Sunday, August 15, 2021

Sunday Night Links

  • People still think the infection fatality rate of the ‘rona is equivalent to that of the black death. It’s not. It isn’t harmless either. This is exactly the kind of thing our modern “technocrats” are completely unable to deal with. It’s nowhere near as bad as the Spanish Flu. It’s somewhere around the fatality rate of the 1968 Hong Kong flu or the 1957 Hong Kong flu. By the way, we didn’t react to either disease the way we did to this one; most people alive back then didn’t even remember them happening. It took months and months before the numbers were in (despite little old me figuring it out in April); now the CDC has pretty good numbers. Ones which will get you banned from Facebook if you mention them. FWIIW for Americans (who are fat, old and unhealthy compared to world standards) below 18, your chances of croaking of the thing if you’re infected is about 1 in 50,000 or 100,000. For 18-49, 1 in  2000. 50-64, 1 in 200 (a bad flu, basically) and 65+ it is 1 in 20 (much worse than the flu). [Scott Locklin]
  • He extended middle fingers in all directions: to his Vineyard neighbors, the rest of America, Biden, the hanger-on ex-staffers who’d stacked years of hundred-hour work weeks to build his ballyhooed career, the not quite A-listers bounced at the last minute for being not famous enough (sorry, Larry David and Conan O’Brien!), and so on. It’d be hard not to laugh imagining Axelrod reading that even “Real Housewife of Atlanta” Kim Fields got on the party list over him, except that Obama giving the shove-off to his most devoted (if also scummy and greedy) aides is also such a perfect metaphor for the way he slammed the door in the faces of the millions of ordinary voters who once so desperately believed in him. Obviously, getting rich and not giving a shit anymore is the birthright of every American. But this wasn’t supposed to be in the script for Obama, whose remarkable heel turn has been obscured by the Trump years, which incidentally were at least partly his fault. The history books and the still-starstruck press will let him skate on this, but they shouldn’t. [Matt Taibbi]
  • “The Biden administration pleading with OPEC to increase oil production to rescue the United States from high fuel prices months after cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline smacks of hypocrisy,” Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage said in a statement Wednesday. “Keystone XL would have provided Americans with a stable source of energy from a trusted ally and friend.” [link]
  • As long as there is a direct relationship between "Build Cheap Housing" and "Get Low Quality People that Behave Bad" people will want zoning. All of YIMBY people never address this. They know that things like crime, schools, and a general lack of bourgeois norms are the main driver of zoning, but they refuse to put forward plans to fix crime, schools, or culture. So we get the same song and dance over and over. They berate homeowners and call them racist. The homeowners have more skin in the game because it's literally their entire way of life on the line, and they dig in their heels and find a way to protect themselves. Rinse and repeat. It's boring. You want to build like Tokyo, give me the social capital of Tokyo. [MR]
  • “All for one and one for all” is the Middle Eastern and North African motto. Egyptian, Israeli, Libyan, Copt, Palestinian, Berber, Maronite, Druze, Sunni, Alawite, Bedouin, Yezidi, Kurd, Turk, Armenian — they are all pleased as punch to share the Middle East and North Africa with each other. But in America, the white man won’t let them express their MENA solidarity by checking a box that would let them get affirmative action. [Sailer]
  • I always tweet when my guest posts drop, but I wanted to take a moment to shout-out for CBS's regular links round-up's. Imagine Reader's Digest for high IQ, high agency, self-taught autists, 1-2 times a week. Best thing still going in the OG blogosphere! [@PdxSag]
  • The obsolescence of the slide rule is mostly un-mourned, but as with many technological obsolescences, we have lost something valuable with its demise. The type of thinking which goes along with using a slide rule is useful, and the type of thinking which goes along with using its replacement of digital calculators and computers can be deceptive and sometimes harmful. It is true that using a slide rule was onerous. Learning to use all the scales on a usefully complex rule is not easy. More complex calculations require for you to capture intermediate results, and the results are imprecise. For many calculations, this basket of drawbacks is exactly what you need. [Scott Locklin]
  • I am a former physicist, working on quantitative problems. Before I went to school, I worked as an auto mechanic, campus policeman, factory helot, day laborer and cab driver for a former motorcycle gang (don’t ask). As such, I have what I like to consider a practical, working class perspective on things. I have a particular dislike of self-anointed “experts,” bad science journalism, magical thinking disguised as “scientific” and popular charlatanry which violates the laws of thermodynamics, and plan on exposing this sort of nonsense to as much popular contempt as I can muster. [Scott Locklin]
  • What is fascinating to me is that these tobacco stocks seem cheap at the same time that nicotine is making a huge comeback. Nicotine is a drug that, like ethanol and caffeine, has stood the test of time. Does society crave it now after having cut back so sharply? Maybe people will resume consuming nicotine at very high rates, but in a different form. [CBS]

No comments: