Login now

Not your profile? Login and get free access to your reports and analysis.

Tags

Sign in

No tag added here yet.
You can login on CircleCount to add some tags here.

Are you missing a tag in the list of available tags? You can suggest new tags here.

Login now

Do you want to see a more detailed chart? Check your settings and define your favorite chart type.

Or click here to get the detailed chart only once.

Andreas Schou has been at 1 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
Nicholas Kristof1,413,518The issue of the moment is Syria, so I'm delighted to host a Google+ hangout in which we'll be able to pose questions to Secretary of State John Kerry about Syria policy. I'll be joined by +Lara Setrakian, a journalist whom I've long admired who specializes in Syria. Andrew Beiter, a social studies  teacher and a regional education coordinator for the Holocaust Memorial Museum, will also be in the Hangout. Most of all, we'll be joined by all of you--so jump into the conversation on this page and leave us your questions. In particular, with this Hangout we want to involve teachers and students, so spread the word in the schools, please, and student questions are particularly welcome! This kind of online interview is something of an experiment, and we're still figuring out how to make it work best. So we also welcome your suggestions and guidance before and criticisms after. Syria: Weighing the U.S. Response2013-09-10 20:00:006973  

Andreas Schou has been shared in 78 public circles

You can see here the 50 latest shared circles.
If this is your profile, you can check your dashboard to see all shared circles you have been included.

