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Things one middle-aged economist finds interesting



Updated: 2017-07-25T05:52:00-04:00

 



"The Myth of Technological Unemployment"

2017-07-25T05:52:00-04:00

Deirdre McCloskey: Otherwise sensible folk are, for some reason, terrified by robots. Yet the results of automation are good overall. Workers move from wretched assembly-line jobs to better ones standing in white coats monitoring the robots, at the higher wages...     Related Stories"The Myth of Technological Unemployment""What We Talk about When We Talk about Health Care""Fusion GPS Illuminates the Brave New World of Manufactured News for Hire"  Deirdre McCloskey: Otherwise sensible folk are, for some reason, terrified by robots. Yet the results of automation are good overall. Workers move from wretched assembly-line jobs to better ones standing in white coats monitoring the robots, at the higher wages made possible by the higher tech. Or, even better, they move to jobs outside the auto industry, earning pay that goes further because people can buy the radically cheaper stuff the robots now make. I'd add: the "terror" arises mostly from the fear that our educational system won't foster the move to those better jobs.      Related Stories"The Myth of Technological Unemployment""What We Talk about When We Talk about Health Care""Fusion GPS Illuminates the Brave New World of Manufactured News for Hire"  [...]



"The Myth of Technological Unemployment"

2017-07-25T05:52:00-04:00

Deirdre McCloskey: Otherwise sensible folk are, for some reason, terrified by robots. Yet the results of automation are good overall. Workers move from wretched assembly-line jobs to better ones standing in white coats monitoring the robots, at the higher wages...     Related Stories"The Myth of Technological Unemployment""What We Talk about When We Talk about Health Care""Fusion GPS Illuminates the Brave New World of Manufactured News for Hire"  Deirdre McCloskey: Otherwise sensible folk are, for some reason, terrified by robots. Yet the results of automation are good overall. Workers move from wretched assembly-line jobs to better ones standing in white coats monitoring the robots, at the higher wages made possible by the higher tech. Or, even better, they move to jobs outside the auto industry, earning pay that goes further because people can buy the radically cheaper stuff the robots now make. I'd add: the "terror" arises mostly from the fear that our educational system won't foster the move to those better jobs.      Related Stories"The Myth of Technological Unemployment""What We Talk about When We Talk about Health Care""Fusion GPS Illuminates the Brave New World of Manufactured News for Hire"  [...]



"What We Talk about When We Talk about Health Care"

2017-07-25T05:45:00-04:00

Bingo. What the Times fails to even cursorily mention: Apart from a case of genuine fraud — which was later litigated — the individuals concerned voluntarily bought these plans. And they worked exactly as advertised! The idea behind “junk plans”...     Related Stories"Eating broccoli can change your DNA, reduce prostate cancer risk"Two on Alzheimer's"Fusion GPS Illuminates the Brave New World of Manufactured News for Hire"  Bingo. What the Times fails to even cursorily mention: Apart from a case of genuine fraud — which was later litigated — the individuals concerned voluntarily bought these plans. And they worked exactly as advertised! The idea behind “junk plans” is far from insane: You don’t pay very much in premiums, but if you get sick, you end up paying a lot because deductibles are high and the insurance may not cover very much.      Related Stories"Eating broccoli can change your DNA, reduce prostate cancer risk"Two on Alzheimer's"Fusion GPS Illuminates the Brave New World of Manufactured News for Hire"  [...]



"Here are some world-changing technologies that might emerge in the next few decades"

2017-07-25T05:34:00-04:00

They sound good to me. Bring 'em on.     Related Stories"Climate Scientists Move Global Meltdown from 2018 to 2168""Fatal Courtroom Act Ruins Michael ‘Hockey Stick’ Mann""Is the staggeringly profitable business of scientific publishing bad for science?"  They sound good to me. Bring 'em on.      Related Stories"Climate Scientists Move Global Meltdown from 2018 to 2168""Fatal Courtroom Act Ruins Michael ‘Hockey Stick’ Mann""Is the staggeringly profitable business of scientific publishing bad for science?"  [...]



"Eating broccoli can change your DNA, reduce prostate cancer risk"

2017-07-25T05:23:00-04:00

My mom always told me to eat my broccoli. I should have listened.     Related StoriesTwo on Alzheimer's"Healbe's GoBe 2 calorie tracker teases the future of wearables""A diabetes medication that costs 6 cents a pill could be a key to living longer"  My mom always told me to eat my broccoli. I should have listened.      Related StoriesTwo on Alzheimer's"Healbe's GoBe 2 calorie tracker teases the future of wearables""A diabetes medication that costs 6 cents a pill could be a key to living longer"  [...]



