Links 4/19/15

‘Help! Fire!’ Talking parrots cause house fire confusion KBOI

In defense of modern macro theory David Andolfatto, MacroMania

There is No Evidence that the Economy is Self-Correcting (Very Wonkish) Roger Farmer

Should economists rule? Mainly Macro

Ben Bernanke’s top excuse for working at a hedge fund actually makes it worse Matt Yglesias, Vox. Yglesias has a pretty low baseline. Bernanke is w-a-a-a-y below it.

American Realty Investors Allege Fee-Driven Scheme by Schorsch Bloomberg. Feedom fries with that?

Ernst & Young Pays $10 Million To Settle Lehman Brothers Audit Failure Lawsuit Corpwatch (KK)

Deutsche Bank Leaning Toward Disposing of Postbank WSJ

IMF nations point to exchange rate, geopolitical risks Reuters

Investors Chase Returns in Risky Zero-Coupon Bonds WSJ

Struggle at America’s Main Street banks FT

For the First Time Since 2007, Most Americans Feel Good About Money Bloomberg

Fast Track Bill Would Legitimize White House Secrecy and Clear the Way for Anti-User Trade Deals EFF

Thousands in Germany protest against Europe-U.S. trade deal Reuters. TTIP.


ECB’s Draghi Rejects Talk of Greek Euro Exit WSJ. Euro “irrevocable.”

Delamaide: IMF faces tipping point over Greece USA Today

Greece wants EU/IMF deal but impasse could bring referendum: deputy PM Reuters

Europe ready for Grexit contagion as Athens gets closer to Russian cash Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Daily Telegraph

Russia denies German report it is ready to sign gas deal with Greece Reuters

Finns Set to Topple Government as Vote Focuses on Economic Pain Bloomberg

Revealed: how Tony Blair makes his millions Daily Telegraph. Third Way politician makes the Clinton Foundation look like Transparency International’s poster child.

Why I Landed A Gyrocopter On Capitol Hill Popular Resistance


Who Reported on Hillary Clinton’s Historic Chipotle Visit, and How? Newsweek

Clinton’s Real Opponent: Barack Obama Larry Sabato, Politico

The Swarm Stop Me Before I Vote Again

Jeb Bush Wants To Gradually Raise The Retirement Age Talking Points Memo

155,000 New York kids boycott standardized tests USA Today

Collecting educational data is important for the future of education and can help define the the character of a town, said Nicole Brisbane, state director at Democrats for Education Reform.

“Schools are one of the biggest differentiators of value in the suburbs,” she said. “How valuable will a house be in Scarsdale when it isn’t clear that Scarsdale schools are doing any better than the rest of Westchester or even the state? Opting out of tests only robs parents of that crucial data.



Under Obamacare, Competition Is Costly For Consumers Forbes

Obamacare repeal falls off Republicans’ to-do list as law takes hold Los Angeles Times

What does gun violence really cost? Mother Jones

Black Injustice Tipping Point

How riding your bike can land you in trouble with the cops — if you’re black Tampa Bay Times (Furzy Mouse).

Counter-Terrorism Officials Helped Track Black Lives Matter Protesters East Bay Express

‘More than just child’s play’: University of Alabama SGA blocks new president from picking own staff

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

FBI pulls computer security expert off flight, after he tweets about hacking its systems Cnet

Are city surveillance camera regulations being ignored? Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Controversial secret phone tracker figured in dropped St. Louis case St Louis Post-Dispatch. Stingray.

Op-ed: Why the entire premise of Tor-enabled routers is ridiculous Ars Technica

Zuckerberg: It’s better to have free Internet access than to have a ‘free’ Internet Pando Daily. We should have both.

Google Replaces A Site’s URL In Search Results & Uses Its Site Name & Breadcrumb Path Search Engine Land

A QUIC update on Google’s experimental transport Google. Replacing both the URL and TCP makes me feel a little queasy. Can more technically inclined readers comment?

Secret Details of Drone Strike Revealed As Unprecedented Case Goes to German Court The Intercept

New Laws for New Threats Like Drones and Bioterrorism WSJ. “An era of futuristic, high-tech violence will require a new social contract.” Looking forward!

Class Warfare

Paid work is never enough: we need to pay attention to the quality as well as the quantity of jobs created London School of Economics

New Yorkers Protest Income Inequality at Billionaire’s Condo Building Democracy Now

Revenge of the record labels: How the majors renewed their grip on music Forbes

Hacking the Nazis: The secret story of the women who broke Hitler’s codes Tech Republic

Apollo 13, We Have a Solution IEEE Spectrum. Three-parter expanding on link yesterday; an amazing engineering culture.

These Are Easily The Most Gorgeous Maps Of The Moon Ever io9

Young Maine couple give up city life, take on challenge at Monroe farm Bangor Daily News

Bill Cunningham | Joy Blooms (video) NYT. Springtime zeitgeist watch.

Antidote du jour:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


    1. Bev

      Sanders and others who want evidence of their wins or loses (start with Primaries), need to inform the public about the need for hand-counted paper ballots counted in precinct on election night which will be fought by the very people who control the faulty by design e-voting, e-scanning machines. An important way to teach the public has just a little more to reach its goal of $12,000. and time is running short. Please help:

      Computerized Election Theft: Enough Already! Let’s Stop It!
      by Jonathan Simon

      96 backers
      $11,825 pledged of $12,000 goal
      71 hours to go

      Thank you very much.

    2. Bill the Psychologist

      Sanders posts on FB many times each day, and saying things us liberal Dems love hearing, so it’s sounding to me as if he might throw his hat in the ring.

    3. Brooklin Bridge

      A real discussion about real issues is unthinkable so if Sanders does run, it will be interesting to watch exactly how he is neutered to an acceptable level. How much of that process will he accept (much as he accepts a short leash so he can at least bring home some tokens to Vermont) and how much will be imposed on him by the overall election machinery and the MSM.

    4. Chief Bromden

      An AIPAC war hawk cloaked in populist market-tested slogans. Are we expecting a different ending to the same old movie?

