DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for the 'Think about it.' Category

The Coulter Effect

1st July 2015

Steve Sailer is on the case.

Coulter’s latest best-seller, the impressively researched ¡Adios, America!, of course features numerous witticisms. We’re constantly told that conservatives aren’t funny by people without the native wit to realize what a large percentage of professional comedy writers are on the Right. (It’s not unknown for TV writers to email jokes to Ann that they don’t dare use on their own shows.)

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Happy Canada Day

1st July 2015

Canada Facts

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How Europeans Evolved White Skin

30th June 2015

Read it.

Most of us think of Europe as the ancestral home of white people. But a new study shows that pale skin, as well as other traits such as tallness and the ability to digest milk as adults, arrived in most of the continent relatively recently. The work, presented here last week at the 84th annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, offers dramatic evidence of recent evolution in Europe and shows that most modern Europeans don’t look much like those of 8000 years ago.

We are recent mutants, here to take over the world.

It almost worked.

(I didn’t notice where in the article they mention ‘white privilege’ but, the times being what they are, I’m sure it’s in there somewhere.)

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The Atlantic Slave Trade in Two Minutes

29th June 2015

Slate actually publishes something useful.

Usually, when we say “American slavery” or the “American slave trade,” we mean the American colonies or, later, the United States. But as we discussed in Episode 2 of Slate’s History of American Slavery Academy, relative to the entire slave trade, North America was a bit player. From the trade’s beginning in the 16th century to its conclusion in the 19th, slave merchants brought the vast majority of enslaved Africans to two places: the Caribbean and Brazil. Of the more than 10 million enslaved Africans to eventually reach the Western Hemisphere, just 388,747—less than 4 percent of the total—came to North America. This was dwarfed by the 1.3 million brought to Spanish Central America, the 4 million brought to British, French, Dutch, and Danish holdings in the Caribbean, and the 4.8 million brought to Brazil.

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Is Animal Extinction Really the End of the World?

27th June 2015

Read it.

Hint: Uh, no.

‘Each year sees the disappearance of thousands of plant and animal species which our children will never see’, says Pope Francis in his gloomy encyclica lLaudato si. Can this possibly be true? Over the past 500 years, 1.3 per cent of birds and mammals are known to have become extinct — 200 species out of 15,000. There are far, far more species of invertebrates and plants in existence of course. The latest ‘predicted number’ of species is 8.7 million, of which 7.7 million are animals. (The remaining million are plants, fungi and microbes.) If you assume — which the great Matt Ridley assures me is unlikely — that an equally high percentage of these has become extinct, it averages out at about 350 a year. The loss of any species feels very sad — though, if Ridley is right, this has much more to do with (non-human) invasive species than climate change — but surely, at this rate, it is not the end of the world.

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Thought for the Day

27th June 2015

Freeberg nails it yet again.

“Evolution” is still highly prized, as it was generations ago, what’s changed is the emphasis within that. From Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt, or even before then, up until the 1960’s sometime it was: Listen to the old people, because they are keepers of the ideas that are kept. They bear the fruits of eons of painful trial & error, good ideas that are formed by way of process-of-elimination, ideas that we know are right but cannot be formed any other way. The stuff that had to be learned. If you value what is good about evolution, look to the old people because they’re the ones who have it.

Now we still value what is good about evolution, but it is the young people who have it. The only role the old people can play is to try to act like the young people; that, and show us how this “survival of the fittest” thing works, and that’s during their final exit. Clean out the gene pool by eradicating themselves from it. The young people have something of a perceived monopoly on knowledge, theirs is the only knowledge that is worth anything at all.

We’ve lost trust. It used to be, the old people would trust the young people, to renew & carry along the value system that civilization should endure and remain strong. The young people would trust the old people, to intermix a bit of valuable personal experience with the equally valuable legacy-wisdom, to do something besides just repeat mindlessly what they’d been told back when they were the same age. So there would have been this sense of intergenerational trust, going in both directions, and it’s no longer there. We’ve also lost respect. This would start with the obvious realization of “Hooray, I’m all grown-up now, but I’m not the first human being who ever reached adulthood — lots of other ideas have been tried, some of actually worked, and other people have had problems before I had any, so let’s see what came of all that.” That, too, is gone. The loud-crowd, today, always seems to think history began at nine o’clock this morning, and the only purpose for any previously-existing idea is to be dismantled. So some hot new “Beverly Hills 90210? generation can show how cool it is, and of course they do that by carrying out this dismantling.

