Saturday, December 30, 2017

Women Smell Men, Drink More. What Could Go Wrong?

Exposure to male sexual scents (androstenone) influences women’s drinking 

Robin Tan & Mark Goldman
Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology
December 2017, Pages 456-465

Abstract: In a demonstration of a heretofore unknown motivational pathway for alcohol consumption, we recently showed that exposure to scents emitted by human females during the fertile phase of their menstrual cycle could increase men’s drinking. The current study examined the reverse: whether exposure to male sexual scents (androstenone) would increase women’s drinking. One hundred three female participants were primed with either androstenone or a control prime (plain water) camouflaged as a men’s “cologne.” They then completed a laboratory assessment of beer consumption and related measures. (Nonalcoholic beer was used for methodological and safety reasons.) Results indicated that females exposed to the androstenone prime drank significantly more than those exposed to the control prime. Social and sexual expectancies taken subsequent to drinking (to avoid unwanted manipulation influences) were correlated with drinking in the primed group but not in the neutral group, supporting the idea that information-processing pathways related to alcohol use had been engaged in the primed group. Few females were ovulating, precluding assessment of the effects of fertility on this process. Because of the centrality of sexual signaling to fundamental evolutionary/biological forces, these results indicate a potentially powerful influence on alcohol consumption that calls for continued investigation.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Monday's Child is Full of Links!

1.  When women are infantilized, it is true that they are "protected," but it's not really a good solution. As is argued here: The Warlock Hunt.

2.  I was hoping that this was true, actually. A kind of economic "Darwin test," filtering out the idiots. But it was a hoax.

3. Might taxing tuition waivers actually help grad students?

4. Steve Saideman on the imaginary fauna that infest the minds and worlds of academics....

5.  Pitching for the Cardinals...forever #39.

6. Idiots welcome! You can write for the Guardian, about economics.  A response, in which what economists actually do is discussed.

7.  Democracy dies in banal assertions of administrative privilege.

8. CoHE piece on Koch Foundation.

9. A famous NC "yarn": Horace the Christmas mule. It has a sad ending, but shows that voters SOMETIMES get it right.

10.  Those Illinois bonds. It's not going well in the Spendy City. If it were a private firm, Illinois would be forced into bankruptcy by unpaid creditors. As it is, those creditors just have to learn not to loan anything to Illinois or sell anything to Illinois.

11. Our favorite headlines: "Loud orgies of Mexican fish could deafen dolphins, say scientists."

12. Clinton voters can't even stand the thought of talking to Trump voters.

13. Proof of time travel.

14. Old guy named Munger says "Avoid Bitcoin like the plague!"

15.  Peak Prosperity (David Collum) on the year that was. And some more.

16.  WTF? No, really, WTFingF?

17. Postal workers going "postal" is not that unusual, though it is sad. But since it was OHIO, the guy went the extra mile and did the whole thing...naked.

18.  Economics Detective on "Biker Gangs."

19.  This is very sweet. Nothing ironic, nothing hidden. Just sweet.

20.  This is your baby's brain on Dad.

21.  The REAL war on Christmas.

Grand Lagniappe: It's a shame to see how all the great child actors go to seed, worn down by drugs, sex, and hard living. Another example. Sad, really. Once hung out with Skywalker, now can't even a afford a handicapped walker.

Along those lines....some ageless icons are actually ageless. Or apparently so.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Monday's Child is Full of Links!

1.  Dude. You broke the law.  You don't like the law, get the law changed. Taunting the cop for enforcing the law is really not going to work out well.  Just another example of the Thing Itself. It's not the cop's fault.

2.  Trump's message to Arab oil barons:  Frack you.

3. Anthony de Jasay on France. And on the electoral systems, trade agreements, and Trump.

4.  If you pick a small niche of extreme leftist indoctrination, you need to be able to be very highly ranked to continue to attract applicants. The second tier (and below) of "Progressive Finishing Schools" are going to face enrollment problems.   The few schools that have focused on extreme rightist indoctrination face far less competition. Hillsdale still has an acceptance rate below 50%.

5. Why the net should be neutral, but ex post.

6.  This is amazingly messed up, even for France, which is always messed up.

7. The Intolerable commits the Unforgiveable: Trump defiles the sanctity of the Unicorn State.

8.  It's a trap!  Or so says Bret Stephens. Trump is driving the left mad, in a way that will cause the left to continue to lose.