      1. petal

        Chief, I think a lot of people are expecting/hoping for a different ending to the same old movie-at least what I can tell from comments made by friends.
        After having been in the same room with Sanders, listening to him praise the military to a ridiculous level, I do agree with you about your AIPAC/war hawk comment. It was so rah-rah it made me sick to my stomach and I ended up leaving.

        1. cwaltz

          On the upside, Sanders is on the right side when it comes to the military budget and taking care of the people in the military.

          He also seems less anxious to go to war with Iran.

          For the record, the people in the military don’t make policy, imo there is no reason not to praise people who are regularly separated from their loved ones and placed in harms way as a part of their regular job. Particularly when you have civilians that are consistently making their jobs more difficult by starting fires and then sending them to put them out.

          1. linda J

            Ever heard of the military industrial complex? I know grunts don’t make policy but I can’t bring myself to praise anyone who enables U.S. violent foreign policy.

            1. Chief Bromden

              Good piece here on Sanders. Ultimately, if he is complicit in U.S. Imperialism, his anti-corporate rhetoric rings hollow…. and he has a proven track record of jumping into bed with corporate Democrats as the situation calls for it.

              “After the bombing of Yugoslavia had ended and the US plan to Balkanize the Balkans neared its completion, I received many emails and calls regarding the abovementioned sit-in at Bernie’s office and the protesters’ opposition to his politics of war. Most of these messages came from outside of Vermont and considered what the protesters did to be counterproductive. After all, the messages stated, Sanders went to Chiapas to support the Zapatistas and he’s against the various free trade agreements and the WTO. He’s more of an ally than a foe, isn’t he? My answer to these challenges is that I’m not sure. So called progressive politicians who do not draw the link between corporate America’s wars and its attack on social security, health care, the minimum wage, forty- hour work week, and other issues working people consider important are doing us a disservice. The wars fought by the US military are ultimately fought for one reason only–to maintain and expand the power of corporate America at the expense of workers and the poor around the world. Didn’t neoliberal writer Thomas Friedman write during the bombing of Serbia and Kosovo, “McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the builder of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley’s technologies is called the United States Army, Air Force Navy and Marine Corps.” (New York Times 3/29/1999) Sanders must understand the connection. Hence, his support for those elements of the war machine that allow him to support labor in the manner he does.”


            2. cwaltz

              I was a Navy corpsman for 12 years. While in the military I saw military members help to build orphanages and assist in operations when volcanos blew.

              And I’ll repeat this again, the grunts don’t make policy. They execute them. If you have a problem with fraud, waste, and violence blame that on policy makers, not military members.

          2. JTMcPhee

            Seems to me the Brass in the military do make a whole lot of policy, and live very high on the hog while doing so.
            And the vast majority of the military types, in our huge procurement and bureaucratic monstrosity never get anywhere close to being in harm’s way.
            Of course I’m just a DFH old Vietnam vet who was stupid enough to enlist in 1966…

            1. cwaltz

              I’m quite proud of my service and my husbands. I traveled and lived in another country that helped give me a larger view of the world. It’s one of the reasons I am not hawkish. I know that we have more in common with the average person in other countries than not. I learned my field which so happens to HELP people(medical specialty.) The idea that every member is anxious to run out and kill people is absurd. For the most part the people I knew were good people, not people who were happy to “aid violent policy.”

              1. JTMcPhee

                Yes, there are good people everywhere. For instance, I’m a nurse who helps care for people with traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries. Glad you bare proud of you work, and I know quite a few military people who are proud of theirs, in the context of doing well what they were trained and ordered to do. But the Pentagon and its tentacles are full of people whose day to day is to make more threat to all the stuff of ordinary life, from huge waste and fraud and outright theft of national wealth to stirring trouble everywhere to training dictators’ militaries and police in repression and torture to running on a treadmill powered be greed that is generating ever more expensive and uncontrolled and deadly weapons, and megatons of bullshit MilBabble papers and infinitely recursive idiotic doctrines and strategies and tactics that neither improve our security or can even win, whatever that means, the wars and conflicts that their institutionalized behaviors get us into. They don’t follow their own gospel, no surprise, especially in the Testament of Sun Tzu. Kicking in doors in Kandahar and putting warheads on foreheads of wedding parties and children or even of armed warriors that pose no colorable threat to the real interests of us ordinary people and helping demolish what’s left of international order and rule of law is not serving the country. In my little opinion, as a former Imperial soldier who enlisted, stupidly and in ignorance, in 1966, and got to see the real nature of the business of war as a huge racket in that Vietnam thing. They pay GIs a whole lot less than officers, less benefits too, and once one gets above O-5 and especially in the Pentagon set, the benefits get really good for practically zero risk. And contractors? The Textron techs attached to my aviation unit made 20 or 30 times what I got and that’s only gotten more pervasive and abusive and fraudulent since.

                And isn’t it kind that people all mindlessly thank us for our service? Clueless as to what so much of it really is?

                1. cwaltz

                  As someone who served I think those that are and were in the military can make the arguments against the waste(and anyone who served knows that in September there is a rush to spend money for the sake of spending it so you don’t lose it) or fraud(contractors charging an arm and a leg for crap) and against violence(some of the most vehement and effective opponents to Iraq were Iraq war vets)

                  Don’t get me wrong I completely understand that the commissioned ranks have more than their fair share of people out for themselves and the good old boy network in the Armed Services is alive and well(they have the revolving door down pat) I just don’t think that everyone(particularly enlisted up to E 6 who really aren’t political)should be painted with the same broad brush. Personally, I use my experience in the military as an argument against sending people to die needlessly for oil and gas and to argue that we could be accruing goodwill(as we’ve done with humanitarian missions.

  1. ProNewerDeal

    headline “Obamacare repeal falls off Republicans’ to-do list as law takes hold”

    IIRC the RePubLieCons were promising to “eliminate the ACA Individual Mandate” in the Nov 2014 election campaign. Now a few months later, they apparently support & brutally enforce the ACA Individual Mandate, alongside 0bama.

