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kaleberg
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I don't think Om Malik understands personalization. The whole point of having a watch to measure one's heartbeat or blood sugar level is so that it can be compared with a broad range of others. What good is having a personalized blood sugar monitor that doesn't know if your level is normal or indicates a metabolic disorder? A personalized watch would just tell you your own personal body time. Good luck keeping appointments with others. The whole point of a personalized time piece is to know what time other people think it is.
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Another thing to consider is the high war era pay during the Great War. War production work paid well. It was easy to get all the hours one wanted. This shows up in all sorts of post-war literature which have the lower orders now able to get their teeth fixed or a new pair of boots. Maybe they even got to eat some decent food. Then there was the shabby treatment of the veterans. After all that propaganda pushing men to enlist and lauding their patriotism and sacrifice, asking for medical care or promised bonuses was asking for too much. They got people's hopes up, them dashed them, sometimes with bullets.
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There are at least two possible explanations for that Y chromosome homogeneity. One is the lucky individual explanation. Another is that a particular Y population proved easier to domesticate, but became homogeneous due to a genetic bottleneck and/or because it conferred some other useful traits. Since mares living in a group share sperm providers, this would quickly amplify the effect.
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I've seen many iPads in use in the wild. I've seen them used as cash registers in stores, as travel and facility guides at hotels, and as catalog access devices in stores and libraries. I've seen them used as book readers and video-conferencing tools in airports. I've seen them all over on airplanes where people use them instead of the airline boxes to watch movies. (Airlines are getting rid of back of the seat video because people like to bring their own, and they aren't watching movies on smartphones or laptops.) I use mine when I'm on the road and don't want to lug a laptop. I think one problem with the analysis is that the iPad has so many niches that it is barely visible. Iron was used in swords and plowshares, but the iPad is something like nails. It's game changing, it's ubiquitous but it's hard to notice. I'm not the only one who uses an iPad as a travel computer. It does almost everything my laptop can. It might not do it as well or as conveniently, but it is really light and smaller than a hardcover book. In spite of what the article claims, the iPad already has a rich ecosystem. All sorts of applications - video, audio, photo, textual - have iPad optimized versions from a number of developers. The fact that they also run on a smartphone doesn't mean they aren't tablet applications. Most of them have companion laptop versions. As a user, it sure looks like a rich ecosystem to me. It seems that the disappointment isn't about the absence of the ecosystem but that the ecosystem isn't radically different. This is like being disappointed by finding out that life on Mars is based on carbon, not some other element.
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This period starts with the last Punic War which had serious demographic consequences for Rome. Roman population could continue to grow thanks to its expanding empire and tributary system. Basically, Rome took resources and growth potential from elsewhere as its own. Some of this was simply extractive, but some, like growing grain in areas well suited for it like Egypt and Tunisia, allowed for additional growth.
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Who picks up paper magazines in this day and age? Who even prints paper magazines? There are affiliation magazines for non-profits, but they are basically organizational advertising. There are a handful of legacy magazines that still print for old time's sake. There are art magazines that are essentially artwork. There are the shopping magazines that are full of paid advertisements. A modern do-it-yourself-er is going to start online, not with a trip to a local newsstand.
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It's not just deskilling on the factory floor. There is also deskilling in the maintenance sector. Automobiles are much more reliable, so they need servicing and tuning less often. Spark plugs need to be replaced every 100,000 miles, so maybe a few times in the life of a vehicle. More and more elements of cars, computers and other devices are unitary and cannot be repaired. Car bodies are monocoque, so "banging out" panels can compromise safety. Computers are full of integrated circuits and tightly coupled components. Some of this is about corporate lock in, but a lot of it is about modern design. Modern television sets contain impossible to source integrated circuits, not easy to replace vacuum tubes. (*) Let's not even talk about the deskilling of clerical work. Do file clerks even exist nowadays? I read an 1930s article about a middle class couple. The husband worked painting door panels in a Ford plant. Every few years there were technological changes. Back then, they typically involved better paints which meant fewer coats and quicker, more even drying, but earlier there had been the move from brushwork to spray paint. The worker made a point of being one of the more efficient, high quality painters, so he kept his job as others were laid off or transferred. His wife didn't work, but they - unusually back then - had no children and so could afford to home a modest home. His job is almost certainly done by a robot these days. One side effect of this deskilling is the elimination of well paid mid-skill level jobs, even in large urban areas. No one has thought this through.
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They usually play the cartoon character runs off the edge of the cliff but doesn't fall into the chasm until he or she looks down for laughs, but that's exactly how markets work. Tex Avery understood this.
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Sorry about the brain froth. With regards to git, we all have a story.
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It's the story of version control. It's the philosopher's stone of programming, a storage system that keeps track of source code, modifications and variants. Git is the latest iteration. According to source control experts, it can do everything. According to every else who has ever used it, it is inscrutable in essence. Unlike files and backups, source control is magic and git is the most magical. Of course, anyone who has ever done magic without fully understanding it knows how it can backfire, and, as XKCD explains, git can backfire quite intensely. Storing your source code changes in a magic pentagram BEFORE unleashing the demon is just good practice.
