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  1. Last 7 days
    1. People thrive in a wide range of climates. The projected climate change is small relative to the diurnal cycle. It is therefore rather peculiar to conclude that climate change will be disastrous. Those who claim so have been unable to explain why. https://twitter.com/RichardTol/status/1313182006310731776?s=20

      This is shocking!

    2. These predictions are absurd. A 3°C increase could trigger, and a6°C increase would trigger, every “tipping element” shown in Table 2. The Earth would have a climate unlike anything our species has experienced in its existence, and the Earth would transition to it hundreds of times faster than it has in any previous naturally-driven global warming event (McNeall et al., 2011). The Tropics and much of the globe’s temperate zone would be uninhabitable by humans and most other life forms. And yet Nordhaus thinks it would only reduce the global economy by just 8%?Comically, Nordhaus’s damage function is symmetrical — it predicts the same damages from a fall in temperature as for an equivalent rise. It therefore predicts that a 6°C fall in global temperature would also reduce GGP by just 7.9% (see Figure 3). Unlike global warming, we do know what the world was like when the temperature was 6°C below 20th century levels: that was the average temperature of the planet during the last Ice Age (Tierney et al., 2020), which ended about 20,000 years ago. At the time, all of America north of New York, and of Europe north of Berlin, was beneath a kilometre of ice. The thought that a transition to such a climate in just over a century would cause global production to fall by less than 8% is laughable.Again, I found myself in the position of a forensic detective, trying to work out how on Earth could otherwise intelligent people come to believe that climate change would only affect industries that are directly exposed to the weather, and that the correlation between climate today and economic output today across the globe could be used to predict the impact of global warming on the economy? The only explanation that made sense is that these economists were mistaking the weather for the climate.


  2. Jan 2021
    1. If human beings really were able to take the long view — to consider seriously the fate of civilization decades or centuries after our deaths — we would be forced to grapple with the transience of all we know and love in the great sweep of time. So we have trained ourselves, whether culturally or evolutionarily, to obsess over the present, worry about the medium term and cast the long term out of our minds, as we might spit out a poison.


    2. These theories share a common principle: that human beings, whether in global organizations, democracies, industries, political parties or as individuals, are incapable of sacrificing present convenience to forestall a penalty imposed on future generations. When I asked John Sununu about his part in this history — whether he considered himself personally responsible for killing the best chance at an effective global-warming treaty — his response echoed Meyer-Abich. “It couldn’t have happened,” he told me, “because, frankly, the leaders in the world at that time were at a stage where they were all looking how to seem like they were supporting the policy without having to make hard commitments that would cost their nations serious resources.” He added, “Frankly, that’s about where we are today.”
    1. Johnson: Earlier I interviewed you about patrilocal residence patterns and how that alters women’s sexual choices. In contrast, matrilocal societies are more likely to be egalitarian. What are the factors that lead to the differences between these two systems?Hrdy: I think in societies where women have more say, and that does tend to be in societies that are matrilocal and with matrilineal descent or where, as it is among many small scale hunter-gatherers, you have porous social boundaries and flexible residence patterns. If I had to say what kind of residence patterns our ancestors had it would have been very flexible, what Frank Marlowe calls multilocal.

      Matrilocality, matrilinearity and egailitarianism.

  3. Dec 2020
    1. As a result, American politics has fallen into a pattern that is characteristic of many developing countries, where one portion of the elite seeks to win support from the working classes not by sharing the wealth or by expanding public services and making sacrifices to increase the common good, but by persuading the working classes that they are beset by enemies who hate them (liberal elites, minorities, illegal immigrants) and want to take away what little they have. This pattern builds polarization and distrust and is strongly associated with civil conflict, violence and democratic decline.


    2. American exceptionalism was founded on cooperation — between the rich and the poor, between the governors and the governed. From the birth of the nation, the unity across economic classes and different regions was a marvel for European observers, such as St. John de Crèvecoeur and Alexis de Tocqueville. This cooperative spirit unraveled in the mid-nineteenth century, leading to the first “Age of Discord” in American history. It was reforged during the New Deal as an unwritten but very real social contract between government, business and workers, leading to another age of prosperity and cooperation in postwar America. But since the 1970s, that contract has unraveled, in favor of a contract between government and business that has underfunded public services but generously rewarded capital gains and corporate profits.

      This misses some of the underlying factors which also drove 19th century, specifically the information revolution which combined with IP monopoly rights is the core driver of growing inequality. That could be addressed, as with 19th c robber baron capitalism, by nationalisation or serious regulation but that is yet to happen.

    3. Writing in the journal Nature in 2010, we pointed out that such trends were a reliable indicator of looming political instability and that they “look set to peak in the years around 2020.” In Ages of Discord, published early in 2016, we showed that America’s “political stress indicator” had turned up sharply in recent years and was on track to send us into the “Turbulent Twenties.” The Political Stress Index (PSI) combines the three crisis indicators in the Goldstone-Turchin theory: declining living standards, increasing intra-elite competition/conflict and a weakening state. Growing PSI indicates increased likelihood of political violence. The Well-Being Index indicates greater equality, greater elite consensus and a more legitimate state.

      Good graph. Wonder what this looks like for other countries.

    1. But the ideological polarization the American Political Science Association had in mind has, in recent decades, been eclipsed among the public by political sectarianism.

      This is a useful distinction: ideological polarization vs political sectarianism.

    2. Nonethel ess, scholars have begun to iden-tify procedures that can potentially mitigate political sectarianism. These in clude efforts to help Americans comprehend opposing partisans regardless of their level of agree-ment, such as by focusing on commonalities rather than differences (e.g., “we’re all Amer-icans”; SM) or communicating in the moral language of the other side (e.g., when liberals frame the consequences of climate change in terms of sanctity violations; SM).

      Interesting, especially point re climate change.

      I would go further into the ontological sources of these issues e.g. attachment to views, and how we can address that.

    3. INSIGHTS|POLICY FORUM536 30 OCTOBER 2020 • VOL 370 ISSUE 6516sciencemag.orgSCIENCERather, the goal of these interventions is to move toward a system in which the public forcefully debates political ideals and policies while resisting tendencies that undermine democracy and human rights. Gi

      Would be valuable to have more consideration of the underlying clash of culture and how that has been handled in the past. Simply saying we want more debate whilst respecting democracy and human rights seems to ignore the basic context which is that there is a really big cultural fight and shift going on.

    4. Is motivated partisan cognition bipartisan?The extent to which each side exhibits motivated partisan (or biased) cognition is a focus of ongoing debate. Some scholars argue for symmetry (SM). For example, a recent meta-analysis demonstrates equivalent levels of motivated partisan cognition across 51 experiments investigating the tenden cy to evaluate otherwise identical in-formation more favorably when it supports versus challenges one’s political beliefs or allegiances (14). In an illu strative experiment, liberals and conservatives viewed a film clip of a political demonstration in which protestors clashed with police. Despite view-ing the identical clip, liberals rated the protesters as more violent when they believed it was an anti-abortion protest (a conservative cause) rather than a gay-rights protest (a liberal cause), whereas conservatives exhibited the opposite pattern (SM). Other scholars argue for asymmetry. For example, some evidence suggests that, relative to Democrats, Republicans have a higher need for order and greater trust in their gut-level intuitions. Such tendencies appear to motivate them to favor explana-tions that are straightforward and intuitive rather than complex and abstract, even when the latter types of explanation might be more accurate (15) (SM). Such findings are representative of the existing evidence, but conclusions remain tentative.

      This is classic material to add to that which i dug up in 2016 about non-attachment to views.

    5. Third, i n contrast to the equivocal ideo-logical-polarization trends among the pub-lic, politici ans and other political elites have unambiguously polarized recently on ideo-logical grounds, with Republican politicians moving further to the right than Democratic politicians have moved to the left (SM). This ide ological divergence is driven in part by ex-treme economic inequality in America today, especially in conjunction with candidates be-coming increasingly reliant on ideologically extreme donors. As polit icians chase cam-paign dollars, these extreme voices garner disproportionate influence (SM).

      Yes, the economic "substructure" matters too! Inequality is a big driver both at the level of the party "base" and the "elite" donor level.

    6. In addition, emotional and mor-alized posts—those containing words like “hate,” “shame,” or “greed”—are especially likely to be retweeted within rather than be-tween partisan networks (9). Social-m edia technology employs popularity-based algo-rithms that tailor content to maximize user engagement, increa sing sectarianism within homogeneous networks (SM)

      “Scholars from sociology, political science, economics, psychology, and computational social science debate whether such web platforms create polarizing echo chambers” • Bail, C. A., Argyle, L. P., Brown, T. W., Bumpus, J. P., Chen, H., Hunzaker, M. F., ... & Volfovsky, A. (2018). Exposure to opposing views on social media can increase political polarization. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(37), 9216-9221. • Settle, J. E. (2018). Frenemies: How social media polarizes America. Cambridge University Press. “Social-media technology employs popularity-based algorithms that tailor content to maximize user engagement, increasing sectarianism within homogeneous networks” • Shmargad, Y., & Klar, S. (2020). Sorting the News: How Ranking by Popularity Polarizes Our Politics. Political Communication, 37(3), 423-446.

    7. n recent years, social media companies like Facebook and Twitter have played an influential role in political discourse, inten-sifying political sectarianism. Scholars from sociology, political science, economics, psy-chology, and computational social science debate whether such web platforms create polarizing echo chambers (7) (SM). However, a recent field experiment offers intriguing ev-idence that Americans who deactivate their Facebook account become less politically po-larized (8).

      That study is https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/aer.20190658

      The Welfare Effects of Social Media Hunt Allcott Luca Braghieri Sarah Eichmeyer Matthew Gentzkow AMERICAN ECONOMIC REVIEW VOL. 110, NO. 3, MARCH 2020 (pp. 629-76)

      The rise of social media has provoked both optimism about potential societal benefits and concern about harms such as addiction, depression, and political polarization. In a randomized experiment, we find that deactivating Facebook for the four weeks before the 2018 US midterm election (i) reduced online activity, while increasing offline activities such as watching TV alone and socializing with family and friends; (ii) reduced both factual news knowledge and political polarization; (iii) increased subjective well-being; and (iv) caused a large persistent reduction in post-experiment Facebook use. Deactivation reduced post-experiment valuations of Facebook, suggesting that traditional metrics may overstate consumer surplus.

    8. The decl ine of the broadcast news era, during which impartiality was prized, began in the 1980s, driven in part by the Reagan admin-istration’s termination of the Federal Com-munications Commission (FCC) “fairness doctrine” in 1987. This doctrine, introduced in 1949, required that broadcasters discuss controversial topics in a manner that the FCC assesses as unbiased. Among th e first media figures to leverage the demise of the fairness doctrine was Rush Limbaugh, whose influen-tial conservative radio program went into na-tional syndication in 1988 (SM).

      Wonderful example of a "political" action having deep institutional and cultural (and ontological) ramifications.

    9. On American exceptionalism SOCIALSCIENCEPolitical sectarianism in AmericaA poisonous cocktail of othering, aversion, and moralization poses a threat to democracyPOLICY FORUMA recent study offers valuable international perspective on political polarization, leveraging data from 1975 through 2017 in nine Western democracies to examine feel-ings toward copartisans and opposing partisans. The study controls statistically for the number of parties and offers a valuable, albeit noncomprehensive, comparison set (13). Four nations—America, Canada, New Zealand, and Switzerland—exhibit increasing sectarianism over time, with the rate steepest in America. By contrast, Australia, Britain, Norway, Sweden, and Germany exhibit decreasing sectarianism over time. The most notable findings pertain to out-party hate [increasingly “frigid” evaluations of opposing partisans, via a “feeling thermometer” (see main text)]. Across the eight other nations, the mean rate of change in out-party hate was 0.004° per year (range: –0.2° to +0.2°) on the 0°-to-100° scale. In the United States, the rate of change was –0.6° per year. By 2017, out-party hate was stronger in America than in any other nation.

      Interesting esp NZ and Switzerland (both small, generally "progressive" countries though ones with immigration issues ...)

    1. Sectarianism, Jacobson continued in an email,feeds on itself; it is exacerbated by the ideologically fragmented media environment. It also reflects real differences in beliefs and values and conceptions of what American is, or should be, all about. Cleavages of race, region, education, religion, occupation, and community type now put people more consistently on one side or the other, feeding the culture wars and aggravating negative partisanship.

      This is the crucial point. Whilst the sectarianism may feed on itself and be enabled by a "fragmented media environment" the real source is a profound cultural conflict about what "America[n] is, or should be, all about". That's why it is so powerful and vicious.

    1. The Amish outperform the English on every measured health outcome. 65% of Amish rate their health as excellent or very good, compared to 58% of English. Diabetes rates are 2% vs. 8%, heart attack rates are 1% vs. 6%, high blood pressure is 11% vs. 31%. Amish people go to the hospital about a quarter as often as English people, and this difference is consistent across various categories of illness (the big exception is pregnancy-related issues – most Amish women have five to ten children). This is noticeable enough that lots of health magazines have articles on The Health Secrets of the Amish and Amish Secrets That Will Add Years To Your Life. As far as I can tell, most of the secret is spending your whole life outside doing strenuous agricultural labor, plus being at a tech level two centuries too early for fast food. But Amish people also die earlier. Lots of old studies say the opposite – for example, this one finds Amish people live longer than matched Framingham Heart Study participants. But things have changed since Framingham. The Amish have had a life expectancy in the low 70s since colonial times, when the rest of us were dying at 40 or 50. Since then, Amish life expectancy has stayed the same, and English life expectancy has improved to the high 70s. The most recent Amish estimates I have still say low seventies, so I think we are beating them now. If they’re healthier, why is their life expectancy lower? Possibly they are less interested in prolonging life than we are. R&D write: Amish people are more willing to stop interventions earlier and resist invasive therapies than the general population because, while they long for healing, they also have a profound respect for God’s will. This means taking modest steps toward healing sick bodies, giving preference to natural remedies, setting common-sense limits, and believing that in the end their bodies are in God’s hands. The Amish health care system has an easier job than ours does. It has to take care of people who are generally healthy and less interested in extreme end-of-life care. It also supports a younger population – because Amish families have five to ten children, the demographics are weighted to younger people. All of these make its job a little bit simpler, and we should keep that in mind for the following sections.