    Reminds me of 0bama, & his many lies/campaign promises, such as the Public Option for Health Insurance, “most transparent President” becomes the most secretive with the most abuse of honorable whisteblowers like Chelsea Manning, etc.

    Apparently there is no correlation whatsoever between DC poli-trick-ians campaign policy, and the actual policy they implement. And no accountability for the ReThugs Classic TM & 0bama/Clinton DLC DINO ReThugs for their bipartisan serial pathological lying on policy.

    If a Murican voter overcomes the disgust & cynicism, and ReThug voter supression, to go vote, how does 1 even know WTF one is actually voting for?

    1. Carla

      Seems as if you know EXACTLY what you get whenever you vote for one of the “legacy” parties — so why not stop?

      What this country needs is a great third party…but first we will have to come up with a second one.

      1. jgordon

        I have one rule: anyone who takes even a dime of corporate money is off my to-vote-for list. That pretty much means I only vote for third party and independents, even if I don’t know who they are. But at least I don’t feel too dirty about participating in this kabuki theater. I honestly don’t know how those who vote Democrat or Republican can look at themselves in the mirror.

  2. JTMcPhee

    What gives with the idiot fixation on polls and polling data? Other than as a means to made manufacture consent? Or produce some silly headlines in support of one bit of ideology or another?

    So there’s a poll that says 52% plus or minus some fraction of “Americans” supposedly are feeling good about their personal finances. First, what do the entrail examiners actually say and what did they measure? And am I wrong that there are actual numerical and positional reality-based data that spell out in bloody detail exactly what money-debt position they are in? And does the awareness supposedly polled include the broader darknesses and terrors and black swans and such that are all around? Yah, retail is rebounding and housing is doing what, and carbonocrapification continues and 401ks and all Muppet “investing” is a game of These Card Monte, 10 will get you 20 or lose it all just like that, with shills all around…

    But “the polls say,” and get dutifully reported and repeated as if they actually MEAN something. But then they are among the many dont-fit-fool’s-purchase- but- apply-anyway gadgets in the liars poker and “economists” kit. They folks at dailykos are addicted to polls. They’re hardly alone, but the predictive accuracy all their polling has done time and again kind of illustrates the problem…

  3. ProNewerDeal


    Any update on TPP, and the Grand Ripoff of the Elders’ Earned Benefits? Any update on the Medicare For All Movement, after the VT Governor’s Obama-esque Lucy-football-withdrawing killing of his own VT State Single Payer plan?

    Any prediction on what the status of these issues is likely to be in this now-2016 session.

    Ditto in the 2017-18 session, assuming a RePubLieCon House, and some more likely combinations of Senate control (R or D) with the new President: a true majoritarian-policy implementing Social Democrat like Warren/Sanders, Hellary, Jeb, Walker, Rubio, etc? Is it worthless to predict political events in the 2017 session, because “politics truly is like dog years”?

    Just trying to understand the policy reality in the next few years, which the BigMedia doesn’t cover much of.

    1. Carla

      If you really want to understand policy reality, and if you include foreign policy in that reality, I highly recommend “National Security and Double Government” by Michael J. Glennon. In 118 pages, he explains why there was virtually no change in foreign policy from George W. Bush to Barack Obama.

      As far as I can tell, Glennon’s book has not been reviewed by the NYT, WaPo, NPR, or any other major MSM outlet. That’s because the establishment is hoping you won’t read it.

      1. Vatch

        Interesting about the lack of reviews. I found an interview with the author:

        A video discussion:

        A review that is somewhat, but not entirely, dismissive:

        The author of the Wall Street Journal review accepts some of what Glennon writes, but seems to think that the IRS is more likely to “go wild” than are the military or the spooks. That appears to be a typical WSJ cave man attitude:

        Taxes bad, ugh! Me no want pay taxes!

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The military knows money is not limited (print as much as we want).

          The IRS may be under the illusion that the government is funded by taxes (incompetence) or just has a bad habit (evil).

          “I pay my taxes (in order to fight inflation) in another way, a more effective way. I write economic policy papers at the Fed. That is my ‘effective’ taxation.”

          “I also think deflation is immoral. I resist it by all means, including evading taxes.”

          1. cwaltz

            That’s part of the beauty of things. I point out to people who argue that paying for Social Security will bankrupt us that Congress had no problem deficit spending on F 35s. The reality is that Congress can pay for anything it wants. It just could care less about domestic spending and is anxious to expand it’s “empire.” As citizens who have a representative government “we the people” should be demanding that our priority be home, not overseas. First, we have to get past the ignorant, unhelpful meme though that the PTB have generated that they can’t create money for what we need unless it happens to be for the MIC.

  4. jgordon

    I read somewhere that every time someone makes a google search it uses enough energy to heat a cup of coffee. Now this goes back to Michael Betancourt’s concept of “the aura of the digital” that just because something is digitized and available on the internet the implicit perceived value of thing equals free. However in reality the internet requires a fantastically expensive and baroque infrastructure with horrendous energy consumption in order to deliver its digital goods to users. While lately it may have come to seem like a birthright, someone’s got to pay for it.

    And what’s more we should ask ourselves in these twilight days of industrial civilization what the opportunity costs for maintaining such extravagant technological Moai Statutes as the vast technological suite necessary to maintain the internet are. I doubt that in the server farms will be any more useful than as tribal totems or museum pieces, whereas easily maintained and repaired passive solar water heaters would be of immeasurable value to the quality of life of our descendents.

    1. human

      Heh, heh. Wonderful insight. I have to remember, especially during the hottest days of the year, to keep a flannel shirt with my tool bag when I need to enter a server floor.

      Reminds me of an anecdote of some 2 decades ago when the air-conditioning system of the county office buildings’ server floor went down, during single digit weather, and my friend, a maintenance engineer, spent a day on the roof of the 10 story building!

