Paul Krugman: Is Growth Over?: "Big Data — the use of huge databases of things like spoken conversations — apparently makes it possible for machines to perform tasks that even a few years ago were really only possible for people. Speech recognition is still imperfect, but vastly better than it was and improving rapidly, not because we’ve managed to emulate human understanding but because we’ve found data-intensive ways of interpreting speech in a very non-human way. And this means that in a sense we are moving toward something like my intelligent-robots world; many, many tasks are becoming machine-friendly. This in turn means that Gordon is probably wrong about diminishing returns to technology. Ah, you ask, but what about the people? Very good question. Smart machines may make higher GDP possible, but also reduce the demand for people — including smart people. So we could be looking at a society that grows ever richer, but in which all the gains in wealth accrue to whoever owns the robots."
Tim Duy: Missing The Big Japan Story
David Romer: Short-Run Fluctuations http://emlab.berkeley.edu/users/webfac/cromer/e134_sp12/Romer%20Short-Run%20Fluctuations%20January%202012.pdf
Duncan Black: Crapo: "DUI is bad. People with access to cabs and willing staff who can drive them who get busted for it are extra bad. And as is always the case, people who put forth a public face of false "morality" that they are violating in private are also, too, bad. I don't care that he's a Mormon who drinks, that's between him and his conscience and his church. I care a bit that he lied about it."
Claire Berlinski: Turkey: Anatomy Of A Power Struggle: Erdogan vs. Gülen
David Hemenway: Gun Threats and Self-Defense Gun Use
Roy Edroso: The 12 Months of Crazy: Rightbloggers' Greatest Hits of 2012: "Charles Murray gives proletariat lessons…. The Ft. Sumter of the War on Women…. Trayvon Martin revives the old Ooga-Booga…. Obama eats dogs!… Obama backs gay marriage…. Supreme Court upholds Obamacare…. Aurora, the other gun massacre that meant don't do anything about guns ever…. The battle of Chick-fil-A…. Benghazi, the game changer that wasn't…. Oops: When things didn't go so well for them on Election Day, rightbloggers developed a new plan for the Republican Party: They should treat the newly powerful Hispanic voters as potential foreign enemies; speak out on black oppression of whites, and -- as if that weren't outreach enough -- tell women that Obama's their real enemy because he tried to make that token Susan Rice Secretary of State, and then was chauvinistic enough to defend her. Electoral gold!… More of the same: We got another terrible gun massacre, and even more ridiculous excuses from rightbloggers. When NRA prez Wayne LaPierre made his counterproposal to the gun control everyone now seemed to want -- armed guards in every school in America -- even Rupert Murdoch's New York Post momentarily debarked the crazy train. But most rightbloggers stood their ground, so to speak, telling us that the real problem wasn't LaPierre's detachment from reality, but the liberal media."
Kenneth Carlaw and Richard Lipsey: Does history matter? Empirical analysis of evolutionary versus stationary equilibrium views of the economy
Pierre-Richard Agénor, Otaviano Canuto, and Michael Jelenic: Avoiding middle-income growth traps: "Many of the emerging economies of the last two decades are now ensnared by ‘the middle-income trap’…. [I]f governments act early and decisively to improve access to advanced infrastructure, enhance the protection of property rights, and reform labour markets, trapped economies – like their East Asian counterparts in the 1990s – can push on through…"
Ben Adler @badler: Watched 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.' Great film. Amazing visual aesthetic, like an unattractive British Mad Men.
Angry Bear: The Republican Congressional Delegation’s Oddly Faulty Memory of 2004 http://www.angrybearblog.com/2012/12/the-republican-congressional.html
Jeet Heer @HeerJeet: Edmund Burke's "swinish multitude" gaffe was the 47% tape of the 18th century.
Ezra Klein: Boehner tries to call a mulligan--wants his 2011 deal back
Matthew Yglesias: Obama's Pre-Christmas Pivot To The Lesser Bargain Is Great News For America http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2012/12/22/lesser_bargain_obama_s_new_and_better_strategy_for_averting_the_fiscal_cliff.html
Top Conservative Cat @TeaPartyCat: What better way to celebrate the birth of Jesus than for Pope Benedict XVI to use his annual Christmas address to go on an anti-gay rant?
Emanuel Derman @EmanuelDerman: "I am not interested in proofs, but only in what nature does" -Paul Dirac (quote via D. Edwards). Physicist attitude. Economists: Nota Bene!
davidfrum @davidfrum: American problem isn't some unique culture of violence. It's a unique technology of lethality.
davidfrum @davidfrum: "Are pistols with revolving barrels, sword-sticks, bowie-knives, and such things, Institutions on which you pride yourselves?" - C. Dickens
Eric Rauchway @rauchway: Looks like Barack Obama was right about that clinging-bitterly-to-guns thing.
Matt Yglesias @mattyglesias: Given strict curbs on private ownership of tanks, it's amazing that "bad guys" with tanks don't massacre people on a daily basis.
AdamSerwer @AdamSerwer: Bork: "Hispanics, who will outnumber blacks in the United States by the end of the century, often do not regard this country as their own."
Brian Beutler @brianbeutler: Exclusive internal whip count suggests Plan B will pass with 330 electoral votes.
Cardiff Garcia @CardiffGarcia: Economy bad; savers: "Interest rates low and I can't make money!" Economy good; savers: "Inflation is eroding my wealth!"