48 thoughts on “Open Thread XV”

  1. Since TDAXP doesn’t check his facebook account, where did the name TDAXP come from? I’ve been wanting to know since I started reading this blog. You need an “about me” on your site.

    Anybody else want to eat Goat’s head with me tonight? They say it’s a delicacy…

  2. Kudos to your Huskers for exposing the Texas Tech frauds. A shame the upset could not have been completed but a valiant effort for a “rebuilding” team.

    Any idea on who wins the Big 12?

    In less serious news…..

    Pakistan’s economy is in free fall.

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/163349

    They are now looking to the Chinese (their “close ally”) for assistance.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122400985382133155.html#

    Is there any room for the US to assist here or do we need to lay low for a while in Pakistan because of our military activities to uproot AQ and associates?

  3. Glenn: One word you are looking for is “The”.

    Discussion Topic: Your region of the USA or World (or even Canada): Soda, Pop, Coke, Soda Pop, Soda ‘eh, or ????

    Me: Soda.

  4. Discussion Topic: Your region of the USA or World (or even Canada): Soda, Pop, Coke, Soda Pop, Soda ‘eh, or ????

    “Pop” in English, “KeLe” in Chinese, like all normal people.

  5. Me: Pop. Purpleslog “The” !?!?!

    TDAXP: I can only troll so much!

    Goats head is, well umm, HORRIBLE! Trust me on this one. I’m building a monkey trap with fellow American student, we are basing our design off Return of the Jedi when Chewbacca gets caught. Any suggestions?

  6. Between India, China, the US and Iran lay the problem of two Stans.

    This is something that the four states ought to be working together on.

    ? – Is is truly a loss of US power if we allow China to become the guarantor of stability in Pakistan and Afghanistan?

    Book Recommendation: “A Case of Exploding Mangoes” by Hanif. Fictional account of the death of Zia.

  7. Whenever I see discussion about how “poor” Russia is (or is presently becoming [or, for that matter, how economically disadvantaged are many of our enemies or adversaries]), I can’t help but recall this line from Machiavelli:

    “Gold cannot always get you good soldiers, but good soldiers can always get you gold.”

    Just a thought….

    BTW, anyone wondering what the Icelanders will be giving in return?

  8. Purple, I posted a comment on your blog and got a screen saying discarded. Is that a bug, or did I get site-banned for some reason?

  9. Michael: You are not banned. What did you post? There are a few words (clues to my identity) that will cause a comment to be held for moderation but nothing else.

    Maybe post the words or shoot me a screenshot.

  10. “Hmm . . . they seem to have removed the part about urban warfare from their site. That quote of Mao’s doesn’t inspire hopes for a Swedish-style social democracy, though.”

    Wait . . . you wouldn’t happen to be Mao’s Swedish love-child, would you? No wonder you hide behind the Barney mask!

  11. Say what you will about President Bush, he will probably be the most pro-globalization president we’ll have for a while [1]

    “WASHINGTON — President Bush, trying to eliminate a major source of contention with allied nations, announced Friday that the United States is rescinding visa requirements for citizens of six European countries and South Korea.

    Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and South Korea will be added to the U.S. visa waiver program in about a month. Each of those countries allows U.S. citizens to visit without obtaining a visa.”

    All are New/Rising Core powers. Several are new NATO members. A few former Soviet Republics thrown in for good measure.

    [1] http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1151ap_us_visa_waiver.html?source=rss

  12. PS,

    Weird! Google Reader shows everything fine, and the Redirection plug-in looks like it’s humming along.. What URL is the Bloglines feed pointing toward?

  13. General Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama. An E Tu? moment? Powell is pro Aff. Action. Is this racial in nature? Or just a man who bucks partisanship and agrees with Obama’s methods/message over McCain?

    Soda here. Bag or sack? Bag.

    Purpleslog, curious about the origin of this alias. Is it Purple Slog or Purple’s Log. I suspect the latter. Favorite color, perhaps?