      Good summary of basic stats.

      Source i think is p.144 of https://holmeshealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Holmes-County-2017-Health-Assessment-8-25-17.pdf

      NB: this does not do any correction for age etc. That's a big deal given how Amish have lots of children so ... wonder what age-adjusted mortality rates are ...

    2. Amish people spend only a fifth as much as you do on health care, and their health is fine. What can we learn from them?

      What a great hook to start with.

      In terms of later analysis there is no rigorous attempt to disentangle the basic causative factors of:

      • Lifestyle
      • Community
      • Payment model (ie. insurance and trustworthiness etc)

      As an aside most other developed countries have spending per capita well below US (though maybe not 20% of it).

    3. I’m fascinated by how many of today’s biggest economic problems just mysteriously failed to exist in the past. Our grandparents easily paid for college with summer jobs, raised three or four kids on a single income, and bought houses in their 20s or 30s and never worried about rent or eviction again. And yes, they got medical care without health insurance, and avoided the kind of medical bankruptcies we see too frequently today. How did this work so well? Are there ways to make it work today? The Amish are an extreme example of people who try to make traditional systems work in the modern world, which makes them a natural laboratory for this kind of question.

      I'm unimpressed by the level of intellectual analysis. Is there evidence that everyone's grandparents did this (or just middle class people)? If just middle class it is easy to explain because that group has massively grown so much more competition. Also US pop is about 50%+ bigger leading to much more competition e.g. for housing etc.

    1. It seems to also highlight how much our governments, banks and big corporations roles play into the state of our planet, how much we need them to change so that our individual choices can actually make a significant difference. Read more

      Notice the subtle othering: it's not "us" who have been doing this but the "governments, banks and big corporations" ... But who are their shareholders, who are their citizens, staff, customers etc? Us ...

      Note this is a comment on Attenborough's book. I do wonder what his recommendations are...

    1. Proponents of so-called green growth—economic growth that uses natural resources in a sustainable manner—must show that it is possible to effectively eliminate carbon emissions from developed economies in the space of little more than a decade with no impact at all on economic expansion. This challenge cannot be answered solely by an appeal to technology. The question is not whether technological measures such as energy efficiency and solar power are possible (they clearly are); nor whether, in the past, countries have managed to harness these technologies sufficiently (they clearly haven't); but rather, whether countries can now achieve sufficient gains in a short enough time to allow the pursuit of economic growth indefinitely, while still remaining within the safe operating space of the planet.In a sense, this once again raises the question of whether economic value is something completely separate from—or at least separable from—physical and material flows. Certainly, in the past, the two things have gone hand in hand. According to economics, monetary value surely has something to do with activity. According to physics, activity is impossible without the expenditure of energy. There may well be efficiencies to be had, but these will ultimately be constrained by thermodynamic limits, as all activity is. Those who believe that this is not a constraint on expansion typically appeal to the massive quantities of solar energy that flood Earth. But it remains true that these flows are diffuse (rather than concentrated, as fossil fuels are) and must be captured using material devices.

      Confirms point from Ozzie Zehner's excellent Green Illusions + things like "Renewable Energy without the Hot Air": we are going to have to have lifestyle - tech ain't going to cut it.

      Green growth is one of the greatest "green" illusions. Let's have our cake and eat it we are told by the techno-solutionists.

      As the saying goes: The real clean energy is less energy

    1. After the threat from Google+ had passed,and afteryears of promoting open access to Facebook Platform, Facebook increasingly turned toPlatformas a toolto monitor, leverage, and harm (via rescindingAPI access)apps that Facebook viewed as actual or potential competitive threats.201.In 2013, Facebook amended its Platform policy(described above)to forbid applications that “replicat[e] [Facebook’s] core functionality,” with no explanation as to what Facebook considered its core functionality, or how such policies would apply when Facebook expanded its functionality to a new area.

      Just blatant ...

    2. Facebook was aware that access to its Platform APIs, especially its Find Friends API, was particularly important to potential rivals. In 2011, Facebook adopted a policy aimed at forbidding “competing social platforms,” and any apps that linked or integrated with competing social platforms, from accessing its APIs. Facebook adopted this policy to prevent Google+ from gaining traction:doing sodiscourageddevelopers from creating apps that bridged the two networks, which would have reduced switching costsfor users.

      Straightforward anti-competitive tactics aimed at discriminating against potential competitors. Also evidence for monopoly power since only useful if you have power.

    3. Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp thus substantially lessened competition andfurther entrenched Facebook’s monopoly power in the Personal Social Networking Services market. Moreover, Facebook’s subsequent degradation of the acquired firm’s privacy features reduced consumer choice by eliminating a viable, competitive, privacy-focused option.

      Yep ...

    4. Although valuations of WhatsApp had varied widely over the years, neitherFacebook’s nor those of industry analysts had approached anywhere close to $19 billion. Two years before the acquisition, Zuckerberg had received word that another company offered to purchase WhatsApp for $100 million. At that time, Zuckerberg wrote to Zoufonoun, “I’d pay $1b for them if we could get them.”Zoufonoun agreed.

      Clear evidence that WhatsApp acquisition anti-competitive.

    5. In April 2013, Facebook had entered into a licensing agreement with Onavo. During the negotiation of this licensing agreement, Facebook demanded that a provision be included that gaveFacebook the rightto notice and an opportunity to bid in the event Onavo considered being acquired by another company. Onavo founder Guy Rosen told the Onavo board that such a demand “has become [Facebook’s] standard M.O.these days with startups.”


    6. Zuckerberg’s success in convincing Systrom to sell was based in no small part upon Zuckerberg’s growing reputation for wielding Facebook’s power as a sword. After the initial overture by Zuckerberg in February, Systrom contacted Instagram investor Matt Cohler for advice.Systrom asked: “you know him better than I do ....Will he go into destroy mode if I say no.” Cohler’s response was blunt: “probably (and probably also if we just don’t engage at all).” Systrom summed up the futility of trying to fend off Facebook once it had entered “destroy mode” by saying: “bottom line I don’t think we’ll ever escape the wrath of mark... it just depends how long we avoid it....” Because Instagram relied in significant part on Facebook for exposureand distribution,invoking Zuckerberg’s “wrath” would have negative consequences for the company.

      Clear anecdotal evidence for the "bury" approach of FB. The carrot works because there is a stick in the background. Much like Microsoft before etc.

    7. inspired our success), [sic] but at a high enough price –like $500m or $1b –they’d have to consider it. (Emphasis added)115.Ebersman reacted to the idea cautiously in light of the high price. He asked for further explanation on the motivation for the proposedacquisition. Specifically, he probed whether Zuckerberg was trying to “1) neutralize a potential competitor?...2) acquire talent? ...3) integrate their products with ours in order to improve our service? ... [or]4) other?” In response, Zuckerberg admitted: “It’s a combination of (1) and (3)” (Emphasis added). He went on to explain that “what we’re really buying is time. Even if some new competitors springs [sic] up, buying Instagram, Path, Foursquare, etc now will give us a year or more to integrate their dynamics before anyone can get close to their scale again....[T]hose new products won’t get much traction since we’ll already have their mechanics deployed at scale” (Emphasis added).

      This is a devastatingly clear acknowledgement that FB knew exactly what they were doing.

    8. On August 10, 2009, FriendFeed accepted Facebook’s offer. As Facebook employees internally discussed via email on the day of the acquisition, “I remember you said to me a long time (6 months ago): ‘we can just buy them’ when I said to you that Friendfeed is the company I fear most. That was prescient! :).”
    1. DealBook: How to Fix AmericaLast Updated Dec. 4, 2020, 6:05 a.m. ET43 minutes ago43 minutes ago

      These "bite-size" ideas always seem a bit anaemic. They are TED style quickies. The ideas that would really make a difference are usually more complex and rarely make it.

    2. At historical rates of equity returns of 8 percent annually, a $6,750 at-birth retirement account — which would cost the government $26 billion a year based on the average number of children born in the U.S. each year — would provide retirement assets of more than $1 million at age 65, or $2 million at age 74.

      This is really misleading. a) 8% is now probably to high b) if everyone were doing this, this would clearly affect prices and hence returns ...

    1. Zak Stein, who is a contributor to the aforementioned book Metatheory for the 21st Century, is one of the strongest proponents of post-Integral metamodernism in terms of ‘social justice’ (a term that the IDW has helped nullify). In the Integral conference debate in 2015, the “weak argument” Stein proposes is that Integral should at least become more informed about what capitalism is. The “strong argument” is that Integral should be, at the very least, post-capitalist. Given that Integral was doing neither, the way people used terms like “green meme” and “second tier” became, Stein says, substitutions for actual thought.

      This is also kind of true of e.g. Buddhism and many other spiritual traditions: they don't have a very thought out socio-political vision. Instead they have an advanced form of the "personal is political". I suspect this is part intentional, part accidental. Getting involved in critiques of capitalism, at least at a detailed level, tends to get political quickly and getting political in general a) risks obsolescence (and being wrong) b) risks alienating potential participants c) risks being wrong (and dangerously wrong, e.g. being misused to justify, say, authoritarianism).

      All that said, I think this is a major lacunae both of Integral and spiritual traditions.

    2. On the podcast Emerge, Daniel Thorson interviews Robert MacNaughton on Learnings from the Life and Death of the Integral Center (2019) which survey the history of tensions within the community itself. And in a no holds barred interview, Jamie Wheal vividly discusses The Legacy of Integral (2019), with its ample pros and cons, saying 2nd Tier created far more problems than it solved. People got a “contact high” from reading Wilber, Wheal says, which “resulted in a bunch of dissociated eggheads masquerading as Jedi and thinking they could solve the world from the position of a whiteboard.”

      People got a “contact high” from reading Wilber, Wheal says, which “resulted in a bunch of dissociated eggheads masquerading as Jedi and thinking they could solve the world from the position of a whiteboard.”

      Much truth to that.

  4. Nov 2020
    1. Radicals thus find themselves under fire from opposite directions. If they refuse to debate what kind of cultural policies might flourish under socialism, for example, they are being shifty; if they hand you a thick bunch of documents on the question, they are guilty of blue-printing. Perhaps it is impossible to draw a line between being too agnostic about the future and being too assured about it. The Marxist philosopher Walter Benjamin reminds us that the ancient Jews were forbidden to make icons of what was to come, rather as they were forbidden to fashion graven images of Yahweh. The two prohibitions are closely related, since for the Hebrew scriptures, Yahweh is the God of the future, whose kingdom of justice and friendship is still to come. Besides, the only image of God for Judaism is human flesh and blood. For Benjamin, seeking to portray the future is a kind of fetishism. Instead, we are driven backwards into this unexplored territory with our eyes fixed steadily on the injustice and exploitation of the past. Knowing exactly where we are going is the surest way of not getting there. In any case, the energies we invest in envisaging a better world might consume the energies we need to create it. Marx had no interest in human perfection. There is nothing in his work to suggest that post-capitalist societies would be magically free of predators, psychopaths, free-loaders, Piers Morgan-types or people who stow their luggage on aircraft with surreal slowness, indifferent to the fact that there are 50 people queuing behind them. The idea that history is moving ever onwards and upwards is an invention of the middle-class Enlightenment, not of the left.

      Classic arguments against utopianism ie. against trying to envision a radically better future:

      1. It's just forbidden
      2. It will distract us from doing it "Knowing exactly where we are going is the surest way of not getting there. In any case, the energies we invest in envisaging a better world might consume the energies we need to create it."

      We also have another citation of Marx being anti-ontological (and avoiding the tough questions).

    1. “There’s fear. It’s real fear. And I understand if you’re not a conservative it’s hard to be empathetic and it seems like an exaggeration,” Ms. Stuckey said. “But like the same kind of fear on the left that Trump is a unique threat to the country, there’s a real fear on the right, especially I would say from Christians, of what the country would look like under a Democratic president.”

      That last paragraph is especially revealing and important:

      “There’s fear. It’s real fear. And I understand if you’re not a conservative it’s hard to be empathetic and it seems like an exaggeration,” Ms. Stuckey said. “But like the same kind of fear on the left that Trump is a unique threat to the country, there’s a real fear on the right, especially I would say from Christians, of what the country would look like under a Democratic president.”

    1. have increasingly become the parties of educated metropolitan elites. As their traditional working-class base has eroded, the influence of globalized professionals, the financial industry, and corporate interests has risen. The problem is not just that these elites often favor economic policies that leave middle and lower-middle classes and lagging regions behind. It is also that their cultural, social, and spatial isolation renders them incapable of understanding and empathizing with the worldviews of the less fortunate.


