...between income inequality and r − g and argue that r − g does not seem to have much impact on inequality. However, I do not find these regressions very convincing, for two main reasons.
...between income inequality and r − g and argue that r − g does not seem to have much impact on inequality. However, I do not find these regressions very convincing, for two main reasons.
...is forced to concern himself with the anticipation of impending changes, in the news or in the atmosphere, of the kind by which experience shows that the mass psychology of the market is most influenced. This is the inevitable result of investment markets organised with a view to so-called ‘liquidity’.
Nils: Breaking the Web: "The Deane Barker column was touching...
...in its sincerity and simplicity. Of course mobile apps break the web, are isolated from each other, and do not link to anything. You are supposed to PAY for them, not GET them for FREE. Welcome to the Market Based Universe.
...hysteria surrounding the idea is that a huge wave of automation, technology and skills have lead to a huge structural change in the economy since 2010. The implicit argument here is that robots and machines have both made traditional demand-side policies irrelevant or naïve, and been a major driver of wage stagnation and inequality. Though not the most pernicious story that gained prominence as the recovery remained sluggish in 2010 to 2011, it gained important foothold among elite discussion.
ABSTRACT: There are two views of the British Industrial Revolution in the literature today. The more traditional description sees the Industrial Revolution as a broad change in the British economy and society. This broad view of the Industrial Revolution has been challenged by Crafts and Harley who see the Industrial Revolution as the result of technical change in only a few industries. This article presents a test of these views using the Ricardian model of international trade with many goods. British trade data are used to implement the test and discriminate between the two views of the Industrial Revolution.
...in Utah this week, Romney told the crowd that a new-and-improved candidate Romney would focus on climate change, poverty, and education.... In a bizarre Freaky Friday sort of way, Romney appears to have been body-snatched—perhaps by the ghost of Ted Kennedy.... What's next? Supporting gay rights, gun control, and abortion rights? (Or, in his case, going back to supporting gay rights, gun control, and abortion rights.)...
It is Eric Rauchway in the Times Literary Supplement. My only complaints about the review are:
It was more than just the desire of rapidly-growing emerging markets not to find themselves under the hammer of a 1998 that produced the global savings glut. It was increased income inequality in the North Atlantic core, plus increased wealth in the periphery seeking a North Atlantic bolthole as a form of political risk insurance as well and in addition.
Although Keynes argued that deflation was worse than inflation, he sought to avoid both rather than lean on the inflation side.
Keynes did not win at Bretton Woods: Bretton Woods did not mandate symmetrical adjustment. Keynes's victory was partial, and for the most part came after his death: policy during his life was hardly Keynesian.
Summers served Obama; Summers's preferred policies were not adopted by Obama. But that failure was by no means written in the stars. It was contingent--depending on both a Treasury Secretary and senior political advisors who did not understand the situation and on Obama's imprinting on them rather than on Summers. It was a near-run thing, in the United States at least. A much better world is only a butterfly wing-flap away on some alternative quantum frequency of the multiverse.
Here it is:
Eric Rauchway: Debt Piled Up: "Martin Wolf THE SHIFTS AND THE SHOCKS: What we’ve learned--and still have to learn--from the financial crisis. 496pp. Allen Lane. £25. 978 1 84614 697 8 Published: 29 December 2014:
Over the course of his new book on the current economic unpleasantness, Martin Wolf conveys a sense of increasing frustration. He begins with a sober account of recent history and a capsule proposal for how to solve the malaise with which we are confronted, and then begins to evaluate competing accounts and proposed solutions, often with a single word. Here is a non-exhaustive list of those words: nonsensical, simplistic, mistaken, childish, asinine, self-refuting, nonsense, silly, insouciant and grotesquely dangerous, and--most frequently--wrong (at least once, totally so).
130 men and women met at Washington's Willard Hotel to save American liberalism. A few months earlier, in articles in The New Republic and elsewhere, the columnists Joseph and Stewart Alsop had warned that 'the liberal movement is now engaged in sowing the seeds of its own destruction.' Liberals, they argued, 'consistently avoided the great political reality of the present: the Soviet challenge to the West.' Unless that changed, 'In the spasm of terror which will seize this country ... it is the right--the very extreme right--which is most likely to gain victory.'
the story… in the print edition, asked, ‘Can a white male liberal critique the country’s current political-correctness craze (which, by the way, hurts liberals most)? We’re sure you’ll let us know.’ This was my editors’ playful way to provocatively anticipate the firestorm the piece would set off.
