"This Is How All Government ‘Works’"

Steven Greenhut presents a gem of an example.

This story is a reminder of how government “works.” It has many well-paid employees. (Los Angeles County fire captains and battalion chiefs can earn total compensation packages that top $600,000 a year. The median county and city firefighter compensation in California is just under $200,000 a year.) It has no “customers.” It is adept at handing out notices and fines, but has no incentive to properly manage its budgets or property. It rewards bureaucracy and inaction. The only way to get it to do anything constructive is to apply pressure from politicians.

For more on how government "works" see "Uber under Fire" and "The Obama Center Can Afford More Than $1 Rent".


"The Nastiest Feud in Science"

Especially important for those who think social science is the runaway winner for bitter disagreements.

What's kinda surprising is the intense name-calling and ad hominem attacks. But I have a theory about that which is probably not original but I don't remember where I saw it. Suppose someone says something to you that is obviously wrong. Say someone tells you "2 + 2 = 19". Do you get angry? Do you want to verbally abuse the person? I think not. I think you explain, calmly and simply, why that's wrong. If the person repeats the statement, maybe you try to explain, again calmly, a different way why that's wrong. If the person persists in claiming 2 + 2 = 19 you just shrug and walk away. The person is either trolling you or is crazy, but you don't get angry.

Now suppose someone makes a statement that you think is clearly wrong but not obviously so. But you think that demonstrating convincingly the statement is wrong will take more time, energy, and care than you're willing to devote. (And you may suspect that even if you took the time and care, you would not be able to prove your case 100%.) That's what prompts the anger, even the furious name-calling. 

And I think that's also what accounts for a lot of the fury in our current politics. 


"Still super-hip (and all lip) at 66, The Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde tells Event why she swears at fans, enrages sex abuse victims . . . and has swapped the wild life for walks in the park"

Chrissie rocks on.

This year, she says with mild astonishment, is the band’s 40th anniversary. ‘The Beatles only made records for ten years, Van Gogh only painted for ten years – not that I’m comparing myself to those guys, but 40 years is amazing. No one really thought this was going to last that long.

‘My friend John McEnroe will back me on this. Sports people have to stay in shape all the time, but rock musicians are the least in-shape members of the human race. We do everything possible to be out of shape. And we’re still doing it when we’re 70. I mean, define irony.’


"Friedman's"

I never knew there are restaurants in New York City named after the late, great economist.

Friedmans was named after the famous economist Milton Friedman who popularized the phrase, “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”. This phrase has gone on to be used in science, economics, finance, statistics, technology, sports, & now food. However, to put it simply, “to get one thing we like, we usually have to give up another thing we like.”

Link via Economics Job Market Rumors.