Re: Equations

1

Hmmm, good point about land for peace, but I think they still need to work on alternatives that leave both sides invested in cooperation.


Posted by: chas | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 6:13 PM
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Urg, I read the comments.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 6:16 PM
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Hopefully everyone's Israel-Palestine opinion will cancel out his or her libertarianism-related opinion, leaving this thread devoid of comments beyond this one.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 6:17 PM
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I don't know if "mathematical models" is the term I'd use. This strikes me as a glorified version of using Madden to predict the outcome of the Superbowl, which is also often pretty accurate. I think it's more an indication of the ridiculously half-assed way international relations are generally managed.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 6:25 PM
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I'm waiting for D-Squared to come in here and eviscerate this with more aplomb than I am capable of, but in the mean time, suffice it to say that rational choice theorists have a deservedly modest reputation in international relations circles, where their predictive record is even worse than in the realm of domestic politics.

The limiting assumptions of rational choice theory are never entirely met in the real world (although arguably sometimes to an approximation), and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict strikes me as an especially inauspicious environment for them.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 6:36 PM
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In the long run we are all dead, but demographics do favor the Palestinians in the long run. It is the Israelis who should be making the concessions at this point.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 7:10 PM
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6 is the kind of thing that someone could only say in the modern age when we have ruled out even contemplating the use of genocide as a tactic. Ruled it out unilaterally, that is.


Posted by: OPINIONATED PODHORETZ | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 7:16 PM
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It annoys me that they don't offer any predictions about stuff that hasn't happened yet. Wouldn't that be more interesting than "He said this would happen... then it did"?


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 7:32 PM
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Exactly. If one weren't worried about being frowned at by the French there would be alot more dead bodies, what with modern weapons and all. people get awfully attached to "their" land, and then they get planted in it.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 7:35 PM
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You know, I was just asking myself, "What would Krauthammer do?"


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 7:44 PM
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predictions about stuff that hasn't happened yet

Not for free, baby.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 7:45 PM
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CRUSH YOUR ENEMIES
SEE THEM DRIVEN BEFORE YOU
HEAR THE LAMENTATIONS OF THEIR WOMEN

ALL WITHOUT LEAVING YOUR APARTMENT/LAUNCH SITE


Posted by: OPINIONATED KRAUTHAMMER | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 7:46 PM
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If his models are usefully predictive, that's surely of interest. We could certainly use a change from "public intellectuals" are are constantly wrong about almost everything.

I wonder what Bueno de Mesquita predicted about the Iraq War.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 7:49 PM
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Urg, I read the comments.

What comment thread about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be complete without this classic: "It is my belief that the Israrli-Palestinian conflict will never really be solved until one group eliminates the other"?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 7:50 PM
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I believe someone also quoted Golda Meir about Arabs and their children, another heartwarmer.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 7:51 PM
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I wonder what Bueno de Mesquita predicted about the Iraq War.

I can't speak authoritatively about this, but I doubt that *any* rational choice theorist would have predicted the invasion of Iraq, inasmuch as they generally postulate that state actors do not do stupid, self-destructive things.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 7:53 PM
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BELIEVE ME WHEN I SAY TO YOU
I HOPE THE ARABS HATE THEIR CHILDREN TOO


Posted by: OPINIONATED KRAUTHAMMER | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 7:53 PM
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Well, this de Mesquita guy is apparently the New Nostradamus, so he must be good, right? But I wonder: If economic incentives can solve seemingly intractable problems like this, then why are there problems like this? At any point since, say, 1972, the Palestinians and Israelis have been in a position to cut a deal that would be economically beneficial to both sides. They failed to do so.

Now I'll go back and read the link in order to be amazed by Mesquita's brilliant explanation of how this conflict has continued.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 7:55 PM
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Now I'll go back and read the link in order to be amazed by Mesquita's brilliant explanation of how this conflict has continued.

The Second Intifada? Freakonomics!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:02 PM
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20

Bueno de Mesquita can't possible be a real name, can it?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:02 PM
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Bueno de Mesquita can't possible be a real name, can it?

It sounds like a Chilean supermarket wine that gives you a really terrible hangover.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:05 PM
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Well, he's supposed to have predicted the Second Intifada too, so presumably there's some degree of subtlety going on there.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:07 PM
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23

This is just one of the fascinating topics that are starting to be addressed by a budding new generation of freakonomists.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:07 PM
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20: Maybe he has a sideline in selling hot sauce?


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:11 PM
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a budding new generation of freakonomists

Once the flames begin to catch
The wind will blow it higher
Oh Freako, Freako, Nomics, Freako
Oh Freako, Freako, Nomics, Freako
Steven Levitt! Stephen Dubner!
Bananahead.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:23 PM
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Well, he's supposed to have predicted the Second Intifada too, so presumably there's some degree of subtlety going on there

I saw that, and I'd like to know more, but frankly, his co-authorship of a book with Condi Rice and especially this

While Bueno de Mesquita's present client list is confidential, past clients include Union Carbide, which needed a little help in structuring its defense after its 1984 chemical-plant disaster in Bhopal, India, claimed the lives of an estimated 22,000 people
I find suspicious and deeply disturbing.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:25 PM
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27

What is the square root of terrorism?


