EgoEimi's recent activity

  1. Comment on Weekly US politics news and updates thread - week of July 15 in ~news

    EgoEimi
    Link Parent
    JD Vance is the right's Obama and the perfect foil to Trump. I read his book a long time ago and quite enjoyed it. He's young, handsome, and—unlike Trump who was born with a silver spoon—rose from...

    JD Vance is the right's Obama and the perfect foil to Trump. I read his book a long time ago and quite enjoyed it.

    He's young, handsome, and—unlike Trump who was born with a silver spoon—rose from an impoverished rural household, struggling with family addiction and abuse, to academic and political success. He's the late American Dream emerging from the opioid crisis era.

    He knows the opioid crisis first hand: his mom was an addict. He knows how middle America has been hollowed out and left to social decay.

    He's an extremely powerful pick as VP for Trump. He speaks to white middle America.

    1 vote
  2. Comment on Does market failure justify government intervention? (with Michael Munger) in ~finance

    EgoEimi
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    I thought this was an interesting talk about a history of how different economists thought about government and market failures, incentives, information, and pricing. It's interesting because it...

    I thought this was an interesting talk about a history of how different economists thought about government and market failures, incentives, information, and pricing.

    It's interesting because it steps outside of the usual economic conversation and is focused on the theoretical issues behind market and government failures.

    A few interesting quotes:

    But, the idea that the private sector has lousy incentives is certainly true. And our insight--not our insight--our position that government bureaucrats have bad incentives because they do not have skin in the game is also true.

    Backhouse and Medema wrote a paper about the Cambridge economist's view of groping and tatonnement in the 1920s and 1930s... And they said, 'That'll work. What we need is not a government committee that will make the final choice. What we need is a government committee of experts that will manage the inevitable problem of choosing, making mistakes, and then updating. Because these experts can do it better than the sort of blind groping of the market,' which doesn't have any telos. Markets are evolution... there's nothing that normatively it is trying to accomplish. Survival is the only thing markets do.

    Michael Munger: But, let's be fair. What they're saying is: Mistakes are going to happen under either system, markets or government... The question is, which system can learn better and faster? And, markets, you have to wait for someone else to try something.

    Now you said it's been flipped on its head. Franklin Roosevelt, in 1932, before he took office, made a speech that was based explicitly on this viewpoint, where he said, 'We are going to make lots of mistakes. We're going to have systematic experimentation, and we're going to make lots of mistakes.' It is based explicitly on this view that that's how we're going to learn.

    There are a lot of interesting ideas discussed in this talk.

    GPT-4o summary here

    In this EconTalk episode, Russ Roberts interviews economist Michael Munger of Duke University, focusing on government failure. They discuss Munger's paper co-authored with William Keech, which critiques the concept of market failure and introduces the idea of government failure. The conversation explores historical economic theories and key figures such as Adam Smith, Ludwig von Mises, and A.C. Pigou, touching on their contributions to the understanding of market and government dynamics.

    Munger shares anecdotes about Keech, emphasizing his intellectual contributions and sense of humor. They discuss the limitations of both markets and governments in addressing economic issues, highlighting the complexities of information and incentives. Munger explains the Public Choice perspective, which argues that government officials often lack the information and incentives needed to outperform markets.

    The episode delves into the history of economic thought, including the Cambridge Welfare School's recognition of information problems and their advocacy for government-led experimentation. The discussion critiques both the simplistic view of market failure and the notion that government intervention can easily correct such failures.

    Roberts and Munger also touch on the practical challenges of implementing effective government policies, using examples like infrastructure and healthcare. They highlight the importance of recognizing the limitations and potential of both markets and government actions, advocating for a nuanced, case-by-case approach to economic policy.

    Overall, the episode provides a deep dive into the theoretical and practical aspects of market and government failures, encouraging a more sophisticated understanding of economic systems and the role of public policy.

    2 votes
  3. Comment on Donald Trump whisked off stage in Pennsylvania after apparent gunshots rang through the crowd in ~news

    EgoEimi
    Link Parent
    Anyone in Trump's shoes should be dead, in prison, penniless, and/or banished from society. It's incredible how someone can fail upwards in life, getting the highest dice roll for every ability...

    Anyone in Trump's shoes should be dead, in prison, penniless, and/or banished from society. It's incredible how someone can fail upwards in life, getting the highest dice roll for every ability check over and over and over again.

    I feel like Frank Grimes going crazy in The Simpsons world. Normal people have their lives ruined for doing 1/100th of the things he's done.

    Reportedly used the N-word, thought a Black contestant shouldn't win your show, and had once put out a full-page newspaper ad calling for the execution of three Black boys? Somehow nonzero and growing Black support, combined with waning Black support for his opponent.

    Denigrated Latin Americans? Rapidly growing Latino support.

    Grabbed em by the pussy, finds his daughter sexually attractive, fucked a pornstar and paid her off, perved on little girls at pageant shows? Still get 40%+ of the female vote, somehow.

    Claimed the Bible is his favorite book and can't recall a single verse, hawked a branded Bible? Got the Christian vote.

    Having a business strategy where he stiffs contractors and vendors after they render services and goods and tell them to try suing you? Get the small business owner vote.

    Try to overthrow the government through incitement? Zero consequences.

    Target of an assassination? Just an ear graze.

    What's next, a piano and an anvil land two feet next to him?

    3 votes
  4. Comment on A celebrated bike path might revert to being a breakdown lane for cars in ~transport

    EgoEimi
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    I've ridden this bike path a lot as I do long bike rides between SF and Oakland for fun. A lot of metric centuries. I hope they keep it. It's the only bike path that connects this part of the bay....

    I've ridden this bike path a lot as I do long bike rides between SF and Oakland for fun. A lot of metric centuries.

    I hope they keep it. It's the only bike path that connects this part of the bay.

    But frankly I see it barely used. Whenever I ride it, I see very few cyclists on it. Frankly, it's a long bike ride between Richmond and San Rafael. No one is going to bike-commute to/from beyond those cities; few people bike-commute between them.

    According to Google Maps, it takes 36 minutes to cross the bridge. Then you need to bike another 20+ minutes to get anywhere remotely interesting because the bridge landing areas are desolate. And that requires a great deal of fitness to deal with the climb. So, anyone commuting by bike for work is going to burn 2+ hours a day.

    That means it's only really useful for recreational cyclists like me taking advantage of nice weekends to go for those long bike rides.

    15 votes
  5. Comment on Donald Trump whisked off stage in Pennsylvania after apparent gunshots rang through the crowd in ~news

    EgoEimi
    Link Parent
    There are many suspected shooter identities being floated around: one is a supposed Antifa member, another is a supposed transgender person, etc. I count dozens. These accounts have 100–1000...

    There are many suspected shooter identities being floated around: one is a supposed Antifa member, another is a supposed transgender person, etc. I count dozens.

    These accounts have 100–1000 followers. I suspect that foreign state actors are spinning up their Twitter bot networks to pollute the information space.

    29 votes
  6. Comment on Donald Trump whisked off stage in Pennsylvania after apparent gunshots rang through the crowd in ~news

    EgoEimi
    Link Parent
    Link to photo Trump appears triumphant, strong, energetic, virile This is the nail in the PR coffin for Biden who appears old, feeble, forgetful

    Link to photo

    Trump appears triumphant, strong, energetic, virile

    This is the nail in the PR coffin for Biden who appears old, feeble, forgetful

    32 votes
  7. Comment on Donald Trump whisked off stage in Pennsylvania after apparent gunshots rang through the crowd in ~news

    EgoEimi
    Link Parent
    This is really the end. Presidents who triumphantly survive an assassination — I think of Teddy Roosevelt and FDR — enjoy a big boost of popularity. It makes them appear bold, defiant,...

    This is really the end.

    Presidents who triumphantly survive an assassination — I think of Teddy Roosevelt and FDR — enjoy a big boost of popularity. It makes them appear bold, defiant, masculine...

    The average dumb voter loves it.

    The Trump-Biden gap will probably widen by another point or two because of this.

    52 votes
  8. Comment on Crunchyroll announces the removal of its comment section across all platforms to 'reduce harmful content' in ~tech

    EgoEimi
    Link Parent
    Comment moderation is a thankless business. People don’t really come to a site to read its comments, so it doesn’t drive business. But then you need human and machine moderators which can get...

    Comment moderation is a thankless business. People don’t really come to a site to read its comments, so it doesn’t drive business.

    But then you need human and machine moderators which can get quite expensive.

    If you over-moderate, people accuse you of censorship, etc.

    If you under-moderate, people accuse you of allowing abuse or worse profiting from it.

    Getting it just right is really, really hard.

    3 votes
  9. Comment on The growing scientific case for using Ozempic and other GLP-1s to treat opioid, alcohol, and nicotine addiction in ~health

    EgoEimi
    Link Parent
    My offbeat bet is that the average person becomes more physically attractive and capable. This leads to them engaging in more sexual activity. Maybe fertility gets dragged upwards along the way. I...

    My offbeat bet is that the average person becomes more physically attractive and capable. This leads to them engaging in more sexual activity. Maybe fertility gets dragged upwards along the way.

    I recall there's a strong association between BMI and sexual activity. When people feel less confident about their bodies, especially when comparing to their younger, probably fitter selves in their memories, they feel less confident about initiating and engaging in sexual activity.

