[syndicated profile] marginal_revolution_feed

Posted by Tyler Cowen

Failing to stem the tide of refugees arriving Europe, Italy and the rest of the European Union have agreed to pay Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA), the UN-backed interim government that is struggling hold control of the country, to keep them from arriving in Italy and instead put them into detention camps in Libya.

The accord signed Feb. 3, provides for Italy to pay €220 million ($236 million) to the Libyan coastal guard and provide training to help them catch the vessels—primarily rubber dinghies. The Libyan coast guard will be charged with sending the boats back to Libya and putting people into camps. The political instability of Libya is such that there would be little guarantee of the conditions in which the migrants would be kept, according to Arjan Hehenkamp, general director of Médicins Sans Frontières (MSF).

Here is one story.  In Libya they understand the Coase theorem:

A security source in Libya spoke to Associated Press late last month saying: “Yesterday’s traffickers are today’s anti-trafficking force.”

I believe the size of the Coasean payments will rise.  If Libya is paid to halt migrants, and finds this a satisfactory or indeed even profitable arrangement, they also will act to…boost the supply of potential migrants.  “Producing potential migrants” will at some point become one of their more significant economic sectors.  And the larger the number of bottled up would-be migrants, the more Italy and/or the EU will pay to stop them.

Yet what is Italy otherwise to do?  I find it striking how underreported this story has been.

The post Solve for the Italian-Libyan equilibrium appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

[syndicated profile] jwz_blog_feed

Posted by jwz

C.M. Kosemen:

Our world is full of unique animals that have squat fatty bodies, with all kinds of soft tissue features that are unlikely to have survived in fossils, such as pouches, wattles, or skin flaps. "[...] "The biggest thing is teeth and facial fat. Readers have to be aware that all dinosaurs they see in all media, and especially in popular culture, seem to have their heads flensed. They've always got these weird grins with only the teeth visible." As he points out, most animals have lips and gums and lumps of facial fat that change the profile of the head, and cover the teeth.

These are swans. Note the distinctive murder-spikes!
This is a baboon.
This is a hippo.
Honorable mention.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Melo to the Thunder!

Sep. 23rd, 2017 19:58
[syndicated profile] scripting_feed

I got back from a long bike ride around Manhattan to the news that Melo has been traded from the Knicks to the Thunder.

I like the deal.

Melo gets a fresh start, and has two all-star team-mates, Paul George and Russell Westbrook, who also happens to be last year's MVP.

Westbrook gets an outside shooter in Melo.

Melo will not be the alpha guy on this team. It's Westbrook's team. It'll be interesting to watch him make the adjustment.

The Knicks like it because they get to start over and they didn't have to give up a first round draft pick (rebuilding teams have valuable draft picks) and they got the Thunder to take the remaining two years on Melo's contract, and free up a huge amount of cap space for the Knicks, who can now invest it in younger players more suited for their young team. (They should also get some veterans to school them.)

Melo leaves with the affection of the fans. He will be cheered when he returns in his OKC uniform. It wasn't what we all hoped it would be with Melo, but he stayed cool at times when he didn't really have to, and in NY sports that's always appreciated.

It's a fair, competent deal, and makes sense for both teams.

And as a Melo fan I'm glad to see he'll get a shot at the post-season. I don't think the Thunder are championship contenders, not enough depth in the lineup, but it should be some good basketball.

[syndicated profile] marginal_revolution_feed

Posted by Tyler Cowen

1. The Democrats were debating single payer while this bill, which they dread, nearly passed (and still has some chance of passing).  This was not a random mistake, rather it reflects a more general tendency of the Democratic Party to focus on the wrong kind of expressive values, in a manner which does not seem remediable.  We need to re-model what they are, and build this kind of un-educability into the new model.

2. One lesson of Graham-Cassidy failure is that American health care, at the state level, is a race to the bottom not to the top.  Recall that the Canadian health care system also leaves key decisions to the provinces + block grants, but American Progressives love the results.  Most observers know the American states would not copy the Canadian provinces in their policies, and it is not only because fiscal equalization is weaker to the south.  The reality is that spending much more on health care would not make most American states much more desirable places for most people to live in.  If it did, Graham-Cassidy would be a better idea than in fact it is and a race to the top would ensue.  Better health care would brighten up states all around, attract more population, and increase the revenue going into governor’s coffers.

