DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for the 'Think about it.' Category

Take a Look at Where Californians Are Fleeing To

31st August 2015

Read it.

What do they know that you don’t?

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

A Businessman for President?

31st August 2015

Read it.

Unlike many economists, who would confine “revenues” to “user fees,” business people don’t care where the revenues come from. They are just as happy to count tax dollars and loans as revenues. On the other side of the equation, where economists count all costs, both internal and external, business people are perfectly happy to shift costs on to others and then only count the costs that they themselves (or their companies or government agencies) have to pay.

Thus, someone who promises to “run a government like a business” isn’t promising to end deficit spending or stop ridiculous projects whose costs are far greater than their benefits. They aren’t even promising to cut costs by doing such things as renegotiating union contracts or streamlining environmental regulations. After all, businesses see unions and regulations as just a “cost of doing business,” and so long as the costs apply to everyone, they actually benefit big businesses that can more easily absorb them than small ones and thus reduce competition.

Let us just keep that in mind.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Donald Trump, Traitor to His Class

31st August 2015

Ross Douthat has an interesting take.

THE Donald Trump phenomenon is a great gift to pundits because it can be analyzed and criticized in so many different ways. But two shorthands seem particularly useful. First, Trump is essentially using the Republican primary to run a third-party campaign, not a right-wing insurgency. Second, Trump’s appeal is oddly like that of Franklin Roosevelt, in the sense that he’s a rich, well-connected figure — a rich New Yorker, at that — who’s campaigning as a traitor to his class.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Marc Lewis: The Neuroscientist Who Believes Addiction Is Not a Disease

30th August 2015

Read it.

For decades the medical profession has largely treated addiction as as a chronic brain disease. The US government’s National Institute on Drug Abuse characterises addicts as compulsive drug seekers and users who continue taking drugs despite harmful and unwanted consequences. “It is considered a brain disease,” the institute says, “because drugs change the brain; they change its structure and how it works.”

Dr Marc Lewis, a developmental neuroscientist – perhaps most famous for detailing his own years of drug addiction and abuse in Memoirs of an Addicted Brain – strongly refutes this conventional disease model of addiction. His new book, The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction is not a Disease, argues that considering addiction as a disease is not only wrong, but also harmful. Rather, he argues, addiction is a behavioural problem that requires willpower and motivation to change.

Odd to see this in the Guardian, Voice of the Crust and bastion of ‘progressive’ thought.

Posted in Think about it. | 2 Comments »

A Daily Walk ‘Can Add Seven Years to Your Life’

30th August 2015

Read it.

Just 25 minutes of brisk walking a day can add up to seven years to your life, according to health experts.

If, of course, that’s what you want to do.

Personally, I don’t see that the way things are trending in the world makes it worth all that much effort to extend my stay.

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

Russia Is Such a Backwater Dump Nobody Wants to Study It Anymore

30th August 2015

Read it.

Can’t say that  I mind.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

The Myth of Big, Bad Gluten

30th August 2015

Read it.

Some of the anti-glutenists argue that we haven’t eaten wheat for long enough to adapt to it as a species. Agriculture began just 12,000 years ago, not enough time for our bodies, which evolved over millions of years, primarily in Africa, to adjust. According to this theory, we’re intrinsically hunter-gatherers, not bread-eaters. If exposed to gluten, some of us will develop celiac disease or gluten intolerance, or we’ll simply feel lousy.

Most of these assertions, however, are contradicted by significant evidence, and distract us from our actual problem: an immune system that has become overly sensitive.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

The Safety Truck Could Revolutionize Road Safety

30th August 2015

Read it.

Yet another attempt to use technology to perform an end run around evolution.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

HAPPY DANCE SUNDAY

30th August 2015

Whiskey Johnny

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Google Has a Secret Interview Process

30th August 2015

Read it.

If Google sees that you’re searching for specific programming terms, they’ll ask you to apply for a job. It’s wild. Here’s how it works.

Actually, it makes a great deal of sense. I wonder whether the NSA does the same thing? (Oh, right, government agency … no sign of intelligent life — so, nah.)

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Applying “Occam’s Razor” vs. Asserting “Occam’s Racist!”

30th August 2015

Steve Sailer points out some inconvenient truth.

A general assumption of the moderate conventional wisdom over the last half century is that average black performance is dragged down by specific impediments, such as poverty, crime, culture of poverty, parental taciturnity, lead paint, or whatever. One would therefore expect blacks without those impediments to score equal with whites.

