Post by Rod Dreher about Christians losing Christianty.
Too much to be said on this.
Similar yet different than aliens.
Post by Rod Dreher about Christians losing Christianty.
Too much to be said on this.
Similar yet different than aliens.
Arnold writes about his FI Teams idea and lists all 150 chosen intellectuals for the 2021 Spring season (Fantasy Intellectual League) April 1 – June 30. Latest explanation of scoring for Memes, Bets, Steelman arguments:
(M) memes. These are phrases that are associated with a certain intellectual. For example, Black Swan is associated with Taleb (pick 31). If during the season the term Black Swan is used in at least three prominent places (well-known podcast or blog, newspaper, new book), that scores one M for Taleb. No more than one M per season for each catch-phrase. Richard Dawkins, who coined the term “meme,” was not chosen, although picking him would have guaranteed his owner at least one meme point.
(B) bets. An intellectual scores a B by expressing a belief in quantitative probabilistic terms. Oddly enough, Annie Duke, who would be credited with a meme if the phrase “Thinking in Bets” were to appear three times during the season, was not selected, either.
(S) steel-manning. The intellectual presents a point of view with which he or she disagrees in a way that someone who holds that point of view would consider to be representative. It is the opposite of straw-manning. I believe that Peter Thiel (pick 70) coined the term, or at least popularized it, and his owner is all but certain to pick up an M point. S’s are most likely to be earned by bloggers and podcasters and least likely to be earned by tweets or political speeches. They are more likely to be earned by centrists than by hard-core Red or Blue team members.
Here are my 15:
|James A Lindsay|
Arnold started writing about this in Jan with his Number One Pick, Scott Alexander (Suskind, now on substack)
the main problem of our times, which is the demise of our key institutions and what Martin Gurri describes as the “post-truth” age and the loss of authority.
I claim that the reason that we don’t have socially trusted authorities any more is that we suffer from intellectual status inversion. The people at the top of the status hierarchy in the bureaucracy, journalism, and academia are not great thinkers. And the great thinkers are not at the top of the status hierarchy. I believe that a necessary and sufficient condition for pulling society out of the ditch is to come up with a cure for intellectual status inversion. We need to reverse the status levels of Coleman Hughes and Ibram X. Kendi, for example.
Early nominations – a few commenter lists (I decided NOT to let others know my list)
Eric[Weinstein] is a particularly interesting case. If Scott Alexander models carefulness, Eric models fearlessness. Fearlessness means not being afraid of conventional wisdom or of anyone else based on their status. Carefulness is intellectual carefulness, which means giving the strongest consideration to other points of view.
FITs to be people who are great role models as thinkers.
So David Brooks, Jared Diamond, or Daniel Kahneman would not help your score, because they already have plenty of name recognition among Ivy League social science professors. Someone like Joe Rogan, who enjoys mass name recognition, does not lose points, because I guess he has low name recognition among Ivy League social science professors. And Rand Paul has name recognition among elites, but not as an intellectual, so he does not lose points for that. Note that I am not pushing Joe Rogan or Rand Paul for high draft choices.
the point is to pick “the best, per se.” If you Google “hundred leading intellectuals” you will get dreck. My guess is that if you polled academic departments you would get dreck.
The motivation for this project is the almost total lack of overlap between “famous intellectual” or “renowned intellectual” and someone I would regard as a great mentor for a college-age student. I won’t hold it against someone that he or she is famous.
RFC: FITS scoring categories with 4 points – early (revised later, above)
When “FIT” is used to search, these are most of the links on ASKblog.
So many good quotes from John:
we’re playing the game that Hayek told us not to play, of sitting around a coffee table and say what forces are moving prices around. There’s all sorts of speculation about it. We can have fun. I can give you the five theories. I don’t believe in any of them.
Yet it’s so much fun – intellectual fun (for we, the intellectually superior.)
Why low interest? Low growth.
a low-growth economy has less opportunities for investment.
