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Things one middle-aged economist finds interesting



Updated: 2018-04-25T05:51:00-04:00

 









"Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Auto Shop"

2018-04-25T06:27:33-04:00

"Where $7,000 radar-detectors are the starting point and seven-figure sound systems the checkered flag." $7,000? Really? What does it do, give you cops' shoe sizes? UPDATE: link added.     Related Stories"A glut of used cars is giving buyers more options""No start because of Doorhandle!""The robots are killing Tesla"  "Where $7,000 radar-detectors are the starting point and seven-figure sound systems the checkered flag." $7,000? Really? What does it do, give you cops' shoe sizes? UPDATE: link added.      Related Stories"A glut of used cars is giving buyers more options""No start because of Doorhandle!""The robots are killing Tesla"  [...]



"The Most Important Equation In The Universe"

2018-04-25T05:03:00-04:00

Ethan Siegel picks the first Friedmann equation, which was all new to me.     Related StoriesTwo on potential Cali earthquakes"A Startling New Discovery Could Destroy All Those Global Warming Doomsday Forecasts""Scientists have found remarkable evidence that indicates the universe should not exist at all, a bizarre discovery indeed."  Ethan Siegel picks the first Friedmann equation, which was all new to me.      Related StoriesTwo on potential Cali earthquakes"A Startling New Discovery Could Destroy All Those Global Warming Doomsday Forecasts""Scientists have found remarkable evidence that indicates the universe should not exist at all, a bizarre discovery indeed."  [...]



"What's Wrong With the Macro AP"

2018-04-24T05:44:00-04:00

Bryan Caplan writes, "But this AP is still far worse than it should be." That goes double for the AP Micro exam. Take microeconomics, drain 90% of the joy and the fun out of it, and what you're left with...     Related Stories"Don't Panic: A Guide to Claims of Increasing Concentration""We're All Gonna Starve!""When 'deregulation' becomes crony capitalism"  Bryan Caplan writes, "But this AP is still far worse than it should be." That goes double for the AP Micro exam. Take microeconomics, drain 90% of the joy and the fun out of it, and what you're left with is AP Micro.      Related Stories"Don't Panic: A Guide to Claims of Increasing Concentration""We're All Gonna Starve!""When 'deregulation' becomes crony capitalism"  [...]



"The Bulldozers of Social Justice"

2018-04-24T05:33:00-04:00

They made a movie about Susette Kelo and her little pink house. Related: Ed Morrissey's review.     Related Stories"The Song Stays in the Picture: Rock Soundtracks in the New Hollywood""Common heroism in 'Darkest Hour'""Die Hard"  They made a movie about Susette Kelo and her little pink house. Related: Ed Morrissey's review.      Related Stories"The Song Stays in the Picture: Rock Soundtracks in the New Hollywood""Common heroism in 'Darkest Hour'""Die Hard"  [...]



Two on potential Cali earthquakes

2018-04-24T05:30:00-04:00

"East Bay fault is 'tectonic time bomb,' more dangerous than San Andreas, new study finds". "An earthquake expert told us there’s one neighborhood in San Francisco where she'd never live".     Related Stories"Vigor in the Heartland""Don't Panic: A Guide to Claims of Increasing Concentration""Why it costs so much to build anything in New York City"  "East Bay fault is 'tectonic time bomb,' more dangerous than San Andreas, new study finds". "An earthquake expert told us there’s one neighborhood in San Francisco where she'd never live".      Related Stories"Vigor in the Heartland""Don't Panic: A Guide to Claims of Increasing Concentration""Why it costs so much to build anything in New York City"  [...]






"Zhou Enlai's Famous Saying Debunked"

2018-04-24T05:05:00-04:00

Dang, another great story gone.     Related Stories"We're All Gonna Starve!""The first call from a cellphone that would change our lives forever""What Did Ancient Romans Do Without Toilet Paper?"  Dang, another great story gone.      Related Stories"We're All Gonna Starve!""The first call from a cellphone that would change our lives forever""What Did Ancient Romans Do Without Toilet Paper?"  [...]



"Vigor in the Heartland"

2018-04-24T05:01:00-04:00

"America’s 'flyover country' is stronger than you think."     Related Stories"Don't Panic: A Guide to Claims of Increasing Concentration""Why it costs so much to build anything in New York City""How to Rein In Student Mobs"  "America’s 'flyover country' is stronger than you think."      Related Stories"Don't Panic: A Guide to Claims of Increasing Concentration""Why it costs so much to build anything in New York City""How to Rein In Student Mobs"  [...]



