18 Dec 2014


Potpourri 6 Comments

==> I am late in announcing this blogger Scott Alexander, but he is fantastic. (A bunch of econ bloggers were praising him about a month ago.) He is very sharp but beyond that he illustrates his points with numerous links to show he’s not attacking a strawman (or woman). For example, here he talks about the dangers of relying on one study that “debunks” another; make sure you check out his discussion of the minimum wage debate. But the classic was his long post on social justice. (I think David Friedman was the first guy to link to Alexander, at least in my travels in the geeconosphere.)

==> This Roger Farmer post on Real Business Cycle theory is very interesting. I don’t necessarily endorse it, but I linked when this guy took a similar swipe at Krugman, so I might as well showcase his assault on Ed Prescott too. (HT2 Noah Smith)

==> Assuming the feminist website got the story right (I didn’t follow the links), this is pretty astounding. A woman was jailed for not taking adequate care of her fetus, and then in jail the authorities didn’t allow her to take adequate care of her fetus. Furthermore, she is now going to be listed on the child abuse registry, and so won’t be able to continue her job as a nurse which is how she planned on taking care of her child. Sometimes you almost get the sense that the State’s violence doesn’t solve social problems, ya know?

==> I wonder whether the lads being arrested were actually only 12 as the witness claims (and the website repeats uncritically), but in any event there’s no denying that these young people are clearly not a threat, the officers have them under control, and yet a cop runs in and starts punching one of them. In most lines of work, you get in big trouble if you run up and punch a kid.

==> Chip Knappenberger and Pat Michaels quantify the mismatch between the climate models and Nature.

6 Responses to “Potpourri”

  1. Daniel Kuehn says:

    Very nice discussion of the minimum wage.

    We have one more option besides looking at a whole lot of studies, not taking a single aggregation for granted, and funnel plots. That option is to know enough about the mechanics of the studies to prioritize them. When the most widely cited studies on one side use method X and the most widely studies on the other side use method Y and we have good reason to think Y > X, you can form pretty reasonable viewpoints without a funnel plot (which is not perfect – standard errors are going to be impacted by good estimates but also big data sets).

  2. Rick Hull says:

    Note on Scott Alexander: he is yvain (highest rated poster) from http://lesswrong.com/ which is Eliezer Yudkowski’s discussion site for Bayesian rationalism. Less Wrong spun off from http://overcomingbias.com/ which is Robin Hanson’s blog / discussion site, which Yudkowski was a big part of for many years.

  3. Ivan says:

    On climate change models: for some reason the authors use the HADCrut 4 data set which is notoriously tortured and unreliable surface record, instead of the much more reliable satellite data. Steve McIntyre offers a much more useful summary with the satellite data included. And the results are much worse for climate models.


  4. Major.Freedom says:

    Wow, that social justice article was excellent.

    (Because it apologizes for and appeases to my white male privilege caused structural racism that I must feel guilty about.)

    The words as weapons analogy is spot on.

    Philosophy has become a weapon like this as well.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Wait, MF, you’re a white male?! I’m glad I was sitting down.

      • Major.Freedom says:


        I would have said that’s racist, but I’m white, so…

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