Democrats and Republicans both find this inadequacy of state-level outcomes difficult to accept, though for opposing reasons.  Democrats hate having to recognize that all the extra health care spending might be mainly redistribution rather than remedying a market failure or providing a broad-based social public good.  Republicans hate to see that giving states control over health care policy, and allowing them to revise Obamacare, won’t improve those states and probably would make most of them worse.

Of course my points #1 and #2 relate.  I agree Graham-Cassidy is a bad idea, but every time I hear the critics say it is heartless, or would “take away” people’s health insurance, or “kill people,” what I really hear is “If we let everyone vote again on Obamacare, with a real time balanced budget constraint, they wouldn’t vote for nearly as much health care next time around.”

Which is why you should not be obsessing over single-payer systems.

Across the board, pondering Graham-Cassidy, including its failure, should make you more pessimistic about economic and social processes.

The post Intellectual fallout from the likely failure of Graham-Cassidy appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

Saturday assorted links

Sep. 23rd, 2017 16:26
[syndicated profile] marginal_revolution_feed

Posted by Tyler Cowen

1. “”Globally more and more men and women are stepping away from clinical (medical) sperm donation environments and choosing to find each other through online connection websites such as the UK-based PrideAngel through which we conducted our study,” said Mr Whyte, from the QUT Business School.”  Link here.

2. Does linguistic bias limit English-speaking investment into Quebec?

3. Have I mentioned that Sixthtone.com is a great place to read about China?  And on Twitter.

4. Cops should get more sleep.

5. How a (John Cochrane) paper gets published.

The post Saturday assorted links appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

How to use Twitter

Sep. 23rd, 2017 15:18
[syndicated profile] scripting_feed

If people read your tweets, you will get trolled.

  • If they don't, you won't, so you can skip this tutorial.

How to know if the person is trolling you, for sure?

  • You can't know for sure, you have to make a guess.

Ask yourself this question...

  • Do you think this person is arguing with you?
    • If so, hit Mute. Save yourself the grief. You might want to argue yourself, but know that it will not leave you feeling happy or satisfied. There is no victory in an online argument.
      • Not that there is any victory in a real-world argument either. 💥

(no subject)

Sep. 23rd, 2017 15:00
[syndicated profile] scripting_feed
The national anthem is what any of us want it to be. That's what it means to be American. There is no ruling race, religion or gender.

(no subject)

Sep. 23rd, 2017 14:58
[syndicated profile] scripting_feed
No race or religion owns the national anthem. I am not pledging allegiance to white Christian men. Everyone should remain seated.

(no subject)

Sep. 23rd, 2017 14:53

(no subject)

Sep. 23rd, 2017 14:51
[syndicated profile] scripting_feed
I know there are bigger things to worry about but I pay the NYT and I still get an interstitial before I can read the article.

(no subject)

Sep. 23rd, 2017 14:45
[syndicated profile] scripting_feed
Kimmel sets an incredible example of a citizen who decides to get informed, and bases his opinions on facts not lies.
[syndicated profile] jwz_blog_feed

Posted by jwz

The fact is, a river of piss runs through art history.

For centuries, painters and sculptors have depicted the act of urination. Men piss. Women piss. Most of all, young boys piss, so much so that scholars assigned a Latin term, puer mingens, to their ubiquitous appearances. Now Jean-Claude Lebensztejn, a French critic, has written "Pissing Figures, 1280 -- 2014," a genealogy of the pisseurs and pisseuses who haunt our canvases, fountains, and frescoes. The book, in a rangy, fluent translation from Jeff Nagy, is a record of what Lebensztejn calls our "diuretic fantasies" -- of the lore and lust surrounding urine, sacred and profane. [...]

