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   PoliticsThe Castle

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From: TimF10/1/2019 10:19:36 AM
   of 7703
160lbs Longbow vs 860lbs Crossbow - Speed and Accuracy Test

Seems to fit in with the castle theme even though they aren't at a castle and this discussion area isn't really about castles that much.

Summary. The crossbow is easier to learn to use and doesn't require the training and conditioning that a high draw weight longbow would require. Also it can be kept at the ready, and fired from behind cover without exposing yourself as much. Its also less tiring to use since you can cock it with greater mechanical advantage then you can draw a longbow.

The longbow is much faster to fire. Contrary to what some people would think the long bow in this case penetrates better. People tend to look at the headline draw weight and think 860lbs is a lot more than 160 so it must be much more powerful, but the long bow exerts that force over a longer distance.

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From: TimF10/1/2019 10:26:21 AM
1 Recommendation   of 7703
12 Truth Bombs from Milton Friedman
As Milton Friedman wrote, "Governments never learn; only people learn."
Sunday, September 29, 2019
Jon Miltimore

American economist Milton Friedman rose to prominence in the second half of the 20th century as one of the leading critics of the prevailing economic theories of John Maynard Keynes, whose mixed economy model became the standard for many developed nations during and after the World War II-era.

Born in Brooklyn to a Jewish family of modest means in 1912, Friedman distinguished himself scholastically at a young age. After graduating high school at age 16, he attended Rutgers University where he studied math and economics. He continued his education at the University of Chicago, where he received an MA in economics and would ultimately retire in 1977 after more than 30 years of teaching—a year after receiving the Nobel Prize for his contributions to economic science. Friedman continued writing and speaking publicly through various mediums—magazine columns and television, academic journals and newspaper op-eds—until his death in 2006.

12 Truth Bombs The Economist has described Friedman as “a giant among economists” and “the most influential economist of the second half of the 20th century.” Here are 12 things he said to serve as food for thought:

1. "Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself." – > Capitalism and Freedom (2002)

2. "I’m in favor of legalizing drugs. According to my values system, if people want to kill themselves, they have every right to do so. Most of the harm that comes from drugs is because they are illegal." – As quoted in ?If Ignorance Is Bliss, Why Aren't There More Happy People? (2009)

3. "With some notable exceptions, businessmen favor free enterprise in general but are opposed to it when it comes to themselves." –Lecture "The Suicidal Impulse of the Business Community" (1983)

4. "It's a moral problem that the government is making into criminals people, who may be doing something you and I don't approve of, but who are doing something that hurts nobody else." – America's Drug Forum interview (1991)

5. "One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results." – Interview with Richard Heffner on The Open Mind (Dec. 7, 1975)

6. "You must distinguish sharply between being pro-free enterprise and being pro-business." – Big Business, Big Government (1978)

7. "The society that puts equality before freedom will end up with neither. The society that puts freedom before equality will end up with a great measure of both." – From "Created Equal," an episode of the PBS Free to Choose television series (1980)

8. "Governments never learn; only people learn." – As quoted in The Cynic's Lexicon: A Dictionary Of Amoral Advice? (1984)

9. "We have to recognize that we must not hope for a Utopia that is unattainable. I would like to see a great deal less government activity than we have now, but I do not believe that we can have a situation in which we don't need government at all." – As quoted in The Times Herald, Norristown, Pennsylvania (Dec. 1, 1978)

10. "The great virtue of a free market system is that it does not care what color people are; it does not care what their religion is; it only cares whether they can produce something you want to buy. It is the most effective system we have discovered to enable people who hate one another to deal with one another and help one another." – "Why Government Is the Problem" (February 1, 1993), p. 19

11. "The case for prohibiting drugs is exactly as strong and as weak as the case for prohibiting people from overeating. We all know that overeating causes more deaths than drugs do." – America's Drug Forum interview (1991)

12. "There are four ways in which you can spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money. Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost. Then, I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch! Finally, I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get. And that’s government. And that’s close to 40 percent of our national income." – Fox News interview (May 2004).