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:27 PM
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28

Quit trolling, Ruprecht. It's a Portuguese name.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:28 PM
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26: Ahem. Yeah.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:31 PM
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Quit trolling, Ruprecht. It's a Portuguese name.

It's also the name of a Dutch film actor known for his roles in a peculiar German film genre known as "Bayernporno" (or "Rüttelfilme", for the closeups of jiggling breasts used to denote intercourse).

Among his credits: Liebesgrüße aus der Lederhose 3: Sexexpress aus Oberbayern; and Liebesgrüße aus der Lederhose 4: Die versaute Hochzeitsnacht.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:34 PM
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OT: I think the use of "exhibitionist" in this headline is kind of unfair. But anyway...kangaroos be on the lookout, because mere bifurcation is yesterday's news.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:35 PM
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32

22,000 isn't a lot, scaled to India's population and priced at Indian prices. Quite affordable, really.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:36 PM
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33

Ruprecht, pedantic displays of erudition are not favored here. You're as bad as DS with his senseless, Nazi rejection of anecdotal argumentation.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:37 PM
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for the closeups of jiggling breasts used to denote intercourse

Pay no attention to that gibbering eunuch Emerson. I for one would like to learn more.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:41 PM
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32: To Union Carbide and its friends, including Mother Teresa, apparently.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:43 PM
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The spiny anteater, however, is notoriously difficult to observe in the wild and shows little enthusiasm for breeding in captivity, so nobody had managed to observe them ejaculate before.

Gotcher echidne porn right here.... laydeez. Mmmmm. Four-headed penises. Clusters of sperm swimming together. Etc.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:43 PM
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37

Whatever you say about Hitchens, he was good on Di and Mo Th. And Kissinger,


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:44 PM
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pedantic displays of erudition are not favored here

Since when?!?! Jesus, I'm on the wrong blog.

OK, I read Bueno de Mesquita's major work (The War Trap) many years ago for an international relations seminar. While I think that an expected utility theory of conflict management has some valuable things to teach us about designing international agreements (and international institutions in general), I'm skeptical of its value as an analytical instrument.

Either you avail yourself of simplifying assumptions (unitary actors, clear communication, rational calculation, narrowly defined utility functions) that deprive the theory of descriptive/predictive power, or you introduce complexities that make the theory unwieldy as an analytical instrument.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprechtf | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:45 PM
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39

Let me also add that JE's classification of certain things as 'Nazi' is rather suspect. (Not just in 33.)


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:45 PM
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Whatever that hand is doing to that little fella in the video, it seems to be working.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:45 PM
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Nazis are so fucking touchy. Just call them a Nazi once and they get mean on you.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:45 PM
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Like Wagner and DS, Blume is a Nazi.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:46 PM
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Oh no! My cover is blown! Now no one will hire me!!!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:48 PM
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I for one would like to learn more.

It used to be you could catch these masterworks on RTL2 after 11:00pm on weekends. Supposedly this was the safest time to go out during the siege of Sarajevo because the Serb soldiers all tuned in. These days I think their skin programming has gone more upscale.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:48 PM
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The creature had been 'retired' from a zoo as it produced an erection when being handled at public viewing sessions.

Maybe they should have tried less erotic handling techniques. You can go through a lot of animals before you find a frigid one.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:48 PM
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Now no one will hire me!

If Liz Wurtzel can get a six-figure job, you should be a shoo-in.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:51 PM
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Is she a Nazi?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:52 PM
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48

She doesn't look healthy.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:53 PM
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49

No, but I think she could be convinced. What kind of contract are the Nazis offering?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:54 PM
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50

Ohhhh. I just have to go to law school at Yale first. Will put that on my to-do list.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:54 PM
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51

If your name is Albert, change it to cover your tracks.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:55 PM
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52

I think that you have to give incredible numbers of blowjobs also.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:56 PM
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I just have to go to law school at Yale first. Will put that on my to-do list.

Write a best-selling book about your self-destructive behavior first, and have it made into a screenplay. That cuts, like, 30 points off the LSAT score you need to get in.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:56 PM
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54

52 to, um, 14 maybe?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 8:57 PM
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Write a best-selling book about your self-destructive behavior first

This makes the to-do list even longer! 'Tendency to date guys who are self-involved' is probably not self-destructive enough to write a book about. So I've gotta go out and be more excitingly self-destructive before I can write the book.

On the bright side, this to-do list is making the rest of my dissertation look like cake!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:03 PM
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So I've gotta go out and be more excitingly self-destructive before I can write the book.

