Monday, December 16, 2019

December 16th Links

  • Most real-world problems are big enough that you can't just head for the end goal, you have to break them down into smaller parts and set up intermediate goals. For that matter, most games are that way too. "Win" is too big a goal in chess, so you might have a subgoal like don't get forked. While creating subgoals makes intractable problems tractable, it also creates the problem of determining the relative priority of different subgoals and whether or not a subgoal is relevant to the ultimate goal at all. In chess, there are libraries worth of books written on just that. And chess is really simple compared to a lot of real world problems. 64 squares. 32 pieces. Pretty much any analog problem you can think of contains more state than chess, and so do a lot of discrete problems. Chess is also relatively simple because you can directly measure whether or not you succeeded (won). Many real-world problems have the additional problem of not being able to measure your goal directly. [Dan Luu]
  • We begin our study of tactics with double attacks, or forks: moves that attack two enemy targets at once. And we begin our study of double attacks with knight forks. In the skeletal diagram to the left, White's knight has forked Black's king and rook; in other words, it attacks them at the same time. Why start with the knight? Because it is an especially vicious and common forking tool. First, it can threaten a wide range of targets. The knight is roughly comparable in value to a bishop, and so is less valuable than a rook or queen; thus a knight not only can attack any unprotected (or "loose") enemy pieces but also can be exchanged favorably for enemy queens and rooks regardless of whether they have protection. Second, the knight's unique, non-straight pattern of movement creates two advantages: it allows a knight to attack other pieces without fear of being captured by them; and it enables a knight to make jumps and deliver threats that are surprising to the eye and so are easy to overlook. [link]
  • The corollary of that rule—the rule that the great people are never on the market—is that the bad people—the seriously unqualified—are on the market quite a lot. They get fired all the time, because they can't do their job. Their companies fail—sometimes because any company that would hire them would probably also hire a lot of unqualified programmers, so it all adds up to failure—but sometimes because they actually are so unqualified that they ruined the company. Yep, it happens. [joel]
  • The end result of Bagehotian banking is that, without any government protection, it is incredibly unstable and will melt down at a drop of the hat. With full government protection, it is stable, and it drives down long-term interest rates - just as if the government itself had been making the loans itself. The lender of last resort might as well be a lender of first resort. (There are no modern schools of economics which believe, as far as I know, that governments should print money and lend it.) And with wishy-washy, informal, wink-and-a-nod protection - which is what we had until the other day - these toxic qualities are combined. And this is how we continually stumble forward with a broken, Victorian-era banking system, suffering the slings and arrows of bad financial engineering. The whole thing needs to be rebooted, if not reinstalled, and we simply don't have a political system - or an intellectual system - which is capable of this. [moldbug]
  • I've spent my life exploring the outdoors and our country's National Park system. I've always been excited to open the map I'd get at the entrance of a new national park I didn't know so well. Those maps were more than just directions around the national park, they'd help awaken me to the beauty and adventure that was about to come. Like so many, I saved those national park maps as mementos of my trips. Unfortunately, they'd usually end up in a box, or somewhere else where I'd forget about them. Finally, after a trip to Yosemite National Park I decided to design a map that wouldn't get lost. Using soft color palettes and clean design I created versions of National Park maps meant for walls, not just as art, but as reminders of the places we love most. Since opening Muir Way in 2013 we have added hundreds of new map designs of National Parks, mountain ranges, hydrology, historic maps, and more. [muir]
  • Separately, could the relationship between Jews and those who currently experience anti-Jewish feelings be repaired? I think so. After 56 years and 50 states (see Travels with Samantha for some of these conversations), I can't remember meeting anyone in the U.S. who hated Jews as individuals, even those who expressed negative views about the actions of Jews in politics, Jews in media, and/or Jews in finance. Suppose, for example, that in response to any question on low-skill immigration, upper-income degree-holding Jews said "We don't have any special insight into migration-into-a-cradle-to-grave-welfare-state issues as a consequence of our Jewish heritage and therefore we should let the low-wage native workers who will bear the cost decide policy." [Phil G]
  • The index investing trend - the desire for a free lunch through diversification - has led to fund management by generalist investors with pedigree, connections, and confidence but not technical knowledge. They operate based on social proof (see Theranos). Brown says that the professional U.K. fund managers invested in his companies could not understand anything technical and would not engage with anything besides financial results. He said that they would invest in offerings brought to them by the sell-side with very little diligence, "taking it on trust from the brokers that they were being given an inside track on a good thing." He said it was "extraordinary what obvious questions the fund managers [would] fail to ask." As a result of this, not only are securities prices obviously inefficient, but so is society-wide allocation of capital. Brown points out that the investors in his companies had "enormous portfolios of shares in up to 200 companies" - something which no entrepreneur would ever have, and which left them with no ability or inclination to act as owners of the companies. In contrast the best engineering firms were those of the German Mittelstand, which are mostly family owned. He says "many German companies would not even know what their weighted average cost of capital was, and would only consider financing costs if specific financing was necessary for a project." [CBS]
  • The largest individual-level correlate I've ever calculated (macrolevel correlations tend to be bigger) deals with sexual attraction: Using data I collected myself on 330 people, the point biserial correlation between being male and level of attraction to females is .82. For women being attracted to men, it's .84. Those are huge numbers. Another way of describing it is in terms of standard deviations: the gap between male and female attraction toward females is 3.6 standard deviations. The difference between the two sexes on liking males is just as big--3.6 sds. You've probably heard that the black-white IQ gap is big. It is, at ONE standard deviation. The attraction gap is enormous. [Inductivist]
  • Another realistic touch is that the father, once his lawyer tells him that he is almost guaranteed to lose, seeks a different lawyer. This is consistent with the near-universal loss aversion cognitive deficit described in Thinking, Fast and Slow (Kahneman), in a chapter on why lawsuits aren't more frequently settled when the parties are pretty sure how it is likely to turn out. [Phil G]