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From: TimF10/3/2019 4:40:51 PM
   of 7703
Corporations and the First Amendment: Free Speech Rules (Episode 6)

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To: TimF who wrote (7532)10/10/2019 1:01:36 PM
From: TimF
   of 7703

Pinker responds to some of the criticisms of the data
As usual, Pinker answers in perfect, publishable English. (Nobody writes better emails!) Here’s his response to Hickel’s piece.
Hi, Jerry,

Not sure why I should be the one to defend the consensus on global economic development against a Marxist ideologue enabled by the Guardian—I’m just a cognitive scientist who cites data from the real experts—but here are some observations (all of them made in the chapter on Wealth in Enlightenment Now).

1. The massive fall of global extreme poverty is not a claim advanced by me, Bill Gates, or people who go to Davos, but every politically neutral observer who has looked at the data, including the Nobel laureate economist Angus Deaton in The Great Escape, the United Nations (which declared its Millennium Development Goal of halving extreme poverty as having been met five years ahead of schedule), and other experts in global development (who bolster their data with observations they have made while they spent time in the poorest countries), such as Stephen Radelet, Charles Kenny, and the Roslings. A comprehensive overview can be found (as always) in Max Roser’s Our World in Data in the entry on Global Extreme Poverty.

2. The level at which one sets an arbitrary cutoff like “the poverty line” is irrelevant — the entire distribution has shifted, so the trend is the same wherever you set it.

3. It’s not just China, or even China plus India — many poor countries have seen spectacular poverty reductions, including Bangladesh, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Mongolia, Mozambique, Panama, Rwanda, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. This is on top of rich countries that not so long ago were dirt-poor, such as South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore.

4. Hickel’s picture of the past is a romantic fairy tale, devoid of citations or evidence, and flatly contradicted by historians such as Fernand Braudel who have examined contemporary accounts of life in previous centuries, and economic historians such as Angus Maddison and his students who have tried to quantify it using wills, government records, and other data.

5. The drastic decline in extreme poverty is corroborated by measures of well-being other than income that are correlated with prosperity, such as longevity, child mortality, maternal mortality, literacy, basic education, undernourishment, and consumption of goods like clothing, food, cell phones, even beer—all have improved.

6. It’s also borne out by a sanity check from people who have actually spent time in poor countries and have observed what life is like in them—not just development experts, but also biologists I know who have visited their field sites in Africa annually for many decades, and who have remarked on changes that can be seen with the naked eye: stores that have food, kids that wear shoes, people that are overweight rather than starving, shanties replaced by cinderblock, poor people with bicycles and TVs.

7. The political agenda of Hickel and other far leftists is obvious: it’s humiliating to their world view that the data show massive improvements due to markets and globalization rather than an overthrow of capitalism and global redistribution (see the quote by David Graeber in “ Enlightenment Wars,” and the back story on Hickel’s radicalism in this article, originally published in The Telegraph).


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To: TimF who wrote (7598)10/10/2019 1:05:50 PM
From: TimF
   of 7703
...The important thing isn’t the line so much as the distribution: Are the world’s poorest people making more money overall? And the answer to the latter is yes, they are, as Hickel himself concedes.

This chart from a 2013 paper by Shaohua Chen, the lead development statistician at the World Bank, and Martin Ravallion requires some unpacking but illustrates the point well:

(Thanks to Ryan Briggs for the pointer.)

The x-axis represents different hypothetical poverty thresholds: $1.90 per day, $7.40 per day, all the way up to $13 per day, or roughly the US line for a family of four. Then the y-axis tells what percentage of humanity lived below that poverty line in a given year. The blue line shows the distribution for 1981, the black line for 2008; let’s just compare those two to keep things simple.