A civilization that values its older people will always have to value life. Even if it somehow doesn’t want to do this, it will have no other choice once it makes the decision to honor and respect old people, because we’re all headed in that direction. Conversely, a civilization that reserves all of its respect for the young, will have to place a premium value on death, because that’s the only way anybody is going to stay that way for very long. And of course if nothing is valuable besides whatever is cool, and nothing is cool besides what is new, that makes for an awful lot of wreckage and destruction that’s going to have to be done. And it’s going to have to be done by everyone who wants to matter, and all of the time.

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Woman Killed on Welsh Beach by Falling Rocks Was ‘Such a Happy Person’

25th June 2015

Read it.

Let that be a lesson to us all.

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The Further Adventures of David Coleman, the Man We Bet the Country Upon

23rd June 2015

Read it.

As I’ve mentioned before, we’re in the weird situation of having pretty much bet the country on a former McKinsey consultant named David Coleman’s vision of education. First, Coleman sold his Common Core K-12 idea to Bill Gates, who has pretty much bought off most potential prestigious dissidents in the field of education. Then the College Board hired Coleman to rewrite the SAT college admission test.

In everything I’ve read about Coleman, I’ve never seen anybody claim he knows much about testing. You don’t have to be a professional psychometrician to have common sense about testing, and Coleman certainly has the raw brainpower to eventually come to grasp the ins and outs. But the education racket has a long history of reformers getting into it on the assumption that everybody who came before them must have been an idiot, then slowly reinventing the wheel before they get depressed and bored.

Putting this much untested power into the hands of one obscure individual with no track record sounds like a bad idea. On the other hand, in an era when honest discussion of the realities of American education is largely forbidden because it’s all about various Gaps, turning control over to a single guy who strikes Bill Gates as smart might be about as good as we can do.

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The Town That Banned Wi-Fi

21st June 2015

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“People come here because they say they can hear the electrics,” she replied. “I don’t know if it’s a real condition or not. But the electro- sensitives swear it is, so… to each their own, I say.” She didn’t look convinced. “I don’t really mind not having a cellphone,” she added. “You get used to that. And a lot of us have Wi-Fi in our homes anyway, so that’s OK.”

Hang on, so in The Town Without Wi-Fi, there is in fact quite a lot of Wi-Fi? I worried that this would not make for as catchy a headline as I had hoped. “Not publicly, but at home some of us do. It’s not illegal, but the observatory has a truck that can sense it. They’ll come round and ask you to turn it off.”

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The Fish Matrix Is Real: This Gigantic Deep Ocean Sphere Will Raise 1,000 Tons of Tuna

21st June 2015

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This is the Oceansphere, a gigantic highly automated fish farm that will grow 1,000 tons of ahi and bluefin tuna from eggs to harvest size at a depth of 1,300 feet a few miles off the coast of Hawaii.

There’s lots to say here about the technology, which includes an automatic feeding system, water quality sensors, and thrusters that keep the sphere stationary, but let’s all just marvel at the fact that the Fish Matrix is real and set to begin installation by the end of the year. Hawaii Oceanic Technology CEO Bill Spencer told West Hawaii Today that this first sphere is mostly about refining the technology, but that after installation and testing the earliest harvest could occur in late 2017.

Considering all of the hand-wringing about low fish stocks and endangered fish species, ‘farming’ fish seems an obvious thing. What is less obvious is why it’s not bigger than it is.

The Oceansphere project has been years in the making — the video above is from 2008 — and HOT has been fighting legal and regulatory battles the entire time to make it reality. According to West Hawaii Today, 1,700 people signed a petition opposing the sphere, and 400 more wrote letters opposing the extension of construction deadlines in 2012. “The bottom line is the benefit does not outweigh the risks, no matter what kind of fish they plan to grow,” Diane Kanealii of theKailapa Community Association in Kawaihae told the paper, while Rob Parsons of Food & Water Watch is quoted calling it a “factory feedlot in our ocean.”

Well, there you go. No good deed goes unpunished. ‘What risks?’, I hear you ask. Unfortunately, I don’t hear an answer.

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Thought for the Day

21st June 2015

In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.”