Two on Alzheimer's

2017-07-25T05:01:00-04:00

"More than 35 Alzheimer's drugs to hit the market before 2022, report claims". Maybe we can get one or two that work really well. "Many people being treated for Alzheimer's may not actually have it".     Related Stories"Healbe's GoBe 2 calorie tracker teases the future of wearables""A diabetes medication that costs 6 cents a pill could be a key to living longer""Is salt a culprit or an innocent bystander in hypertension?"  "More than 35 Alzheimer's drugs to hit the market before 2022, report claims". Maybe we can get one or two that work really well. "Many people being treated for Alzheimer's may not actually have it".      Related Stories"Healbe's GoBe 2 calorie tracker teases the future of wearables""A diabetes medication that costs 6 cents a pill could be a key to living longer""Is salt a culprit or an innocent bystander in hypertension?"  [...]



"Fusion GPS Illuminates the Brave New World of Manufactured News for Hire"

2017-07-24T05:52:00-04:00

If this is even half true, it's pretty terrible.     Related Stories"How Low Will the Teachers’ Unions Go?"I now have a new operational definition of "clueless""Stockton program would pay people not to shoot each other"  If this is even half true, it's pretty terrible.      Related Stories"How Low Will the Teachers’ Unions Go?"I now have a new operational definition of "clueless""Stockton program would pay people not to shoot each other"  [...]



"How Capitalism Averted The Bee-Pocalypse"

2017-07-24T05:48:00-04:00

Capitalism certainly does things like this. In 2016, there were 2.78 million honeybee colonies in the United States—16 percent more than when the disorder hit in 2006. In fact, there are more honeybee colonies in the country today than in...     Related Stories"Canada's far North is terrified of losing Amazon Prime — and residents say it would be like 'pandemonium'""Remember when Obama and others said we 'couldn’t drill our way out' of an oil crisis?""The 'I’ve paid in all my life' fallacy"  Capitalism certainly does things like this. In 2016, there were 2.78 million honeybee colonies in the United States—16 percent more than when the disorder hit in 2006. In fact, there are more honeybee colonies in the country today than in nearly 25 years. Honey production also shows no pattern of decline.       Related Stories"Canada's far North is terrified of losing Amazon Prime — and residents say it would be like 'pandemonium'""Remember when Obama and others said we 'couldn’t drill our way out' of an oil crisis?""The 'I’ve paid in all my life' fallacy"  [...]



"How Low Will the Teachers’ Unions Go?"

2017-07-24T05:43:00-04:00

Hint: really, really low.     Related Stories"How D.C. Schools Are Revolutionizing Teaching"I now have a new operational definition of "clueless""Stockton program would pay people not to shoot each other"  Hint: really, really low.      Related Stories"How D.C. Schools Are Revolutionizing Teaching"I now have a new operational definition of "clueless""Stockton program would pay people not to shoot each other"  [...]



"Climate Scientists Move Global Meltdown from 2018 to 2168"

2017-07-24T05:27:00-04:00

Talk about "moving the goalposts"!     Related Stories"Fatal Courtroom Act Ruins Michael ‘Hockey Stick’ Mann""Is the staggeringly profitable business of scientific publishing bad for science?""Do Neonics Hurt Bees? Researchers and the Media Say Yes. The Data Do Not."  Talk about "moving the goalposts"!      Related Stories"Fatal Courtroom Act Ruins Michael ‘Hockey Stick’ Mann""Is the staggeringly profitable business of scientific publishing bad for science?""Do Neonics Hurt Bees? Researchers and the Media Say Yes. The Data Do Not."  [...]



"Wild photo shows Tour de France rider's vascular legs after 16 stages"

2017-07-24T05:15:00-04:00

You know what they say about what "one picture" is worth.     Related Stories"WATCH: Top memorable Rooney goals""A special friendship Archie Miller takes with him everywhere""NBA free agency: Despite angst in Boston, Celtics are combining The Process and the playoffs"  You know what they say about what "one picture" is worth.      Related Stories"WATCH: Top memorable Rooney goals""A special friendship Archie Miller takes with him everywhere""NBA free agency: Despite angst in Boston, Celtics are combining The Process and the playoffs"  [...]