I read the phrase ‘playful way to provocatively anticipate the firestorm’ as an unsubtle euphemism for ‘calculated strategy to turn the troll-dial from 10 to 11.’ This was a piece that Chait’s editors (and, one presumes, Chait) knew would get an outraged reaction, and presumably wanted to get an outraged reaction. In other words, it was an exercise in trolling.
...announced that it is exploring jettisoning its struggling PC business in favor of investing more heavily in software, where it sees better potential for growth. Meanwhile, Google plans to buy up the cellphone handset maker Motorola Mobility. Both moves surprised the tech world. But both moves are also in line with a trend I've observed, one that makes me optimistic about the future growth of the American and world economies, despite the recent turmoil in the stock market.
In short, software is eating the world.
Indeed, there is a great hiatus in his analysis of the economic system as a whole or, perhaps more accurately, in his implied analysis of what the economic system as a whole would be like when virtually the whole of it was controlled by large modern corporations. Professor Galbraith asserts that each modern corporation plans ahead the quantities of the various products which it will produce and the prices at which it will sell them; he assumes we will discuss this assumption later that as a general rule each corporation through its advertising and other sales activities can so mould consumers’ demands that these planned quantities are actually sold at these planned prices. But he never explains why and by what mechanism these individual plans can be expected to build up into a coherent whole....
Hey! All of y'all who are not subscribing to the Financial Times, you really should be.
...I checked into the hotel, a nice place, but my room, upon entering, was a dank meat locker. I looked around for the thermostat but I couldn’t find one, and I went to open the windows and they were sealed shut. So I asked the front desk how to make the room slightly less frozen and was told: ‘We keep all rooms at a consistent temperature. Guests seem to prefer it this way.’ I figured, what can possibly go wrong sleeping a few nights in a room like this?
By my third morning I have a cough: hack-hack. The next morning, my last at the hotel, the hack-hack has turned into a deep cough-cough. As the week progressed elsewhere in Georgia, the cough turned into bronchitis, and I could feel foamy bubbles percolating in my lungs when I lay down to sleep. Yes, there’s nothing sexier than wheezing, a bodily function seemingly designed to remind us all that death lurks around every corner. Finally, I dragged myself to a local medical clinic, and this is when things got really American.
H: I want to distinguish between two different ideas.... The part of the Chicago School that has been justified is the claim that people react to incentives.... The other part of the Chicago School, which Stiglitz and Krugman have criticized, is the efficient-market hypothesis. That is something completely different.... I think you could fault the regulators as much as the market. From about 2000 on, there was a decision made in Washington not to regulate these markets. People like Greenspan were taking a very crude and extreme form of the efficient-markets hypothesis and saying this justified not regulating the markets. It was a rhetorical use of the efficient-markets hypothesis to justify policies.
From Perry Anderson (1976): Considerations on Western Marxism: "The consequence of this impasse...
...was to be the studied silence of Western Marxism in those areas most central to the classical traditions of historical materialism: scrutiny of the economic laws of motion of capitalism as a mode of production, analysis of the political machinery of the bourgeois state, strategy of the class struggle necessary to overthrow it. Gramsci is the single exception to this rule--and it is the token of his greatness, which sets him apart from all other figures in this tradition....
...went on sale a little over a century ago, our founding editor Herbert Croly outlined his vision to a reporter from The New York Times:
The magazine, which is to be a weekly review of current political and social events and a discussion of the theories they involve, is to represent progressive principles, but it is to be independent of any party, or individual in politics.
From that mild-seeming statement of purpose has emerged perhaps America’s most argumentative publication—a journal brimming with strong opinions beautifully elaborated (as well as a few duds). Croly’s vision is durable (perhaps because it's vague), giving his inheritors wide latitude to both adhere to his principles and fight over the specifics.
