is that there are not in fact unified narratives for people from a particular Other culture, and narrative hegemony does occur virtually everywhere, whereby some narratives are elevated at the expense of others, and it is often the case that it is the proponents of a misunderstood cultural practice whose voices are heard.”

A *fantastic* piece about subverting a game to shake up an unconsciously-biased system. If you’ve only heard about the debate-team story from the other side, getting to hear about it from the instigator’s POV is fascinating.
And it’s RadioLab, so of course it’s entertaining as all hell. I still have mixed feelings, but it’s emotionally compelling.

Basically everything about cryo laid out in an easy-to-understand format. It’s long though, cuz there’s a lot. But if you’re interested, well, it changed the author’s mind as he was writing it…

Huh. “a Chinese person working for Foxxcon is more than nine times less likely to commit suicide than a Chinese person that doesn’t work for Foxconn.
“Although the number of workplace suicides at the company in 2010 was large in absolute terms, the rate is low when compared to the rest of China.[6] (The country has a high suicide rate with over 20 deaths per 100,000 persons.[7]) In 2010, the worst year for workplace suicides at Foxconn with a total of 14 deaths, its employee count was a reported 930,000 people.[8]”
Also lower than each of the 50 US states.
The availability heuristic strikes again

Hooooooooly shit. In response to questions about the growing AIDS epidemic, Reagan press secretary said “I don’t have it. Do you?” to laughter. (so a majority of the room found this hilarious) More reminders that the past was a horrible place, and it’s closer than we remember.

How Paul Ryan Will Pick the Next President. A bit out-there scenario, but damned if this wouldn’t be fascinating! And would make a perfect jumping-off point for sooooo many alt-history SF books written in the future.
(tldr: if Trump gets the R nomination, Republicans could run a solidly center-right 3rd party candidate. Unlikely to win, but if he pulls enough votes to prevent Trump or Hillary/Sanders from getting the 50.1% majority in general election, the House of Reps chooses the next president (as per 12th amendment))

Hugh Howey on the birth of AI (after AlphaGo’s victory) “Each headline you read is us — as collective parents — gasping to our spouse at what our baby girl just did for the first time.
Google has already taught our daughter to drive a car. Amazon is doing amazing things with their Alexa device, creating the beginnings of the virtual assistant seen in Her. IBM is building the best medical mind the field has ever known. In the last five years, AI has taken strides that even the optimistic find startling. The next five years will see similar advances.”

If the 2008 Financial Crisis really does usher out Neoliberal Economics, then it will have had a bigger effect on American history than 9/11.
Not sure Left Egalitarianism is the best replacement, but it looks to be the only alternative to Nationalism that we have right now…
“when an economic ideology catches on in America, it tends to capture both major parties at once. During the 50’s, 60’s, and early 70’s, even republicans like Eisenhower and Nixon reduced economic inequality. Post-1976, even democrats like Carter, Clinton, and Obama raised inequality. Economic ideologies change when there is an economic disaster that is seen to discredit the prevailing ideology. The Great Depression discredited the classical economics practiced by right wingers like Calvin Coolidge, allowing for left wing policies that in the 1920’s would have sounded insane to ordinary people. The stagflation in the 70’s discredited the Keynesian egalitarianism of FDR and LBJ, allowing Ronald Reagan to implement right wing policies that would have been totally unthinkable to people living in the 1960’s. I submit to you that the 2008 economic crisis and the stagnation that has followed have discredited the neoliberal economic ideology of Reagan and Clinton not just among democrats, but for supporters of both parties, and that new policies and candidates are possible now that would have been totally unthinkable to people as recently as 10 years ago.

What this means is that if this is the year when the voting public decides that it’s done with neoliberalism, the party that nominates a neoliberal candidate will likely lose. If democrats don’t nominate and support the left egalitarian political movement, if they instead continue to nominate neoliberals who continue to allow incomes to stagnate, they are ensuring that sooner or later (and probably sooner) disaffected poor and working Americans will choose right nationalism as the next dominant economic ideology for potentially decades to come.

if we keep nominating neoliberals, allowing incomes to stagnate, and letting people lose hope in the system, we will lose to a right nationalist and that right nationalist will take our country to a place you don’t want to see.”

 


Economics + Tongue Twisters = Comedy! (a lot of his other ones are good too)

This is great. :) Teens React to Windows95. Faith in humanity’s ability to comprehend each other despite vast initial gulfs in experience: restored.

10 Female Revolutionaries That You Probably Didn’t Learn About In History class

The Revenge of the Lower Classes and the Rise of American Fascism
“the fascist and communist movements in Europe in the 1930s “… recruited their members from this mass of apparently indifferent people whom all other parties had given up as too apathetic or too stupid for their attention. The result was that the majority of their membership consisted of people who had never before appeared on the political scene. This permitted the introduction of entirely new methods into political propaganda, and indifference to the arguments of political opponents […] This would have been a shortcoming only if they had sincerely entered into competition with either parties; it was not if they were sure of dealing with people who had reason to be equally hostile to all parties.”
“Donald Trump, [has] been pulling in voters, especially new voters, while the Democrats are well below the voter turnouts for 2008. In the voting Tuesday, 5.6 million votes were cast for the Democrats while 8.3 million went to the Republicans. Those numbers were virtually reversed in 2008—8.2 million for the Democrats and about 5 million for the Republicans.”