9.  When they start posting lists of stuff designed to make our sons (in our case, 28 and 25) feel old, that makes me feel old.  I remember that listing for Nickelodeon, though. Those were some good shows.

10.  In which David Henderson owns his fanaticism.

11.  Here's a happy thought. Women are consistently less happy than men, until about age 80+. The life expectancy of husbands? 79. Nice.

12. Whatever "net neutrality" is, it isn't "neutral."

13.  This article kind of buries the lede.  The title given on the web site is, "College student arrested; tried to trade chicken Alfredo, Sprite for sex." Inviting hilarious comparisons to more typical dinner dates:  chicken Alfredo and Sprite? Man, you need to go to Ruth's Chris and buy champagne. But then if you read the article:  Ick. Not very funny.  Lots of people apparently got caught tweeting before they read. Then, on the other hand, what the hell were the police actually doing? Headline should have been: "Bored cops catfish lonely fat kid, eventually get him to proposition 15 year old in a way that never would have happened on its own."

14. An extremely interesting article on "Bitcoin arbitrage" and storage costs. Sent by the intrepid Chateau. Given the storage and use costs, Bitcoin is a speculative, not a transactional, play at this point.

15. This short movie was made in 1909. And it's interesting. Possibly useful for class discussion. Amazing.

16. My man D-Drez on Trump's trajectory on NK.

17.  10 questions women "should ask on the first date." Also known as "I never, ever want to get married. Ever." This article is likely just trolling clickbait, but it's still worth reading. A lot of people really do think this way. Not "I want a life partner" but "I want someone to validate my emotional attachments to nonsensical causes."  But then THAT prompted THIS. Goodness.

18.  Tear down those statues.

19. Oh, gosh. Child care is already very expensive. One solution would be to require a college degree for providers, thereby eliminating many poor women from being able to provide the service and dramatically increasing costs. Wait, what? Why is that a solution to anything? Except the giant surfeit of unemployable women with over-priced "______ Studies" degrees?

20. Those Aussies. Despicable Minion steals chunk of lawn. Then does taunting on Facebook. I have to admit, if someone were that obsessed about their lawn, I'd be tempted.  Chill, bruh. Weeds are your friends.

21. Los Angeles taxes new housing to promote the building of new housing. And for my next trick, I'll make ALL the roads run downhill, in BOTH directions! It's as if "Atlas Shrugged" was a documentary, not fiction at all.

22. The African Enlightenment: Interesting.

23. 10 reasons people fail in grad school.  Angus and I tried our best to fail, but we ended up failing even at that. Seriously, it was interesting to watch the way the people who were good at classes (not Angus and me) end up drifting away, while Angus and I emerged like phoenixes from our asses.

24.  Air travel cronyism fails in the U.S. Senate.

25. Game theory and dating apps

26. Poor, poor, pitiful millenials.

The Grand Lagniappe: Alabama voters, ignoring partisan affiliation, by age. (Note that the children under 18 that Moore has harassed recently were not allowed to vote, so there's a bias there)

Monday, December 11, 2017

Monday's Child is Full of Links!

1.  My unbelievably awesome Duke office neighbor Timur Kuran on preference falsification. How can it be that everyone knew that every knew and yet everyone acted like no one knew, until it came out and we all said, "Me, too!" On Weinstein, Franken, Moore (or maybe not?). Nicely interviewed by Virginia Postrel, by the way.

2.  Are you worried about the demand side?  Good, gooooood. I sense your anger. Use that feeling, and come over to....the supply side of health care policy.

3. Gig 'em. The 4 hour work week.

4. At least there is a bipartisan consensus among the elderly elected gents that female staffers want to see their little wrinkly "Congressional members." They're wrong of course, but the wrongness crosses the aisle.

5.  What is going on with Trump's hair?

6. Avocado's number! Zero! Zero pits, anyway. Better without that big stone.  And...voila! Capitalism delivers.  Better than the central planning solution: warning labels.

7. How is that middle class doing?

8.  Good news: It was just duct tape. Also, police conclude the woman probably was okay anyway, because she (1) is from Maine, (2) had a dog, and (3) had a roll of duct tape....