On EMT (efficient markets):
If everybody indexed, markets couldn’t be efficient because no one’s out there getting the information that makes markets efficient.
John doesn’t say it, but index-investors are free-riding on the trading risk of those trading.
In recessions people get scared:
It’s people get scared. They don’t want to hold risky assets. They want to hold safe assets.
For now and the near and mid-term future, if US Treasuries are not safe, no world asset is safe. Thus no hyperinflation over USD. 2025 99% 2030 95%
Fiscal Policy, too much gov’t debt – what do debt holders do?:
They try to get rid of the debt because they know it’s not going to get paid back. What do you do with it? You buy stuff, and that drives up the price of goods and services.
Grey’s Law – no Hyperinflation without shortages in food
My claim is that if there is enough food produced, no panic buying of food. The rich who “buy stuff” do not buy more food – it goes bad. If there’s enough food, there will NOT be hyperinflation. [Prove me wrong]
For gov’t: if you can borrow more, and the interest rates don’t go up, then government debt is a money machine.
This is the Modern Monetary Theory (which Arnold critiques.)
Why not gov’t borrow more, forever?
If it isn’t going to be repaid by taxes, people are still going to try to get rid of that government debt and they’ll cause inflation.
What happens when “Bond Markets” say “no thanks” to more US debt?
Bond markets look at $25 trillion of US debt and then in the next crisis, we want to borrow another $10 trillion. They say, “Sorry, guys, we’re done.” And now, everything that looked sustainable is all of a sudden not sustainable, and the r’s that were less than g are suddenly a lot bigger than g.
There are no Bond Markets – markets don’t exist; only people see debt.
Rich people exist, and are decision makers, and choose to buy bonds or not.
“Bond Market” is shorthand for rich people making buy & sell decisions about gov’t bonds.
…You’re sitting on a powder keg, and a powder keg, a run, a crisis — if you could predict it happening, it would already have happened. It’s one of those unstable situations.
The rich people decide. And they will NOT decide to blow up their own wealth and power … unless they have some other source of wealth and investment.
2008 TARP bailout for rich investors making a huge financial mistake. Lesson – the rich will use the gov’t to stay rich (altho some might go bankrupt).
Even in an efficient market, there’s such a thing as a bank run. Everything looks fine until all of a sudden, the bank run, the black swan. That’s the mechanism of the inflation. It can look fine. Interest rates never forecast inflation. …
We’re sitting on a powder keg. We’re sitting on the possibility of a run, a crisis, which would be a sharp unforecast inflation,
Today US Treasuries are both store of value and in their near equivalent USD cash form, the medium of exchange for world trade, and world wealth.
There is no substitute.
Until there is a substitute, the rich decision makers will not allow a crisis to ruin the money printing making.
They are rich owners of Apple & Alphabet – when those shares hyperinflate in price, the rich get richer much faster. As the US national debt goes up, financial asset prices are hyperinflating – and there’s no historical reason to stop stock prices from going up.
P/E (price/earnings) of 50; 80; 150…
The stock market can only be “too high” when rich owners can sell AND buy something else.
And today’s rich are the bigger investors in crypto.
If crypto could be relied upon, it could, like the Euro or the Renminbi/Yuan be a global substitute for USD – but it could also join the hyperinflation of rich investor assets.
Great conversation. Comment also at ASK.
“Any observed statistical regularity will tend to collapse once pressure is placed upon it for control purposes.” Charles Goodhart, 1975 (money)
“When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.” Anthropologist Marilyn Strathern generalization most often cited, 1997
Grey’s Lemma (mine):
“Any ‘law’ that allows money to be made, causes behavior that diminishes the law.”
Risk: “A risk model breaks down when used for regulatory purposes.”
Four Examples: Cobra effect – causes reactions that help then make it worse.
1) Regressive – like good jobs done by high IQ folk, but they can have other problems. “The measurement you’re using as a proxy for your goal is imperfectly correlated with that goal.”
2) Extremal – good correlation usually, but not at extremes. A little sugar good, too much makes obesity. Can be underfitting in ML.