AuthorFollowersDateUsers in CircleCommentsReshares+1Links
Allan watson23,502If you received a notification, please reshare to your circlesIf you’d like to be added to the next circle share: • +1 this circle • Share this circle to PUBLIC • Include me in your circles • Comment on this post#awesomecircle #circleme #to #the #south #Asian #cultures #had #no #say #in #this #system #of #deing #the #imaginary #boundaries #separating #them #from #Europecitation #needed§Asia–Oceania #boundaryThe #geographers #have #rejected #the #threecontinent #system #Europe #Africa #Asia #on #the #grounds #that #there #is #no 2015-03-18 09:52:27407467
Ole Olson51,746This is my circle 2 of Google+ progressives2015-03-07 18:26:49266001
Eduard Dimitrov (Едуард Димитров)3,781Start of my "Google must be better place campaign". Week one: This post. People currently working for Google. 114 Google's Google+  profiles to add - people actually working for Google  company.Week 2: Shared circle two: More 100 Google employees next week.Week 3: I will show you how to work with google webspam team to aviod problems in Google Webmaster Tools - the right way, tools and tactics.Week 4: Ethics of non-natural links problems in GWT and communication with google webspam team  in Google Webmaster Tools.If you want to receive notifications from me, add me in separate circle and switch on notifications for this circle.Happy Holidays!  #worksatgoogle #googleteam #googleemployees2014-12-23 14:29:071146917
Sunny CT2,281Increase your following with our Amazing CirclesNext circles to include only those resharing thisEven if you are included in this circle,  Add me, +1 , comment and share this to be included in next 2 circles (after 12 Hours)Want to grow your follower list? Need more followers? Join my circles now To be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps: 1 - include me in your circles 2 - Click add people and create your circle 3 - share the circle (include yourself) 4 - add +1 to the post(Comment on the original post so that I know you have shared)#powercircle #sharedcircle #topsharedcircle #circleoftheday #sharedcircle #trustinme #circlesharing #circleshare #circles #circleoftheday #sharedpubliccircles #sharedcircles #share #vipsnowballcircle #sharedcircleoftheday #sharewithyou #followme #followers #followback #circle #googleplus #coolpeople #circleshare #sharedcircles #sharedcircle #sharedcircles #sharedpubliccircles #circleshare #circlesharing #fullcircleshare #powercircle #sharedcircle 2014-09-15 09:05:4950111313
Sunny CT1,994Fresh AdditionIncrease your following with our Amazing CirclesNext circles to include only those resharing thisEven if you are included in this circle,  Add me, +1 , comment and share this to be included in next 2 circles (after 12 Hours)Want to grow your follower list? Need more followers? Join my circles now To be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps: 1 - include me in your circles 2 - Click add people and create your circle 3 - share the circle (include yourself) 4 - add +1 to the post(Comment on the original post so that I know you have shared)#powercircle #sharedcircle #topsharedcircle #circleoftheday #sharedcircle #trustinme #circlesharing #circleshare #circles #circleoftheday #sharedpubliccircles #sharedcircles #share #vipsnowballcircle #sharedcircleoftheday #sharewithyou #followme #followers #followback #circle #googleplus #coolpeople #circleshare #sharedcircles #sharedcircle #sharedcircles #sharedpubliccircles #circleshare #circlesharing #fullcircleshare #powercircle #sha2014-09-12 13:14:5050111415
Sunny CT1,994Fresh AdditionIncrease your following with our Amazing CirclesNext circles to include only those resharing thisEven if you are included in this circle,  Add me, +1 , comment and share this to be included in next 2 circles (after 12 Hours)Want to grow your follower list? Need more followers? Join my circles now To be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps: 1 - include me in your circles 2 - Click add people and create your circle 3 - share the circle (include yourself) 4 - add +1 to the post(Comment on the original post so that I know you have shared)#powercircle #sharedcircle #topsharedcircle #circleoftheday #sharedcircle #trustinme #circlesharing #circleshare #circles #circleoftheday #sharedpubliccircles #sharedcircles #share #vipsnowballcircle #sharedcircleoftheday #sharewithyou #followme #followers #followback #circle #googleplus #coolpeople #circleshare #sharedcircles #sharedcircle #sharedcircles #sharedpubliccircles #circleshare #circlesharing #fullcircleshare #powercircle #sha2014-09-12 07:07:225017313
Colin Wilson56Increase your following with our Amazing CirclesThis is a super Circle and in it I put together a group of really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 2 - Share the circle (Publicly) 3 - Add +1 to the post #circles #shared #share #add #friends #circle #share #sharecircle #circleshare2014-09-08 06:25:20459111619
Becky Collins13,434Mobile Operator Circle:Circle of very #social #engagerspeople and companiesTo be included in my shares (#sharedcircle), be so kind to:1 - Do +1 t the post2 - Comment the post and specify your "category" (job or interest) Ex: Fashion, SEO, Companies, Social Media Marketing, Sailing, Photography, Bloggers/Writers, Web graphics and design, Italy, Artists, Sport, Finance/Economy ...3 - include the circle among your circles4 - share the circle (include yourself)Improve your popularity, be social be cool !Keep yourself updated, enjoy the Shared Circles Hellenic Alliance, you can share your shared circles inside the upcoming Community:https://plus.google.com/communities/112552559573595396104  #socialmedia  #media  #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing  #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles  #sharedcircleoftheday  +Becky Collins ?2014-07-24 05:16:124763112
Maria Morisot31,837Moan Lisa's All Kinds of People Shared Circle06 June, 2014RESHARE if you want to be includedmoanlisa.org2014-06-06 14:31:022928274100
Becky Collins10,282Mobile Circle :Circle of very #social #engagerspeople and companiesTo be included in my shares (#sharedcircle), be so kind to:1 - Do +1 t the post2 - Comment the post and specify your "category" (job or interest) Ex: Fashion, SEO, Companies, Social Media Marketing, Sailing, Photography, Bloggers/Writers, Web graphics and design, Italy, Artists, Sport, Finance/Economy ...3 - include the circle among your circles4 - share the circle (include yourself)Improve your popularity, be social be cool !Keep yourself updated, enjoy the Shared Circles Hellenic Alliance, you can share your shared circles inside the upcoming Community:https://plus.google.com/communities/112552559573595396104  #socialmedia   #media   #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday  +Becky Collins ?2014-05-28 05:03:174777219
Irina Sadokhina19,423Hello my dear friends!!!This is my weekly #mondaycircle   . This #circle    is very important for me because there are people who were with me last time, commented my funny pics, and just made me happy. Also, there are people who RE-shared my last #mondaycircle  . Thank you so much for this!!! And I would like to ask you Re-share this awesome circle  on your stream, please. If you wanna be included in my next #mondaycircle   . Apr. 21st, just:1) plus2)re-share!!!Thank you. You all have a wonderful week.Make sure you share the original version! #circle   #circles   #circlecirclecircle   #circlescirclescircles   #circleshare   #hyperball   #plusmastermind   #crazycircles   #circleoftheweek  2014-04-14 16:53:094558052121
Irina Sadokhina18,499Hello my dear friends!!!This is my weekly #mondaycircle  . This #circle is very important for me because there are people who were with me last time, commented my funny pics, and just made me happy. Also, there are people who RE-shared my last #mondaycircle  . Thank you so much for this!!! And I would like to ask you Re-share this awesome circle  on your stream, please. If you wanna be included in my next #mondaycircle   . Apr. 14th, just:1) plus2)re-share!!!Thank you. You all have a wonderful week.Make sure you share the original version! #circle   #circleshare   #circlescirclescircles   #circlecircle   #circlecirclecircle   #circles   #hyperball   #plusmastermind   #crazycircles  2014-04-08 12:47:424927248106
Irina Sadokhina17,311Hello my dear friends!!!This is my weekly #mondaycircle  . This #circle   is very important for me because there are people who were with me last time, commented my funny pics, and just made me happy. Also, there are people who RE-shared my last #mondaycircle  . Thank you so much for this!!! And I would like to ask you Re-share this awesome circle  on your stream, please. If you wanna be included in my next #mondaycircle . Apr. 7th, just:1) plus2)re-share!!!Thank you. You all have a wonderful week.Make sure you share the original version! #circle   #circlecirclecircle   #circles   #circlescirclescircles   #circleshared   #crazycircles   #hyperball   #plusmastermind   #circleoftheweek  2014-03-31 18:07:204536655108
Irina Sadokhina16,720Hello my dear friends!!! This is my weekly #mondaycircle  . This #circle   is very important for me because there are people who were with me last time, commented my funny pics, and just made me happy. Also, there are people who RE-shared my last mondaycircle . Thank you so much for this!!! And I would like to ask you Re-share this awesome circle    on your stream, please. If you wanna be included in my next  #mondaycircle   , March 31st. just:1) plus2)re-share!!!Thank you. You all have a wonderful week.Make sure you share the original version! #circle   #circles   #circlecirclecircle   #circlecirclecircle   #circlescirclescircles   #hyperball   #crazycircles   #plusmastermind   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circleoftheweek   #circleoftheday  2014-03-24 18:59:534707753123
Irina Sadokhina15,346Hello my dear friends!!!HELLO! This is my weekly  #mondaycircle . This  #circle   is very important for me because there are people who were with me last time, commented my funny pics, and just made me happy. Also, there are people who RE-shared my last  #mondaycircle . Thank you so much for this!!! And I would like to ask you Re-share this awesome  #circle   on your stream, please. If you wanna be included in my next  #mondaycircle   , March 17th just:1) plus2)re-share!!!Thank you. You all have a wonderful week.Make sure you share the original version! #circle   #circles   #circlecircle   #circlescirclescircles   #hyperball   #rustyball   #crazycircles   #plusmastermind  2014-03-11 16:53:09467664993
Константин Вишневский44,825Circle of the Most Active Users of Google+A Very Social CircleКруг наиболее активных пользователей Google+Если вы поделились этим кругом вчера, вы находитесь в нем сегодня. Если вы разделяете его с друзьями сегодня, вы будете в нем и завтра.If you shared this circle yesterday, you are in it today. If you share today, you'll be in tomorrow2014-02-12 15:12:36462483276
Mikhail Petrovsky64,592Good morning / evening to all.This is a Social Circle of interesting people with an active lifestyle in Google+Это социальный круг общения интересных людей с активной жизненной позицией в Google+You'll love this circle. Photographers, artists and other interesting people!Вам понравится этот круг, добавьте его себе. Фотографы, художники и другие интересные люди!#EarthMyMother #ForFriends #photo2014-02-07 07:45:58497533281
Mikhail Petrovsky76,199Good morning / evening to all.This is a Social Circle of interesting people with an active lifestyle in Google+Это социальный круг общения интересных людей с активной жизненной позицией в Google+You'll love this circle. Photographers, artists and other interesting people!Вам понравится этот круг, добавьте его себе. Фотографы, художники и другие интересные люди!#EarthMyMother #ForFriends #photo2014-01-15 08:21:34499531881
Mikhail Petrovsky61,999Good morning / evening to all.This is a Social Circle of interesting people with an active lifestyle in Google+Это социальный круг общения интересных людей с активной жизненной позицией в Google+You'll love this circle. Photographers, artists and other interesting people!Вам понравится этот круг, добавьте его себе. Фотографы, художники и другие интересные люди!#EarthMyMother #ForFriends #photo2014-01-14 04:50:25498451577
Artur Mashnich43,991A Very Social CircleCircle of the Most Active Users of Google+Круг наиболее активных пользователей Google+Если вы поделились этим кругом вчера, вы находитесь в нем сегодня. Если вы разделяете его с друзьями сегодня, вы будете в нем и завтра.If you shared this circle yesterday, you are in it today. If you share today, you'll be in tomorrow.#Forfriends  2014-01-11 14:37:57478381368
Mikhail Petrovsky61,336Good morning / evening to all. You'll love this circle. Photographers, artists and other interesting people!Вам понравится этот круг, добавьте его себе. Фотографы, художники и другие интересные люди!Это социальный круг / This social circle #EarthMyMother #ForFriends #photo2014-01-09 04:51:54498392268
Mikhail Petrovsky59,714This is a Social Circle of interesting people with an active lifestyle in Google+Это социальный круг общения интересных людей с активной жизненной позицией в Google+You'll love this circle. Photographers, artists and other interesting people!Вам понравится этот круг, добавьте его себе. Фотографы, художники и другие интересные люди!#EarthMyMother #ForFriends #photo2013-12-29 11:29:44478301058
Mikhail Petrovsky (Михаил Петровский)73,777This is a Social Circle of interesting people with an active lifestyle in Google+Это социальный круг общения интересных людей с активной жизненной позицией в Google+You'll love this circle. Photographers, artists and other interesting people!Вам понравится этот круг, добавьте его себе. Фотографы, художники и другие интересные люди!#EarthMyMother #ForFriends #photo2013-12-29 11:02:20500331260
Константин Вишневский39,554Circle of people, with active life position in Google+Simple To be added PLUS the post Share the post and Add the circle. Once you have done this let me know in the commentsКруг людей с активной жизненной позицией в Гугле+Просто быть добавлены PLUS сообщению Share пост и добавить круг. После того как вы сделали это, дайте мне знать в комментарияхIf you agree that this is a great circle, please re-share!2013-12-29 06:03:17464422472
Vladimir Samsonov23,289Good morning/evening to all. You'll love this circle. Photographers, artists and other interesting people!Вам понравится этот круг, добавьте его себе. Фотографы, художники и другие интересные люди!Это социальный круг This is a Social Circle#ForFriends #photo #EarthMyMother2013-12-05 12:35:51501533078
Константин Вишневский35,785Circle of people, with active life position in Google+Simple To be added PLUS the post Share the post and Add the circle. Once you have done this let me know in the commentsКруг людей с активной жизненной позицией в Гугле+Просто быть добавлены PLUS сообщению Share пост и добавить круг. После того как вы сделали это, дайте мне знать в комментарияхIf you agree that this is a great circle, please re-share!#ForFriends #photo #EarthMyMother2013-11-24 15:07:31464412067
Jan Havrda20,092Deep Thinkers.2013-11-15 00:06:31141216
Matteo Pelucchi3,024Circle of #topengagers  1. Plus this post. (Original post)2. Comment on this post.3. Reshare this circle publically to your stream.4. Don’t be a blue head.Have a wonderful Wednesday increasing your #popularityTnks to +Alessandro Folghera and +Rusty Ferguson  #tuesdaysharedcircle   #topsharedcircle   #circleoftheday   #sharedcircle #trustinme  #circlesharing   #circleshare        #circles        #circleoftheday   #sharedpubliccircles     #sharedcircles    #share  #vipsnowballcircle #sharedcircleoftheday        #sharewithyou        #circlefriday   #circlethursday  #followme     #followers #followback#circle #googleplus    #coolpeople  #circleshare #sharedcircles     #sharedcircle  #sharedcircles       #sharedpubliccircles    #circleshare    2013-09-11 07:31:19397441745
Alessandro Folghera12,080Another special #sharedcircle  to be added among your circlesTo be included in my shares (#sharedcircles), be so kind to:1 - Do +1 t the post2 - Comment the post and specify your "category" (job or interest)      (ex: fashion, photography, seo, social media marketing)3 - include the circle among your circles4 - share the circle (include yourself)If you come accross Google error messages, incorporating my circles, please provide me the error, I'm classifying these errors. Have a wonderful weekend and a better popularityKeep yourself updated, enjoy the Shared Circles Hellenic Alliance, you can share your shared circles inside the upcoming Community:https://plus.google.com/communities/112552559573595396104   #saturdaysharedcircle   #topsharedcircle   #circleoftheday   #sharedcircle #trustinme  #circlesharing   #circleshare        #circles        #circleoftheday   #sharedpubliccircles     #sharedcircles    #share  #vipsnowballcircle #sharedcircleoftheday        #sharewithyou         #followme     #followers #followback #circle #googleplus    #coolpeople  #circleshare #sharedcircles #afo #myseoissocial     #sharedcircle  #sharedcircles       #sharedpubliccircles    2013-09-07 15:52:43397351953
Richard Green25,294Engagers Showcase Circle, September 5 2013If you received a notification, it means that you are included in my Engagers Showcase Circle. “Showcase” means that you are invited to leave a comment (on the original post) with a link to one of your own posts, which ideally should be one of your best recent posts.This circle consists of people who have engaged with one of my recent posts in the form of +1s, comments and reshares. Because I ran out of room, some of the engagers on very recent posts will be included next time.As always, reshares are appreciated, and I look forward to seeing everyone's links. Thanks for reading my posts!2013-09-06 01:37:50501254124248
Brian Wolfe22,328I haven't shared a circle in a long time. Maybe too long.Anyways.. Here is the circle that my browser spends the most time on.   Just in case I become a petulant child and walk away (not that I'm planning on doing so , just in case.)2013-08-22 05:36:251941335
Daniel Mihai Popescu4,968A circle based on +Richard Green's last creation! Add it to yours, share it! They all have some wonderful spark in them!If you're notified, you're in! Sorry to disturb you with the notification! If you want out, just say so :)2013-06-19 09:59:4539032732
Steven Krohn1,616The Popular Choice Circle________________________Richard Green originally shared:Here's version 2 of my Popular Choice circle. The members of this circle were nominated for inclusion here (http://goo.gl/vY07d). Anecdotal evidence suggests that this circle is a pretty good one to add: after the last share, somebody that I follow made the comment:I have to admit I have never had so many people add me back so shortly after adding a shared circle.As guest members of the circle this time, I'm including everyone who has created a circle with me in it in the last four weeks, including +Chris Cota, +Steven Krohn, +Marlo Angelo Tito, +Leo Walsh, +Cesare Riccardo, +Michael Bennett, +1212Scenery, +Daniel Mihai Popescu, +Gai Xinh, +Mithu Hassan, +Daniel Stock, +Marino Puletti, +Christy Sandhoff, +Johnathan Yesson, +Roleta Anedotas, +Linda Dee, +Mariusz Zapart, +César Bustíos Benites, +Andrea Orselli, +Katherine Vucicevic, +Networx, +Rome Heels, +Thumb up your Followers ►, +AyJay Schibig, +Zbynek Kysela, +Ewart Corrigan, +Hamilton Carter, +Don Dobbie, +Brian Buckley, +Wajahat Khan, +Crazy Circles, +Laurent Jean Philippe, +Maria Leoni and +Wolfgang Wodeck.  I'd especially like to thank +Scott Buehler, +Ludovic Moreeuw and +Science on Google+: A Public Database for including me in some particularly exciting circles: the Hyperball, the VIIP Circle and the Smokin' Science Circle, respectively.And now the surprise feature: I invite everyone to leave a comment on (the original post of) this circle share containing a link to one of your own posts. Ideally, this should be something that you posted recently and that you are particularly pleased with. (Don't post spam though; I will delete it.)2013-06-18 14:06:1838425937
Daniel Mihai Popescu4,802I have added version 2 of +Richard Green's  Popular Choice, re-freshed with my nucleus of Invincible circle and brushed of inactive accounts :)If you are notified, you're in, of course :)Thank you for sharing!2013-06-17 10:29:4338923835
Richard Green16,268Here's version 2 of my Popular Choice circle. The members of this circle were nominated for inclusion here (http://goo.gl/vY07d). Anecdotal evidence suggests that this circle is a pretty good one to add: after the last share, somebody that I follow made the comment:I have to admit I have never had so many people add me back so shortly after adding a shared circle.As guest members of the circle this time, I'm including everyone who has created a circle with me in it in the last four weeks, including +Chris Cota, +Steven Krohn, +Marlo Angelo Tito, +Leo Walsh, +Cesare Riccardo, +Michael Bennett, +1212Scenery, +Daniel Mihai Popescu, +Gai Xinh, +Mithu Hassan, +Daniel Stock, +Marino Puletti, +Christy Sandhoff, +Johnathan Yesson, +Roleta Anedotas, +Linda Dee, +Mariusz Zapart, +2013-06-17 04:33:32384693082
Christy Sandhoff10,119Richard Green originally shared:Remember the Much Better than the Average Circle circles I used to share?  Well, this circle is much better even than those.  The people in this circle were recommended for inclusion in response to my call for nominations, and there are some really interesting profiles in here.  If you've never added a circle before, this one would make a good Starter Circle.I'd especially like to thank +Dirk Talamasca, +Ed Ross, +Korinne M Jackman, +Nina MJ and +Tim Utzig, each of whom suggested a large number of profiles for the circle.  I think I added everyone who was tagged in the nomination post; sorry if I missed anyone.And here's the circle.2013-06-04 04:14:1033821830
Richard Green15,407Remember the Much Better than the Average Circle circles I used to share?  Well, this circle is much better even than those.  The people in this circle were recommended for inclusion in response to my call for nominations, and there are some really interesting profiles in here.  If you've never added a circle before, this one would make a good Starter Circle.I'd especially like to thank +Dirk Talamasca, +Ed Ross, +Korinne M Jackman, +Nina MJ and +Tim Utzig, each of whom suggested a large number of profiles for the circle.  I think I added everyone who was tagged in the nomination post; sorry if I missed anyone.And here's the circle.2013-06-02 14:20:43338532176
AyJay Schibig16,440ECLECTIC CIRCLEFeel free to add  and re-share. this  Eclectic Circle of  G Plussers! Circles I am curating:21ST CENTURY PHOTOGRAPHERS (1&2), ALL KINDS, DISCOVERY, FULL CIRCLE,SOCIAL, ECLECTIC,ENGAGERS, AWESOME, NEW HORIZONS and BOOST#circleoftheday   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circlesharingforthepeopleplc   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday   #sharedcircleday   #publiccirclesproject   #publiccircles   #publicsharedcircles  #sharedpublicircles   #circle   #circles   #circlemeup  #awesomepeople   #awesomecircle   #circleme   #sharedpoint   #sharewithyou     #ShareYourCircle2013-04-13 06:43:023024213
AyJay Schibig15,217ECLECTIC CIRCLEFeel free to add  and re-share. this  Eclectic Circle of  G Plussers! Circles I am curating:21ST CENTURY PHOTOGRAPHERS (1&2), ALL KINDS, DISCOVERY, FULL CIRCLE,SOCIAL, ECLECTIC,ENGAGERS, AWESOME, NEW HORIZONS and BOOST#circleoftheday   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circlesharingforthepeopleplc   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday   #sharedcircleday   #publiccirclesproject   #publiccircles   #publicsharedcircles  #sharedpublicircles   #circle   #circles   #circlemeup  #awesomepeople   #awesomecircle   #circleme   #sharedpoint   #sharewithyou     #ShareYourCircle2013-03-02 11:23:44245206
Mohammad Rahimi2,027I would like to share this circle of people i follow their posts.2013-02-25 05:38:581061928
Ian Herndon8,223Shared Circle Time! - G+ Community Moderators (4 of x)Re-Share to help moderators easily connect with one another!Now that Google has launched Communities there has been a ton of activity by people to create communities relating to their interests, join ones created by others, and meet other creators in an effort to learn more and more new ways to build and contribute to G+ Communities. +Community Moderators is an example of a page/community dedicated specifically to having a single place where all moderators can join in discussion around just that.I have been hard at work creating Circles that consist of Community Moderators and Owners only. My hope is to be able to help others expand their network of friends to also include like minded people dabbling in the Community space too. In the near future I intend to eventually group these moderator circles into smaller more targeted ones tailored to specific interests. So with that said, here's our circles!G+ Community Moderators & Owners Circle (1 of x) - 12/31/2012https://plus.google.com/u/0/110099838681495349209/posts/ETe6deLAMq2G+ Community Moderators & Owners Circle (2 of x) - 12/31/2012https://plus.google.com/u/0/110099838681495349209/posts/7i2DXeQpknnG+ Community Moderators & Owners Circle (3 of x) - 12/31/2012https://plus.google.com/u/0/110099838681495349209/posts/j1rsi9YGGVgG+ Community Moderators & Owners Circle (4 of x) - 1/12/2013https://plus.google.com/u/0/110099838681495349209/posts/VFUjZcifXPQ#Community   #Moderators   #Owners   #Communities   #Circle   #SharedCircles   #CircleShare2013-01-12 15:28:345005210
AyJay Schibig13,588ECLECTIC CIRCLEFeel free to add  and re-share. this  Eclectic Circle of  G Plussers! #circleoftheday   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circlesharingforthepeopleplc   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday   #sharedcircleday   #publiccirclesproject   #publiccircles   #publicsharedcircles  #sharedpublicircles   #circle   #circles   #circlemeup  #awesomepeople   #awesomecircle   #circleme   #sharedpoint   #sharewithyou 2013-01-10 07:15:50257003
Nils Tschampel2,828The Cream of the Crop of December 2012What's this?On +CircleCount everyday some very interesting persons are choosen and recommended. These are persons without hundreds of thousands of followers but with a lot of interesting content. You won't find silent people here leading the rankings, but interesting people that are worth to be followed.You can find the Cream of the Crop daily here:http://www.circlecount.com/daily/Past Cream of the Crop circles:November 2012: http://goo.gl/LSQjcOctober 2012: http://goo.gl/ohdceSeptember 2012: http://goo.gl/ie3VNAugust 2012: http://goo.gl/5vUUPJuly 2012: http://goo.gl/oAemEJune 2012: http://goo.gl/YZt1yMay 2012: http://goo.gl/4Tq43April 2012: http://goo.gl/NvbKjMarch 2012: http://goo.gl/3auLoFebruary 2012: http://goo.gl/TWYpKJanuary 2012: http://goo.gl/HBdHbDecember 2011: http://goo.gl/RBCpgNovember 2011: http://goo.gl/x6TJkOctober 2011: http://goo.gl/2xVn92013-01-08 19:52:4728412311
AyJay Schibig12,717ECLECTIC CIRCLEFeel free to add  and re-share. this  Eclectic Circle of  G Plussers! #circleoftheday   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circlesharingforthepeopleplc   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday   #sharedcircleday   #publiccirclesproject   #publiccircles   #publicsharedcircles  #sharedpublicircles   #circle   #circles   #circlemeup  #awesomepeople   #awesomecircle   #circleme   #sharedpoint   #sharewithyou 2012-12-21 06:26:433277010
AyJay Schibig12,080ECLECTIC CIRCLEFeel free to add  and re-share. this  Eclectic Circle of  G Plussers! #circleoftheday   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circlesharingforthepeopleplc   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday   #sharedcircleday   #publiccirclesproject   #publiccircles   #publicsharedcircles  #sharedpublicircles   #circle   #circles   #circlemeup  #awesomepeople   #awesomecircle   #circleme   #sharedpoint   #sharewithyou 2012-12-12 04:23:1442210216
Zbynek Kysela1,918BEST SHARED CIRCLE - Share, share, share!===================================HOW TO BE PART OF IT: 1) Add this circle to your circles -> Add circle2) Share added circle with option "include yourself in shared circle". Done. You're welcome :) ZbynekMy entire social presence:*****************************http://xeeme.com/bouchac*****************************2012-12-07 20:33:1441920625
Kurt Smith14,400Thought Provokers Circle Share - Who's Made You Think Lately?Who's Made You Think Lately? Are they in this circle? For me, +Dede Craig King had me really going last Monday, +Lacerant Plainer always gets me thinking, and just a few days ago it was +Randy Hilarski.Here's latest round of the Thought Provokers Circle. This is an #awesomesauce  circle of great plussers who will make you think (we're all trying anyway). The cool thing about this circle is that you had to be recommended by someone else to get in.Add & Reshare so others can discover these awesome people to follow. Current members please update your circle. If you'd like to join in, please suggest 3-5 people and tell why they make you think. #circleshare   #circles   #circlesharing   #circleoftheday   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday   #sharepubliccircle   #publiccircle   #publicsharedcircles  2012-12-04 15:53:26287653061
Brunner Nathan325Some people that comment and follow back.Don't forget to give a share and a plus one.#circleshare #sharedcircles #sharedcircle #sharedpubliccircles #circlesharing #publiccircle #circles2012-11-29 18:03:5327516419
Mj Bedford176Shared Circle Saturday My #peace   #circle  Thank you allI circle people who circle meand I refresh this circle Peace2012-11-11 04:03:07258124
Kurt Smith6,542Thought Provokers Circle Share -- Plussers Who 'Make You Go Hmm...'Next round of the Thought Provokers Circle. An amazing circle of great plussers who will make you think, well maybe. Here's some of the people and wisdom inside:"And a few of us that make you go "HUH???" from +Bearman Cartoons. " Ummmm.... I suddenly feel like I'm back in grade school again and the entire class is giving me the look... You're going to get your arse kicked at recess!!!! said +Frank Garufi Jr.. Check out and discover some new people - I've met +Dede Craig King, +Susanne Ramharter, +MommyLovesTech.Add & Reshare so others can discover these awesome people to follow. Current members please update your circle. If you'd like to join in, please suggest 3-5 people and why they make you think.#circles   #circle   #circleshare   #circleoftheday   #circlesharing   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday   #publiccircles   #publicsharedcircles  +Full Circle +Circles +CIRCLES on Google+ 2012-10-31 14:11:37275922881

Activity

Average numbers for the latest posts (max. 50 posts, posted within the last 4 weeks)

21
comments per post
4
reshares per post
26
+1's per post

1,357
characters per posting

Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 159

posted image

2015-05-21 21:38:21 (159 comments, 6 reshares, 34 +1s)Open 

For me? It's the fact that they're absolutely counterindicated by the research into the conditions they're designed to help.

