Quotes & Links #41

1) washingtonpost.com/monkeycage: Why the United States incarcerates so many people (in one graph)

As the graph indicates, there is a strong correlation: the more the public wants to get tough on crime, the more the incarceration rate increases.

Kind of interesting because it infers a strong responsiveness of government. I wonder how that mechanism works and why it’s faster sometimes and sometimes not? Is it correlated with some specific events (at peaks and lows)? Maybe I’ll read the research article.

2) washingtonpost.com/wonkblog: Potent weed is worse for you than the mild stuff — and it’s hard to find anything else these days

Frequent use of high-potency weed may be linked to an increased risk of having a psychotic episode. But milder strains of marijuana, even when used heavily, don’t appear to carry any increased risk of psychosis.

I wonder how this will play out. The glorification of weed seems kinda weird to me, but as long as it doesn’t result in health issues I couldn’t care less. Maybe stronger strains will leader to more and then some form of regulation is in order. Still, it’s about time to legalize it in Germany as well.

3) econlog.org: Have an opinion about string theory? How about macroeconomics?

4) noahpinionblog.com: Why do non-experts think they know about macroeconomics?

5) rjwaldmann.com: Why do Macroeconomists Think We Know Macroeconomics?

6) guardian.com: The abuse of animals won’t stop until we stop eating meat

7) vox.com: John Ioannidis has dedicated his life to quantifying how science is broken

Julia Belluz: In light of all these issues with science, how would you reform how scientists are educated?
John Ioannidis: I think that one major gap is exactly education. Most scientists in biomedicine and other fields are mostly studying subject matter topics; they learn about subject matter rather than methods.

A friend of mine studies biochemistry and his lack of methodological knowledge and implications (on a philosophical level, too) always astounds me.

Julia Belluz: What do you read in your spare time?

John Ioannidis: I’m literally buried under hundreds and thousands of books at home. I love having books around me. In my reading, I am also pretty chaotic. Right now, I’m reading Beautiful Evidence by Edward Tufte, The Forgotten Man: A new history of the Great Depression, Tuscan Art in the Middle Ages, Memoirs of the Crusades.

Just like moi (and so many others). ;)

8) medium.com/sky-new: The anonymous officials who hold the fate of the euro in their hands

That’s because Steffens and Monticelli are the lead negotiators for the German and Italian finance ministries respectively. Sherpas, as such people are known, are the men and women who make these international deals, whether in Brussels or Washington, a reality.

Why didn’t I know this before?

The longer the talks have gone on, the more of a problem this has become. There are unwritten rules to these summits and meetings […]. In the course of the past week or so, Greece has broken almost all of those rules.

See also: tweet & tweet.

9) spon.de: Faktencheck: Rettet Europa Griechenland – oder nur die Banken?
Ja, wir haben die Banken gerettet. Die Auswirkungen von einer Bankenpleite wäre natürlich nicht sofortiges Wachstum in der ganzen Eurozone gewesen. Das “Counterfactual” ist nicht so klar, wahrscheinlich wäre es für Griechenland nicht so schlecht verlaufen & dafür für Deutschland und Frankreich. Ist aber schwer zu sagen.

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