— G. K. Chesterton, The Thing

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Anti-Austerity Marchers Told to ‘Go Wave Your Banners While Grown Ups Run the Country’ by Westminster Councillor

20th June 2015

Read it.

Too bad he’s a Brit; otherwise we could run him for President.

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Hypothesis

20th June 2015

If we executed everybody who has a tattoo, the world would be much improved thereby.

Discuss.

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The Tests

18th June 2015

Freeberg nails it yet again.

Very first test I apply to any presidential candidate is they have to be FOR something.

Bernie Sanders passes the test, Hillary doesn’t, Carly Fiorina does, Jeb Bush doesn’t, Ted Cruz does, Lindsey Graham doesn’t, Sarah Palin would if she was running, Ben Carson probably not, Chris Christie definitely not.

This is just the very first test. It’s asking so little. A candidate’s long-held personal-pet-peeve, would suffice.

It is positively shocking that half the candidates, on both sides, flunk. They’re just outspoken and so wonderful, with name recognition, and it’s their turn! But, they don’t stand for anything.

We just don’t need it.

YES!

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The Essential Hayek

15th June 2015

Get it.

It’s free, so you have no excuse.

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The Assistant Economy

14th June 2015

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When I was an undergrad at Harvard, the English department produced fancy brochures about the opportunities available to its majors: teacher, editor, Rhodes scholar. Personal assistant was not listed. I hadn’t even heard of such positions until senior year, when older friends, artistically inclined friends, started snagging them. It’s the position I think I’ve heard most about now.

Welcome to the main artery into creative or elite work—highly pressurized, poorly recompensed, sometimes exhilarating, sometimes menial secretarial assistance. From the confluence of two grand movements in American history—the continued flight of women out of the home and into the workplace, and the growing population of arts and politically oriented college graduates struggling to survive in urban epicenters that are increasingly ceded to bankers and consultants—the personal assistant is born.

This is actually a reversion to the medieval practice, where an important man’s ‘secretary’ was a candidate for important positions later on. We are so used to thinking of secretaries as clerical drudges that we forget the roots of the job. You’ll remember the famous scene in A Man For All Seasons where Cardinal Wolsey and Sir Thomas More are speculating on who will wear the Lord Chancellor’s chain after the Cardinal. Wolsey mentions his secretary, Thomas Cromwell, and More doesn’t immediately scoff but rather considers it seriously.

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Trial by Battle in France and England

13th June 2015

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Trial by battle was a medieval European form of legal proof in which difficult lawsuits were decided by a single combat between two duellists before a judge.

Nowadays drive-bys serve as a crude substitute.

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Thinking Too Highly of Higher Ed

13th June 2015

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Perhaps the least controversial thing that President Obama ever said was that “in the coming decades, a high school diploma is not going to be enough. Folks need a college degree.” This vision is commonplace, but it implies a bleak future where everyone must work harder just to stay in place, and it’s just not true. Nothing forces us to funnel students into a tournament that bankrupts the losers and turns the winners into conformists. But that’s what will happen until we start questioning whether college is our only option.

But what if higher education is really just the final stage of a competitive tournament? From grades and test results through the U.S. News & World Report rankings of the colleges themselves, higher education sorts us all into a hierarchy. Kids at the top enjoy prestige because they’ve defeated everybody else in a competition to reach the schools that proudly exclude the most people. All the hard work at Harvard is done by the admissions officers who anoint an already-proven hypercompetitive elite. If that weren’t true — if superior instruction could explain the value of college — then why not franchise the Ivy League? Why not let more students benefit? It will never happen because the top U.S. colleges draw their mystique from zero-sum competition.

Of course, you can’t become successful just by dropping out of college. But you can’t become successful just by going to college, either, or by following any formula. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg aren’t famous because of the similar ways in which they left school. We know their names because of what each of them did differently from everybody else.

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Thought for the Day

13th June 2015

Obama Respect copy

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Animal Rights Activists Attack Peruvian Men Who Threw Cat Into Crocodile-Infested Lagoon

12th June 2015

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Prediction: Peruvian men will ignore animal rights activists.

Many called on the owner of the crocodile farm to be charged by police.

Prediction: Peruvian police will ignore many.

The RSPCA, which cannot investigate the incident due to it taking place in South America, told The Independent, “We would like to express our shock and disgust at the events in the video.

Which, to such people, is almost as good as actually doing something about it.