But a close inspection of the social science data suggests that the world doesn’t really look like that. For example, above is the 2013 federal National Assessment of Educational Progress scores for 12th graders in Reading. Blacks who are the children of college graduates average 274, which is the same as whites who are the children of high school dropouts.

‘Progressives’ are all about science, except when it disagrees with their preconceived notions, in which case RACIST!

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Simply Walking into Mordor: How Much Lembas Would the Fellowship Need?

29th August 2015

Read it.

Well, think about it.

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

Trashed: Study Finds Students Toss Veggies Mandated by Federal School Lunch Program

29th August 2015

Read it.

You can lead a kid to ‘healthy’ food, but you can’t make him eat it.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

The Barcode’s Days Are Numbered

28th August 2015

Read it.

The basic barcode is just not up to the job in an age where shoppers demanding far greater transparency about products and store owners need more information to help with stock taking and product recalls.

Tech-savy consumers increasingly want to be able to read such information as ingredients, allergens or country of origin online or with their smartphone, according to Kees Jacobs, consultant at Cap Gemini. Jacobs is working with the world’s top retailers and food manufacturers to try to agree new global standards for labels and product data.

“The current barcode is not sufficient to be the carrier of much more granular information that is needed,” he told Reuters.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

When Words Are Added to the Dictionary, What About Banning Some? Here Are Ten Suggestions

28th August 2015

Read it.

Good choices all — some classics like ‘diversity’ and some strong contenders like ‘vibrant’.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Happy Kellogg-Briand Pact Day

27th August 2015

On this day in 1928 damned near every country in the world signed the Kellogg-Briand Pact, promising to eat Raisin Bran for breakfast ‘outlawing war as an instrument of national policy.

And, of course, since that time we haven’t had any wars. Way to go, world.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

UK: Postmistress Foils Armed Raiders With Baseball Bat

26th August 2015

Read it.

After the trial, the couple, who own the post office in Llangernyw, near Abergele, both said they would do the same thing again. Mr Baines, 44 said: “I wouldn’t let them get away next time.”

His wife, 43, added: “I hit one of them with the bat then my husband took it from me. I just wish I’d hit him harder.”

 

Even Brits can act like Americans when the chips are down.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Why Turkey Has Taken the Irish ‘Boxer’ Who Fought an Istanbul Neighbourhood to Heart

26th August 2015

Read it.

Hey, who doesn’t love the Irish?

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Thought for the Day

26th August 2015

Being Offended Doesn't Make You Right

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Digital Distraction Syndrome

26th August 2015

Scott Adams has a theory.

My hypothesis, subject to your sage review, is that the baseline stimulation of normal life has become a higher distraction than loud music blaring in both ears. Music once created a distraction in a quiet world. Now music creates a bit of a buffer from the baseline circus of your normal existence. And in this context I do not mean the noise of the outside world so much as the mental distraction of simply knowing you might have a message if only you looked. Stuff like that.

Music is somewhat predictable, especially for familiar songs, and it soon blends into the background of your mind, creating (in my experience) a sort of force field that keeps away the outside world. It is a defense against the distractions the world has inserted in your mind.

It goes without saying that our digital devices are both awesome in function and distracting in nature. No one wants to return to pre-digital days. But we do need to be conscious of the entire impact of our new tech, not just the shiny bits.

At the risk of being an alarmist, I’m going to go on record as saying Digital Distraction Syndrome (my name for it) is among the biggest health threats in the industrial world. The distractions of the digital age increase our stress, and stress makes us sick and crazy.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

How to Be Polite

25th August 2015

Read it.

People silently struggle from all kinds of terrible things. They suffer from depression, ambition, substance abuse, and pretension. They suffer from family tragedy, Ivy-League educations, and self-loathing. They suffer from failing marriages, physical pain, and publishing. The good thing about politeness is that you can treat these people exactly the same. And then wait to see what happens. You don’t have to have an opinion. You don’t need to make a judgment. I know that doesn’t sound like liberation, because we live and work in an opinion-based economy. But it is. Not having an opinion means not having an obligation. And not being obligated is one of the sweetest of life’s riches.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Ecology: Gene Tweaking for Conservation

25th August 2015

Read it.