For most people, under most conditions, post-traumatic stress disorder is a transient condition. Most people who undergo serious trauma never develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Half of diagnosed PTSD cases remit within 36 months. This is true of across traumatic causes and across cultures. 

The one thing that most chronic PTSD cases have in common? Avoidance as a trauma management strategy. If you've adopted an active management strategy which involves controlled exposure to triggers, your PTSD will often go away. If you've adopted an avoidant management strategy, it probably won't.

It isn't that trigger warnings coddle people with PTSD. It's that they actively facilitate a coping strategy which prolongs the... more »

Most reshares: 22

posted image

2015-04-30 19:57:11 (14 comments, 22 reshares, 24 +1s)Open 

This thoughtful essay on Zinn's People's History echoes my feelings on radicalism.

Tautologically, elites are those who are in power, whomever they might be. When Zinn talks about historical cycles of radical resistance, near-triumph, and elite betrayal, he believes there to be a static class of elites who are wily and monolithic, evil and incompetent and yet somehow always victorious. But as the contradictory traits of this hypothetical elite necessarily imply, no such elite exists. 

Or not in the sense in which Zinn believes.

As the coal wars of the late 19th century ended, the miner's unions achieved a tenuous peace with the companies that employed them. Wages went up. Housing was repaired. The scrip system ended. Union members stopped believing that progress could only be made by violence; they did, after all, want to mine, not to burn mines. Union leaders... more »

Most plusones: 86

posted image

2015-05-10 21:15:05 (11 comments, 17 reshares, 86 +1s)Open 

I'll hand it to Rick Santorum: this is one area where Republican policies have been a remarkable success. Over the past fifteen years, we've almost manged to bomb Islamic radicals back to the 7th century.

In the 7th Century, Islamic militants defeated the superpowers of both the East and West, then seized Mesopotamia and the Levant and implemented a maximally austere version of Islamic law. The destabilizing effects of that massive military intervention led to a generations-long civil war between Sunni and Shi'a in Iraq and to the systematic persecution of non-Abrahamic religious minorities. It would take 200 years for the Middle East to recover -- and the superpowers that challenged Mohammad would never recover their pre-Islamic status.

Oh.

Wait. 

Is that not what he meant?

My bad.

Latest 50 posts

2015-05-29 01:43:55 (8 comments, 0 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

I used to think that because I'm pretty smart that I deserved special treatment. Yet I also felt that those that worked hard were at least as deserving. And now I believe that unless you work hard, at least harder than most, regardless of your talent, you deserve no special treatment. You didn't create your talent, so why should you be held above others for that reason alone? There have been periods in my life where I've worked day and night to maximize my talent. And there have been periods where I've coasted. And apart from any special treatment, it is only those periods where I've worked day and night that make me feel special.

I used to think that because I'm pretty smart that I deserved special treatment. Yet I also felt that those that worked hard were at least as deserving. And now I believe that unless you work hard, at least harder than most, regardless of your talent, you deserve no special treatment. You didn't create your talent, so why should you be held above others for that reason alone? There have been periods in my life where I've worked day and night to maximize my talent. And there have been periods where I've coasted. And apart from any special treatment, it is only those periods where I've worked day and night that make me feel special.___

posted image

2015-05-28 19:19:37 (19 comments, 13 reshares, 55 +1s)Open 

For those of you who are interested in G+ inside baseball, here's an interview with +Bradley Horowitz, who works in a glass-walled office just down the hall from me.

When I first came to work at Google, the business division-formerly-known-as-a-product-area-formerly-known-as-Social was run by our friendly local triumvirate: +Bradley Horowitz, +Dave Besbris, and +Vic Gundotra. Vic called in rich to work, as executives at giant multinational corporations sometimes do, and Bez took over. Bez went to do something new and interesting at Google, and Bradley took over. 

And the tech press, as it usually does, went nuts. Lost in the shuffle? The fact that we're still the same team, despite some management shuffles that wouldn't have made the news if we worked at General Mills rather than Google. We're still here. We're still happy with the products we're working on.... more »

For those of you who are interested in G+ inside baseball, here's an interview with +Bradley Horowitz, who works in a glass-walled office just down the hall from me.

When I first came to work at Google, the business division-formerly-known-as-a-product-area-formerly-known-as-Social was run by our friendly local triumvirate: +Bradley Horowitz, +Dave Besbris, and +Vic Gundotra. Vic called in rich to work, as executives at giant multinational corporations sometimes do, and Bez took over. Bez went to do something new and interesting at Google, and Bradley took over. 

And the tech press, as it usually does, went nuts. Lost in the shuffle? The fact that we're still the same team, despite some management shuffles that wouldn't have made the news if we worked at General Mills rather than Google. We're still here. We're still happy with the products we're working on. We're still listening to users.

And we're not going anywhere.

(And we just launched a standalone Photos app, which is awesome enough to make even my shitty photos look good. But you can probably see news on that somewhere else -- I'm frankly a better advertisement for the stream rather than the pretty pictures that fill it up.)___

posted image

2015-05-27 18:52:53 (8 comments, 4 reshares, 33 +1s)Open 

On the face of it, this is ridiculous: Venezuela's runaway inflation has nothing to do with the United States, Europe, Google, or Mozilla. 

But it's not like this hasn't worked before.

Under normal economic conditions, inflation is driven by both (a) economic fundamentals, and (b) expectations about inflation in the future. You can fix the former problem by removing price controls, selling debt onto the open market and burning the resulting money, or fiddling with your foreign reserves. Under exceptional circumstances, however, inflation is mostly about expectations about inflation: because you believe that your money will be worth less in the future, you'll spend it now, resulting in an escalating bidding war for all goods on the market.

You can fix this by lying. 

In the early 1990s, Brazil had suffered almost two decades ofc... more »

On the face of it, this is ridiculous: Venezuela's runaway inflation has nothing to do with the United States, Europe, Google, or Mozilla. 

But it's not like this hasn't worked before.

Under normal economic conditions, inflation is driven by both (a) economic fundamentals, and (b) expectations about inflation in the future. You can fix the former problem by removing price controls, selling debt onto the open market and burning the resulting money, or fiddling with your foreign reserves. Under exceptional circumstances, however, inflation is mostly about expectations about inflation: because you believe that your money will be worth less in the future, you'll spend it now, resulting in an escalating bidding war for all goods on the market.

You can fix this by lying. 

In the early 1990s, Brazil had suffered almost two decades of crippling inflation. Expectations were that the government was helpless to stop it, and that absolutely nothing could be done. Which meant that, in practice, nothing could be done: every lever that the central bank could reach had been pulled, leaving the government helpless to treat the problem, even by exceptional means. 

So the government abandoned the cruzeiro and adopted the URV, a unit of "real value." Unfortunately, as any economist will tell you, there is no "unit of real value.*" The only measure of value is what people will pay. But the URV worked nonetheless.

Here's the catch: the Brazilian government didn't print any URVs. They just required prices to be printed in URVs, and posted a URV-to-cruzeiro exchange rate. And so, when people went to the store, they just paid in cruzeiros. The fundamentals of the economy were just as sound or unsound as they were before, but people saw a number -- a measure of "real value" -- which was stable, month after month.

And so inflation stopped. Not because of some bold, decisive central-bank action or leadership by the government. Because Brazilians were lied to, and everyone lived happily ever after.

Sure, Venezuela is corrupt and mismanaged and blames foreigners for self-inflicted problems. But all other issues aside, banning truthful information on the state of their currency isn't just a doomed attempt to protect its leaders' political fortunes: it's a doomed attempt to protect its leaders' political fortunes which, if successful, might actually solve the problem.___

2015-05-26 18:57:34 (13 comments, 2 reshares, 28 +1s)Open 

Capsule Review, Mad Max: Fury Road: George Miller triumphantly returns to the post-apocalyptic universe he popularized with Babe: Pig in the City, with this feminist story of driving a long way into the desert, then turning around and coming back.

Capsule Review, Mad Max: Fury Road: George Miller triumphantly returns to the post-apocalyptic universe he popularized with Babe: Pig in the City, with this feminist story of driving a long way into the desert, then turning around and coming back.___

2015-05-26 17:32:59 (12 comments, 8 reshares, 25 +1s)Open 

Mike Travers:

There՚s a certain quality that unites libertarianism, rationalism, and neoreaction, and helps to explain my somewhat conflicted attitude towards all of them. They are all in their own way antipolitical, and for roughly the same underlying reason. To put it crudely, nerds don՚t like politics, perhaps because they are generally no good at it. These ideologies are all, in different ways, trying to replace politics with something more tractable to the nerdish brain – something with neat well-defined rules. These formal systems are obviously better than the messy and violent reality of actual politics in every respect but the most important one – they don՚t engage with the actuality of power

[...]

To be a bit more concrete: libertarians fetishize individual property rights and the marketplace, rationalists fetishize objectivity, and neoreactionaries fetishizecentra... more »

Mike Travers:

There՚s a certain quality that unites libertarianism, rationalism, and neoreaction, and helps to explain my somewhat conflicted attitude towards all of them. They are all in their own way antipolitical, and for roughly the same underlying reason. To put it crudely, nerds don՚t like politics, perhaps because they are generally no good at it. These ideologies are all, in different ways, trying to replace politics with something more tractable to the nerdish brain – something with neat well-defined rules. These formal systems are obviously better than the messy and violent reality of actual politics in every respect but the most important one – they don՚t engage with the actuality of power

[...]

To be a bit more concrete: libertarians fetishize individual property rights and the marketplace, rationalists fetishize objectivity, and neoreactionaries fetishize centralized power. Note that these things are not really very compatible with each other, yet these groupings are quite socially close and people drift from one camp to the other rather easily. Which is evidence for my thesis that it is a certain kind of intellectual fetishization of simple rule systems that unites them, even if the rule systems themselves vary widely.

[...]

Rationalism defines itself around figuring out what is true. Having interests, especially political interests, interferes with this. And indeed, politics is not about what is true so much is it is about what people want, and how they collectively go about getting it.

[...]

Moldbug basically was a libertarian who was too smart to accept the fantasies of the market worshipers, so rather than giving up he doubled down and advocated rule by an absolute monarch. 

[...]

Yes indeed, politics sucks, but no, it cannot be avoided, to try to do so is to simply give yourself over to the manipulations of others. And, while revolutions do happen and replace one political order with another, I am skeptical that you can replace politics with a well-engineered formal system.

I could be wrong, and it could also be that the effort to do so results in valuable insights and ideas. So I don't consider these movements to be valueless by any means. Spinning fanciful political utopias and working to realize them is obviously a broader phenomenon, so why shouldn't nerds do it? Political fantasy can be dangerous but it is also the source of change, and god knows we need some changes.

http://omniorthogonal.blogspot.com/2015/05/three-forms-of-antipolitics.html___

posted image

2015-05-21 21:38:21 (159 comments, 6 reshares, 34 +1s)Open 

For me? It's the fact that they're absolutely counterindicated by the research into the conditions they're designed to help.

For most people, under most conditions, post-traumatic stress disorder is a transient condition. Most people who undergo serious trauma never develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Half of diagnosed PTSD cases remit within 36 months. This is true of across traumatic causes and across cultures. 

The one thing that most chronic PTSD cases have in common? Avoidance as a trauma management strategy. If you've adopted an active management strategy which involves controlled exposure to triggers, your PTSD will often go away. If you've adopted an avoidant management strategy, it probably won't.

It isn't that trigger warnings coddle people with PTSD. It's that they actively facilitate a coping strategy which prolongs the... more »

For me? It's the fact that they're absolutely counterindicated by the research into the conditions they're designed to help.

For most people, under most conditions, post-traumatic stress disorder is a transient condition. Most people who undergo serious trauma never develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Half of diagnosed PTSD cases remit within 36 months. This is true of across traumatic causes and across cultures. 

The one thing that most chronic PTSD cases have in common? Avoidance as a trauma management strategy. If you've adopted an active management strategy which involves controlled exposure to triggers, your PTSD will often go away. If you've adopted an avoidant management strategy, it probably won't.

It isn't that trigger warnings coddle people with PTSD. It's that they actively facilitate a coping strategy which prolongs the condition.___

posted image

2015-05-20 20:09:22 (26 comments, 5 reshares, 18 +1s)Open 

So. It turns out that al-Qaida has a job application form.

So. It turns out that al-Qaida has a job application form.___

posted image

2015-05-15 23:54:15 (25 comments, 5 reshares, 39 +1s)Open 

So, let's say you're Greenpeace. You discover that there's been a huge drop in greenhouse gas emissions and coal usage in China. Mysteriously, there's been no new deployment of cleaner power plants. Do you attribute this to:

(a) A worrying collapse of the Chinese economy, or;
(b) Sudden success of liberal environmental policy despite dire enforcement and institutional constraints.

Oh. You picked (b)? That's... uh... an interesting choice.

So, let's say you're Greenpeace. You discover that there's been a huge drop in greenhouse gas emissions and coal usage in China. Mysteriously, there's been no new deployment of cleaner power plants. Do you attribute this to:

(a) A worrying collapse of the Chinese economy, or;
(b) Sudden success of liberal environmental policy despite dire enforcement and institutional constraints.

Oh. You picked (b)? That's... uh... an interesting choice.___

posted image

2015-05-15 17:36:02 (16 comments, 3 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

The Talmud has a surprisingly long section about kaiju. A sample: 

Rabba b. b. Hana said again: I have seen an alligator as large as the city of Hagrunia, which contained sixty houses. A snake came and swallowed it, and a large-tailed raven came and swallowed the snake, and then the raven sat on a tree. Come and see how strong was that tree!

R. Papa b. Samuel said: If I had not been there, I should not have believed it.

Rabba said again: At one time when on board of a ship I saw a fish into whose gills a reptile crept from which it died, the sea throwing it out on land. And sixty streets were destroyed by its fall, and sixty streets consumed its flesh, and sixty other streets salted the flesh that was left; and from one eye they filled three hundred measures of oil; and when I returned thither after twelve months, I saw its bones being sawed to restore... more »

The Talmud has a surprisingly long section about kaiju. A sample: 

Rabba b. b. Hana said again: I have seen an alligator as large as the city of Hagrunia, which contained sixty houses. A snake came and swallowed it, and a large-tailed raven came and swallowed the snake, and then the raven sat on a tree. Come and see how strong was that tree!

R. Papa b. Samuel said: If I had not been there, I should not have believed it.

Rabba said again: At one time when on board of a ship I saw a fish into whose gills a reptile crept from which it died, the sea throwing it out on land. And sixty streets were destroyed by its fall, and sixty streets consumed its flesh, and sixty other streets salted the flesh that was left; and from one eye they filled three hundred measures of oil; and when I returned thither after twelve months, I saw its bones being sawed to restore the streets that were destroyed by it.

I am not sure what the theological reason for this discussion is? But it sure is awesome.___

posted image

2015-05-14 21:31:42 (81 comments, 8 reshares, 39 +1s)Open 

Okay. So.

Let's say we didn't make any reforms at all, environmental or otherwise, and just bought out alfalfa producers by paying them their median profit-per-acre, then banning production of alfalfa for the season. That's a total expenditure of $860m.