"Don't Panic: A Guide to Claims of Increasing Concentration"

2018-04-23T05:52:00-04:00

By Greg Werden and Luke Froeb, a much needed dissection of the recent, mostly dopey claims about rising concentration. Froeb now works for the Trump Administration so the Left will almost certainly dismiss him, but Greg Werden will prove much...     Related Stories"Why it costs so much to build anything in New York City""How to Rein In Student Mobs""We're All Gonna Starve!"  By Greg Werden and Luke Froeb, a much needed dissection of the recent, mostly dopey claims about rising concentration. Froeb now works for the Trump Administration so the Left will almost certainly dismiss him, but Greg Werden will prove much tougher to dismiss. (Not that they won't try.)      Related Stories"Why it costs so much to build anything in New York City""How to Rein In Student Mobs""We're All Gonna Starve!"  [...]



"How to Rein In Student Mobs"

2018-04-23T05:42:00-04:00

Take a guess. Spare a thought for those knights of social justice, the student protesters. Motivated by the yearning for a better world, they sacrifice their time and energy in service to their ideals. They display courage, stamina, determination, and...     Related Stories"Penn Trustee Emeritus resigns over University 'treatment of Amy Wax'""Why it costs so much to build anything in New York City""The Myth of the Online Bubble Chamber"  Take a guess. Spare a thought for those knights of social justice, the student protesters. Motivated by the yearning for a better world, they sacrifice their time and energy in service to their ideals. They display courage, stamina, determination, and creativity in coming up with rhymes in their chants. Except if you tell them they’re jeopardizing their financial aid or their housing. Then they fold immediately.      Related Stories"Penn Trustee Emeritus resigns over University 'treatment of Amy Wax'""Why it costs so much to build anything in New York City""The Myth of the Online Bubble Chamber"  [...]



"Why it costs so much to build anything in New York City"

2018-04-23T05:41:00-04:00

Mr. Rogers voice: "Can you say unions, boys and girls? I knew you could." Link courtesy of Michael Greenspan.     Related Stories"How to Rein In Student Mobs""Penn Trustee Emeritus resigns over University 'treatment of Amy Wax'""The Myth of the Online Bubble Chamber"  Mr. Rogers voice: "Can you say unions, boys and girls? I knew you could." Link courtesy of Michael Greenspan.      Related Stories"How to Rein In Student Mobs""Penn Trustee Emeritus resigns over University 'treatment of Amy Wax'""The Myth of the Online Bubble Chamber"  [...]



"We're All Gonna Starve!"

2018-04-23T05:37:00-04:00

Four-minute video revisiting The Population Bomb's terrible forecast. Related: "13 Worst Predictions Made on Earth Day, 1970".     Related Stories"The first call from a cellphone that would change our lives forever""What Did Ancient Romans Do Without Toilet Paper?""We take so many modern marvels for granted"  Four-minute video revisiting The Population Bomb's terrible forecast. Related: "13 Worst Predictions Made on Earth Day, 1970".      Related Stories"The first call from a cellphone that would change our lives forever""What Did Ancient Romans Do Without Toilet Paper?""We take so many modern marvels for granted"  [...]



"Penn Trustee Emeritus resigns over University 'treatment of Amy Wax'"

2018-04-23T05:20:00-04:00

Impressive letter. Also impressive: the video in "Amy Wax Speaks".     Related Stories"The Myth of the Online Bubble Chamber""We take so many modern marvels for granted""4 Questions to Ask When Debating Inequality"  Impressive letter. Also impressive: the video in "Amy Wax Speaks".      Related Stories"The Myth of the Online Bubble Chamber""We take so many modern marvels for granted""4 Questions to Ask When Debating Inequality"  [...]



"The Myth of the Online Bubble Chamber"

2018-04-23T05:00:00-04:00

This matches my prior exactly. Over the last twenty or so years I've read a bunch a crap I never would have read in the old days, because in the old days I would have had to pay for a...     Related Stories"We take so many modern marvels for granted""4 Questions to Ask When Debating Inequality""When 'deregulation' becomes crony capitalism"  This matches my prior exactly. Over the last twenty or so years I've read a bunch a crap I never would have read in the old days, because in the old days I would have had to pay for a lot of it.      Related Stories"We take so many modern marvels for granted""4 Questions to Ask When Debating Inequality""When 'deregulation' becomes crony capitalism"  [...]



"Running Backs Aren’t Worth Top-Five NFL Draft Picks Unless They’re Named Saquon Barkley"

2018-04-22T05:49:00-04:00

Right ahead of the NFL draft, an interesting piece extolling the virtues of young Mr. Barkley.     Related Stories"How a difficult childhood helped create Zlatan Ibrahimovic the soccer god""NFL draft: Looking back at the can’t-miss QBs who missed""Zone Defense Saved Duke’s Season Until It Ended It"  Right ahead of the NFL draft, an interesting piece extolling the virtues of young Mr. Barkley.      Related Stories"How a difficult childhood helped create Zlatan Ibrahimovic the soccer god""NFL draft: Looking back at the can’t-miss QBs who missed""Zone Defense Saved Duke’s Season Until It Ended It"  [...]