Even the most conservative estimates predict that 15–40% of living species will be effectively extinct by 2050 as a result of climate change, habitat loss and other consequences of human activities. In the face of such drastic losses, scientists are debating the pros and cons of various, and often controversial, interventions. These include moving populations to help track hospitable habitats, and reinstating keystone species — those that have a large effect on ecosystem structure and function, such as top-level predators — into areas where they have long been absent. Even the revival of species that have recently gone extinct is being explored.

So far, an increasingly viable (and potentially less risky) option, which we call facilitated adaptation, has been little discussed. It would involve rescuing a target population or species by endowing it with adaptive alleles, or gene variants, using genetic engineering.

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

Thought for the Day

25th August 2015

Sales Are Grim

Posted in Dystopia Watch, Think about it. | No Comments »

Ashley Madison leak: Two clients of hacked website reported to have killed themselves

24th August 2015

Read it.

Well. The system works.

Think of it as evolution in action: We are subtracting the weak and stupid from the gene pool.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

IRS State Migration Data: Taxpayers Flock to Texas & Florida, Flee From New York, Illinois & California

24th August 2015

Read it.

Gee, I wonder why?

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Former National Security Adviser Scowcroft Endorses Iran Deal

23rd August 2015

Read it.

Is there a more Crustian name than Brent Scowcroft? Maybe Strobe Talbot. Or Stansfield Turner.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Thought for the Day

23rd August 2015

Socialism Trash boatd copy

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Cuisine and Empire

23rd August 2015

Read it.

Food has replaced music at the heart of the cultural conversation for so many, and I wonder if it’s because food and dining still offer true scarcity whereas music is so freely available everywhere that it’s become a poor signaling mechanism for status and taste. If you’ve eaten at Noma, you’ve had an experience a very tiny fraction of the world will be lucky enough to experience, whereas if you name any musical artist, I can likely find their music and be listening to it within a few mouse clicks. Legally, too, which removes even more of the caché that came with illicit downloading, the thrill of being a digital bootlegger.

Once, it felt like watching music videos on MTV was a form of rebellion in plain sight. Nowadays, the channel doesn’t play any music videos. Instead, we have dozens of food and cooking shows, even entire channels like The Food Network dedicated to the topic. Chefs have become elevated to the status of master craftsmen, with names that have risen above the status of their restaurants, and diners revere someone like Jiro of Jiro Dreams of Sushi fame the way a previous generation worshipped the guitar sound of a rock god like Jimi Hendrix.

The food scene today offers a seemingly never-ending supply of scarce experiences, ingredients, and dishes. Cronuts you have to wait in line for a few hours to get your hands on. Pop-up restaurants that serve only on a few nights a week for a few weeks, then disappear forever. Restaurants that you have to sacrifice a goat to just to get a reservation, and then they’ll actually take that goat you killed and prepare your entire dinner from it, nose to tail. A white truffle add-on that tacks $80 on to a single piece of cured hamachi, and oh, the truffle is only available for four weeks a year and came over on a gondola from Alba, Italy, and the hamachi is one of the last of three members of its species so you know, you should probably try it before…oops, sorry, the chef says someone just ordered the last of it. Yep, it’s that couple at the corner table, and that’s the last plate that she’s Instagramming right now.

Foodies are the new Cool Kids, or want to be.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Five Serious Truths About Illegal Immigration That GOP Candidates Have to Accept

23rd August 2015

Read it.

Not to mention everyone else … but we’ve learned not to expect miracles from Democrites.

Hey, GOP primary losers, you better get out there fast with a real immigration plan, because right now you are losing to Donald Trump and that makes you the epitome of loserdom. But unlike Trump, you should be serious about ending the illegal immigration nightmare. His supporters are. Hell, his opponents are, too. Yet some of you haven’t just flirted with amnesty – Rubio tried yet couldn’t score, but donor class puffball Jeb Bush has gotten to third base with amnesty and is trying to round home.

Which pretty much reflects my thoughts on the subject.

HOWEVER, there are other viewpoints — one such is that of David Henderson, who (as with the other George Mason University economists that I follow) is usually pretty sound on most issues. I would recommend that you read it in order to have a good grasp of both sides of the question.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

In China, Women Hired to Motivate Computer Programmers

22nd August 2015

Read it.

Maybe they know something we don’t.

We have a similar system in this country — the women are from HR, and promise that they’ll clean out your cubicle for you once they’ve escorted you from the building.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

What Makes a Billionaire Bad? Just Add Government.

21st August 2015

Read it.

