It’s that time again. Here’s all the news and items of interest that isn’t something else. Things that didn’t make it in to try and stand them on their own include whether America or France has better food and various claims related to Y-Combinator, in addition to the usual additional categories of energy, childhood, fertility and housing.
Re: NHS flu and COVID jabs. Who is the "you" who is paying "fully"? The patient pays nothing.
I am one of those rich people who doesn’t feel rich. It’s…a mild problem. Why I feel this way:
1) I have debt. It’s “okay” I guess, because I can easily handle the debt payments and the interest is less than what I’m getting on FDIC-insured savings. But still, debt feels bad, and I feel bad having it.
2) Things could go wrong. I’m in a great financial position now, but things would be tighter if I got divorced. If I got fired and couldn’t find a new job, I’d struggle. I would worry about these things regardless of how likely they are.
3) I buy unnecessary expensive things. $7 beer, $80 dress, $50 concert. In one sense it’s “okay” because these expenses are within my budget and don’t prevent me from saving rather aggressively, but…I feel guilty.
Maybe this is because I didn’t grow up rich. Presumably the true upper classes don’t worry about small luxury purchases. On the whole I’d rather be mildly neurotic with savings than un-neurotic with no savings, anyway.
Re: "Own a van, 15k, no joy":
Of course these answers say more about ourselves, but I'd go to N. MI, possibly Montana or Wyoming. Get any winter job, cheap housing. Use public library for books/web. Make it to summer. Find an outdoors job, ideally working bottom rung at a fly shop/guiding, but labor or (not outdoors, but would work) welding shop would work as well. Worst case you look for work instead of a job.
Work 2-3 years and see where you're at. Cost of living up there is low, and if you can show up, on time, sober and willing to learn you'll rise up fairly easily at any job up there. In the meantime you're in one of the world's greatest hunting, fishing and outdoors paradises where you can hike/hunt/fish/camp while the power of fresh air, sunlight and clean living refines you. Chances are in those 2-3 years you'd have probably met a good smattering of potential life partners, plus random job opportunities.
You'll be 40, with enough cash to buy or take out a small loan and buy a decent home (it'll be small, but serviceable) and these days if you accept 20-30m out of town you'll still have access to OK shopping and probably decent internet. You'd have a good chance of hitting 45 with a home, wife, some land and have spent all your free time hunting/fishing/hiking/playing in the great outdoors.
At which point you can either lean into that lifestyle or parlay work history into a job/life downstate. If you stay up north you'll hit 68 with some savings, and a lifestyle that is completely supportable on Social Security plus + minimal savings + random work (until injury, at which case you'll be looking for a public assistance nursing home (this sucks, but is a risk he should run). If random connections/guiding works out he may have a small business, but either way the average floor to this life cycle is worker's comp payments + owning own home.
On Zoom's terms, I looked through the terms in the link (https://explore.zoom.us/en/terms/) and can't find the text you quote or that quoted in the twitter thread. The terms I see (section 10.2) only create a limited license for "permitted uses" which are basically for them to provide their stated services.
From my read, this seems like a standard, unobjectionable license agreement with a service provider.
Re: the Eagles and not choosing to QB Sneak all the time, this is because they have competing objectives. The ones I can come up with quickly include:
1) to be entertaining enough to avoid alienating their fans (who buy tickets and merchandise). Everyone wants to be a fan of the team with the novel solution that works every time they use it once or twice per game. There is reputational risk, however, in being the equivalent of the kid who scored once in a sports video game before exploiting the game system to hide in the corner and run out the clock.
2) Rule changes that will eliminate their existing advantage. If a system or tool is abused often enough, new laws or rules will be created to eliminate that advantage, especially if it is unpopular or damages the system itself. The NFL is an entertainment product--someone spamming the game in such a way would be counter-productive and damaging, and you can rest assured that it would be legislated out quickly.
In other words, there are many short-term gimmicks which work that will be damaging in the long-term. "Winning" actually isn't anywhere close to an NFL teams' only or top objective. In fact, saving the QB sneak "cheat code" for only the most important scenarios makes it more likely that they can maintain reputation while maximizing the advantage for longer. I would say they objectively made the very best choice with how frequently they employed the sneak.
Zvi, You need to read "Medical Nihilism" by Jacob Stegenga. You way overrate western medicine! But the Universal Pareto Ratio applies . . . 20% of western medicine is substantive, valuable, often wonderful; 80% is mostly bullshit.
Important Principle: Most new drugs are a net loss. The benefits are exceeded by the costs (adverse effects)--the mRNA vaccine probably included . . . It had some efficacy--not much, since it didn't stop one from getting covid, and it didn't stop one from transmitting it--but the thousands who were killed and cardiologically maimed by it were probably greater than the number saved.
Now I'm imagining a James Gang music video featuring the SFPD trying to talk down a fleeing suspect. "Seems to me - you don't wanna talk about it // Seems to me - you just turn your pretty head // Walk away..."