I now have a new operational definition of "clueless"

2017-07-24T05:00:00-04:00

"ISIS fighters dress up as WOMEN with make-up and padded bras in desperate bid to flee Mosul - but are caught after neglecting to trim their facial hair!"     Related Stories"Stockton program would pay people not to shoot each other""Google says machine learning is the future. So I tried it myself""How D.C. Schools Are Revolutionizing Teaching"  "ISIS fighters dress up as WOMEN with make-up and padded bras in desperate bid to flee Mosul - but are caught after neglecting to trim their facial hair!"      Related Stories"Stockton program would pay people not to shoot each other""Google says machine learning is the future. So I tried it myself""How D.C. Schools Are Revolutionizing Teaching"  [...]



"7 things that make mosquitoes bite you more"

2017-07-23T05:47:00-04:00

5 of the 7 might be helpful to know.     Related Stories"The Tinder trick: Why women on dating sites take their selfies from above . . . and men from below""The Queen has a £13 billion property empire — here are the 11 most spectacular assets she owns""Altimetric"  5 of the 7 might be helpful to know.      Related Stories"The Tinder trick: Why women on dating sites take their selfies from above . . . and men from below""The Queen has a £13 billion property empire — here are the 11 most spectacular assets she owns""Altimetric"  [...]



"Shake Shack Puts Hot Chicken on the Menu"

2017-07-23T05:06:00-04:00

Yo, Shake Shack! We fixed that HB2 problem you were so concerned about. Why don't you bring that fine-sounding sandwich to North Carolina?     Related Stories"12 Of The Most Underrated Food Cities In America""These are NYC’s manliest meals""This Is What Happens at a ‘Wine Orgy,’ According to ‘Cork Dork’ Bianca Bosker"  Yo, Shake Shack! We fixed that HB2 problem you were so concerned about. Why don't you bring that fine-sounding sandwich to North Carolina?      Related Stories"12 Of The Most Underrated Food Cities In America""These are NYC’s manliest meals""This Is What Happens at a ‘Wine Orgy,’ According to ‘Cork Dork’ Bianca Bosker"  [...]



"WATCH: Top memorable Rooney goals"

2017-07-22T05:49:00-04:00

Now that, sadly, Wayne has left Man. U., take a quick look at five of his best goals including, of course, the magnificent bicycle kick against Man City.     Related Stories"A special friendship Archie Miller takes with him everywhere""NBA free agency: Despite angst in Boston, Celtics are combining The Process and the playoffs""How growing up at the Naval Academy shaped Bill Belichick’s approach to football"  Now that, sadly, Wayne has left Man. U., take a quick look at five of his best goals including, of course, the magnificent bicycle kick against Man City.      Related Stories"A special friendship Archie Miller takes with him everywhere""NBA free agency: Despite angst in Boston, Celtics are combining The Process and the playoffs""How growing up at the Naval Academy shaped Bill Belichick’s approach to football"  [...]



"The Tinder trick: Why women on dating sites take their selfies from above . . . and men from below"

2017-07-22T05:02:00-04:00

Information the young people need to know.     Related Stories"The Queen has a £13 billion property empire — here are the 11 most spectacular assets she owns""Altimetric""Language Links Database"  Information the young people need to know.      Related Stories"The Queen has a £13 billion property empire — here are the 11 most spectacular assets she owns""Altimetric""Language Links Database"  [...]



"Want You Back"

2017-07-21T05:51:00-04:00

By Haim. The song's kinda catchy, but the video raises a question: the sisters are walking down Ventura Blvd.--one of the main drags of the Valley and "the world's longest avenue of mom & pop businesses"--that is utterly deserted for...     Related Stories"The Streaming Problem: How Spammers, Superstars, and Tech Giants Gamed the Music Industry""Bruce Springsteen’s American Noir""The twenty greatest albums of 1967"  By Haim. The song's kinda catchy, but the video raises a question: the sisters are walking down Ventura Blvd.--one of the main drags of the Valley and "the world's longest avenue of mom & pop businesses"--that is utterly deserted for several blocks--from Beverly Glen to Van Nuys--from 6 to 8 a.m. No cars, no pedestrians, no anything. What does it cost, I wonder, to get a permit to do that? And just for a music video??      Related Stories"The Streaming Problem: How Spammers, Superstars, and Tech Giants Gamed the Music Industry""Bruce Springsteen’s American Noir""The twenty greatest albums of 1967"  [...]