Over at Democracy Journal:
In 1980, the year Ronald Reagan won his first landslide presidential victory, pollsters at National Opinion Research Corporation asked Americans whether they thought, as Reagan did, that ‘too much’ was being spent on welfare, health, education, environmental, and urban programs. Only 21 percent did—the same percentage as had answered that way in 1976. The number that favored ‘keeping taxes and services about where they are’ was a healthy plurality, 45 percent—the exact same result as in 1975. READ MOAR
...My first job out of college was as a junior editor for a small publication in Dublin, Ireland. When I moved back to the United States, I worked as a copy editor for a company many do not remember today called Bridge News. At the time, Bridge was one of the largest financial news providers in the world but was quickly displaced by a faster moving competitor, Bloomberg. It was the first of many times in my career when I witnessed a traditional media outlet upended by a new competitor on the landscape.
...I feel for the people at the magazine who are going to lose their jobs behind this move. And, as someone who suddenly lost the publication at which he learned all his chops, I feel for Jonathan Chait. But, institutionally, the slow destruction of TNR by its new and witless owner doesn't come up for me to the slow and deliberate destruction of its credibility as a legitimate liberal voice during the ownership of the execrable Marty Peretz.
...‘Complexity Economics: A Different Framework for Economic Thought,’ I have been reading his paper and some of the papers he cites, especially Magda Fontana’s paper ‘The Santa Fe Perspective on Economics: Emerging Patterns in the Science of Complexity,’ and Mark Blaug’s paper ‘The Formalist Revolution of the 1950s.’ The papers bring together a number of themes that I have been emphasizing in previous posts on what I consider the misguided focus of modern macroeconomics on rational-expectations equilibrium as the organizing principle of macroeconomic theory.
Via Corey Robin:
Alfred Kazin: The New Republic: A Personal View: "I am just a vear older than The New Republic...
...and have been writing for it, on and off, since I was a 19-year-old City College senior in 1934. I was literary editor in 1942 and 1943 and a contributing editor for some years after that.
Before I ever dreamed of writing for it I knew something of its political history—-its founding at the height of the Progressive era and its supposed link with Woodrow Wilson (the last intellectual to occupy the White House) through the Promise of American Life agenda of its first editors, Herbert Croly, Walter Lippmann, Philip Littell. and Walter Weyl. Later I learned of the bitter disillusionment with the Versailles Treaty that turned it "isolationist" in the '20s.
...Bill Cosby has lost a Netflix special, an NBC sitcom, a spot on Temple’s board of trustees and years of accumulated respect as the sexual assault accusations that followed him for 14 years have finally stuck. The beginning of this rapid public shift can be traced to a friend having an extra ticket to a comedy show, a Facebook post and the sometimes random luck of what turns an everyday post into something viral.
...published an acrobatic cover story by Jeffrey Goldberg that likened Walt and Mearsheimer to Osama bin Laden, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, Father Coughlin, Charles Lindbergh, Patrick Buchanan, Louis Farrakhan, and David Duke. It is true that Walt's career survived, and even prospered, in the aftermath of this broadside. But it wasn't for lack of trying on the part of Chait and his colleagues.
How were they to know that comparing Walt to Osama bin Laden, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, Father Coughlin, Charles Lindbergh, Patrick Buchanan, Louis Farrakhan wouldn't prove particularly injurious to his career?
The best thing on New Republic Gate I have seen:
Max Fisher: The New Republic and the Beltway media's race problem - Vox: "There's little doubt that The New Republic's young owner...
...Chris Hughes, treated its beloved editor, Frank Foer, poorly. Hughes' new CEO, Guy Vidra, criticized Foer's leadership while sitting right next to him at an all-staff meeting. Hughes hired a replacement before firing Foer — which Foer had to learn about through rumors. Hughes, a newcomer to journalism who bought his way, publicly humiliated Foer, along with also-fired literary editor Leon Wieseltier. It's an ugly, unkind way to treat an editor, an employee, and the well-respected leader of a newsroom. Much of the publication's masthead, outraged, has resigned in solidarity and protest.
For the next few months, perhaps even for a year or two, this may seem like one of the stupidest investing columns ever written. That's because I've been asked to answer the question "Can you get rich by buying an Internet stock fund?" and my answer is no.