    1. Many outlets, he argued, are missing something important. “The people making the media are young college graduates in big cities, and that kind of politics makes a lot of sense to them,” he said. “And we keep seeing that older people, and working-class people of all races and ethnicities, just don’t share that entire worldview. It’s important to me to be in a position to step outside that dynamic … That was challenging as someone who was a founder of a media outlet but not a manager of it.”

      interesting point.

    2. In our interview, Yglesias explained why pushing back against the “dominant sensibility” in digital journalism is important to him. He said he believes that certain voguish positions are substantively wrong—for instance, abolishing or defunding police—and that such arguments, as well as rhetorical fights over terms like Latinx, alienate many people from progressive politics and the Democratic Party.


    1. But the pathologies, illiberalism, and repressive mentality that led to the bizarre spectacle of my being censored by my own media outlet are ones that are by no means unique to The Intercept. These are the viruses that have contaminated virtually every mainstream center-left political organization, academic institution, and newsroom. I began writing about politics fifteen years ago with the goal of combatting media propaganda and repression, and — regardless of the risks involved — simply cannot accept any situation, no matter how secure or lucrative, that forces me to submit my journalism and right of free expression to its suffocating constraints and dogmatic dictates.


    2. Today I sent my intention to resign from The Intercept, the news outlet I co-founded in 2013 with Jeremy Scahill and Laura Poitras, as well as from its parent company First Look Media.The final, precipitating cause is that The Intercept’s editors, in violation of my contractual right of editorial freedom, censored an article I wrote this week, refusing to publish it unless I remove all sections critical of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, the candidate vehemently supported by all New-York-based Intercept editors involved in this effort at suppression.


    1. What has happened, I think, is relatively simple: A critical mass of the staff and management at New York Magazine and Vox Media no longer want to associate with me, and, in a time of ever tightening budgets, I’m a luxury item they don’t want to afford. And that’s entirely their prerogative. They seem to believe, and this is increasingly the orthodoxy in mainstream media, that any writer not actively committed to critical theory in questions of race, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity is actively, physically harming co-workers merely by existing in the same virtual space. Actually attacking, and even mocking, critical theory’s ideas and methods, as I have done continually in this space, is therefore out of sync with the values of Vox Media. That, to the best of my understanding, is why I’m out of here. Two years ago, I wrote that we all live on campus now. That is an understatement. In academia, a tiny fraction of professors and administrators have not yet bent the knee to the woke program — and those few left are being purged. The latest study of Harvard University faculty, for example, finds that only 1.46 percent call themselves conservative. But that’s probably higher than the proportion of journalists who call themselves conservative at the New York Times or CNN or New York Magazine. And maybe it’s worth pointing out that “conservative” in my case means that I have passionately opposed Donald J. Trump and pioneered marriage equality, that I support legalized drugs, criminal-justice reform, more redistribution of wealth, aggressive action against climate change, police reform, a realist foreign policy, and laws to protect transgender people from discrimination. I was one of the first journalists in established media to come out. I was a major and early supporter of Barack Obama. I intend to vote for Biden in November.
    2. Since I closed down the Dish, my bloggy website, five years ago, after 15 years of daily blogging, I have not missed the insane work hours that all but broke my health.
    1. Anditisclearthatthislackofsocialconsciousnessisinfactadistincteconomiclossinaveryconcretesense,aswellofcourseasalossinthepossiblewell-runningofapoliticalsystem.IapproachthisfromthepointofviewofaneconomistsoIspeakofthefail-uresofthepricesystem;Iamsureonecouldcometothesameendfromotherpointsofview.Butstartingfromthispointofview,thefactthatwecannotmediateallourre-

      And continues:


      The crucial sentences ...

      we cannot mediate all our responsibilities to others through prices, through paying for them, makes it essential in the running of society that we have what might be called “conscience,” a feeling of responsibility for the effect of one’s actions on others.

      Why economics 101 misses so much.

    2. Thereisstillanothersetofinstitutions,ifthatistherightword,Iwanttocalltoyourattentionandmakemuchof.Theseareinvisibleinstitutions:theprinciplesofethicsandmorality.Certainlyonewayoflookingatethicsandmorality,awaythatiscompatiblewiththisattemptatrationalanaly-sis,isthattheseprinciplesareagreements,consciousor,inmanycases,unconscious,tosupplymutualbenefits.Theagreementtotrusteachothercannotbebought,asIhavesaid;itisnotevennecessarilyveryeasyforittobeachievedbyasignedcontractsayingthatwewillworkwitheachother.

      This is a form of cultural functionalism.

      Personally, I would term these as culture distinct from institutions. Institutions may formalize culture -- and support it. But they are outward manifestations of something deeper.

      I return now to my developing archaeological layering of of socio-ecology. Each layer interacts with the other but the lower ones are more "fundamental":

    3. Societiesintheirevolutionhavedevelopedimplicitagree-mentstocertainkindsofregardforothers,agreementswhichareessentialtothesurvivalofthesocietyoratleastcontributegreatlytotheefficiencyofitsworking.Ithasbeenobserved,forexample,thatamongthepropertiesofmanysocietieswhoseeconomicdevelopmentisbackwardisalackofmutualtrust.

      And this takes us exactly into the realm of culture.

      Now we could expand economics to include this area -- and a brilliant polymathic character like Arrow would doubtless wish to and be able to do this. But it is not common in the profession and seems to me that the conventional economic tools are of limited usefulness.

      We are more in the realm of anthropology, sociology etc.

    4. Therearemanyotherorganizationsbesidethegovern-mentandthefirm.Butallofthem,whetherpoliticalpartyorrevolutionarymovement,universityorchurch,sharethecom-moncharacteristicsoftheneedforcollectiveactionandtheallocationofresourcesthroughnonmarketmethods.


    5. Butinternally,andespeciallyatlowerlevels,therelationsamongtheemployeesofafirmareverydifferentfromthearm’slengthbargainingofourtextbooks.AsHer-bertSimonhasobserved,anemploymentcontractisdifferentinmanywaysfromanordinarycommoditycontract;anemployeeissellingwillingnesstoobeyauthority,aconceptofcentralimportancetowhichIwillreturninalaterchapter.

      Employees sell willingness to obey authority ...

    6. Iamnotinterestedheresomuchinthesespecificexamplesastoshowthatsomethinglikethisoccursinmoresubtlecontexts.Considerwhatisthoughtofasahigherormoreelusivevaluethanpollutionorroads:trustamongpeople.Nowtrusthasaveryimportantpragmaticvalue,ifnothingelse.Trustisanimportantlubricantofasocialsystem.Itisextremelyefficient;itsavesalotoftroubletohaveafairdegreeofrelianceonotherpeople’sword.Unfortunatelythisisnotacommoditywhichcanbeboughtveryeasily.Ifyouhavetobuyit,youalreadyhavesomedoubtsaboutwhatyou’vebought.Trustandsimilarvalues,loyaltyortruth-telling,areexamplesofwhattheeconomistwouldcall“ex-ternalities.”Theyaregoods,theyarecommodities;theyhavereal,practical,economicvalue;theyincreasetheefficiencyofthesystem,enableyoutoproducemoregoodsormoreofwhatevervaluesyouholdinhighesteem.Buttheyarenotcommoditiesforwhichtradeontheopenmarketistech-nicallypossibleorevenmeaningful.

      I understand Arrow and once agreed with him but i do wonder how useful it is to think of these as "goods" or "commodities".

    7. Rationality,afterall,hastodowithmeansandendsandtheirrelation.Itdoesnotspecifywhattheendsare.Itonlytriestomakeusawareofthecongruenceordissonancebetweenthetwo.Soultimatelyanyvaluediscussionmustcometoaresttemporarilyonunanalyzedpostulates.
    8. AllItrytoinsisthereisthatsomesenseofrationalbalancingofendsandmeansmustbeunderstoodtoplayamajorroleinourunderstandingofourselvesandoursocialrole.Letmeil-lustratebypresentingor,moreprecisely,caricaturingsomethoughttendencies.Wehaveone,looselycalled“thenewLeftthought,”notsonewperhaps;someofuswhohavereadalittlebitofthehistoryofthoughthaveheardofanarcho-syndicalismbefore.BakuninandSorelhadspokentothesamepointmanyyearsago.Butitisarealone.Thereisademandforwhatmightbetermedsincerity,foracompleteunity

      It continues (over the page break)


    9. TheNewRight,initslibertarianrepresentatives,alsoresolvestheconflictinitsownway.Itseekstodeny,oratleastminimize,theroleofthestateandofcollectiveactionandresponsibility,andsubstitutesfortheseclaims,withtheirdifficultmoralandpowerconsequences,theworshipofthemarket.




    1. to explain the world of interactions and outcomes occurring at multiple levels, we also have to be willing to deal with complexity instead of rejecting it. some mathematical models are very useful for explaining outcomes in particular settings. We should continue to use simple models where they capture enough of the core underlying structure and incentives that they usefully predict outcomes. When the world we are trying to explain and improve, however, is not well described by a simple model, we must continue to improve our frameworks and theories so as to be able to understand complexity and not simply reject it.
    2. B. The Central Role of Trust in Coping with Dilemmaseven though arrow (1974) long ago pointed to the crucial role of trust among participants as the most efficient mechanism to enhance transactional outcomes, collective-action theory has paid more attention to payoff functions than to how individuals build trust where others are recip-

      The central role of trust ...

      Trust is essentially the contextual level of belief that others will cooperate / behave well.

      Where does that come from? Well culture of course ... (and institutions)

      With culture itself built on the prior experiences, outcomes etc.

    3. simply assuming that humans adopt norms, however, is not sufficient to predict behavior in a social dilemma, especially in very large groups with no arrangements for communication. even with strong preferences to follow norms, “observed behavior may vary by context because the perception of the ‘right thing’ would change” (de oliveira, croson, and eckel 2009: 19). various aspects of the context in which individuals interact affect how indi-viduals learn about the situation they are in and about the others with whom they are interacting. individual differences do make a difference, but the context of interactions also affects behavior over time (Walker and ostrom 2009). Biologists recognize that an organism’s appearance and behavior are affected by the environment in which it develops.for example, some plants produce large, thin leaves (which enhance photosynthetic photon harvest) in low light, and narrow, thicker leaves (which conserve water) in high light; certain insects develop wings only if they live in crowded conditions (and hence are likely to run out of adequate food in their current location). such environmentally contingent development is so commonplace that it can be regarded as a universal property of living things. (Pfennig and ledón-rettig 2009: 268)social scientists also need to recognize that individual behavior is strongly affected by the context in which interactions take place rather than being simply a result of individual differences.

      +10 and this is culture!

    4. 428their role in climate change-related emissions and carbon sequestration (canadell and raupach 2008), the biodiversity they contain, and their con-tribution to rural livelihoods in developing countries. a “favorite” policy rec-ommendation for protecting forests and biodiversity is government-owned protected areas (terborgh 1999). in an effort to examine whether govern-ment ownership of protected areas is a necessary condition for improving forest density, hayes (2006) used ifri data to compare the rating of forest density (on a five-point scale) assigned to a forest by the forester or ecologist who had supervised the forest mensuration of trees, shrubs, and ground-cover in a random sample of forest plots.9of the 163 forests included in the analysis, 76 were government-owned forestslegally designated asprotected forestsand 87 were public, private, or communally owned forested lands used for a diversity of purposes. no statistical difference existed between the forest density in officially designated protected areas versus other forested areas. Gibson, Williams, and ostrom (2005) examined the monitoring behav-ior of 178 forest user groups and found a strong correlation between the level of monitoring and a forester’s assessment of forest density even when controlling for whether users were formally organized, whether the users were heavily dependent on a forest, and the level of social capital within a group.chhatre and agrawal (2008) have now examined the changes in the condition of 152 forests under diverse governance arrangements as affected by the size of the forest, collective action around forests related to improve-ment activities, size of the user group, and the dependence of local users on a forest. they found that “forests with a higher probability of regeneration are likely to be small to medium in size with low levels of subsistence depen-dence, low commercial value, high levels of local enforcement, and strong collective action for improving the quality of the forest” (ibid.: 1327). in a second major analysis, chhatre and agrawal (2009) focus on factors that affect tradeoffs and synergies between the level of carbon storage in forests and their contributions to livelihoods. they find that larger forests are more effective in enhancing both carbon and livelihoods outcomes, particularly when local communities also have high levels of rule-making autonomy.

      they found that “forests with a higher probability of regeneration are likely to be small to medium in size with low levels of subsistence depen-dence, low commercial value, high levels of local enforcement, and strong collective action for improving the quality of the forest”

      That's not exactly surprising giving basic game theoretic intuitions e.g. smaller => less collective action challenges, low commercial value => less incentive to cut down etc.

    5. since the design principles are described extensively in e. ostrom (1990, 2005), i will list only a brief updated list as developed by cox, arnold, and villamayor-tomás (2009):1a.User Boundaries: clear and locally understood boundaries between legitimate users and nonusers are present.1B. resource Boundaries: clear boundaries that separate a specific common- pool resource from a larger social-ecological system are present.2a. congruence with local conditions: appropriation and provision rules are congruent with local social and environmental conditions.2B. appropriation and Provision: appropriation rules are congruent with provision rules; the distribution of costs is proportional to the distribution of benefits.3. collective-choice arrangements: Most individuals affected by a resource regime are authorized to participate in making and modifying its rules.4a. Monitoring Users: individuals who are accountable to or are the users monitor the appropriation and provision levels of the users.4B. Monitoring the resource: individuals who are accountable to or are the users monitor the condition of the resource.5.Graduated sanctions: sanctions for rule violations start very low but become stronger if a user repeatedly violates a rule.6. conflict-resolution Mechanisms: rapid, low-cost, local arenas exist for resolving conflicts among users or with officials.7.Minimal recognition of rights: the rights of local users to make their own rules are recognized by the government.8. nested enterprises: When a common-pool resource is closely connected to a larger social-ecological system, governance activities are organized in multiple nested layers.the design principles appear to synthesize core factors that affect the prob-ability of long-term survival of an institution developed by the users of a re-source. cox, arnold, and villamayor-tomás (2009) analyzed over 100 studies by scholars who assessed the relevance of the principles as an explanation of the success or failure of diverse common-pool resources.