They pissed into vases and basins and shells and conchs, onto snowdrifts and poppy husks and flocks of cupids. They pissed in the mouths and anuses of other boys, who themselves pissed in more mouths still. These were no ordinary boys. Spritely and seraphic, often winged and laurelled, they charmed their way into old churches, where they patrolled the transepts and friezes, pure of heart and full of bladder. [...]

Indeed, a boy's piss seems at some point to have crossed streams with holy water, becoming blessed with ablutionary powers. In Italy, Lebensztejn notes, "it is still customary, even today, to call an infant's intemperate pee acqua santa." [...]

Of course, the angels, being angels, feel no relief as they piss. They get their celestial jollies by raining a little holy water on us, but they know nothing of urination as a physical urge. If you want to enjoy some real salt-of-the-earth pissing, Lebensztejn reports, you have to skip ahead to 1600.

Please, Jesus, please let the pee tape be real. Amen.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

[syndicated profile] marginal_revolution_feed

Posted by Tyler Cowen

It seems we never quite reach them:

Walmart is testing a service that delivers groceries straight to your fridge when you’re not home.

On Friday, the retail giant announced a partnership with August Home, a smart-lock startup, that would allow a delivery person to enter customers’ orders and put groceries away in their refrigerators…

Delivery drivers will have a one-time passcode that allows them to unlock the August smart lock if customers do not answer the door when the delivery team arrives to drop off groceries. They will then drop off packages in the foyer, unload groceries in the fridge, and leave — with the door locking behind them.

Customers get a notification when the driver rings the doorbell. August home-security cameras allow them to watch the entire process from the app if they wish.

Here is the story, via Peter Metrinko.

The post The limits of refrigerator privacy? appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.


Sep. 23rd, 2017 06:59
[syndicated profile] futilitycloset_feed

Posted by Greg Ross

Balloonist Andy Collett was floating over South Gloucestershire in July 2012 when he spotted something striking: a heart-shaped meadow in the center of a stand of oaks. “This was the most amazing sight I have ever seen from the sky,” he told the Telegraph. “It was a perfect heart hidden away from view — you would not know it was there.”

It turned out that 70-year-old Winston Howes had planted the wood to commemorate his 33-year marriage to his wife, Janet, who had died 17 years earlier of heart disease. In the months after her death he filled a six-acre field with thousands of oak saplings but left a heart-shaped clearing in the center, its point aimed at her childhood home.

“I came up with the idea of creating a heart in the clearing of the field after Janet died,” Howes said. “Once it was completed we put a seat in the field, overlooking the hill near where she used to live. I sometimes go down there, just to sit and think about things. It is a lovely and lasting tribute to her which will be here for years.”

The clearing was not visible from the road and remained a family secret until Collett spotted it. “You can just imagine the love story,” he said.


Sep. 23rd, 2017 00:00
[syndicated profile] urban_feed

An aging individual who has long lost the ability to make rational sense.

That dotard is going to get us all blown up, if he doesn't calm down .

[syndicated profile] marginal_revolution_feed

Posted by Tyler Cowen

Here is one presentation of such an argument, but keep in mind these points:

1. The strongest argument for redistribution is when redistribution boosts economic growth and benefits all or most of society.  That is by no means always the case, but it is sometimes true and of course it is not a Rawlsian argument.

2. The second strongest argument for redistribution is that it is sometimes intrinsically better if a poor, needy person has a resource, as opposed to a wealthier person having that same resource.  That is in fact what most people think, no matter what argument they give you.

3. As we’ll see, the Rawlsian argument is parasitic upon #2, so why not use #2 directly?  Admittedly, #2 is a difficult conclusion to establish in a scientific manner, but the Rawlsian gloss, upon examination, makes it weaker not stronger.  It does however make the argument look a) more academic, and b) apparently more in line with neoclassical economic modes of thinking.

4. Most political philosophers, or indeed most philosophers, are not Rawlsians, even if they have been influenced by Rawls, which is frequently the case.  So why should you, if you’re an economist, be a Rawlsian?  Is it that you read Rawls and the critics, sided with Rawls, and then sat down to derive its implications?  Or did you find it a convenient rationalization for something you already believed or wanted to believe?