Joining the Nazi party was a good start.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:05 PM
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Do you ever think back on the cultural productions of the 90's and wonder how much of the dregs we'd have been spared if people like Wurtzel had just had blogs?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:11 PM
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58

Bleah.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:12 PM
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Why the hell is Vince Vaughn commenting on Monday Night Football?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:13 PM
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59 -- meanwhile if you were 10 years older you could have had the bestseller back then!


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:13 PM
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Joining the Nazi party was a good start.

Ehh, bearing lots of little Aryan babies is not really what I'm interested in at the moment.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:14 PM
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Ehh, bearing lots of little Aryan babies is not really what I'm interested in at the moment.

Well in that case...


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:16 PM
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62: Yeah, but now I'd be in law school and giving embarrassing interviews to the NYT. So, it's a trade-off.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:17 PM
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65: You can just mail the sample, Teo.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:17 PM
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Do you ever think back on the cultural productions of the 90's and wonder how much of the dregs we'd have been spared if people like Wurtzel had just had blogs?

Blogs? The woman had a column for the fucking New Yorker. Her problem was not a lack of a megaphone.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:18 PM
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67: Sounds like a plan.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:18 PM
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67, 69: What??!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:19 PM
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70: You've got a turkey baster, right? Be on the lookout for a FedEx package marked "perishable".


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:20 PM
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I think that's a completely different genre of popular non-fiction.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:20 PM
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No, she said she WASN'T interested in Aryan babies. That's why she's here on the Persian's blog.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:20 PM
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It's a trap, Blume. What evidence do we have that Teo is really non-Aryan?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:21 PM
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I admit AWB and I may have jumped to the wrong conclusion there.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:21 PM
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What evidence do we have that Teo is really non-Aryan?

I could enclose some pictures.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:22 PM
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74

Those wouldn't prove anything in this country.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:22 PM
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This is not the eugenics blog.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:23 PM
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It's Emerson's fault!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:23 PM
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68: Yes, but blogs purge self-narration, somewhat, and now we're embarrassed about that kind of thing in books, or we should be.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:23 PM
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76: Dude, if you're suggesting what I think you're suggesting, I could furnish similar pictures, and I'm Catholic.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:23 PM
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Those wouldn't prove anything in this country.

Hmmm, good point.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:24 PM
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That's what I meant.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:24 PM
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If Kathleen Hanna had a blog, there might have never been a geographical locus of RRiot Grrl culture!


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:25 PM
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82

Jesus, stop interfering with the man's game. You of all people should appreciate that we're talking about a potential virgin birth here.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:25 PM
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This is not the eugenics blog.

I think this is more in the realm of dysgenics. I envision a vast army of shy, depressive, scrawny people.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:25 PM
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84

Pwned by Blume and her accursed concision.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:26 PM
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I'm not doing a very good job of sealing the deal here, am I?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:26 PM
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The scheme sounds nice, until you realize that it is just a method for deciding how much the Israelis will pay out the Palestinians. The guy has chosen to link payments an imperfect measure of the number terrorist attacks. If you are going to do that, why not just pay the Palestinians directly to not attack you?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:26 PM
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her accursed concision

You're not the first to characterize it so.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:27 PM
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Most men in America were concised at birth.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:30 PM
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89: As stated, the point of the scheme is supposed to be that it inherently punishes violence by either side, not just the Palestinians, because any increase in violence hurts tourist revenue for both. Can't say I'm totally convinced.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:30 PM
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90

89 gets it right. And then, why not just pay the Palestinians to move to somewhere else?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:30 PM
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91

If you are going to do that, why not just pay the Palestinians directly to not attack you?

Which has been proposed, hasn't it?

You're not the first to characterize it so.

In so many words?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:31 PM
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I'm skeptical that a guy whose pseud derives from the "Friend of God" to whom the Gospel of Luke is addressed could be anything other than a Christian.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:32 PM
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I'm not doing a very good job of sealing the deal here, am I?

Ehh, the FedEx dude has a hard time tracking me down to deliver things, anyway.

Personal deliveries, on the other hand...


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:32 PM
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94

Overtime!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:33 PM
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95

97 to 96?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:33 PM
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96

was wondering that myself.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:33 PM
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No.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:34 PM
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I could probably help you be self-destructive, IYKWIM, Blume. I've already taken down one grad student career.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:34 PM
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Thing is, I am actually in favor of buying off one's enemies in certain circumstances. You do want to create a situation where it is obvious that your economic prosperity depends on being nice to each other.

The problem is really that this scheme doesn't really do that, because it is not really co-operative. You really need to have a situation where you are working together for a common goal, like Picard and that alien that only talks in references to classical literature on Next Generation.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:34 PM
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92 is the only thing I understand about the scheme.

How would the state get control over more than a small amount of the "tourism economy"?

And wouldn't we see pretty quick an appearance of tourism in places that are guaranteed by the Israeli government to be safe as it conducts violence somewhere else? The presumption that as violence of any kind increases, tourism of every kind goes down is not necessarily true.

But as a scientifically minded person I hate saying things like this because I know that an actual scientist would consider things like this and it is the act of an arrogant person to even bring these things up as if I have any idea what I'm talking about.