Ha! Google Cars are learning that humans subscribe to Newtonian Ethics. In this case, that things with more physical mass also have more moral weight.
The Google Car was merging back into a lane and expected the bus to yield to it. The bus did not, resulting in a collision.
“From now on, our cars will more deeply understand that buses (and other large vehicles) are less likely to yield to us than other types of vehicles”
(Collision was minor – “at around 2 mph [it] made contact with the side of a passing bus traveling at 15 mph”)
(Although a less-fun interpretation could be that large vehicles have more trouble stopping/slowing than smaller ones)

I’m still undecided as to whether Clinton or Sanders would be worse. I can’t even believe the alternatives on the R side.
From Article: “My worry about Sanders, watching him in this campaign, is that he isn’t very interested in learning the weak points in his ideas, that he hasn’t surrounded himself with people who police the limits between what they wish were true and what the best evidence says is true, that he doesn’t seek out counterarguments to his instincts, that he’s attracted to strategies that align with his hopes for American politics rather than what we know about American politics. And these tendencies, if they persist, can turn good values into bad policies and an inspiring candidate into a bad president.
… The reason Sanders’s persistently superficial answers on foreign policy matter to me is that they’re a test of his ability to learn on the fly about topics he’s not terribly interested in. … A President Sanders could surround himself with experts who know the shortcomings of his ideas, but would he listen to them?
… I think the baseline competence of [the Obama] administration has begun to dim memories of how important presidential management really is.
The Bush administration was, from this perspective, a genuine disaster — a festival of tax cuts that didn’t make sense and wars that were ill-planned, and all of it run by a man who clearly couldn’t separate experts from hacks (“Heckuva job, Brownie!”) and good advice from ideological fantasies.”
From Fyfe: “I simply cannot see anything in Sanders’ history where he expressed curiosity about something and a desire to learn.
Just like Tea Party members, his views on scientific matters are driven by political considerations, not an understanding of the science. He agrees with the scientific consensus on climate change and evolution, but disagrees with it on nuclear power and genetically modified organisms. This strongly indicates that he does not trust or respect the science, but he uses his political biases as a filter for distinguishing good science from bad science.”

Pennies: so worthless that it isn’t even worth talking about how worthless they are. :)

Minimum Viable Superorganism. A bit long-winded, but some interesting concepts I’m glad I have now.
In short – human superorganisms function in large part due to a Prestige Economy, and “Nature, has endowed us with the instinct to celebrate heroes because it ultimately benefits us to do so.”

Money Growth Does Not Cause Inflation. A perspective I hadn’t heard before, and now I really think I should have. I’m glad I saw this.
Personal note – it pointed out that loan defaults cause the supply of money to contract. I had all the information I needed to deduce this by myself, but it NEVER occurred to me. I had to have it pointed out. I feel like I have failed

  2 Responses to “Link Archive 2/9/16 – 3/31/16”

  1. The Money Growth Does Not Cause Inflation post is very good and explains it very well. I’ve tried to explain that point myself in the past and done it quit poorly and the link will be useful to me.

    That said, the fact that you describe this as a perspective you haven’t heard before may point to an issue with your information gathering process if you read about econ regularly. This is not an obscure point of view; it’s a view that is mainstream and orthodox in macro economics.
    This is the view that is held by the current and previous heads of the Fed reserve (arguably the most prestigious position a macro economist can get). You can infer it is their position because an institution as sensitive to the fed would not have started a program like QE if they thought it would lead to significant inflation.
    This is a view held by the vocal macro economists who have won Nobel prizes in the past decade or so. Several of them helpfully write blogs and one has a weekly newspaper column where they have at least occasionally discussed this issue.
    This should be the view held by anyone who ahs done advanced economic coursework at a good economics program. Maybe not by someone who has only taken econ 101, but it doesn’t require a masters, an undergrad who goes deep on their coursework should know this stuff.
    If you don’t really follow or look into econ, then not knowing this doesn’t seem like a failure to me to and it doesn’t seem like anything to worry about. But if you do dabble in econ and read about it regularly, patricianly macro economics, then you probably should be a little worried. In order for this to be new to someone who spends time reading about econ, a person would need a filter that is systematically shutting out the most qualified, credentialed and prestigious voices. In that case, introspection on how that filter came about might be useful.

    • My understanding has always been that printing excessive amounts of money causes inflation, because true prices don’t change, and all that happens is more dollars are now chasing the same amount of goods. So much so that I’ve heard “Any amount of deflation can be countered if one is simply willing to print enough money” at least once. I heard that QE didn’t cause inflation (and in fact, didn’t print *enough* money) because the system had a major shortage of dollars and the supply had not exceeded demand. I admit that my formal econ education is mostly introductory, and my reading is scattered and irregular. I had never seen someone claiming that it was nearly impossible to cause inflation by increasing money supply, regardless of how much money was supplied. But as my reading is limited, it probably is subject to a pretty tough filter bubble. What non-expert blog would you recommend for helping to break that up? Thanks!

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