4b. Rawls is almost always invoked selectively, rarely being applied across national borders or across the generations, cases where it yields screwy results.  Rawls himself hesitated to approve of economic growth, because it does not maximize the well-being of the original “worst off” generation, which of course has to do some saving.  He had sympathies with the idea of Mill’s stationary state.  It’s fine to reject those conclusions, as indeed you should, but again maybe you’re not really a Rawlsian.  You are a selective Rawlsian, if that.

4c. Most people — rightly I might add — believe just as much in redistribution or maybe more when the position of the unfortunates is certain in advance. How many times have you heard social immobility cited as a problem that requires redistribution for its solution?  That argument is fine on its own terms, but again we’re back to #2.  The funny thing about econo-Rawlsians is that they want to cite the uncertainty of the wealth distribution as a reason for redistribution, and then they wish to turn around and cite the certainty of the wealth distribution as yet another reason for redistribution!

Yes, maybe you can apply a Rawlsian transform to those situations with certain allocations, using a “…but*if* these people were all behind a veil of ignorance…”  But look, a Rawlsian transform is appropriate with only some probability, so if you adhered to Rawls as the “most likely correct moral theory,” you still in these cases of certain distributions ought to believe in less redistribution.  But that is not how people’s opinions are structured, nor is it how they should be structured, so in other words again we are not really Rawlsians but rather again motivated by #2.

5. When it comes to redistribution as social insurance, the biggest problems with the Rawlsian method is this.  People have all sorts of preferences across the distribution of income.  Some are merit-related, some liberty-related, some non-Rawlsian-fairness related, some insurance-related, maybe even some rooted in prejudice.  The list of motives and reasons is long.  As the veil is typically used by economists, it strips away all of those preferences but…the preference for insurance.  So it is no wonder that the final construct produces an argument for insurance.  You get out of the construct what you put into it.

6. If you already believe in #2, #5 won’t bother you much.  But #2 is doing the real work here.

7. Almost everyone stops applying #2 at some point or margin.  For instance, do you always and everywhere favor boosting the scope of the Obamacare mandate?  It would save lives.  If you don’t favor increasing the mandate, are you a despicable killer?  In fact what I observe is people taking the status quo, and its current political debates, as a benchmark of sorts, and choosing sides, yet without outlining the “stopping principles” for their own recommendations.  That’s a pretty sure sign a person is not thinking about the issues clearly.

8. Even #2, which I think of as a kind of “brute egalitarianism,” isn’t as straightforward as you might think.  We do not always apply it to people in other countries, wealthy people who are poor in net terms because they are about to die, ugly men who cannot get sex, and many of the disabled.  Just about everyone is more of a particularist, situation-based egalitarian than they like to let on.

In sum, the arguments for (some limited) redistribution are stronger than the arguments for Rawls.

The post Is there a Rawlsian argument for redistribution as a form of social insurance? appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

(no subject)

Sep. 23rd, 2017 00:42
[syndicated profile] scripting_feed
People who say Jimmy Kimmel should "stay in his lane" don't understand self-government. It's his responsibility to be involved in policy.

(no subject)

Sep. 22nd, 2017 21:25
[syndicated profile] scripting_feed
Extra bonus. I made it so that the this.how outlines remember expansion state. Example. And since this is a standard feature in PagePark, it should work for OPML files served by PagePark as well. OPML is the format of Little Outliner so you can see how the pieces fit together.

Pedal Pushers

Sep. 22nd, 2017 19:23
[syndicated profile] futilitycloset_feed

Posted by Greg Ross

Cycling is popular in Trondheim, Norway, but the 130-meter hill Brubakken is more than some riders can manage. So the city installed the world’s first bicycle lift — press the start button and a plate will appear under your right foot and push you up the hill at 3-4 mph, rather like a ski lift.

With a maximum capacity of 6 cyclists per minute, the system has pushed more than 200,000 cyclists to the top of the hill in its 15 years of operation.

