Assorted Links

  • self-tracking neuroscientist. I have only learned from tracking when I am adventurous — when I change stuff, such as what I eat. I will be curious to see if the same thing happens here. The initial thought when tracking yourself is “keep things constant” so that the data from different days will be more comparable. This makes sense if you are doing an experiment where different days get different treatments. It does not make sense when you are not doing an experiment. This self-tracker doesn’t seem to be doing any experiments, so he should allow his life to be messy if he wants to learn more.
  • Interview with Renata Adler
  • Alternate-day fasting thread at Mark’s Daily Apple
  • An essay on the effect of immigrants on “economic freedom” (via Marginal Revolution) does not mention the fact that immigrants bring new ideas and skills. This is an example of the way economists usually ignore innovation, which benefits from new ideas and skills. Innovations usually derive from new combinations of things. To open a new business (an instance of economic freedom) it really helps to have a new good or service. New cuisines (immigrants open restaurants) is just the beginning.

Thanks to Dave Lull.

5 Responses to “Assorted Links”

  1. Tim Ossman Says:

    Interesting link for you:

    http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20130710-how-our-organs-sniff-out-smells/all

  2. Steve Johnson Says:

    http://www.isegoria.net/2013/07/why-does-the-lack-of-traffic-rules-work-in-england-but-not-in-haiti/

    Yep, immigrants bring loads of new ideas and cuisine is just the beginning.

  3. Dave in Seattle Says:

    Yes, immigrants, especially from the third world bring a great deal with them. Just off the top of my head, think of all the doctors and medical professionals from India and the former USSR who made incredible innovations in medicare and insurance fraud. The next time the feds make a medicare bust just check out the names-usually an odd assortment of Armenians, Ukrainians, Russians, Russian Jews, Nigerians and South Asians, all working harmoniously to screw over their adopted country and Uncle Sugar. The Chechen terrorists in Boston, the Saudi terrorists on 9/11 and the Fort Hood shooting. In Seattle it seems the Romanian immigrants are in forefront of ATM fraud with incredibly high tech card skimmers. The Chinese and Koreans are ruthless at human trafficking and prostitution. The illegals from Mexico and Central America are usually the ones clogging your local hospitals ER-those are the good ones, the bad ones of course are members of the ruthless drug gangs now recruiting and operating in the USA because of our insane open borders policies.

    Did I leave anything out? Antibiotic resistant TB, identity theft, the complete fracturing of society because no one trusts each other anymore with high security gated communities for the rich and the ever diminishing middle classes trying to escape the chaos and bad schools . Suburban and urban sprawl, unsustainable water demands in desert monstrosities like Las Vegas and Phoenix, traffic jams, low wages and massive job competition for native born Americans from the lowest rungs of society.

    These open borders zealots like Obama, Bush jr., McCain and the tenured professors at George Mason University don’t have to deal with this anarchy and the crime they’ve created. They’ve got cheap nannies, gardeners, maids, etc. and most importantly they get to feel and look compassionate while they get to denigrate the “nativist rednecks” who are left bewildered as their nation crumbles and best of all the taxpayers get stuck with the bill. Plus a fractured and diverse society is much easier to rule and tyrannize. It was Saudi immigrants who gave us the TSA. Remember that the next time you or your grandmother is harassed and molested by a government agent at the airport.

    Seth: “Did I leave anything out?” Yes, you did. How recently did you use Google? I used it a few seconds ago. How recently did you eat ethnic food? I ate kimchi 10 hours ago. To give just two examples. You left a lot out. When is the last time you were personally affected by one of the bad effects you describe?

  4. Dave in Seattle Says:

    Look I like some ethnic food. But all I’m asking for is a little hard headed cost benefit analysis. Or better yet, just for our bettors to ask the citizens of this country if we want to be a multiracial, multilingual, religiously diverse nation of well over 300 million people. We were never asked, it was just shoved down our throats and if you disagreed you were labeled a hateful, racsssist. See the now unemployed and likely unemployable Jason Richwine or James Watson, John Derbyshire or Pat Buchanan, well you see where I’m going, certain thoughts are well, Crimethink no matter how scientific or factual they are.