[I]t is naive to suppose that the [Supreme] Court's present difficulties could be cured by appointing Justices determined to give the Constitution its true meaning,' to work at 'finding the law' instead of reforming society. The possibility implied by these comforting phrases does not exist.... History can be of considerable help, but it tells us much too little about the specific intentions of the men who framed, adopted and ratified the great clauses. The record is incomplete, the men involved often had vague or even conflicting intentions, and no one foresaw, or could have foreseen, the disputes that changing social conditions and outlooks would bring before the Court. Robert Bork, Fortune December 1968 p.140-1....
As I went further back into Mr. Bork's intellectual history, I discovered that the arguments in his most recent book followed a formula developed in his earlier writings... a lapsarian pattern.... A state of corruption and decay is identified in some institution or area of law. The rot is traced to a particular departure from the proper state of affairs, a willful violation of an authoritatively decreed scheme of things. A method is prescribed by Mr. Bork which will allow us to escape our current fallen state and return to a condition of righteousness. Mr. Bork speaks strongly in favour of his method, pronouncing it 'inescapable' or 'unavoidable.'... Eventually, he falls silent for a while, only to emerge in two or three years with some new, and newly ineluctable, redemptive method. The process then repeats itself... in the past he has been, successively, a libertarian, a process theorist, a devotee of judicial restraint, a believer in neutral principles, a 'law and economist' and an advocate of two distinct forms of originalism. At the time, each of these theories was offered as being the only possible remedy to the subjectivity and arbitrariness of value judgements in a constitutional democracy and the other theories he had held, or was about to hold, were rejected out of hand...
...but the Meta-Margin and the average seat count have stayed stable. Nonetheless, the crystal ball is cloudy. Why is that? The Midterm Polling Curse. Spoooooky!
As I wrote last week, everyone’s calculations are, to an extent, built on sand. Historically, in any given year midterm polls have been off in the same direction by a median of 2 or 3 percentage points. Depending on the year, either Democrats or Republicans end up outperforming polls. In current poll medians, six races are within less than 2 percentage points: Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, and North Carolina. Therefore all six of these races could be won by Republicans... or all six could be won by Democrats.
...are about Wu and Sarkeesian (oh, I'm sorry, LW1 and LW3 [or is Wu 2? I can't keep track]) and social-justice warriors.
So, to recap:
Me: I don't think this is really about corruption as much as it's about discomfort with feminism. After all, a lot of the heat seems to be aimed at small female devs/commentators of a feminist bent.
GamerGaters on Twitter: Not true! So unfair! Go to KIA!
[Goes to KIA. Suspicions appear to be mostly confirmed.]
....For sixty years, he was one of my closest friends. My debt to him, both personal and professional, is beyond measure. Despite deep sadness at his death, I cannot recall him without a smile rising to my lips. He was as quick of wit as of mind. His wit always had a point, and was never mean or nasty — though some of the objects of his wit no doubt felt its sting. His occasional humorous articles — such as “The History of Truth in Teaching” — have become classics and demonstrate that had he chosen to become a professional humorist rather than a professional economist, he would have achieved no less fame in the one field than he did in the other. His death has left the world a far less joyful place for Rose and me, as for so many others.
...and thank you all for joining us here today. This is a special day for us at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, especially at the Helena Branch. Dave Solberg, a member of the Branch’s board of directors, will complete his service at the end of this year. I would like to extend my personal thanks to Dave for his service to the Helena Branch and, more broadly, to the Federal Reserve. The time that our directors, and members of our advisory councils, devote to their work is truly valuable. Dave and his colleagues bring important insights about the economy from people on Main Street and on farms and ranches across the region. As I have said many times, we have no end of data at the Federal Reserve, but data are backward-looking, and we need all the information we can get to make judgments about the future course of the economy. So thanks again to Dave and to his colleagues on the board, as well as anyone else in the room who has served on a Federal Reserve board or council. We appreciate your service.
...is compatible with values rooted in our nation's history, among them the high value Americans have traditionally placed on equality of opportunity.... To the extent that opportunity itself is enhanced by access to economic resources, inequality of outcomes can exacerbate inequality of opportunity, thereby perpetuating a trend of increasing inequality.... Society faces difficult questions of how best to fairly and justly promote equal opportunity. My purpose today is not to provide answers to these contentious questions, but rather to provide a factual basis for further discussion.... I will review trends... then identify and discuss four sources of economic opportunity in America.... The first two are widely recognized as important sources of opportunity: resources available for children and affordable higher education. The second two may come as more of a surprise: business ownership and inheritances.... In focusing on these four building blocks, I do not mean to suggest that they account for all economic opportunity, but I do believe they are all significant sources of opportunity for individuals and their families to improve their economic circumstances...