[syndicated profile] marginal_revolution_feed

Posted by Tyler Cowen

That is the title given to my latest Bloomberg column.  Excerpt:

The new Britain appears to be a nationalistic, job-protecting, quasi-mercantilist entity, as evidenced by the desire to preserve the work and pay of London’s traditional cabbies. That’s hardly the right signal to send to a world considering new trade deals or possibly foreign investment in the U.K. Uber, of course, is an American company, and it did sink capital into setting up in London — and its reputational capital is on the line in what is still Europe’s most economically important city. This kind of slap in the face won’t exactly encourage other market entrants, including in the dynamic tech sector that London so desperately seeking.

I should note that I prefer London cabs, because of their higher quality service, noting that the people most hurt by this ban are from lower-income groups.

The post London’s Uber ban is a big Brexit mistake appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

(no subject)

Sep. 22nd, 2017 17:06

The About outline remembers

Sep. 22nd, 2017 16:51
[syndicated profile] scripting_feed

A nice-to-have feature in the About tab here on Scripting News. It now remembers the expansion state of the outline, so if you go somewhere else and come back it will be as you left it. Here's a short demo.

Beta Channel Update for Chrome OS

Sep. 22nd, 2017 10:01
[syndicated profile] googlechromereleases_feed

Posted by Ketaki Deshpande

The Beta channel has been updated to 61.0.3163.101 (Platform version: 9765.70.0 ) for most Chrome OS devices. This build contains a number of bug fixes, security updates and feature enhancements. Systems will be receiving updates over the next several days.

If you find new issues, please let us know by visiting our forum or filing a bug. Interested in switching channels? Find out how. You can submit feedback using ‘Report an issue...’ in the Chrome menu (3 vertical dots in the upper right corner of the browser). 

Ketaki Deshpande
Google Chrome

(no subject)

Sep. 22nd, 2017 15:41
[syndicated profile] scripting_feed
Putin used Facebook as a platform, just as anyone else could have. He figured something out that our top people were too complacent to figure out. And when journalists complain, remember they could have competed with Twitter and Facebook to be the platform for politics, and they punted too.

(no subject)

Sep. 22nd, 2017 14:55
[syndicated profile] scripting_feed
In 2009, I wanted Obama to bring the gospel of the Internet to the world, and use it to create democracy everywhere. When he didn't do it, he left the door open for Putin to use it to create kleptocracy everywhere.

(no subject)

Sep. 22nd, 2017 14:23
[syndicated profile] scripting_feed
2FA is not as good as people think because the second factor is not very secure. It's pretty easy to hijack your phone. This weakness has been used to steal Bitcoin.

Another Cost of Global Warming

Sep. 22nd, 2017 13:52
[syndicated profile] marginal_revolution_feed

Posted by Alex Tabarrok

This paper documents a small but systematic bias in the patent evaluation system at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO): external weather variations affect the allowance or rejection of patent applications. I examine 8.8 million reject/allow decisions from 3.5 million patent applications to the USPTO between 2001 and 2014, and find that on unusually warm days patent allowance rates are higher and final rejection rates are lower than on cold days. I also find that on cloudy days, final rejection rates are lower than on clear days. I show that these effects constitute a decision-making bias which exists even after controlling for sorting effects, controlling for applicant-level, application-level, primary class-level, art unit-level, and examiner- level characteristics. The bias even exists after controlling for the quality of the patent applications. While theoretically interesting, I also note that the effect sizes are relatively modest and may not require policy changes from the USPTO. Yet, the results are strong enough to provide a potentially useful instrumental variable for future innovation research.

From a paper by Balázs Kovács, here. Hat tip Kevin Lewis.

The post Another Cost of Global Warming appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

(no subject)

Sep. 22nd, 2017 14:04
[syndicated profile] scripting_feed
Almost 70 percent want the govt to stabilize ObamaCare, not throw it out. I wonder how Repubs plan to overcome that if they succeed. That's why I think they must want to fail at repeal. They understand polling math better than any of us do.