"Healbe's GoBe 2 calorie tracker teases the future of wearables"

2017-07-21T05:44:00-04:00

This will be quite cool if it actually works this time. As for the science, Healbe claims that it uses a piezoelectric impedance sensor to push high- and low-frequency signals through your wrist. Shortly after eating, the cells in your...     Related Stories"A diabetes medication that costs 6 cents a pill could be a key to living longer""Is salt a culprit or an innocent bystander in hypertension?""Is diet soda bad for you?"  This will be quite cool if it actually works this time. As for the science, Healbe claims that it uses a piezoelectric impedance sensor to push high- and low-frequency signals through your wrist. Shortly after eating, the cells in your bloodstream begin releasing water as they absorb the new glucose. The device, so the company says, can use the impedance signals to look at the size and shape of the cells, and track the change in water. From there, it's just a case of using fancy math to calculate the amount of food you've noshed in a sitting.      Related Stories"A diabetes medication that costs 6 cents a pill could be a key to living longer""Is salt a culprit or an innocent bystander in hypertension?""Is diet soda bad for you?"  [...]



"The Queen has a £13 billion property empire — here are the 11 most spectacular assets she owns"

2017-07-21T05:36:00-04:00

That's one heck of a portfolio, Your Majesty.     Related Stories"Altimetric""Language Links Database""Where Stuff Gets Made in the U.S. of A."  That's one heck of a portfolio, Your Majesty.      Related Stories"Altimetric""Language Links Database""Where Stuff Gets Made in the U.S. of A."  [...]



"A diabetes medication that costs 6 cents a pill could be a key to living longer"

2017-07-20T05:46:00-04:00

This would be very cool if it holds up.     Related Stories"Is salt a culprit or an innocent bystander in hypertension?""Is diet soda bad for you?""There's a striking relationship between cancer and Alzheimer's, and it could hold the key to new treatments"  This would be very cool if it holds up.      Related Stories"Is salt a culprit or an innocent bystander in hypertension?""Is diet soda bad for you?""There's a striking relationship between cancer and Alzheimer's, and it could hold the key to new treatments"  [...]



"A special friendship Archie Miller takes with him everywhere"

2017-07-20T05:31:00-04:00

A bittersweet story that involve a former NCSU star.     Related Stories"NBA free agency: Despite angst in Boston, Celtics are combining The Process and the playoffs""How growing up at the Naval Academy shaped Bill Belichick’s approach to football""Why and how the Pittsburgh Steelers are football's model franchise"  A bittersweet story that involve a former NCSU star.      Related Stories"NBA free agency: Despite angst in Boston, Celtics are combining The Process and the playoffs""How growing up at the Naval Academy shaped Bill Belichick’s approach to football""Why and how the Pittsburgh Steelers are football's model franchise"  [...]



"Extremely Loud and Incredibly Long"

2017-07-20T05:23:00-04:00

I think this is, at best, a partial answer, but a partial answer to a good question: Why are movies today so long? And I'd refine the question a bit: Why do so many movies nowadays have scenes that seem...     Related Stories"10 Mind-Blowing Hidden Clues You Never Noticed In Classic Movies""20 Streaming Services That Aren’t Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime""Here’s Every Single Tom Cruise Movie Correctly Ranked"  I think this is, at best, a partial answer, but a partial answer to a good question: Why are movies today so long? And I'd refine the question a bit: Why do so many movies nowadays have scenes that seem to have no purpose? Two conjectures that came to my mind don't seem to hold up: 1) the extraneous scenes are there to be cut when the movie shows on commercial TV and 2) the scenes are there to pad the movie to some minimum running time deemed respectable for exhibiting in theaters. The reason I don't think they work is because both would have applied for quite some time while the lengthening of movies seems to be a recent phenomenon. "More research is needed."      Related Stories"10 Mind-Blowing Hidden Clues You Never Noticed In Classic Movies""20 Streaming Services That Aren’t Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime""Here’s Every Single Tom Cruise Movie Correctly Ranked"  [...]



"Stockton program would pay people not to shoot each other"

2017-07-20T05:04:00-04:00

A nominee for Story of the Year. Yes, this sounds like 2017, all right.     Related Stories"Google says machine learning is the future. So I tried it myself""How D.C. Schools Are Revolutionizing Teaching""James Mattis the Teacher"  A nominee for Story of the Year. Yes, this sounds like 2017, all right.      Related Stories"Google says machine learning is the future. So I tried it myself""How D.C. Schools Are Revolutionizing Teaching""James Mattis the Teacher"  [...]