I wonder: If the animal in question had been, say, a similarly-sized rat (and they have them that size in Peru), rather than a cute iddle puddy-tat, would the ‘many’ have been so many? Somehow I doubt it.

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Authorities: Country Singer Randy Howard Killed in Shootout With Bounty Hunter

12th June 2015

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TBI spokesman Josh DeVine says the bounty hunter showed up at Howard’s home to take him into custody for missing a court appearance. Devine said Howard opened fire, the bounty hunter shot back and Howard was killed.

DeVine said the bounty hunter was trying to detain Howard on a warrant charging him with fourth-offense DUI, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm while intoxicated and driving on a revoked license.

That’s going to make a terrific country song.

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“White privilege” and How to Spread It Around

11th June 2015

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Some good advice for people who, if they were the sort of people who listened to good advice, wouldn’t need it.

The concept of “white privilege” has become a staple of left-wing think, especially on college campuses. But is it a meaningful way to talk about race? Only, I would argue, in a limited sense that those who bandy the term about probably don’t have in mind.

Like Humpty-Dumpty, they’ve decided that a word means what they want it to mean, and to Hell with everybody else.

Whites as a class aren’t “privileged” economically. Nearly all white children had better obtain knowledge and skills, and then be prepared to work hard at least five days a week (and, of course, eschew criminal and other self-destructive behavior), if they want to make a good living. Nearly all black children who follow this path will also make a good living.

Funny how that works.

Morsy and Rothstein propose that the parenting gap be addressed through “quality preschool.” They probably assume that to propose that parents who aren’t doing so start talking, listening, and reading to their kids would make them look foolish.

Yet these practices, not preschool, are the key to spreading “white privilege” around.

As I said, above.

JOHN adds: How about “Asian privilege”? Asian-Americans earn significantly more money than whites, on the average. Is this because they are privileged in some way? Obviously not. On the contrary, the spectacular success of Asian-Americans is due mostly to the same effective parenting that Paul described with respect to whites–only more so. This has everything to do with solid values and hard work, and nothing to do with “privilege.”

Indeed. If the culture is dysfunctional, as black American culture obviously is, then the people who grow up in that culture will turn out to be dysfunctional to, more often than not.

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Thought for the Day

10th June 2015

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Intact Ottoman ‘War Camel’ Found in Austrian Cellar

10th June 2015

Read it.

Well. There you go.

This triggers very discomforting thoughts about Austrian beer….

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Prices Are Not Arbitrary

9th June 2015

Don Boudreaux, a Real Economist, gets back to basics.

One of the greatest services that economics offers to humankind is the demonstration that prices set on markets are not arbitrary dictates.  Instead, prices (1) reflect underlying realities and, in doing so, (2) inform producers and consumers about how best to coordinate their actions with each other and (3) give incentives to countless producers and consumers to adjust their actions to each other in coordinating ways.  In short, prices reflect, inform, and incentivize.  (I hate the word “incentivize,” but I now give up trying to buck the trend that has made its use widely acceptable.)

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Peru Truck Crash: 17 Dead and 54 Injured After Vehicle Carrying School Children Falls Off Cliff

8th June 2015

Read it.

Let that be a lesson to us all.

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What Bernie Sanders’s Campaign Is Really About

8th June 2015

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I think it’s about reminding the Democrites that their baggage is waiting for them on the platform.

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Live Role-Play of Medieval Fantasy and Its Relationship to the Media

7th June 2015

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This thesis examines several organised examples of live role-play: Southron Gaard, a branch of the Society for Creative Anachronism based in Christchurch, New Zealand; larping, as represented by two documentary films, Darkon and Monster Camp, that document the activities of larping organisations in the USA; and ‘Lord of the Rings Tour’, a tourism trip from Christchurch to ‘Edoras’, a fictional location from Middle-earth, the fantasy world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings Novels and Peter Jackson’s filmic adaptations thereof. These organised leisure activities provide platforms for the pursuit of active, physical involvement with the images and ideas of medieval fantasy. In them, participants find ways to bring these fantastic images and ideas onto their bodies in reality and, perhaps as a result, closer to their everyday lives in ways that have more significant social implications than may at first be apparent.

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The Roots of World War II

7th June 2015

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Counterfactual history is a risky endeavor. But the events that followed America’s entry into World War I strongly suggest that had President Woodrow Wilson permanently “kept us out of war,” as his 1916 presidential campaign slogan boasted, the conditions that produced World War II would not have been sown.

