bushesAs it happens, if you charge users for their water, they use less.

Australian researchers may have a breakthrough on Alzheimer’s.

Puerto Rico is losing its middle class, but gaining millionaires.

I’m not uniformly opposed to term limits, but the ones suggested here are too short. I’d be more open to 20 years in either house or 30 years total. (Senators would be able to complete their terms.)

Freddie deBoer looks at Purdue University’s newest pretty (and very empty) building, and contrasts it with important existing facilities, putting in a good word for cost-conscious alternatives. I’m personally a little bummed because I found out they’re tearing down the dorm I lived in for four years, and replacing it with more luxurious accommodations. They won’t be empty, at least.

To combat infanticide, China set up “safe havens” for abandonment (like we do with fire stations). Unfortunately, so many babies are being abandoned that they’re shutting them down.

Are investors getting in the way of traditional home-buyers?

I’m a tad skeptical of the plan of this DC developer to build “shared space housing.” You can think of it like dorms or retirement communities, but those places are narrowly selecting.

I… don’t even know how to feel about this: How would you like a perfume that smells like a dead loved one?

There’s water in that there valley, and oil in them there hills, in Antarctica.

Men and boys with older sisters are less competitive. I’ve long hoped that we have two kids with an older sister and a younger brother. It appears I am wise!

Michael Siegel points to an encouraging study on ecigarettes. So far the data has been surprising (to me) less encouraging than I had hoped, leaving me a bit dumbfounded. It worked for me and I want it to work for everyone. The public health community is doing what it can to make sure that it will help as few people as possible.

So what’s the deal with the medieval art with knights fighting snails? sdfsdf

The bad news is that judges, like the rest of us, are susceptible to motivated reasoning. The good news – which unlike the bad actually is news – is that they are less so.

Category: Newsroom

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11 Responses to Linkluster Cy Seymore in ’05

  1. Michael Cain says:

    Re term limits… I worked for the legislature in a state where terms were limited to eight years — four two-year terms in the House, two four-year terms in the Senate. Definitely too short, at least in the case of our part-time legislature, with permanent staff (legislative and executive) and lobbyists acquiring much more power.

    For better or worse, modern society is enormously complex, the problems are enormously complex, and the government to deal with those is enormously complex. Term limits provide a guarantee that the decisions will be made by either (a) elected officials who are dilettantes in the subject areas or (b) non-elected people in the permanent bureaucracy.

    • Oscar Gordon says:

      The power question is a sticky one. Do we allow power to accrue to egomaniacs that we can at least vote out of office, or to the quiet bureaucracy the electorate has little control over?

      But that is nice in theory. The reality is incumbents enjoy a massive advantage at elections, and have to commit a significant blunder before the electorate will oust them. If there was a way to reduce that enormous advantage such that challengers can, at the very least, prevent the incumbent from getting too comfortable, I’d be happy.

  2. kenB says:

    Re judges and motivated reasoning, I’ve noticed a similar dynamic with many professionals and academics — they can be screaming ideologues on most political questions, but when they hit a topic that’s actually in their subject matter expertise, they become much more careful, more aware of opposing arguments and uncertainty, etc. I sort of see it as being in the same general category as Gell-Mann Amnesia. And it’s also why I find commentary from experts to be so dramatically more interesting and useful than commentary from Random Opinionated Person.

    • I’ve noticed that, too, KenB (by the way, nice to see you around).

      • KenB says:

        Hey thanks! Actually I haven’t been gone, still lurking pretty regularly, but feeling even less inclined to comment than usual for a variety of reasons.

    • trumwill says:

      Jhanley has previously discussed the difference between Krugman the economist and Krugman the columnist. Some of it is incentives with the experts. And there is something about the need to win an argument that makes people stupid.

      • kenB says:

        It’s kind of amazing how good we are at fooling ourselves. There’s a bit from the Indian epic The Mahabharata where the question is asked “what’s the greatest wonder of all” and the response is “that even though every day we see our fellow creatures dying, we act as if we’re immortal”. The second-greatest wonder may be that even though we see the cognitive bias in those around us, we still imagine that we ourselves are purely rational.

  3. Are investors getting in the way of traditional home-buyers?

    One of my friends is in a lower cost market in the Northeast where one can still find homes for under $200K in a good neighbourhoods that are fixer-uppers. He’s noted that investors are loaded with cash and willing to come in, do some cosmetic renovations, and return the house to the market at $300K or so. So while his student loan repayment would let him buy a house at $150K and make slow renovations over several years, he simply can’t buy in the $300K market* for at least several years. So, he’s probably the perfect case of a home buyer that’s having trouble due to investors stripping the market.

    *He’s admittedly noted that if he had a wife, he’d be a perfect candidate for a $300K home. I’m tempted to argue that the slow gains in real estate ownership among millenials is because there’s finally more and more of us getting married or coupled long-term to a point where we can afford homes in many markets. Whether that be the dual income couples earning $75K together in a low cost area or a $200K in a high cost area, it’s still easier for couples to buy homes. It’s a bit distressing for those us who remain single or have SAH spouses.

    Plus, the ten to twelve year windows on standard student loan repayments are coming up for the earliest portion of millenials, so as the loans go out the window for those who have been able to pay, the repayments can be now be freed up for other expenses.

    • trumwill says:

      Plus, the ten to twelve year windows on standard student loan repayments are coming up for the earliest portion of snake people, so as the loans go out the window for those who have been able to pay, the repayments can be now be freed up for other expenses.

      That’s a really interesting point!

  4. says:

    Why would you want your son to be less competitive? If you want grandchildren from him, he will need to have enough competitive drive to pursue a mate against other challengers and to acquire resources for himself.

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