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Tag Archives: History

Model this East German crime

Following the collapse of the communist regime in 1989, the number of births halved in East Germany. These cohorts became markedly more likely to be arrested as they grew up in reunified Germany. This is observed for both genders and all offence types. Here is the full article by Arnauld Chevalier and Olivier Marie, the authors seem to think the reunification event selects for risky parents, are there other possible explanations? Via the excellent Kevin Lewis. The post Model this East German...

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Peter Thiel on the funding of science

At a keynote address at the Precision Medicine World Conference, Thiel argued for enabling riskier research grant-making via institutions such as the NIH, as well as abandoning the scientific staple of the double-blind trial and encouraging the U.S. FDA to further accelerate its regulatory evaluations. He said that these deficiencies are inhibiting the ability of scientists to make major advances, despite the current environment that is flooded with capital and research talent. Make science...

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Marginal Revolution University video for Anna Schwartz

It is excellent, one of my favorite MRU videos to date: Here is some text from the release email: The second episode of Women In Economics is out today! Join Harvard’s Claudia Goldin, UC Berkeley’s Christina Romer, and more on an insightful, engaging look at Anna Jacobson Schwartz’s life and achievements. Did you know that Anna graduated from high school at 15? Or that her dissertation couldn’t be published because of paper rationing during World War II? Yet despite this setback, she went...

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Tomb Economics

The Mughals of Northern India are famous for their tombs, Humayun’s tomb in Delhi, Jahangir’s Tomb in Lahore and, of course, the Taj Mahal. Why so many tombs? Culture surely has something to do with it, although conservative Muslims tend to frown on tombs and ancestor worship as interference with the communication between man and God. Incentives are another reason. Under the Mansabdari system which governed the nobility, the Mughal Emperor didn’t give perpetual grants of...

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The culture that is Brazil? (and Nazi Germany)

A video in which Brazil’s culture minister uses parts of a speech by Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Germany’s propaganda boss, has sparked outrage. In the clip posted on the ministry’s Twitter page, Roberto Alvim details an award for “heroic” and “national” art. Lohengrin by Wagner, Hitler’s favourite composer, plays in the background. Reacting to the controversy, Mr Alvim said the speech was a “rhetorical coincidence”. Far-right President...

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What should I ask John McWhorter?

I will be doing a Conversation with him, with an associated public event.  Here is part of his Wikipedia profile: John Hamilton McWhorter V…is an American academic and linguist who is associate professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University, where he teaches linguistics, American studies, philosophy, and music history. He is the author of a number of books on language and on race relations, and his writing has appeared in many prominent magazines. His research...

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Damir Marusic and Aaron Sibarium interview me for *The American Interest*

It was far-ranging, here is the opening bit: Damir Marusic for TAI: Tyler, thanks so much for joining us today. One of the themes we’re trying to grapple with here at the magazine is the perception that liberal democratic capitalism is in some kind of crisis. Is there a crisis? TC: Crisis, what does that word mean? There’s been a crisis my whole lifetime. And: TC: I think addiction is an underrated issue. It’s stressed in Homer’s Odyssey and in Plato, it’s one of the classic problems of...

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My Conversation with the excellent Reid Hoffman

This one is better than the other available conversations with Reid, here is the transcript and audio.  Here is part of the CWTeam summary: Reid joined Tyler to talk about all these leverage points and more, including the Silicon Valley cultural meme he most disagrees with, how Wittgenstein influenced the design of LinkedIn, mystical atheism, what it was like being on Firing Line, why he’s never said anything outrageous, how he and Peter Thiel interpret The Tempest differently, the most...

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Unions, bagels, and the mob

It all started out as a set of bakers with secret knowledge of how to make bagels properly. It became a union, ensuring that the holders of the secret knowledge were the ones to profit from it - almost more like an old craft guild but with pickets.  And then the mob came in.  A fantastic story over at Grub Street. Strongly recommended; superb storytelling around a story that was great to begin with.A snippet: The excessive hours mandated in such environments were so brutal that in the...

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Facts about deaths of Roman emperors

Of the 69 rulers of the unified Roman Empire, from Augustus (d. 14 CE) to Theodosius (d. 395 CE), 62% suffered violent death. This has been known for a while, if not quantitatively at least qualitatively. What is not known, however, and has never been examined is the time-to-violent-death of Roman emperors… Nonparametric and parametric results show that: (i) emperors faced a significantly high risk of violent death in the first year of their rule, which is reminiscent of infant...

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