      1. John Merryman

        I keep trying to argue on physics forums that all order is manifest by energy and all energy is defined by order, but they, in their mathematical cocoons, think those patterns are somehow foundational to reality, but there are no 1’s and 0’s without those electrons flashing about.

        The fact is, as biological organisms, we have a central nervous system to process information and the digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems to process the energy required to manifest that order. So while there is an inherent academic bias toward information over energy, it is due to the mind set.

        The distinction is that as energy is dynamic and conserved, while information is static and transient, the energy moves toward future configurations, as the particular form recedes into the past. (Consciousness moves to the future, as thoughts recede into the past.)

        What is being measured with time, is frequency, just as what is being measured with temperature is amplitude. Faster clocks, use energy quicker and so recede into the past faster. The tortoise is still plodding along, long after the hare has died.

        Not a popular point to make to those who think we can time travel around the “fabric of spacetime.”

        For anyone who wants to read it, here is an interview with Carver Mead, one of the pioneers of the computer industry, on just what he thinks of modern physics;

        1. Oregoncharles

          That also means they use a LOT of water. I believe that;s why there’s one alongside the Columbia River.
          Personal note: having grown up in S. Indiana where the humidity was usually close to 100%, I’m forever amazed that evaporative cooling works at all.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      I don’t know who much energy it takes to heat a cup of coffee. Ground? Percolated? Drip? Microwaved? Here’s the estimate I found:

      [T]he energy used by a single google search is equivalent to turning on a 60W light bulb for 17 seconds

      Which does seem like a lot!

          1. bob

            ” when a light bulb with a power rating of 100W is turned on for one hour, the energy used is 100 watt hours (W·h)”

            So a 40 watt bulb would use 0.18W in 17 seconds using quick math I didn’t check. In reality there’s more of a power draw when starting the bulb.

            Watt is a measurement of power, or “‘energy per unit time”-


            See the section near the bottom- “Confusion of watts, watt-hours and watts per hour”

            1. bob

              Saying “watts per hour” is technically incorrect, but for small scale home estimates, it works.

              Technically, since Watt already has a time unit, watts per hour would measure the change in use of power over an hour. Sort or like saying miles per hour per hour, which would actually be a measure of acceleration.

          2. Paul Boisvert

            Hi, Lambert, Optimader, and Bob,

            Lots of confusion here. Let’s use foot-pounds, since we all have feet and all weigh ourselves in pounds. A 60W bulb for 17 seconds uses about 750 foot-pounds of energy, which is how much you use if you weigh 150 lbs and rise 5 feet in the air (via either stairs or levitation.) That’s a fair amount of energy, as you can verify by climbing a 5-foot staircase every time you google something and seeing how tired you get.

            Optimader’s “coffee” calculations, assuming correct, and ignoring the confusion between watts and watt-HOURs at the end (about which Bob is right to be concerned, while not really clarifying it much) yield around 63,000 foot-pounds of energy, which is 84 times more than the “light-bulb” claim. He does seem to think one brews coffee from water initially at the freezing point, which no one I know actually does, but even from room temperature the result would be around 60 times as big as the light bulb claim. I think the latter is much more likely to be ballpark reasonable, and its source seems to be fairly reputable.

            But even at the lower “light bulb” figure, unless we have nuclear energy providing electricity, or reliable solar/wind, Google will indeed contribute mightily to global warming. But of course, we love the ability it provides to instantly find out anything (including conversions between watt-hours and foot-pounds!)

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              Thanks to all for working through this. I grind my coffee with an electric grinder while boiling water on a gas stove, put the grounds in a filter, and then pour the water through the filter into a cup. So I have no idea how many Watts that is.

              I think the point of the coffee is that it’s useful in polemic, which the lightbulb for X seconds most certainly is not. “weigh 150 lbs and rise 5 feet in the air” seems like a good direction to go in, for the polemic. Suppose — ha ha — I were 150 pounds and I jumped in the air every time I did a Google search. That’s a lot of energy!!

              1. Paul Boisvert

                Lambert: yup, and here’s an even better way to think of it: I weigh 180lbs, and if I rise from a standard sitting (googling) position to a standing one, I move my center of gravity up about a foot. So that’s 180 ft-lbs, and thus I’d need to stand up (after re-sitting down) about 4 times every time I google something to experience the energy equivalent. [That, btw, is how to let your sedentary googling turn into excellent exercise!]

                Bob: (re your 2:33 am comment below, about “Power…must have a time element”):
                Correct, but jgordon’s and Lambert’s original points were about how much ENERGY is used, not POWER. Optimader calculated watt-hours, which IS energy (power multiplied by time), but then carelessly dropped the “hours” at the end, and listed plain watts–but that made no sense, when a (total) energy value was being sought.

                Lambert then compounded the error by asking in his second post about power, not about the energy he had originally sought: “how many watts a 60-watt bulb uses for 17 seconds” has an answer (by definition) of “60 watts!” But he was originally seeking how much ENERGY is used by that bulb, and the correct answer to that is .283 watt-hours, or 750 foot-lbs. And Optimader’s coffee calculation, if one throws back in the “hours” he dropped, of how much (total) energy is used, was 24 Watt-HOURS, which is around 63000 foot-pounds.

                63000 seems way off, and 750 sounds about right–but I don’t know the validity of either original claim. But the question is properly about energy, not about power. The total amount of energy produced is what creates global warming, not the time (or power) taken to produce it.

                1. bob

                  I was responding to this question-

                  “So how many watts does a 60 watt light bulb use when it burns for 17 seconds?”

                  1. Paul Boisvert

                    Yes, Bob, I know you were responding to Lambert’s (tautological) question. Unfortunately, your answer was wrong–it gave neither the (tautologically) correct answer of 60 watts, nor an energy answer, since you made the same confusion between watts and watt-hours that Lambert did, and that you recommended we read Wikipedia to avoid. Your answer would have been correct if you had said .283 watt-hours, but you said it was .283 watts. [Your answer for the 40W bulb made the same type of mistake as well.]