The Great War began in August 1914. America did not enter the war until April 1917. By that time both sides were exhausted from years of grinding warfare. There is ample reason to believe that had nothing new been added to the equation, the belligerents would have agreed to a negotiated settlement. No victors, no vindictiveness.

Thus, the first likely consequence of U.S. prolongation of the war was the Bolshevik Revolution (and the Cold War). Communism — its threat of worldwide revolution and its wholesale slaughter — was a key factor in the rise of the European despotism that sparked World War II. (Had the Bolsheviks come to power anyway and Germany had won the war, Germany would have thrown the communists out.)

The second likely consequence, then, of U.S. prolongation of the war was the rise of Nazi Germany.

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How Wall Street Middlemen Help Silicon Valley Employees Cash In Early

7th June 2015

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He didn’t actually have any Uber shares to sell. But in a bustling intersection of Silicon Valley and Wall Street, Mr. Sands and other financial middlemen like him are creating a murky, ad hoc market where the red-hot stocks of closely held technology companies trade largely out of sight of regulators, other investors and the companies themselves.

Because up-and-comers like Uber, disappearing-message provider Snapchat Inc. and home-rental service Airbnb Inc. haven’t gone public, almost all of their stock is owned by venture-capital investors and employees, who face tight limits on selling their shares.

But some early investors are eager to cash in now. To help them outmaneuver company restrictions on stock sales, middlemen are designing derivatives that deliver payments to employees based on a stock’s perceived value. Some financial firms let employees pledge their shares as collateral for a loan.

Markets work even when you don’t want them to.

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Online Test-Takers Feel Anti-Cheating Software’s Uneasy Glare

7th June 2015

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Before Betsy Chao, a senior here at Rutgers University, could take midterm exams in her online courses this semester, her instructors sent emails directing students to download Proctortrack, a new anti-cheating technology.

“You have to put your face up to it and you put your knuckles up to it,” Ms. Chao said recently, explaining how the program uses webcams to scan students’ features and verify their identities before the test.

Once her exam started, Ms. Chao said, a red warning band appeared on the computer screen indicating that Proctortrack was monitoring her computer and recording video of her. To constantly remind her that she was being watched, the program also showed a live image of her in miniature on her screen.

Even for an undergraduate raised in a culture of selfies and Skype, Ms. Chao found the system intrusive. “I felt it was sort of excessive,” she said.

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Housing and Wealth Inequality

7th June 2015

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But the overarching theme is that urban planning and zoning are best viewed as a form of economic warfare by the upper and middle classes against the working and lower classes. While that might not have been the original intent, to judge by the smug attitudes of the beneficiaries of such planning and zoning, they are perfectly happy with the results.

Long-time Antiplanner readers will know what I have to say next: those surging housing prices only happen in certain regions, specifically those that use planning and zoning to increase urban densities. This includes most of Europe, Australia, much of New Zealand, most coastal states in the United States, and a few Canadian cities including Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto, and Montreal.

Housing is also a factor in many developing nations where most land is still owned by the government, or held in trust by the government on behalf of local villages. This includes most of Africa, much of South America, and part of Asia. In such places, the only people who can enjoy the benefits of “surging housing prices” are the few who own their own land, and since land ownership opportunities are limited due to widespread state control, everyone else stays poor. (In the United States, the closest analogues are Nevada, where 90 percent of the land is owned by the government, and Hawai’i, where more than 90 percent of the land is owned by a handful of corporations and trusts that might be willing to sell it for housing, but the state governent won’t let them.)

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Robber Barons Would Have Loved Facebook’s Employee Housing

7th June 2015

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But as Silicon Valley bursts at its suburban seams, one tech company after another has been buying up properties throughout the region and embarking on ambitious development projects. Apple occupies 60 percent of Cupertino’s commercial space. Google dominates Mountain View, and Facebook is spreading its tentacles throughout Menlo Park.

Company towns of this era had a barely-hidden paternalistic agenda. Wealthy businessmen saw their workers as family, sort of, and they wanted to provide their wards with safe, modern housing. But many were strict fathers, dictating the minutiae of their grown employees’ lives, from picking the books in the library to restricting the availability of alcohol. It’s hard to imagine Facebook going that far, though the company does try to subtly influence its employees lives by offering such healthy freebies as on-site gyms, bike repair, and walking desks. It’s a strategy that mimics what happened with some later company towns, which employed paternalism to better the company, not just employees’ lives. “Company welfare was seen as an important strategy to promote company loyalty and peaceful relations,” Borges says.

