Implied Dissent

Monday, February 28, 2005

Brad DeLong is a douchebag

Brad wrote an interesting post on global warming. I commented as follows:
I certainly could be wrong, but it sounds to me like his
methodology is question-begging. If I am please say why
explicitly and don't just say that I am in brackets.
I put the last part in due to the fact that I've seen him do exactly that sometimes rather than deal with people's questions and objections. So he erases my second sentence and writes:

[Why do you think so? A comment like this is unhelpful.]

Ok. I should have should said exactly why I thought it was question-begging, but deleting the second sentence is a little obnoxious. I probably was a little overly peeved when I wrote the following, but still I was pretty calm and straight-forward:

First off, Brad, way to butcher my comment and comply
with the letter of but not the intent of the request I
made that you cut out. Nice.
Anyway, his proof that man is causing the changes
sounds like he simply took a model and played with
some of the numbers. The numbers our actions can
affect are the ones that move the model, so our guilt
in changing the climate is proven by this model. A
model which already presupposed we're causing the
changes. I should have been more explicit about what
I meant, and it's certainly possible that my
understanding of his methodology is off somehow, but I
do have to say that "a comment like [yours] is
Notice that I've said twice that I could be wrong. I'm practically begging him to explain to me why I am. What's his response? He deletes my comment and calls me a troll. Hence, I'm left with one inescapable conclusion: Brad DeLong is a douchebag. But, then, we already knew that. If I ever treat someone who leaves a comment on my site like this, let me know. Yes, I know it's his site and he can run it how he wants to, but that's not the point. We should all try to be like Tom, notice how he handles people with whom he disagrees in a thoughtful manner, even when he clearly thinks they're nuts.

[Update: BD/DB emailed me to say that the comment I left does not add "knowledge or information". I asked him to explain why in a 100% respectful manner. He responded to a non-essential part of my email with a flippant remark. So I asked again, still completely devoid of rancor, insult, or anything of that sort. No response. I reiterate my conclusion of douchebaggery. Either I'm right or he has no clue, or both. Another request to you: if I clearly don't know something and don't admit it, call me on it.]


Fox is contemplating cancelling Arrested Development. This can not stand. Sign the petition.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Understanding Marxism

In 4 simple steps (via Catallarchy)


in spades.


Balko has a visit from the cops.

Saturday, February 26, 2005


Tabarrok on why Brad and Brad are wrong about how the structure of how we pay for healthcare doesn't really matter. Laffer Curve (also 1,2, 3) anyone?

Are you kidding me?

"Condoleezza distinctly attractive." While I vehemently disagree with people who like the job she has done, is doing, and could do as (shudder) president, I can sort of understand where they're coming from. But that quote is just delusional.

Isn't there an implicit contract to spit or swallow?

Women impregnates self with semen kept from oral sex. Court rules it wasn't theft. Reason's punchline: Lockeans should note that in this case, the mixing came nine months before the labor. ba dum bum. (via Catallarchy)

Friday, February 25, 2005

C's and Pats

I haven't fully decided, but I'm pretty sure I'm against the Antoine Walker trade the Celtics just made. I was against trading him away, but trading for him now doesn't make a lot of sense to me. If it were just a straight trade, 3 for 1, I'd be fine with it, but we threw in a first round draft pick. I don't know the conditions on the pick, which could swing me in favor of the trade if they're stringent enough, but combining losing a pick with taking playing time away from Al Jefferson to develop doesn't seem like a good strategy. It's hard to say what effect it will have on the team this season, which is fine by me, I'm for taking risks when the season isn't really going anywhere anyway, but I'm skeptical of the long run implications given that the best-case scenario is probably that the C's win one playoff series. Eh.
In other news, sources tell me the Pats have cut Ty Law [Looks like this became official in between the time I last looked at a newssite and when I wrote the post, but I did know before it was out there. Really]. I'm a big Law fan and will miss him, but this almost certainly is the right move. It will save the team something on the order of $8M against the cap this year. As great as Law is, he's not that good, as the Pats proved that they can put together a pretty good secondary without him already. I'm sure they will be looking to add some talent at cornerback and/or safety to compensate for losing Ty, but they will have a lot of money to do so, so they'll be fine.