The California government then resells the water it just bought at $162 per acre-foot on the open market. Right now, the market price per acre-foot throughout most of California is between $1,000 and $2,000. It turns a tidy profit, then goes home. 

What baffles me is why alfalfa farmers are not already doing this.

61% of alfalfa production is in the San Joaquin Valley, where prices per acre-foot of water are literally 13x the value of the alfalfa that water will produce. Even if you're stuck in an outputs contract with feedlots, that's enough of a differential to make efficient breach a really... more »

Okay. So.

Let's say we didn't make any reforms at all, environmental or otherwise, and just bought out alfalfa producers by paying them their median profit-per-acre, then banning production of alfalfa for the season. That's a total expenditure of $860m.

The California government then resells the water it just bought at $162 per acre-foot on the open market. Right now, the market price per acre-foot throughout most of California is between $1,000 and $2,000. It turns a tidy profit, then goes home. 

What baffles me is why alfalfa farmers are not already doing this.

61% of alfalfa production is in the San Joaquin Valley, where prices per acre-foot of water are literally 13x the value of the alfalfa that water will produce. Even if you're stuck in an outputs contract with feedlots, that's enough of a differential to make efficient breach a really compelling option -- you can pay your lawyer, pay your counterparty for breach of contract, and still walk away with huge windfall profits.

Anyone have any idea?___

posted image

2015-05-14 20:20:25 (19 comments, 10 reshares, 36 +1s)Open 

So, the TPP. Why is Obama pushing it so hard?

After having talked to some people doing TPP negotiations (not at Google!), the general consensus is that the Obama administration is generally unenthusiastic about the specifics, but considers it necessary nonetheless. In other words, it's a shit sandwich being offered as a slightly desperate alternative to a much larger shit sandwich that China has been shopping around to Southeast Asia. 

In their view, with the TPP, Asia ends up paying licensing fees and enforcing copyrights, and labor and environmental practices are locked in at "slightly less intolerable smokestacks and sweatshops." The negotiators consider the BATNA to be "rampant IP theft and mercury-belching factories where workers are perpetually trapped in all-but-slavery."

This is probably wrong.

The US government has a strong bias... more »

So, the TPP. Why is Obama pushing it so hard?

After having talked to some people doing TPP negotiations (not at Google!), the general consensus is that the Obama administration is generally unenthusiastic about the specifics, but considers it necessary nonetheless. In other words, it's a shit sandwich being offered as a slightly desperate alternative to a much larger shit sandwich that China has been shopping around to Southeast Asia. 

In their view, with the TPP, Asia ends up paying licensing fees and enforcing copyrights, and labor and environmental practices are locked in at "slightly less intolerable smokestacks and sweatshops." The negotiators consider the BATNA to be "rampant IP theft and mercury-belching factories where workers are perpetually trapped in all-but-slavery."

This is probably wrong.

The US government has a strong bias toward framing issues as contests between great powers, ignoring the autonomy of non-hegemonic actors. Considering China's motives, of course they'd push for a regional trade deal. But considering the smaller counterparties' incentives, there's no good reason to capitulate and take whatever China offers. 

As it stands, the TPP seems likely to medianize labor and environmental practices rather than strictly improving them. In other words, it would raise the floor while simultaneously lowering the ceiling. The Chinese deal, whatever it might be, would likely lower standards, keeping sweatshops open and abusive while Chinese manufacturing transitions to automated and finishing labor. 

Waiting longer to close out a trade agreement is probably best for everyone. As China runs out of peasant farmers to mill into factory workers, there will likely be room to raise labor standards in places like Cambodia and Bangladesh. Simultaneously, Chinese firms will be looking for new places to site the labor-intensive, low-cost, low-productivity work that had previously been done by former subsistence farmers.

With each passing month that goes by without a trade deal, the negotiating position of the smaller economies in the TPP becomes stronger, and the negotiating position of the hegemons becomes weaker. Passing the TPP would probably be good for US corporations. Failing to pass it now, however, seems much better for the developing world as a whole: a couple years from now, poor Asian countries will be able to claim the pound of flesh they're presently being denied.___

posted image

2015-05-12 21:33:31 (22 comments, 2 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

Sy Hersh's Account of the Bin Laden Raid Doesn't Make Any Sense: Five Reasons and a Link

In the official story of the Bin Laden raid, what happened was relatively simple: we went looking for OBL, failed to find him, caught a lead, and then we shot him. Simple. 

In Sy Hersh's telling, we conspired with Pakistan to murder someone who was already in Pakistani custody, screwed up up landing a helicopter that we didn't even have to send, then screwed up getting Pakistan what it wanted. This is, to be frank, not really Occam-compliant. Knowing nothing but the complexity of the two stories, there's no reason to decide for Hersh over Obama. 

It gets even worse once you look at the facts that have been established independently. Briefly, a sampler of facts which Hersh's account doesn't account for: 

(1) Why the hell wasmore »

Sy Hersh's Account of the Bin Laden Raid Doesn't Make Any Sense: Five Reasons and a Link

In the official story of the Bin Laden raid, what happened was relatively simple: we went looking for OBL, failed to find him, caught a lead, and then we shot him. Simple. 

In Sy Hersh's telling, we conspired with Pakistan to murder someone who was already in Pakistani custody, screwed up up landing a helicopter that we didn't even have to send, then screwed up getting Pakistan what it wanted. This is, to be frank, not really Occam-compliant. Knowing nothing but the complexity of the two stories, there's no reason to decide for Hersh over Obama. 

It gets even worse once you look at the facts that have been established independently. Briefly, a sampler of facts which Hersh's account doesn't account for: 

(1) Why the hell was this the plan? In Hersh's telling, Pakistan could have simply walked in and shot OBL. Or we could have just walked in and shot him.

As Hersh tells it, we found out about the Pakistani prison compound through an ISI walk-in. We then managed to negotiate an execution with the Pakistani government by offering them additional aid. All easy!

Except instead of just having Pakistan shoot him and hand us the body, or having our special forces guys walk in and shoot Bin Laden, we build a model of the compound in the desert, spend several months training Seal Team Six, and then try to land an untested helicopter in the middle of a city without informing the Pakistani Air Force? And we crash it? 

If that's what we did, why did we do that instead of the easy thing? 

(2) Who were the other three bodies? Who altered the title records to show that the compound was owned by OBL's alleged courier? Why were there signs of a gunfight? Why were there contemporaneous eyewitness accounts of a gunfight?

In the immediate aftermath of the gunfight, Pakistani law enforcement leaked pictures of al-Kuwaiti, his brother, and his brother's wife, all of whom are alleged to have died at the same time as Bin Laden. Those pictures also show bullet holes and multiple bloodstains, and line up with the eyewitness account of Peter Bergen, who managed to take a tour of the compound before it was demolished. 

It's still technically possible that the bodies were just there to provide verisimilitude -- except that property records that date back to 2004 show that al-Kuwaiti owned the property which Hersh alleges to have been an ISI safehouse. Is he claiming that Bin Laden's courier didn't exist? Is he claiming that the courier was working for the ISI all along? 

There's also contemporaneous live-tweeting by a software engineer who lived near the Abbottabad compound, discussing the sound of gunfire and explosions. This account is confirmed by al-Jazeera reporting shortly after the raid. What explains that testimony? 

(3) If Pakistan just wanted increased aid in exchange for OBL, why didn't it get what it wanted? Why was Pakistan willing to endure a serious diplomatic incident in order to kill a person who was in their custody? Why were Obama administration officials willing to lie under oath to harm Pakistan's interests?

This is a relatively simple question with no real answer. Hersh presents this as a simple quid pro quo: they give us OBL, and we give them additional aid and free reign in Afghanistan. But that didn't actually happen! In the following years, both foreign aid and Pakistani autonomy in Afghanistan decreased significantly. 

In addition, this was a profoundly embarrassing diplomatic incident for Pakistan. They could have moved OBL further away from their military academy before letting us murder him, or we could have told a story which downplayed Pakistani duplicitousness. But neither happened, and Pakistan didn't turn on us once its government realized that we weren't going to come through on our side of the deal.

(4) What the hell was al-Qaida doing? Did they not know where OBL was? Why didn't they blow the story when they had the chance?

In Hersh's account, OBL is captured relatively early by the Pakistanis. Al-Qaida, for no discernible reason, is completely silent about this. Okay, fine -- maybe they didn't want to take the propaganda hit that would result from OBL's capture. 

Unless we assume that Ayman al-Zawahiri didn't actually know that OBL was in someone's custody, their behavior in the aftermath of the raid was inexplicable. In Hersh's telling, the previously compliant Pakistani government had turned on them, entered into a conspiracy with the US government, and killed their leader. And they somehow end up complicit in their enemy's plot? Why?

This goes double for bin Laden's widow, who was never charged with a crime, was clearly living with Osama, has been interviewed by the press and law enforcement, and is currently living with her half-brother in Saudi Arabia. If she was really in Pakistani custody for six years, why hasn't she told Hersh's story to the press or to law enforcement? Surely, someone must be interested.

(5) Why did Hersh find his sources reliable? Who's been shopping this story around since 2011?

We know one of Hersh's two sources: Asad Durrani, who was head of Pakistani military intelligence during the Russo-Afghan war, and head of the ISI shortly thereafter. Among other things, he is notable for (a) having started Pakistan's policy of funding foreign Islamic radicals to fight proxy wars in Afghanistan and Kashmir, and (b) having a longstanding feud with Pakistan's military establishment, especially Pervez Musharraf. 

His information may be old, but his support of foreign-led jihad and opposition to Musharraf's power base are still current. As late as 2008, he was demonstrating in support of jihad to retake Kashmir, and against Musharraf's controversial decision to unseat Pakistani judges that were making inroads against his emergency powers. He is, in other words, someone with a dog in this fight.

As for the second source: we don't know who it is, but we do know that that source has been shopping this story around for quite some time. RJ Hillhouse was told a substantially similar story four years ago, and published it on her blog to very little fanfare.  ___

posted image

2015-05-11 18:55:19 (8 comments, 3 reshares, 14 +1s)Open 

In light of his new "revelations" about the Bin Laden raid, brief reminder about Sy Hersh: if he isn't being followed closely by a fact checker, he isn't reliable.

And in this case, he isn't. If he's publishing in the LRB -- a publication not primarily known for investigative journalism -- then that means that the New Yorker took a pass on this story. As, presumably, did others. As they should have: if this story is true, then in it raises more questions than it answers. 

Who are the dead bodies whose pictures were taken in the aftermath of the raid?

If the Pakistani army was involved in turning over Bin Laden, why did he need to be exfiltrated by helicopter?

If we knew precisely where Bin Laden was, and his courier wasn't being tracked, why did we need to confirm his location by conducting a fake polio vaccination... more »

In light of his new "revelations" about the Bin Laden raid, brief reminder about Sy Hersh: if he isn't being followed closely by a fact checker, he isn't reliable.

And in this case, he isn't. If he's publishing in the LRB -- a publication not primarily known for investigative journalism -- then that means that the New Yorker took a pass on this story. As, presumably, did others. As they should have: if this story is true, then in it raises more questions than it answers. 

Who are the dead bodies whose pictures were taken in the aftermath of the raid?

If the Pakistani army was involved in turning over Bin Laden, why did he need to be exfiltrated by helicopter?

If we knew precisely where Bin Laden was, and his courier wasn't being tracked, why did we need to confirm his location by conducting a fake polio vaccination campaign?

If we didn't actually run a fake polio vaccination campaign, who is the doctor that was involved and why is Pakistan persecuting him?

If this was approved by Pakistan, why was there a diplomatic incident over the Pakistani Army's seizure of the custom Blackhawk?

If the Seal Team 6 raid didn't occur approximately as publicly discussed, why was the pseudonymous author of No Easy Day, which repeats the official line, sued for publishing it? 

If the official line was a simple fabrication, why were there leaks correcting material misstatements by the Obama Administration? Who was responsible for those? Why?

And that's just off the top of my head. It is not impossible that Hersh's story is true. And it is certainly not impossible that the Abbottabad raid went down differently than official sources say. But more than likely, Hersh took a story that was too good to be true, stovepiped it through a review process substantially easier than the one he normally has to deal with, and here's the result.___

posted image

2015-05-10 21:15:05 (11 comments, 17 reshares, 86 +1s)Open 

I'll hand it to Rick Santorum: this is one area where Republican policies have been a remarkable success. Over the past fifteen years, we've almost manged to bomb Islamic radicals back to the 7th century.

In the 7th Century, Islamic militants defeated the superpowers of both the East and West, then seized Mesopotamia and the Levant and implemented a maximally austere version of Islamic law. The destabilizing effects of that massive military intervention led to a generations-long civil war between Sunni and Shi'a in Iraq and to the systematic persecution of non-Abrahamic religious minorities. It would take 200 years for the Middle East to recover -- and the superpowers that challenged Mohammad would never recover their pre-Islamic status.

Oh.

Wait. 

Is that not what he meant?

My bad.

I'll hand it to Rick Santorum: this is one area where Republican policies have been a remarkable success. Over the past fifteen years, we've almost manged to bomb Islamic radicals back to the 7th century.

In the 7th Century, Islamic militants defeated the superpowers of both the East and West, then seized Mesopotamia and the Levant and implemented a maximally austere version of Islamic law. The destabilizing effects of that massive military intervention led to a generations-long civil war between Sunni and Shi'a in Iraq and to the systematic persecution of non-Abrahamic religious minorities. It would take 200 years for the Middle East to recover -- and the superpowers that challenged Mohammad would never recover their pre-Islamic status.

Oh.

Wait. 

Is that not what he meant?

My bad.___

2015-05-08 20:34:15 (10 comments, 0 reshares, 20 +1s)Open 

Corrections Department, 05/08/2015

Some things I've been wrong about in the past year:

(1) Attempting to stop Keystone XL was an exercise in futility.

Actually, it turns out that maybe it wasn't. The new Albertan government seems much less aggressive than previous governments about getting it through; it may be that it doesn't necessarily matter that it didn't get passed.

(2) Netanyahu will be unable to form a government.

It turns out that he's actually able to form one. It's just that, in order to do so, he had to give the Justice ministry to Ayelet Shaked. He's likely to compound that by giving the Defense ministry to Lieberman. Generally awful.

(3) We're unlikely to make any progress against Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

With the 2nd Circuit coming down hard against... more »

Corrections Department, 05/08/2015

Some things I've been wrong about in the past year:

(1) Attempting to stop Keystone XL was an exercise in futility.

Actually, it turns out that maybe it wasn't. The new Albertan government seems much less aggressive than previous governments about getting it through; it may be that it doesn't necessarily matter that it didn't get passed.

(2) Netanyahu will be unable to form a government.

It turns out that he's actually able to form one. It's just that, in order to do so, he had to give the Justice ministry to Ayelet Shaked. He's likely to compound that by giving the Defense ministry to Lieberman. Generally awful.

(3) We're unlikely to make any progress against Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

With the 2nd Circuit coming down hard against bulk collection, Senate Republicans withdrawing support for a mandatory extension, and a moderately-sized revolt against bulk collection ongoing, we may be unable to get an extension. Which is great! 

(4) We're likely to have an uncomplicated period of economic and job growth -- a breather before the next recession.

This is probably wrong. With Germany's economy faltering and China's plunging straight through the floor, the knock-on effects for the US economy are likely to be significant. I am no longer entirely confident that things going forward will be uncomplicated.