(no subject)

Sep. 22nd, 2017 13:33
[syndicated profile] scripting_feed
It might just be me but is the Daily podcast and the NYT tilting more toward the Repubs? Omitting key bits of info that would expose their lies? For example, there's no debate that the new Repub health law would eliminate protection for pre-existing conditions because there is no mandate. It's not health insurance without a mandate. Not really for anyone but certainly not for people with pre-existing conditions.

Homemade Hair

Sep. 22nd, 2017 13:47
[syndicated profile] peopleofwallmart_feed

Posted by luke


Clearly your life obstacles weren’t big enough as a see-through skinned ginger, you wanted to up the ante. Bold. I like it.


The post Homemade Hair appeared first on People Of Walmart.

Baby Momma

Sep. 22nd, 2017 13:40
[syndicated profile] peopleofwallmart_feed

Posted by luke


I have the same problem with my daughter, they grow out of those onesies so damn fast. You need to move up to the 264 – 268 month onesie.


The post Baby Momma appeared first on People Of Walmart.

[syndicated profile] marginal_revolution_feed

Posted by Tyler Cowen

…the greatest winners in 2026 would be Mississippi and Kansas, where federal health-care funding would more than triple and double, respectively. On the other hand, Connecticut’s aid would be cut by just over half.


…the Kaiser Family Foundation…concluded that 35 states would lose $160 billion under the bill. The Kaiser study, like two earlier this week, looked at the cumulative effect from 2020 to 2026.

Here is the Amy Goldstein and Juliet Eilperin piece at WaPo.

The post Winners and losers under Graham-Cassidy appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

[syndicated profile] permanentstyle_feed

Posted by Simon Crompton

There is no shortage of Japanese artisans in Florence. But one that hasn’t garnered much attention yet is Hiroyuki Murata, who goes by the brand name Saic Firenze.

Hiroyuki-san and his wife have a small workshop outside Florence. It’s on a lovely little pedestrianised cul-de-sac, but not walkable from the city.

Here he makes some beautiful men’s and women’s bags, in quite original designs - mostly machine work but nice hand sewing on handles and elsewhere.

Hiroyuki has been in Italy for 8 years, and in this particular workshop on his own for the past two.

He originally learned leather work in Japan, having studied architecture at university but keen to do something equally structural with his hands.

“I liked big, practical bags - totes, pieces in heavy canvas,” he says. “Today we make some much finer pieces, quite French-inspired, but I think they all have a focus on practicality as well."

Hiroyuki worked for Felisi when he moved to Italy - a Ferrara-based manufacturer that produces some nice bags, including the backpacks at Anderson & Sheppard in London.

When Hiroyuki set out on his own, he wanted to include more handwork, and focus on bespoke.  

That’s still the plan today - his only ready-made bags are part of a small collection for George Wang at Brio in Beijing.

But he admits it’s hard. “Even trying to charge a good price and develop a strong clientele, bespoke is really hard to support us,” he says.

Hiroyuki generally charges between €1500 and €2500 for a bag, depending on size and design (and with exotics considerably more); but he is likely to have to put up prices soon.

His personal designs include a folio with a curved brass closure - pictured above. This folds down neatly to close the case, and is initially stiff but softens up as the hard bridle leather softens up.

There’s also a lovely backpack in grained calf (above) that has a similar closure, and his other bags are full of little innovations - such as the four-leaf-clover-shaped fastening on the bag below.

Every piece is characterised by delicate, curving lines - in the flaps, the handles and the internal pockets.

Some of them become a little effeminate as a result, but the simple pieces such as the folio are definitely enhanced by it - and look lovely in greys and browns, whether bridle or calf.

[You can see a few more on his Instagram feed here]

Hiroyuki currently does trunk shows in Tokyo and Osaka, but sadly has no plans to travel elsewhere.

If the designs appeal - and they are more affordable than hand-sewn versions, by Ortus for example - then it’s worth getting in contact with him in Florence. Be aware that his English is functional, but not great. 