  14. Eddie & ElamBend,

    The harm that former AD Steve Pederson and former coach Bill Callahan did to our Cornhuskers is monstrous. Right now we need to focus on getting into a bowl. We’re currently 4-3, and we have a clear path to that goal. It’s too painful to think about who will win Big 12… one season at a time…

    Pakistan ended up going with the IMF [1] — as did Russia’s former bff Belarus [2], interestingly enough.

    Glenn,

    Sorry to hear about the horror of goat’s head — at least the Mountain Goats are a good band!

    I have some thoughts on a recent George Lucas movie, btw [3]…

    Edgewise,

    I’m not sure if that’s a line by Machiavelli… At least in The Prince Machiavelli doesn’t talk about economics much, but his view of war was either for the survival of the state or else the liberation of the nation.

    He sure disliked mercenaries, though.

    Purpleslog,

    I never got the fascinating with Nassim Taleb. His central idea is that the error is not uniformly distributed as a model is applied to production situations, and this can cause catastrophes, yes?

    Mike + Michael,

    Thanks for the comments!

    Brent,

    Excellent news! Bush has been a big pusher of the free movement of capital, labor, and goods. McCain’s been good on these issues as well, while Obama is a cypher.

    Jay@Soob,

    There’s many things happening beyond just race, even if we stick to identity politics. Presuming Obama wins, then we will have had the odd result that of the three most influential black politicians, none were male decedents of American slaves.

    [1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2008/10/19/the-institutional-approach-to-stability.html
    [2] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2008/10/22/international-institutions.html
    [3] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2008/10/22/disappointing-sequels.html

  15. tdaxp writes, Presuming Obama wins, then we will have had the odd result that of the three most influential black politicians, none were male decedents of American slaves.”

    ?? And, this would be significant because …
    ?? And, “the tree most influential black politicians” are …

    Just curious. ;-)

  16. Ortho stice,

    Thanks for the comment.

    ?? And, this would be significant because …

    It represents a catastrophic failure of a significant fraction of the U.S. population to represent itself.

    Certainly one can spin the inability of black men who are descendants of American slaves to achieve powerful office as a biproduct of an especially advanced feminism among African Americans… but I don’t think that’s plausible.

    ?? And, “the tree most influential black politicians” are …

    Secretary of State Powell, Secretary of State Rice, and (presuming he wins) President Obama.

    Example of 5GW?: citing “safety reasons” to stifle “free speech”

    Seems more like an example of CYA by a Chancellor already in a lot of political trouble (the former A.D. and former coach, both hired and fired by him, were our highest paid employees last year) with more important issues on his place (the conversion of the State Fair Park into the Innovation Park) and was attracted heat from those above him (the University President and the Board of Regents).

    Clearly, the stated reason was on the real reason. But calling that 5GW dliutes the concept into meaninglessness.

  17. Tdaxp, your list of “the three most influential black politicians” illustrates a remarkable ignorance of U.S. history. Or if you originally meant to list the “three most influential black politicians” of this specific historical moment, then your initial statement was, unfortunately, lacked precision and therefore cannot be taken seriously.

    Lastly, because you agree with the Chancellor’s decision you’ve neglected to notice the 5gw aspects of the Nebraska-Ayers ordeal. In other words, you’re a tad too close to the fire. Don’t fret, I shall soon write an enlightening post on the subject.

  18. Michael,

    Thanks for the article.

    I’m frustrated the MSM is so cliche on these questions.

    Paul was radically more egalitarian than either the Roman (women are chattel) or Hebrew (women are unclean) traditions, espousing instead a corporate view of marriage analogous to the mystical union of the Church with Christ. Paul is probably the most ‘western’ character in the Bible (along with his associate, Luke) — comfortable both in Western philosophy than Hebrew theology. [1]

    Instead of addressing this, the article talks about a word count game as a bizarre feminist interpretation of Genesis.