“Income inequality” is one of the populist issues du jour, even if there is a certain logical incoherence in believing that the growing income of rich people is somehow necessarily bad for poor people.

A new economic study suggests that, actually, we can calculate when a billionaire’s riches harm the poor and when they’re helpful. The “bad” billionaires aren’t the ones who flood the marketplace with cheap goods and jobs that some folks want to blame for all our ills. Those billionaires help the poor (by providing cheap goods and jobs, obviously). It’s the billionaires who get and keep their riches because of their connections to the government and through crony capitalism who create the most harmful consequences of income inequality.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Quotation for the Day

20th August 2015

It is diverting to speculate why such care is devoted to the breeding of dogs and horses while the human race prefers to reproduce itself in a largely indiscriminate and haphazard fashion.

— Randolph Spencer-Churchill

Well, Margaret Sanger did what she could….

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

The White Flight of Bernie Sanders

19th August 2015

Steve Sailer blows the whistle.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was born in New York City in 1941, and by 1968 had permanently abandoned the rapidly minoritizing big city for virtually all-white Vermont.

About the only place whiter than Vermont is Oregon, especially ‘progressive’ Portland.

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

Thought for the Day

19th August 2015

Life's Work

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Fast Moving Bad News Builds Prosperity

18th August 2015

Glenn Harlan Reynolds (The Instapundit) points out what markets are good — and not good — for.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb recently tweeted: “The free-market system lets you notice the flaws and hides its benefits. All other systems hide the flaws and show the benefits.”

This drew a response: “The most valuable property of the price mechanism is as a reliable mechanism for delivering bad news.” These two statements explain a lot about why socialist systems fail pretty much everywhere but get pretty good press, while capitalism has delivered truly astounding results but is constantly besieged by detractors.

That’s it, in nutshell.

At the same time, markets deliver the bad news whether you want to hear it or not, but delivering the bad news is not a sign of failure, it is a characteristic of systems that work. When you stub your toe, the neurons in between your foot and your head don’t try to figure out ways not to send the news to your brain. If they did, you’d trip a lot more often. Likewise, in a market, bad decisions show up pretty rapidly: Build a car that nobody wants, and you’re stuck with a bunch of expensive unsold cars; invest in new technologies that don’t work, and you lose a lot of money and have nothing to show for it. These painful consequences mean that people are pretty careful in their investments, at least so long as they’re investing their own money.

Bureaucrats in government do  the opposite, trying to keep their bosses from discovering their mistakes.

Which is why it’s pretty much always a mistake to put government employees in charge of anything.

Markets make people better off, but they don’t provide sufficient opportunities for politicians to extract bribes and intellectuals to feel better about themselves. This explains why they’re unpopular with politicians and intellectuals. The real question is why anyone else listens to the self-interested claims of politicians and intellectuals. Maybe because the subject of what works and what doesn’t in economics is mostly written by journalists?

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Seven People Gored to Death During Spain’s ‘Running of the Bulls’ Celebrations Since Start of July

18th August 2015

Read it.

Think of it as evolution in action.

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

Professor Stephen Ellis Was Condemned by the ANC for Revealing Nelson Mandela’s Communist Affiliations

18th August 2015

Read it.

Stephen Ellis was never a stranger to controversy. When he revealed beyond dispute that Nelson Mandela had been a member of the Central Committee of the South African Communist Party (SACP) for a short period in the 1960s, he won bouquets from some of the world’s best respected Africanists and brickbats from almost every leading figure in the African National Congress.

In his best-selling book External Mission – The ANC in Exile 1960-1990 he said that Mandela had not only been a member of the Communist Party  but that he had also been co-opted on to the SACP’s Central Committee.

Ellis believed that it was important to know this happened, not in order to discover reds under the beds, but in order to better understand the way that the SACP gave birth to the armed wing of the ANC, Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation).

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Thought for the Day

18th August 2015

Non Sequitur

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Army Ranger School to Graduate Its First Two Women

18th August 2015

Read it.

Two women have made military history by becoming the first female soldiers to complete the U.S. Army’s grueling Ranger Course, the Army announced late Monday.

I am suspicious that the standards were lowered (a process called ‘gender norming’) to the women’s benefit.

“Each Ranger School graduate has shown the physical and mental toughness to successfully lead organizations at any level,” said Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh in a statement.