                    As for my neglecting factors other than energy required to perform work against gravity when bodies climb stairs, as you accuse me of below, I plead guilty as charged–having merely been aiming at generating a ballpark, easily understood energy comparison. I also plead guilty to underestimating how defensive some people can be when minor technical mistakes are pointed out to them… :)

                    1. bob

                      Passive aggressive ‘apologies’.

                      Blow me.

                      You were incorrect, and very misleading, in accusing me of being incorrect. I was not.

                    2. bob

                      Given the rating of the bulb, in watt hours, and a time frame, in seconds, you can answer that question with a simple “watt”. It would be INCORRECT to answer lambert’s question in watt hours.

                2. bob

                  All your “energy” calculations seem to assume 100% efficiency, and reversibility. Neither of which are true. It’s a completely useless “measurement”.

                  When I stand up, and sit down, did the energy I “gained” sitting down re-accumulate somewhere?

                  Technically, you are correct within classical mechanics but, classical mechanics doesn’t apply to any of this thread.

                  How do I turn 100 foot pounds into heat energy, let alone into kinetic energy with a human body, at 100% efficiency? These are not equal.

                  Where does all the energy go when I am walking down the stairs? The stairs would also introduce a horizontal displacement of mass and more energy change.

                  Yours is a neat use of theory. It models nothing in reality.

                  1. Paul Boisvert

                    sigh…I’ll try one last time…

                    Lambert’s question was akin to asking “How fast does a 60-mph car go when traveling for 30 minutes,” which I think you’ll agree is a silly question. What he MEANT to say (in this analogy) was “How FAR does a 60 mph car go when traveling for 30 minutes.” The answer to the first question, “How FAST does a 60-mph car go…” is, obviously, and tautologically, “It goes 60mph.” But if you wish to answer the intended (though misstated) question, which was really about how FAR the car goes, you can’t answer it in velocity (mph) terms. You have to answer it in Distance (miles) terms. You can’t conflate velocity with distance.

                    Replace “velocity” or “How fast” by “How many watts (power)”, and replace distance or “How Far” by “How many watt-hours (energy)”, and you may see Lambert’s confusion more clearly. He meant to ask about energy, which is watt-hours, but mistakenly asked about watts (power).

                    You can answer either his literal or his intended question, as you please, but neither of your answers were correct. The answer to his literal (mistaken, silly) question was 60 Watts, and the answer to his intended question was .283 watt-HOURs (or 750 ft-lbs.). Read VERY carefully what you wrote above, and you will see you gave neither answer.

                    That is, you continued to conflate power with total energy. There’s a difference, which you continue (angrily) to deny–but your (puzzling, unwarranted) anger about it doesn’t change the reality that there is a difference.

                    Both jgordon originally and Lambert wanted “energy” answers, but Lambert got caught up in Optimader’s final conflation of power with energy, and misstated his own (second) question. It’s a simple and common confusion, and will be clear to any physicist or engineer reading the exchanges, to whom I will happily leave the ultimate judgment about who’s right here.

                    1. bob

                      Try all you want. You can’t even answer inline. It’s almost like you’re trying to confuse the issue.

          3. optimader

            basic principles, on your utility bill
            1. The kilowatt-hour ( kWh) is a unit of energy equivalent to one kilowatt (1 kW) of power expended for one hour. (1 watt = 1 joule/sec but you don’t need to know that)
            2. 1,000 watts = 1 kW
            3. a 60 watt bulb consumes 60 watts in 1 hour or 60 watt-hour

            therefore 60 *(17sec/3,600sec/hr) = 0.283 watts
            ( a 1,000 watt bulb will consume 1,000watts in 1 hour or 1kW)

            hope that helps!

  5. ]{umar

    Regarding QUIC: There might be engineering merit in QUIC, but unless it becomes a standard, it will remain consigned to google’s sites. This is no different than ActiveX plugins that MSFT touted in the IE heydays. They would make websites take advantage of desktop capabilities but only on IE, and even then had horrible security risks. At this point, I haven’t seen enough to comment on security issues with QUIC, but the fragmentation issues because of not following standards definitely stands.

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      As to the URL change, it reminds me of Microsoft’s on going effort to hide the file system with “user friendly” gibberish, only much worse since one will be essentially guessing about what sites he or she might be visiting. I would be curious to know how Google addresses the security issues if at all.

      Then, I imagine there will be legal aspects to it as well since a URL is a fairly unique way point whereas a crumb trail may be quite difficult to firmly establish without Google’s help. I certainly hope it doesn’t become an “industry standard”. Even if that would resolve some of the identity issues from a theoretical POV, it could be quite the nightmare in practice.

    2. Samuel Bierwagen

      QUIC is just encrypted UDP. (plus fast start) Their implementation is open sourced.

      Google is following the same playbook as they did for SPDY, which eventually became a real standard under the name of HTTP/2.0 (which already has third party vendor support, both client and server) Faster encrypted connections improves the adoption rate of HTTPS, which in turn makes pervasive monitoring (see harder. It’s a net win, and I’m all for it.

      Why beat on Google for introducing a new protocol? Why not beat on them for the closed Android market, for their own pervasive monitoring efforts, (It’s impossible to pay for a single web search, and opt out of being tracked) or for their monopolistic efforts? Excoriating them for QUIC distracts from highlighting their much worse behavior in other areas.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Why beat on Google for introducing a new protocol? Because it has the whiff of a walled garden. I’d love to be wrong, of course….

        Adding, if asking the readers a question is “excoriating them,” then I guess there’s rather a lot of excoriating going about….

  6. Butch In Waukegan

    Franco is still dead . . . but he’s feeling better each day . . .

    Spain’s new ‘gag law’ and the media – Al Jazeera English

    On April 12, protestors in Madrid found a different way to express their discontent over a new ‘gag’ law. They marched to Spain’s parliament virtually – in what has become known as the world’s first hologram march.

    The law – which will come into effect in July – will make many forms of public gathering and demonstrations illegal. Protestors will be barred from assembling outside Congress, permission must be sought before any public gathering and fines can be issued if anyone is caught breaking the rules. With non-stop austerity protests over the past three years, this law is likely to have a huge impact.