9.  I don't always agree with Andrew Sullivan. But I often do, and he has a way of getting to the real point of some hard questions. As, here.

10. Pharmaceutical flea markets in Venezuela.

11. Hey, bro! Where's my raise? A "Planet Money" segment.

12.  I was proud of this. There was no entry in "CEE" for "Division of Labor." So I did some digging. A while ago now, but still useful as background, I hope.

13. There's a pretty big difference between "I object to the 16th Amendment" and "Get rid of all the amendments after the 10th." My own view is that the 13th Amendment has proved itself worth preserving.

14. This guy definitely gets a lump of coal in his stocking. You can't troll IAWL, and you can't prefer Pottersville to Bedford Falls. You just....can't.

15. African and other black immigrants may not be welcomed by African-Americans. Or, they may be.

16. The "Top 10 'Brown Liquor' Christmas Songs"

17.  Daniel Ellsberg on stuff now.

18. Mapping ethnic patterns of urban housing.

19. The high cost of good intentions, on Econtalk. 

20. I'm willing to believe that quite a few academics really do fail to understand the public perception of universities as being wasps' nests of bizarre hatred of "normality." But reading this should solve that.

21. Chaining democracy looks like this. It's socialism.

22. KM-W and "The End of Free Speech."

Grand Lagniappe: The Pedant Revolt

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Lord grant us honesty, but not just yet!

Great NY Times article on Mexico with the headline, Mexico's Government is blocking its own Anti-Corruption Drive"!

This of course is the ultimate dog bites man story, especially under the current EPN government. Mexico has long been a country with beautiful laws that are not worth the paper they are printed on, and EPN is notorious for announcing major reforms to great fanfare that go nowhere.

But on to the specifics. How is the government blocking the corruption commission, you ask?

None of the 18 judges who are supposed to oversee anti-corruption cases have been appointed by lawmakers. The prosecutor empowered under the new system to pursue investigations independently has not been named. And members of the citizen commission say they have been routinely shut out of discussions about big corruption cases.

“It is a bad joke,” said Luis Manuel Perez de Acha, a tax lawyer on the commission. “I was naïve when the system launched. I believed and had hope that it would work.”

“I know now that they are trying to sabotage everything we do,” he added.

Here's a good summary. The guy gets it in the end. The system isn't broken, it's working exactly how the government intended.

“The Mexican government feeds us placebos and we believe they will cure us,” said Juan Pardinas, the president of the Mexico Institute for Competitiveness and one of the chief architects of the anti-corruption system. “I drank the Kool-Aid and I passed the jar to a lot of people, believing it was a path to change.”

Mr. Pardinas has been one of the most prominent public voices fighting corruption, its corrosive effect on democratic institutions, and the lives it sometimes claims. He ultimately became a target of the spying technology purchased by the Mexican government to surveil criminals and terrorists.

“I killed myself for three years to achieve this, and it’s basically broken,” he said of the anti-corruption effort. “Well, maybe the system isn’t broken. It’s actually working perfectly to allow impunity.”

Monday, December 04, 2017

Monday's Child is Full of Links!

1.  Trumpy Bear. Don't miss the video.

2.  Or maybe Trump makes you sad. If so, there are always... Garbage Pantz!  Those make everyone sad.

3.  If you want to excel, you can't use Excel.

4.  It's important to understand the Nazi next door. Or, is it?  The embarrassing thing is that "postcards from flyover country" is being done with such breathless naivete. Or is it?

5. Save the internet, and keep it safe for one, or another, set of powerful interest groups.

6.  This is hilarious in many ways. On this blog, Brendan Nyhan as been identified as being so nice that he has his own label, "Stuff you won't find at" I have, in fact, called him "painfully earnest." And yet David Frum (another famously earnest guy) blocked him.  Excellent.

7.  Why tell fibs that can be so obviously called out? Have we all just given up?

8.  This story seems silly. The actual story is a bit more nuanced. The "story" of math does emphasize the achievements of white Western thinkers. That may be entirely accurate, but it also may not be. It is true that work of the high Islamic scholars is not often credited. Still, to the extent that the prof's message can even be MISinterpreted as "don't learn math, it's white" there is a problem. I don't think she said that, exactly, but that is what is coming across.