Back to the echidna sex topic?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:34 PM
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101

Oh great, competition.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:34 PM
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On that note, I am off to bed. Teo, I've got a gazillion frequent flyer miles if you need to get to Boston.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:35 PM
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Teo, you don't blurt out non sequiturs like that IRL, do you?


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:35 PM
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104

You have? (Or was it just your own?)


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:35 PM
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105

104 to 101.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:35 PM
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107 -> 101, because anything is better than technocrats and their stupid fucking schemes.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:36 PM
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107

Teo, I've got a gazillion frequent flyer miles if you need to get to Boston.

Intriguing.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:36 PM
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108

Of course not. But I'm not usually flirting and watching football at the same time IRL either. (That third date fell through.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:37 PM
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109

111 to 106.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:37 PM
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110

(Or was it just your own?)

Still counts.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:37 PM
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111

And the Packers just won. Fuck.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:38 PM
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112

The presumption that as violence of any kind increases, tourism of every kind goes down is not necessarily true.

For example, I suspect the IDF could break all the heads it pleases in the West Bank without affecting tourism in Tel Aviv, unless its efforts inspired Palestinian violence in turn.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:38 PM
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113

I seem to have scared her off.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:38 PM
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Self-destruction will have to wait for another day, I'm off to bed at this oh-so-reasonable hour.

(teo, email me if you and KR work something out while I sleep and I should expect you on my doorstep tomorrow.)


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:39 PM
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115

Still counts.

Aha. Now that I end grad student careers for a living, I was just wondering what the competition looked like.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:39 PM
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Self-destruction will have to wait for another day, I'm off to bed at this oh-so-reasonable hour.

Where better to start than here? When better than now! Go out drinking this instant!


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:40 PM
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teo, email me if you and KR work something out while I sleep and I should expect you on my doorstep tomorrow.

Unfortunately KR seems to have gone to bed as well. And before I could even explain why his 95 is totally wrong.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:41 PM
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C-Ned, the 2.5 glasses of wine I've already had are making the sleep look that much more enticing.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:42 PM
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The buying-off scheme and the tourism-enhancing scheme seem similar in that both might have some benefit in the context of a Palestine which has the infrastructure to support an economy. My impression is that it doesn't (setting aside the question of how much it did before the second Intifada).


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:43 PM
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120

Here's a rule: if even Tyler Cowen can see that a scheme is retarded, then it's retarded.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:45 PM
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121: A few simple substitutions ought to do the trick. Instead of wine, drink bourbon! Instead of food, pills! You'll be tearing up the bestsellers charts before you know it.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:45 PM
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123: Fair enough. Back to the equally intractable problem of hooking up Teo.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:47 PM
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Instead of wine, drink bourbon! Instead of food, pills!

Instead of dissertation-writing, me! Anyone else have a gazillion frequent flyer miles?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:48 PM
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124

Back to the equally intractable problem of hooking up Teo.

It wouldn't be quite as intractable if all the female Unfogged commenters didn't live so damn far away.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:49 PM
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121: The 2.5 glasses of wine I've already had are making the sheep look that much more enticing.


Posted by: feldspar | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:49 PM
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In the words of Golda Meir, yntil Ogged loves his mothers putative grandchildren more than he hates the prospect of domestic partnership with Teo, there will be no hooking up Teo.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:50 PM
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Instead of dissertation-writing, me!

I think trying to write a dissertation while boozed-up and frantic from pills would actually be more effective in inducing memoir-grade self-destructive behavior. Maybe you can get involved toward the end as she tries to put her life back together and find a nice guy who will treat her kids better than all the neo-Nazis she hooks up with at the truck stops.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:50 PM
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Maybe you can get involved toward the end as she tries to put her life back together and find a nice guy who will treat her kids better than all the neo-Nazis she hooks up with at the truck stops.

But see, that'll involve waiting at least a couple of years.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:53 PM
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True love waits


Posted by: feldspar | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:54 PM
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Instead of wine, drink bourbon!

Oh believe me, I've already got that one covered. They just started distributing Buffalo Trace north of Pennsylvania last year, you know.

And with that, I really am off to bed.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 9:59 PM
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Every monarchical family should have an alcoholic beverage named after it. Who could turn down a shot of Hohenzollern?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 10:09 PM
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I'll drown my sorrows with a fifth of Habsburg.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 10:10 PM
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Instead of bourbon, drink rye.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 10:17 PM
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My family should have an alcoholic drink named after it, but I'd be ashamed of anyone who ordered it.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 10:18 PM
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The Dog's Bollocks?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 10:21 PM
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I can't think of a good burgundy I've had, but I haven't had much burgundy.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 10:23 PM
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138: Off-blog sanctity, dude!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 10:24 PM
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I think A White Dog's Bollocks would appreciate her real name being redacted here.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 10:24 PM
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Kansas royals have such funny names.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 10:26 PM
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You insensitive clod.