Daniel Davies: The World Is Squared--Episode 3: The Greek Calends--A Disquisition on the Nature of Debt: "What is debt?...
...It’s a promise to pay back a specific amount of money at a specific time. Why is it so popular--why do people always seem to end up getting into it? Why, for example, don’t people make more equity investments, buying a share of someone else’s profits and sharing their risks in the way in which Islamic banking is meant to operate?
Nieman Storyboard: "In what might be the only performance of Texas stand-up comedy about narrative writing...
...Vanity Fair writer Bryan Burrough recently offered practical tips for long-form storytelling to a Mayborn Conference audience. Prior to his magazine career, Burrough spent several years reporting for The Wall Street Journal; he has also written five books, including Public Enemies and Barbarians at the Gate. In these excerpts from his talk, Burrough addresses the best transition word ever, presents his strategy for avoiding writer’s block, and reminds you that “your words are not nearly as great as you think they are.”
Charles Evans: Patience Is a Virtue When Normalizing Monetary Policy: "I would like to thank the Peterson Institute and Adam Posen...
...for organizing this conference focusing on labor market issues. The functioning of the labor market is always of great interest to both academics and policymakers. But today, with the collapse of labor demand during the Great Recession and ongoing structural changes, judging the health and future of labor markets is both especially challenging and important. The work presented at this conference and others like it offers an opportunity to integrate the most recent research with the thinking of policymakers. In keeping with this theme, I will first offer my views on the labor market and how the issues raised here influence my thinking on monetary policy, and I will then discuss my more general strategy for considering when and how we should begin to normalize monetary policy.
Paul Krugman: 'Seven Bad Ideas,' by Jeff Madrick: "The economics profession has not, to say the least...
...covered itself in glory these past six years. Hardly any economists predicted the 2008 crisis — and the handful who did tended to be people who also predicted crises that didn’t happen. More significant, many and arguably most economists were claiming, right up to the moment of collapse, that nothing like this could even happen.
Furthermore, once crisis struck economists seemed unable to agree on a response. They’d had 75 years since the Great Depression to figure out what to do if something similar happened again, but the profession was utterly divided when the moment of truth arrived.
Weekend Reading: Michael Berube (1996): Review of Dinesh D'Souza, "The End of Racism", Transition http://www.jstor.org/stable/2935241?
Strolling through the Detroit International Airport on my way to my parents' home in Virginia Beach, I came upon a newsstand-bookstore that was devoting eight or ten shelves of space-roughly one-quarter, I believe, of its "new bestsellers" wall-to Dinesh D'Souza's The End of Racism. I had heard a great deal about the book before it was published, and had just recently been asked (twice, actually) by the Chicago Tribune to re- view the thing. I declined, partly on the grounds that I've already read more D'Souza than any human should, having perused both Illiberal Education (1991) and his rarely mentioned first (and best) effort, Falwell: Before the Millennium (1984). That's the book where D'Souza writes:
listening to Falwell speak, one gets a sense that something is right about America, after all.
Dean Baker: Influencing the Debate from Outside the Mainstream: Keep it Simple: "If people working outside of the mainstream of the profession are going to have any impact...
...on economic policy debates in the United States it is essential that they understand the forum in which the debate is taking place. This is not a contest of ideas where the best arguments and evidence win out. If we are talking about a debate within the economics profession, think of debating the morality of abortion with the pope in front of the College of Cardinals. That is pretty much what it is like to try to challenge any of the main precepts of economics within the economics profession.
Keith Humphreys: Weekend Film Recommendation: The Spy Who Came in From the Cold:
What the hell do you think spies are? Moral philosophers measuring everything they do against the word of God or Karl Marx? They’re not! They’re just a bunch of seedy, squalid bastards like me: little men, drunkards, queers, hen-pecked husbands, civil servants playing cowboys and Indians to brighten their rotten little lives.