9. Nice piece by KPC friend SR, on the Indian judiciary. The less you use discretion, the more you have.

10. Michael Munger (not me) put this up. It is a pretty good commercial, in terms of weirdness.

11. So proud of Florida. If you are in the position of having to deny fake-humping a female mannequin with an ice-penis, you may already have lost.

12. Invoking a right or committing a crime?

13. Garrison Keillor is scornful of the idea that men should be held responsible for sexual harrassment. And now we know why.

14. Cows and chickens have beef.

15.  Will the music "business" find a new model? It would be ironic if the digital revolution moves the business model back to live performances in excludable settings, where ticket sales are the only way to get paid.

16. Bitcoin 10k.

17. On Venditio...

18. Drunk as a ....possum?

19.  Art Carden and sharing.

20. The great baby bust of 2017.

21. On Gordon Tullock.

The Grand Lagniappe:

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Her Husband's Name, or Her Father's Name?

Does a Woman's Marital Surname Choice Influence Perceptions of Her Husband? An Analysis Focusing on Gender-Typed Traits and Relationship Power Dynamics 

Rachael Robnett, Marielle Wertheimer & Harriet Tenenbaum, Sex Roles, forthcoming

Abstract: Within Western cultures, most women in heterosexual relationships adopt their husbands' surnames after marriage. In attempting to explain the enduring nature of this practice, researchers have noted that women tend to encounter stereotypes when they break with tradition by retaining their own surnames after marriage. A complementary possibility is that stereotypes are also directed toward men whose wives violate the surname tradition. The current research provides initial insight into this possibility through three studies that were conducted in the United States and United Kingdom with undergraduate and community samples (total N = 355; 254 women and 101 men). Study 1 revealed that participants predominantly referenced expressive traits when describing a man whose wife retained her surname. Study 2 built on these findings with an experimental design. Relative to a man whose wife adhered to the surname tradition, a man whose wife retained her surname was rated as less instrumental, more expressive, and as holding less power in the relationship. In Study 3, participants high in hostile sexism were particularly likely to rate a man as lower in power when his wife retained her surname. Collectively, findings provide insight into attitudes that may help to explain the longevity of the marital surname tradition. Findings also join with prior research in revealing links between commonplace marriage traditions and gendered power dynamics.

(With a nod to Kevin Lewis)

Monday, November 27, 2017

Monday's Child is Full of Links!

1. My prediction is that net neutrality will rise again. But for now...

2.  I gotta give @paulkrugman credit. Titling piece "Lies, Rage, & Incoherence on Tax Cuts" is a GREAT move. He can go back & retitle his earlier stuff "Lies, Rage, & Incoherence on Stimulus," "L,R, & I on _____." Accurately describes ALL his work in the past decade.

3.  Updated assessment and catalog of the problems with Democracy in Chains.

4. Idiots at Fox News "reveal" dark truth about defense attorneys: sometimes their clients are "bad people." It would seem that providing legal defense in a system of law is a good thing.

5.  An interesting test case for beliefs about "freedom": Should it be legal to do this? If not, what specifically should be illegal in the actions of this man?

6.  Mr. Un, tear up that ditch.

7.  Directly causal, or spurious, or just nonsense?  Wife's happiness directly correlated with difference in husband height - wife height.

8.  Bread and circuses.

9. Should profs allow laptops in classrooms?  A "no" answer.   And another "no" answer.

10. "Ima get that car!" "No, no you ain't gonna!" And so on.

11.  Reducing transactions costs increases effective excess capacity.

12. Legally, the state has no obligation to protect anything or anyone except the state. As in here. And now here.

13. We're all multicultural now...

14. The end of jobs?

15. A sensible leftist journalist recognizes the value of playing against the first team.  Handy that this would come out in the Tucson

16. Hole-y mole-y. Interesting story about moles and mole catchers.

17. You had ONE JOB.

18. On academic precarity.

19. Has-been angry troll is angry that reigning champion angry troll ignored his angry trolling.

20. Kids have never been safer. And it's not because parents are paranoid.  Parental paranoia is actually the chief danger, now that real dangers are mostly gone.

21. Honey, I found the car.  "It wasn't a perfect reunion..."

22. J. Oliver Conroy thought this.  And that made Lee Jussim and Akeela Careem think this. Matt Welch thought this. What do you think?