    The media will also be affected. Photographing, filming or publishing pictures of police operations can constitute a criminal offense. You can even be prosecuted for a tweet – if it contains a hashtag publicising a political event the government has not authorised. With the rise of the anti-austerity leftist party, known as Podemos and with elections eight months away, protests, and their tendency to drive the media narrative – are a big part of what is happening in Spain.

    Another example of the “western values” we are promoting in Eastern Europe to counter the beady-eyed Putin.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      “You can even be prosecuted for a tweet – if it contains a hashtag publicising a political event the government has not authorised. ”

      That’s appalling. In 21st Century Europe. Generalissimo Franco would be pleased; and it shows that Rajoy’s owners would be perfectly comfortable with Golden Dawn. This movie will end badly.

  7. Swedish Lex

    The Finns say they have to re-invent the business model of the country’s economy, which means changing habits and encourage/force people and institutions to think and behave differenly. Also reorganise a lot of stuff.

    One should know that the Finns are as stubborn as they can be determined. Being overly stubborn can be really bad if finding a lost mojo again depends on being flexible, visionary and open to new ideas. Nokia, pretty much alone, saved Finland after the depression in the early 90s. Plus a 30% or so devaluation. No new Nokia is currently in sight and devaluation is not really an option. Unless Finland opts for the same kind of internal devaluation that it has imposed on Greece and other Club Meds. But as far as I understand, salary costs in Finland have increased over average compared to the rest of the euro zone. It is one thing to force internal devaluation down the throats of European “partners”, another thing to contemplate actually doing it yourself.

    I believe that the challenges that Finlande faces are pretty severe and, while not similar to those that Greece is facing, both countries face an up-hill struggle where national character and culture are hurting more than they are helping.

    I could imagine that Greece leaves the euro and, probably, the EU, goes through a period of disorder before finding some solid ground whereas the Finns continue to struggle with an economy that will remain insufficiently competitive Inside the euro zone.

    1. Jef

      Finland as well as Greece and most of the EU for that matter imports most and in some circumstances all of its FFs and other energy resources. Finland relies on wood for more than 20% of there energy needs. I thought we supposedly “transitioned” away from wood fired energy? How long can that go on?

      The vast bulk of energy consumption is just burnt up with out producing anything and is financed through debt. How long can that go on?

      1. Oregoncharles

        Isn’t Germany making a profit? Isn’t that the root of the economic problems?

        Before that, China and Japan had similar policies. It’s called mercantilism.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          I think they are accumulating a surplus. I don’t think that’s the same as a profit. If it were, national accounting would look corporate balance sheets (not that the neoliberals wouldn’t like that).

  8. Chris in Paris

    I’ll guess the 32.2% of American children living in poverty don’t get surveyed (reply to JTMcPhee, I clicked too soon)

  9. diptherio

    Does Zuckerberg think that having free newspapers is more important than having a free press too?

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      Well put! Zuckerberg’s “relativism” (some free access to some information is better than none) is horrifying and the fact that he can be taken so seriously is equally horrifying.

  10. TarheelDem

    David Andolfatto, MacroMania, gets hung up on the failure of prediction with regard to the collapse of 2007-2008. What he doesn’t get is that DME is not modeling the reality that failed in 2007-2008. I dare say that the notions of adjustable rate mortgages sold with high-moral-hazard sales practices, the slicing and dicing of these risks into saleable risk packages which are then improperly labeled as to risk, the subversion of the land registration system that ensures proper real estate title, the use of derivative securities as an monetary printing press, the increase of universal on-demand short-term employment patterns, the cost pressure on labor which approaches the very most minimum standard of living, the decision of the US Fed that inflation was about to break out when it was not, the knee-jerk reaction of all employers with layoffs, the failure to invest in worker training during downtimes, the panic on Wall Street as credit default swaps unwound — none of these are adequately modeled in a DME model.

    A little common-sense prudence would tell one, however, that adjustable-rate-mortgages in an employable-on-demand society will inevitably lead to asset bubbles and foreclosure busts tied to wage and salary levels and employment. The same would tell you that a security that acts like free money will create a bubble and bust at some point just like Dutch tulips. It also would tell you that people with a stake in the game are not the proper repository for land records. And that too cozy a relationship between bankers and foreclosure judges results in people being evicted by the sheriff from a house that they actually own. How does all that get incorporated into the all-singing, all-dancing DME model?

    If it cannot, the DME model becomes just another academic TinkerToy for highly-paid people to play with in order to keep them from causing serious damage to the way things actually work.

    1. James Levy

      What Economists refuse to acknowledge is that human communities are nothing like physical systems. All electrons and photons are, as far as we can tell, identical. People are not. Electrons and photons are governed by coupling constants that remain, as far as we can tell, constant. Human beings are changeable, different, have wills of their own, and are widely unequal in money, power, and influence. Even with the best computers, and after 30 years of some of the smartest people on the planet refining the models, we still can only generate approximate answers when describing quarks and gluons interacting in a nucleus. And quarks don’t suffer from opacity, lies, manipulation, and uneven access to power and resources. So how are you going to get mathematical models that realistically describe human interactions? You’re not, or at least not in the foreseeable future. But Economists are so impressed that they passed a couple of years of calculus that they think they can model a reality that has so many variable (and is far from being accessible to complete description and understanding) it would make the best physicist wince.

      1. John Merryman

        There are lots of aspects of society which could be modeled by basic physics models, because they do reflect such realities. For one thing complexity tends to increase, until it becomes unstable and resets to a more basic state. Consider much of herd behavior as essential waves of energy propagating through an often complex medium. How about population and wealth flows being modeled in terms of thermodynamics.