(5) Sanctions against Russia are likely to cause it to rethink its invasion of eastern Ukraine, which is land it doesn't want anyway.

Apparently not, though I'm baffled as to why. Putin believes he's locked in a life-or-death contest of wills with the West; the West more-or-less doesn't care, because there are more important things to deal with. And so Putin's irrational resolve continues on and on and on.___

posted image

2015-05-07 22:35:58 (8 comments, 2 reshares, 27 +1s)Open 

Things to know about Danae Stratou, wife of Greece's new finance minister:

* Came from Greece.
* Had a thirst for knowledge.
* Studied sculpture at St. Martin's College.
* Heiress to Greek shipping fortune.
* Possibly the subject of a Pulp song.

And:

* Interest in common people apparently sufficiently intense that she met her husband through Greek socialist politics. 

Things to know about Danae Stratou, wife of Greece's new finance minister:

* Came from Greece.
* Had a thirst for knowledge.
* Studied sculpture at St. Martin's College.
* Heiress to Greek shipping fortune.
* Possibly the subject of a Pulp song.

And:

* Interest in common people apparently sufficiently intense that she met her husband through Greek socialist politics. ___

posted image

2015-05-07 18:33:01 (27 comments, 5 reshares, 34 +1s)Open 

Hey, Look! Actual HFT Prosecutions!

In relatively good financial regulation news that you might have missed, there have finally been some prosecutions of high-frequency traders for spoofing. Which should have happened years and years ago.

Here's what's going on:

Traditionally, federal regulators have prohibited investors who hold a position in a particular security from spoofing trades, which is to say "issuing bids or asks without the intention of filling them." At scale, the appearance of a sudden flurry of trading activity on a particular stock -- even when that trading activity is illusory -- can drive the price of that security up or down, allowing the spoofing party to unload or pick up securities at the price that fits their profile. 

So, that's all well and good. But those regulations generally haven't applied to... more »

Hey, Look! Actual HFT Prosecutions!

In relatively good financial regulation news that you might have missed, there have finally been some prosecutions of high-frequency traders for spoofing. Which should have happened years and years ago.

Here's what's going on:

Traditionally, federal regulators have prohibited investors who hold a position in a particular security from spoofing trades, which is to say "issuing bids or asks without the intention of filling them." At scale, the appearance of a sudden flurry of trading activity on a particular stock -- even when that trading activity is illusory -- can drive the price of that security up or down, allowing the spoofing party to unload or pick up securities at the price that fits their profile. 

So, that's all well and good. But those regulations generally haven't applied to algorithmic trading, or trading where no particular human actor is involved in choosing to manipulate a particular stock. This has allowed for a wide variety of automated spoofing techniques on the millisecond-scale market -- techniques which don't create the false appearance of liquidity which the spoofing regulations are designed to prohibit, but which attempt to bait, detect, or probe the behavior of other algorithms trading the same stock.

The precise meaning of that is not particularly clear from that single sentence. A few examples might help:

(1) As an unethical algo trader, you're operating a millisecond-scale trading algorithm on a security you know to be monitored by a stop-loss algorithm. You spam the order book with a flood of false sell orders and immediately cancel them, hoping to induce the stop-loss algorithm to join the stampede and sell you the security at an unfavorable price.

(2) As a less unethical algo trader, you're monitoring a security for other algorithms trading the same stock. From the trading patterns, you don't know if any other algorithm is awake and trading. You place a spread of bids or asks, looking for millisecond-scale matches. If you don't get any, the security is clean, and you can trust the order book as being a reliable source of possible trades at your timescale.

(3) As a not-very-unethical algo trader, you have found another algorithm trading your target security. You want to check what it's doing, but you don't want to pay money to trade with it in an attempt to probe its behavior. So you fuzz it with a variety of bids and asks, trying to figure out what it wants to trade and whether there's going to be any interaction with what you want to do.

If we prevent (1), then (2) remains unethical and (3) should be unnecessary. It'll make millisecond-scale liquidity management (and algorithmic trading in general) less necessary, and reduce the absurd race to the order book which is driving increasingly elaborate and expensive lightspeed-scale infrastructure into major trading hubs. This makes the sort of bizarre market-wide feedback loops that caused the 2010 Flash Crash much, much less likely.___

posted image

2015-05-06 07:44:04 (10 comments, 2 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

Alberta's new premier, Rachel Notley, is the sister of Bob the Angry Flower creator Stephen Notley.

Also, what the hell, Alberta? This is like Colorado electing Ralph Nader as governor.

Alberta's new premier, Rachel Notley, is the sister of Bob the Angry Flower creator Stephen Notley.

Also, what the hell, Alberta? This is like Colorado electing Ralph Nader as governor.___

posted image

2015-05-05 20:06:19 (13 comments, 1 reshares, 20 +1s)Open 

Against all odds, Hank Greenberg's ridiculous suit against the US government has gotten to trial without hilarious summary dismissal. For those of you who haven't been following his nonsense, he's claiming that the US government owed AIG substantially better bailout terms that it got, and that he and other shareholders are entitled to a government buyout at AIG's pre-crash market price. 

So, why did AIG get such onerous bailout conditions? Because of this episode, captured in Sorkin's Too Big To Fail:

Wilmustad understandably wondered how they were supposed to come up with $14 billion in the next several minutes. Then it dawned on them: the unofficial vaults. The bankers ran downstairs and found a room with a lock and a cluster of cabinets containing bonds – tens of billions of dollars’ worth, dating mostly from the Greenberg era. They began rifling through thecabi... more »

Against all odds, Hank Greenberg's ridiculous suit against the US government has gotten to trial without hilarious summary dismissal. For those of you who haven't been following his nonsense, he's claiming that the US government owed AIG substantially better bailout terms that it got, and that he and other shareholders are entitled to a government buyout at AIG's pre-crash market price. 

So, why did AIG get such onerous bailout conditions? Because of this episode, captured in Sorkin's Too Big To Fail:

Wilmustad understandably wondered how they were supposed to come up with $14 billion in the next several minutes. Then it dawned on them: the unofficial vaults. The bankers ran downstairs and found a room with a lock and a cluster of cabinets containing bonds – tens of billions of dollars’ worth, dating mostly from the Greenberg era. They began rifling through the cabinets, picking through fistfuls of securities that they guessed had gone untouched for years. In an electronic age, the idea of keeping bonds on hand was a disconcerting but welcome throwback.

In other words, an executive remembered that there were tens of billions of dollars in bonds sitting in a vault in the basement. Literal paper bonds, equal to over 10% of the money AIG was lent. How could any lender, much less a central bank, offer a hundred billion dollars worth of support to an insurance firm with accounting practices like this?

Financial institutions with giant piles of off-the-book bearer bonds should not be a thing. Greenberg should be thanking the US government that its decapitation of AIG's management was only figurative, not literal.___

posted image

2015-05-05 19:53:04 (20 comments, 1 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

Hoooly crap, Texas...what are you doing??

Go read the linked story. Then, look up and remember that it's on NPR. Yes...they aren't making this up. This isn't the Onion. This isn't satire. It is, crazily enough, reality in Texas. 

Won't someone with some reality-based decision-making skills please step in to lead that state?

Hoooly crap, Texas...what are you doing??

Go read the linked story. Then, look up and remember that it's on NPR. Yes...they aren't making this up. This isn't the Onion. This isn't satire. It is, crazily enough, reality in Texas. 

Won't someone with some reality-based decision-making skills please step in to lead that state?___

2015-05-05 18:38:50 (34 comments, 8 reshares, 65 +1s)Open 

Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome, a metabolic disease, is associated with a bizarre neuropsychiatric syndrome. Patients involuntarily injure themselves and commit elaborate acts of social self-sabotage. They report that they are alarmed at their behavior, and that it is not intentional. And yet the sabotage appears intentional: they yell hurtful things at close friends, find weapons and injure themselves, grab the wheel of vehicles and steer them into traffic.

This seems to imply something about behavior-selection generally. For instance, I'm afraid of heights. Deeply, mortally afraid. Sometimes, I clench my fists and start to sweat looking up at a high place. But I'm not afraid I'll fall. I know that that won't happen. I'm afraid I'll jump. 

Here's my suspicion:

Behavior-selection is, at its core, merely a series of simulations. We simulate a number of... more »

Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome, a metabolic disease, is associated with a bizarre neuropsychiatric syndrome. Patients involuntarily injure themselves and commit elaborate acts of social self-sabotage. They report that they are alarmed at their behavior, and that it is not intentional. And yet the sabotage appears intentional: they yell hurtful things at close friends, find weapons and injure themselves, grab the wheel of vehicles and steer them into traffic.

This seems to imply something about behavior-selection generally. For instance, I'm afraid of heights. Deeply, mortally afraid. Sometimes, I clench my fists and start to sweat looking up at a high place. But I'm not afraid I'll fall. I know that that won't happen. I'm afraid I'll jump. 

Here's my suspicion:

Behavior-selection is, at its core, merely a series of simulations. We simulate a number of possible courses of action, select one, then execute. This seems to imply, interestingly, that the most highly-suppressed courses of action -- the most disastrous things it is possible to do -- are presented for review alongside the more reasonable ones. For me, those options are suppressed, but nonetheless cause some anxiety. For the Lesch-Nyhan patient, those simulations are sometimes executed before being presented for review, leading to horrific (and seemingly unintentional) self-injury. 

If true,, the weird fear that you'll jump off a high building, or steer your car into traffic, is a perfectly normal side effect of the simulations which precede behavior-selection, not completely insane.

I feel a little better now.___

2015-05-04 22:05:54 (7 comments, 0 reshares, 10 +1s)Open 

Hey, everyone! Want to listen to what a straight white guy thinks about race and gender?

Yeah, no. Probably not.

I did work at a domestic violence / sexual assault center at one point in my life. This was really important to me. So I do end up writing a lot about this, even though what I have to say about it shouldn't be taken as gospel. 

You'll also find my more abstract posts about ethics lumped in here as well. 

Hey, everyone! Want to listen to what a straight white guy thinks about race and gender?

Yeah, no. Probably not.

I did work at a domestic violence / sexual assault center at one point in my life. This was really important to me. So I do end up writing a lot about this, even though what I have to say about it shouldn't be taken as gospel. 

You'll also find my more abstract posts about ethics lumped in here as well. ___

2015-05-04 22:04:05 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

This collection? It's about history, obviously.

You probably won't find a lot about History's Greatest Hits -- WWII, the Civil War, Biblical history, Roman history. I'm mostly interested in histories that often go unreported: early Islam;  Persia and Central Asia; the history of Western religious minorities; American labor history; Reconstruction and its aftermath. 

This collection? It's about history, obviously.

You probably won't find a lot about History's Greatest Hits -- WWII, the Civil War, Biblical history, Roman history. I'm mostly interested in histories that often go unreported: early Islam;  Persia and Central Asia; the history of Western religious minorities; American labor history; Reconstruction and its aftermath. ___

2015-05-04 21:59:47 (4 comments, 1 reshares, 17 +1s)Open 

This collection? It's my day job. I work at Google, on a mixed privacy/security team. Here, you'll find a lot of commentary on the issues that I run into in my day job.

Though not my day job itself. And not as a spokesperson for Google.

Most of that is confidential until we launch -- sorry.

This collection? It's my day job. I work at Google, on a mixed privacy/security team. Here, you'll find a lot of commentary on the issues that I run into in my day job.

Though not my day job itself. And not as a spokesperson for Google.

Most of that is confidential until we launch -- sorry.___

2015-05-04 21:58:29 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

Here's another collection, which -- again -- does exactly what it says on the tin. This one is about science, medicine, and statistics.

Actually, it's mostly about statistics. More particularly, my habit of picking at statistics to unravel them and see where they came from.

Here's another collection, which -- again -- does exactly what it says on the tin. This one is about science, medicine, and statistics.

Actually, it's mostly about statistics. More particularly, my habit of picking at statistics to unravel them and see where they came from.___

2015-05-04 21:56:55 (4 comments, 1 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

I'd be remiss if I didn't sort my posts into new Collections. This is one of them.

It does exactly what it says on the tin: it's all of my 2015 posts about diplomacy, policy, and politics. Interestingly, it looks like I was pretty heavy on commentary about the Israeli election this year -- blame it on the boring gridlock in the United States.

I'd be remiss if I didn't sort my posts into new Collections. This is one of them.

It does exactly what it says on the tin: it's all of my 2015 posts about diplomacy, policy, and politics. Interestingly, it looks like I was pretty heavy on commentary about the Israeli election this year -- blame it on the boring gridlock in the United States.___

posted image

2015-05-04 17:47:34 (6 comments, 3 reshares, 40 +1s)Open 

I'm proud to have done a little work on this. 

Introducing Google+ Collections, a new way to group your posts by topic

Our happiest Google+ users are those who connect with others around shared interests and passions. So we set out to give people a place to express the things they love. Today, we’re announcing Google+ Collections, a new way to group your posts by topic.

Every collection is a focused set of posts on a particular topic, providing an easy way for you to organize all the things you’re into. Each collection can be shared publicly, privately, or with a custom set of people. Once you create your first collection, your profile will display a new tab where other people can find and follow your collections.

Posts in collections you follow will appear in your Home stream, with a link to easily jump right into the collection so you can get to similar content from that author. Collections give you a great way to find more of the stuff you love from the people you follow.

Collections is available on Android and the web, and iOS is coming later. For Android users, make sure to update your Google+ app to get access to Collections.

For inspiration on interesting topics, check out our Featured Collections page here: g.co/collections

Create your collections today and share what you love.___I'm proud to have done a little work on this. 

posted image

2015-05-02 05:05:30 (6 comments, 1 reshares, 23 +1s)Open 

I guess people search for:
- creepy faces
- intentional errors
- quadratic and cubic polynomial expansion
- ammonium sulfate

I guess people search for:
- creepy faces
- intentional errors
- quadratic and cubic polynomial expansion
- ammonium sulfate___

2015-05-01 23:39:35 (33 comments, 5 reshares, 15 +1s)Open 

Update: Derp. Have screwed up terminology and maybe more. Will fix when I sit down.

In most cases, human altruistic behavior operates as game theory would suggest: individuals take the best option that is offered to them, and cooperate with others only when it benefits them to cooperate.

But sometimes, things get weird.

In a dictator game, one party chooses how to split a reward with another party. The other party can either accept the split or reject it. If he rejects it, neither party is rewarded. Game theory would predict that, no matter how unfair the split, the other party accepts. If they accept, it's a win more/win less scenario. If they reject, it's lose/lose.

In practice, deeply unfair splits are rejected, screwing both parties. To anyone who is more familiar with human behavior than game theory, this is should be obvious: the only way to... more »

Update: Derp. Have screwed up terminology and maybe more. Will fix when I sit down.

In most cases, human altruistic behavior operates as game theory would suggest: individuals take the best option that is offered to them, and cooperate with others only when it benefits them to cooperate.

But sometimes, things get weird.

In a dictator game, one party chooses how to split a reward with another party. The other party can either accept the split or reject it. If he rejects it, neither party is rewarded. Game theory would predict that, no matter how unfair the split, the other party accepts. If they accept, it's a win more/win less scenario. If they reject, it's lose/lose.

In practice, deeply unfair splits are rejected, screwing both parties. To anyone who is more familiar with human behavior than game theory, this is should be obvious: the only way to ensure equitable behavior by those in power is to insist on it, even if that insistence comes at great cost. 