3) Causal – good HS grades correlates to good college grades. Teach more test taking skills, pressure to give students higher grades. Doesn’t work.
4) Adversarial – pay to catch Cobras in India. It works. Then folks raise cobras to get paid. So payment stops. Cobras are released – worse then before.
Elizabeth Warren’s cheating about being Native American was a similar lie, as was the NAACP white woman (Rachel?).
Paying/ rewarding marriage would likely lead to a bit more domestic violence being accepted. Maybe other problems. I still support it, but not quite as strongly.
He wrote about Unspeakable Truths.
1- Downplaying behavioral disparities by race is actually a “bluff”
2- “Structural racism” isn’t an explanation, it’s an empty category
3- We must put the police killings of black Americans into perspective
4- There is a dark side to the “white fragility” blame game (white pride?)
5- On the unspeakable infantilization of “black fragility”
6- On achieving “true equality” for black Americans
He has a substack now, still free. He responds to pushback against his Truths.
I describe and lament the constraint which political correctness imposes on vigorous public discussion about the causes of and remedies for persistent racial inequality.
a central fact of our time is the failure of blacks at every level—from criminal behavior to performance on college exams—to measure-up to the plentiful opportunities at hand. A racial blame game has emerged to cover these failures which increasingly seems to corrupt everything.
**Thanks, Glenn – for speaking the truth. You’re not really the only one saying so — but so many others who have said so have been cancelled by the PC cancel culture/ Woke religion.
Maybe a targeted gov’t program could work, by giving gov’t rewards to those who “live good lives” in areas where so many are not.
1) In school districts ranked by # of kids with married parents, the married parents, with 1 or more children, could get some $1000/yr plus $100 * #years married as a gov’t reward. So a couple, married for 8 years with a child, would get a Marriage Gift of $(1000 + 800). Those at the bottom would get the full 100% gift; at around the 30% non-married parent level the gift amount would go down 5% for each 1% level. At the 50% non-married parent level the gift would be 0; at the 40% level the gift would be half (50% of $1800 = $900).
The market already rewards good behavior, some. Most gov’t programs based on “need” end up in the moral hazard area of supporting the victims of their, or their parents, bad choices. Rewarding bad choices means more bad choices are made.
Of course, when bad choices result in bad outcomes, there is a bigger “need” – somebody has to pay for the mistake. (No free lunch). The Marriage Gift idea is to reward those making good choices, so as to encourage more good choices.
America needs more kids with married parents. A subsidy for those making the good decisions but living among those making sub-optimal decisions could help. This is a carrot incentive; reality already has enough sticks, at least relatively.
FIT – a 10-team League of Intellectual Teams. Each Team owner will draft 15 intellectuals who will be scored by ASK over 6 months.
Arnold should call in something with FIT and 21 (to be 22 next year), and include his name. AskFit21 would be great BUT sounds like selling alt-Cross Fit.
Kling is quite a distinct name, FIT is general but good acro, and 21 the year.
Reference Links: FIT Update 02-06 not sure about Big Names
Update #4 “Pairings” and “Wins” will combined into S – Steelman arguments.
(Some of) My comments:
**Good change – steel man arguments for both sides is exactly what society needs more of from their intellectuals.
Tho from my view, neither Scott A. nor J. Rauch were at all close to a steel man critique of Trump Republicans in their recent articles about how the Reps should change, so giving either or both an S (or a W) is quite a judgement call. And most points will be coming from these S calls.
In the example above about the fine review by Scott of the Cult of Smart book, S seems very appropriate for Scott. But would Freddie de Boer also get an S (from his book) for that book review article? I would argue yes.
More examples of points or non-points in the coming days would be helpful.
Scott Aaronson – Big Brain Sili Valli geek
The Propaganda Campaign to Convince Us Wind Energy Is Still a Good Idea – Mike Smith; MSE consulting on energy; common sense on weather / COVID.
More common sense from Kim du Toit.
