Linkdump

Apparently it’s shocking if a US politician doesn’t think changing the weather is something the government can do. The prevailing religion of course being: changing the weather is, indeed, something the government can (and should) do. We are all required to believe this now; disbelief disqualifies you from public office. So sayeth we all.

These thoughts from a ex-financial firm compliance officer are worth reading. Almost makes it sound interesting.

Data is not objective: “Don’t be fooled by the mathematical imprimatur: behind every model and every data set is a political process that chose that data and built that model and defined success for that model.” I couldn’t agree more! (All large calculations are wrong.)

Does elite behavior prevent society from moving away from work? “Because the elites now see work as desirable and self-actualizing rather than a burden, and it’s the elites who control the direction of society, they are not going move society in the direction of moving away from the idea of work.” I would say the cause is different: it’s because elites humans are competitive (i.e. with each other). Yes, you could take it easier as an elite, and (therefore) stop contributing to the social pressure to work more, but then how will you get your child into Super-Special Private School, buy that $50k SUV, the kitchen overhaul with the granite countertops, etc.? But arguing that other people should take it easy – why, that’s a no-brainer; on the off chance they actually do, that makes your climb to the top all the easier.

A Craiglist poster explains what Obamacare did for him. Presumably whoever wrote that is just racist. Again I marvel at the fact that so few people realized (or realize, even today) that ‘it’s some kind of a National Health Care Thing! Being proposed by (D)s!’ wasn’t an accurate metric on which to base their support for Obamacare or accurately gauge the effect, positive or negative, it would have on their lives. It was some sort of a National Health Care Thing, and (D)s proposed it – for the Reality-Based Community™, that’s all they needed to know.

A question Rotten Chestnuts would like to see asked.

I’d spend some time explaining why this story about how JP Morgan had ‘bet against itself’ was silly, but I don’t have to because that’s why there’s Matt Levine. I will highlight, as something new, this: “…the two CIO employees complained about the investment bank’s actions in the spring of 2012, accusing its traders of deliberately trying to move the market against the CIO by leaking information on its position to hedge funds.” When that story broke last year, my first reaction was not ‘ohmygosh how can they have done those trades’, it was ohmygosh how could someone have leaked those trades (and in particular the rival trader commentary – itself, a bit too revealing – that got quoted a lot at the time) to the press in such a transparent effort to squeeze them. I still find it somewhat distasteful. If indeed it was their own dealer desk contributing to it, geez.

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