    5 votes
  10. Comment on The American elevator explains why housing costs have skyrocketed in ~engineering

    EgoEimi
    Link
    An aside, since this article is more broadly about inefficiencies of the building industry and onerous building regulations chasing marginal returns in safety: Just this past 4th of July, I went...

    An aside, since this article is more broadly about inefficiencies of the building industry and onerous building regulations chasing marginal returns in safety:

    Just this past 4th of July, I went to a BBQ pool party at one of San Francisco's glitzy apartment complexes in Mission Bay.

    When I left the building, I took the fire escape stairwell. It was huge, literally twice the width of a standard stairwell. You could evacuate a high school through it. When I got to the bottom, I noticed a single-width door that didn't lead outside, because I could see the double doors leading outside. When I opened it, I dscovered that it was a standard stairwell, right next to the XL stairwell.

    So, this compound stairwell was effectively 3x the width of a standard stairwell.

    Something really weird and wasteful is going on in the building codes here.

    16 votes
  11. Comment on Google’s greenhouse gas emissions jump 48% in five years in ~enviro

    EgoEimi
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    The environmental footprint is quite minimal. As someone mentioned, an LLM response has a footprint of 216mgCO2. A single banana has a footprint of 80gCO2, or 370 LLM responses. My LLM use is...

    The environmental footprint is quite minimal. As someone mentioned, an LLM response has a footprint of 216mgCO2. A single banana has a footprint of 80gCO2, or 370 LLM responses.

    My LLM use is roughly equivalent to eating one extra banana a week, at most.

    A single hamburger has a footprint of 9.73kgCO2, or ~45,000 LLM responses. If someone gave up just a single hamburger, they'd be good on LLMs for the next few years.

    7 votes
  12. Comment on Rapper BG ordered to have all future songs approved by US government in ~music

    EgoEimi
    Link Parent
    I probably overstated the causation where I meant none, but 51% is a little eyebrow-raising, no? That's much, much, much higher than the baseline homicide-as-cause-of-death rate for young Black...

    I probably overstated the causation where I meant none, but 51% is a little eyebrow-raising, no? That's much, much, much higher than the baseline homicide-as-cause-of-death rate for young Black Americans.

    7 votes
  13. Comment on The government of Cuba declares itself in a ‘war-time economy’ in ~finance

    EgoEimi
    Link Parent
    Cuba can trade with any other country. And they do trade with European countries, Latin America, China — so they're hardly lacking for trade opportunities....

    Cuba can trade with any other country. And they do trade with European countries, Latin America, China — so they're hardly lacking for trade opportunities. https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2021/jul/19/facebook-posts/cuba-can-trade-other-countries-heres-some-context/

    Their economy is, like @Minori said, just inefficient.

    17 votes
  14. Comment on Rapper BG ordered to have all future songs approved by US government in ~music

    EgoEimi
    Link Parent
    According to the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/minorityhealth/lcod/men/2018/nonhispanic-black/index.htm Cause of death for all non-Hispanic black men, homicide accounts for 4.5%. In the 20–44 age...
    • Exemplary

    According to the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/minorityhealth/lcod/men/2018/nonhispanic-black/index.htm

    Cause of death for all non-Hispanic black men, homicide accounts for 4.5%. In the 20–44 age bracket, where rap musicians tend to fall in, it's 26.1% — 51% is 2x that. There's clearly something going on.

    It can't come down to just poverty itself. American Indians experience higher rates of poverty than Black Americans, but homicide makes up 7.1% of cause of death for the 20–44 age bracket.

    I'm not sure we should laud the justice system's treatment of a black man ever. The justice system has a long history of mistreatment to black Americans, and I'm not comfortable with them deciding what he should and shouldn't rap about.

    Institutions are only the people who run them.

    Oakland and Boston police have run effective violence reduction programs (both named Operation Ceasefire, I believe) where police identify individuals and gangs for violence interventions. The programs have shown to significantly reduce homicides. A key part of the programs is to promote positive communication, conflict resolution, and community dialogue. These are communities where violence and language of violence are used to settle conflicts; rap music is such a vehicle.

    15 votes
  15. Comment on The asymmetry of nudges in ~tech

    EgoEimi
    Link Parent
    I've always found the "users should be in control" model to be the tech equivalent of the libertarian's "rational consumer". Technical people vastly overestimate the average user who barely knows...

    Also, I think “users should be in control” is using a simple model of the user as “someone like me” rather than “someone I care about, but don’t entirely trust.” Kids for example. Students in education. Also, employees and contractors. If you’re a retail business, your customers are people you serve but are also strangers that you need to be wary of, which is why kiosks need to be locked down.

    I've always found the "users should be in control" model to be the tech equivalent of the libertarian's "rational consumer". Technical people vastly overestimate the average user who barely knows what a URL is.