      Empowering the smallest relevant group to make choices and construct rules etc is optimal ...

    6. schlager and ostrom (1992) drew on the earlier work of John r. commons ([1924] 1968) to conceptualize property-rights systems as containing bundles of rights rather than a single right. the meta-analysis of existing field cases helped to identify five property rights that individuals using a common-pool resource might cumulatively have: (1) access – the right to enter a specified property,4 (2) Withdrawal – the right to harvest specific products from a re-source, (3) Management – the right to transform the resource and regulate

      Full quote:

      schlager and ostrom (1992) drew on the earlier work of John r. commons ([1924] 1968) to conceptualize property-rights systems as containing bundles of rights rather than a single right. the meta-analysis of existing field cases helped to identify five property rights that individuals using a common-pool resource might cumulatively have: (1) access – the right to enter a specified property,4 (2) Withdrawal – the right to harvest specific products from a re-source, (3) Management – the right to transform the resource and regulate 4 the concept of access rights has puzzled some scholars. an everyday example of an access right is the buying of a permit to enter a public park. this assigns the holder of a permit the right to enter and enjoy hiking and other nonharvesting activities for a defined period of time. 420internal use patterns, (4) exclusion – the right to decide who will have access, withdrawal, or management rights, and (5) alienation – the right to lease or sell any of the other four rights. conceiving of property-rights bundles is now widely accepted by scholars who have studied diverse property-rights systems around the world (Brunckhorst 2000; degnbol and Mccay 2007; Paavola and adger 2005; trawick 2001; J. Wilson et al. 1994)

      Note how this maps to: access, (use), share and build on rights we talk about for digital material.

      For digital material withdrawal is split between access (when withdrawn for private use) and sharing/building on (when for public use).

      Management is what we would term overall ownership. Exclusion usually goes with management. And alienation goes to the underlying holder.

    7. in cPr dilemmas where individuals do not know one another, cannot communicate effectively, and thus cannot develop agreements, norms, and sanctions, aggregate predictions derived from models of rational individuals in a noncooperative game receive substantial support. these are sparse environments and full rationality appears to be a reasonable assumption in them. (e. ostrom, Gardner, and Walker 1994: 319)

      It is interesting to think of the factors that make this more of less likely e.g. larger groups will make it more likely people do not know each other; societies with high geographic mobility will make it more likely people don't know each other; strong, shared culture will make it more likely people can develop agreements, norms and sanctions and enforce them (so e.g. a common strong religion such as in New England in 17th c will make collective action easie etc).

    8. this was an immense effort. More than two years was devoted to develop-ing the final coding manual (e. ostrom et al. 1989). a key problem was the minimal overlap of variables identified by case study authors from diverse dis-ciplines. the team had to read and screen over 500 case studies in order to identify a small set of cases that recorded information about the actors, their strategies, the condition of the resource, and the rules-in-use.3a common set of variables was recorded for 44 subgroups of fishers who harvested from inshore fisheries (schlager 1990, 1994) and 47 irrigation systems that were managed either by farmers or by a government (tang 1992, 1994).of the 47 irrigation systems included in the analysis, 12 were managed by governmental agencies of which only 40 percent (n = 7) had high perfor-mance. of the 25 farmer-managed, over 70 percent (n = 18) had high perfor-mance (tang 1994: 234). rule conformance was a key variable affecting the adequacy of water over time (ibid.: 229). none of the inshore fishery groups analyzed by schlager were government-managed and 11 (25 percent) were not organized in any way. the other 33 subgroups had a diversity of informal rules to define who was allowed to fish in a particular location and how har-vesting was restricted (schlager 1994: 260)
    9. the national research council (nrc) established a commit-tee in the mid-1980s to assess diverse institutional arrangements for effective conservation and utilization of jointly managed resources.

      Hurrah, they start to do systematic analysis:

      the national research council (nrc) established a commit-tee in the mid-1980s to assess diverse institutional arrangements for effective conservation and utilization of jointly managed resources. the nrc com-mittee brought scholars from multiple disciplines together and used the 418iad framework in an effort to begin to identify common variables in cases where users had organized or failed to organize (oakerson 1986; nrc 1986). finding multiple cases where resource users were successful in organizing themselves challenged the presumption that it was impossible for resource users to solve their own problems of overuse. the nrc report opened up the possibility of a diversity of studies using multiple methods. the nrc effort also stimulated an extended research program at the Workshop that involved coding and analyzing case studies of common-pool resources written by other scholars.

    10. netting 1972
    11. 4. are rational individUals helPlessly traPPed in social dileMMas?the classic assumptions about rational individuals facing a dichotomy of or-ganizational forms and of goods hide the potentially productive efforts of in-dividuals and groups to organize and solve social dilemmas such as the over-harvesting of common-pool resources and the underprovision of local public goods. the classic models have been used to view those who are involved in a Prisoner’s dilemma game or other social dilemmas as always trapped in the situation without capabilities to change the structure themselves. this ana-lytical step was a retrogressive step in the theories used to analyze the human condition. Whether or not the individuals who are in a situation have capaci-ties to transform the external variables affecting their own situation varies dramatically from one situation to the next. it is an empirical condition that varies from situation to situation rather than a logical universality. Public in-vestigators purposely keep prisoners separated so they cannot communicate. the users of a common-pool resource are not so limited

      Basic PD is limited as it ignores everything we can do from structures to culture to address it.

      So formulated I think this is less a limitation of PD than simply demonstrating the creative ways we solve basic PD - or solve coordination problems in general.

      Ostrom's target here seems to be the "central plannerish" models where collective action issues must be solved by "external officials", cf her next paragraph:

      When analysts perceive the human beings they model as being trapped inside perverse situations, they then assume that other human beings ex-ternal to those involved – scholars and public officials – are able to analyze 417the situation, ascertain why counterproductive outcomes are reached, and posit what changes in the rules-in-use will enable participants to improve out-comes. then, external officials are expected to impose an optimal set of rules on those individuals involved. it is assumed that the momentum for change must come from outside the situation rather than from the self-reflection and creativity of those within a situation to restructure their own patterns of interaction.

      This seems to me, at least now, as somewhat of a tangential problem. The really interesting thing is simply where we can usefully investigate whether there are common factors influencing whether a group does effectively manage collective action problems (and collective resources) -- and when they don't.

    12. in the 1970s, the earlier work on effects of diverse ways of organizing the provision of water in metropolitan areas was extended to policing and public safety. We found that while many police departments served 80 metropolitan areas that we studied, duplication of services by more than one department to the same set of citizens rarely occurred (e. ostrom, Parks, and Whitaker 1978). further, the widely held belief that a multiplicity of departments in a metropolitan area was less efficient was not found. in fact, the “most efficient producers supply more output for given inputs in high multiplicity metropolitan areas than do the efficient producers in metropolitan areas with fewer producers” (e. ostrom and Parks 1999: 287). Metropolitan areas with large numbers of autonomous direct service producers achieved higher

      Full quote is:

      in the 1970s, the earlier work on effects of diverse ways of organizing the provision of water in metropolitan areas was extended to policing and public safety. We found that while many police departments served 80 metropolitan areas that we studied, duplication of services by more than one department to the same set of citizens rarely occurred (e. ostrom, Parks, and Whitaker 1978). further, the widely held belief that a multiplicity of departments in a metropolitan area was less efficient was not found. in fact, the “most efficient producers supply more output for given inputs in high multiplicity metropolitan areas than do the efficient producers in metropolitan areas with fewer producers” (e. ostrom and Parks 1999: 287). Metropolitan areas with large numbers of autonomous direct service producers achieved higher 412levels of technical efficiency (ibid.: 290). technical efficiency was also en-hanced in those metropolitan areas with a small number of producers pro-viding indirect services such as radio communication and criminal laboratory analyses. We were able to reject the theory underlying the proposals of the metropolitan reform approach.

    13. ‘Polycentric’ connotes many centers of decision making that are formally independent of each other. Whether they actually function independently, or instead constitute an interdependent system of relations, is an empirical question in particular cases. to the extent that they take each other into account in competitive relationships, enter into various contractual and cooperative undertakings or have recourse to central mechanisms to resolve conflicts, the various political jurisdictions in a metropolitan area may function in a coherent manner with consistent and predictable patterns of interacting behavior. to the extent that this is so, they may be said to function as a ‘system’. (v. ostrom, tiebout, and Warren 1961: 831–32)drawing on the concept of a public service industry (Bain 1959; caves 1964; v. ostrom and e. ostrom 1965), several studies of water industry performance were carried out in diverse regions of california during the 1960s (v. ostrom 1962; Weschler 1968; Warren 1966; e. ostrom 1965). substantial evidence was found that multiple public and private agencies had searched out productive ways of organizing water resources at multiple scales contrary to the view that the presence of multiple governmental units without a clear hierarchy was chaotic. further, evidence pointed out three mechanisms that increase productivity in polycentric metropolitan areas: (1) small- to medium-sized cities are more effective than large cities in monitor-ing performance of their citizens and relevant costs, (2) citizens who are dissatisfied with service provision can “vote with their feet” and move to jurisdictions that come closer to their preferred mix and costs of public services, and (3) local incorporated communities can contract with larger producers and change contracts if not satisfied with the services provided, while neighborhoods inside a large city have no voice.

      So it does provide evidence that smaller works better (ie. collective action problems (?) get worse the larger you are e.g. small cities are better than big ones).

      This is a very interesting empirical finding and would seem to me to reflect a combination of folk theorem plus collective action problem i.e. multiple actors can efficiently coordinate over a period of time and smaller entities work better than larger ones.

    14. the market was seen as the optimal institution for the production and exchange of private goods. for nonprivate goods, on the other hand, one needed “the” government to impose rules and taxes to force self-interested individuals to contribute necessary resources and refrain from self-seeking activities. Without a hierarchical government to induce compliance, self-seeking citizens and officials would fail to generate efficient levels of public goods, such as peace and security, at multiple scales (hobbes [1651] 1960; W. Wilson 1885). a single governmental unit, for example, was strongly recommended to reduce the “chaotic” structure of metropolitan governance, increase efficiency, limit conflict among governmental units, and best serve a homogeneous view of the public (anderson and Weidner 1950; Gulick 1957; friesema 1966). this dichotomous view of the world explained patterns of interaction and outcomes related to markets for the production and exchangeof strictly private goods (alchian 1950), but it has not adequately accounted for internal dynamics within private firms (Williamson 1975, 1986). nor does it adequately deal with the wide diversity of institutional arrangements that
    1. Gregor Aisch, Adam Pearce, and Karen Yourish, “The Divide Between Red and Blue America Grew Even Deeper in 2016,” The New York Times, November 10, 2016; See also Gregor Aisch, Adam Pearce, and Karen Yourish, “How Large Is the Divide Between Red and Blue America?,” The New York Times, November 4, 2016; See also David Wasserman, “Purple America Has All But Disappeared,” FiveThirtyEight, March 8, 2017.

      More evidence that divide is real.

    2. What Divides The Parties Now?The parties are divided on both social/identity and economic issues, but more so on identity issues. The gaps between the Clinton and Trump voters on questions of racial resentment, immigration, attitudes toward Muslims, and moral issues are consistently wide. There is very little overlap between the two camps on these issues.By contrast, although the parties are divided on economic issues, there is more overlap. Particularly in the Republican Party, there are a wide range of views on economic issues, now that the party has expanded to include more and more populists who were formerly Democrats.

      A fairly brutal riposte to the More in Common thesis (and consistent with my view that More in Common were taking liberties with their data to fit their thesis).

    3. Though many on the far left argue that Clinton would have won had she been more progressive and excited more Sanders voters, the data here suggest that Clinton may have lost some Democratic voters because her campaign was too left leaning, particularly on the identity and social issues, but perhaps also some issues of government intervention as well.

      But Sanders is both more economically progressive than Clinton and, in many ways, more socially conservative. Thus he would have been attractive.