Obviously, a poverty line of $0 has no one living under it. And a poverty line of $1 billion a day would have everyone living under it. But what this chart shows is that for every poverty line between $0 and $13 per day, and potentially above that even, poverty was lower in 2008 than it was in 1981. That wasn’t true if you compared 1999 to 1981; all the progress between those years was at the very low end, so $6- or $7-a-day poverty wasn’t reduced. But we’ve reduced poverty from 1981 to 2008 using basically any threshold you could possibly want to use.

This doesn’t answer the question of what line science communicators should use. I am not as outraged as Hickel is by use of the $1.90-a-day line, as I think it shows part of a broader story that holds true for whatever poverty line you choose. But I’d personally be happy to change to $7.40 a day, which would show something very similar happening.

On absolute numbers, I fear Hickel has a weaker case. Hickel likes to note that while the share of people living under $7.40 a day has declined from 1981 to the present, the number of people living below it has increased.

“If the goal is to end poverty, what matters is absolute numbers,” he writes. “Certainly that’s what matters from the perspective of poor people themselves.”

This is the same reason that figures like Hickel’s sworn enemy Bill Gates worry about population growth in poor countries. But I think Gates is wrong about that, and that Hickel is as well. Another way of saying “the poverty rate fell while the absolute number of poor people increased” is that a lot of middle-income countries, with lots of people living on between $1.90 a day and $7.40 day, saw their populations grow. There are more Indians now, more Indonesians, more Nigerians, more Kenyans.

That’s not a bad thing. Using absolute numbers risks confusing reducing poverty with preventing poor people from existing. The latter is a much weirder and frankly more disturbing goal. The history of Western countries trying to intervene in population growth in the developing world is extraordinarily ugly, full of forced sterilizations and other human rights abuses. Part of why populations have increased, moreover, is due to profound improvement in health and food supply like the Green Revolution, smallpox eradication, malaria bednets, etc. Is the success of those policies really evidence that poverty increased?

More conceptually, it doesn’t really make sense to interpret the choice of a poor woman in India to have another kid as “increasing poverty.” What most people in the development field want to ensure is that the people who do exist, however many of them there may be, are as well off as possible. Using percentages is a better approach for that, though even percentages can be affected by population growth effects if fertility in poor countries dramatically outpaces fertility in rich countries.

When I reached out to Hickel about this issue, he pushed back, arguing that in a rich world, we should assume that any individual born into poverty is a policy failure. “In rich nations like the UK or US we would never say that a growing poverty rate has to do with reproduction,” he wrote in an email. “No, we would point out that it has to do with the minimum wage being too low, or weak labour rights, or subprime mortgages, or inflated housing prices, or whatever. We identify systemic causes, because we know that poverty amidst plenty isn’t natural, it is created. So why when it comes to the global South do we imagine otherwise?”

This feels to me a bit like an evasion of the question. We use poverty rates, not absolute numbers, in discussions of US poverty as well. But in some ways, Hickel’s response reflects the crux of the dispute between him and Roser. Roser — like most economic historians — does not view poverty as created but as the original state of humankind from its inception until the Industrial Revolution. It is a policy failure insofar as we finally have the tools to end it now and have not done so yet, but what we’re attempting to do is escape humanity’s natural, brutal conditions. Hickel sees things differently...

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To: TimF who wrote (7570)10/17/2019 3:14:28 PM
From: TimF
   of 7703
The March of History: Mises vs. Marx - The Definitive Capitalism vs. Socialism Rap Battle

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From: TimF10/19/2019 2:20:42 PM
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Ann Widdecombe | We Should NOT Support No Platforming (8/8) | Oxford Union

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To: TimF who wrote (7600)10/23/2019 6:42:12 PM
From: TimF
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The Liberalism of Ludwig von Mises

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From: TimF10/24/2019 11:19:08 AM
1 Recommendation   of 7703
S.C. Judge Rules the Obvious: It's Unconstitutional for Police to Seize and Keep People's Property Without Proving They Committed Crimes
Law enforcement and prosecutors have seized millions from people they’ve arrested. That might be coming to an end.

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From: TimF11/1/2019 1:35:28 PM
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The Inspection Paradox is Everywhere

Allen Downey

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