So says disillusioned British secret agent Alec Leamas (Richard Burton) in perhaps the best effort to adapt a John le Carré novel to the big screen: 1965′s The Spy Who Came in From the Cold. The serpentine plot concerns a burnt-out espionage agent who enters a downward spiral of booze, self-hatred and lost faith after a disastrous mission in Berlin. But then it turns out that Leamas’ decline and despair is a ruse (?) play-acted at the behest of his superiors. As planned, he is recruited by the other side and ends up trying to discredit East German intelligence head Hans-Dieter Mundt (A cold, effective Peter van Eyck). Leamas undermines the ex-Nazi by feeding false (??) information to Mundt’s ambitious, Jewish deputy (Oskar Werner, very strong here). It’s a difficult, high-risk mission, but Leamas knows that his boss back home is 100% behind him (???).
Noah Smith: Austrian Economists, 9/11 Truthers, and Brain Worms: "In the film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan...
...the super-genius villain puts alien worms into people’s brains in order to subvert them to his demented cause. I think Khan could have been an Austrian economist. To those of you who have run afoul of the defenders of Austrianism on the Internet, the analogy will be clear. The Austrian worldview is like a brain worm that has infected large swathes of our financial industry, commentariat and general public. Even you, dear reader, may carry one or two of its wriggling larva inside your gray matter.
Annalee Newitz: 8 Things We Can Do Now to Build a Space Colony This Century: "We talked to scientists and experts about the fundamental things they think we should do right now...
...if we want to have a space colony in the next 100 years.
Save Earth: NASA astronomer Amy Mainzer, who studies Near Earth Objects at JPL, says our number one priority has to be here on our home planet. She told io9 that it's a pretty inhospitable universe out there, so our space colonies will probably never replace home:
From my perspective, the most important thing we can do to be prepared for any activity far in the future is try not to wipe out life here.... The defining challenge of the next hundred years is to come to grips with creating a sustainable future here, as a minimum precursor to building a sustainable future anywhere else.
Change the Way the U.S. Government Plans Space Missions: Ariel Waldman....
If the nation decides to begin a space colony outside of low Earth orbit, you need to talk about changing the way NASA does business. Currently, NASA engages in a capabilities-based and/or "flexible path" approach in which technologies are developed with no specific set of missions in mind.... The National Academy of Sciences' Committee on Human Spaceflight... recommend[s]... NASA switch to a "pathways" approach... [with[ a horizon goal... [and] a very specific set of stepping stones along the way.... As far as technologies needed for a pathway that leads to Mars, the committee assessed 10 high priority areas in terms of the technical challenges. The 10 high priority areas are: Mars Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL), Radiation Safety, In-Space Propulsion and Power, Heavy Lift Launch Vehicles, Planetary Ascent Propulsion, Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS), Habitats, Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Suits, Crew Health, and In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU - using the Mars atmosphere as a raw material).
Develop 3D Printing in Space: Les Johnson suggests:
3D printing and the rocket engine are the two inventions that will eventually enable space settlement. With 3D printing you can cut that supply chain and make all the spare parts you need locally.... A colony cannot survive if it is dependent upon a supply chain from Earth. We must mine asteroids for their raw materials (making solar arrays, colony structural materials, etc from the raw materials in Near Earth Asteroids)....
Let Space Tourists Take Vacations in Orbital Hotels: Seth Shostack... heads up the SETI Institute.... He said that our best bet is to create a thriving space tourism industry today.... He told io9:
At space conferences, people interested in commercializing space want to build small hotel rooms in orbit.... The big problems here are not technical--they are liabiltiy. But there is a market.... at any price point for putting people in orbit. So the first eight space hotel rooms are expensive, but then it's cheaper for next eight....
Figure Out How Ecosystems Work:... Hedvig Nenzen... gave us the lowdown on all the things we need to research now if we ever hope to terraform a barren world:
I'm going to assume that we find a new planet without an ecosystem already on it. Thus, in order to live in space we will have to build something from scratch with species we bring us. Scientists are realizing that it's more and more difficult to make an ecosystem from nothing, and to know how exactly the new ecosystem might work. There are just so many details and parts in an ecosystem that we don't understand yet....