Posted by: Dog's Bollocks | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 10:31 PM
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I can't think of a good burgundy I've had, but I haven't had much burgundy.

It helps to be an investment banker if you want to develop a Burgundy habit, but really good Burgundy is maybe worth selling your soul for.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 10:31 PM
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143: Dad?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 10:32 PM
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I know Kansas City is in Missouri, but why is their baseball team the Royals?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 10:39 PM
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It's named for the American Royal livestock show. They have a helluva rodeo there every year.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 10:40 PM
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Also, I think it's an homage to the Monarchs from the Negro Leagues.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 10:41 PM
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Huh, so it's one of those rare teams whose name makes sense.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 10:41 PM
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So what about the Chiefs?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 10:42 PM
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Just racist shit.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 10:45 PM
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The Sacramento Kings were once the Kansas City Kings.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 10:46 PM
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What about Wichita State?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 10:47 PM
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152: Kings, Royals, Monarchs--we're basically megalomaniacs.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 10:49 PM
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Monarchs, Royals, Chiefs, Kings &mdash sounds like a city with an inferiority complex.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 10:50 PM
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Whatever.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 10:51 PM
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The Great Plains are known for pwn.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 10:55 PM
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What about Wichita State?

Thomas Edison, of course, invented electricity at his laboratory in Wichita. Or he invented a sexually graphic hand gesture. Or both.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 10:56 PM
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sounds like a city with an inferiority complex.

I hear everything's up to date there, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 10:56 PM
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The waving wheat can sure smell sweet when the wind comes rushing down the pwns.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 10:59 PM
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We are but pwns on the chessboard of the plains.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 11:00 PM
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158: The big styrofoam hands are the best reason to go to Shockers games.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 11:01 PM
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Perhaps you've heard of our abolitionist hero, John Brpwn.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 11:01 PM
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I've only been in the Kansas City Amtrak station. The freight yard is pretty impressive.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 11:01 PM
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AWB: Check your e-mail.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 11:02 PM
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I've only been in the Kansas City Amtrak station.

They must have amazing wifi there.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 11:02 PM
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It really is. I've gotten quite an education through correspondence courses.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 11:10 PM
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Back to the equally intractable problem of hooking up Teo.

Don't have the right cables? Or do you need some special fittings?


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 11:13 PM
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Try Swagelok: that'll keep yer fluids from leakin'. Or yer gasses.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 11:14 PM
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Or do you need some special fittings?

I think we're mainly in need of a special kind of socket.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 11:17 PM
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And with that, I'm off to bed. Alone.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 11:19 PM
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Sockeye? Those can travel through the mail. Sleep on that proposition.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 11:20 PM
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147-149 [origin of the Royals nickname]

Interesting that the KC/Omaha Kings started as the Royals (via Rochester, then Cincinnati) and changed to the Kings upon arrival to not duplicate the baseball team's name.

The team, which had long been known as the Seagrams before briefly adopting the nickname "Pros", held a name-the-team contest and selected the nickname "Royals".

The Chiefs started life as the Dallas Texans. Upon moving:

[Lamar] Hunt, with a roster replete with players who had played college football in Texas, wanted to maintain a lineage to the team's roots and wanted to call the club the "Kansas City Texans".

He argued it based upon the incongruity of the LA Lakers, but was persuaded to change:

The name "Chiefs" is derived from Mayor Bartle, who 35 years prior, founded the Native American-based honor society known as The Tribe of Mic-O-Say within the Boy Scouts of America organization, which earned him the nickname, "The Chief."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-29-07 11:55 PM
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122 I would like to see the US buy off any claim Israel has to the occupied territories, invest a fuckton (Imperial) of money in infrastructure there, and tell Israel we're going to invest in cheap dangerous manufacturing or something, and maybe they'd like to join in. Call it Mexicoization.


Posted by: Ham-Love | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:36 AM
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I think you mean a fucktonne, H-L.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:45 AM
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Oh wait, I got that completely backwards. Fuck.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 12:45 AM
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122: You don't need infrastructure to turn the Territories into a growth economy, given that their current GNP is negative. They could hunt/gather to better effect than their current kidnapping-based economy.

174: You joke, but a major source of income for pre 2nd intifada Palestine was day labor in Israel. Anyway, if you cut the explosions, the money will come; Levantine countries have traditionally been quite rich.

What you really want in I/P is a deal like France and Germany got after WWII, the European Something Coal Something, where you set up economic ties that are too expensive for either to break, which is basically what Buena de Mesquita is proposing. I don't think tourism will cut it though, and Israel somehow ended up with all the fertile land.


Posted by: foolishmortal0 | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:10 AM
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Israel somehow ended up with all the fertile land.

And are, coincidentally, in the process of ending up with all the water, too.

The situation there still seems intractably broken.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 1:44 AM
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Well, yes, the Post-Oslo strategy of Israel is to create the illusion of an independent Palestinian state in the territory conquered in '67, in which everything of value is controlled by the Israelis: airspace, water, customs and excise etc, with the terrain itself reworked into a patchwork of bantustans that can be cut off from each other and the world at will.