Go Ross!

My cuz is mentioned in a George Will column.

Just doing my part

How to save the world.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Soc Sec

Kling on problems with the forecasts. I felt like the 3% figure was too high, but he shows why. Since even hacks like Luskin weren't questioning it, I figured it must be more or less right. I should have gone with my gut. Anyway, there's stuff here for people on different sides of the reform issue, though he mainly concentrates on why one certain assumption hurts reform efforts.

Now we're going to have to arrest lots of old people

Marijuana may prevent Alzheimer's.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Standard Deves

Kling on the Summers brouhaha (via Instapundit). Remember, even if you think he's wrong, that doesn't make him a sexist.

I do?

Oh, wrong Maestro.

Sunday, February 20, 2005


Fascinating piece in the NY Times on Bush. I have no idea if it will raise or lower him in most people's eyes, but it is definitely highly recommended reading.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

You look like you have something to say

I certainly do.


We don't need no stinking facts! (via Eschaton)

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Oh yeah

That last post reminds me to post this, Blodgett's Complete Guide to Wall Street Self-Defense. You could do a lot worse than to read his advice. Not his stock picks, as he's barred (probably rightly) from giving specific advice, but about everything else.


I was just thinking the other day that open-source investment analysis could be a great idea, but wasn't sure how to go about doing it, especially given the legal issues. Along comes ThinkBlog. It's not exactly what I'm envisioning, but it does seem to be a step in the right direction. I say there's only a 10% chance it's shut down by the government or by the threat of government action inside a year.

Yay Comcast

How often do you get to root for a cable company? I think this is the first time for me. (And it has nothing to with the Jets, I feel the same way about the possibility of the Red Sox getting a sweetheart stadium deal).

Ok, but what is it?

Jacoby has a great sounding column on Israeli-Palestinian relations. Of course I'm for the Palestinians knowing freedom. Somehow I get the idea that what he means by it and what I mean are different though. I don't really care if there are two states, one state, or some other number. If Palestinians can be integrated into Israeli society, there you go. This solution bugs some people because then Israel would no longer be Jewish, but that doesn't bother me at all, I'm for the separation of church and state. I don't know if this could work or not, given the animosity both sides feel, but in principle it's good.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Old and new

How often do you a post referencing both Hayek and Wayne's World?


If you've read Rand and found how she depicts the intelligentsia a caricature, read the introduction to this article on where science is going next. She wasn't right about everything, but was dead-on about some things.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Lou Dobbs, the forest

The forest, Lou Dobbs.
How can you look at the immense amount of wealth creation we've seen in this country, and say that it's clear that free-trade doesn't work? We've had a weak job situation for a few years, but there are still far more jobs here than there were ten, twenty, thirty years ago. And how come when we send jobs overseas, it's bad, but when foreign companies send jobs here, it's also bad? Our trade deficits are not a sign of our weakness, they're a sign of the weakness of the rest of the world.

Monday, February 14, 2005


Don't trust Krugman. Even when he admits to being wrong, like in the referenced Fraga situation, it's the most weaselly (sp?), I-did-nothing-wrong, bullshit. Can't we do a little better?


Iraqis vote according to their own wishes. Will wonders never cease?

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

C Rock

How to not get your ass kicked (via Master of None)

The wrong stat

Superbowl commercials are inefficient, or so says Slate: you can reach more viewers at a lower price advertising on other shows. I see at least two problems with this analysis, in addition to what Rojas says. First, it's not just how many viewers, it's also who the viewers are. I suspect Superbowl demographics are better than average. Second, most of the time people don't pay much attention to ads, but they do while watching the Superbowl; a lot of people watch for the ads, thus each viewer is more valuable than on the average show. I don't how if these factors make Superbowl ads the right decision or not at their current prices, but they are non-trivial.


Nelson lays out why he thinks blacks are rationally lazy in response to racism. And is labelled a racist for it. Read the last sentence of the first paragraph and tell me he's being a racist. Maybe impolitic or crude or unnecesarily provocative. Being any of those things and wrong on a race issue doesn't, in and of itself, label you a racist.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Go Daddy

See the censored (sort of) Super Bowl ad.