Fake Nous – Mostly reasonable Liberal, Michael Huemer
Khmer Rouge dehumanization, so sad, so human. Favored, in practice, over support for corrupt S. Vietnam anti-communists in 1975 (after Dems win control of Congress, from Watergate). SE Asia – New Mandala
The 30 Tyrants – Lee Smith [Tablet]; after Athens lost; the problems cause more changes
Handle’s Haus – best ASK commenter (ask him to join my FIT owner team)
Kevin Lewis (National Affairs) watches huge numbers of others
Free Speech Liberal lawyer – Jonathan Turley
Catholic World – Pope declares Grandparents’ Day
Not The Bee – Super Straight & Blue Anon
David Goldman (Spengler) – Dirty Secret of Cancel Culture – Envy
Tom Palmer 2002 – Globalization is Grrrreat – I thought so then, not so much now
The Closing of the American Dream (summary) – Allan Bloom
Martin Gurri Post Journalism [City Journal]
Scott Sumner The Money Illusion
Razib Khan Unsupervised Learning
Curtis Yarvin [Gray Mirror]
ASK talks about Tyler Cowen and Scott Sumner disagreeing with his ideas on inflation, where Arnold thinks fiscal dominates monetary policy. [Arnold covers Modern Monetary Theory; Scott does also in part 1 and part 2
1. Fiscal dominance vs. monetary dominance.
Scott’s argument for monetary dominance is that the Fed, which sets monetary policy, is way more agile than Congress, which sets fiscal policy.
2. Inflation as an autocatalytic process – not a mere dose/response.
When inflation picks up to an annual rate of 8-10 percent, it changes your behavior.
The real take-off point for inflation in the 1970s was the New Economic Policy of President Richard Nixon, announced in August of 1971.
Once inflation gets going, the only way to stop it is to slam on the economic brakes.
Recent experience? if an inflation fire does get going, I will be less surprised than the markets.
I also disagree with all of them, because none refer to asset hyperinflation.
**The real take-off point for inflation in the 1970s was the New Economic Policy of President Richard Nixon, announced in August of 1971.
This was the least of three big influences.
1) Biggest was Baby Boomer huge increase in demand – including expansion of credit cards and women working. This resulted in “shortages” that were resolved with higher prices, expanded (higher!) production, and both more profits and wage demand increases.
2) Oil price shocks. Huge increases in oil prices was a wealth transfer to OPEC – causing higher prices of all goods that are transported. There was huge, expensive adjustments in capital allocation in various long term responses. With consumers seeing higher prices, indistinguishable from other inflation caused price increases.
After a few years of high unemployment, inflation receded.
Around 1982? End of Boomers graduating; end of huge oil price shocks.
14% interest rates on mortgages started coming down.
[Last late Boomers born ’64, were about 18 then.]
Lots of adjustments in the new, arguably not so improved from the US worker view, patterns of specialization and trade.
The macro-economist “Problem” should be “what advice on gov’t policy to allow new patterns to form with less unemployment social costs”?
Arnold posts more on his inflation views. Including discussion of 1) paper wealth and real wealth; 2) that neither fiscal nor monetary policy has much effect on paper wealth [???]; 3) Japan and paper wealth since before 1989 crash; 4) government can monetize a fair amount of debt and get away with it.
**Where is the money-printed money from the Fed going? It’s not inflation, not yet.
The prior inflation post on Tyler is relevant, where he is only technically correct when he says about how smart folks (like me) are wrong:
The latest example is the claim that current inflationary pressures are somehow being “captured” or “locked up” in asset prices,
The pressure of more money is not trapped (Tyler tech right), it’s being invested by the rich in assets (Tyler’s spirit wrong) because
a) they don’t want to spend/consume it to buy more stuff, and
b) in comparing ROIs of alternatives, including non-monetary benefits, they choose to put more of their own savings glut cash into assets. Including art, jewels, crypto, but especially Blue Chip stocks and housing in nice, low-crime low-poverty areas.