The result generalizes to third-party dictator games as well: the dictator is given a dollar to split with someone else, and a third party is given a half-dollar which they can either keep for themselves or subtract from the dictator's share. Game theory predicts that the dictator will go home with 99 cents, the supervisor will go home with 50 cents, and the peasant will gone home with a penny. 

In practice, if the peasant is offered an unfair deal, the supervisor will spend money for no other reason than to punish the dictator. That's objectively unreasonable, but also perfectly consistent. 

So, why do rioters wreck up their own neighborhoods? To demonstrate that police cannot do their jobs without minimal popular consent. Is it reasonable? Objectively, no. Is it defensible? Not really. Though, note that only the minority of people willing to take the least reasonable risks are destroying things which don't belong to the police. 

But is it perfectly predictable human behavior? Absolutely. ___

posted image

2015-05-01 20:04:50 (32 comments, 4 reshares, 45 +1s)Open 

Unsurprisingly, most people whose job title is "CEO" are not what people mean when they say "CEO."

If you look through the BLS crosstabs (which Perry did not) you'll find that the majority of "CEOs" work for sole proprietorships where the only employee both controls the business and conducts the work. Looking across job categories, you find that most of the "CEOs" are bookkeeping firms, architects, doctors, accountants, consultants, private eyes, mechanics' shops, food trucks, and people selling jelly at the farmer's market.

Even in the industry tabs which are less clearly sole practitioners, I suspect we would identify most "CEOs" as "small business owners" rather than "chief executives:" small mechanics' shops are in the same category as General Motors; a machine shop which builds custom parts for... more »

Unsurprisingly, most people whose job title is "CEO" are not what people mean when they say "CEO."

If you look through the BLS crosstabs (which Perry did not) you'll find that the majority of "CEOs" work for sole proprietorships where the only employee both controls the business and conducts the work. Looking across job categories, you find that most of the "CEOs" are bookkeeping firms, architects, doctors, accountants, consultants, private eyes, mechanics' shops, food trucks, and people selling jelly at the farmer's market.

Even in the industry tabs which are less clearly sole practitioners, I suspect we would identify most "CEOs" as "small business owners" rather than "chief executives:" small mechanics' shops are in the same category as General Motors; a machine shop which builds custom parts for tractors is in the same category as General Electric. Is anyone talking about what these people make? No. Not generally.

In any other context, this sort of academic sloppiness would be basically intolerable. At AEI, it's expected: it isn't really a think-tank; it's a conclusion laundry. ___

posted image

2015-04-30 23:01:17 (4 comments, 10 reshares, 69 +1s)Open 

I wrote a post about an experience I had with Stack Exchange.

I wrote a post about an experience I had with Stack Exchange.___

posted image

2015-04-30 19:57:11 (14 comments, 22 reshares, 24 +1s)Open 

This thoughtful essay on Zinn's People's History echoes my feelings on radicalism.

Tautologically, elites are those who are in power, whomever they might be. When Zinn talks about historical cycles of radical resistance, near-triumph, and elite betrayal, he believes there to be a static class of elites who are wily and monolithic, evil and incompetent and yet somehow always victorious. But as the contradictory traits of this hypothetical elite necessarily imply, no such elite exists. 

Or not in the sense in which Zinn believes.

As the coal wars of the late 19th century ended, the miner's unions achieved a tenuous peace with the companies that employed them. Wages went up. Housing was repaired. The scrip system ended. Union members stopped believing that progress could only be made by violence; they did, after all, want to mine, not to burn mines. Union leaders... more »

This thoughtful essay on Zinn's People's History echoes my feelings on radicalism.

Tautologically, elites are those who are in power, whomever they might be. When Zinn talks about historical cycles of radical resistance, near-triumph, and elite betrayal, he believes there to be a static class of elites who are wily and monolithic, evil and incompetent and yet somehow always victorious. But as the contradictory traits of this hypothetical elite necessarily imply, no such elite exists. 

Or not in the sense in which Zinn believes.

As the coal wars of the late 19th century ended, the miner's unions achieved a tenuous peace with the companies that employed them. Wages went up. Housing was repaired. The scrip system ended. Union members stopped believing that progress could only be made by violence; they did, after all, want to mine, not to burn mines. Union leaders were selected for their ability to deal with management, not for unreasonable or unwavering resistance. Union leaders were co-opted by management. The advance of unionism ended; new leaders only held the line, or lost ground.

During Iran's Islamic Revolution, nationalist and socialist parties outraged by pervasive human rights violations signed on with Shi'a radicals to dethrone the Shah. They won. But only the radicals had guns, and the socialists and nationalists wanted to make accommodations with the remaining organs of the Iranian state. So Khomeini began a purge, both of his prior allies and of SAVAK. Then he realized that the Islamic Republic lacked an intelligence service, and -- however distasteful he found it -- having an intelligence service was necessary to run a state involved in international politics. So the purges ended, and SAVAK was folded into the new agency, SAVAMA.

In the aftermath of the 1876 election, poll violence and voter suppression had made the results of the presidential election unclear. There were widespread outbreaks of violence throughout Louisiana and the Carolinas. Had Tilden been acclaimed the winner, then Reconstruction would have ended anyway. And so Hayes made what his contemporaries called a "corrupt bargain," ending Reconstruction in order to take the Presidency. And so active, violent white supremacists once again became elites, and Hayes -- who had made a bargain with them -- took the most elite position in the country.

Elites change. When radicals become elites, they are not exempted from the forces that impelled the elites they replaced. They can resist those forces indefinitely, at the cost of unremitting violence and eventually their elite status, or they can co-opt the elites who preceded them, or they can be co-opted by those elites.

At every moment, co-option remains tempting: radical political and economic frameworks are richly imagined, but never so richly imagined that they take all possible contingencies. And so the ideologies and methods of the previous elite, tempered by their exposure to real conditions, remain a perpetual temptation. That former radicals so often succumb is perfectly understandable, when the other options are the practical failure of an untested ideology or the moral failure of perpetual violent revolution.___

2015-04-29 20:12:51 (22 comments, 2 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

Statistical Racism Weirdness: A Request for Hypotheses

In studies of explicit racial bias, the Rockies and Northwest consistently come out as being among the least biased parts of the country. This, of course, is less because people have praiseworthy beliefs about diversity, but because beliefs about nonwhite people simply aren't very salient -- these are the whitest, least diverse parts of the country.

And Wyoming shares almost all of its relevant characteristics with the intermountain west: extremely homogenous, extremely sparsely populated, similar economic activity, et cetera.

Except Wyoming is consistently rated as one of the most racially biased places in the country. Why would this be the case? What makes it different from the other extremely white states on the west side of the Rockies?

Statistical Racism Weirdness: A Request for Hypotheses

In studies of explicit racial bias, the Rockies and Northwest consistently come out as being among the least biased parts of the country. This, of course, is less because people have praiseworthy beliefs about diversity, but because beliefs about nonwhite people simply aren't very salient -- these are the whitest, least diverse parts of the country.

And Wyoming shares almost all of its relevant characteristics with the intermountain west: extremely homogenous, extremely sparsely populated, similar economic activity, et cetera.

Except Wyoming is consistently rated as one of the most racially biased places in the country. Why would this be the case? What makes it different from the other extremely white states on the west side of the Rockies?___

posted image

2015-04-29 19:11:27 (46 comments, 17 reshares, 47 +1s)Open 

Some Practice Tips, From A Real Live Attorney

(1) This motion is improperly captioned. Depending on your local rules, it would be more appropriate to file a Motion and Order to Fuck This Court and Everything It Stands For. 

(2) In the motion itself, the author should propose the manner in which the court should fuck itself and everything it stands for. The order should restate the relief requested in the motion in clear, succinct, and imperative language. 

(3) Specific performance is an uncommon form of relief. Mandamus is as well, but would not require a novel exercise of jurisdiction. The author might consider rewriting this in the form of a petition for a writ of mandamus and submitting it to the circuit court, reframing her request for the court to fuck itself and everything it stands for in a more well-defined format.

(4)T... more »

Some Practice Tips, From A Real Live Attorney

(1) This motion is improperly captioned. Depending on your local rules, it would be more appropriate to file a Motion and Order to Fuck This Court and Everything It Stands For. 

(2) In the motion itself, the author should propose the manner in which the court should fuck itself and everything it stands for. The order should restate the relief requested in the motion in clear, succinct, and imperative language. 

(3) Specific performance is an uncommon form of relief. Mandamus is as well, but would not require a novel exercise of jurisdiction. The author might consider rewriting this in the form of a petition for a writ of mandamus and submitting it to the circuit court, reframing her request for the court to fuck itself and everything it stands for in a more well-defined format.

(4) The movant's argument that the court should fuck itself and everything that it stands for should be contained in a brief in support of the motion. Consult your local rules for format guidelines and length requirements.

(5) If you are a jerk at a large law firm and would like to game the rules, you can split your motion into a "motion to fuck this court" and a "motion to fuck everything this court stands for." There are two separate issues here: through skilled lawyering, you might be able to convince the court that fucking itself is neither beyond its jurisdiction nor anatomical possibility. It would be considerably more difficult to demonstrate that "fucking everything this court stands for," which hypothetically includes such things as "the rule of law" and "democracy," was within its jurisdiction or the realm of possibility. 

(6) Plus, if you split it into two motions, you now get to file two briefs, which would give you double the page limit without filing for leave to file an overlength brief.___

posted image

2015-04-29 18:52:22 (41 comments, 3 reshares, 40 +1s)Open 

A lot of you have been passing around the study mapping racism by Google search density.

Initially, I had serious doubts -- at least in part because it doesn't match up at all with the survey data on the same topic. In fact, there seems to be a very low correlation whatsoever between that study's results and the more conventional surveys about racial stereotyping.

According to the latter studies, the states with the highest levels of race bias are pretty much those you'd expect: Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, Wyoming, Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Illinois. According to the Google study, the most racist places in America are in the northeast and upper Midwest, with islands of racism in Los Angeles.

So, I did the obvious thing: I downloaded my own search history, and asked a couple of other people to do the same, and picked over mys... more »

A lot of you have been passing around the study mapping racism by Google search density.

Initially, I had serious doubts -- at least in part because it doesn't match up at all with the survey data on the same topic. In fact, there seems to be a very low correlation whatsoever between that study's results and the more conventional surveys about racial stereotyping.

According to the latter studies, the states with the highest levels of race bias are pretty much those you'd expect: Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, Wyoming, Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Illinois. According to the Google study, the most racist places in America are in the northeast and upper Midwest, with islands of racism in Los Angeles.

So, I did the obvious thing: I downloaded my own search history, and asked a couple of other people to do the same, and picked over my search results for instances of the n-word. From this, I learned two things:

(1) One day in 2009, I spent three hours searching for various birth defects. I even did Google image searches. I have no idea why I did this. 

(2) Almost everyone has searched for the n-word. Including me. So, what were they looking for? Of my four runs of searches which involve it, two were for song lyrics -- I was trying to identify something I heard on the radio -- and the other two were for statements by American politicians. Of the other people I asked, all were (a) seriously freaked out about what they'd been searching for, and (b) when they searched for the n-word, they were googling around for lyrics.

This is not a scientific survey. But my suspicion is that "Googling for rap lyrics" is the most common use case here. And the data seems to bear this out. Take a look a the map below, which shows the distribution of rap fans in the US. Compare it to the map here (http://goo.gl/zJALUJ). See any similarities?

Yeah. So do I. Which leads me to believe that this Google search data is, in fact, garbage data -- which is a pity, because I'd like to see a survey-independent estimation of racism in the US.___

2015-04-28 18:25:42 (17 comments, 2 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

Civil War Counterfactuals #2: The South Peacefully Secedes

Yes, slavery would probably  be gone by the 20th century, even if the Civil War hadn't happened -- but not peacefully. That's because even if the CSA had seceded, war was inevitable: there cannot be durable peace between two adjacent countries with significant territorial disputes, where the ruling party of one country is animated by violent opposition to the central activity of the other.

If the Civil War hadn't happened, the most likely alternative is something like this:

(1) The Union and the Confederacy divorce, but never fully settle their issues. West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and control over the Mississippi remain significant issues of contention; claims to the West are never addressed. 

(2) Without the states of the old Confederacy, Congress has a permanentRe... more »

Civil War Counterfactuals #2: The South Peacefully Secedes

Yes, slavery would probably  be gone by the 20th century, even if the Civil War hadn't happened -- but not peacefully. That's because even if the CSA had seceded, war was inevitable: there cannot be durable peace between two adjacent countries with significant territorial disputes, where the ruling party of one country is animated by violent opposition to the central activity of the other.

If the Civil War hadn't happened, the most likely alternative is something like this:

(1) The Union and the Confederacy divorce, but never fully settle their issues. West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and control over the Mississippi remain significant issues of contention; claims to the West are never addressed. 

(2) Without the states of the old Confederacy, Congress has a permanent Republican majority with a substantial radical component. The Whigs return, though not in force. The Democratic party withers to a small pro-immigration party with no base of support outside Tammany Hall.

(3) Brushfire hostilities regularly break out on the western frontier of both countries and in the Appalachians, which were strongly pro-Union. One country or the other eventually moves to protect their partisans or settlers in the other country's territory. 

(4) As the primary buyer of cotton and the obvious counterweight to US naval power, Tory governments in the UK establish progressively stronger relations with the Confederacy. Remember: until World War I, and even afterward, tensions with the UK over US naval power were extraordinarily high.

(5) Slave revolts, funded and armed by Northern abolitionists, continue. The Confederacy considers this terrorism. The Radical Republicans refuse to commit to stopping, and may even fund abolitionist groups in the South directly.

(6) Eventually, abolitionist or Confederate-settler terrorism, secession movements in the Appalachians, or border disputes elsewhere lead to a war between the USA and CSA. The CSA is possibly backed, either overtly or covertly, by the UK. This war, after 50 years of fortifying the border, is the same type warfare as World War I.

Except without tanks. Or anything else capable of breaking the lines. ___

2015-04-28 18:21:04 (10 comments, 5 reshares, 34 +1s)Open 

Civil War Counterfactuals: The End of Confederate Slavery

When talking about the South, Confederate apologists often tell us that slavery was on its way out, and that slavery would have ended by the early 20th century. For what it's worth, I agree with the eventual conclusion: slavery would have eventually ended in the states of the Confederacy. 

But not through the democratic process, and not peacefully. Once committed to slavery, genocide or war were the only ways out. Here's why:

(1) The democratic process didn't allow it.

Confederate citizens had a constitutional right to own slaves. All new states admitted to the Confederacy were required to permit slavery. This could only be amended away by a vote of 2/3 of the legislatures of 2/3 of the states in the Confederacy. 

It is legally possible, albeit very unlikely forr... more »

Civil War Counterfactuals: The End of Confederate Slavery

When talking about the South, Confederate apologists often tell us that slavery was on its way out, and that slavery would have ended by the early 20th century. For what it's worth, I agree with the eventual conclusion: slavery would have eventually ended in the states of the Confederacy. 

But not through the democratic process, and not peacefully. Once committed to slavery, genocide or war were the only ways out. Here's why:

(1) The democratic process didn't allow it.

Confederate citizens had a constitutional right to own slaves. All new states admitted to the Confederacy were required to permit slavery. This could only be amended away by a vote of 2/3 of the legislatures of 2/3 of the states in the Confederacy. 