Economically, Israel doesn't even need the Palestinian cheap labour anymore, as they can just import some Philipinos or whatever instead.



Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:16 AM
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if, when Blume wakes up, she needs some life-coaching in self-destruction, I'm totally there for her. going to sleep at a reasonable hour after drinking 2.5 glasses of wine...woo, that's like the 1-lb dumbbells of self-destruction. we'll build up slowly, and she'll be knocking her front teeth out in a meth-fuelled swimming accident in no time!


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:37 AM
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Nazis are very health-conscious. Won't work.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:48 AM
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if, when Blume wakes up, she needs some life-coaching in self-destruction, I'm totally there for her

I tried, Alameida. But the person has to want to get help.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:22 AM
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Oh yeah, that's just what we need, a bunch of media-kid postdocs with a nice model of how they could just get along according to (BWAAHAAHAA!) rational expectations theory. Newsflash: Bill Clinton is not President.

They do not appear to have noticed that both sides lost a ton of money in starting this round, and it didn't stop'em.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:00 AM
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I'm waiting for D-Squared to come in here and eviscerate this

Nah. I'm all in favour of this sort of approach to practical problem solving. I do it myself sometimes (or at least, I do something similar myself all the time, to try and predict business strategy moves, and sometimes venture into making political predictions. These are fairly tried and true principles of strategy - you can find them in watered down form in your favourite airport bookshop. My "One Minute MBA" series is in this sort of vein, and I dare say that if I'd zigged instead of zagged and/or had any reasonable way of affording to do a PhD I'd have been one of Mequita's little academic acolytes.

In general (God I must remember to write my "In Defence of Becker Against the Beckerites" post one day), rational choice theory is a much more sensible way of thinking about the world than most of the alternatives. If you make your predictions by regarding someone like Kim Jong-Il or Ahmadinejad as a rational actor who is trying to make a plan to achieve his goals in the face of a difficult world, then you're always gonna beat someone who starts off by projecting his own wishful thinking and neuroses onto a mental model of what The Dreaded Other is like.

The dirty secret of course is that the mathematics isn't really doing much of the work. All of the art is in choosing what to model, and the real function of the rational actor approach is to remind you not to try to shit higher than your arse in terms of what you're going to pretend to know about the other guy's motivation. So they say:

When analyzing a problem in international relations, Bueno de Mesquita doesn't give a whit about the local culture, history, economy, or any of the other considerations that more traditional political scientists weigh. [...] His only concern is with what the political actors want

or in other words, he does give a hell of a whit about culture, history, economy, etc, but he takes them too seriously to speculate about them. The secrets of success in this kind of approach are:

1. Make lots and lots of predictions and loudly publicise the successful ones (subsidiary to this; spend a lot of time "predicting" things like the Hong Kong handover in 1997 - as in, entirely inevitable events that other people are choosing to pretend won't happen for reasons best known to themselves).

2. Discover an "ethical principle" of some sort that prevents you (alas!) from saying anything about high-profile cases where there's genuinely a tough call, like Presidential races.

3. Make a few high-faluting policy prescriptions that involve suggesting things that have zero chance of happening, ever, like that "tourism revenue" scheme.

It is no coincidence that this is pretty much the secret of success in equity analysis too.

Where I do part company with this approach (as Alex suggests in #183 above) is where they start pretending that it's a universal theory of everything, or that the mathematics is any use without a load of detailed and company-specific knowledge. Post-Beckerites always seem to miss this.

NB: did I miss the little dig at JK Galbraith in there? hell no. Am I gonna let it slide by? hell no. JKG was not "not technical" and his absolute trademark (which is how he also made so many correct predictions of high-tariff events) was precisely to *not* rely on subjective or impressionistic snap judgements. If you ever read a JKG book, there are plenty of jokes, but there's also a heck of a lot of specific detail, and his assumptions about underlying behaviour are almost always based on the agent in question being a rational person trying to carry out a plan in a difficult world. His analysis of why people in third world villages don't bother to try and improve their conditions in "The Nature of Mass Poverty" would have most self-styled rational choice hard-headed rigorous types shouting "Oi Mengele! No!"


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:36 AM
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I've always said that people like Kim and Saddam are/were not only rational but extremely shrewd, since they are/were/have been always surrounded by people who wanted to kill them and take their place. This doesn't make me a rational choice theorist, does it?

In my recent reading (Gintis, Coyle), JKG's failure to model things makes him not an economist or a scientist at all, but merely a sociologist or a historian (which in turn seems to mean something like "mumbling fool").


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:44 AM
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All of the art is in choosing what to model

Precisely. And to model the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in terms of a pecuniary utility function with unitary utility-maximizing actors on both sides is so ahistorical I don't know where to begin.

