Archive for March 2014
Shortly after Bridgegate broke out, I predicted that Jeb Bush would replace Christie as the mainstream Republican frontrunner, and that Mike Huckabee would be the probable winner because Bush is a weak mainstream frontrunner and 2016 will be when the Christian evangelists finally vote for their guy.
What about Rand Paul who ties Huckabee in the polls? Well, we see that mainstream Republican donors want nothing to do with Rand Paul as a presidential nominee, which is why they are planning to coalesce around Bush. And the evangelists will be turned off by Paul’s weird political beliefs and Rand is not an evangelist Christian, he is mainline Presbyterian. So Paul’s appeal has probably already peaked.
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In case some people don’t get it, I need to point out that this is a PREDICTION and not an endorsement of Jeb Bush or Huckabee.
There have been too many comments that are off topic, mean-spirited, repetitive, or insulting to other commenters.
I will be deleting more comments.
Steve Sailer has no opinion on bitcoin, but his commenters certainly have a lot of opinions!
One commenter offered the usual libertarian tripe about U.S. dollars being only worth only a small fraction of their value in 1914, but this depreciation in value was only a problem for people who kept their money in boxes in their house. For normal people who kept their money in interest-paying bank accounts or other investments, this was non-issue.
I wrote several blog posts about bitcoin after the Mt. Gox implosion, but I’ve had more time to think about it since then, so I think I have better thoughts today than I had before.
I would estimate that fewer than 1% of people who own bitcoin own it for its stated purpose as a currency for legal transactions. And that number is probably a lot closer to 0% than it is to 1%. Why do the other 99% to 100% own it?
(1) Because they think it will go up in value.
(2) Because they can’t sell it. Why can’t they sell it?
(2a) Because they don’t want their identity revealed because they acquired it illegally or for other reasons.
(2b) Because they own so much of it they can’t sell it without causing the price to crash.
(3) For ideological reasons: they hate government-controlled currency so they want bitcoin to replace it and usher in what they imagine to be a utopian future economy.
(4) As a currency for illegal transactions.
It has been argued that bitcoin is a superior medium of exchange for retailers because they pay no transaction fees to receive it, and they don’t have to deal with chargebacks. On the other hand, if they don’t want to own bitcoin—and bitcoin is currently pretty useless as a medium of exchange so merchants probably don’t want to own it—then, they have to convert it to dollars and there is a transaction fee for converting bitcoin to dollars. They also have to deal with accounting for something that will only compose a tiny percentage of their sales so it may not be worth the administrative hassle.
So maybe there’s a reason for merchants to accept bitcoin, but as a consumer why would you want to use it if the merchant doesn’t pass on the savings and you lose the protection of a credit-card company that will intercede and refund your money if you have a problem with the merchant?
It’s hard to see how bitcoin could ever replace the U.S. dollar or other government-controlled currencies if the major powers (the major world governments and the big corporations) don’t receive any benefit from it. Even if people eventually agree that electronic crypto-currency is a good idea, it makes a lot more sense that the United States Treasury would create a crypto-currency backed by and officially endorsed by the U.S. government.
Furthermore, as I pointed out before, the problem for early adopters of bitcoin is that so much of it gets lost or stolen by hackers each year. You have to know a lot about bitcoin in order to own it and use it safely. Most people probably aren’t smart enough to own and use it safely in the current bitcoin environment.
Thus bitcoin can be nothing but a Ponzi scheme. Since it has no future as a currency, and people are only buying it because they think a greater fool will pay more money for it in the future, it has to inevitably crash. And given the massive publicity that bitcoin has had during the last few months, it is possible that bitcoin has already reached its peak value. Everyone now knows about bitcoin, so anyone who would be motivated to invest in it already has. Unless there is some new information that comes out which makes bitcoin suddenly seem to be a much more attractive investment, the more likely direction for the price of bitcoin is down and not up. The time to invest in bitcoin was before everyone knew about it.
The search in the Indian Ocean has moved 685 miles northeast. Thus all of the debris sighted in the previous search area is presumed to be just regular ocean junk and not plane wreckage.
So far, there has been no physical evidence to disprove my hypothesis that the plane landed somewhere. I’m still waiting for an actual piece of airplane to be recovered.
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Tho add to this, there’s no psychological reason for the person or persons in control of the plane to fly it to the middle of nowhere over the Indian Ocean.
There’s the hypothesis that there was some emergency that caused the pilots to divert course, and then the emergency rendered them unconscious or dead and the plane kept flying on autopilot until it ran out of fuel and crashed. But nothing like that has ever happened before to a Boeing 777 in the middle of the cruising portion of a flight, the safest part of the flight.
Thus, I am still dubious about the Indian Ocean theory. But they say they took pictures of more ocean debris today and it’s being analyzed, so we shall see.
