Tuesday, May 12, 2020

May 12th Links

  • Value is super cheap today and this is not coming from only the potentially "broken" price-to-book measure (it isn't even very dependent on it) nor is it due to a group of winner-take-all monopolistic companies. It is not coming exclusively from the tech industries, it is not coming from mega-caps, and it is not coming from the most expensive stocks. Rather it is a pervasive phenomenon. Investors are simply paying way more than usual for the stocks they love versus the ones they hate (and measured using our most realistic implementation this is the clear maximum they've ever paid) and doing it in a highly diversified way up and down the cross-section of stocks. [AQR]
  • We started attending an Orthodox parish just to be in the real presence of the Eucharistic Christ — the Catholic Church teaches that the Orthodox have valid sacraments — even though we knew we were not permitted to receive communion. The atmosphere was very, very different there. It felt like a church, not a sacrament factory. Now, I've been to Orthodox parishes that felt like sacrament factories, so I know it's possible. But this parish was not like that. At all. The priests took the pursuit of holiness seriously, and so did most of the congregation. And the liturgy — well, it was like something from another world. After a few times there, I confessed to my wife that this was what I thought Catholicism would be when I converted. [Dreher]
  • When Rod discovers the history of Orthodox sins that rival anything in the history of Catholic sins—such as a long habit of being in the pocket of the state to such a degree that many clergy and even some bishops in the Soviet Union were on the KGB payroll and routinely reported the contents of confessions to the Stalinist police--what will he do? [link]
  • I'm concerned about biases stemming from the track and trace methodology. I suspect successful tracings might be biased toward respectable events, such as wedding receptions and funeral, where people sign Guest Registrars or have formal invitations or the like, or at least many of the guests know each other. This methodological bias might help explain why so many of the most notorious super-spreader events were so intensely respectable, such as the notorious choir practice that infected 45 of the 60 members of church choir. Choirs have lists of members. In contrast, for example, gay bars thrive on anonymity and the thrill of meeting strangers. The South Korean government, with their 1984ish competence, just traced a big new outbreak to a gay bar. The Western media, which has been excited by the Korean ability to track and trace, is suddenly not so sure it's such a good thing when it turned out a recent super-spreader went to three gay discos in one night. [Sailer]
  • Apparently, the AP thinks that Joe Biden is stuck with picking adventuress Kamala Harris for his Veep and wants to lock in that it was True Love that brought the youthful Kamala and the elderly Mayor Willie Brown together. I'm looking forward to this because I have lots more dusty old Willie Brown anecdotes to retail. Willie looks like black Pepe the Frog. [Sailer]
  • When the platypus was first encountered by European naturalists, they were divided over whether the female laid eggs. This was not confirmed until 1884, when William Hay Caldwell was sent to Australia, where, after extensive searching assisted by a team of 150 Aborigines, he managed to discover a few eggs. Mindful of the high cost per word, Caldwell tersely wired London, "Monotremes oviparous, ovum meroblastic." That is, monotremes lay eggs, and the eggs are similar to those of reptiles in that only part of the egg divides as it develops. [Wiki]
  • In Europe, the finest wines are known primarily by geographic appellation (although this is changing; witness the occasional French and Italian varietals). Elsewhere, however—as in America, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand—most wines are labeled by their varietal names; even, sometimes, by grape combinations (Cabernet-Shiraz, for example). To a large extent, this is because in the United States, the process of sorting out which grapes grow best in which appellations is ongoing and Americans were first introduced to fine wine by varietal name. In Europe, with a longer history for matching grape types to soil and climate, the research is more conclusive: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, for instance, are the major grapes of Burgundy. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petite Verdot are the red grapes of Bordeaux. Syrah dominates northern Rhône reds. [link]
  • I took a week off because I was in the school play. When I came back they had completely gutted the store and reorganized all the machines. A new process had been instated by corporate for each food item, to insure that every McDonald's meal was even hotter and fresher than before. They had installed something called a "Q'ing oven." The "Q" stood for "quality." If a customer asked what it was, you were to say "it's just something we do to make your food taste better." The Q'ing oven was a microwave. But you were NEVER to refer to it as a microwave. In fact, they said, from now on, you are NEVER to use the word "microwave" while inside the store. Whether you are at the register, at the grill, or in the break room. Whether your shift has begun or not. If you are heard using the word "microwave," you will be fired immediately and escorted from the building. It was the "big" manager who gave this talk, Mark. The one who went to Hamburger University. The degree was framed in his office where there was a mop bucket and an ancient Tandy PC he would use to enter our hours to the second. That's how you knew it was some serious shit– him talking to us was like a presidential address. And the word was so doubleplus ungood that Mark seemed scared of saying "microwave" even in the sentence "you must never say the word 'microwave.'" [Delicious Tacos]
  • In effect, the right to privacy, a judicially created fantasy having no other legal source, led to "the normalization of homosexuality" and the abandonment of moral and ethical standards rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Did God exist, at least in Bork's mind? I do not know the answer, but one thing is entirely clear: Bork believed that religious practice, meaning prayer and church-going, was vital to the moral character of the nation, that the Framers believed the same and that they intended the Constitution to reflect that belief without reservation (Jefferson, who wrote that there must be a "wall" between church and state, being a possible exception). [Marvin Chirelstein]
  • As you know, a small but growing number of law teachers have lately suggested that the great days of Langdell and the case method have begun to show their age. I wish to join the rising chorus, at least as far as teaching Contracts is concerned. Putting it differently, how many appellate decisions—along with the Restatement and Article 2 of the UCC—do we really need to teach Contracts? My guess: no more than ten or 15—certainly not a cascade of more than 170—and despite their comic appeal, none of those cited just above. The cases of my selection would have one consistent theme, to-wit, the inadequacy of legal draftsmanship. [Marvin Chirelstein]
  • So-called "takeover defense mechanisms" drive a wedge between ownership of the company by shareholders and the rightful exercise of that ownership through control of the company's operations. This makes way for a parasite class of non-owner management to usurp wealth. [CBS]
  • In this country, Alex Jones and Infowars have responded to the virus with their usual combination of paranoid conspiracy theories, rejection of science and medicine, hucksterism and exaggerated lolbertarianism. Notice how this is all woven into the QAnon Trump personality cult. I watched this video the other day about how the U.S. responded to the 1957 influenza pandemic. I was struck by how China has become the modern scientific superpower while the United States has clearly slipped and regressed into a primitive, superstitious Third World society. The two countries have been trading places over the course of a generation. [link]
  • We need to go back to the monastery model. If you want an education, you get shipped off to an island or mountaintop where you live a Spartan lifestyle and alternate between your studies and maintaining the means of your own existence (perhaps with the help of any laypeople who happen to volunteer to further the cause). Not only would this cut down on the number of students, faculty, and administrators alike, the quality of the education would be much better. And for what it's worth I think Tyler would make for a decent monk. Above average, maybe even win a monk award here and there. [Marginal Revolution]

1 comment:

CP said...

The [contracts] decisions best remembered by our students are largely freaks-unlikely ever at any time to be repeated in the same form. But then why do we teach them? Could it be, as one leading scholar has suggested to me, that the cases are actually selected for their amusing narrative value rather than as illustrations of something more serious? If that is true .... then how many appellate decisions... do we really need to teach Contracts? My guess: no more than ten or 15 ... and despite their comic appeal, none of those cited just above. The cases of my selection would have one consistent theme, to-wit, the inadequacy of legal draftsmanship.