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The World Will Only Get Weirder

7th June 2015

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Aircraft are an interesting set of examples because they’re so well studied and corrected. We don’t spend time correcting hospital mistakes with nearly the speed and detail we do aircraft accidents, for example.

We invented the checklist. That alone probably fixed 80% of fatalities in aircraft. We’ve been hammering away at the remaining 20% for 50 years or so by creating more and more rules.

We’ve reached the end of the useful life of that strategy and have hit severely diminishing returns. As illustration, we created rules to make sure people can’t get in to cockpits to kill the pilots and fly the plane in to buildings. That looked like a good rule. But, it’s created the downside that pilots can now lock out their colleagues and fly it in to a mountain instead.

To paraphrase Peter Thiel, new technology is probably so fertile and productive simply because there are so few rules. It’s essentially illegal for you to build anything physical these days from a toothbrush (FDA regulates that) to a skyscraper, but there’s zero restriction on creating a website. Hence, that’s where all the value is today.

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Can Hipsters Save Providence?

7th June 2015

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Providence regularly lands on the lists of top hipster cities and top hipster colleges for its cool factor, having earned plaudits from Travel and Leisure to Buzzfeed for live music, coffee shops, and hip culture.

“There are not enough “hipsters” to plausibly resurrect the urban economies of America,” said Renn. “If you’re in downtown Providence, in the proximity to its center, you can live an eminently hipster lifestyle, and ask yourself, ‘Where would Providence be without it?’ And it would probably not be as great.”

“Is that the solution to the jobs issue on the south side of Providence?  No.  [The hipster economy] has its positives, but it’s something that’s happening more now everywhere,” said Renn.  “I was just in Indianapolis.  There were plenty of beards, plaid shirts, and locally sourced food there.”

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What Poverty Does to the Young Brain

7th June 2015

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Generates incredible amounts of academic study (hey, tenure doesn’t grow on trees, you know) and tons of consequent opinion journalism.

No apparent effect on young brains, though.

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D-Day

6th June 2015

Others forget — Google, which puts up a special ‘doodle’ for every fly-by-night whim of the Left Coast, is plain today – but we remember.

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Thought for the Day

3rd June 2015

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Hunter Found Dead With Head Stuck Down Rabbit Hole: Victim Got Trapped and Suffocated

3rd June 2015

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Let that be a lesson to us all: If you encounter a rabbit who pulls a watch out of his waistcoat and disappears down a hole yelling ‘I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!’, just let it go.

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African Drought Is OVER: 30 Years After Live Aid CLIMATE CHANGE Does What Sir Bob Couldn’t

3rd June 2015

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The parched Sahel, a narrow belt through central Africa, suffered a series of horrendous droughts during the 1970s and 80s that sparked a widespread famine killing more than 100,000 people.

In response musicians Sir Bob Geldof and Midge Ure organised the now legendary Live Aid concerts in July 1985, raising £150m in part through the chart-topping single ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’.

However, a team of scientists studying the African climate have now revealed that global warming has triggered the return of crucial seasonal rains to the Sahel in recent years.

When weather experts at Reading University examined the increases in precipitation in the region since the 1980s, they discovered that three-quarters of the additional rain was caused by rising greenhouse gas concentrations.

Remind me again of why ‘climate change’ is a bad thing.

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Ten Thousand Haven Monahans

3rd June 2015

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The latest liberal hoax exposed is a happy face mirror image of the U. of Virginia rape fraud: a massively publicized paper in Science, the most prominent American peer-reviewed academic journal, about how to market gay marriage to minority voters that turned out to be a complete swindle, another exercise in catfishing made-up people into electronic existence.

And yet the most interesting point about this ignominious affair is that even if the paper had been utterly legitimate, it still wouldn’t have been “science” in the sense that most people understand the word: as a search for relatively permanent truths. Instead, it would have just been marketing research.

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The Unrealized Horrors of Population Explosion

1st June 2015

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In a bizarre aberration, the New York Times debunks one of its old shibboleths, population explosion.