"The Arby's CEO asked 1,000 US employees the same question before his hugely successful brand turnaround"

2017-07-19T05:51:00-04:00

Interesting piece. It doesn't mention the recent clever, effective advertising, but I guess they'd say that the ads were based on the answers the CEO received to his question.     Related Stories"Canada's far North is terrified of losing Amazon Prime — and residents say it would be like 'pandemonium'""The Streaming Problem: How Spammers, Superstars, and Tech Giants Gamed the Music Industry""We visited the regional chain that beat Trader Joe's for the title of best grocery store in America — here's what it's like"  Interesting piece.  It doesn't mention the recent clever, effective advertising, but I guess they'd say that the ads were based on the answers the CEO received to his question.      Related Stories"Canada's far North is terrified of losing Amazon Prime — and residents say it would be like 'pandemonium'""The Streaming Problem: How Spammers, Superstars, and Tech Giants Gamed the Music Industry""We visited the regional chain that beat Trader Joe's for the title of best grocery store in America — here's what it's like"  [...]



"Book Review: Russell Redenbaugh's 'Shift the Narrative'"

2017-07-19T05:40:00-04:00

Mr. Redenbaugh sounds like an amazing guy. Eight months later, and after countless surgeries on his partially working eye, Redenbaugh heard the verdict on his remaining sight as told to his inconsolable mother: “We have done all that we can...     Related StoriesPro tip: Proofread. Proofread again. And then proofread some more.I have a new working definition of "good luck""Bruce Springsteen’s American Noir"  Mr. Redenbaugh sounds like an amazing guy. Eight months later, and after countless surgeries on his partially working eye, Redenbaugh heard the verdict on his remaining sight as told to his inconsolable mother: “We have done all that we can do.  He will be blind for the rest of his life.” What’s amazing is how the patient responded to news that would perhaps cause most to give up.  Redenbaugh was relieved.      Related StoriesPro tip: Proofread. Proofread again. And then proofread some more.I have a new working definition of "good luck""Bruce Springsteen’s American Noir"  [...]



"Google says machine learning is the future. So I tried it myself"

2017-07-19T05:35:00-04:00

Machine learning is this generation's version of the "Plastics" in The Graduate.     Related Stories"How D.C. Schools Are Revolutionizing Teaching""James Mattis the Teacher""Leftist Professors Throw a Tantrum at Wake Forest"  Machine learning is this generation's version of the "Plastics" in The Graduate.      Related Stories"How D.C. Schools Are Revolutionizing Teaching""James Mattis the Teacher""Leftist Professors Throw a Tantrum at Wake Forest"  [...]



"Altimetric"

2017-07-19T05:30:00-04:00

"n the past year, Altmetric has tracked over 17 million mentions of 2.7 million different research outputs. These are the top 100 most-discussed journal articles of 2016."     Related Stories"Language Links Database""Where Stuff Gets Made in the U.S. of A.""The strangest roadside attraction in every state"  "n the past year, Altmetric has tracked over 17 million mentions of 2.7 million different research outputs. These are the top 100 most-discussed journal articles of 2016."      Related Stories"Language Links Database""Where Stuff Gets Made in the U.S. of A.""The strangest roadside attraction in every state"  [...]



"How D.C. Schools Are Revolutionizing Teaching"

2017-07-18T05:52:00-04:00

I especially enjoyed this bit: Ironically, [Michelle] Rhee’s successors at DCPS have redesigned teaching through some of the very policies that teachers’ unions and other Rhee adversaries opposed most strongly: comprehensive teacher evaluations, the abandonment of seniority-based staffing, and performance-based...     Related Stories"Leftist Professors Throw a Tantrum at Wake Forest""Google says machine learning is the future. So I tried it myself""James Mattis the Teacher"  I especially enjoyed this bit: Ironically, [Michelle] Rhee’s successors at DCPS have redesigned teaching through some of the very policies that teachers’ unions and other Rhee adversaries opposed most strongly: comprehensive teacher evaluations, the abandonment of seniority-based staffing, and performance-based promotions and compensation. They combined these with other changes, like more collaboration among teachers, that these same critics had backed. Just as notably, the transformation is taking place not at charters but in the traditional public school system, an institution that many reformers have written off as too hidebound to innovate. Could those "hidebound" regular public schools be responding to increasing, intense competition from charters? Hmmmm . . .       Related Stories"Leftist Professors Throw a Tantrum at Wake Forest""Google says machine learning is the future. So I tried it myself""James Mattis the Teacher"  [...]