        The problem is that the field of physics has been highjacked by a bunch of mathematical religionists and charlatans.
        Consider the notion that space expands, “because General Relativity.” Well if it was relativistic, then the speed of light would have to increase to match the expanding space, in order to remain CONSTANT!
        If that were to happen though, there would be no redshift, as the spectrum might be stretched, but the light would arrive faster, so the effect would cancel out, because the effects are Relative!!!
        If accountants tried what theoretical physicists do with math, they would get in trouble. Possibly that’s why, when the financiers want to structure all those complex derivatives, back in the 90’s, they went to theorists out of MIT, not their own accountants. For the physicists, every thought bubble is a new universe, but for accountants, funny math is trouble.

      2. John Merryman


        I think quite a lot of human behavior can be modeled with basic physics. For one thing, complexity increases, until it becomes unstable and resets to a more basic level.
        Consider herd behavior in terms of waves of energy propagating through a more complex medium.
        Or movements of wealth and populations in terms of thermodynamics.

        We life in this natural world and our understanding of it is what is distorted.

  11. Bill the Psychologist

    RE: “How riding your bike can land you in trouble with the cops — if you’re black”

    might as well be “How walking down the street can land you in trouble with the cops —even killed, if you’re black”

    1. neo-realist

      Jogging for black people can be very perilous for they can be perceived as running away from the scene of a crime. Or running for a bus can be cause for suspicion and stop…….which happened to myself.

    2. fresno dan

      “Officers use these minor violations as an excuse to stop, question and search almost anyone on wheels. The department doesn’t just condone these stops, it encourages them, pushing officers who patrol high-crime neighborhoods to do as many as possible.”

      So, how much does all this “bike enforcement” reduce crime (i.e., real crime – murder, rape, burglary???)
      Do the people who run this think it really makes the people in this neighborhood more well deposed toward the police?
      But I suspect the point isn’t to protect people in these neighborhoods….its to control people in these neighborhoods….

      1. optimader

        So, how much does all this “bike enforcement” reduce crime (i.e., real crime – murder, rape, burglary???)

        Ever had a close call driving w/ a bicyclist in dark cloths no lights or reflectors at night where they shouldn’t be?
        I have, actually to the extent that Ive called the police.

      2. neo-realist

        If you are a black person stopped by a cop or cops in an all white neighborhood or a neighborhood w/ no black people, the point of the stop may be to say “stay the hell out of this neighborhood, you’re not wanted”.

    3. optimader

      So, I’m of two minds on this. Invariably the police can turn well intended and justifiable policy into unintended shit.
      As a cyclist I will say that any cyclist riding at night on the street with-out a light is an inconsiderate moron. Hell even when I ride in daylight I have a flashing white strobe in front and flashing red light in back.Its cheap insurance.
      As well anyone riding in traffic wearing a hoodie, ear buds or without holding the handlebar — also inconsiderate morons. If you cant keep up with traffic you probably shouldn’t be on that street.

  12. Jagger

    From the, “re city surveillance camera regulations being ignored? Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article”.

    federal grants that pay for many city cameras, Mr. Peduto said.

    So the federal government is behind the cameras on every street corner, the militarization of the police and the NSA. What does one + one+ one = ????????

  13. lightningclap

    Correct link for Forbes record label article. I just let my paid soundcloud subscription lapse, as are many other users. They are using a new software program (same as youtube) to begin taking down anything that contains a copyrighted track. So, while I do post original music as well, my DJ sets that run 2 hrs. duration and had an “unauthorized” song in the middle are now gone. IF their goal was to comply with the law, they could have gone after the obvious violators who post single tracks; but (code is law) they are removing DJ sets that, IMO are not piracy. If anything, they are promoting the music. Not just for free, I was PAYING to do so. People might go buy a song they heard me play, much in the same way radio used to introduce new music to the audience.

    Very disappointing since the social aspect actually worked great for me. With no promotion (besides an occasional FB post to my small group of “friends”) my following and number of plays was astonishing. Whatever money they had been making came from people like me, and I am voting with my feet.

  14. TarheelDem

    QUIC touts itself as a functional layer that combines TCP (transmission control) and TLS (transport-layer security). It seems to be an offering at providing security (encryption? what else?) to all transmissions instead of it being optional. Besides those two functions, what else makes it of particular commercial interest to Google? Apparently the code is open source (right?). Does the code deliver what it claims to deliver? What hooks are in the code for other future stuff? Some code experts need to answer those pieces.

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Standardized testing.

    Once you get out of school, it’s standardized testing in lots of places, if it was avoided in school.

    “How much money you have in your bank?” – this test is so standard and so universal anywhere in the world.

    “How well can you program for the net?” – another standardized question.

    Not standardized question – for example, if you’re interested in a career in real estate in Ferguson: “How familiar are you with Ferugson?” They don’t ask you that question in Boston.

    “I used to think I was unique. Now, I realize I am just a standardized part in a standardized world.”

    1. Marianne Jones

      Regarding standardized test boycotting, there’s an appropriate Chinese motto 孟母三迁 that illuminates the relationship between good schools and property values. The phrase suggests “a wise mother would try to find a good environment for her children’s best education.”

      When looking at property values, if you see an uptick in Chinese families clustering around a specific school, this motto is likely in play. This phenomena of Chinese families moving to specific neighborhoods with higher performing schools drives a lot of the complaints about those neighborhoods being priced out of affordability by the natives.

      So yes, good schools can affect property values.


      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        In much of Asia, with Confucian legacy, it’s entrance examination at 16 to determine the rest of your life.

        It’s probably worse than the old Imperial examination, where the last test, before emperor, at the capital, can be taken at any age, as long as you had passed the earlier stages. And you got guys (no gals) in their 50’s still hoping to ace that standardized test.

        With an ever shrinking (global) village, ever more dominant (and thus rigid) views of the world and converging technologies, our lives are ever more ‘standardizing’ and peoples with 1,000s of years of coping with that kind of societal atrophy (that was what prompted the revolutions/restoration in China, Korea and Japan) will be at an advantage.

        But hey, if you know how to write software in the South Pole, you can get a job in Santa Clara.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        I’m just appalled that anybody, let alone a putative Democrat, would say, and in so many words, “You must subject your child to an agnotology-inducing test regimen to keep property values up.” Sorta makes you wonder why she thinks parents have children….