If you make your predictions by regarding someone like Kim Jong-Il or Ahmadinejad as a rational actor who is trying to make a plan to achieve his goals in the face of a difficult world, then you're always gonna beat someone who starts off by projecting his own wishful thinking and neuroses onto a mental model of what The Dreaded Other is like.

No disagreement with you there. Your garden variety foreign policy realist would sign on to that statement as well. But Bueno de Mesquita is going way beyond the common sense foundations of the rational actor assumption.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:47 AM
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JKG's failure to model things makes him not an economist or a scientist at all, but merely a sociologist or a historian

JKG's major works are not constructed around mathematical models, but there are models nonetheless (e.g. the Revised Sequence).

Also, he was capable of doing the quantitative heavy lifting when the situation called for it, e.g. in his work on price controls or on his assessment of the impact of strategic bombing on the German war effort.

If anyone wants to start in on JKG, he's gonna have a fight on his hands with me.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:51 AM
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I think the big lesson of the last five years, from the selling of Iraq to rendition to the telco amnesty and all the rest, is that the military-imperial complex does actually work in roughly the kind of way that the most rabid Buchananites think the whole government does.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:52 AM
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Well, start by whipping up on Gintis. Gintis is a smart, interesting guy, but he can be quite nasty and dogmatic.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:58 AM
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I've always said that people like Kim and Saddam are/were not only rational but extremely shrewd, since they are/were/have been always surrounded by people who wanted to kill them and take their place. This doesn't make me a rational choice theorist, does it?

I think so, yeah.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:10 AM
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I've always said that people like Kim and Saddam are/were not only rational but extremely shrewd, since they are/were/have been always surrounded by people who wanted to kill them and take their place. This doesn't make me a rational choice theorist, does it?

Actually, rational choice theory works better for the Kim Jong Il's of the world than in most circumstances, because rational choice is grounded in methodological individualism, which is difficult to translate into the international relations realm without assuming that the state is a unitary actor. The method already starts to break down in the case of Iran, where foreign policy is developed in poorly understood process by multiple constituencies with inconsistent agendas.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:30 AM
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I'm all in favour of this sort of approach to practical problem solving. I do it myself sometimes (or at least, I do something similar myself all the time, to try and predict business strategy moves

In predicting business strategy moves, the assumption that utility functions can ultimately be reduced to pecuniary motives is generally safe. Not so Middle East politics. Hence, the famous parable of the scorpion and the frog.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:41 AM
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The method already starts to break down in the case of Iran, where foreign policy is developed in poorly understood process by multiple constituencies with inconsistent agendas.

But I thought this guy's whole scam was that he identified the key actors and modelled them all individually in a large-scale simulation? Hence my "Madden" comment above.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:42 AM
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In what I'm reading now ("The Soulful Science"), Coyle seems to want to find institutions (markets or auctions) within which people will act rationally. That seems to go against the idea that people actually are rational, and that their rationality can be assumed for modelling purposes. On the other hand, Becker seems to go to extraordinary lengths to find ways to describe family behavior as actually rational, even though it doesn't seem to be. When Coyle runs into behavior she can't understand, she blames "emotion", which seems clearly to be a bad thing (though desire for stuff is not a bad thing if rationally pursued). I end up finding it hard to understand what these people are trying to do. Are they trying to get people to be more rational, or are they trying to use the assumption of rationality to develop explanations of behavior? Are they always sure themselves which it is that they're doing? The behavior they understand is most often seen in market situations, so they seem to want to transform non-market situations into markets so that they're less baffled (with the bonus that the new people will be more rational, better people).


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:43 AM
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184 If you make your predictions by regarding someone like Kim Jong-Il or Ahmadinejad as a rational actor who is trying to make a plan to achieve his goals in the face of a difficult world, then you're always gonna beat someone who starts off by projecting his own wishful thinking and neuroses onto a mental model of what The Dreaded Other is like

One of the particularly endearing infuriating features of Bushco is their use of the "xxx is a madman" meme, so that no rational planning of any kind is appropriate. (And I like how Khadaffi must have gotten better meds, as he is apparently now an ex-madman.) Stormin' Norman Podhoretz ably displays the technique re: Iran here.


Posted by: jp.stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:52 AM
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re: 194

Yeah, that confusion between normative and descriptive usages is quite common I think.

Fwiw, I use a little rational choice theory in my doctoral research but I'm explicitly engaged in normative rather than descriptive reasoning. It matters not a jot to me whether people actually are perfectly rational actors in appropriately described circumstances.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:55 AM
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On the other hand, Becker seems to go to extraordinary lengths to find ways to describe family behavior as actually rational, even though it doesn't seem to be

the "defence of Becker from the Beckerites" in summary is that he actually does this a lot less than his detractors or disciples believe. A lot of the time, he's engaged in analysis not of (for example) family behaviour per se, but rather of the social structures set up to manage family behaviour. So,


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:57 AM
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Regarding madmen, demonization is a necessary step in preparations for war. The most amusing demonization I've seen was by an old Czech-American pioneer who explained that a deer that her husband had shot 50 years earlier was a really mean one.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:58 AM
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It matters not a jot to me whether people actually are perfectly rational actors in appropriately described circumstances.

