Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Highly Linkable

Let's begin with a few on immigration (I've been saving these; hence, the late dates on some):
Alex Tabarrok made the case for completely open borders in The Atlantic.
Bryan Caplan continues to fight the good fight. Here are some points he didn't have an opportunity to make at a workshop but did get to share with us, fortunately. And don't miss his speech at the Open Borders Meetup. 
Found this advice on idling cars in the cold helpful and attractively counterintuitive.

Let me take a moment to sing the praises of Comedy Central's "Drunk History". If you haven't watched it yet, start now before finishing this sentence . . . too late. I can think of three ways it is awesome:

  1. It is a better way to learn history than traditional approaches because you remember and enjoy it; therefore, you stick with it longer. In that sense learning is a lot like exercise--the best method is the one you will stick with and the one that will stick with you. 
  2. It tells stories that our traditional, state-driven history instruction won't tell. 
  3. While it is uproariously hilarious to listen to the various drunk narrators describing history, it is also a pretty insightful take on history in a meta sense. Namely, history is vague and uncertain. We should be careful not to be too confident that we've got it figured out precisely.
Tyler Cowen's interview with Chris Asness is extremely rewarding. A few of the money quotes:
"There’s no investment process so good that there’s not a fee high enough that can’t make it bad."
"High frequency trading [which he doesn't engage in] has made the world more just and fair, particularly for small investors."
"This is not Lake Wobegon. We can’t all beat the index. It’s actually a precise mathematical identity."
On superheros: "Even the most insane billionaire cannot afford a hundredth of what frigging Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne have. It’s infuriating. ... I’ve done well. I’m not the most insane out there. But if I wanted to go build a Batcave at my house, it would take approximately 600 times my wealth, and everyone would know about it."
Speaking of rewarding, George Will always delivers as he does here on Michael Bloomberg's potential entry into the presidential election.

And lastly, Scott Sumner on economists who lack an imagination. (I agree in all four cases, and there is no contradiction between that and my other strongly held views.)