23.  "I'm against Net Neutrality! And here's an argument FOR Net Neutrality, as proof!"  Or something.  Tim Wu is against being against Net Neutrality. Because of course he is.

24.  Swiss Army considering conscription, or paying people, or some measures that are not the universal "reserves" model they have used.

25. Look, she's just singin', yo. If you want to say her songs are superficial and self-involved, that seems right. But none of that makes Taylor Swift an emissary for Trumpism.

26. I'd want to think more about the causal claim (though it's plausible; the problem is that MANY things are plausible...) Still, it appears that the availability of erotic services on Craigslist has reduced the number of sex workers killed or injured. 

27. McDonalds:  Nice save, actually.

28. How voluntary exchange saved the Pilgrims. A thanksgiving weekend special....

29. Might this actually be a moment where we later look back and say "Then....THAT's when it happened."

30.  The nationalist's delusion.Which can be well served by the protectionist presumption.

Grand lagniappe:  A black Friday "how to" poster:

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Libertarian Gullibility

Libertarianism is so obscure that "we" are often proud even to be mocked.  And so we encourage posting click-bait, by saying "Isn't this terrible? Click on this!" thereby perpetuating the practice of Lib'n-baiting.

So, this--done by some master-baiter--recently made the rounds:

But in fact that's just a (not especially clever) photo-shopping of what was actually done by TGI Fridays.

More on this still-developing non-story.


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Slowdive, biches

Sitting in the Tampa airport waiting to get back to the sorghum fields of west Texas, I got to thinking about my relationship with music and specifically concerts that gave me an intense, ecstatic, transcendent, experience like what Kerry Howley describes in her great book, “Thrown”.

Here’s a semi-chronological list:

Luxuria,  Hollywood bowl, LA CA
Neil Young, / Wolf Trap
Luna, Knitting Factory, NYC
Morphine, Tipitinas, NOLA
The National,  Austin TX
Built to Spill, multiple occasions
Car Seat Headrest, Opolis, Norman, OK
Slowdive, Tampa FL

I can sometimes get this at home on the stereo, I’ve built / curated over the last 20 years but only with quieter music, like:

Sufjan Stevens
Pernice Brothers
Palace Music
Bon Iver
Mazzy Star

Most all music sounds great on my stereo, but this type can get me super close to the out of body type experience I got at the concerts listed above.

At this point in my life, I am pretty much willing to chase this feeling anywhere I think I might be able to find it. Suggestions welcome!!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Monday's Child is Full of Links!

1. At LEAST 90% of bike accidents could be prevented if riders simply bought a car like a normal person, instead of this crazy sanctimonious virtue signalling.

2.  I have noticed this problem more and more.  Many people have told me that Prof. MacLean has "refuted" all of the evidence that she just made stuff up. No. In fact, all she did was rebut it, and that only by saying things like, "My critics are bullies."

3.  Third Eye Fine. Or so the beetles say.

4.  Truthiness, 10 years after.

5.  Introduction to emergent order. And then It's a Wonderful Loaf.

6.  Malls with husband pods.  And everybody is a little happier.

7.  This has got to be the Onion.  Though, the guy looks pretty tired, and I can see why.

8. Sam Harris did a podcast with Yale's Nicholas Christakis.  And Prof. Christakis brought up the research of Kevin M. Munger, the "NYU Grad student" mentioned.  The paper discussed in the podcast is here.  Here is some discussion in the Atlantic.

9. LuckyToken Lottery. Da blockchain rulz.

10. Our favorite headlines. Hard to beat that one. Perhaps had been listening to that Shooter Jennings' "Manifesto #1": "Get out of that skirt. But leave them high heels on..."

11. Okay, so YOU guys pretend to be cops, and YOU guys pretend to be drug dealers. It'll be great, because apparently there is not enough REAL crime to keep us busy. In one of the least safe places in the U.S.

12. My Duke colleague Peter Feaver is a voice of reason. First he was a voice of reason at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Then on Trevor Noah's show. (Fixed. thanks, commenter!)

13. GOOGLE should change it's motto to "Do no stupid," and then follow that motto. But, no.

14.  On Ken Burns' "Vietnam."

15.  Williams College and its craven administration are leading the way toward the American Cultural Revolution. Shameful.