    I’m affected by it everyday, my once friendly, safe neighborhood that was completely homogeneous thirty years ago is filled with Asian and Hispanic gangs, drive by shootings that literally never happened when I was a kid, happen a few times a year. Doors were left unlocked for the most part, kids played all day without any supervision or their parents worrying about them. Now you’d be nuts to let your kids out your sight in this neighborhood. Parts of Eastern Washington state, which is where my family is from (Oakies) used to be filled with quiet, friendly, little farm towns that are now filled with Central American drug gangs fighting vicious little turf wars with each other. And no these Hispanics aren’t picking crops in the fields-their parents did that, the kids are in jail, dealing drugs or if they are women usually on welfare.

    Look I like Mexicans, I like their food and I’ve done lots of grunt work with them. I respect hard working people and many illegals are decent and hardworking but they bring a whole host of pathologies with them and to ignore these is just stupid. Also flooding the US with tens of millions of low skilled and barely literate workers when the real unemployment is around 20% is just cruel to our own citizens who we are supposed to be looking out for. It’s cruel to the low skilled workers that used to do those jobs, but nobody will hire them now because they aren’t as cheap, subservient and most importantly for the employer dispossable as the illegal/legal immigrants.

    The Google argument is a strawman, when has the US denied entry to genius immigrants? To equate the parents of Brin and Page or of Tesla and Einstein to the millions of low skilled, barely literate people we are taking in nowadays is disingenuous.

    Like I mentioned before, Medicare fraud is multi-billion dollar industry and highly intelligent immigrants from low trust nations play a huge role in this fraud. No one wants to take an honest look at how much these immigrants cost our nation. I mean how many more Raj Rajaratnam or Armen Kazarians can this country take. Our country is what 16 trillion dollars in debt and yet we continue to take in super smart crooks from all over the world. And yes I know there are plenty of home grown criminals but do we need to scour the world for more? And as Steve Sailer has written about, why are we importing fraudulent asylum seeking Chechens. Or think about all of crime the Somali immigrants cause in once placid Minnesota? I’m sure Somali cuisine has it’s fans but is it worth it?

    You admire Japan and it’s culture, so do I. By your thinking Japan should let in millions of migrants from all over the world. Somalis, Nigerians, Salvadorans, Indians and Pakistanis would make Japan more interesting, with a better choice of markets and restaurants, well perhaps. Other things might change too and as Dennis Mangan has said, “What could go wrong?”

    Seth: I don’t have an opinion about large-scale immigration. I am neither for nor against it. My point is/was that your earlier argument that immigration was overall bad was woefully incomplete. I don’t agree that a long list of bad effects of immigration — the fact that immigration does have many bad effects — should determine what any reasonable person should think. I agree that the thought police are far worse than the thinkers they try to suppress. I also think that you need an assimilation process that works and if you don’t you are going to have enormous trouble. That being said, I think of the following: Person A: My GPS keeps breaking! Person B: You have GPS? Americans are lucky that so many people want to come here. There’s a reason. It’s not that they think we’re easy marks. Far from it.

  5. Barbarosa Says:

    Let’s get real here. We need to stop pretending that the immigration we like (japanese sushi chefs or Chinese STEM post-docs, e.g.) has a flying fig to do with what the immigration debate is mostly about — amnesty and eventual citizenship for at least 11 million low-skilled, uneducated Mexican citizens, who sure as Hell will not be founding any software companies or twee tea shops. Mexican immigrants have been in this country for well over a hundred years, and for whatever reason they simply do not converge to white middle-class standards on a number of social metrics. Ergo inviting them in en masse will bring down the National average. We have a good thing going. It’s not worth risking for cheap Mexican food. It’s really not that complicated.

    The fact that their presence does not obviously deleteriously effect upper-middle class urban yuppies is altogether unsurprising: we don’t live in their neighborhoods, their academically below average children don’t go to school or camp with ours, and they’re not competing for our high paying jobs. Low skilled immigration will only harm American’s will low-skilled jobs. And corporate capitalists (i.e. investors of capital) will benefit from their cheaper labor.

    Well educated, affluent Libertarians like to delude themselves with the conceit that these displaced workers can just go out and get more education or “retool their skill set” or some other such fairy tale. Half of Americans are necessarily below average. It will be hard enough finding a place for them in a economy where the gains are increasingly redounding to the cognitively gifted.