Lion of the Blogosphere

Archive for August 2014

Steve Sailer on “affordable” housing set-asides

Steve Sailer has a an excellent blog post about the NYC policy of requiring developers to build 20% “affordable” housing units in order to be allowed to build the other 80% market-rate units.

One of the dumbest policies ever that only helps a handful of lucky lottery winners. But I think that the reason behind this is that liberals are really stupid, and is not part of a secret liberal plot.

Developers themselves are probably agnostic, because as long as there is a severe shortage of housing in NYC, the few developers who know how to work the system will enjoy good profits. What developers fear most is that NYC allows anyone to build anything anywhere, because that would result in competition which would drive down profits such that developers wouldn’t make much money.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 30, 2014 at EST am

Posted in New York City

HBD, the NY Times, and the post-scarcity economy

Brazilian journalist Vanessa Barbara writes:

According to research by Jerome Kagan, then a Harvard psychologist, people’s temperament is detectable very early in life and is likely to be partly inherited. In this sense, introversion is best understood as a kind of hypersensitivity. Babies who kicked and screamed more in the face of outside stimulation — those who, in other words, were highly sensitive to it — were likely to grow up to be introverts, he found. Less reactive babies, who needed more stimulation to get them interested and involved, had a bias toward becoming extroverts.

Yes, of course, but refreshing to see an endorsement of HBD in the NY Times. I guess, the way this is written, it doesn’t cast aspersions on any demographic groups that liberals care about. Because extroversion is considered to be a good trait, and because blacks are more extroverted than whites, it’s OK to write about how extraversion/introversion is genetically determined.

This op-ed piece also contains an economics lesson:

If you’ve chosen to be a writer, as I have, it probably means you enjoy being alone and expressing yourself in writing. Of course it doesn’t necessarily imply that you are a hermit, but it means, for sure, that socializing should be optional. Not an integral part of your career.

But I’m told exactly the opposite, year after year. So let’s be clear about this: Giving lectures, engaging in literary events and going on book tours are not my job. My job is sitting on a chair and writing. All the rest may be beneficial to my “public image” or my books’ sales, but it’s not obligatory. (Ask J.D. Salinger, Harper Lee, Thomas Pynchon, Marcel Proust or Gustave Flaubert.)

And yet the Internet is full of networking tips, warning that “good writing skills and original ideas aren’t enough to make you a success in this business. You need kick-ass marketing skills, too.” Others talk about the “promotional demands of a successful writing career.”

If good writing can be classified as value creation, then we see how value creation by itself is devalued without self-promotion. There are no doubt far more people who want to write for a living than the market needs, so therefore only those writers who excel at self-promotion can make a living.

In fact, the economics of writing defies conventional supply and demand analysis. If there are far more people trying to be writers than there is demand for writers, this should mean that the money made by writing should fall close to zero. While this is true for the majority of writers, it is absolutely not true for all writers. New York Times journalists make six-figure incomes, and J.K. Rowling has made a billion dollars from her writing. Winner-take-all explains the economics of writing much better than the conventional economics of supply and demand.

As we move into the post-scarcity economy, where individual value creation becomes meaningless because the world will be swimming in value, people will only be able to make significant amounts of money from value transference, which is inherently a winner-take-all type of activity. Thus the irony of a post-scarcity economy is that median person will become poorer.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 29, 2014 at EST am

Posted in Biology, Economics

A camera especially for women

You have to love the 1950s-style advertising at the Olympus UK site.

“A shopping tour in Paris or Milan is my favourite treat. I just love it. I’m addicted to elegant clothes, gold and high quality accessories as they show off my feminine side. That is just what I had in mind when I bought my PEN E-PL7. It suits my chic style. The camera’s slim silhouette, white glossy body and lovely hand grip complete my elegant look. It becomes the centre of attraction whenever I wear it”

“When I go out, my look has to be perfect – in an elegant style all my own. The PEN E-PL7 is made of premium metal enhanced with a leather-look finish that underlines my personal sophistication. The camera fits perfectly in my handbag even with all my other treasured accessories, thanks to its slim design. Every detail – the attractive grip, the placement of the dials – keeps me looking fabulous.”

