Wednesday, 26.02.2020 – Why FiveThirtyEight Gave Trump A Better Chance Than Almost Anyone Else in 2016

Link of the day: Why FiveThirtyEight Gave Trump A Better Chance Than Almost Anyone Else

Fivethirtyeight is a polling site run by Nate Silver that has an outstanding track record of predicting the outcomes of past US elections. In 2016, they gave Trump higher changes than almost everybody else. This article gives an interesting overview of some of the intricacies of predicting election outcomes. Most of it is still relevant in 2020.

Tuesday, 25.02.2020 – Congress Could Give Every American a Pony

Link of the day: Congress can give every American a pony

This piece from the LA Times gives an entertaining introduction to some of the ideas behind Modern Monetary Theory, without ever mentioning the word. The idea presented in the article is this: The amount a government is decided independently from the taxes it collects. Spending is therefore a question of ‘do we want to spend’ not ‘can we collect money to spend’. The article does not address the … more

The Laron Syndrome – Some People Are Almost Immune To Cancer And Diabetes

The Laron Syndrome is a condition caused by genetic mutations that make receptors insensitive to Growth Hormone (GH). People with Laron Syndrome therefore are very short in stature, usually shorter than 1.2 meters. And they are almost completely immune to cancer and diabetes, and maybe some other forms of aging-related diseases. Literature (more) suggests that people with smaller body height generally tend to live longer (although others suggest the opposite for women). There is also extensive literaturemore

Thursday, 20.02.2020 – Large Scale Population Movements From Blue To Red States in The US

Link of the day: Seismic shifts in economic and demographic power are occurring across America.

From the article:

According to Census Bureau estimates, between 2010 and 2019, New York led the losing states, with a net domestic-migration loss of 1.379 million, followed by California (912,000), Illinois (856,000) and New Jersey (491,000). The big gainers were red, led by Florida, which gained 1.29 million, Texas (1.15 million), North Carolina (476,000), and Arizona (454,000). These states are often the destinations for blue-state


Tuesday, 18.02.2020 – Should We Deliberately Infect People With The Corona Virus?

Link of the day: Consider controlled infection

Robin Hanson has written a thought-provoking piece, suggesting it might be a smart idea to deliberately infect with the 2019 Corona virus. He starts from the assumption that the virus is likely to become a global pandemic. His argument hinges on the assumption that we will experience a global and can do little to prevent it. With almost everybody likely to be infected anyway, he says, the one thing we can do is … more

Your Green Electricity Might Not Be As Green As You Think

Most energy suppliers nowadays offer green energy. In many if not most cases however, this does not mean what consumers would usually think it does and the choice for a green tariff often hardly helps create more renewable energy sources. The main reason for this is that the label ‘Green Energy’ is somewhat decoupled from the actual source of energy. In principle, this makes sense. If you generate green electricity from wind turbines in the North Sea, you cannot make … more

The Tale of the Two Monopolies

Monopoly is an extremely successful board game. Both from a popularity standpoint as well as an economic one. Which is somewhat ironic, as Monopoly was invented by anti-monopolist Lizzie Magie as an educational board game to show children the dire consequences of unconstrained capitalism. She had created a second version of the then so called Landlord’s Game that worked according to the principles of Georgism. Georgism propagates an economic system that redistributes economic wealth through the taxation of land. … more