16.  "No more research is necessary. We know everything." It was wrong when they said that to Copernicus. It's wrong to say that now to Swedish universities.

17. A discussion of the work and contributions of Gordon Tullock.  Boettke, Levy, Kurrild-Klitgaard, Munger.

18. Why is there corn in our gas tanks?

19. Sweden once again shows that libertarian DIRECTION is the right policy.

20.  But....but.... but, Gorsuch!

21. WalMart Nation?

22. Trump and the "Regulatory State."

23. Pumpkin Spicer not really finding a job.

24/ Brendan Nyhan on informal rules. David Hume through Douglass North.

The grand lagniappe: a (the?) vintage Fluffer-nutter commercial. Why do we even HAVE a government, if stuff like this can happen? With thanks to all those who found it funny that I had not heard of peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwiches growing up. But especially to David Pinto, who sent me this damned earworm.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Simba has two dads

People, did you know that animals can be gay? Well Ezekiel Mutua didn't and he's not happy about it.

Yes, Mr. Mutua, there are gay lions.

I just love Zeke's stated possible reasons for this phenomena:

1. Gay tourists were doing it in the bush and the lions learned from them. (big if true. those would be some badass gay tourists for sure). People, I have been privileged to see lions in the wild. Believe me, getting out of the land rover and getting busy did not cross my mind.

2. Demonic possession.

Zeke is adamant about one other thing: They lions didn't learn it from the movies!

Really? Was that the common assumption of everyone else? Two lions strolled into downtown Nairobi and went to the movies? And saw Brokeback Mountain?

Would the movie thing make more sense if I told you Zeke was the president of the Kenya Film Classification Board?

Amazing that he thinks he has to cover his ass from being blamed for the gay lions. I really hope Mr. Mutua and his ignorant, biased attitudes, have no future in Kenyan public life.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Monday's Child is Full of Links

1.  Republican baptism.  Seriously, self-consciously atheistic, secular baptism, for a fee, from the priests of the state.  Guess what country? Yep. France.

2.  News? Best-selling gun is popular.  New scientific study: most people think water is wet.

3.  A serious question:
Consider A to be the number of people who can correctly define the Streisand Effect.
Consider B to be the number of people who can identify Barbara Streisand.
What is the "over/under" year when A>B?  I say 2025.

4.  Police: We need to know. But you don't need to know we know.  Or even that we know. Trust us, because we know what's best.

5. Ilya Somin on the MID.

6.  Signs of the apocalypse: Not just McDonalds. But you are so lazy you can't even stop off at the drive-through. You want that giant burger and large fries BROUGHT to your fat ass, so you can keep binge-watching "2 Broke Girls."

7. It's a new game: Rand Paul, fan of Ayn Rand, was attacked over lawn clippings and trimming of hedges. So, what do we call this incident?  Some suggestions:  "Who is John Assault?" "Atlas Shrubbed." "The Hedge Row."  See? Isn't that fun?

8. Bitcoin costs a lot....of electricity.

9.  Dan Drezner on "The Tax on Women in National Security."

10.  Okay, but is it art? Not if it is demolished. Who owns it?

11.  Money and Cryptocurrency....

12. HA! No wonder the LMM looks so young and lovely. 

13. Ranch dressing. A KEG of ranch dressing. That is all. Well, actually, that is NOT all. Save room for the PieCaken.

14. Mike Pence on the "Year of Accomplishments" by the Trump Administration.  Really.

15. Hedy Lamarr was better than I am at EVERYTHING. Happy Birthday, Hedy Lamarr.

16. Was John Locke the first "modern" economist? (8 minute video)

17.  Have you ever wondered about the strange, messed up play the Indy Colts ran in 2015?  I had wondered. The play. The explanation. Another explanation.

18. Miles Davis did an interview with 60 Minutes in 1988.  Miles Davis does not appear to be from Earth. But he was remarkable. An electrifying presence.

19. This level of misunderstanding of what libertarianism is can only be willful. Because Elie Mystal can't be THAT confused. Right?

20. Virgil Storr and some weak free-rider have some interesting things to say about the Bolshevik revolution.

21.  The state desperately wants to regulate food trucks, to make sure no one can get inexpensive meals conveniently. You should have to go to a sit down restaurant, or else get fried salty fat in a bag by standing around at McD's. But it's hard to hold the lid on. Because....Uber Eats.

