Icosian Reflections

…a tendency to systematize and a keen sense

that we live in a broken world.

Reading Feed (November 2018)


Blog: Marginal Revolution | How to save the future of chess — That is, the chess championship.

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Who should receive a cash transfer?, or the paradox of micro-credit


Blog: Slate Star Codex | Book Review: The Mind Illuminated — I already was pretty uninterested in deepening my meditation practice from my once-daily-on-the-subway Headspace any time soon, and this review helpfully directed me to not read this book.

Comic: xkcd | Popper

Blog: Overcoming Bias | Open Policy Evaluation

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Open questions from Gwern

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Fading Legacies: Human Capital in the Aftermath of the Partitions of Poland


Blog: Schneier on Security | Propaganda and the Weakening of Trust in Government

Blog: Marginal Revolution | The game 12 draw

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Best non-fiction books of 2018


Blog: Slate Star Codex | Is Science Slowing Down?

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Best fiction of 2018

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Thanks a Thousand

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Tyler Cowen predicts our coming 19th century future

Blog: GiveWell | Our recommendation to Good Ventures

Blog: GiveWell | Our updated top charities for giving season 2018


Blog: Marginal Revolution | Daredevil and the Doctrine of Double Effect

Blog: Overcoming Bias | Stubborn Attachments

Blog: Marginal Revolution | The best book of 2018


Blog: Marginal Revolution | Microsoft is now the world’s most valuable company — Perhaps defying expectations for one of my occupation, I'm supremely uninterested in stock prices. Still, the update for me here (showing my ignorance) is that MSFT is even close (in market cap) to AAPL. Huh.


Blog: Marginal Revolution | The Republican Club — why is this painting interesting? — Tyler plays art critic; see also The Democratic Club, by the same artist.

Blog: Marginal Revolution | A Time to Fast — on calorie reduction strategies.

Blog: Schneier on Security | Using Machine Learning to Create Fake Fingerprints

Comic: xkcd | Horror Movies 2


Blog: Marginal Revolution | The best results on assortative mating and inequality I have seen — "Individuals face a large degree of uncertainty about their permanent wages early in their careers. If they marry early, as most individuals in the late 1960s did, this uncertainty leads to weak marital sorting along permanent wage. But when marriage is delayed, as in the late 1980s, the sorting becomes stronger due to the quick resolution of this uncertainty with work experience."

Blog: Shtetl-Optimized | Teaching quantum in junior high: special Thanksgiving guest post by Terry Rudolph

Blog: Don't Worry About the Vase | Review: Artifact


Blog: Marginal Revolution | The surprising (?) formula for becoming an art star

Blog: Coleman Hughes @ Quillette | Tyler Cowen’s Stubborn Attachments—A Review — "Ultimately, absorbing the thesis of Stubborn Attachments would entail a radical loss of purpose for the politically-minded among us. The small, short-term policy fights that energize us most are precisely the ones from which, on Cowen’s account, we should abstain entirely. Even the smartest among us don’t know what net effect small policies will have; plus very little well-being turns on such policies to begin with. Growth maximization, on Cowen’s view, becomes a moral black hole from which no partisan skirmish, no matter how seemingly important, can escape."

Blog: Marginal Revolution | My Conversation with John Nye

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Coleman Hughes reviews Stubborn Attachments

Blog: Schneier on Security | Information Attacks against Democracies

Comic: SMBC | Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Morals


Blog: Slate Star Codex | Links 11/18

Blog: Don't Worry About the Vase | Preschool: Much Less Than You Wanted To Know

Blog: Marginal Revolution | The long-run impacts of same-race teachers

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Tuesday assorted links

Blog: Marginal Revolution | My new two-way interview with Paul Krugman

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Hedge fund and tech questions that are rarely asked

Blog: JeffTK | Facebook Donation Match

Blog: Scott Sumner @ EconLib | Tonto's perspective


Blog: Marginal Revolution | Why We Can’t Have Nice Things–Elon Musk and the Subways

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Procurement and compliance costs (from the comments)


Blog: Overcoming Bias | On the Future by Rees

Blog: Marginal Revolution | 23 sentiments named


Blog: Marginal Revolution | Aquinas and the Market: Toward a Humane Economy — "My rather peculiar intellectual journey began with my pursuit of a Ph.D. in economics at Harvard University, granted in 1989, and culminated in a second Ph.D. in theology, from the University of Notre Dame in 2013..."

Blog: Marginal Revolution | All Hail Dalton Conley


Blog: Marginal Revolution | Everyone is upset at Amazon, but…

Comic: SMBC | Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Express

Blog: Slate Star Codex | The Economic Perspective On Moral Standards


Blog: Compass Rose | Why I am no longer supporting REACH

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Thursday assorted links

Blog: Overcoming Bias | Social Media Lessons


Blog: Marginal Revolution | Wednesday assorted links

Blog: Schneier on Security | Oracle and "Responsible Disclosure" — "When that agreement breaks down, things go bad quickly. This story is about a researcher who published an Oracle zero-day because Oracle has a history of harassing researchers and ignoring vulnerabilities.


Blog: Marginal Revolution | Underargued claims, installment #1437


Blog: Marginal Revolution | The philosophy and practicality of Emergent Ventures


Blog: Thing of Things | Armistice Day

Blog: Marginal Revolution | What I’ve been reading


Blog: Overcoming Bias | How To Fund Prestige Science


Blog: Marginal Revolution | Is biology now in charge?


Blog: Tyler Cowen @ Bloomberg View | The Carbon Tax Is Dead, Long Live the Carbon Tax

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Depression and religion in adolescence

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Spain Debates Whether Left Hand or Right Hand Should Pay Tax

Blog: The Paris Review | Political Fictions: Unraveling America at a West Wing Fan Convention — "As the song enters its second movement, it becomes difficult for me not to sense a slippage in the meridians, an imbrication between the real and the imaginary. After all, sitting beside me in this Bethesda ballroom are a half dozen of former West Wing cast members, whose job required them to portray White House staffers and who doubtlessly recall filming this episode on a mock set in Los Angeles. But also in the audience are former White House staffers—real ones, like Stephen Goodin, who was Bill Clinton’s presidential aide, and Bob Lehrman, who was chief speechwriter for Al Gore—who doubtlessly attended real state dinners. That I’m also rubbing shoulders with hundreds of ordinary Americans who are gussied up like White House officials sends me into a vertigo of epistemological uncertainty, where the differences between reality and its simulacrum are so dizzying and complex that even Baudrillard would’ve blanched. It occurs to me that as much as the West Wing Weekend has promised an escape from the grisly realities of our political moment, the ontological blur actually feels like a faithful reenactment of the last election, where the reigns of the nation were given over to someone whom we knew mostly from television."


Blog: Marginal Revolution | My Conversation with Eric Schmidt

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Emergent Ventures grant recipients, the first cohort

Blog: Marginal Revolution | China sentences of the day


Blog: Marginal Revolution | Why Is the Fight for Free Speech Led by the Psychologists?


Blog: Don't Worry About the Vase | Octopath Traveler: Spoiler-Free Review

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Maybe We Won’t All Die in a Pandemic — "Cross-immunity may be a factor contributing to the absence of a global pandemic as severe as the 1918 influenza pandemic in the century since..."

Blog: Marginal Revolution | How does paid maternity leave affect children?

Blog: Marginal Revolution | “Displacement in the Criminal Labor Market: Evidence from Drug Legalizations” — "I find that marijuana legalization increased the 9-month recidivism rate of marijuana offenders by 6 percentage points relative to a baseline rate of 10 percent. The increased recidivism is largely driven by a substitution to the trafficking of other drugs, which is consistent with a Becker-style model where individuals develop human capital specific to the drug industry..."


Blog: Marginal Revolution | How are immigrants and refugees in Sweden doing? — "We use administrative Swedish data to show that, conditional on parent income, immigrant children have similar incomes and higher educational attainment in adulthood than native-born Swedes. This result, however, masks the fact that immigrant children born into poor families are more likely than similar natives to both reach the top of the income distribution and to stay at the bottom..."

Blog: Marginal Revolution | MR sentences to ponder — "Back when we were messaging on OKCupid (to clarify: my wife and I were messaging; I have not contacted Tyler Cowen on OKC), I wanted to establish my Internet-nerd bona fides, so I mentioned that I’d been linked by a prominent economics blog. She mentioned that she had been linked by a very prominent economics blog. It was Marginal Revolution, both times." I suppose I'll put here that a question I asked Tyler has been mentioned (and answered!) on MR, though my name did not get attached.

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Maybe echo chambers are evolving because they are efficient? — "Our analysis reveals that segregation into small, homogeneous groups can be a rational choice that maximizes the amount of information available to an individual. In fact, homophilic segregation can be efficient and even Pareto-optimal for society. Why is that? Our argument builds on the idea that people have not only different information, but also different preferences. These differences in preferences can prevent successful communication, because people do not want to reveal their information to those who are different, and distrust the motives of those who speak to them. It then becomes easier to exchange information in segregated, homogeneous cliques than in large crowds. "


Blog: Marginal Revolution | Very good sentences

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Why do women earn less than men? Evidence from train and bus operators


Blog: Overcoming Bias | Long Views Are Coming

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Friday assorted links

Comic: xkcd | Challengers — "To edit the map, submit your ballot on November 6th."

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Continuous Voting — "One interesting characteristic of lottery voting is there is no need that elections be simultaneous, or even take place at known predictable times. Suppose we had an electoral system that looked like this: Every month, 5% of the voting roll is randomly selected to cast a ballot for a representative. There’s no big election day: Any time during their month selected voters can come in and cast their vote. After the balloting period has passed, one ballot is randomly selected, and then a virtual coin is flipped that comes up heads only one time in 24. If the coin comes up heads, the current representative is replaced..." Note that continuous voting need not be lottery, though the linked proposal is both.

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Are peaceful or violent protests more effective? — "Using a fixed-effects specification, my identifying variation is changes within the congressional district over time. I find that peaceful protests made legislators vote more liberally, consistent with the goals of the Civil Rights Movement. By contrast, violent protests backfired and made legislators vote more conservatively. The effect of peaceful protests was limited to civil rights-related votes. The effect of violent protests extended to welfare-related votes... Furthermore, congressional districts with a larger population share of whites responded more strongly. This is consistent with a signaling model of protests where protests transmitted new information to white voters but not to black voters."


Blog: Marginal Revolution | My Bloomberg column on Harvard and Asian-American admissions

Blog: Marginal Revolution | The best job market paper I have seen so far this year — "Using the unique dataset from Ravelry—the Facebook of knitters—I study why and how some knitters become entrepreneurs. I show that knitters who make the entrepreneurial transition are distinctive in that they have experience in fewer techniques and more product categories. I also show that this transition is facilitated by participation in offline social networks where knitters garner feedback and encouragement..."

Blog: Slate Star Codex | Working with Google Trends