    1. In Global Catastrophic Risks 2016, we referred to a number used in the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change: a 0.1% annual chance of human extinction. Stern uses this as a modelling assumption for discussing discount rates. There is a small amount of discussion of this figure in the Stern Review. It is clear that Stern did not intend the figure as an estimate. We’ve had a critique of our use of the figure forwarded to us, and we think its analysis is useful. We had no intention of using this figure in a misleading way, and we agree that we made a mistake in how we presented this figure. We should have been clearer about what the status of the number in the Stern Review was and about how we intended to use the comparison. Throughout the rest of the report, we are very explicit that we do not believe it is possible to make robust probability estimates of extinction or catastrophic risk and do not attempt to (except for asteroid and super-volcano risk). This mistake does not affect the validity of the main points of the report – that global catastrophic risks are worth addressing and that there are things we can do to address them. In our report, we originally wrote that: “It is easy to be misled by the apparently low probabilities of catastrophic events. The UK’s Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change suggested a 0.1% chance of human extinction each year, similar to some rough estimates of accidental nuclear warfare. At first glance, this may seem like an acceptable level of risk. Moreover, small annual probabilities compound significantly over the long term. The annual chance of dying in a car accident in the United States is 1 in 9,395. However, this translates into an uncomfortably high lifetime risk of 1 in 120. Using the annual 0.1% figure from the Stern Review would imply a 9.5% chance of human extinction within the next hundred years.” We were aware that the Stern Review used this figure merely as a modelling assumption, and were trying to give a concise accurate statement. Our intention in using the figure from the Stern Review was not to try to pin down an accurate estimate of the likelihood of global catastrophe, but to demonstrate that existing serious analysis treats the 0.1% probability as a plausible modeling assumption, which would have consequences that are interesting and non-intuitive. We also had a full-page summary pull-quote, which said: “The UK’s Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change suggested a 0.1% chance of human extinction each year. If this estimate is correct, a typical person is more than five times as likely to die in an extinction event as in a car crash.” This implies more confidence in the 0.1% figure than either we felt or expect the Stern Review to have felt, and more than our argument required. The car crash comparison was picked up in The Atlantic, which reported it as an unconditional claim and emphasised it in their article. We did not intend to argue that the 0.1% figure was an accurate estimate of extinction risk (as we did not plan to offer an estimate of extinction risk), so this was inadvertently misleading to Atlantic readers. We believe that in general The Atlantic stood out by doing an excellent job of engaging constructively with our work. We are also sorry in particular that we allowed the word ‘estimate’ to enter the soundbite on the full page. This error occurred at a late stage in the editing; the word was introduced to avoid an ambiguity, but not subjected to proper review. We have carefully reviewed our language concerning the Stern Review, and written to our partners at the Global Challenges Foundation who published the report to change this to: “The probabilities of these catastrophic events are low but not negligible. Moreover, small annual probabilities compound significantly over the long term. We do not know of a robust estimate of the annual probability of global catastrophic risk. Nor do we believe that we are able to create a robust estimate because the uncertainties in key parameters are so large. However, for extinction risks some experts have suggested that a 0.1% annual chance of extinction is within the range of plausible orders of magnitude. A 2008 Oxford survey of expert judgement on the topic implied an average annual extinction risk over the next century of around 0.2%. [1] The UK’s Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change used 0.1% as an upper bound modeling assumption for annual extinction risk. Now let’s suppose that the chance of extinction were 0.1% per year and consider the consequences. It may seem at first glance that this would be an acceptable level of risk. However, that would mean an individual would be more than five times as likely to die in an extinction event than a car crash. Moreover, these small annual probabilities add up, so that the chance of extinction within the next century under this scenario is 9.5%.  A global catastrophe, which involves the death of 10% of the global population, is more likely than an event that involves human extinction. As a result, even if 0.1% were on the high side for extinction risk, it might be of the appropriate order of magnitude for global catastrophic risk.” We are also correcting a citation and adding a citation to [1] Sandberg, A. & Bostrom, N. (2008): “Global Catastrophic Risks Survey”, Technical. Report #2008-1, Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford University: pp. 1-5. We are also making the corresponding changes in the one-page soundbite and will also write to The Atlantic to inform them of the inadvertent inaccuracy in the article, and offer to help in correcting the nuance of the article.

      Beautiful example of a detailed (and reasonable) correction after the horse has bolted i.e. the report is out there, being used in media etc. I came across via 3 hyperlink trail from the report of an otherwise very admirable foundation where i found the claim "a typical person today is five times more likely to die in an extinction event than a car crash." There link took me to the Atlantic which had added an errata at the top (no doubt some time after their article was out) which took me to here.

      I also find the correction somewhat dubious:

      We do not know of a robust estimate of the annual probability of global catastrophic risk. Nor do we believe that we are able to create a robust estimate because the uncertainties in key parameters are so large. However, for extinction risks some experts have suggested that a 0.1% annual chance of extinction is within the range of plausible orders of magnitude. A 2008 Oxford survey of expert judgement on the topic implied an average annual extinction risk over the next century of around 0.2%. [1] The UK’s Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change used 0.1% as an upper bound modeling assumption for annual extinction risk.

      The experts they cite are, guess what, Sandberg and Bostrom from the very same organization they are associated with (Future of humanity). Their number seems IMO too high. A 0.2% risk per annum => 20% chance of total extinction in the next 100y (and where do these point estimates come from anyway!).

      Furthermore, this is not a constant risk as with say a car crash (where the risk exists every time i drive).

  5. Oct 2020
    1. (J) removing greenhouse gases from the 19atmosphere and reducing pollution by restoring 20natural ecosystems through proven low-tech so-21lutions that increase soil carbon storage, such 22as land preservation and afforestation;

      Great to do this. How effective are these technologies ...?

    2. (C) meeting 100 percent of the power de-18mand in the United States through clean, re-19newable, and zero-emission energy sources, in-20cluding—

      e.g. How on earth is this going to happen without major reductions in consumption. See "Renewable Energy without the Hot Air" for a detailed analysis for the UK showing how tough that is.

    3. 2) the goals described in subparagraphs (A) 18through (E) of paragraph (1) (referred to in this 19resolution as the ‘‘Green New Deal goals’’) should 20be accomplished through a 10-year national mobili-21zation (referred to in this resolution as the ‘‘Green 22New Deal mobilization’’) that will require the fol-23lowing goals and projects—

      The following are general areas with no specifics of how this would work in any detail. Maybe that is intentional ...

    1. So far this year, regulatory credits account for $1.18 billion, or 7% of total automotive revenue.

      But unlike revenue these are pure profit ...

    2. Revenue rose to a record $8.77 billion from $6.30 billion a year earlier. Analysts had expected revenue of $8.36 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.Excluding items, Tesla posted a profit of 76 cents per share. It reported net income of $331 million, or $874 million excluding stock-based compensation awards given to Musk.Revenue from the sale of regulatory credits made up $397 million. Without that revenue, Tesla would not have achieved a profitable quarter.
    1. For the past four years, I’ve followed a group of steelworkers in Indiana — men and women, Black and white — who had worked at a factory that moved to Mexico. I watched them agonize about whether to train their Mexican replacements, or stand with their union and refuse. I watched them grieve the plant like a parent. I followed them as they applied for new jobs, some of which paid half as much as they made before.A machinist named Tim carried his steelworker union card in his wallet for years after the factory closed, just to remind himself who he was. Tim grew up in a union household. His dad had been an autoworker; his grandfather, a coal miner.“We always voted Democrat because they looked after the little man,” Tim told me. “My father went to his grave and I can guarantee you he never voted for a Republican.”Tim had such faith in Democrats that he didn’t worry when President Bill Clinton pushed the North American Free Trade Agreement over the finish line in 1993. Nor did he worry when Mr. Clinton normalized trade with China in 2000. But then the factory where Tim worked moved to Shanghai. And the next one moved to Mexico.Editors’ PicksA Korean Store Owner. A Black Employee. A Tense Neighborhood.The Problem of Free Speech in an Age of Disinformation5 Things to Avoid on Prime DayAdvertisementContinue reading the main storyBy the time I met Tim, he loathed the Clintons and the Democratic Party. Democrats had gotten in bed with the corporations, while no one was looking. Tim felt betrayed, and politically abandoned — until Mr. Trump came along.

      By the time I met Tim, he loathed the Clintons and the Democratic Party. Democrats had gotten in bed with the corporations, while no one was looking. Tim felt betrayed, and politically abandoned — until Mr. Trump came along.


    1. It must be able to interface with the current economic system; must be able to move resources from the current system into the transitional system.Must lead to a new attractive basin that moves a critical mass of resources to the new system, that past a tipping point becomes auto-poetic. (This probably requires out-competing the current system, in a way that can scale to everyone, while obsoleting the destructive forms of competition within the new system – the last act of win/lose gaming dynamics as they transcend themselves.)


      At the same time we must compete with the current dominant paradigm and have to provide food, shelter and healthcare at a comparable standard.

    2. It must disincentive all activity that could lead towards catastrophic threats, intentionally or unintentionally; must not incent local or near term positives that increase probability of global or long term negatives. This is particularly critical to get right regarding the incentives on the development of exponential technologies.

      good point

      Use of probability may be a bit technocratic. This is about judgment and wisdom.

    3. They are currently all fundamentally inadequate to the scope, urgency, and nature of the issues and dynamics civilization now faces and must undergo a discrete phase shift to axiomatically restructured, higher order systems.

      Does he mean the discipline or the economy, culture etc itself?

      i ask because culture isn't usually a discipline (though i would like it to be!)

    4. Economics is a facet of social architecture, inseparable from infrastructure, culture, governance, law, defense, information systems, education and human development, etc. These systems co-evolve and co-influence each other.

      Yes +1.

    5. The complexity science and technological capacity for closed loop regenerative technology ecosystems

      What is a closed loop regenerative technology ecosystem?

    6. The sensor and data science capacity to maintain a real-time balance sheet of the global commons

      Really? The major commons is knowledge and how would we "measure" that?

    7. Computer science innovations (distributed ledgers, public key cryptography, div/merge, matching algorithms, etc) offering solutions to critical issues in game theory (byzantine generals, etc), intellectual property (partial attribution, etc), and information fidelity and access (high signal to noise ratio distributed sense-making), etc.

      This is a lot of buzz words. I'm not quite sure how this is actually making things unstable ...

    8. For all systems of structural incentive, the incentive of any actor (individual or group), must be rigorously aligned with the well-being of all other agents in the system and of the commons writ large. Ie, all externalities must be internalized – all the consequences of activity within the system must be included in the system’s accounting.

      Sure ...

      This is a bit "I want a million dollars"

      You can write this down and the devil is in how to implement it.

    1. Kennedy’s performance was shockingly sub-par and created a clear impression that he had no particular reason, other than personal ambition, for seeking the highest office in the land. “He was running because he wanted to be president,” Carter’s chief of staff later noted. “That was not such an unusual motive, but most aspirants figure out some way to disguise it better.”

      That's a great line.

    2. Historians and political scientists see the matter differently today. Kennedy’s own vote counters later conceded that he lost 59 out of 70 white precincts in Gary. While Kennedy’s internal polls showed him faring better than might be expected among former supporters of George Wallace’s bid for the Democratic nomination four years earlier, he nevertheless struggled to retain working-class, white ethnic voters and relied instead on robust turnout in minority neighborhoods for his electoral cushion.

      Democrats were already on the trajectory of losing blue-collar whites by the end of the 60s.

    1. Fifth, and most challenging, we can work to reverse the divergence between the centre and the periphery. The previous four elements would help with this. But greater policy efforts are needed to give regions, where possible, a critical mass of knowledge jobs so they can connect with the leading economic activity in national centres.

      These are all downstream (redistributive) fiscal policies - nothing here on seriously addressing the main driver of inequality which is a "closed" information economy. Having identified the source at the start Sadhu is failing to think through the logic. (Or i suspect not seeing fully the source of the inequality related to automation and IT ie. costless copying plus monopoly rights).

    2. These changes are not, on the whole, the fault of globalisation, that scapegoat of the populist insurgency, but of technology-driven changes combined with policies that have reinforced the underlying forces of divergence.

      +1 this is precisely argument of open revolution.

    1. Agreement

      The first thing i want here is key info like ... cost, how it works, culture

      Whatever of this is already on the main website we can just link to so we avoid duplication. But let's have all the items here for now so we have a comprehensive overview.

    2. Life Itself currently has two hubs: Berlin and Bergerac.

      This ends up being duplicate of main site and getting out of date. Just give the link to the main site. This is the background material.

    3. weller, wiser

      wiser, weller world.

    1. Finally, we believe in Getting Things Done (opens new window). #

      That does not make sense as a phrase. Getting things done is a particular approach to certain things.

    2. it is important to understand some of the key tools and processes that we use

      that would be important anyway. I think the previous point about self organized is just more about how we do things.

    3. s

      in a self-organized way

    4. “stuff”


    1. Theoretic chaos has replaced the idealistic thinking of old--and, unable to reconstitute theoretic order, men have condemned idealism itself. Doubt has replaced hopefulness--and men act out a defeatism that is labeled realistic. The decline of utopia and hope is in fact one of the defining features of social life today. The reasons are various: the dreams of the older left were perverted by Stalinism and never re-created; the congressional stalemate makes men narrow their view of the possible; the specialization of human activity leaves little room for sweeping thought; the horrors of the twentieth century symbolized in the gas ovens and concentration camps and atom bombs, have blasted hopefulness. To be idealistic is to be considered apocalyptic, deluded. To have no serious aspirations, on the contrary, is to be "tough-minded."
    2. It has been said that our liberal and socialist predecessors were plagued by vision without program, while our own generation is plagued by program without vision. All around us there is astute grasp of method, technique--the committee, the ad hoc group, the lobbyist, the hard and soft sell, the make, the projected image--but, if pressed critically, such expertise in incompetent to explain its implicit ideals. It is highly fashionable to identify oneself by old categories, or by naming a respected political figure, or by explaining "how we would vote" on various issues.

      This is the beginning of the sixties. deja vu ... ;-)

    3. No Utopias

      This is 1962 and the Port Huron statement and this is cited as a modern slogan.

    1. They also noted that the OCEAN contract “contained a pause function for unforeseen emergencies like this one,” which calls into question the claims made by the developers of these protocols who say their platforms are “decentralized.” If they were truly decentralized, then it would not be possible to shut them down, even if there is an emergency.

      Yes, kind of not so decentralized ...

    1. Marcuse’s concept of essence is not transcendental but historical. That is, there is no human essence apart from historical context.