22. Can you imagine overlooking such a mistake in the headline?  On the other hand, they ARE "bi"valves, so maybe it was on purpose...

23. I wrote this nearly three years ago. But it has never been more true.

24. For Radley Balko:  Well done, sir.  If you haven't read his book, I'd recommend it. If you have read it, I'd still recommend it.

Grand Lagniappe: A very interesting story of the "general equilibrium" nature of ....well....of nature. In just 22 years, large changes. Pretty powerful example of comparative statics.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Monday's Child

1.  This Bitcoin thing....what IS it?

2.  "Orange Man Killed in Domestic Dispute."  At first I thought that must mean that Melania had had and put ol' Pumpkin Spice in that great spice rack in the sky.  But no; they mean Orange County, FL.  Still:  Florida!

3.  On the other hand:  Ohio! An orange bucket head.

4.  Dracula was a blood sucker. But because he was a ruler, not because he was a vampire.

5.  Defending diversity visas....

6. Oh, man. They've apparently recruited the duplicitous ghost of Robert MacNamara to write the SIGAR reports now.

7.  My review-extension of Brennan-Jaworski book, and here's the book.

8. A cute Twitter account. I have often thought of doing this. Glad someone is doing it so I can enjoy it.

9. Actually, Tucker Carlson, I can think of several. Being force to "immigrate" as slaves should be pretty high on the list.

10. This is not some Fox News bimbette. This was written by Donna Brazile. Good God.

11.  The counterrevolution of conscience at Reedatopia.

12.  I am a dues-paying, card-carrying member of the ACLU. I don't agree with everything they do. But overall they are a force for good. As here.

13. Why do we say "soccer" in the U.S.? Because the Brits did a bait and switch on us!

14. To paraphrase Mr. Bumble, the HMRC is an ass.

15. If you don't know Mr. Bumble, it's from Oliver Twist:  “It was all Mrs. Bumble. She would do it," urged Mr. Bumble; first looking round, to ascertain that his partner had left the room.

"That is no excuse," returned Mr. Brownlow. "You were present on the occasion of the destruction of these trinkets, and, indeed, are the more guilty of the two, in the eye of the law; for the law supposes that your wife acts under your direction."

"If the law supposes that," said Mr. Bumble, squeezing his hat emphatically in both hands, "the law is a ass — a idiot. If that's the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is, that his eye may be opened by experience — by experience.”

16.  We are on the verge of an American version of the Cultural Revolution.

17. The power of socialism: It can take a wealthy, developed country and bankrupt it in just ten years. Viva Madurismo!

18. To be fair, Americans don't know much about communism/socialism. It's not inevitable that communism disappears. 

19.  Our favorite headlines!  Man Shoots Self in Penis While Trying to Rob Hot Dog Stand....

20. Podcast with David Mayhew: "Can Congress Govern?"

21. Our favorite headlines. Florida Woman!

22.  A serious incident of WTF? Someone went to some trouble to film this.  Whatever that "one store" is, Ima not be stopping there.

23:  The (questionable) economics of foreign aid.  

Lagniappe:  Who knew that there was even a record to break? But now there is.  The LMM and I were way out in front of the curve, as always:

Friday, November 03, 2017

We Get Mail!

In the recent Econtalk podcast, I noted that I was ignorant of (among other things) the meaning of the "English Dance" Schiller refers to in his letter.

Russ and I got this email (name redacted):

Hello Gentlemen. 

Thanks for your continued efforts in spreading education through your podcasts. I am a listener of EconTalk. 

Recently Professor Munger you made a reference to Schiller and a dance form that he refered to. I asked my uncle, a Schiller and Goethe academic, for more information as you stated that your research hadn't turned up the specifics of the dance in question. 

Here is his response : 

"'Der englische Tanz” (sometimes “Anglaise") could mean several things back in Schiller’s day, but most usually indicated a contradance, in which couples form lines facing each other. Schiller considered such a dance a metaphor for an ideal of freedom, in which each individual moved freely, but at the same time did not intrude on the others’ movements. The whole had form and order (and beauty), while the individual practiced “rücksichtsvolle Selbstbestimmung'." (The last term one can translate as perhaps "thoughtful self-determination.")