"Philadelphia Dad Documents Son's Monthly Growth the Only Logical Way: With Cheesesteaks"

2018-04-22T05:02:00-04:00

This is so Philadelphia.     Related Stories"America's dying malls found a savior: food courts""11 of the spiciest dishes in the US that even the bravest eaters won't be able to finish""Chocolate IS good for you: Why a bit of cocoa every day really does boost your mind, heart and mood"  This is so Philadelphia.      Related Stories"America's dying malls found a savior: food courts""11 of the spiciest dishes in the US that even the bravest eaters won't be able to finish""Chocolate IS good for you: Why a bit of cocoa every day really does boost your mind, heart and mood"  [...]



"How a difficult childhood helped create Zlatan Ibrahimovic the soccer god"

2018-04-21T05:50:00-04:00

The odds were strongly against Z, but he overcame. Related: "10 Impossible Things That Only Zlatan Ibrahimovic Did In Football" and, in case you missed his U.S. soccer debut, "Zlatan is Back! God! Ibrahimovic! LA Galaxy 4-3 Los Angeles FC...     Related Stories"NFL draft: Looking back at the can’t-miss QBs who missed""Zone Defense Saved Duke’s Season Until It Ended It""The secret salary cap formula successful NFL teams rely on"  The odds were strongly against Z, but he overcame. Related: "10 Impossible Things That Only Zlatan Ibrahimovic Did In Football" and, in case you missed his U.S. soccer debut, "Zlatan is Back! God! Ibrahimovic! LA Galaxy 4-3 Los Angeles FC All goals Highlight (31/03/2018)".      Related Stories"NFL draft: Looking back at the can’t-miss QBs who missed""Zone Defense Saved Duke’s Season Until It Ended It""The secret salary cap formula successful NFL teams rely on"  [...]



"NFL draft: Looking back at the can’t-miss QBs who missed"

2018-04-21T07:55:36-04:00

Any manager will tell you: personnel evaluation can be difficult as heck. That seem go to triple for NFL QBs. Related: "Two-Time Super Bowl Coach John Fox’s NFL Draft Tips" and "(How to) View Grit". UPDATE: Bill Barnwell, ESPN, has...     Related Stories"Zone Defense Saved Duke’s Season Until It Ended It""The secret salary cap formula successful NFL teams rely on""10 Best World Cup Goals Of All Time"  Any manager will tell you: personnel evaluation can be difficult as heck. That seem go to triple for NFL QBs. Related: "Two-Time Super Bowl Coach John Fox’s NFL Draft Tips" and "(How to) View Grit". UPDATE: Bill Barnwell, ESPN, has a deep dive into trying to figure out QBs.      Related Stories"Zone Defense Saved Duke’s Season Until It Ended It""The secret salary cap formula successful NFL teams rely on""10 Best World Cup Goals Of All Time"  [...]



"All You Need Is Plugs: Ringo Starr and the Improbable Hairlines of Our Heroes"

2018-04-20T05:52:00-04:00

I'm not sure why anybody should care about rock stars' hairlines, but I think the piece is entertaining nonetheless.     Related Stories"Last Man Standing: The Quiet Genius of Willie Nelson""Listen to a 23-Year-Old Bruce Springsteen on One of His Very First Live Recordings""Behind the Masterpiece: Van Morrison's Astral Weeks at 50"  I'm not sure why anybody should care about rock stars' hairlines, but I think the piece is entertaining nonetheless.      Related Stories"Last Man Standing: The Quiet Genius of Willie Nelson""Listen to a 23-Year-Old Bruce Springsteen on One of His Very First Live Recordings""Behind the Masterpiece: Van Morrison's Astral Weeks at 50"  [...]



"America's dying malls found a savior: food courts"

2018-04-20T05:34:00-04:00

Makes sense to me: e-commerce has a difficult time replicating the food court experience.     Related Stories"11 of the spiciest dishes in the US that even the bravest eaters won't be able to finish""Costco infuriates customers by constantly moving things around the store — and employees say it's a brilliant strategy""Chocolate IS good for you: Why a bit of cocoa every day really does boost your mind, heart and mood"  Makes sense to me: e-commerce has a difficult time replicating the food court experience.      Related Stories"11 of the spiciest dishes in the US that even the bravest eaters won't be able to finish""Costco infuriates customers by constantly moving things around the store — and employees say it's a brilliant strategy""Chocolate IS good for you: Why a bit of cocoa every day really does boost your mind, heart and mood"  [...]