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    “…..the quality as well the quantity of jobs created.”

    It’s always good to include ‘none of the above,’ in any multiple choice question.

    Thus, basic guarantee income would do a lot to improve job quality.

    “I have a choice of staying home, if none of the jobs is…quality. I am not being forced to choose one of the least evil offers”

    None of the above.

    No-thanks to all your jobs.

  17. rich

    After 13 years of wariness, FDA approves five potentially harmful new diet drugs

    After 13 years of rejecting new diet drugs, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has allowed five potentially harmful products on the market in the last three years — including two in the last four months.

    The agency approved the drugs despite the potential for serious side effects — including suicidal thinking, increased heart rate and cancer risk — and no proof the drugs improve the main health concern posed by obesity: heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems.

    Critics worry the new products will repeat the diet-drug mistakes of the past, which have led to decades of injuries, deaths and, in the end, products forced off the market.

    The FDA’s about-face comes after pressure from the companies that manufacture the drugs, medical societies that get pharmaceutical company funding and even the U.S. Senate, which in 2011 called on the FDA to approve new obesity treatments.

    A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/MedPage Today investigation found diet-drug manufacturers paid at least $9 million to doctors to promote their products and to medical societies that advocate their use since 2013.

    Those same companies also spent $51 million lobbying Congress and the FDA on a host of issues, including obesity, in the last five years, records show.
    The Journal Sentinel/MedPage Today investigation found 3,000 cases in the FDA’s own “adverse event reports” system where drugs used as components in one of these new diet drugs were the “primary suspect” in a patient’s death.

    Another 11,000 hospitalizations were reported with those drugs as the primary suspect.

    The drug bupropion, part of the formula for Contrave, was the primary suspect in at least 1,500 patient deaths since 2004, according to the data. Phentermine and topiramate, the drugs used in Qsymia, were connected with a combined 670 deaths.

    Sales first, ….safety second, or is that 3rd, 4th, ->?

  18. fresno dan

    ‘Help! Fire!’ Talking parrots cause house fire confusion KBOI

    What a gyp!!! I was expecting to see the actual parrots!!!! As well as hear them say, “Help” “Fire” and “for God’s sake, don’t vote for Hillary…” – well, maybe not the last.
    And I wanted to see their wee little parrot oxygen masks….
    I have to say, if you carry around parrot oxygen masks, you are one well prepared rescue squad….

    1. dalepues

      Parrots. Not too many years ago I lived in a Central American country where people kept parrots in cages. One day while walking down the street past a dentist’s office, I heard the sound of a drill whining followed by a loud and distinct “Goddamn!” I stopped for a moment and made note of the dentist’s name, to be sure never to visit his office. A couple of days later, while walking past the same office, I heard it again. The second time I concluded that it must be the dentist, not the patient, swearing. So I decided to go inside and have a look. In the waiting room a parrot sat on a stick in a cage and each time the dentist, in an adjoining office, turned off his grinding drill, the parrot screamed “G.D.”. Mystery solved. I later asked the dentist if he would clean my teeth.

  19. susan the other

    About secrecy. Does this exist in nature? Is nature cryptic? Today’s Prarie Dog, aka Potgut, is very cute. Those guys have complex social relationships complete with languages broken down into nouns, adjectives and verbs. Really. As do crows and zillions of other animals – maybe even bacteria. So if there were a Potgut war and one colony encripted its messages but the other colony managed to decode it, why wouldn’t the decoder Potguts tell all the details of the original code? Well, because national interests. That code can’t be described cause we might want to use it someday. But rest assured it is nothing more complex than a numerical pattern, expressed in a 26 letter alphabet. But don’t relax too much – that great and genius British guy who decoded it? He was a genius far beyond anything mere women could figure out. Damn, he was a Potgut.

    1. susan the other

      or a pattern of permutations because if it had no pattern whatsoever, then it could never be decoded… big deal

  20. words

    Anyone else out there traverse down a snake hole, for bleak ‘entertainment ’ if nothing else (I mean like who ya gonna call, who has the power to do anything, with the near verification that something reeks?) to check out yelp for reviews of very powerful entities which have power to overLORD and make one’s life a nightmare, and find (as expected), predominately, the lowest reviews possible (it’s not courteous to give a zero to a Free Market , or our Free Market Government Sponsors, on yelp), yet!, oddly find a series of five star reviews along with the tad bit more subtle four star review?

    It’s usually quite entertaining (in a stunningly bleak sort of way) to check out what those five and four star reviewers (especially those five star reviewers) comment and rate otherwise. Particularly interesting is when they snag themselves up by appearing to note, in between the lines, two hometowns, etcetera, etcetera.

  21. Kurt Sperry

    I saw this report in The Telegraph: Iceland looks at ending boom and bust with radical money plan Embedded within the article is a report commissioned by the Icelandic PM, here’s a link to a more readable PDF version. I’m too macro illiterate to evaluate this, but do we have a case of MMT or something akin to MMT breaking out in the *northern* periphery of Europe? Does this proposal actually challenge orthodox economics, or is this just deck chair rearranging?

  22. theinhibitor

    “In the process we are teaching our children a valuable lesson — to stand up for what they believe in.”

    Of course children will stand up for not taking standardized tests. Too bad the rest of the world has 10x the amount America has, and are clearly better off for it. The problem with American education has never been the testing: it has always been the budget cuts and poor teaching with little emphasis on the global standards for math and science.

    Talked to an Austrian girl once at a Stanford summer program back when I was still in highschool. She was taking 7 classes and had one break a day for 30min, and school ended at 5pm. I was taking 4 classes and had 2 free periods that made every Friday a half-day and school ended at 3pm. I was ‘advanced’ in my grade, taking calculus my junior year. She did the same though she said it was the normal route. We in America love branding our children ‘geniuses’ and ‘honor students’ for mediocrity.

    Well, at least we make up for it in college.

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