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Efficiency is not China's problem. Political stability is. Political stability requires a lot of job creation and at least a modest rise in living standards. Efficient enterprises almost by definition cannot create jobs the way inefficient ones do, Their need to produce returns for their owners minimize their impact on living standards. Xi clearly recognized this problem at least ten years ago and prepared for it. The increased repression and expulsion of foreigners were in place some time ago. The Uighur work camps are in their way a prototype for the future of China, at least outside of the protected home areas and certain others deemed critical.
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We should eliminate the estate tax and just treat what people receive as simple earned income. This would work best if we bring in a pro-growth 90% marginal tax rate. I've never understood why different types of income are treated so differently by the tax code.
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Back in the 1970s there was a physicist joke. The experimental physicist returns from the lab and remarks that measurement A was greater than measurement B, and the theoretical physicist replies that this was just what the theory predicted. The experimental physicist catches his error, and explains that actually B was greater than A. The theoretical physicist nods and says that this was just what the theory predicted. Of course, now the theoretical physicists are running the show and high energy particle physics has become completely unmoored and increasingly irrelevant.
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This marginal product reasoning doesn't make any sense from an accounting point of view. No company is going to pay a worker 100% of the expected increase in marginal revenue resulting from the hire. That would imply no profit whatever for the company. Why should they even bother? Whenever I hear someone reasoning like this, I know that they have no knowledge of business and economics, and they probably make bad chili. Trying to assign a value to an employee's or capital's production is not a rational exercise. Which is more important in water, the oxygen atom or the two hydrogen atoms? Do they each get 1/3 credit or does oxygen get 1/2 and each hydrogen 1/4? What kind of water do you have if you don't have any hydrogen? Ask a chemist or hydrologist. The usual solution is to base such estimates on economic power and social prejudices. If the hydrogen union is powerful, each hydrogen atom might get 40% leaving 20% for the oxygen atom. Hydrogen comes out to vote and it lobbies everywhere. If oxygen is considered high value by society, such as a man's work in comparison with the same work done by a woman, then the oxygen atom might clear 90% and the two hydrogen atoms would have to eke out a living with 5% each. Do economists like this ever even talk to people who run businesses? Do they ever listen or observe? It's like the anatomy lecturers who'd read the classic text aloud while some flunky did the actual dissection and found a totally different body layout. The students who did well parroted the lecture. The ones who made modern medicine kept their eye on the corpse.
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Genetics doesn't explain why men fare so poorly in language skills when compared with women. It's hard to believe that men lost languistic ability during some Bronze Age genetic bottleneck, and there is definitely no evidence for it. (*) Higher female linguistic ability has been so pronounced that the ETS has had to redo the SAT to even things up. In fact, they've had to make repeated adjustments to raise male scores, especially now that women are more than half of all undergraduates. It is perfectly possible that the high male variance is an artifact of how they structure the tests to improve male scores as against female scores. According to ETS publications, these adjustments generally involve changing only a handful of questions to increase the male mean. I haven't found a discussion of what this process does to the variance, but I'd be surprised if replacing a question with a cross-sex normal distribution with one skewed towards male performance decreases the male variance. They are searching for higher male scores as opposed to female scores, so they are looking for extremes. (*) I suppose one could argue that reduced male linguistic ability was reflected in the loss of language memory skills and that this gave rise to writing, but that sounds pretty bogus.
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This is a very good piece of analysis. If nothing else, it really points out how primary production jobs, like being a farmer, factory worker, miner and so on were once very important but have since been vanishing. When I read Hunger Games, the districts dedicated to primary production presented a jarring note. Granted, districts of accountants or home health aides, while more realistic, would not have offered the same dramatic backdrop. Our archetypes have not caught up with our civilization's reality.
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Bitcoin was like those Swiss numbered bank accounts except the numbers are IP addresses. Everyone could see the transactions, but it was all numbers. If you are hard to link with your IP address and deal with others who are hard to link with their IP addresses, then you have privacy. Otherwise, you are out in the open. I was surprised by bitcoin and what success it had. In the 1970s and 1980s, the idea was to develop a completely decentralized untraceable currency using only cryptography and mathematics. I remember going through a number of papers on digital currency and digital wallets back then. Money has to be hard to create, but relatively easy to verify, so the idea was to do things with big numbers and primality, for example, multiply two big primes to get an even bigger number that is hard to factor then do arithmetic with that number. The problem was, as one colleague pointed out at the time, where one got one's prime numbers. I'm guessing that the original digital currency schemes have proven unworkable. Even in the 1970s there was talk of the NSA or some such building arrays of VLSI chips to crack cryptographic problems. I also gather that there has also been a lot of new mathematics. There is nothing quite like throwing money at a problem as every economist knows.