Tyler mentions Weimar & Venezuela (tho not Zimbabwe) – where there were shortages of consumables. My new
“Grey’s Hyper-inflation Law” – no hyperinflation without shortages of food.
I’m certain Tyler is wrong for US & Japan when he says:
If for instance equity prices are very high relative to food, people will sell equities and buy more food,
Today equity prices are very high relative to food, but nobody is selling equities to buy more food – because there is plenty of cheap food. I’m pretty sure both Weimar and Venezuela had higher relative prices of food – because there were shortages of food. A failure of the economic system to produce enough food. And hungry people sell equities for food. That’s something needed for actual hyperinflations. Functioning Market economies since WW II haven’t generally failed to produce enough food.
The Casey Mulligan article seems more an excellent argument against UBI, with the virus stimulus as a semi-proxy for Universal Income.
President Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid-relief package is being sold as an effort to “get America back to work.” It will do the opposite. We estimate that between five million and eight million fewer Americans will be employed over the next six months if the bill passes.
It’s also falsifiable, which should be a huge advantage in FIT. But I suspect it will be falsified, depending on the measuring process for “working”. Yet in the context of domination, it’s more Fiscal than Monetary, as Arnold is thought-arguing with Scott Sumner.
When the money is given to investors, they invest in assets. When given to consumers, they buy stuff – and if their buying is “enough” that causes price rises. Otherwise it just gives more profit to companies, and their rich investor owners who have … more money to invest. In assets.
Scott is correct in his conclusion:
Almost every major school of thought—monetarist, Keynesian, and Austrian, etc.—believe that monetary policy has a major impact on nominal variables.
This is not quite saying Monetary policy is dominant, tho it’s close.
Nor does this answer about where the printed money is now going
While Arnold doesn’t agree with all of Scott, he probably concedes that monetary policy is important, tho less dominant.
1) If wealth grows rapidly and persistently relative to real output, then eventually consumer prices will increase markedly. This seems to have been true in the past, but history has never had a real “savings glut”. We might have one now, which might mean that paper wealth (= wealth?) can keep growing faster than material (maybe not quite “real”, but at least tangible), without milk prices increasing faster than 2% (has been about 1.6% for last decade).
2) I’m sure both fiscal (who gets how much gov’t money, like Solyndra) and monetary (how much total money in economy) have major influences on both paper and real wealth. Arnold flat out wrong here.
3) Excellent point on Japan. I recall incredulously reading that Tokyo real estate in 1989 was more valuable than … the ENTIRE USA. When it crashed, the gov’t refused to let most banks fail, so they’ve been on slow working out for the last 3 decades … and more to come.
4) It’s when the government has no choice but to monetize that things get ugly. Maybe – tho I claim it is when the economy is failing to provide real food to real people at nominal prices that the people can really afford. If real economic failure gives the gov’t “no choice”, that confirms the statement. But if the economy is not failing, the gov’t will still have other choices?
Are the huge gov’t spending deficits going to cause inflation soon? We could use better “pundit” prediction markets.
Tyler is correct to ask any inflation hawk (like Arnold? nah; but also not a dove. Maybe Arnold is an inflation parrot? parakeet? pigeon? 50% no big inflation thru 2027)
Whenever someone tells me that much higher rates of price inflation are imminent, I ask a simple yet obnoxious question: “Have you shorted the long bond?”
Rich investors, and their highly paid financial advisors, currently don’t think big inflation is coming to the USA soon.
I like almost all Cat Stevens’ hits. Many mentioned above, especially ’71. A high school friend’s mom worked at A&M records so he gave me the 3 best albums (Tee…, Teaser, Bull). [Also 2 of Rick Wakeman’s solo albums.]
Have Stevens greatest hits CD, including the quirky “Here Comes my Baby” – which was a small 2 min. hit for The Tremolos*.
“You never walk alone,
and you’re forever talking on the phone.”
Here’s the Cat Stevens version from an early ’67 Mathew & Son album.
On a prior thread, there was talk about poetry.