“I never know who I might meet while shopping or enjoying the best seat in a café so I make sure I’m always prepared with my PEN E-PL7. It lets me take great selfies and is a cinch to use – take the LCD, which folds down and makes sure my hands don’t get in the way of the shot. A whole host of other bits and pieces mean my pictures come out crisp and beautiful.”

I love how Olympus stereotypes women as primarily interested in being the “centre of attraction,” “looking fabulous,” “shopping,” and having the “best seat in a café.” And being disinterested in any technical features of the camera such as its high-ISO ability or the ability to assign custom modes to the mode dial.

I predict that Olympus will get a lot of flak for this promotion and will take down the web page pretty soon. The politically correct way to market to women is to not be so obvious that you are marketing to them.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 28, 2014 at EST pm

Posted in Photography, Technology

Steve Sailer on Serena Williams

Steve Sailer implies that Serena Williams is taking steroids to get muscular.

I’m not so sure. I think that there are many black women who could get that muscular if they lift weights, without taking steroids. The greater muscularity of black women, compared to white women, is readily observed by riding the subways during the summer.

Of course, it’s pretty rare to see a black woman on the subways as muscular as Serena, but I think that the muscular black woman that I see are just naturally muscular without doing any type of serious weight training, and that they could look like Serena if they wanted to put the time and effort into bodybuilding.

* * *

ibejeph rights:

Women who use steroids tend to have very evident marks of their usage. The chin becomes square, the voice depends and the clitoris grows into almost a mini penis.

There are other factors as well, like facial hair, acne and other issues that would arise from pumping a male hormone into a female body.

I did a quick image search for Serena. Other than her muscle mass, I did not see any outward sign of steroid use. I even saw her in a bathing suit. There was no odd protrusion from her crotch.

Right. I don’t think her face looks any more masculine than the average thirty-two-year-old black woman you might see riding the subways.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 28, 2014 at EST am

Posted in Biology

“Poor doors” in the NY Times

”Poor doors” are the latest things for liberals to be enraged about.

It’s bad enough that developers are forced to rent apartments at a loss to poor people in order to be allowed to construct the housing units that the city desperately needs, but now the liberals are complaining when the “affordable” apartments have a separate entrance.

Big deal? Why is someone paying $1000/month entitled to the same grand entrance as someone paying $10,000/month?

For that matter, what’s the benefit of a lottery in which a tiny number of poor people get really lucky and get an apartment in a new building in a good neighborhood for less than the price of renting in a crappy neighborhood in Brooklyn or Queens? What the city needs are tens of thousands of new housing units that can be built inexpensively and in neighborhoods where it makes sense to build them. That can happen if DeBlasio zones some land for a bunch of 40-story towers with thousands of apartments each, and then lets private developers do their thing. It will obstruct someone’s view, for sure, but people need a place to live.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 27, 2014 at EST pm

Posted in New York City

Time Warner Cable sucks

I woke up this morning to no internet service. I feel better knowing that Time Warner sucks for everybody and it wasn’t just me. At least this time. My internet service routinely stops working.

What is DeBlasio doing to improve internet service for people who live in Manhattan? Probably nothing, because he’s too busy pandering to Al Sharpton and preventing real estate developers from building more apartments.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 27, 2014 at EST am

Posted in Technology

More “climate change” lies

According to an alarming “climate change” article in yesterday’s NY Times, “Global warming is already cutting grain production by several percentage points, the report found, and that could grow much worse if emissions continue unchecked.”

But in the same NY Times, there was the article about how there’s so much grain in North Dakota that there are no train cars available to transport it.

And in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal:

China’s grain cupboard is overflowing.

As the harvest looms next month, the country is on track for an 11th year of bumper grain crops. But production is too much, even for the world’s most populous nation, with warehouses bursting at the seams and posing a dilemma for policy makers.

So it seems that the contention that there is an alarming lack of grain production is completely bogus. The exact opposite seems to be happening. What else can’t be trusted in “climate change” reports?