I share your befuddlement at the orderliness death spiral not going any faster. Marginal miscreants are indeed learning - the majority of shoplifters that hit my store are fresh opportunists solving for the new equilibrium, not career criminals or organized theft. Easily contrasted with the actual long-term defectors: too-clever con artists trying to defraud foodstamps, the trash-divers who claim other peoples' receipts are theirs, the serial returners who "just didn't like" $100 worth of groceries they already ate, and yet end up purchasing the same things again anyway.
It's baffling because all that elaborate plausible deniability is clearly unnecessary now. Why bother making up a yarn about "I'm moving and don't want to transfer my fridge so I'm returning all these perishables" (true story!) when you can just...walk in and grab whatever and walk out? SFPD can't do anything to you, store employees can't do anything to you, customers will probably cheer you on for sticking one to The Man, fuck capitalism man, looting isn't happening and even if it was it's Good Actually cause it's immoral to make poor people pay for necessities like filet mignon. (Sadly much less hyperbolic-outlier opinion than you'd think.)
Re Taleb’s point, isn’t there a second correlation, in addition to the one between an author’s writing talent and intellectual heft: isn’t it also the case that the “better” the idea, the more elegantly it will tend to come out on the page? I often have the experience of thinking, “wow, this is horrible writing, something is badly off... ah, it’s actually because they’re trying to do this basically shady thing with the plot/argument and failing to get away with it.” So there’s a talent/wisdom correlation (in the author) and also a truth/elegance correlation (in the content). I’m sure there must be places where this doesn’t hold, but equally sure there are plenty where it does.
Also, from the reason/passions graph, “Affect Velocity” is clearly a Culture Ship name. (Maybe sister ship to the Ethics Gradient...)
Duplicate paragraph: "Ruriko: What why. Me: When it was written [...] behalf."
You had two points where you talked about value being lost from people worrying about something and trying to avoid it. (Crime and global warming). I thought the "worry cost" estimates were ok, but then I thought about all the things people could potentially worry about, and it makes me think some "worry costs" might be estimated too high. Otherwise you might get some ridiculous results like the sum total of worry costs being greater than the total economy.
The crypto lot are full of it again, basically very similar rules are on track to enter into force in Europe, the UK and Switzerland in 2025 or 2026, I see zero chance of any legislative backdown on this.
They would do better to stop whinging and start building solutions, happily entire companies exist to do just what they need done.
Professionally obligated to object to the paragraph on celecoxib for a couple reasons. “Better Advil” is kind of a dubious claim without better evidence than Wikipedia (the article being linked to even has a whole section on fabricated efficacy studies https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celecoxib#Fabricated_efficacy_studies ), partly because NSAID response (especially for something like pain) is highly subjective per individual. Also, celecoxib is simply a more potent NSAID, and it’s worth noting that even the higher doses of Advil (ie 600 & 800mg) are also still prescription only. Personally, I’ve always thought this kind of rhetorical looseness around medications are better arguments for why something like Advil should be Rx-only instead of for why celecoxib should be otc. They’re still things with side effect profiles that ought to be mitigated vs encouraging public assumptions that if you can buy it at the grocery store it’s totally safe.
Here's how someone on the low end of rich in an expensive city doesn't feel it:
Say you live on one income, one SAHP, the other makes $150k, in an expensive urban area without universal prek. You have two kids, and a sort of planned but a little earlier than expected 3rd on the way. You don't live near parents who are too young to retire anyway. You live in eh neighborhoods because you can't afford the best ones, but that means the school is also eh, and you pay for private.
If the SAHM does everything, she is likely to get burnt out without help. Ok, babysitter, preschool, cleaners, fitness memberships, eating takeout. These add up! Kids go through clothes, cars malfunction. You might need a bigger one because you can't fit three car seats in your little one.
If your parents don't have money so you need to help out sometimes too.
Your hot water heater might go out, a surprise medical bill for that labor and delivery.
You'd like your kids to dance, play piano, learn your parents' native culture, send them to camp in the summer, maybe take a vacation somewhere..... Renting even a summer cabin is prohibitively expensive. This is all optional of course but you still feel that you can't afford the lifestyle things that your parents could afford.
It adds up and you find that those $150k go very quickly, especially if you're also donating to any charitable causes or even funding college/retirement accounts, which is technically your money but not touchable.
Re: population tracking. There are two points to this.
One, you don't need the government to do it when you can get really good, if imperfect, readings from companies like ADP, who have information on a good share of job changes in the country and moves, already sell aggregate data and publish reports with zip code-level incomes, relocations, etc. There are also many other contexts where companies pool data together and then contribute into the communal pool, like how pretty much all auto insurance companies have access to everyone else's claims.
Two: the question arises, how does Chicago, or Illinois, know where else you're, say, registered to vote?
The argument for the "psychological cost of climate change" being significant is an argument against the propaganda campaign being waged to make it seem like an existential threat, not an argument for the actual, physical costs imposed by 3.5 C warming or what have you.
If you like Wealth of Nations I highly recommend Theory of Moral Sentiments. WN is the weak sister by comparison, because TMS is just that good.