Monday, March 06, 2017

Reluctant Rituals: Speaking Truth to Power

“ We have nothing to say, and  we are saying it"  The line, probably John Cage’s most famous statement, is likely to haunt the function room of knowledge sharing ... as noise tends to wade and  invade our innovative lives from shark tanks ;- ) ...

How To Fine-Tune Your Bullshit Detector FastCodeDesign Circulate widely. Of course, the problem is the people who most need to read this probably won’t "Those who disagree with me are biased, but I am not"

Via BC:  The concepts of and the need for economic history was in part a theme of Niall Ferguson's talk at the Sydney Opera House last year. It was also remarkably prescient about Trump and how he might behave as President. It is all about sound ideas and corruption and nepotism free institutions ...

Ho, ho, ho. This piece from 2007 by Neal Katyal about independent counsel regulations is particularly salient. [New York Times]

No matter what this Iowa Republican tells you, Sizzler (yes, the restaurant) does not run a real university. [Salon]

Joint Economic Committee, The 2017 Joint Economic Report (Feb. 28, 2017) (279 pages
The Uber exec and board member who oversaw the HR department has been strangely absent during Uber’s biggest crisis Business Insider on Human Remains

THE DIRTY SECRET BEHIND THE JEFF SESSIONS MESS.  Vanity Fair. “It’s hard to avoid the sense that Washington is losing its mind.” When you’ve lost Vanity Fair…

CIOs Lesley Seebeck, John Sheridan, Ramez Katf

How to Build an Autocracy

The preconditions are present in the U.S. today. Here’s the playbook Donald Trump could use to set the country down a path toward illiberalism

Amen as Men are just too emotional to govern Abbott and Co

Stephen F. Cohen Interview with Michael Tracey of TYT Politics YouTube. YY: “Good   voyeurism of overhearing snippets in a sad cafe serves in lieu of painters and mirrors.
This painting served as my desktop background for many years. Until this morning. When I realized that I had been projecting my own identity into the role of the clown and hadn’t visited the cafe in a good three years. I will not tell you what new painting that I put in Hopper’s place. You would have to know me or visit my apartment to loosen the answer.
Sometimes we must make bold choices. New people enter our lives, inspiring us to rethink who we are and to become better souls. Old friends grow deeper and richer as we learn to open our hearts more to the right people. Others who wallow in the petty draw of snap judgments must be crisply dropped and privately denounced. They’re too smitten by the cafe. And who can’t love the celeste backdrop and the colorful globes dangling from above? But Hopper knew that it was a trap.

"The truth is, every lie matters. Every. Single. One. The big ones — the pants-on-fire whoppers — lead the nightly news and become trending topics on Twitter as they should. But a worrisome trend is starting, where we are so overtaken by the gall of the big lie that we have started to accept the small ones." — Christina Reynolds, writing for Cosmopolitan  

That is a paper of mine from long ago, started in the late 1990s if I recall correctly.  It still seems relevant today, all the more so.  It ended uppublished in Public Choice, but here is an ungated on-line version, here is the abstract:

I consider models of political failure based on self-deception. Individuals discard free information when that information damages their self-image and thus lowers their utility. More specifically, individuals prefer to feel good about their previously chosen affiliations and shape their worldviews accordingly. This model helps explain the relative robustness of political failure in light of extensive free information, and it helps to explain the rarity of truth-seeking behavior in political debate. The comparative statics predictions differ from models of either Downsian or expressive voting. For instance, an increased probability of voter decisiveness does not necessarily yield a better result. I also consider political parties as institutions and whether political errors cancel in the aggregate. I find that political failure based on self-deception is very difficult to eliminate.

What I find strange is people who think this has only recently become relevant  .

In praise of cash aeon (JMM). Lambert ran this yesterday, but wanted to make sure you didn’t miss it. Key section:
The cashless society – which more accurately should be called the bank-payments society – is often presented as an inevitability, an outcome of ‘natural progress’. This claim is either naïve or disingenuous. Any future cashless bank-payments society will be the outcome of a deliberate war on cash waged by an alliance of three elite groups with deep interests in seeing it emerge.

 It’s gonna be a secret law. [Huffington Post]

Florida’s still cool with open carry law. Shocker. Correction: Florida Supreme Court upheld the BAN on open carry. I truly need more sleep, apologies. [Volokh Conspiracy]
Now the real question: who’s next? [Law and More]
The judge from the Casey Anthony case has some theories… [Jezebel]

Sheldon Adelson lost his first fight with a union. Will it have a domino effect?
Guardian. Martha r: “A bit old but still good news.”