Quotes & Links #55

1) voxeu.org: The myth of Europe’s Little Ice Age

It appears instead that the European Little Ice Age is a statistical artefact, where the standard climatological practice of smoothing what turn out to be white noise data prior to analysis gives the spurious appearance of irregular oscillation – a Slutsky Effect.

This is interesting because many historians base some events and junctures on the effect of the little ice age in Europe (as they mention in the article).

2) supplysideliberal.com: Dan Miller – Penny Wise and Pound Foolish
I wasn’t aware that a powerful zinc lobby existed. The penny/cent is rather annoying & I’d be rather happy to have a less crowded pourse…

3) faz.net/fazit: Wer hat Angst vor einer Deflation?
Es ist zwar wahr, dass kein Blog über den Aufsatz berichtet hat, Bloomberg allerdings schon (siehe auch Quotes & Links #53). Wundert mich aber, dass nicht mal Marginal Revolution darüber berichtet hat.

4) brookings.edu: Why are interest rates so low?

The bottom line is that the state of the economy, not the Fed, ultimately determines the real rate of return attainable by savers and investors. The Fed influences market rates but not in an unconstrained way; if it seeks a healthy economy, then it must try to push market rates toward levels consistent with the underlying equilibrium rate.

5) mainlymacro.com: Greece and other benefit scroungers

6) theguardian.com: The future of loneliness

When a person is lonely, they long to be witnessed, accepted, desired, at the same time as becoming intensely wary of exposure. […], the feeling of loneliness triggers what psychologists call hypervigilance for social threat. In this state, which is entered into unknowingly, the individual becomes hyperalert to rejection, growing increasingly inclined to perceive social interactions as tinged with hostility or scorn. The result is a vicious circle of withdrawal, in which the lonely person becomes increasingly suspicious, intensifying their sense of isolation.

Self-reinforcing mechanisms in humans are scary. I’m not sure if the difference between internet and “real life” is not too pronounced here. You can create a character in real life as well, and lose yourself in him/her.

7) zeit.de: Greece and Germany – Why so angry?

Johan Eekhoff died in March 2013. “No-one should cling to the image of the world-champion of exports,” he wrote in his 2004 article. “There is no real interest in achieving a trade surplus.” But that is the very thing which is happening today. Germany is even being called the “Exportnation” as if there were some internal pressure to forego imports.

Nach dem “Wirtschaftswunder” ist die deutsche Identität nun an dem “Exportwunder” geknüpft. Vielleicht fühlt sich Deutschland einfach als eine einsame Nation, die nach Anerkennung strebt? ;)

8) reddit.com: Inside the Aspie Brain; Why social scenarios are so difficult…

9) youtube.com: David Attenborough narrates a typical British night out.

10) stevecoast.com: The world will only get weirder (h/t Tyler Cowen)

It used to be that rules really helped. Checklists on average were extremely helpful and have saved possibly millions of lives. But with aircraft we’ve reached the point where rules may backfire, like locking cockpit doors.

I don’t think that regulation *has* to lead to failure, but there might be a pareto optimal allocation somewhere. But who knows where?

11) marginalrevolution.com: Why you should take notes by hand — not on a laptop

The problem appears to be that the laptop turns students into stenographers, people who write down everything they hear as quickly as they can.

I’ve written about this before.

12) themarysue.com: They Are No Men – Tolkien’s 6 Most Bad-Ass Forgotten Ladies
If I decide to have kids my potential wife will have to fight hard to not name our daughter “Lúthien Tinúviel”. I loved her story.

13) wolfgangmichal.de: Gefühlter Journalismus

14) bloomberg.com: One Economist Just Delivered a Scathing Indictment of the New Greek Government

15) medium.com/gone: The Ten ‘Commandments’ of Sushi
Awesome. Learned a lot.


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