"The 22 most hipster cities in the world in 2018"

2018-04-20T05:04:00-04:00

Portlandia is only #2. I demand a recount.     Related StoriesEvolution at work"Inside Hidden Hills, Shangri-La to the Kanye Set""15 things nurses know that others don't"  Portlandia is only #2. I demand a recount.      Related StoriesEvolution at work"Inside Hidden Hills, Shangri-La to the Kanye Set""15 things nurses know that others don't"  [...]



"11 of the spiciest dishes in the US that even the bravest eaters won't be able to finish"

2018-04-19T05:52:00-04:00

Personally, I don't want to try anything you have to sign a waiver to eat, but your mileage may vary.     Related Stories"Chocolate IS good for you: Why a bit of cocoa every day really does boost your mind, heart and mood"Quick: What's the Guinness World Record for "most-types-of-cheeses-on-a-pizza"?"Water-filtering system claims it could make any pizza taste like New York’s"  Personally, I don't want to try anything you have to sign a waiver to eat, but your mileage may vary.      Related Stories"Chocolate IS good for you: Why a bit of cocoa every day really does boost your mind, heart and mood"Quick: What's the Guinness World Record for "most-types-of-cheeses-on-a-pizza"?"Water-filtering system claims it could make any pizza taste like New York’s"  [...]



"Last Man Standing: The Quiet Genius of Willie Nelson"

2018-04-19T05:41:00-04:00

Next week Willie's 73rd studio album drops. “Willie invites almost universal love from hippies and rednecks, liberals and conservatives — everyone except the professional pot-stirrers,” R. G. Ratcliffe wrote in Texas Monthly last year. He’s right. It’s a wildly impressive...     Related Stories"Listen to a 23-Year-Old Bruce Springsteen on One of His Very First Live Recordings""Behind the Masterpiece: Van Morrison's Astral Weeks at 50""Jack Straw"  Next week Willie's 73rd studio album drops. “Willie invites almost universal love from hippies and rednecks, liberals and conservatives — everyone except the professional pot-stirrers,” R. G. Ratcliffe wrote in Texas Monthly last year. He’s right. It’s a wildly impressive achievement. The world of Willie Nelson fandom, thank goodness, is largely a politics-free zone. We need more of that in our country, not less.      Related Stories"Listen to a 23-Year-Old Bruce Springsteen on One of His Very First Live Recordings""Behind the Masterpiece: Van Morrison's Astral Weeks at 50""Jack Straw"  [...]



"The first call from a cellphone that would change our lives forever"

2018-04-19T05:34:00-04:00

Account of the invention of the cellphone. The Motorola DynaTAC 8000x was 9 inches tall, contained 30 circuit boards and could store 30 numbers. After charging for 10 hours, it had enough juice to sustain 35 minutes of conversation. The...     Related Stories"What Did Ancient Romans Do Without Toilet Paper?""We take so many modern marvels for granted""Why do philosophers make unsuitable life partners?"  Account of the invention of the cellphone. The Motorola DynaTAC 8000x was 9 inches tall, contained 30 circuit boards and could store 30 numbers. After charging for 10 hours, it had enough juice to sustain 35 minutes of conversation. The price tag started at $3,999; most plans cost 50 cents per minute.      Related Stories"What Did Ancient Romans Do Without Toilet Paper?""We take so many modern marvels for granted""Why do philosophers make unsuitable life partners?"  [...]



"What Did Ancient Romans Do Without Toilet Paper?"

2018-04-19T05:01:00-04:00

The next time you're tempted to curse some aspect of the Modern Age, pause and give thanks for TP.     Related Stories"We take so many modern marvels for granted""Why do philosophers make unsuitable life partners?""A Stubborn NYC Tenant Held Out For An Absolutely Insane Amount Of Money To Finally Leave His Rent-Controlled Apartment"  The next time you're tempted to curse some aspect of the Modern Age, pause and give thanks for TP.      Related Stories"We take so many modern marvels for granted""Why do philosophers make unsuitable life partners?""A Stubborn NYC Tenant Held Out For An Absolutely Insane Amount Of Money To Finally Leave His Rent-Controlled Apartment"  [...]



"We take so many modern marvels for granted"

2018-04-18T08:28:56-04:00

So true. Much lower child mortality, recorded music, electric lighting. (And he doesn't even mention grocery stores.)     Related Stories"Why restaurants became so loud — and how to fight back""Zhou Enlai's Famous Saying Debunked"Two on potential Cali earthquakes  So true. Much lower child mortality, recorded music, electric lighting. (And he doesn't even mention grocery stores.)      Related Stories"Why restaurants became so loud — and how to fight back""Zhou Enlai's Famous Saying Debunked"Two on potential Cali earthquakes  [...]