It is legally possible, albeit very unlikely for reasons discussed below, that slavery could have been banned. But note that the apportionment of Confederate state legislatures followed the antebellum pattern of counting both slaves and citizens in district censuses. In practice, banning slavery would require the consent of somewhere around 1/4 of the slave owners in each Confederate state. Does that sound likely?

(2) Slavery was not in decline prior to the Civil War.

Between 1850 and 1860, the slave population of the United States increased by 25%. The nature of slavery, however, began to change: slaves were rented out to perform skilled labor, rather than being used for unskilled farm labor. This made slavery immensely more profitable, by the 1850s, than it had previously been.

(3) Forced labor did not end after the Civil War.

Immediately after the war, southern Black Codes reestablished slavery under a fig leaf of legal process. Breach of a labor contract was a crime. Debt peonage was widespread. Fraudulent imprisonment followed by convict labor was endemic. It's not until the immediate aftermath of WWI that this pattern really begins to subside.

(4) The Confederacy had practical concerns beyond economic rationality.

The Confederacy wasn't just a society with slaves: it was a slave society which organized all of its economic, military, and police policy around the continued oppression of African-Americans. 

The reason is simple: through the Black Belt, slaves substantially outnumbered citizens. Southern districting law meant that those districts were far more powerful per capita than the urban or upland districts with fewer plantations . Allowing African-Americans full citizenship would have immediately turned power over to black governments. Whereupon the Confederacy would have dissolved, because it was founded on the principle of white supremacy.

If relegated to second-class citizens, there were plenty of northern abolitionists willing to arm slaves against their masters. There are plenty of examples of what happens to masters once their slaves are under arms: the Haitian revolt; the helot-assisted Theban conquest of Sparta; the collapse of the Assyrian empire; the fall of the Aztec empire to the Spanish. 

In a slave society, once you release the pressure, a lot of masters will find their heads on pikes.

(5) The economic conditions that temporarily impaired forced labor after the Civil War were, in fact, caused by it.

It's true that in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, forced labor was not particularly viable. This is because during the Confederate blockade, the UK -- which was the majority consumer of Confederate cotton -- had pressured Egypt into turning subsistence farms into cotton farms. This also relied on forced labor, but was immensely cheaper because it was closer.___

posted image

2015-04-28 03:43:39 (4 comments, 1 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

"The horror. The horror."

"The horror. The horror."___

posted image

2015-04-27 21:58:55 (120 comments, 7 reshares, 20 +1s)Open 

Some thoughts about legal system's behavior in extremely fraught corner cases like this:

(1) The likelihood that someone will be the target of a malicious false accusation of a crime is small. This likelihood is compounding: it is very unlikely that someone would be the target of multiple false accusations. It is reasonable for the general public, no matter their priors about false accusations, to believe that someone who has been accused by several people of several crimes is much more likely to be guilty.

Even when the accusations are not wholly independent.

(2) We can't use propensity evidence in an unrestricted way. There are a fair number of false convictions for sex offenses. They generally don't result from false accusations: they result from accusations directed at unknown parties, followed by police pattern-matching to a known criminal.... more »

Some thoughts about legal system's behavior in extremely fraught corner cases like this:

(1) The likelihood that someone will be the target of a malicious false accusation of a crime is small. This likelihood is compounding: it is very unlikely that someone would be the target of multiple false accusations. It is reasonable for the general public, no matter their priors about false accusations, to believe that someone who has been accused by several people of several crimes is much more likely to be guilty.

Even when the accusations are not wholly independent.

(2) We can't use propensity evidence in an unrestricted way. There are a fair number of false convictions for sex offenses. They generally don't result from false accusations: they result from accusations directed at unknown parties, followed by police pattern-matching to a known criminal. Which means that until the dam has been broken by a felony conviction of some sort, it is very hard to get around the lack of evidence in sexual assault proceedings.

(3) People behave strangely in the aftermath of trauma. People need to get on with their lives once immediate danger has passed, and they often try to get on with as much of their life as they can salvage. This often means pretending that whatever-it-was didn't actually happen, because the alternative is making your entire life, into the indefinite future, about the worst thing that happened to you.

(4) This strange behavior often includes changing stories. As stories become ever more public, people often find that they're not salvaging as much of their life as they thought they could. Sometimes, that means throwing away much of their credibility to protect their reputation, because neither justice nor revenge is, in the end, particularly satisfying. 

Changing stories means "reasonable doubt" does not necessarily mean that the accuser was lying, because there are plenty of cases where the accuser changes their story, and there is corroborating physical evidence, or the victim repudiates their story to stop a prosecution which has spiraled out of their control. 

(5) This is relevant to the general public, but not to the legal system. In cases where there is no corroborating evidence, changing stories create reasonable doubt. We can't get around that. This means that guilty people will go free because of something that traumatized people often do -- but we can't suspend the normal rules of evidence even if the behavior is understandable. The victim's story, in sexual assault cases, is a load-bearing structure: there's a burden of production with respect to lack of consent. 

There is no easy way around that without decreasing the reliability of the system. That convicts more innocent people, even where there is no false accusation.

(6) High-profile cases are inherently more likely to implode. Journalists need to do exactly what their feminist impulses tell them not to: aggressively fact-check, even when it doesn't seem like it would be good for your informant.

Why? Because talking to the media is extremely uncommon behavior for victims. However rare false reports are, approaching the media about your case is rarer: victims who are actively cooperating with police mostly want to get justice, stop others from being hurt, and quietly close the book on their trauma.

For people that aren't going to be re-traumatized by becoming the subject of national debate, because they haven't been traumatized to begin with, talking to the media is a much more reasonable choice. Why didn't I talk about the Rolling Stone article on the University of Virginia? Not because I actively disbelieved the story, but because victim-sources universally have unusual motives. 

(7) If you're an agent of the state, you're required to adhere by due process. If the process is right but you feel like the result was wrong, you're stuck: you can't just override your process and start pretending that you came to the opposite result.

You can fix your process, sure. You can look at the failures. But if you screwed up and came to the wrong result (and I don't necessarily think Columbia did), the best you can do is tell the person your process has hurt that the system has irrevocably failed them. This is the price we pay for the rule of law. 

(8) If you've been accused of something, and have been found innocent by some half-assed institutional process which falls substantially short of a real trial, you're definitely entitled not to be punished. You are not entitled to shut your accuser up unless you can prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the accuser is saying something intentionally or recklessly false. This is not the same thing as being found innocent, even if the standard of innocence was proof by preponderance.

(9) More particularly, you are probably not entitled to force nonjudicial agents of the state to shut your accuser up.  You might be entitled to compel agents of the state not to provide supererogatory support to your accuser's art project, but this is an extremely thin reed to walk out on, and I can't think of a bounding principle which would distinguish it from forcing nonjudicial agents of the state to shut up your accuser.___

posted image

2015-04-27 16:55:17 (23 comments, 1 reshares, 25 +1s)Open 

Canine venereal tumor is a unicellular subspecies of Canis lupus. HeLa is a unicellular subspecies of Homo sapiens.

And this is actually not an uncommon pattern. Not that long ago, we believed myxozoans -- parasitic, only-slightly-multicellular critters -- were protozoans. It turns out they're not. They're jellyfish that decided to give up on the whole "free-living and multicellular" thing, and ended up as animals so small that there are actually intracellular myxozoans. 

Canine venereal tumor is a unicellular subspecies of Canis lupus. HeLa is a unicellular subspecies of Homo sapiens.

And this is actually not an uncommon pattern. Not that long ago, we believed myxozoans -- parasitic, only-slightly-multicellular critters -- were protozoans. It turns out they're not. They're jellyfish that decided to give up on the whole "free-living and multicellular" thing, and ended up as animals so small that there are actually intracellular myxozoans. ___

posted image

2015-04-25 20:18:34 (6 comments, 4 reshares, 15 +1s)Open 

Yesterday, +Wil Wheaton's wife donated a dollar (up to $1000) to Anita Sarkesian's work for every angry GamerGate tweet directed at her. The limit was reached in minutes. +John Scalzi matched. (as apparently did others: http://www.themarysue.com/anne-wheaton-feminist-frequency/)

In retaliation, a GamerGater is donating $2000 to NAMBLA. No joke, GamerGaters are LITERALLY supporting pedophiles in their frothing rage.

Yesterday, +Wil Wheaton's wife donated a dollar (up to $1000) to Anita Sarkesian's work for every angry GamerGate tweet directed at her. The limit was reached in minutes. +John Scalzi matched. (as apparently did others: http://www.themarysue.com/anne-wheaton-feminist-frequency/)

In retaliation, a GamerGater is donating $2000 to NAMBLA. No joke, GamerGaters are LITERALLY supporting pedophiles in their frothing rage.___

posted image

2015-04-24 21:58:17 (6 comments, 6 reshares, 36 +1s)Open 

Ex-Governor Bilbo: I Let Him Hang

Yesterday, an old cover from Startling Detective Adventures piqued my interest. It featured the tagline: I Let Him Hang, by ex-Governor Bilbo of Mississippi,  and apparently ran in October of 1933. And I'm pretty sure, after some archives work at lunch today, that I know what went on. So, some questions and answers, section by section:

What the hell is Startling Detective Adventures?

It was a scummy little pulp production, featuring crime-scene photos and true crime stories. From contemporaneous descriptions, it appears to have been the 1930s' rotten.com: an explicitly prurient source for pictures of dead bodies and descriptions of how the people in question died. It also contained serials, standalone detective stories, and interviews with people involved in true-crime stories. 

It wasn'ta... more »

Ex-Governor Bilbo: I Let Him Hang

Yesterday, an old cover from Startling Detective Adventures piqued my interest. It featured the tagline: I Let Him Hang, by ex-Governor Bilbo of Mississippi,  and apparently ran in October of 1933. And I'm pretty sure, after some archives work at lunch today, that I know what went on. So, some questions and answers, section by section:

What the hell is Startling Detective Adventures?

It was a scummy little pulp production, featuring crime-scene photos and true crime stories. From contemporaneous descriptions, it appears to have been the 1930s' rotten.com: an explicitly prurient source for pictures of dead bodies and descriptions of how the people in question died. It also contained serials, standalone detective stories, and interviews with people involved in true-crime stories. 

It wasn't a great place.

Who the hell is Theodore Bilbo?

Probably the worst human being ever to have held political office in the Untied States. He held two nonconsecutive terms as governor, once in the immediate aftermath of World War I, and once in the first days of the Great Depression. Later, he had two terms as Senator, during which he was mostly notable for filibustering explicitly in defense of lynching.

During both of his gubernatorial terms, he replaced establishment candidates who represented the delta planter class. His base of support lay instead in upland Mississippi, with smallholders, townsfolk, and the white poor. The former governors supported oppressive, economically productive racism. Bilbo, on the other hand, supported murderous, economically destructive racism. 

In his 1916 campaign, Bilbo supported extreme, punitive measures against returning black World War I veterans, who realized in the aftermath of their service that, yes, they could be treated like citizens rather than slaves. Though he doesn't seem to have been a direct cause of the explosive anti-black riots that consumed the South in the aftermath of WWI, he rode that wave to political victory. And he did so again when he returned to power, preaching ethnic cleansing as in the first days of the Great Depression.

He was also a Democrat, and -- later -- the respect he commanded in the South would be critical to passing the first of the New Deal programs. The price? Explicit exclusion of African-Americans from the benefits of the New Deal.

He was also 5'2" and his last name was "Bilbo." Which makes his exclusion from the McSweeney's quiz "U.S. Senator or Hobbit" one of the most baffling editorial omissions in history. (See http://goo.gl/O0M4Q.)

What the hell was going on in 1933?

When this was written, Bilbo was making a second return to politics after being ignominiously drummed out of office in 1932 for corruption, incompetence, and violent, economically destructive racism. After having been drummed out the first time for precisely the same reason.

However, in 1931, he'd done what he promised never to do when he took office: put together a security detail for a black suspect who had been threatened with lynching. By 1933, after failing at running for the House, he needed to reestablish his credentials as a monster. Strangely, however, he was working as an analyst for the Department of Agriculture, taking clippings from news stories about agricultural devastation -- a position in which he was derisively called the "Pastemaster General."

It seems unlikely that his position would have given him much room at all to brag about his support for extrajudicial murder by armed white paramilitaries. But maybe it did. 

What the hell. Did he let people hang?

Explicitly so. In 1919, he explicitly declined to intervene in the lynching of an African-American in Ellisville, Mississippi. 

This was not, at the time, particularly controversial in Mississippi. He ran on a publicly pro-lynching platform, a political position which caused enormous angst for the Senate when he first won his seat. The Senate attempted to refuse to seat him, but was blocked by the Southern Senate delegation. 

What was controversial was his decision, in 1931, to call out the National Guard to prevent a second lynching -- though don't give him too much credit. The lynch mob in that case was also burning down significant parts of the county. Humiliated, defeated, and relegated to an unimportant job in an unimportant agency, it is conceivable that Bilbo actually gave an interview here: he needed to rebuild his reputation as a monster in order to win back the support of the foaming-mad-genocidal-racist voting bloc in Mississippi.

What the hell do you think this is talking about?

The Ellisville lynching of John Hartfield, discussed in the Jackson Daily News story reprinted below.

Do I know this? Not without spending $138 dollars to buy a morally bankrupt magazine about one of the most depressing events in history. But it fits all of the facts we know about the parties. Startling Detective Stories was a photographic pulp magazine which relied heavily on gore to sell copies. Bilbo was well-known for not raising a finger to stop one particular hanging. 

And the photographs taken of the Ellisville mob and hanging? 

They were sold as postcards throughout the South. The images taken from that murder were some of the most iconic lynching postcards ever made, but they weren't well-known in the north, where people didn't take pictures of murders and try to sell them to children -- and where pulp magazines were mostly sold. Taking everything we know into account, there's plenty of reason to believe that Startling Detective Stories was reprinting those photos, accompanied by a new or old interview with ex-governor Bilbo.

Grim. ___

posted image

2015-04-23 20:06:54 (15 comments, 0 reshares, 39 +1s)Open 

I don't usually post things on my Family Curse. But here's a pretty long-form piece on the nasty little neurological disorder that my family has to deal with.

I'm lucky, in that I'm mostly subclinical: I've got the gene, the gene is dominant, but I mostly just trip over things in the late afternoon, bang into doors, slur my words, and cramp up hard after exercise. Without drugs, I'm not confined to a wheelchair by dinner, as so many other people with DRD are.

The rest of my siblings? Not so much.

I don't usually post things on my Family Curse. But here's a pretty long-form piece on the nasty little neurological disorder that my family has to deal with.

I'm lucky, in that I'm mostly subclinical: I've got the gene, the gene is dominant, but I mostly just trip over things in the late afternoon, bang into doors, slur my words, and cramp up hard after exercise. Without drugs, I'm not confined to a wheelchair by dinner, as so many other people with DRD are.

The rest of my siblings? Not so much.___

posted image

2015-04-23 19:46:15 (8 comments, 1 reshares, 20 +1s)Open 

This is a surprising place to find a view into one of the darkest episodes into American political history.

In 1927, Dennis Murphree, the Democratic governor of Mississippi, did something that few prior Mississippi governors had done before: he called up the National Guard to defend the Jackson County jail and prevent a lynching. Though racial violence had declined precipitously under Murphree's governorship, Mississippi still had more lynchings per capita than any state in the union -- and all of those lynched were African-Americans.