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The big technological changes that drove increased centralization were the telegraph and the railroad. There really hasn't been all that much change since then. Sure, computerization has lowered the overhead, but the structural forces are the same as in the 19th century. It might make sense to consider the restructuring of the banking business in the 1980s starting with the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act which allowed banks to open branches in multiple states. This dramatically changed economic decision making. When banks had to choose a state and likely a city, they became major drivers of capital for their region. They had a lot of local knowledge. Of course, a lot of them were jackasses, but there were a lot more of them. Now we have a handful of big banks and other financial institutions making decisions with no local knowledge whatever. They are just as susceptible to the same kinds of fads and bubbles and collapses as the smaller banks, but the results of these collapses are writ large. If your city or region does not have a bank big enough to be rescued by the government, you are left out of the recovery. Repeat this for a few cycles, and you find an immense concentration of control. It has nothing to do with the number of transistors on a chip. Talent laden clusters don't just happen. They are created by local institutions. When those institutions are subsumed by outside institutions, the area is weakened. A good paper on this is NBER Working Paper 14278, Long Term Persistence, which compares the development of local institutions in northern and southern Italy. Basically, if a city had a bishop in AD 1000, odds are it is in much better economic shape today.
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The OED offers four definitions: 1) The science of ideas; that department of philosophy or psychology which deals with the origin and nature of ideas. 2) Ideal or abstract speculation; in a depreciatory sense, unpractical or visionary theorizing or speculation. 3) = idealism 4) A systematic scheme of ideas, usu. relating to politics or society, or to the conduct of a class or group, and regarded as justifying actions, esp. one that is held implicitly or adopted as a whole and maintained regardless of the course of events. I don't think the first three definitions are relevant to this discussion.
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The only real advantage of cryptocurrencies is that they are hard - not impossible, but hard - to trace. This makes them useful for criminal activities, particularly illegal money transfers. Cryptocurrency is easier to transfer than something like gold or printed money. Cryptocurrencies aren't particularly useful in more ordinary transactions. There is no government to insist that one accept them. Their value varies dramatically in response to speculation since the supply is artificially limited. They can't handle all that many transactions in a given time period. Their computational requirements require one yield privacy to cryptocurrency brokers. If cryptocurrencies were more useful, they would be even less useful. If online vendors, like Amazon, accepted them, how much privacy would one have after shipping? They'd have to have a shipping address. If one used it at a local store, how would one avoid security cameras or the bemused gaze of the folks at checkout? They'd surely remember the weird guy who paid with that weird new cryptocurrency. Odds are the manager would too. We aren't all Sandra Bullock in The Net, ordering pizza to be slipped under the door and cutting our own hair.
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This does not speak well of Ezra Klein. It was rather obvious to anyone not in a proverbial Seconal stupor for the last 30 years that Paul Ryan was spouting pretty standard Republican party nonsense. No journalist or analyst should have taken him seriously. Modern journalists cannot deal with the Republican party which is worse than they can imagine, even when they take that very fact into account. They are forever looking for the tiniest deviations from the overall party line and magnifying them into something of significance. Ezra Klein, among others, had a long full draft of the Kool-Aid.
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The first four seem to be the same but with different terminology. It's sort of like arguing whether one has a glass containing a cup or eight fluid ounces of water. At room temperature there isn't much of a difference. The last two seem to be amalgams of the first four. The only one that seems much different is Vulgar Keysnianism, mainly because it looks at things from the demand side rather than the supply side.
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The Old Testament was no friend of capitalism. It wasn't just about having been slaves. A distrust of wealth and power shows up early. Look at the arguments against having a king which would turn citizens into "hewers of wood and drawers of water" then followed by several sections on the corruption of kings, even the best of them. There might be proscriptions against theft, but there are also limits on ownership. In theory, land could not be alienated from its ancestral owners, though it sure could be seized by conquest. Debts had to be cancelled at regular intervals. One could not harvest the crops one planted from one edge of one's field to another nor could one take a second pass to pick up anything you missed the first time. The edges and what was missed or dropped belonged to the poor. By the time one gets the Nehemiah and Jeremiah, the whole book has turned into a socialist screed. The sequel is even worse. I sometimes find it helpful to think of the Old Testament as a Bronze Age critique of the incoming Iron Age.
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Back in the late 1960s Wall Street Week, one of the few financial television shows, had an annual pre-New Year session where all the pundits would sheepishly go over their poor predictions for the previous year before making new predictions, of varying quality, for the year to come. It was great television. Everyone in the audience could sympathize having made a good share of bad predictions as well.
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We have cooperative predator brains. Such brains benefit from being able to model prey and partner intent as a means of determining action. Anyone following modern neuroscience can get a glimpse of how this could work with neural models with recall and search mechanisms. Our understanding is almost certainly incomplete, but we know that brains, our own and those of our partners prey use similar mechanisms. We know that our brains deal with narrative trajectories within meaning grids. In other words, there is too much physical evidence to counter Rosenberg's argument. Was the Kaiser not thinking when he issued that blank check? No, the Kaiser was definitely thinking. He was not in a coma.
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