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What I’ve been reading

1. Emmanuel Carrère, Limonov, The Outrageous Adventures of the Radical Soviet Poet Who Became a Bum in New York, A Sensation in France, and a Political Antihero in Russia.  Blends fiction, non-fiction, and occasional social science (was a non-corrupt transformation of the Soviet Union really possible?, Gaidar ultimately decided it wasn’t), but in terms of […]

Sentences to ponder

In “A More Perfect Union,” Mr. DuBois downloaded 19 million profiles from 21 online dating sites. He then wrote software to sort them by ZIP code, and determine the words most frequently used in each location. In the resulting maps, the top-ranked words replace city names. New York is “Now.” Atlanta is “God.” That is […]

Assorted links

1. Quora forum on what it’s like to move from India to the U.S. 2. It is stunning that the teacher had no idea about these truths. 3. Why won’t we watch Australian films? 4. The North Sea is very important. 5. The views of the wealthy aren’t that different. 6. The Establishment and How […]

First conviction for manufacturing a 3-D printed gun

It is from Japan: The Yokohama District Court sentenced a former Japanese college employee on Monday to two years in prison for producing guns with a three-dimensional printer. Yoshitomo Imura, 28, a former employee of the Shonan Institute of Technology, was found guilty of violating laws that strictly restrict the possession of guns and large […]

Should we pay teachers more?

Libby Nelson reports: It’s common to hear that teachers should be paid better — more like doctors and lawyers. In 2009, the Equity Project, a charter school in New York decided to try it: they would pay all their teachers $125,000 per year with the possibility of an additional bonus. The typical teacher in New […]

Where are the Medicare savings coming from?

Loren Adler and Adam Rosenberg report: …the disproportionate role played by prescription drug spending (or Part D) has seemingly escaped notice. Despite constituting barely more than 10 percent of Medicare spending, our analysis shows that Part D has accounted for over 60 percent of the slowdown in Medicare benefits since 2011 (beyond the sequestration contained […]

Assorted links

1. The Danish nudge. 2. Clone your dog in Korea for 100k. 3. China’s strangest buildings. 4. There is no great stagnation, unbundling your breakfast edition. 5. Kevin Drum health update, we all wish him well. 6. I agree with David Denby, Fury is one of the best war movies ever made, see it on […]

Unwilling entrepreneurs

A common sensical but useful new paper by Nagler and Naude, on how many if not most African households make their money. Descriptive analysis is underrated. Although non-farm enterprises are ubiquitous in rural Sub-Saharan Africa, little is yet known about … Continue reading ? The post Unwilling entrepreneurs appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Carlsen or Anand?

The rematch starts in November, but it is by no means obvious that the champion Carlsen is favored.  Anand is separated from his Indian well-wishers and relatives (which helps him), he has been playing well lately, and he feels he has nothing to lose at this point.  It is often easier to win a rematch […]

China fact of the day

This year China is set to pay an interest bill of about $1.7tn, an amount not far short of India’s entire GDP last year ($1.87tn) but larger than the economies of South Korea, Mexico and Indonesia. That is from James Kynge at the FT, there is more here.

Always gamble on an empty stomach?

So says one new paper on PubMed, by de Ridder D, Kroese F, Adriaanse M, Evers C.: Three experimental studies examined the counterintuitive hypothesis that hunger improves strategic decision making, arguing that people in a hot state are better able to make favorable decisions involving uncertain outcomes. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrated that participants with […]

Government Gold-Plating

Steve H. Hanke Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) released his annual Wastebook this past week. It contains a laundry list of doozies. The U.S. government’s gold-plating operations included $190,000 to study compost digested by worms, $297 million...Show More Summary

Bulgaria: Liquidate KTB, Now

Steve H. Hanke and Matt Sekerke The long-awaited audit of the Corporate Commercial Bank’s (KTB’s) assets has been released by the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB). In its wake, a debate has arisen about the future of the KTB: Should itShow More Summary

Tropical Cyclones: Is Global Warming Making Them Worse?

Craig D. Idso Severe hurricanes, or tropical cyclones as they are known by those living outside the United States, are the most intense storms on the planet. Given the amount of damage they can inflict, it’s no wonder that they often are the poster children for the global warming movement—think Hurricanes Andrew, Katrina, and Sandy. Show More Summary

Send The International Nanny Packing

Walter Olson As many of us have noted lately, the federal Centers for Disease Control, known originally for their work against infectious and communicable diseases, have shifted focus in recent years to supposed public health menaces like beltless driving, gun ownership, social drinking, and suburban land use patterns. Show More Summary

Ebola markets in everything

Ebola plush toys have been selling so fast in response to this year’s outbreak that a Connecticut manufacturer, Giantmicrobes Inc., can’t keep them in stock. The company, which was founded a decade ago, makes stuffed toys based on the appearance of microbes like Ebola, Chicken pox, bed bugs, and even non-harmful microscopic organisms things like […]

Friday Links

Federal revenues ($3.02 trillion) for fiscal year 2014 are above estimates and have set a new record. Another record: $4 billion spent in the 2014 midterms. Question: are there no limits to how much one might spend to earn the right to spend? Republicans support entitlement reform, unless they don’t (which is the case as […]

“Can you get Ebola from a bowling ball?”, the song

The post “Can you get Ebola from a bowling ball?”, the song appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Assorted links

1. Where is the missing right of center media? 2. There is no great stagnation (juvenile, skip it). 3. Unemployment and the minimum wage in China. 4. Do hedge funds get there first? 5. Did Thor Heyerdahl have a point after all? 6. Why not make your car a cathedral? 7. Ferns.

U.S. Is Losing (Has Lost?) the War on Drugs in Afghanistan

Christopher A. Preble After a decade of reconstruction and over $7 billion spent on counternarcotic operations, the results are in: the United States has lost the “war on drugs” in Afghanistan, although few U.S. officials are willing to admit it. Show More Summary

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