The improbably-named Theodore Bilbo ran explicitly on a pro-lynching platform, declaring that no African-American*, whether innocent or guilty, deserved the protection of the state. And he won. In a landslide. Later, he was elected to the Senate, where he was reelected (and reelected, and reelected) on a platform of denying African-Americans any... more »

I Let Him Hang http://bit.ly/1OGxqu1___This is a surprising place to find a view into one of the darkest episodes into American political history.

In 1927, Dennis Murphree, the Democratic governor of Mississippi, did something that few prior Mississippi governors had done before: he called up the National Guard to defend the Jackson County jail and prevent a lynching. Though racial violence had declined precipitously under Murphree's governorship, Mississippi still had more lynchings per capita than any state in the union -- and all of those lynched were African-Americans.

The improbably-named Theodore Bilbo ran explicitly on a pro-lynching platform, declaring that no African-American*, whether innocent or guilty, deserved the protection of the state. And he won. In a landslide. Later, he was elected to the Senate, where he was reelected (and reelected, and reelected) on a platform of denying African-Americans any protection from white mobs and paramilitaries. 

And he was successful. The United States never passed anti-lynching legislation. 

Unsurprisingly, I Let Him Hang, published some time in the 1930s, is an explicit and triumphal defense of lynching. It's unusual to find it in a pulp "true crime" magazine, and my suspicion (not having access to the primary document) is that it's actually an unauthorized reprint of a Bilbo speech, not a unique work written explicitly for this venue. 

(1) Bilbo did not use the word "African-American."

2015-04-22 22:05:59 (13 comments, 2 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

"""
As Americans realize states don't need an income tax to fit their budgets, Norquist argues, people will start to question why the federal government needs one too. "For most of our country's history we didn't have an income tax," Norquist explains. "In our 50 states, nine don't have income taxes. I think in the next 15 years it will be 25 that don't have income taxes."
"""

Instead, we had the Tariff, at every moment the second most controversial government policy, and the excises. To remedy the crushing burden of the Tariff, Congress passed an income tax. That tax was declared unconstitutional -- on a reading which held that an in income tax is tantamount to a direct tax on property, so the decision is in obvious error -- so we passed the Sixteenth Amendment with broad support across the political spectrum.more »

"""
As Americans realize states don't need an income tax to fit their budgets, Norquist argues, people will start to question why the federal government needs one too. "For most of our country's history we didn't have an income tax," Norquist explains. "In our 50 states, nine don't have income taxes. I think in the next 15 years it will be 25 that don't have income taxes."
"""

Instead, we had the Tariff, at every moment the second most controversial government policy, and the excises. To remedy the crushing burden of the Tariff, Congress passed an income tax. That tax was declared unconstitutional -- on a reading which held that an in income tax is tantamount to a direct tax on property, so the decision is in obvious error -- so we passed the Sixteenth Amendment with broad support across the political spectrum.

Because, in all seriousness, the only people who supported the Tariff were factory owners who were greatly subsidized by it.

And so we had, by the end of World War I, taxation as we know it today. Not that Norquist would be aware or care, he's just a conservative media personality. Seriously, it would be as if Democrats really did let $movie_star write their platforms.___

posted image

2015-04-22 18:12:09 (23 comments, 5 reshares, 29 +1s)Open 

No.

There are no proximate causes here. The market's behavior during the flash crash was caused by the intersection of HFT spoofing algorithms, some big, dumb manual spoofing, and a few large banks' quick-but-stupid automated sell triggers. This resulted in a purely automated feedback loop which was beyond the control of any particular market actor, however large. (Or, in this case, however small.)

The fact that an unusually dumb spoofing operation was part of the cause simply demonstrates the brittleness which occurs at the interface of complex systems which make different assumptions about market behavior, but -- most importantly -- do not assume each other's behavior. Because they cannot. Because the specifics of that behavior are trade secrets.

No.

There are no proximate causes here. The market's behavior during the flash crash was caused by the intersection of HFT spoofing algorithms, some big, dumb manual spoofing, and a few large banks' quick-but-stupid automated sell triggers. This resulted in a purely automated feedback loop which was beyond the control of any particular market actor, however large. (Or, in this case, however small.)

The fact that an unusually dumb spoofing operation was part of the cause simply demonstrates the brittleness which occurs at the interface of complex systems which make different assumptions about market behavior, but -- most importantly -- do not assume each other's behavior. Because they cannot. Because the specifics of that behavior are trade secrets.___

posted image

2015-04-22 18:03:16 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

From +David Loring, a coda: "Callout culture has been a consistent challenge for communities of social justice since well before the current set of concerned articles about it. I remember a wave of articles about its risks within feminist blogs about four years ago, for instance. It mostly seems to stem from people who don't have the emotional resources to practice bad-faith good-faith, or who are primed to expect bad-faith because they receive dozens of messages in bad faith each day."

And there's been empirical research on this subject! It turns out that the less tolerant a community is to trolling, the more disruptive the trolls are in the long run. Worse, the higher the volume of trolls, the less tolerant a community becomes to dissent.

In the long run, this leads to escalating polarization of communities that need defense: defense of community boundaries becomes... more »

I see articles talking about the growth of "online authoritarianism" among liberals smitten with call-out culture, I've even posted a few.

But, in truth, I've never seen this directly. I always have it linked to me by someone else as an example of online authoritarianism. So why don't I ever see this?

I think Bryan Caplan is right here: I don't look for it, I'm not out following people for the sake of rage or, in this case, myötähäpeä. I use Tumblr, which seems to the epicenter, as a source for adorable hyenas* and precious little else.

But it's also hard for me to see once pointed out. My theories for it range from "holy shit, authoritarianism" to "people with borderline personality disorder latching onto something which creates constant opportunities for validation"** to... well... have you ever read a comments section? They're full of jackassery.†

Which is where I've landed tonight: if you think there's this overwhelming authoritarianism growing among Internet liberals, you haven't been on the Internet long. Not only do we get bumper crops of authoritarianism every year, we get it in all conditions and climates, with growing seasons so fast we'd solve world hunger if only sanctimony and censoriousness were edible.

That's what this post is really about: it's time that we have top men working on edible sanctimony and potable censoriousness. There are over seven billion people here now†† and if we're to maintain the quality of life we've come to expect while preventing environmental devastation, we'll need a richly abundant food source which requires little energy, land, or water as inputs.

*http://jaws-and-claws.tumblr.com/post/113873042780/addo-pe-63-by-thenunsofgaborone-on-flickr

**http://www.reddit.com/r/ShitTumblrSays

†And space babies.

††Also at least 400,000 illegal aliens from the Pleiades.___From +David Loring, a coda: "Callout culture has been a consistent challenge for communities of social justice since well before the current set of concerned articles about it. I remember a wave of articles about its risks within feminist blogs about four years ago, for instance. It mostly seems to stem from people who don't have the emotional resources to practice bad-faith good-faith, or who are primed to expect bad-faith because they receive dozens of messages in bad faith each day."

And there's been empirical research on this subject! It turns out that the less tolerant a community is to trolling, the more disruptive the trolls are in the long run. Worse, the higher the volume of trolls, the less tolerant a community becomes to dissent.

In the long run, this leads to escalating polarization of communities that need defense: defense of community boundaries becomes the key signifier of participation in the community. This attracts more trolls, which causes more polarization, and on and on and on. Until, eventually, you get the present state of affairs. 

2015-04-22 17:53:04 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

I would not call Bloodborne "difficult". There's a certain degree of rigor to it, but the game is designed around the assumption that you'll die several times an hour.* For instance, you retain all your items, even those you just found, and can regain the currency you lose. In addition, scaling in the game is really good, so even losing your chance to regain blood echoes (that currency) isn't a large setback.

Dying isn't much of a problem.

There are also always two routes if you have trouble. The first, you can simply keep trying the fight until you have it down, honing skill until it works. The second, you can simply farm mobs for blood echoes, upgrade items, and so on until you can be well-equipped. Either of these options seems to work out quite well and a mix of them is usually best. Moreover, the game doesn't set you up for failure: you can choose... more »

I would not call Bloodborne "difficult". There's a certain degree of rigor to it, but the game is designed around the assumption that you'll die several times an hour.* For instance, you retain all your items, even those you just found, and can regain the currency you lose. In addition, scaling in the game is really good, so even losing your chance to regain blood echoes (that currency) isn't a large setback.

Dying isn't much of a problem.

There are also always two routes if you have trouble. The first, you can simply keep trying the fight until you have it down, honing skill until it works. The second, you can simply farm mobs for blood echoes, upgrade items, and so on until you can be well-equipped. Either of these options seems to work out quite well and a mix of them is usually best. Moreover, the game doesn't set you up for failure: you can choose where you respawn, at no point is the player stuck in a hopeless battle because they lack the equipment and have respawned too deep in hostile territory to obtain remedy.

I've not seen any fights I've thought hopeless since I learned the full retinue of controls and this is the first console game I've played in about a decade, emulated 8- or 16-bit games withstanding. So it just doesn't feel difficult to me at all; there are no hopeless mysteries about it and no weirdly immense learning curves. I even managed to kill the Cleric Beast through patient dodging, without summoning Father Gascoigne.

Each objective might be reached only by careful planning or intense, perfect cowardice, but it never feels like the game is actually out to get you. While you need to accept a few deaths, it's not really a failure mode and the game takes pains to disabuse you of the notion. It's even part of the in-game world. Though this might seem a badge of difficulty, it's actually incredibly liberating: there's no reason not to try the head-on, kill-em-all, let eldritch horrors sort them out strategy. Or to take a chance at running for your life all the way to a gate you can open or ladder you can drop.

You stand a good chance of dying regardless, why not take some chances? It's not like you're going to see a game over screen. I feel that taking pressure off of dying, really abandoning the arcade model and developing the game mechanics around death being bad but not in any sense final, diminishes the difficulty. You're very free to practice an area, a move, an encounter, or a run. That ability and the option of doing a little farming relieves the intense pressure in earlier games in which mistakes had permanent costs, resetting the entire game or leaving a favorite save stuck, potionless, before the hardest boss.

Bloodborne doesn't provide difficulty, it demands rigor and attention. But there's nothing in it that any player could not achieve without taking advantage of what is described above: how frequent dying, the central badge of difficulty, liberates the player to practice and experiment.

#

I do have one other quibble with the received wisdom: the Threaded Cane is the best starting weapon, hands down. The cane form of the weapon is very fast and its slightly lower damage is a fast shrinking liability as you begin apply upgrades.** The whip form provides you with volume. This feature is absolutely amazing because it allows you to hit enemies in a fairly large cone in front of you; this means that variations in terrain, the jumping of crows, and the movement of enemies matters much less, simplifying combat in lazy moments and saving you in "oh fuck oh shit oh fuck" ones.

 *Almost. There's this huge caching issue which causes an interminable load screen every time. 

**Consider that if the cane does 85 damage and the axe does 93 damage, there's a ~10% disadvantage for the cane. But each upgrade narrows the gap because the difference after each remains only eight points.___

posted image

2015-04-22 17:49:34 (7 comments, 1 reshares, 10 +1s)Open 

"""
“Government must remain neutral to any viewpoint or idea, and allow the expression of ideas, even if the vast majority of the community considers the idea dangerous, offensive, wrong and evil,” attorney Nadine Strossen said.

Still, a spokesman for the New York City Police Department said the officer has been instructed not to drive the car to work anymore.

“Due to the fact that its presence at the NYPD facility may be considered offensive and/or inappropriate, the registered owner is being instructed that the car should not be parked on NYPD property,” the unnamed spokesman said.

So much for free speech.
"""

The rules work differently for public officials. The problem with a police officer driving a car to work which bears the Confederate flag should be obvious. It creates the appearance that they will notdischar... more »

"""
“Government must remain neutral to any viewpoint or idea, and allow the expression of ideas, even if the vast majority of the community considers the idea dangerous, offensive, wrong and evil,” attorney Nadine Strossen said.

Still, a spokesman for the New York City Police Department said the officer has been instructed not to drive the car to work anymore.

“Due to the fact that its presence at the NYPD facility may be considered offensive and/or inappropriate, the registered owner is being instructed that the car should not be parked on NYPD property,” the unnamed spokesman said.

So much for free speech.
"""

The rules work differently for public officials. The problem with a police officer driving a car to work which bears the Confederate flag should be obvious. It creates the appearance that they will not discharge their duties properly and, instead, act on an ideology proscribed by the constitution.*

Earlier I favored a law allowing guns into an employee parking lot, negating the right of the owner to ban them from their property.

While this seems a similar case, it isn't. The rules work differently for public officials. An appearance of racism at, f.ex., a car factory is not nearly so problematic as the appearance of racism at the police station, in the courthouse, or even at the DMV. If you can't accept that the government can place greater restrictions on its central representatives insofar as their use of public property, don't work for the government.

*This post isn't about "the law". In law, the rules work the same for public officials: the government can impose nearly any restriction on its employees any other employer could impose, including this one. Where it diverges is that I'm willing to accept "freedom culture" arguments for private parties I will not for public entities. There are a few provisos, but none significant here.___

posted image

2015-04-21 20:05:26 (39 comments, 5 reshares, 18 +1s)Open 

""
Allies are important, except when they’re the worst. That is my takeaway from this current moment in man-feminist relations, but the idea is not new. [...] The central conflict is simple: Because men are “members of the dominant group, they have access to social and institutional power that women lack,” Macomber writes, and that makes them valuable to feminism—but it also makes them representatives of a culture feminists are working to change.

When it comes to day-to-day interactions between allies and feminists, the problem becomes a lot more complicated. [...] Male allies are encouraged to speak up against domestic violence because “men listen to other men,” Macomber found; then again, the idea that male voices are privileged over female ones is part of the problem. Men only seem to flock to feminist activism when the word men is coded into the event ororganizatio... more »

""
Allies are important, except when they’re the worst. That is my takeaway from this current moment in man-feminist relations, but the idea is not new. [...] The central conflict is simple: Because men are “members of the dominant group, they have access to social and institutional power that women lack,” Macomber writes, and that makes them valuable to feminism—but it also makes them representatives of a culture feminists are working to change.

When it comes to day-to-day interactions between allies and feminists, the problem becomes a lot more complicated. [...] Male allies are encouraged to speak up against domestic violence because “men listen to other men,” Macomber found; then again, the idea that male voices are privileged over female ones is part of the problem. Men only seem to flock to feminist activism when the word men is coded into the event or organization title (Men For Choice; Men Can Stop Rape). On the other hand, men who enter female spaces without an explicit invitation may intrude on feminists seeking “a break from their everyday encounters with men.” Men who style themselves as “experts” in feminism overstate their qualifications, but those who insist that their feminism is a “process” and that they will invariably “make mistakes” seem to be granting themselves a license to mess up. Some feminists applaud men just for speaking out; others resent the fact that men are idolized for saying, as one female activist told Macomber, “the same exact thing Ida B. Wells said back in like 1824.” Even if feminist men exclusively produced “Sensitive, Correct, Good Takes,” Kat Stoeffel argued in The Cut last week, they’d still be “taking up space that a woman might have otherwise occupied.”
""___

Buttons

A special service of CircleCount.com is the following button.

The button shows the number of followers you have directly in a small button. You can add this button to your website, like the +1-Button of Google or the Like-Button of Facebook.






You can add this button directly in your website. For more information about the CircleCount Buttons and the description how to add them to another page click here.

Andreas SchouFacebookCircloscope