Yep, dynasty

Go, Pats!
Incidentally, this puts me at 8-3 picking winners, which is not bad, and 7-4 against the spread, which is good. Sweet, maybe I don't suck anymore....

Saturday, February 05, 2005


Well, we're finally there, at the doorstep to a dynasty. Arguably it doesn't matter if the Pats win or not, making the Super Bowl this year was enough to mark them as dynastic after winning it all 2 of the last 3 years, but if they win, then there is no question. Hopefully the players are sincere when they say they aren't thinking about it, that they're just concentrating on the game. Onto what I think will happen.
I believe the Patriots are favored over the Eagles by 7, though that number could be a little off. Let's consider the three matchups, our offense vs. their defense, vice versa, and special teams. Philly's defense is excellent, one of the best in the league, and has been for a few years, so you know it's legit. The Patriots offense this year went from above average, maybe pretty good, to being really good, as trading for Corey Dillon added a new dimension. They scored 41 points on the top-ranked defense in the AFC Championship game. That's impressive. I'm calling this a slight edge for Philly.
I could write exactly what I wrote for the Eagles' defense for the Pats'. One of the best in the league, has been for a while, definitely legit. Holding the explosive Colts' offense to three points was kind of amazing, though the snow did help. The Eagles' offense is harder to pin down, mostly because of Terrell Owens. With him, they were great, practically unstoppable. If he hadn't hurt himself, I'd put the Pats' advantage here slight, so that we might call the game a tossup so far. If he definitely weren't playing, the Eagles offense would figure to be decent, as McNabb is really good, as is Westbrook, and the rest are respectable, so the Pats would have a huge advantage. I'm guessing Owens will play, he won't be his old self, but he will help, so the Pats' advantage is only significant, not huge, but he is a big wild card. I know, no one is saying this, but that's what you come here for, unconventional analysis like that....
Anyway, moving to special teams, Philly is better at most aspects. Better at kicking off, punting, returning kickoffs, returning punts. However, three of those are small advantages, with only punt returns by the Pats of significance. Field goal kicking is pretty much a wash, as both are great, except that I'd take Adam Ice in a big game over Akers, always. Advantage Eagles, but this is definitely the least important of the three areas of game play.
Coaching and intangibles definitely favor the Patriots. Andy Reid is very good coach, but he's no Belichick. Practically all of the Patriots starters have been in this sort of situation before, some of them have been to multiple Super Bowls, whereas the Eagles are mostly newbies at dealing with Super Bowl stuff. They definitely have a just-happy-to-be-here sense about them, which generally doesn't bode well. The Freddie Mitchell situation actually concerns me a little. Whether he meant to or not, he may give the Eagles a chance to put up some points because of what he said. If the Pats put too much attention on shutting him down and less attention on other, better, players, it could hurt them. Or they might go out of their way to not do that, and he has a big day from lack of attention. D'oh. Still, I definitely give the edge to New England in both areas.
So, looking at the total picture, and not knowing what's going on with Owens, I give the Patriots the edge. It probably won't go down to a final kick to end the game like their last two Super Bowls, but it will be close, with the end in doubt until close to the end. Patriots 23, Eagles 17.

Could you...

use this toilet?

Friday, February 04, 2005


What the VP in Day After Tomorrow should have said.

Tripe that the NY Times puts out

There are legitimate reasons to oppose Bush on Social Security. I think that I do, though, without more details, I can't say for sure yet. Apparently, Paul Krugman would rather lie and misrepresent than put forth a real argument. How can someone in the running for a Nobel Prize in economics (actually, The Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel) not understand borrowing vs. opportunity costs?

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

AKA Groundhog's Day

Tomorrow would be Ayn Rand's 100th birthday. Reason has a few articles up on her, one of pop-type references to her, and here's a longish column. Coincidentally, I'm in the middle of rereading The Fountainhead for the first time since in 9 years. I definitely didn't fully get it the first time. What a great book.


The author of Gilligan Unbound is interviewed. Some interesting stuff.

Bringing down Collapse

Easterbrook reviews "Collapse". I think my favorite line is "He thinks backward 13,000 years, forward only a decade or two." Nice.