Saturday, June 24, 2017


"The man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar instead of how little he can give for a dollar is bound to succeed." - Henry Ford

Interventialists: They think in statics not dynamics, 2) they think in low, not high dimensions, 3) they think in actions, never interactions.
"...we end up populating what we call the intelligentsia with people who are delusional, literally mentally deranged, simply because they never have to pay for the consequences of their actions, repeating modernist slogans stripped of all depth. In general, when you hear someone invoking abstract modernistic notions, you can assume that they got some education (but not enough, or in the wrong discipline) and too little accountability
Now some innocent people, Yazidis, Christian minorities, Syrians, Iraqis, and Libyans had to pay a price for the mistakes of these interventionistas currently sitting in their comfortable air-conditioned offices. This, we will see, violates the very notion of justice from its pre-biblical, Babylonian inception. As well as the ethical structure of humanity."--Taleb   "pre-biblical, Babylonian inception"!

In August 2010, Google put out a blog post announcing that there were 129,864,880 books in the world. The company said they were going to scan them all.
When Google started scanning, they weren’t actually setting out to build a digital library where you could read books in their entirety; that idea would come later. Their original goal was just to let you search books.
They fell about a hundred-million books short. What happened was complicated but how it started was simple:   Upon hearing that Google was taking millions of books out of libraries, scanning them, and returning them as if nothing had happened, authors and publishers filed suit against the company, alleging, as the authors put it simply in their initial complaint, “massive copyright infringement.”

Who is...James Patterson?

Politico reports Hillary is launching a new group to raise money for the resistance to Trump’s presidency. The group will be called Onward Together, and she is said to be meeting with donors to form a board of directors. This could not possibly be a sign she will run again, could it?

An old joke about a British Foreign Office official who retired after 40 years: "Every morning I went to the prime minister and assured him there would be no world war today. And I am pleased to note that in a career of 40 years, I was only wrong twice."
Tom Nichols has a new book, "The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters." Our devices and social media are, he says, producing people who confuse "internet grazing" with research and this faux research with higher education, defined by a wit as "those magical seven years between high school and your first warehouse job." Years when students demand to run institutions that the students insist should treat them as fragile children.
"It is," Nichols writes, "a new Declaration of Independence: no longer do we hold these truths to be self-evident, we hold all truths to be self-evident, even the ones that aren't true. All things are knowable and every opinion on any subject is as good as any other."
The % of the government budget not spent during a shutdown? 17.
The Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) says that per capita income growth has an environmental turning point. Initially increasing as per capita income rises, pollution levels start to drop when income reaches a $5000-$8,000 range. At that point the manufacturing sector and people’s concern with health both rise. The result is less pollution.

On the question of economic inequality: "The main predictor of living standards not just most people but the poorest people in the country is productivity in that country. Countries that produce a lot of stuff aren't just good places to be rich or middle class; they're good places to be poor. So when people complain about people being left behind ...China's got 1.3 billion people. Sure, someone's going to be left behind in there. But is it better to be poor now in China  than it was 20 or 30 or 50 years ago, when people were starving to death? There is no question. It is only by going and forgetting history, forgetting comparisons, and then searching through a vast number of people to find a sad story that we can forget the big picture. What is the big picture? Not that we can find something that happened that is bad in the world so vast we can't even imagine it, but seeing what is happening overall. What is the general trend, and how can we keep the general trend good?"--Caplan on Freakonomics Radio

Golden oldie:
Bad news for carbon opponents: 1.   2.    Rank   Country                                                           Consumption     ...

In 1845, the Franklin Expedition ships searching for a northwest passage were destroyed after becoming trapped in Arctic ice, killing all 129 people on board. 
Researchers have now taken DNA from the skeletal remains of several sailors to identify them. 
They discovered that four of the crew were women.

A group of self-appointed experts and leaders called The Energy Transitions Commission (ETC) published a report claiming  “additional investments of around $300-$600 billion per annum do not pose a major macroeconomic challenge,” which they say will help the world meet the goals laid out in the Paris agreement. They estimate a total expenditure of $15 Trillion.
ETC is made up of energy executives, activist leaders and investment bankers, including former Vice President Al Gore.

Infant suffrage! A real problem with democracy is that most people whose taxes will rise in the future to pay off government debt when it comes due are not able to vote when that debt is legislated.

In 2016, Italy took the number one spot as the top exporter of wine to the USA, with total sales of nearly 1.7 billion dollars.

Eighteen Pennsylvania State University students and a former fraternity at the school are facing charges in connection with the death of Beta Theta Pi pledge Timothy Piazza, who died after falling down stairs at the frat house during a pledge ceremony.  His blood alcohol content reached 0.28 and 0.36 percent. This is a terrible story and the more you read of it, the worse it gets.

Black Commencement 2017 was the first university-wide ceremony for black students at Harvard.

Bill Clinton and James Patterson are teaming up on a novel. Won't these people ever go away?
Most people are still unwilling to face the most alarming lesson of modern history: that the greatest crimes of our time have been committed by governments that had the enthusiastic support of millions of people who were guided by moral impulses.  It is simply not true that Hitler or Mussolini, Lenin or Stalin, appealed only to the worst instincts of their people; they also appealed to some of the feelings which also dominate contemporary democracies.  Whatever disillusionment the more mature supporters of those movements may have experienced as they came to see the effects of the policies they had supported, there can be no doubt that the rank and file of the communist, national-socialist or fascist movements contained many men and women inspired by ideals not very different from those of some of the most influential social philosophers in the Western countries.  Some of them certainly believe that they were engaged in the creation of a just society in which the needs of the most deserving or ‘socially most valuable’ would be better cared for.  They were led by a desire for a visible common purpose which is our inheritance from the tribal society and which we still find breaking through everywhere.--Hayek

Apparently it was Obama's fault that Flynn was not vetted.

An ABC story suggests that Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein may have to recuse himself from overseeing Special Counsel Mueller's Russia probe. That would make Rachel Brand acting AG. Who is she? According to ABC, 
As for Brand, she previously led the Justice Department's Office of Legal Policy, and she most recently served as a member of the government's Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. She graduated from Harvard Law School and clerked for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, according to the Justice Department.
Sessions recently said she "has proven herself to be a brilliant lawyer."
"She is also a dedicated public servant who is strongly committed to upholding the rule of law and our Constitution," he added.
Brand is clearly a Conservative and has been an active contributor to several Republican campaigns in recent years, including "Ted Cruz For President" and "Ted Cruz For Senate."
She was only confirmed in the Senate 52-46, with voting along party lines. (According to the esteemed Elizabeth Warren, she 
“...has extensive experience, years of experience, fighting on behalf of the biggest and richest companies in the world.)
  • She was appointed by the Trump administration and confirmed on May 18, 2017
  • She is an active contributor to Republican campaigns
  • Democrats hate her.Therefore, by the transitive property, we also know with absolute certainty she is a Russian spy.

  • China’s first three five-year plans had no mention of the environment. Then in plans five through nine, there was more. And now, looking at plans 11 to 13, we would see that 5% of all words relate to ecology, energy or the environment.

    AAAAaaaannnnnndddddd....a picture of one of our fellow mammals we share Mother Earth with:


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