In general, they are - in the meaningful sense that they have plans and they try to carry them out. It's when people step out and make the (falsifiable and often actually false, although true in enough cases to make it an interesting area of study) that a given agent's plan is to maximise a weighted sum of his cash flows over time, that all the heartache sets in.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:59 AM
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Don't spoil my fun, Dsquared. His book sure seemed loony to me.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:00 AM
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re: 199

Yeah, given the usual caveats about bounded rationality, etc. I can sort of buy that. I just don't need it to be true for my own work.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:01 AM
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Fwiw, I use a little rational choice theory in my doctoral research but I'm explicitly engaged in normative rather than descriptive reasoning. It matters not a jot to me whether people actually are perfectly rational actors in appropriately described circumstances.

Same here for my undergraduate thesis. I was writing about a political economic distributional struggle, where rational choice theory is particularly well suited.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:03 AM
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But I thought this guy's whole scam was that he identified the key actors and modelled them all individually in a large-scale simulation? Hence my "Madden" comment above.

That part of his work I don't pretend to understand; it being a black box model, I think it's safe to be skeptical until some kind of peer review shows otherwise.

But based on his policy prescription for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I confidently assert that he is operating from an impoverished view of the underlying motivation of political actors on both sides.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:08 AM
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that the mathematics is any use without a load of detailed and company-specific knowledge

I was all set to think that Mesquita was full of crap, but it seemed to me that what he'd come up with was a way of organizing and interpreting lots of information.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:18 AM
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I'll link to another Crooked Timber thread - that may be of interest. This one is from John Quiggin:
The dormitive quality of rational choice.


Posted by: JP.Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:20 AM
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"Mesquita" doesn't sound like the name of a rational choice theorist. I see Mesquita as a spunky female character in play or novel set in New Mexico.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:32 AM
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it seemed to me that what he'd come up with was a way of organizing and interpreting lots of information.

Nah, I'd bet you quids that this isn't true. Most likely, like most of my models, it's a black box not because there's a supercomplicated proprietary quant algorithm in it, but because there's a lot of arbitrary parameters set by art rather than science. What he does is identify the right key actors, guess their priorities and assume that tatonnement will lead them to something like their optimal solution.

Note that there is definitely some self-aggrandisement here - these guys are clearly hostile to the rational agent approach, but they document that Mesquita actually forecast an erosion of commercial freedoms in Hong Kong, declining attractiveness as a destination for foreign investment and rising tax rates.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:39 AM
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On the (beckerite) topic of families and rational actors, it's always struck me as a parent that there is an amazing career to be built on the game theory of parenting. Establishing, and maintaining, control as a parent is one long string of enticements, communication, and threats. Some of the threats are credible, some aren't. The most effective threats are very costly to the parents as well as the kids, and often we don't follow through for precisely this reason. It just strikes me as an area that is so fertile for empirically verified application of game-theoretic models.


Posted by: spaz | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:54 AM
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I sense danger. Probably kids will master this model before parents do.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:00 AM
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it's always struck me as a parent that there is an amazing career to be built on the game theory of parenting.

Well, we've got Very Serious People applying child-rearing principles to international relations, so it stands to reason.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:01 AM
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It just strikes me as an area that is so fertile for empirically verified application of game-theoretic models.

The bounded rationality limitations and behavioral economics objections to game theory are likely to play an especially large role in the case of children.

Their preferences are inconsistent, they employ an absurdly large future discount rate, they're prone to anger and spite, etc.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:06 AM
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Their preferences are inconsistent, they employ an absurdly large future discount rate, they're prone to anger and spite, etc.

That's just a teaching opportunity. While Armsmasher is teaching his kid about deconstruction, I'll sit Junior on my knee and outline basic utility theory. We'll talk about proper discounting of future events, and how to estimate a good discount rate based upon the current yield curve and credit spreads or comparable costs of equity, depending on the riskiness of the future event in question.

If they insist on staying irrational, we'll have to delve into prospect theory. Father-child bonding will involve fun experiments to determine their very own values of alpha and lambda!

I'll just skirt around Coase theorem, because there's no way I'm going to get stuck bribing my lil' punks into being good in public on every occasion.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:43 AM
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I'll sit Junior on my knee and outline basic utility theory

IME, a far more fruitful starting point for applying academic insights to childrearing is behavioral psychology (conditioning, reward & punishment) or sociology (dominance, norms, taboos) . I'd throw in agronomy for good measure (Liebig's Law of the Minimum)


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:51 AM
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Probably kids will master this model before parents do.

My experience is that they do. Inconsistent preferences or no.


Posted by: chas | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:37 AM
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I'm having an identity crisis. My name is different everywhere I post. I think I'm going with spaz, though I've been cw since '03 or '04.


Posted by: spaz | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:38 AM
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