If the women performed to the same standards given the men, all praise to them. If not, wihch is what I suspect, then the government is once again sacrificing performance to politics. I suspect it will be some time before we know for sure.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Who Needs Microaggressions When You Can Get Microcredentials?

16th August 2015

Read it.

Come to think of it, most bachelors’ degrees these days are a form of microcredential.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Acting Entrepreneurially and Acting Academically

15th August 2015

Don Boudreaux, a Real Economist, draws a distinction.

A Typical Entrepreneur: Someone who, spotting exploitable profit opportunities – that is, spotting currently existing but exploitable failures of the market to operate as productively as possible – puts his or her own money where his or her mouth is to take productive and voluntary actions that make the market operate better than before….

An All-Too-Typical Academic: Someone who, unduly impressed by his or her own academic studies and methods, concludes that the market does not work in reality as well as his or her academic studies and ruminations suggest that it should work.  This academic, however, is both too incompetent and too cowardly to act in the real world by staking something of his or her own.  He or she instead wishes to convince people with guns – government officials – to force other people to take his or her findings seriously….

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Thought for the Day

15th August 2015

‘My wife and I listen to a lot of Public Radio, because we’re middle-aged white people living in California.’

— Merlin Mann

Think about that for a bit.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

The Virtue of Hostility

14th August 2015

Taki does the Trump.

What I particularly like about Trump is the way he’s hated by the media. He doesn’t take any of their crap, and when misquoted, which he is a lot, he calls them names not fit to print to their face. This is the way it should be. When Vicky Ward, a Vanity Fair writer who has an acid pen and uses her blond looks as an added attraction, did a hatchet job on him, Trump replied in kind. He called her a bitch, a liar, and ugly to boot. The great and the good were horrified. I thought he hit the nail right on the head. The other thing that has the hacks really peed off is the fact that The Donald tells it like it is when it comes to immigration and crime. Phony writers for the Times and other such tendentious organizations ignore blue-collar workers who have not graduated from Ivy League schools. The latter love Trump, and the less educated they are, the more sense they make in liking him. We can’t all live in ritzy suburbs and slick Park Avenue apartment buildings like Times people, whose only contact with immigrants is during the 6 o’clock news. At the same time, Trump’s outrageous shtick and his camera-hogging antics endear him to those uninvited to chic parties in New York and Washington. The Donald blew it with McCain—what’s a pilot supposed to do when shot down, act Japanese and go down in flames?—but otherwise he’s done a great job annoying the rest of the crowded Republican presidential field.

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

Top 10 Design Flaws in the Human Body

12th August 2015

Read it.

No, Letterman had nothing to do with it.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Illinois Man Steals Vibrator, Strips Naked, Attacks Obama

12th August 2015

Read it.

An Illinois man cuffed for suspected theft of a sex toy, and who told cops he had “no idea” how a pink Euphoria G-Spot Delight vibrator came to be in his boxer shorts, later recalled quite clearly that he didn’t much like the US prez when he “stripped completely naked” in his cell, making “derogatory comments about President Obama”, and signing his Miranda Rights consent form with the phrase “Obama is a criminal”.

Yeah, we’ve all been there.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Farms of the Future Will Run on Robots and Drones

11th August 2015

Read it.

And all of it will be subsidized and micromanaged by the government.

Posted in Think about it. | 3 Comments »

Saturated Fats in Meat and Dairy Produce Not as Bad for Health as Previously Thought, Study Finds

11th August 2015

Read it.

My, what a surprise! Aren’t you surprised? I’m sure surprised.

Don’t like government dietary guidelines? Wait a year or five and they’ll change.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Teenager Dies While Bungee Jumping From Bridge During Holiday

11th August 2015

Read it.

Let that be a lesson to us all.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Aussie Bloaters Gorging on Junk Food ‘Each and Every Day’

10th August 2015

Read it.

Australians have been warned to get their dietary act together, after a survey revealed a growing and alarming trend for junk food excess.

According to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), 40,000+ respondents to its Healthy Diet Score Survey – “a scientifically validated survey which assesses people’s diet quality against the Australian Dietary Guidelines” – scored an average 61 out of 100.

“Discretionary food, or junk food, intake was found to be three-times higher than the recommended daily limit,” CSIRO notes.

Gotta love Australians.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Crowdfunding Campaign to Build Real Life Lord of the Rings City Is Sooooo Close

10th August 2015

Read it.

The problem is finding the right mountain. The rest is just throwing money.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »