03
Sep
10

More linky, less thinky

Let’s clear out some tabs.

——

First off, the batshit-crazy guy who Suicided By Cop in the Discovery Channel offices this week has been found to be an Evil Left-Winger by the right-wing blogosphere and an Evil Right-Winger by the left-wing blogosphere.  While I think it’s outstanding that these people are finally finding a use for their high-school English coursework (“choose a theme and cherry-pick excerpts from the text to support it”), it’s about as productive as anything I’ve written about Hamlet.  Michelle Cottle points out that James Jay Lee was, in fact, bugfuck:

Lee wasn’t part of some broader community whose goal it is to wipe humanity from the face of the earth. As far as we can tell, no one listened to his rantings or swapped conspiracy theories with him. He was a lone crazy who had to actually pay homeless people to take part in his protests.Admittedly, it’s hard to pass up an opportunity to score points for your political team by trying to wrap every disturbed individual to come down the turnpike around the opposition’s neck. But, no matter our affiliation, we need to be able to recognize real insanity when we see it.

——

Next, Austin Frakt points out yet again that…

[W]hether you experience good or poor health outcomes depends, in part, on things about you, as well as things about the care you receive. That makes health care very different from many other products and services.[…]That’s also exactly why health policy is hard. How much about individuals ought to be considered when crafting policy? How responsible can and should people be about their health? Do the unhealthy get penalized because their lifestyle contributed to their condition? Or is their circumstance the result of random events over which they had no control (and, so, you could be next)? Of course, it is some of both. But what does that mean for subsidies, for insurance design, and so forth?

It might be instructive to list the “health care is like…” analogies and pull together a list of which points generalize well and which don’t.  It would also be a fuck-ton of work, and I’m not gonna do it.  Fortunately, people like Dr. Frakt enjoy that sort of thing.

——

Changing topics: FUCK YEAH!

F1’s new technical rules for 2013 will include a return to turbo engines and ground effect aerodynamics, according to Autosport.

The two technologies, which were hallmarks of F1 racing in the late seventies and eighties, will be revived in an effort to make F1 racing more exciting for fans and more relevant for car manufacturers.

——

Next, some instruction from Don Boudreaux:

Here’s the, er, money shot:

As Benn Steil and Manuel Hinds point out on page 70 of  their remarkable book Money, Markets & Sovereignty, “to create a mystique premium on their coins, whose face value significantly exceeded their intrinsic value, rulers typically adopted religious symbols in their stamps.  The less gold, the more God.  In fact, ‘In God We Trust’ was added to American dollar bills only after their gold backing was dropped in 1862.

——

Finally, an excellent link from Arnold Kling:

He quotes Adam J. Levitin and Susan M. Wachter thus:

the bubble was a supply-side phenomenon, attributable to an excess of mispriced mortgage finance: mortgage finance spreads declined and volume increased, even as risk increased, a confluence attributable only to an oversupply of mortgage finance.

Also, best understated gloating ever:

My ability to discuss the paper objectively is severely hampered by confirmation bias.

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