Commenter “peterike” writes:
New York City has most segregated schools in nation. Ahhh yes, the hot cultural center of our Progressive Overlords! Thou shalt do as they say, not as they do.
According to the article, “segregation” apparently means that a school has very few whites. The article also points out that the entire New York City public school system is only 14.5 percent white, which means that even if whites were perfectly apportioned to each school, then all schools would be 85.5% minority.
People who have been following my blog should know that whites who would send their children to public schools have almost entirely moved out of New York City, which is now a city for the poor and for the bobos, with a few notable exceptions that include prole white Catholics who either live in Staten Island (which is cut off from the rest of the city) or send their kids to Catholic school. Most of the whites in Brooklyn are prole religious Jews who send their children to Jewish schools.
However, if De Blasio is aware of this issue, there are a few schools he could target for desegregation. There are a handful of nearly all-white elementary schools in good neighborhoods in Manhattan and Brooklyn. De Blasio could bus those white kids to minority neighborhoods and bus the minority students into the good neighborhoods. Of course within a few months you’d see all of the bobo whites move to the suburbs very quickly, and the end result would be even fewer whites in the public school system and no more racial diversity than you had before. But because De Blasio is very stupid, he might do it anyway.
The population of New York City is growing. People are moving in, and they are not moving out.
Regarding the cases argued in the Supreme Court yesterday, which includes Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., I remind you once again that the Supreme Court takes a very broad view of the powers of Congress to regulate businesses. I find it unlikely that Hobby Lobby will win.
Maybe the two most heavily Catholic judges, Scalia and Thomas, will side with Hobby Lobby, not because of consistent jurisprudence but because these normally hyper-rational justices become irrational when Christianity is at issue. The rest of the court will probably fall in line based on the slippery slope argument (where would these types of exemptions end?), because the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act was intended to protect individuals from discrimination and not to allow corporations from avoiding general business regulations, because the law isn’t forcing anyone to use contraceptives, etc. The Court has previously held that the RFPA doesn’t allow a religious person to get out of paying taxes, and paying for health insurance plans is like paying a tax.
Taxes go to pay for public schools, where there are art classes where the children are instructed to draw pictures of animals, which violates the Islamic religion. Does that mean Muslims don’t have to pay taxes? I don’t think so.
Intelligence is the ability to reason.
Intelligence is a genetically determined trait, much like height.
There are three ways to learn: by reasoning things out, by rote, and by mimicking. Because much (maybe most) learning is done via the reasoning method, intelligence is highly correlated with learning, and can even be defined as the ability to reason and learn.
Intelligent people can be bad at skills learned through mimicking, such as so-called social skills and speaking foreign languages.
Intelligent people have the ability to reason, but depending on their personality, there are many intelligent people who choose not to use their ability all the time.
Will the rules for Monopoly change? This is probably not a good idea; games need definitive rules otherwise they ultimately become less fun.
Monopoly isn’t that great of a game anyway. It was a pretty good board game for 1933, but the game has problems. Usually some people get knocked out early leaving them with nothing to do but watch the other players. Risk has the same problem.
Acquire is a much better game. A game tends to last for only an hour, there’s more strategy involved, and in the majority of games you tend to feel that you have a chance at winning up to the very end.
Unfortunately, the current version of Acquire that’s for sale sucks compared to the old version. The form fitting plastic tiles have been replaced by cheap cardboard. I see that if I wanted to raise money, I could sell my vintage 1980s version for more than I originally paid for it.
Worker co-ops. Theoretically, this sounds like a great solution to value transference. However, I think it only works for value-creation businesses where the workers are doing non-scalable semi-skilled work, and this is the type of labor that’s going to be replaced by robots in a few years. Surely robots will be able to bake bread and clean windows, the two examples used in the article.
Flight 370. Stuff was spotted floating in a remote part of the Indian Ocean, but no debris was actually recovered and examined, so no one knows if that debris is from a Boeing 777, or is just some stuff the fell off a ship. The government Malaysia was extremely premature in officially stating that Flight 370 crashed into the ocean.
The editorial board predictable doesn’t like the idea that the government of Egypt is going to execute 529 convicted members of the Muslim Brotherhood. But I say it takes Muslims to know how to deal with the crazy jihadist Muslims and we have no business passing judgment. But it should be pointed out that Israel deals much more gently with the Palestinians than Egypt deals with Egyptians.
A book about caffeine, the only good drug. Good means that bobos approve of it.
Bobos hate cigarettes. Thus we see in the map that hardly anyone smokes in bobo areas, but smoking is still a big problem among proles, especially proles who live far away from good bobo influence. We need make Michael Bloomberg the Governor of West Virginia so he can stop the proles from smoking. We’re paying for their lung cancer treatments, so it’s financially beneficial for all taxpayers to stop their dirty and disgusting habit.