Mar 26

Yoda or da not

Overheard in a Target:

Little girl: But I want the Yoda! The Yoda!

Mom: But you don’t want that one. That’s not the one for you.

Little girl: But the Yoda! I want the Yoda for my basket!

Mom: That’s not the theme and that’s not what we’re doing.

Little girl: The Yoda! The Yoda! I want the Yoda!

Mom: Quit complaining. We’re not getting the Yoda!

Little girl, being led away: But I want the Yoda! Yoda! Yoda!

The context was more clear in person — it was pretty apparent that the woman did not want her daughter to get something “unfeminine” like Yoda, that it was the wrong choice for a girl.

The conversation actually went on for a lot longer — about seven or eight minutes of the girl begging for some sort of Yoda thing for her Easter basket and being repeatedly denied and forced to make another choice.

Sexism is real and it exists; much of it also perpetrated by women against other women and even worse mentally-defenseless little girls, as no one is immune to and insulated from the patriarchal environment in which we all live.

Mar 26

Found it

Found the post I was ranting about below, and I figured out the trick the guy pulled. My memory was faulty, but there was indeed a a large deception.

First, the robot story implies an acceleration of manufacturing productivity (more output with fewer workers equals faster productivity growth), for which there is no evidence.

Can you detect it? Nice and subtle. An “acceleration” of manufacturing productivity. Not an “increase.” It only takes a small annual increase of a few percent to double output with the same number of workers over time. But to “accelerate” the increase of manufacturing productivity is a whole different thing — this means if you measure the acceleration of the increase (which hasn’t happened) you’ll get a nearly-flat graph where it looks like productivity is flat. Which is bullshit.

It’s like saying your car isn’t going any faster because though you’ve gone from 60mph to 80mph, you’re actually not going faster because you went from 10mph to 30mph with much greater acceleration.

Nice trick. I admire the intellectual chutzpah it takes to pull such things because only a small percentage of people will know you are wrong, but those who do know will really know it.

This dude’s graph, which isn’t actually graphing what it claims to, but rather the “acceleration” I mentioned above:




Note that in the above, the productivity rate is per annum, averaged over a decade. So that means that a 4% per annum increase in a decade leads to ~50% greater output per worker in only 10 years. But it’s not accelerating, and never really has, so you can make a nice flat graph if you plot that. Which is stupid.

Mar 26


First a quote, then I’ll put the moon rover in gear and we’ll get where we’re going.

“The purpose of studying economics is not to acquire a set of ready-made answers to economic questions, but to learn how to avoid being deceived by economists.”

― Joan Robinson

I’ve lost the link — I read way too much — but I was on an economics site that claimed that US factory productivity had not increased at all since the 1950s.

This contradicted everything I’d ever read and every number I’d ever seen, so I decided to look into it more. I’m guessing it was some sort of agenda for justifying why so many jobs had been shipped overseas, but done really well so that it was “obvious” with cooked numbers. More convincing that way if made less clearly ideological.

Dammit, I wish I could find the link.

The mistake or deliberate obfuscation this person made appears to be that they took the BLS numbers of factory output and somehow manually adjusted them to show hours worked per worker without adjusting for decrease in worker number vs. hugely increased output (same number of workers producing far more, in reality). The same number of workers can produce in 2016 1,000 cars a month, and could’ve rolled out only around 200 in 1950. Etc. Anyway, it was completely wrong so if you find it or something like it, please let me know.

So here’s the data as it should actually be calculated. The FRED.


Just manufacturing since 1975:

us manu

So as you can see we produce much more with much fewer jobs over any series of more than a few years which you care to examine, in any category.

Mar 25


Watching and listening to a woman at work speak in English, Spanish, German and to me in my broken and in her near-perfect French all at the same time. Same conversation. Very fucking impressive. She knows Russian, too, but no one else here does to toss that her way as well.

Whoever that linguist was who said that no one is truly bilingual is a goddamn moron.

Mar 25

Work work work work (not by Rihanna)

Many people return from vacation so beat that they look forward to returning to work so they can rest up. The main difference between work and leisure is that work at least you get paid for your alienation and enervation.

-Bob Black, “The Abolition of Work”

Mar 25

Consent and “consent”

A good look at the “voluntary” gender segregation that occurred at an LSE dinner.

One of the most shameful and hypocritical bits of modern liberal thinking and action is of embracing practices that are harmful to women if they are done by (mostly) brown people. Obsessed with relativism in general, it’s hard to declare absolute principles. This was seen most recently in the tortuous rhetoric of those liberals justifying North African men attacking women in Germany by blaming the women, German men for setting a bad example, or finding fault with anything other than the people actually committing the assaults.

However, I’m not that kind of liberal — Muslims who practice this sort of disgusting misogyny have no place in Western society.

Neither do white men, either, but it’s no more an option to send them back than it is to “send the Muslims back.” So a quandary. But the LSE not allowing this would be a good start.

The Left tends to embrace at the expense of women practices that are done by brown people, while white people get no pass. And they should not! No one should.

If it’s not clear, I’m in favor of equality for everyone, not equality unless you are a brown woman or the victim of an “oppressed” brown man, then fuck you, sister.

Mar 24

Small inventory

Small and medium-size businesses are very, very, very bad at inventory management and forecasting.

You could likely dominate a profitable space by being superior in this.

I’m always shocked at how poorly smallish businesses do this. Most probably don’t rely on any software to do this, I’m guessing.

Mar 23


Both the Left’s and the Right’s “strategies” for dealing with Islamic terrorism and European mass immigration are as full of various piles of shit and loquacious lies as a cattle roundup in Texas circa 1888.

The Right is “bomb them into oblivion and arrest/harass anyone who looks vaguely brown and close all the borders forever (unless you are white).” Not to mention that they seem to believe that unlimited racial profiling helps, and that “sending them all back” is an actual answer, even families that have lived in Belgium or France or Denmark for 50 years.

And of course the Right believes that it’s not also terrorism if they harass, demonize and kill anyone who looks too brown.

The Left for its part claims that Islamic terrorism doesn’t exist, and that if it does exist it isn’t a threat, and if it is a threat, it is our fault (especially if you are white), and that those harmless little immigrants and their kids are just puppies, orphans, babies and perhaps even actual fairies with wings to make all your wishes come true.

Of course the Left gets to the BS conclusion of “there is way more than Islamic terrorism in Europe” by conflating the “terrorism” of some French farmer who accidentally set his tractor on fire while protesting low produce prices with bomb blasts by Islamic militants that kill 40+ people on the regular.

Fucking Christ. What a bunch of clownish dolts, fools and morons on each side.

Look, I don’t have the answers. I barely even have the questions. But a minimum start is not being so delusional as to allow the issue to be framed by people who are making bank or mining popularity by leading you into mental bad idea traps.

Mar 23

Where is the lie?


Yes, yes, I know why girls do that. I understand. Something can be right and still be annoying.

The “I’m a vegan” is what makes it, though.

Mar 23


I haven’t yet read this Sarah Kendzior piece, but something I was thinking about today: when a large number of people say that “it can’t happen here,” that means the event is more likely than it was when no one was making that declaration.

The reason for this is that if large numbers of people are claiming that something cannot happen — especially something that has occurred in history many times before — it is in the air, is something that millions are thinking about as a possibility and that society is lurching towards already.

I use a similar trading strategy in the market, btw, and I am rarely wrong.

So the “can’t happen here” narrative is more of a declaration of values, of position-staking, and the actual event is more likely (though by no means certain, or even in many cases probable) than when no one at all is discussing it.

Now I should actually go and read the piece.