* * *

Some further items of note:

1. Between 1960 and 2010, annual global grain production increased from 643 million tons to 2.2 billion tons.

2. If there was a shortage of grains in previous years, it’s because someone had the stupid idea of converting it to ethanol. But there is a huge bumper crop in 2014 in both China and the U.S.

3. Canada also has surplus grain and not enough rail cars to deliver it anywhere.

Declining grain production appears to be completely bogus. Furthermore, increasing temperatures and increasing CO2 should cause increased plant growth rather than reduced plant growth.

* * *

Also, we see that the NY Times article yesterday about North Dakota oil production hurting North Dakota farmers may have also been bogus because there is a worldwide surplus of grain this year. There’s more grain than anyone needs which is why it’s not economical to transport it anywhere, and Canada has the same problem.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 27, 2014 at EST am

Posted in News

Today in the NY Times

An Oil Boom Is Crowing Out Grain. This continues the NY Times policy of only running articles that portray the oil boom in North Dakota in a negative light. There has not been a single article about anyone who has benefited from oil jobs or lower oil prices.

Life After Brooklyn. Hipsters are being priced out of the desirable neighborhoods of Brooklyn. Cool hipster shops and quirky eating places are being replaced by yuppie stores and chain restaurants. Midwood is just too far away from Manhattan for anyone to want to live except for Orthodox Jews. So Hipsters are moving to New Jersey.

From the most-emailed list: Dash of Salt Does No Harm.. Actually it goes beyond that. Low salt diets INCREASE the risk of dying significantly, but high salt diets (and high salt means twice as much salt as the average American consumes) causes only a very small increased risk of dying and possibly because it’s correlated with being a poor person rather than because a high-salt salt is actually unhealthy. I am happy to see politically-correct shibboleths like low-salt and low-cholesterol diets dying. Hopefully in the future we will see the end of the belief that you need to drink massive amounts of water to be healthy, that exercise is healthy, that vegetables are healthy. Then maybe global warming and HBD denialism will crumble.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 26, 2014 at EST am

Posted in News

Why did ISIS behead the American journalist?

mikeca writes in a comment:

Hafez al-Assad is much smarter than the leaders of ISIS.
Hafez al-Assad pissed off Obama by using chemical weapons, but he then recognized (or Putin explained to him and he got the message) he had to give up his chemical weapons to satisfy Obama.

ISIS leaders were stupid to execute an American journalist that way and piss off Obama and the US.

But Peter Akuleyev writes the opposite:

The important thing now is not to intervene. ISIS is consciously trying to provoke us into attacking them. The longer this war remains simply a Muslim vs. Muslim war, the more ISIS loses legitimacy among potential supporters. They are desperate to turn this war into a jihad against the West. The best thing we can do is sit on the sidelines and let the Islamists burn themselves out.

So is beheading the American journalist a smart ISIS strategy or huge blunder?

I side with mikeca that it’s a blunder, and it’s based on ISIS not understanding how liberal Americans think. ISIS would kill all of its enemies if it could, and Bashar Assad would kill everyone in ISIS if he could. ISIS doesn’t understand why America doesn’t just kill all of its enemies the way ISIS or the Assad government would. They don’t understand that American liberals like Obama are repulsed by the idea of killing people in the national interests of the United States, and that in fact the government of the U.S. would work against U.S. interests because of higher moral principles. Therefore, ISIS assumes that American hasn’t wiped them out because America is powerless and unable to. In fact, America could unleash holy hell on ISIS, but we don’t do that because of all the people we would kill by doing that.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 26, 2014 at EST am

Posted in International

Has Jeff Bezos been reading my blog?

Only a day after I wrote about watching Twitch.tv, it is announced that Amazon.com is buying Twitch.tv for more than $1 billion.

Probably, Jeff Bezos thought, “it must be worth at least a billion dollars if even the Lion of the Blogosphere watches it.”

But seriously folks, time and time again I write about stuff before it becomes big news. (I only wish I had caught on to Bitcoin and bought some before it became insanely overpriced.)

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 25, 2014 at EST pm

Posted in Nerdy stuff, Technology

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