      And there you go: the historicist fallacy.

    2. In a nutshell, what Marcuse sees in the 1844 Manuscripts is an analysis of the social conditions for a communist revolution. The revolution itself requires the development of radical subjectivity. Radical subjectivity refers to the development of a form of self-consciousness that finds present social and economic conditions intolerable. The radical act is a refusal of these conditions and an orientation toward social transformation. To make sense of Marcuse’s position we must ask: what are these intolerable conditions and how are they produced? Philosophical anthropology and radical subjectivity are connected here insofar as the intolerable conditions that must be overcome by revolution or the radical act represent social distortions of the human essence. It is Marx and Hegel who provided Marcuse with a philosophical anthropology that discloses human essence and the social mechanisms by which it is distorted. The key category here is that of “alienation” which cannot be understood without examining the role of labor and objectification.

      ... a philosophical anthropology that discloses human essence and the social mechanisms by which it is distorted.

      And this illustrates the trap of an unsound ontology. The ultimate dimension is always available - though conditions may render the work to discover it easier or harder.

      The key category here is that of “alienation” which cannot be understood without examining the role of labor and ...

      This may be relevant in the relative dimension but not for the ultimate.

    3. At the end of the day, Marcuse sees that Heidegger avoids the type of analyses that would reveal systems of oppression and domination from which many human beings suffer. The modes of existence for Dasein have a social, historical, and political context that shape the way they are experienced. For example, Dasein has a race, gender, class, etc. These particular features come with specific social interpretations which affect Dasein’s life’s prospects. According to Marcuse, Heidegger’s Dasein is a sociologically and biologically neutral category (Marcuse 2005b: 167). Heidegger gives no account of the multiple forms of oppression and domination present in advanced industrial societies nor the way that individuals respond to these forms of oppression and domination. In a 1977 interview conducted by Frederick A. Olafson, Marcuse raises the following criticism of Heidegger: How does the individual situate himself and see himself in capitalism—at a certain stage of capitalism, under socialism, as a member of this or that class, and so on? This entire dimension is absent. To be sure, Dasein is constituted in historicity, but Heidegger focuses on individuals purged of the hidden and not so hidden injuries of their class, their work, their recreation, purged of the injuries they suffer from their society. There is no trace of the daily rebellion, of the striving for liberation. The Man (the anonymous anyone) is no substitute for the social reality (Marcuse 2005b: 169)

      This is just total misunderstanding of Heidegger: Heidegger is working towards the ultimate dimension. These concerns raised here are relative concerns. This is a great illustration of how western thought in general, and critical theory in general is lacking this distinction (between ultimate and relative dimensions) -- and how problematic that is.

    4. In this context, “anthropology” does not refer to the study of past cultures, as it often does in the United States. Instead, it refers to the German idea of anthropology which is more of a philosophical and social scientific examination of human nature.

      What i would call ontology.

  6. Sep 2020
    1. At the global level none of the 20 targets have been fully achieved, though six targets have been partially achieved (Targets 9, 11, 16, 17, 19 and 20). Examining the 60 specific elements of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, seven have been achieved and 38 show progress. Thirteen elements show no progress or indicate a move away from the target, and for two elements the level of progress is unknown. The table on the following pages provides an overview of the progress made towards each of the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

      +!!. So 0/20 achieved. 6 partially achieved. Of more granular items 7/60 and 38 show progress. 13 we have gone backward.

    1. But my story line would be different from Jack’s: it would document not the exhaustion of utopian energies, but rather a continual, dedicated struggle for their renewal. Habermas would be the hero of the book, naturally. His contributions to the “unfinished project” of modernity would provide the dominant narrative arc. In turning away from Heidegger, in channeling the legacy of the Frankfurt School in new directions, in never shying away from public debate and exchange, Habermas has opposed valiantly the forces of what he once called “the new obscurity” — a term that seems to describe only too perfectly our current situation, marked as it is by the forces of social media disinformation, political polarization, and xenophobia. If only in a modest sense, Habermas has kept utopia alive. [28] Invoking the work of John Rawls, he has gone so far as to defend “the realistic utopia of human rights.” [29] It is something, even if it is not, as some scholars have suggested, everything. [30]

      We live in an era of small dreams, of pallid hopes.

      It is something, even if it is not, as some scholars have suggested, everything. [30]


    2. One of the books for which Jack Diggins was most well known was Up from Communism, a group portrait of four American intellectuals — Max Eastman, John Dos Passos, James Burnham, and Will Herberg — who over time traded their youthful flirtations with leftist radicalism for supposedly more sober forms of conservatism. First published in 1975, the book was, in its own way, an account of the “exhaustion of utopian energies.” It was about thinkers for whom “the problem with utopia” became “not how to realize it but how to prevent its realization.” [25] In other words, up from communism meant down with utopia.

      +utopianism:bad name.

      It was about thinkers for whom “the problem with utopia” became “not how to realize it but how to prevent its realization.”

  7. Jul 2020
    1. You can read more about Life Itself’s offerings on our website:

      Omit ...

    1. GitHub/ GitLab Permissions

      Why is this in running the org - this is instructions for onboarder

    2. please email the OPS team (office@datopian.com) with the following information:

      Why office@ rather than office requests?

      More generally, why not use a form for this vs email. I think in general we want forms vs email.

  8. Jun 2020
    1. Piketty’s account of the past 40 years is less a story of capital being unleashed (as most histories of neoliberalism have it) than of progressive ideologies running out of steam. The failure of communism played a crucial role in this, producing a new fatalism about the capacity of politics to deliver equality. Globalisation eroded national borders, while “hypercapitalism” delivered concentrations of wealth not witnessed since 1914. In the context of post-socialist ideological cynicism
    1. Free and Open

      But it's not free and open (as defined by e.g. open source definition or free software definition). It's restricted.

      Quite understand the basic motivation ... and ... misusing terms is misleading.

    1. Many years later, the iPad was good at the simple media consumption convenience part of the idea, but fell quite flat in many ways with regard to the two larger ideas of (a) user authoring of meta-media, and (b) an environment to help children learn powerful ideas by making and sharing them. The latter was not in Apple’s goals at all: users (even children) were forbidden to make actively programmable things on the iPad and share them on the Internetthere was no stylus for drawing with the machine, and years later when one finally was added they omitted a place to store it (!) — and even still they did not include proximity sensing (compare with the Wacom Cintiq).fluent typing was not addressed in the design (we knew in 1968 that even with a touch-screen, a physical keyboard would almost certainly be needed). It is somewhat bizarre (even in this bizarre world) that Microsoft took more into account in its physical designs for the Surface …most importantly, Apple made no effort to help children by funding curriculum development, how to help them learn, etc. Steve’s earlier “Wheels for the Mind” ideal was long gone: buried in simple consumerism.So: don’t confuse the Dynabook idea with the physical resemblance to the iPad. The latter has thousands of times the capacity of what I had in mind, but its conception is thousands of times more meager.

      most importantly, Apple made no effort to help children by funding curriculum development, how to help them learn, etc. Steve’s earlier “Wheels for the Mind” ideal was long gone: buried in simple consumerism.

      It's brutal and true.

    1. table_row_count_estimate.csv Quickly see the number of rows in each table. table_sizes.csv See table "size on disk" as reported by Postgres stats. (Actual size is smaller.) writes_tables.csv Show the number of writes for each table.

      I think getting one consolidated table (in csv then => google sheets) with per table stats in one piece is what i really want.

      I also want "owner" info if we can somehow get that.

      Also where are the "master" tables vs the data tables?

    2. fdptest

      fdp = fiscal data package?

      fdptest = something we can drop ... (?)

    3. Total number of tables

      Across all dbs or openspending?

    1. Table of contents

      Generally i would have ToC after intro / summary para.

      why? b/c it is usual and engaging to have some immediate text (think of a news article etc) ... and things like google or fb will pull first substantial text to make a summary etc so we want actual content. (also i suspect in the blog listing page).

    2. Art / Earth / Tech

      for me and [Life Itself]{link} is the concrete ...

    3. very skillfully illustrate the ideas with stories, walk through complex ideas and retain a balanced tone

      walk through complex ideas, skilfully illustrate the ideas with anecdotes and stories and retain the nuance of the underlying subject matter.

    4. but a very good academic, balanced tone from Gardner and Tetlock

      ... but overall a very good balance of academic and popular.

      Current text does not make sense ...

    5. Superforecasting

      I would add full title maybe both here and URL for SEO purposes ... (superforecasting is a bit vague).

  9. May 2020
    1. This is why we postulate to have a central declaration file (as in YAML or JSON) per data asset, capturing all these properties required to run a generalized task (carried out by a custom operator). In other words, operators are designed in a generic way and receive the name of a data asset, from which they can grab its declaration file and learn how to parameterize and carry out the specific task.


    1. What I Think Should Be Done  For the previously explained reasons, I believe that capitalism is a fundamentally sound system that is now not working well for the majority of people, so it must be reformed to provide many more equal opportunities and to be more productive. To make the changes, I believe something like the following is needed.  Leadership from the top. I have a principle that you will not effect change unless you affect the people who have their hands on the levers of power so that they move them to change things the way you want them to change. So there need to be powerful forces from the top of the country that proclaim the income/wealth/opportunity gap to be a national emergency and take on the responsibility for reengineering the system so that it works better. Bipartisan and skilled shapers of policy working together to redesign the system so it works better. I believe that we will do this in a bipartisan and skilled way or we will hurt each other. So I believe the leadership should create a bipartisan commission to bring together skilled people from different communities to come up with a plan to reengineer the system to simultaneously divide and increase the economic pie better. That plan will show how to raise money and spend/invest it well to produce good double bottom line returns. Clear metrics that can be used to judge success and hold the people in charge accountable for achieving it. In running the things I run, I like to have clear metrics that show how those who are responsible for things are doing and have rewards and punishments that are based on how these metrics change. Having these would produce the accountability and feedback loop that are required to achieve success. To the extent possible, I’d bring that sort of accountability down to the individual level to encourage an accountability culture in which individuals are aware of whether they are net contributors or net detractors to the society, and the individuals and the society make attempts to make them net contributors.   Redistribution of resources that will improve both the well-beings and the productivities of the vast majority of people. As an economic engineer, naturally I think about how money might be obtained from taxes, borrowing, businesses, and philanthropy, and how it would flow to affect prices and economies. For example, I think about how a change in personal tax rates might occur and how changes in them relative to corporate tax rates would affect how money would flow, and how changes in tax rates in one location relative to another location would drive flows and outcomes in them. I also think a lot about how the money raised will be spent—e.g., how much will be spent on programs that will improve both social and economic outcomes, and how much will be redistributive. Such decisions would of course be up to the people on the bipartisan commission and the leadership to decide and are way too complicated an engineering exercise for me to opine on here. I can, however, give my big picture inclinations. Above all else, I’d want to achieve good double bottom line results. To do that I’d:

      Not one mention of systematic change about information policy - nothing like open revolution.

      Core is some redistribution. Nothing substantive about how the basic mechanisms will change.

    2. Policy makers pay too much attention to budgets relative to returns on investments. For example, not spending money on educating our children well might be good from a budget perspective, but it’s really stupid from an investment perspective

      Policy makers?? The people who elect them. You have created systems that are extremely responsive to an oft ill-informed public.

    3. The pursuit of greater profits and greater company efficiencies has also led companies to produce in other countries and to replace American workers with cost-effective foreign workers, which was good for these companies’ profits and efficiencies but bad for the American workers’ incomes.

      I think this argument is relevant but much less important than point 1. And there's not much you can do about this ...

    4. The pursuit of profit and greater efficiencies has led to the invention of new technologies that replace people, which has made companies run more efficiently, rewarded those who invented these technologies, and hurt those who were replaced by them. This force will accelerate over the next several years, and there is no plan to deal with it well.

      This is huge - this is the essence of open revolution. Though he phrases it as a choice. The choice is in the rules we create.

  10. Apr 2020
    1. We are a strategic discovery, design and development lab working to transition society in response to technological revolution and climate breakdown.

      Seem interesting and progressive. Very elegant website etc 😉

    1. EIT Climate-KIC is a Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC), working to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy. Supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, we identify and support innovation that helps society mitigate and adapt to climate change. We believe that a decarbonised, sustainable economy is not only necessary to prevent catastrophic climate change, but presents a wealth of opportunities for business and society.

      would be interesting to understand more about their budget, philosophy and approach.

    1. About InfluenceMap InfluenceMap empowers investors, corporations, the media and campaigners with data-driven and clearly communicated analysis on critical issues associated with climate change and the energy transition. Our flagship platform is the world's leading analysis of how companies and trade associations impact climate-motivated policy globally.
    1. Our Deep Demonstrations are just that: Eight large-scale pan-European initiatives made up of a co-ordinated portfolio of projects designed to trigger systems change. These initiatives—from Just Transformations to Resilient Regions and Long-termism—follow our systems innovation methodology, in which we collaborate with design partners on ambitious systems-level challenges that are identified by “challenge owners” such as city mayors, regional leaders, government ministers, citizen leaders and CEOs of major companies. While most of the Deep Demonstrations are in the early stages, the work we have done with Slovenia shows what we can accomplish. The Slovenian government has embraced the radical, holistic approach that underpins our Deep Demonstrations, and their parliament has passed a motion adopting our proposal to become a fully circular economy. This collaboration is a part of our overall vision for the Deep Demonstration model—to trigger rapid decarbonisation and enhanced resilience across Europe.