No one was more influential — or more terrifying, some would say — than Paul R. Ehrlich, a Stanford University biologist. His 1968 book, “The Population Bomb,” sold in the millions with a jeremiad that humankind stood on the brink of apocalypse because there were simply too many of us. Dr. Ehrlich’s opening statement was the verbal equivalent of a punch to the gut: “The battle to feed all of humanity is over.” He later went on to forecast that hundreds of millions would starve to death in the 1970s, that 65 million of them would be Americans, that crowded India was essentially doomed, that odds were fair “England will not exist in the year 2000.” Dr. Ehrlich was so sure of himself that he warned in 1970 that “sometime in the next 15 years, the end will come.” By “the end,” he meant “an utter breakdown of the capacity of the planet to support humanity.”

As you may have noticed, England is still with us. So is India. Hundreds of millions did not die of starvation in the ’70s. Humanity has managed to hang on, even though the planet’s population now exceeds seven billion, double what it was when “The Population Bomb” became a best-seller and its author a frequent guest of Johnny Carson’s on “The Tonight Show.” How the apocalyptic predictions fell as flat as ancient theories about the shape of the Earth is the focus of this installment of Retro Report, a series of video documentaries examining significant news stories of the past and their aftermath.

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Research has Shown That HIV Slows Down When Deprived of Sugar & Nutrients

1st June 2015

Read it.

As do we all.

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Shock Moment Pesky Elephant Reaches Into Car and Steals Bag of Food

1st June 2015

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Seconds after taking a flash shot of this Indian elephant and her calf, the protective creature charged a tourist’s car and then helped herself to lunch – an expensive leather handbag.

After scaring off the driver and passenger, the mother elephant nonchalantly reached inside the vehicle with her trunk, picked up the handbag and promptly ate it before disappearing back into the forest.

 

Let that be a lesson to us all.

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Evolution or Equality? (Pick One)

1st June 2015

Jim Goad lays it out.

It is impossible to simultaneously understand the theory of evolution and to believe in blank-slate cognitive equality among human groups of different continental origins.

Both propositions—evolution and equality—cannot simultaneously be true. You have to pick one. Choose wisely, because you can’t have both.

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Habit of a Lifetime: Why Are Increasing Numbers of Women in Britain Becoming Catholic Nuns?

31st May 2015

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Perhaps they’re looking for an environment in which they don’t have to listen to people refer to God as ‘she’.

 

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Hawaii Fisherman Dies After Being Impaled by Swordfish’s Bill

31st May 2015

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A Hawaii fisherman has died after being impaled by a swordfish’s bill when he shot the fish with a spear gun.

Let that be a lesson to us all.

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A Guide to the Regional Ramen of Japan

30th May 2015

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A bowl of ramen consists of four basic elements: the broth, the tare, the noodles, and the toppings. The broth is generally a mix of pork, chicken, seafood, and vegetables, with each shop crafting their own blend. Most mix various parts of pig and fowl, some add more complex elements, and some never reveal their secrets. Though most diners categorize ramen into shoyu, miso, shio, and tonkotsu types, many shops specialize in just one style, referred to simply as “ramen” on their menu. This guide details the basic characteristics of a number of established regional styles; it only scratches the surface of the myriad varieties of ramen being served every day across Japan.

Just in case you were wondering. I know I was.

I wonder if you could fix ramen sous vide? You would probably get triple hipster foodie points for that one.

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Minorities Following Opportunities, Fleeing Blue Cities

30th May 2015

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File this under the costs of big blue: over at Center for Opportunity Urbanism, Joel Kotkin and Wendell Cox have published a report arguing that those cities which claim to be most progressive, diverse, and tolerant actually create an environment with high costs of living and few economic opportunities. This dynamic drives ethnic minority populations to greener pastures in the south and west, where low costs of living mingle with flourishing job prospects….

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Quotation of the Day

30th May 2015

For Congress to guarantee a right to health care, or any other good or service, whether a person can afford it or not, it must diminish someone else’s rights, namely their rights to their earnings.  The reason is that Congress has no resources of its very own.  Moreover, there is no Santa Claus, Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy giving them those resources.  The fact that government has no resources of its very own forces one to recognize that in order for government to give one American citizen a dollar, it must first, through intimidation, threats and coercion, confiscate that dollar from some other American.  If one person has a right to something he did not earn, of necessity it requires that another person not have a right to something that he did earn.

— Walter Williams, American Contempt for Liberty, p. 284

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