So, folks:  Have a “rücksichtsvolle Selbstbestimmung" Friday!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

An Econ 101 Question.....

Why is it that soda cans are sold in boxes that look like this....

But beer is sold in boxes that look like this....

My guess:  Soda cans are usually sold warm, and it is convenient to be able to put the whole box into the fridge and have it cool quickly. For that, you want more surface area. Beer, on the other hand, is often sold cold. You then transport the container to somewhere where (if you are, for example, Ben Powell ) you drink the entire 12 pack while you shoot your deer rifle at the power lines from your back porch, sitting in your underwear on a lawn chair. That would mean that you want LESS surface area for the already cold-and-you-want-to-stay-cold beer than for the warm, want-to-cool-fast, and only one or two cans a day soda. The surface of the beer box is 325 square inches. The surface area of the soda box is 365 square inches. You want the soda to cool fast, and you want the beer to warm slowly. So, there is 12% more surface area on the soda box, just as you would expect if Powell's Law ("Hey! We ain't done drinkin', son. There's still beer left in the cardboard box!") is correct.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Monday's Child is Full of Links!

1.   7 Nihilistic Quotes That Only Brilliant, Misunderstood Young Males On The Internet Will Appreciate.

2. It's not so clear he DID know what he signed up for. Unless he signed up for random death and pointless violence, perpetrated by a state without any purpose or conscience.

3. By at least one measure, Trump actually is telling the truth about being the "DeRegul-Nator."

4.  Looking for something else, I came across Malcolm X's  1964 "Ballot or Bullet" speech. Don't know why I didn't already know it. I'll be using it in class now....

5.  I taught Chris Freiman everything he knew. Fortunately, he learned a lot more. An interesting discussion of "luck egalitarianism." And then there's his terrific book....

6.  The Angus/Mungowitz grad alma mater has decided to enter a sucking contest, on speech codes. And I have to admit that Wash U really does suck pretty hard.  Trying to be #1 at SOMETHING, perhaps?

7.  The problem:  We have produced so many artificial snowflakes.  The solution:  van Jones, with whom I agree on almost nothing, crushes this out of the park and into low-Earth orbit.  Brilliantly said, Mr. Jones. We should not pave the jungle for our young people.

8.  Was this Jeff Flake's equivalent to riding down the escalator?

9. The transaction costs economy and unintended consequences of policing Craig's List.

10. Should insurers manage the opioid epidemic? The "other" Dr. Michael Munger offers some views.

11.  National book publishing rates per million of population. The English-speaking countries are hard to interpret, because market is so big.  But Turkey is surprisingly highly ranked, given repression on most speech. And Denmark:  Wow. Pretty impressive.

12. Aussie report on productivity. Overall, not too bad. But multifactor productivity growth is essentially non-existent. That's not good. (Tomorrow 3.0, on the horizon?)

13.  Millenials feel entitled to use the word "entitled" without being ashamed of how entitled they feel.

14. Impeach-O-Meter: The jerk doesn't fall far from the jackass tree.

15. The corruption of the National Book Award.  Pretty powerful indictment.

16.  Blockchain, supply chain.

17.  You may recall the butter crisis in Norway. Which prompted this, one of the all time best videos to appear at KPC.  Epic. A plea from the heart. Etc.

Well, there's a new butter crisis.  And it's equally hilarious, in terms of the solutions proposed.

18. The U.S. is on the verge of its own "Cultural Revolution." On the obligation to speak up....

19.  Our attic has been living a lie. Almost verbatim the thesis of my new Cambridge book, in one pithy cartoon.  With thanks to the LMM.

20.  How smart do you have to be to be famous for being smart without ever having actually done anything?  Pretty smart, I'd say.  I did try to warn people about this classic type, though, right here, at #5.

21.  I often hear of people who are excoriated for "advising" dictators. The problem with that criticism is that growth usually produces democracy. So advising dictators how to grow the economy is corrosive to dictatorship (or maybe it is). (It's true that the U.S. government advised dictators on how to torture, but what do you expect from the state?) The oddest thing, though, is that for some reason telling outright lies in support of the Soviet regime was cause for Pulitzer prizes.

And the grande lagniappe: For Halloween tomorrow: 50 most excellent pun costumes.