      Amazing ... and is this all innovation based? If not, how are they doing this culturally and institutionally ...

    1. To understand the High Line’s effect on surrounding property prices, we analysed publicly available valuation data from NYC’s Department of Finance, and cross-referenced it with property sales data for blocks and individual plots (a detailed methodology is available 👉 here). This meant we could track how the values of surrounding properties have changed since the High Line’s arrival.What’s interesting is that if we group the properties in bands roughly one kilometre wide from the High Line you start to see that between 2007 (when construction started) and 2018 (when the data ends), properties closer to the High Line experienced a greater value increase on average than those further away. So the mean property value uplift for houses within 1km of the High Line was actually 92% more than the Manhattan mean. Or to put it another way — if you owned an apartment in that 1km, you earned on average about $67,000 a year from the uplift alone. 🤑

    1. Perhaps the greatest obstacle to redrawing the political map of the United States in this way is our bipartisan tradition of worshiping the founders. For many of the framers of the Constitution, nothing was more disturbing than the possibility that the Union would fracture into three or four smaller republics, or regional “sub-confederations.”

      I would hazard that US is far above optimal state size for wellbeing and wisdom.

    1. These videos are part of a new, free online course on income inequality in the United States available through Khan Academy.

      Look at the video it looks like it has the classic multi-factorial explanation. But there is a fundamental driver here ...

    1. Daniel Markovits, author of “The Meritocracy Trap,” estimates there are about one million of these workers in America today. They work really hard, are really productive and earn a lot more. In the mid-1960s, profits per partner at elite law firms were less than five times a secretary’s salary. Now, Markovits notes, they are over 40 times.

      That latter statistic is fascinating. Are top partners 8x more more productive (relatively) than secretaries? Maybe but probably not. There's more going on that the crude info economy argument of simply greater marginal productivity. I would also look at concentration of income across law firms - i bet there has been concentration towards the top firms.

    2. I chose to go to Compton and Watts for a specific reason, which offers a way forward. Harvard economist Raj Chetty recently led a study that showed that though these two neighborhoods are demographically similar and only 2.3 miles apart, 44 percent of the black men who grew up in Watts were incarcerated on April 1, 2010, compared with only 6.2 percent of the black men who grew up in families with similar incomes in Central Compton. Similarly, social mobility was much lower in Watts than in Compton.Why are some neighborhoods, including some in Compton, able to give their kids better chances in life despite so many disadvantages? Chetty points to several factors: better schools, more fathers present in the neighborhoods and more cohesive community organizations.I found all those things in my reporting in Compton — and something else. Watts is part of Los Angeles. Compton is its own city with its own mayor. I met a lot of great people in Watts, but Compton has more civic infrastructure — community groups and locally controlled government agencies. Compton has a lot of homegrown civic reformers, like Rafer Owens, who is a deputy Los Angeles County sheriff and pastor at a Baptist church. There’s also a mentality: We have faith in our ability to take care of ourselves; only people in the neighborhood really know what’s going on.

      Fascinating but be careful of descending into structural-solutionism vs the culture. cf Putnam and Italy. Structures arise from (and also, of course, create and sustain) culture.

    3. But here’s the situation: The information economy rains money on highly trained professionals — doctors, lawyers, corporate managers, engineers and so on.

      But why does it rain money on them? And who else does that?

    4. Did you marry before having kids and raise your kids in a two-parent home? The children of the well educated are now much more likely to grow up in stable families, and those differences in family structure explain 32 percent of the growth of family income inequality since 1979.

      Really? That's an amazing number? Where does that analysis come from? And how does it control for other (confounding) factors?

    1. We’re not talking about small numbers here. According to estimates by the Rockefeller Institute, from 2015 to 2018 Kentucky — which pays relatively little in federal taxes, because it’s fairly poor, but gets major benefits from programs like Medicare and Social Security — received net transfers from Washington averaging more than $33,000 per person. That was 18.6 percent of the state’s G.D.P.
    1. The big thing about the Web isn’t the technology, it’s that it’s the first-ever platform without a vendor (credit for first pointing this out goes to Dave Winer). From that follows almost everything that matters, and it matters a lot now, to a huge number of people. It’s the only kind of platform I want to help build.

      First, and nearly last atm.

    2. The iPhone vision of the mobile Internet’s future omits controversy, sex, and freedom, but includes strict limits on who can know what and who can say what. It’s a sterile Disney-fied walled garden surrounded by sharp-toothed lawyers. The people who create the apps serve at the landlord’s pleasure and fear his anger. I hate it. I hate it even though the iPhone hardware and software are great, because freedom’s not just another word for anything, nor is it an optional ingredient.

      Simple, brutally and accurately put.

    1. There now is a loud call for more “ethics in design”.

      And it's a focus on supply not demand. Trying to get your friendly drug dealer to voluntary reduce supply never works that well.

    2. Focusing on the user is without any doubt a positive development for our industry. Design should serve humans. Measuring results and verifying assumptions may have been a painful process for the old masters. Life is change. Only, how much of what makes us human is truly measurable and verifiable? How do we measure friendship? By the number of replies per month? By the length of replies? With computer linguistics? How do we measure usefulness? Lots of page views? Few page views? Stickiness? Number of Subscriptions? How do we measure trust? By the number of likes? Retweets? Comments? How do we measure truth?

      👍 Great points and the critique of the measurement fallacy (aka drunkard and lamp-post) is spot-on.

      Design should serve humans

      That's the crux of the difficulty - and the critique. Because what does the user really want (and even if they know do they choose it)? Ans: often no and no. See https://rufuspollock.com/2019/04/18/false-consciousness-and-what-we-really-want/

      Good design serves users but it serves their deeper wants and needs -- not just their immediate ones. Furthermore it takes cultivation and skill to appreciate and serve these deeper wants and needs.

      The danger with measurement is that it is "biased": it is easier to measure some things than others, in particular it is easier to measure the effects on near-term (and trivial) behaviour (clicks etc) and much harder to assess effects on longer-term and/or deeper changes (are you well, more whole etc).

    1. The field of transition research has experienced exponential growth over the last fifteen years and has had a significant impact, socio-technical. It has produced a wide range of analytical concepts along with science based interventions. It has however also become to a certain extent locked-in into a focus on socio-technical regimes in the predevelopment phase.

      So what are the results of that research? What do we know about transitions? What patterns are there? What techniques do we have?

    2. Over the coming years, we will work with local and national governments in these processes seeking to radically alter their dominant way of thinking and working and to experimentally develop new distributed models of non-linear systemic governance

      👍on the practical engagement with policy.

      Still not really sure what some of the terms mean e.g. what would "distributed models of non-linear systemic governance" look like

      More generally, i need a clearer sense of what linear vs non-linear (systems) approaches involve. (e.g. don't command and control systems still involve feedback loops etc?)

      I also think i'd like his definition of systems (vs non-system) thinking. I see the term used a lot and i have a sense of this from e.g. Senge or (more precisely) in Commons' MHC "systematic" level.

    3. From my perspective this would at least require a deep change in how we measure value, define labor and organize the financial system.

      Yes, and maybe more importantly in what we value - not just how we measure it.

    4. My personal focus will be on further developing the understanding, idea and practice of governance panarchy in light of the New Transformation. How can we reconceptualize the role of government and the state, how to reinvent the democratic system and how to reorganize our societies within social, economic and ecological boundaries. The basic idea of the three governance mechanisms I presented (bottom-up, top-down and phase-out) I will take as starting points to develop further a theoretical conceptualization of governance panarchy in the context of societal transitions addressing the period of instability, chaos, conflict, disruption and, hopefully, emergence of new sustable regimes. I aim to do so by working in a transdisciplinary way with proactive and transformative actors within government, business, science and civil society.

      No small ambition then 😄- and a lot of buzzwords 🙁

      Also not quite about term "panarchy" (rule of everyone)? What exactly does that mean?

    5. The majority of scholars in the social science domains seem to have abandoned the idea that there are identifiable patterns of change and broader explanations and therefore prediction and ex ante analysis are impossible.

      ❗- good point (and he is disagreeing with this) - see previous highlight.

    6. As the transition we identified would predom-inantly require a shift in thinking and practices, the discussions were designed to help professionals and young people come to a new understanding and practice. To put it bluntly: the professionals needed to find out themselves that they were in part sustaining the problem. In the past couple of months there has been some progress on developing this shared understanding, formulating a corresponding vision and identifying some breakthrough projects. However, it is also becoming clear that the transitional problem is persistent and that the regime itself is very robust.

      No sh** "... also becoming clear that the transitional problem is persistent and that the regime itself is very robust." In short, transformation of culturo-institutional structures is hard: many of the existing stakeholders have incentives and -- more importantly -- views / self worth tied up in the existing equilibrium and moving to a new one is hard.

    7. Our conclusion was that the field of professionals themselves are in this way unable to deal with the problem, which is created earlier on (in their home situations, in the professional youth care, on the streets) and that the reflex to organize solutions has mainly led to an increasing field of professionals and increasing systemic costs with no apparent impact on the quality of life of the young people involved. Also there is a constant competition between professional organizations and interest groups for (small) subsidies to conduct ‘innovative projects’ in some sort of search for the holy (institutional) grail for fighting youth homelessness.

      [This is about dealing with youth homelessness] Wow - to the point and spot on especially point about the roots of these issues likely having occurred much earlier on.

    8. The original principles for transition governance (such as long-term thinking, a focus on experimentation and learning, selective participation and dealing with systemic uncertainties) are derived from the understanding of social change as systemic, non-linear and complex.

      These factors e.g. long-termism, experimentation and learning seem to have a lot in common with classic features of wisdom and being wise (in managing).

    9. Transition scenarios

      Various options for how transition can go: is it smooth, does old regime suddenly collapse etc ...

    10. Three governance mechanisms that need to come together to seize transition points.

      To summarize for myself:

      • Has some concept of a "paradigm" or "socio-technical" system (not super well-defined but some accumulation/grouping of individual socio-technical setups e.g. modernity he said was 1) central control 2) fossil fuels 3) linear thinking. New system is 1) distributed control 2) renewables 3) systems thinking).
      • Transition is moment when you cross-over (ie. more than 50%?) from one system to another

      From p.39

      Comment: (not just on this section) this seems overly simplified e.g. change in mentality is more than systems thinking (?) - cf teal in wilber stuff.

    11. ince the 1970s alternative currencies, renewable (energy) technologies, local democracies and sustainable community initiatives started to appear. For long these were small, expensive and often ridiculed as too alternative. But over time and with experience they grew, developed and matured. By now, many of these alternatives are starting to touch mainstream, from urban gardens and farms to energy producing buildings and from renewable energy cooperatives to credit unions and collective health care insur-ances. As I will argue such examples are part of a more fundamental underlying and structural process of transformation in which we shift from the drivers of modernity towards a new set of drivers.

      A little techno-solutionist for my tastes.

    12. Environmental policies much like the Sustainable Development discourse have become part of these established regimes and have primarily served to optimize these regimes making them a bit less unsustainable. I thus come to conclude that Sustainable Development itself has become part of the problem. The currently dominant regimes based on the foundations of modernity, are systemically unsustainable in a fundamental way.

      Yes! It is an elastoplast on the gaping wound. The painkiller that let's you get by your dislocated shoulder so you don't do anything about it.

    13. The two cases are to me clear examples of the ́sustainability lock-in’: we seem to be caught in a vicious cycle of optimizing and inherently unsustainable system which closes down the space for the development of inherently better alternatives
    14. business and markets were as free as possible.

      This was the lie though: they weren't real free markets and they didn't incorporate externalities. Really it was the wolf of "rent extraction" (often by big business) dressed up in the sheep's clothing of "marketism". Marketism is still mistaken and lends itself to this abuse but strictly it isn't just the markets fault we are screwing the planet.

    15. I argue that the development of the modernistic regimes part of the Great Transformation started to stabilize around the 1960s. At the same time we can see that the New Transformation started to develop in niches. Already from the early 1960s, people started to become aware of the inherent unsustainability of our systems of consumption and production, in terms of environmental impact, economic equity and social justice. Ulrich Beck has previously pointed at this process in which societies become increasingly aware of negative externalities and start to deal with these and called this ‘reflexive modernisation’ (Beck 1994). The established regimes however predominantly focused on optimization, improvement and efficiency to reduce negative impacts. Over time however these regimes, because of their focus on optimization, became increasingly locked-in, adding to the persistency as well as their systemic vulnerability. Simultaneously the understanding of the persistent nature of our problems along with the alternative technologies and practices slowly ripened and matured. We are now in a period where dominant regimes become fundamentally challenged by these alternatives, creating the contexts for tensions, conflicts, surprises and, ultimately, disruptive systemic changes.

      Very wilber / spiral dynamics esque. Emergence of "green" in the 60s culminating in semi-takeover by the 90s.

      Also a nice argument for the "time is now", or, rather "transition is coming" [ed: let's jump aboard.]

    16. Most of the progress achieved in the Great Transformation has been powered by central planning, fossil resources and linear thinking. As much as social struggles and economic innovations have contributed to progress and growth, I argue that it is the triplet of central control, fossil resources and linear thinking that is the driving engine of modernity.

      Ooh. Definite, interesting and certainly contentious.

      What about technological innovation and science? (or is that linear thinking?)

    17. Understanding the Great Transformation as a family of socio-technical transitions.

      This def seems like a misuse of Polanyi as his focus was strongly on the political dimensions of this change - little if anything to do with the socio-technical. But this may be a gripe ... (the greater concern is how deeply they are reading Polanyi - or maybe my reading is the erroneous one!)