He can be reached at hiroyukimurata3@gmail.com

Photography: Jamie Ferguson @jkf_man


Sep. 22nd, 2017 00:00
[syndicated profile] urban_feed

"Cigarette Etiquette"

The customary code of polite behaviour in society among smokers, with particular regard to cigarettes.

- Offering a cigarette or lighter without being asked
- Passing an ashtray to a fellow smoker
- Properly extinguishing a cigarette to prevent a smouldering ashtray
- Being generous with tobacco and accessories regardless of payment offers

- Offering to pay when asking for a cigarette

- Leaving the last cigarette for the owner of the packet
- Respecting the lucky cigarette
- Respecting the space of non-smokers

"Hey, that's my last dart, where's your Cigarettiquette?"
"Dead guy Bryan doesn't take Cynthia's last smoke because he observes good Cigarettiquette"


Sep. 22nd, 2017 06:42
[syndicated profile] futilitycloset_feed

Posted by Greg Ross


On Feb. 24, 1942, a bedraggled carrier pigeon arrived at an RAF bomber base on Scotland’s Fifeshire coast. She was covered with oil and appeared exhausted.

The sergeant who examined her, George Ross, alerted his superior officer. The bird had been carried aboard a Bristol Beaufort bomber that had crashed in the North Sea after taking enemy fire over Norway the previous day. The pilot had been unable to radio his position as they went down, and rescue planes had been searching the freezing waters in vain all night for some sign of the four-man crew.

The bird’s arrival told Ross that they’d been searching in the wrong place. She had flown for 16 hours, but with oil-smeared wings couldn’t have covered more than 140 miles in that time. The rescue operation had been searching beyond that range. When they moved closer to shore they discovered the crewmen, freezing but safe, in a rubber dinghy within 15 minutes.

When the fuselage had broken up, the pigeon had somehow escaped into the oily water, struggled free, and then flown across 120 miles of ocean to the base, despite a natural fear of the dark and a dislike of wide expanses of water. When she arrived she was so exhausted that she was closing one eye intermittently.

“Winkie” was awarded the Dickin Medal at a dinner that December. She was cited “for delivering a message under exceptional difficulties and so contributing to the rescue of an Air Crew while serving with the RAF in February 1942.”

[syndicated profile] marginal_revolution_feed

Posted by Tyler Cowen

From my email:

Hi, Mr. Cowen. I recently read The Complacent Class recently and enjoyed it. I’m writing because there’s an another example of American complacency that’s only come to light in recent weeks…

Specifically: the Billboard music charts..

Shape of You by Ed Sheeran last week broke the record for most weeks in top 10, with 33 weeks. The song it beat, Closer by The Chainsmokers and Halsey, set the previous record less than a year ago. http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/chart-beat/7948959/ed-sheeran-shape-of-you-record-most-weeks-top-ten

(And yet another song in last week’s top 10, That’s What I Like by Bruno Mars, currently holds the 8th-longest record on that metric — and potentially still rising.)

Meanwhile, Despacito by Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, and Justin Bieber tied the all-time record with its 16th week at #1: http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/record-labels/7942315/luis-fonsi-daddy-yankee-justin-biebers-despacito-ties-for

Meanwhile, the biggest country song in the nation right now, Body Like a Back Road by Sam Hunt, is currently in its record-extending 30th week at #1 on the Hot Country Songs chart: http://www.billboard.com/files/pdfs/country_update_0905.pdf

This did not happen in decades past. Look at the Billboard charts from the ’80s — it was a new #1 song almost every week!    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Billboard_Hot_100_number-one_singles_of_the_1980s

Just like how you describe in your book how people are moving less and want to stay in the same town where they were before, or how they’re switching jobs less and want to stay in the same job where they were before, people apparently just want to listen to the same songs they’ve been listening to already.

That is from Jesse Rifkin, who is a journalist in Washington, D.C. who writes about Congress for GovTrack Insider and about the film industry for Boxoffice Magazine.  Jesse sends along more:

And if you want links for statistical evidence, here are two — one about which movies have spent the most weekends in the box office top 10, the other about which songs have spent the most weeks in the Billboard top 10:

The post Slower turnover for songs and movies appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

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