eahilf said...

Separately, could the relationship between Jews and those who currently experience anti-Jewish feelings be repaired? I think so.

Sorry, but NO

I avoided the JQ for a long time; I more or less dismissed it, thought it just made popularizing dissident right views more difficult -- but once I started to pay more attention a couple of years ago ... well, there's no going back -- I could never trust organized Jewry again.

Everyone knows the ADL is behind internet censorship -- that the SPLC was a con and smear operation largely run by Jews -- that Jews exercise outsized control and influence in the media, big finance, and entertainment "industries", and they too often wield this in a way that is detrimental to the interests of Whites, and a white (nominally) Christian America.

Jews were extremely prominent in pushing the Russia collusion hoax (Nadler et al), and are now also pushing the impeachment scam (Schiff et al) -- Jews share a large part of the blame for turning the Trump presidency (whatever it might have been; perhaps not much) into a running joke -- never have I seen a President treated with such open scorn, contempt, even hatred -- whatever your opinion of the officeholder his, every President needs a modicum of moral authority, but Trump has been completely denied this from day one.

eahilf said...

"imagine my shock" -- "every single time"

When I say NO, here's the kind of thing I have in mind: I just happened to see this tweet today (honestly) --> link -- I spent 6 weeks in Japan reporting on a thing that doesn’t get much attention: The thousands of asylum seekers from across the world who fly into Tokyo. Almost none win legal refugee status. Many get detained. And so I went to find out why, and what it means.

So who is this guy Matt Katz, whose aim seems to be to shame the Japanese for not taking any or enough "refugees"? -- it says on this Twitter page:

"Covering refugees/immigration/hate/security for WNYC & NPR."

That's interesting -- one can imagine his angle on most things.

Exercise: Use the Twitter advanced search to filter his timeline for the word "Jew" -- amazing is all I can say.

Apparently he got some reaction to his little excursion looking for "hate" in Japan -- here is a tweet about that, where he admits he's a Jew --> link -- Sorry to drag you into my dumpster fire of mentions! The Jewish-reporter-covering-refugees-in-homogenous-country thing seems to have awakened trolls of all sorts.

Need I go on? -- after seeing this kind of thing often enough, all the time really, there is no going back: too many Jews are actively attempting to demographically undermine "homogenous" countries.

eahilf said...

Another one --> link -- "Don't feel like you're a burden," a Japanese man assuages an asylum seeker. Hear why Japan is such a tough place for refugees. This policy raises questions for the U.S. under Trump's restrictive immigration policies. @MattKatz00 @WNYC ... via @gothamist

Filter her (Beth Fertig) Twitter timeline for the word "Jew" -- again the result is a flood of Jewish ethnocentric kvetching --> link -- This is the ultimate Jewish guilt trip, @tabletmag! I can still hear my mother saying something like, “never work on Yom Kippur. You need to show the world you are Jewish and it’s important.”

Question: Why are Jews attacking Japan for its restrictive immigration and "refugee" stance?

eahilf said...

Should Mitch McConnell Recuse Himself from Impeachment Proceedings?

In this 'Democracy Now' video, the three people discussing/promoting Trump's impeachment are all Jews: Amy Goodman, Dahlia Lithwick, and Mark Green.

eahilf said...

link --> Whatever you consider the merits of #impeachment, the image of an endless procession of angry white & preponderantly male Republican legislators railing bitterly against a diverse Democratic caucus offers a chilling preview of how our politics may evolve as US grows more diverse -- says Jew Ron Brownstein, and it's hard to argue w/ this assessment.

So maybe "diversity" isn't a "strength" at all? -- or the only way it will work is if white men, whose forefathers built this country, completely capitulate? -- that does not seem like a recipe for a stable polity.