    18. Only through continuous dialectic processes of choice and resistance does society change, not in an endless gradual but in a shock-wise and non-linear way.

      so it's saying that change is not of a constant rate? Is this punctuated equlibria, phase transition or ...

      What distinguishes the different hypotheses for these types of movements and how would we assess the empirics against them?

      The "is it evolution or revolution" debate is very old ...

    19. The transition perspective offers a coherent and descriptive explanation to such processes of seem-ingly coincidental change

      What is the transition perspective? And what alternative perspective does it contrast with?

    20. his process has been described as the industrial revolution, modernization or ́the great transformation ́(Polanyi 1944).

      That is a slightly unusual reading of Polanyi IMO. He focused on 3 aspects and was a very critical take.

    1. The .ORG Stewardship Council will haveauthority to provide independent advice on anda binding right tovetomodifications proposed by Registry Operator to Registry Operator’s policies in the .ORG domain name space regarding: (x) censorship and freedom of expression; and (y) use of .ORG registrant and user data (the “Designated Policies”), in each case in accordance with the .ORG Stewardship Council charter (the “Charter”). Notwithstanding the foregoing, Registry Operator reserves the right at all times to ensure compliance in its sole judgment with applicable laws, policies and regulations.

      Ok, but the key aspect of pricing is not covered.

    2. Affordability.As of the Effective Date (June 30, 2019), the price Registry Operator charges to ICANN-accredited registrars for .ORG initial domain name registrations or renewal(s) of domain name registrations is US$9.93 (the "Service Fee"). At all times during the period ending eight (8) years following the Effective Date, the maximum allowable Service Fee (the “Applicable Maximum Fee”) that Registry Operator may charge to registrars for .ORG initial domain name registrations or renewal(s)

      Only 8y

    1. An intellectual prodigy as a child, Wilber was a Doctoral student at Duke University in biology when he quit his program in order to, as he put it, “sit in a room by myself and stare at a wall for five years.” He then went on a binge of studying eastern spirituality, religion, and psychology.

      Any references for this? What evidence was there that he was a child prodigy?

    2. Ken Wilber is the smartest man you’ve never heard of.

      Brilliant opening hook (and title)! If you haven't heard of him you are intrigued and if you have you pat yourself on the back for being in the know.

    3. Wilber’s story is a cautionary tale. His intellectual understanding was immense, as much as I’ve ever come across in a single person. He also tapped into some of the farthest reaches of consciousness, spiritual or not, that humans have self-reported. I do believe that. But ultimately, he was done in by his pride, his need for control and, well, ironically his ego.The point is, if Wilber can succumb to it, any of us can. No one is immune. No matter how brilliant and how “enlightened” we are, we’re all animals.

      I just don't get the syllogism here. What did he fail in exactly? For his institute to be as successful as it should have been? I don't really get how he was "done in"?

    4. Following Wilber online, the conversation seemed to only become more and more insular. With an onslaught of problems in the world crying out for an integral perspective and solution — terrorism, the Iraq War, climate change, world hunger, financial crises — the silence coming from the Integral crowd was deafening. Major global and social issues were often only referred to in passing as descriptors for a certain level of consciousness development with the overarching implication being that “they” are not as highly developed as “we” are.We’re “second-tier” thinkers. We’re going to change the world… as soon as we’re done talking about how awesome and “second-tier” we are.Instead, most conversations involved esoteric spiritual topics, impulsive self-expressionism, and re-explaining the integral model in 4,102 different ways. For a philosophy based on including and integrating as much as possible, its followers sure expressed it by forming a nicely-sealed bubble around themselves.

      This is a really useful critique and extremely useful for Art Earth Tech. In summary Integral Institute / Community had issues with:

      • Engagement with wider social issues (and any kind of "political" (socioeconomic) program / position)
      • Being inward looking, onanistic and self-regarding
      • Tendency to woo-woo spirituality (?)

      These are all mistakes AET can and should avoid.

    5. Wilber bragged in an interview that he never planned anything at Integral Institute

      Reference please (i believe it and i would like to read the interview).

    6. brilliant mind does not necessarily make a brilliant leader.

      No kidding! Organizing and ideating are different things.

    7. What Wilber taught me is that no depth of spiritual experience can negate our physical and primal drives for power, lust, and validation. As primates, we’re wired to seek someone to look up to as well as to be looked up to by others. And that’s true whether we’re experiencing Godhead or bodhisattva or not. It’s inescapable.

      Is this absolutely true? How do you know? I think it def likely that as Wilber himself pointed out: waking up and growing up are quite different things!

    8. As humans, we have a tendency to cling to ideologies. Any positive set of beliefs can quickly turn malevolent once treated as ideology and not an honest intellectual or experiential pursuit of greater truth.

      Totally agree - but I'm not clear that this basic truism is actually illustrated by the Wilber case. Frankly i'm still left unclear what happened: Wilber might well have been poor at planning, had flaws in his some of his analysis and been a tad arrogant back in the 80s ... Nothing shows these problems arose once the integral institute was set up ...

    9. But what he seems to have missed is that worshipping consciousness development itself, Wilber’s so-called “second-tier” thinking, leads to the same disastrous repercussions Wallace warned of: vanity, power, guilt, obsession.No one is immune.

      This seems to me a big leap to conclusions here - or at least confusion of the argument. It's one thing to argue that Wilber is/was flawed as a human being and as an organizer and another to say that somehow this leads from "second-tier" thinking. The basic logic of the syllogistic argument does not hold because it's premise: X is bad, X is a man => all men are bad (wrong!).

    1. The second problem with Paxos is that it does not pro-vide a good foundation for building practical implemen-tations. One reason is that there is no widely agreed-upon algorithm for multi-Paxos. Lamport’s descriptionsare mostly about single-decree Paxos; he sketched possi-ble approaches to multi-Paxos, but many details are miss-ing.

      Lamport himself did not have an implementation.

    2. Unfortunately, Paxos has two significant drawbacks.The first drawback is that Paxos is exceptionally diffi-cult to understand. The full explanation [15] is notori-ously opaque; few people succeed in understanding it, andonly with great effort. As a result, there have been severalattempts to explain Paxos in simpler terms [16, 20, 21].These explanations focus on the single-decree subset, yetthey are still challenging. In an informal survey of atten-dees at NSDI 2012, we found few people who were com-fortable with Paxos, even among seasoned researchers.We struggled with Paxos ourselves; we were not able tounderstand the complete protocol until after reading sev-eral simplified explanations and designing our own alter-native protocol, a process that took almost a year.


    1. As you can see the CSV parser is 20x faster and performs 75% fewer allocations.

      csv vs json. CSV is way easier to process.

    1. Google Ad LibraryScroll down Google releases their political ads archive as a public dataset. We describe how we download political ads from Google Cloud Services on our methods page, or scroll down to see our data collection log. We did not experience any technical issue with the dataset or the download process.

      Google are at least technically competent. (And have less to hide - they make less money from this).

    2. This page documents our efforts to track political advertising and produce an ad transparency report for the 2019 European Parliament Election.We attempted to download a copy of the political ads on a daily basis using the Facebook Ad Library API and the Google Ad Library, starting on March 29 and May 11 respectively, when the two companies released their political ads archive. We provide this data collection log, so that external researchers, journalists, analysts, and readers may examine our methods and assess the data presented in our reports.Facebook Ad Library APIScroll down Facebook provides an Application Programmable Interface ("API") to authorized users who may search for ads in their archive. However, due to the inconsistent state of the Facebook Ad Library API, our methods to scan and discover ads must be adapted on a daily and sometimes hourly basis — to deal with design limitations, data issues, and numerous software bugs in the Facebook Ad Library API.Despite our best efforts to help Facebook debug their system, the majority of the issues were not resolved. The API delivered incomplete data on most days from its release through May 16, when Facebook fixed a critical bug. The API was broken again from May 18 through May 26, the last day of the elections.We regret we do not have reliable or predictable instructions on how to retrieve political ads from Facebook. Visit the methods page for our default crawler settings and a list of suggested workarounds for known bugs, or scroll down to see our log.In general, we encountered three categories of issues with the Facebook Ad Library API. First, software programming errors that cripple a user's ability to complete even a single search including the following bugs:

      Classic example of transparency hobbled by non-bulk access and poor coding. Contrast with Google who just provided straight up bulk access.

      Also reflects FB's lack of technical prowess: they are craigslist x 10. No technical quality: just the perfect monopoly platform able to hoover up cents on massive volume.

  11. Mar 2020
    1. We believe open collaboration is essential for progress

      But how open? Do you open all your research? Not patent your innovations? What exactly does "open collaboration" mean ...

    2. In recent years, computing has both expanded as a field and grown in its importance to society. Similarly, the research conducted at Google has broadened dramatically, becoming more important than ever to our mission. As such, our research philosophy has become more expansive than the hybrid approach to research we described in our CACM article six years ago and now incorporates a substantial amount of open-ended, long-term research driven more by scientific curiosity than current product needs.

      aka "our monopoly has gone so well we can afford to long-term open-ended research" (much like AT&T did when it was a nice solid government regulated monopoly - though at least there the research had to be released generally ...)

    1. In the meantime, I asked Fries, if Shell is serious about transition, then couldn’t it voluntarily speed it up by leaving some of its wells fallow, constraining oil output and thereby driving the price relative to renewables higher, faster? Sure, it would have to take some losses in the short term, but we’re talking about the future of the planet here. He dismissed the idea, telling me it’s important not to artificially withhold supply, which would introduce price shocks that could turn public opinion against environmentalist policy. Besides, it would only end up sending money to the Saudis anyway. “We’re going to get as much out of [oil and gas] for as long as we can,” he said. “That’s an extremely frightening thing for you to say,” I said. “It doesn’t mean every drop,” he said, failing to reassure me.


    2. In the corporate sector, there’s still faith at the top that economic incentives and profit-seeking behavior can manage the crisis that capitalism has wrought. In such thinking, climate change is like a redux of the hole in the ozone layer: potentially bad but solvable with the tools on hand and without real changes to our lifestyles. Fries estimates that we’ll be able to cost-effectively fill two-thirds of world energy demand with clean sources within 20 years. (That’s ten years more optimistic than the optimistic scenario of the International Renewable Energy Agency, an intergovernmental organization mandated to propagate optimistic scenarios about renewable-energy transition.)


    1. The great Harvard marketing professor Theodore Levitt used to tell his students, “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!” Every marketer we know agrees with Levitt’s insight. Yet these same people segment their markets by type of drill and by price point; they measure market share of drills, not holes; and they benchmark the features and functions of their drill, not their hole, against those of rivals. They then set to work offering more features and functions in the belief that these will translate into better pricing and market share. When marketers do this, they often solve the wrong problems, improving their products in ways that are irrelevant to their customers’ needs.
    1. Standardized test scores improved dramatically. In 2006, only 10% of Noyes' students scored "proficient" or "advanced" in math on the standardized tests required by the federal No Child Left Behind law. Two years later, 58% achieved that level. The school showed similar gains in reading. Because of the remarkable turnaround, the U.S. Department of Education named the school in northeast Washington a National Blue Ribbon School. Noyes was one of 264 public schools nationwide given that award in 2009. Michelle Rhee, then chancellor of D.C. schools, took a special interest in Noyes. She touted the school, which now serves preschoolers through eighth-graders, as an example of how the sweeping changes she championed could transform even the lowest-performing Washington schools. Twice in three years, she rewarded Noyes' staff for boosting scores: In 2008 and again in 2010, each teacher won an $8,000 bonus, and the principal won $10,000. A closer look at Noyes, however, raises questions about its test scores from 2006 to 2010. Its proficiency rates rose at a much faster rate than the average for D.C. schools. Then, in 2010, when scores dipped for most of the district's elementary schools, Noyes' proficiency rates fell further than average.
    1. Atlanta’s rampant test manipulation amplified calls for nationwide education reform. Seven years after the Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported on testing problems, policymakers have failed to make significant progress toward changing the way students take standardized tests and how teachers interpret those scores. In fact, the problem has worsened, resulting in documented cheating in at least 40 states, since the APS cheating scandal first came to light. “Atlanta is the tip of the iceberg,” says Bob Schaeffer, public education director of FairTest, a nonprofit opposed to current testing standards. “Cheating is a predictable outcome of what happens when public policy puts too much pressure on test scores.” Some experts, including Schaeffer, point to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 as a source of today’s testing problems, though others say the woes predated the law. Then-president George W Bush, who signed the measure in January 2002, aimed to boost national academic performance and close the achievement gap between white and minority students. To make that happen, the law relied upon standardized tests designed to hold teachers accountable for classroom improvements. Federal funding hinged on school improvements, as did the future of the lowest-performing schools. But teachers in many urban school districts already faced enormous challenges that fell outside their control – including high poverty, insufficient food access, and unstable family situations. Though high-stakes testing increased student achievement in some schools, the federal mandate turned an already-difficult challenge into a feat some considered insurmountable. The pressure led to problems. Dr Beverly Hall, the former APS superintendent who was praised for turning around student performance, was later accused of orchestrating the cheating operation. During her tenure, Georgia investigators found 178 educators had inflated test scores at 44 elementary and middle schools.
    1. Atlanta public schools. The urban school district has already suffered one of the most devastating standardized-testing scandals of recent years. A state investigation in 2011 found that 178 principals and teachers in the city school district were involved in cheating on standardized tests. Dozens of former employees of the school district have either been fired or have resigned, and 21 educators have pleaded guilty to crimes like obstruction and making false statements.