    *sigh*

    Ortho Stice,

    Tdaxp, your list of “the three most influential black politicians” illustrates a remarkable ignorance of U.S. history. Or if you originally meant to list the “three most influential black politicians” of this specific historical moment, then your initial statement was, unfortunately, lacked precision and therefore cannot be taken seriously.

    How would you correct or improve on it?

    Lastly, because you agree with the Chancellor’s decision you’ve neglected to notice the 5gw aspects of the Nebraska-Ayers ordeal. In other words, you’re a tad too close to the fire. Don’t fret, I shall soon write an enlightening post on the subject.

    Certainly I don’t agree with wasting university funds on Critical Theory… I don’t think that’s what the bruhaha was about, however…

    [1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2005/07/10/jesusism-paulism-part-ii-caiaphas-and-diocletian-did-know-better.html

  19. Arnld Kling smack’s down Macro-Economics:
    http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2008/10/a_pat_on_the_ba.html

    So, the state of macro is this:

    1. We have a workhorse model, with no capital or financial markets.
    2. We have some work on asymmetric information and financial markets that is not really integrated into the workhorse model, but which suggests that when “shocks” occur, their effects may be amplified relative to the workhorse model.
    3. Real-world data have interesting patterns that either are unexplained by or contradict the most widely-used models.
    4. Papers follow a “haiku-like” ritual in order to be published.

    And this is “good.” I agree with all four propositions, but I disagree with the conclusion.

    For example, Washington is currently discussing an economic stimulus package. This sounds like an issue on which macroeconomists ought to have an informed opinion. How large should it be? Should it be enacted at all? In all of the haikus that have been published over the past thirty years, is there one that offers a clue to the answer?

    With regard to the bailout, I don’t see macro doing much better. We have theoretical models that tell us that financial sector losses can “amplify shocks.” On the other hand, we have an empirical study that says that asset price movements don’t have big effects on employment and output. If we believe the empirical work, then the likelihood of another Great Depression resulting from recent financial turmoil is actually pretty low.

    Even in the theoretical models, we have no idea what sort of financial sector distress could lead to a quantitatively large effect on the real economy. We have no idea whether, taking opportunity cost into account, injecting capital into banks is a net plus or a net minus for the overall economy. Remember that Ken Rogoff, correctly in my opinion, describes the financial sector as bloated. That means that the financial sector might be the last place where we should be injecting capital.

  20. By politician I intended a figure who seeks official powers through officeholding, in either the executive or legislative branch. This is opposed to philosopher, agitator, community activist, bureaucrat, CEO, etc.

  21. Courtesy of a guy I used to know.

    “http://www.times.spb.ru/index.php?action_id=100&story_id=18178

    Maybe he could use the giant robots to defend Russia from Cthulhu. It would not work, of course.”

  22. LOL!

    “Yes, we will use the latest technical devices. Already now they are being stationed, for example, in the southern parts of our country,” Putin said when reporters asked him after the conference whether Russia planned to use “gigantic, humanoid war robots” to defend itself.

    Asked to elaborate about what he meant, Putin said: “These are unmanned aerial vehicles. And maybe the time will come for gigantic robots. However, so far we have put our main hope on people — namely border guards,” Putin said, Kommersant reported.

    Asked about the possible awakening of the giant mythical octopus Cthulhu, the fourth-most popular question among the more than 150,000 sent to Putin, he said that he believed something more serious was behind the question.

    Best. Open thread comment. Ever.

  23. “Make Love, Make War”

    http://www.corrupt.org/news/make_love_make_war

    Bonobos are apes famous mainly for their sex lives. Because females are dominant in bonobo society and everyone engages in plenty of very casual sex, bonobos are much admired by feminists, hippies and pacifists as “the peaceful apes”. For years we’ve heard that unlike their chimpanzee cousins, they do not hunt and kill other primates. However, bonobos have now been observed hunting and killing monkeys. Science kills another stupid myth.

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