    9 votes
  16. Comment on Rapper BG ordered to have all future songs approved by US government in ~music

    EgoEimi
    (edited )
    Link
    It seems reasonable, given that murder accounts for 51% of deaths of rap musicians, versus 6.0% for all musicians. Free speech is not absolute. Incitement of violence is such a boundary. The judge...

    It seems reasonable, given that murder accounts for 51% of deaths of rap musicians, versus 6.0% for all musicians.

    Prosecutors also maintained that Dorsey did not obtain the necessary clearance to produce such work, which they argued also undermined his goals of rehabilitation, citing lyrics that exalted a pair of men who are serving sentences of life imprisonment after being linked to multiple murders in a drug-dealing and gang-violence racketeering case.

    ... prosecutors asked Judge Morgan to require him to refrain “from promoting and glorifying future gun violence/murder” as well as threats against people who cooperate with the police in songs and at concerts, among other requests.

    Free speech is not absolute. Incitement of violence is such a boundary.

    The judge has been very lenient and fair with him:

    A US federal judge has refused prosecutors’ request to prohibit [BG] “from promoting and glorifying future gun violence/murder” in songs and at concerts while on supervised release from prison, saying such a restriction could violate his constitutional right to free speech.

    But the artist known as BG must provide the government with copies of any songs he writes moving forward, ahead of their production or promotion – and, if they are deemed to be inconsistent with his goals of rehabilitation, prosecutors could move to toughen the terms dictating his supervised release.

    They have designed his rehabilitation such that he is limited from participating and perpetuating cycles of retributory violence in the rap music community. This should be lauded.

    edit: the cause of death by music genre is a fun piece.

    • Folk and jazz musicians—think Bob Dylan and his generation; young musicians gravitate toward other genres—are quite old now, so they're dying from cancer.
    • Rock, punk, and metal musicians die from 'accidents', i.e. drug overdoses. That tracks with the rock and roll and drugs lifestyle.
    • Rap musicians rarely die from heart issues or cancer because they probably don't get to reach an old enough age to experience those issues.
    17 votes
  17. Comment on ChatGPT is bullshit in ~tech

    EgoEimi
    Link Parent
    I think that this is like when people say that plastic surgery looks terrible: they never notice plastic surgery done well. When an LLM gets the tone of voice perfect, they're indistinguishable...

    I think that this is like when people say that plastic surgery looks terrible: they never notice plastic surgery done well.

    When an LLM gets the tone of voice perfect, they're indistinguishable from a human. By now you've certainly interacted with such an LLM.

    3 votes
  18. Comment on What can be done about the Supreme Court of the United States? in ~misc

    EgoEimi
    Link Parent
    Instead of the lesser of two evils we got the greater of two evils. Many people believe in tearing down the system and replacing it with something ideal. There is no such thing, and no such thing...

    Instead of the lesser of two evils we got the greater of two evils.

    Many people believe in tearing down the system and replacing it with something ideal. There is no such thing, and no such thing has ever happened in human history.

    An aside: all the radical socialists and communists I meet always conveniently forget the fact that all revolutions have ended in horror incomprehensible to the modern imagination.

    12 votes
  19. Comment on After a shaky debate performance top US Democrats talk about replacing Joe Biden on the ticket in ~misc

    EgoEimi
    Link Parent
    I thought that in 2020 it was a monumental political mistake for the Biden campaign and the Democratic Party to have reacted so strongly to the racial zeitgeist (George Floyd protests) in deciding...

    I thought that in 2020 it was a monumental political mistake for the Biden campaign and the Democratic Party to have reacted so strongly to the racial zeitgeist (George Floyd protests) in deciding that they will narrow the VP search to Black women:

    “There is a feeling of urgency and history — and Black women are tired of being considered the help,” said Karen Finney, a Democratic strategist who signed that letter and led the writing of a third open letter to Biden earlier this year urging him to pick a Black woman. “In politics, we have carried so many on our backs across the finish line, and in this moment in our history, we believe that it is time for a Black woman.”
    ...
    The Black women Biden has considered include Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.); Reps. Val Demings (D-Fla.) and Karen Bass (D-Calif.); former U.N. ambassador Susan E. Rice; former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams; and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. All have faced sharp criticism and scrutiny in recent weeks that the letter writers pressuring Biden to select one of them say has been unfair.

    It artificially narrowed his options down to a pool of candidates who frankly did not possess political superstar potential. Stacey Abrams lost the same race twice. Kamala Harris couldn't even get her own primary campaign off the ground due to lack of funding — a proxy for interest from the powers that be; she only became senator in an uncompetitive senate race.

    Now fast forward to today: Biden is too old, and the successor he's groomed clearly does not possess the political skills or charisma for anything beyond state-level politics. It was a wasted opportunity to anoint someone else with more potential.

    24 votes