Build a Giant Sun Umbrella with Robots: UC Berkeley economist Brad De Long, who has written a great deal about how robots will change our future economy, noodled around late one night with a few robot-fueled ideas he shared with io9:
It seems clear to me at least that anything done at or inside the moon's orbit over the next century will be better done by teleoperated robots, because beyond the van Allen belt and the atmosphere we become very heavy creatures that need not only water but also sheaths of lead. So I have been trying to think of something we might need to do far enough outside the moon's orbit that teleoperated robots won't do it, and that would be wildly profitable--as the late Jim Baen liked to say, successful space travel and space colonization will be exothermic, not endothermic....
The big one, of course, is the giant sun umbrella at L1, 930,000 miles away. That is far enough that teleoperated robots controlled from a local station shielded against solar storms and cosmic rays might do much better then robots with a 10 second response leg controlled from earth, and that might be a vastly cheaper way of dealing with global warming successfully then hoping for the nuclear/better solar fairies to show up.
Were I NASA, I would be planning for the sunshade now—both the Earth-control 10 second lag teleoperated robot and the local station controlled versions. And, of course, the moon base—perhaps robot only, alas!—for manufacturing the station would make lifting it out of the gravity well to L1 much cheaper.
Study How DNA Repairs Radiation Damage: Sylvain Costes is a molecular biologist at Lawrence Berkeley Labs.... He has some advice.... He told io9:
To colonize another planet, you need to focus on biology. The best way to deal with radiation is to take nutrients that will protect you, like antioxidants. Of course, you need the right ones. NASA and other groups have shown that there are a lot of nutrients blueberries, and more efficient ones, that will protect you against radiation. It won't stop radiation, but it can mitigate the effects....
Costes believes we need to plan for space colonies by discovering better anti-oxidants, adopting a "risk management" approach to space travel. He also notes that it's possible that some people simply may not be able to thrive in space, because their DNA doesn't recover from damage as easily as other people's.
Educate People About Our Connection to Space: Mae Jemison... the most important first step is education:
If we are to have any hope of having a robust, healthy nation of humans living, working, growing up and excelling happily in space we have to reconnect people here on Earth today with their ancient space heritage! The task is to get people to feel that we, like our ancestors, are linked to the stars above, not just the ground beneath our feet. And to know that what we prepare now builds the future. Teach that the reason we can predict aspects of flooding today is because everyday people thousands of years ago noticed the connection of the tides to phases of the moon. And they created calendars based on the movement of the stars. Call weather and crop satellite pictures "images from space," or GPS directions "satellite navigation."... But just a rational discussion won't do it; to feel it, let's make sure that at least once a year we go outside at night with all the lights off and experience a star-studded vista!
Weekend Reading: Civility, Outrage: "In the grand scheme of internet things...
...I don’t think I’m a particularly harsh interlocutor. While I sometimes happen into them, I don’t like twitter fights. When I argue I prefer to keep the points neat, discrete, and narrow. This is to keep things topical and non-personal. That’s just how I prefer to argue in public--keeps the headaches to a minimum. Nonetheless I am still from time to time accused of being uncivil. This is usually in the context of me writing about something odious someone has said, like when that Federalist dude said we should shame poor kids, or when Erick Erickson said poor people negotiating better working conditions are “failures at life.” In these cases critics usually don’t take exception with what I’ve argued, they just suggest it would’ve been better if I had done so differently — usually that means in a kinder, gentler, more soothing way.
But I’ve gotten suspicious of this brand of criticism--which is not uncommon--and so I’ve put together a list here of reasons I seriously question the cult of civility:
...But not only was Hamilton more progressive for his time, he has lessons for our response to climate change. Two hundred years ago, Alexander Hamilton was mortally wounded by then Vice President Aaron Burr in a duel at Weehawken, New Jersey. Their conflict, stemming from essays Hamilton had penned against Burr, was an episode in a larger clash between two political ideologies: that of Thomas Jefferson and the anti-Federalists, who argued for an agrarian economy and a weak central government, versus that of Hamilton and the Federalists, who championed a strong central state and an industrial economy.
George Orwell: Confessions of a Book Reviewer: "In a cold but stuffy bed-sitting room...