Today’s “popular music”, with lyrics, is where the modern successful poets find expression, and moola. (cash $$$)
I don’t like most poetry, especially that prose that is so unmusical. I rather do like most Dr. Seuss, and my kids loved him, too. (Banned by the Woke-nazis)
Pop music is usually a great tune, plus something interesting musically plus some hook, and some kind of poetic lyrics. Sometimes the lyrics are most important, but I’d argue the music parts are about 60%, lyrics 10%, singer 30% as a rough average. (Dylan is more lyrics 60% … maybe Cohen around 60%, too)
The Tremolos got 3 hits from roughly translating Italian songs into English and singing them. I actually have translated a couple of Slovak songs into English, but no good singers singing any, yet. Nor even asked. One of this year’s Could Do projects.
Another pop/folk musician for whom the lyrics are probably 60% is Jackson Browne.
By the way, I am gobsmacked to learn that “Here Comes My Baby” was written by Cat Stevens. I remember the Tremoloes’ version well.
Another surprise I’ve gotten recently is learning that Jackson Browne wrote the lyrics to “She’s Gotta Be Somebody’s Baby.” Here he is performing it live, a great rarity.
And of course the Bee Gees wrote tons of songs most people don’t know they wrote – for example, “Island in the Stream.” Here they perform it themselves circa 1997.
We commenters all like to gobsmack Neo, whenever we can!
But I think Jackson Browne is as much music as lyrics, tho he was never a favorite of mine – not quite interesting enough either with music nor lyrics. This fine surprise is a fine 2 min song … that goes on for 4 min.
But I looked up his Greatest Hits, one of my fav Eagle’s songs was his
Take It Easy.
I recall getting a ticket at about 1 am in Winslow Arizona while driving from Annapolis to CA for Christmas in our 2 week break – took 3 of us less than 3 days. [New Cannonball Rally records are less than 24 hrs! NY >> LA]
I like the Eagles version better.
Most of Browne’s “hits” I don’t recognize by name. Did somebody else do “Somebody’s Baby” as a hit? Or do you just remember it from Fast Times at Ridgemont High?
On the Greatest hits, the CD ends but the YouTube goes on … and some guy starts singing Chinese songs. Does that happen much to you? There’s a Cohen YouTube Greatest hist, without Take Manhattan, with some Chinese woman singing at the end. And then Sinatra?? (Very good year)
Cat Steven’s hits include better voice, lyrics, and much better music.
BeeGees too – the “Islands in the Stream” with lyrics, by itself, was somehow MUCH better for me than when watching the whole concert. Tho I miss “Lonely Days” that way. It’s a far better poem, when I read it, than I thought when just casually listening to it (waiting for hits I know I like). And Dolly is not among my favorites, nor is country – but this song should make it less of surprise that Barry moved to Nashville.
My least favorite Lovin’ Spoonful Greatist Hits song is …
Nashville Cats. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZqgFyj5uTo
I don’t always skip it, but sometimes – tho the lyrics are fine.
A good reason to blog is to release tension when seeing silly / wrong essays. Especially if they’re maybe 70% very good, 15% ok, but 15% terrible. So many Democrat supporting thinkers are like that, on so many political topics.
Rethinking Polarization, Jonathan Rauch – Brookings, smug, against some bad assumptions & logic, but then uses similar bad assumptions in some analysis.
what if tribalism as such, not ideological disagreement, is behind much or even most of the rise of polarization?
an implication of negative partisanship is that partisans are not so much rallying for a cause or party they believe in as banding together to fight a collective enemy — psychologically and politically a very different kind of proposition,
This would be so much a stronger argument if it included more of the dates and events, rather than focus so very much on Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Then the silly article says:
If group solidarity requires us to excuse Donald Trump for behaviors far worse than those we condemned in Bill Clinton, no problem.
No specification of what, exactly, those behaviors were. Words? or Actions? Or testimony under oath about a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment.
Flabby intellectualism, makes me laugh.