...littered with cigarette ends and half-empty cups of tea, a man in a moth-eaten dressing-gown sits at a rickety table, trying to find room for his typewriter among the piles of dusty papers that surround it. He cannot throw the papers away because the wastepaper basket is already overflowing, and besides, somewhere among the unanswered letters and unpaid bills it is possible that there is a cheque for two guineas which he is nearly certain he forgot to pay into the bank. There are also letters with addresses which ought to be entered in his address book. He has lost his address book, and the thought of looking for it, or indeed of looking for anything, afflicts him with acute suicidal impulses.
From David Leonhardt's The Upshot:
Claire Cain Miller: Will You Lose Your Job to a Robot? Silicon Valley Is Split: Following are a sampling of the points of view expressed in the Pew report.
Most utopian: “How unhappy are you that your dishwasher has replaced washing dishes by hand, your washing machine has displaced washing clothes by hand or your vacuum cleaner has replaced hand cleaning? My guess is this ‘job displacement’ has been very welcome, as will the ‘job displacement’ that will occur over the next 10 years. This is a good thing. Everyone wants more jobs and less work.” — Hal Varian, chief economist at Google
John Maynard Keynes (1926): The End of Laissez-Faire } "Panarchy - Panarchie - Panarchia - Panarquia - Παναρχία - 泛无政府主义: I The disposition towards public affairs...
...which we conveniently sum up as individualism and laissez-faire, drew its sustenance from many different rivulets of thought and springs of feeling. For more than a hundred years our philosophers ruled us because, by a miracle, they nearly all agreed or seem to agree on this one thing. We do not dance even yet to a new tune. But a change is in the air. We hear but indistinctly what were once the clearest and most distinguishable voices which have ever instructed political mankind. The orchestra of diverse instruments, the chorus of articulate sound, is receding at last into the distance.
Janet L. Yellen: Labor Market Dynamics and Monetary Policy: "In the five years since the end of the Great Recession...
...the economy has made considerable progress in recovering from the largest and most sustained loss of employment in the United States since the Great Depression. More jobs have now been created in the recovery than were lost in the downturn, with payroll employment in May of this year finally exceeding the previous peak in January 2008. Job gains in 2014 have averaged 230,000 a month, up from the 190,000 a month pace during the preceding two years. The unemployment rate, at 6.2 percent in July, has declined nearly 4 percentage points from its late 2009 peak. Over the past year, the unemployment rate has fallen considerably, and at a surprisingly rapid pace. These developments are encouraging, but it speaks to the depth of the damage that, five years after the end of the recession, the labor market has yet to fully recover.
H.G. Wells: “It seems to me that I am more to the Left than you, Mr Stalin”: "In 1934, Wells arrived in Moscow...
...to meet a group of Soviet writers. While there Stalin granted him an interview.... His deferential conversation was criticised by J M Keynes and George Bernard Shaw, among others, in the New Statesman.
Wells: I am very much obliged to you, Mr Stalin, for agreeing to see me. I was in the United States recently. I had a long conversation with President Roosevelt and tried to ascertain what his leading ideas were. Now I have come to ask you what you are doing to change the world...
From Josh Brown and Jeff Macke: Clash of the Financial Pundits:
Josh Brown and Jeff Macke: Chapter 7: The Man Who Moved Markets: ￼"'There are clear lines separating those who swear by him and those who swear at him.' —LOUIS RUKEYSER ON JOE GRANVILLE...
...It is late in the evening on January 6, 1981, and telephones all over the country are starting to ring. Thirty employees of a Florida-based stock market newsletter business are making out-going calls to deliver a very simple, yet ominous, message to a few thousand subscribers across the nation:
This is a Granville Early Warning. Sell everything. Market top has been reached. Go short on stocks having sharpest advances since April. Click.
Early the next morning, just after the opening bell of trade rings on the New York Stock Exchange, the market gaps lower and sell orders continue to flood into the trading floor. The Dow drops a total of 24 points that day, or 2.5 percent, on historic volume of more than 93 million shares traded, more than double the daily average. The Dow then proceeds to drop another 1.5 percent the next day; a five-week sell-off is soon under way. Traders and business news reporters are pointing toward Joe Granville to explain the sudden, sharp drop in the stock market, and Granville is more than happy to be pointed at.