Sunday, March 25, 2012

Quotes of the day

... with this trade the Jets are getting a relatively fair-priced backup quarterback, with playoff experience, who they can work with and hopefully develop at his own pace. While Tebow will not be confused with Tom Brady anytime soon, I don't think he's as far off as many of his doubters say, though he will only get there — if he ever does — through his effort and the passage of time. For now, the Jets simply hope and expect him to be a serviceable and not overly expensive backup for a few seasons and that is it; Tebow is a clear upgrade over the aged Mark Brunell, who was jettisoned after last season, and Greg McElroy, a seventh-round draft choice out of Alabama, as well as free agent signee Drew Stanton. If Peyton Manning teaches us anything, it is that every team must have a plan if their starting quarterback goes down. But Tebow also gives the Jets an option: There remains a chance that Tebow, over time, fills in some of the holes in his game and develops into what some still think he can be: great, as a quarterback.
...
The most important thing to remember about football strategy is that there is no such thing as Platonic ideal football; there is no right or wrong way to do things, and the game is governed by a few simple things: the size and speed of the players, the geometry of their arrangement on a football field, and, above all else, pragmatism — what is good is simply what works. And what works is what is simple. --Chris Brown

[Jonathan Haidt's] moral foundations fall under six broad headings: care, fairness, liberty, loyalty, authority and sanctity.  What Mr. Haidt has found is that all Americans—left, right and center—are strongly (if not equally) moved by the first three moral foundations. Both liberals and conservatives "care" when they see harm, but liberals care more: They are more disturbed by suffering and violence. Conservatives are more concerned with fairness, defined as getting what you deserve. And both sides champion liberty, though they have very different notions of the likeliest oppressors.  ...  Even as our rival moralities "bind" us together, he concludes, we should be aware that they "blind" us too.--Gary Rosen

Photo link here.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Economics of the Hunger Games

here, via Greg Mankiw.

A non-fictional excerpt:
If you plot per capita income in the Americas today, you see a clear pattern with the United States and Canada ahead, the southern cone around Chile and Argentina in second place, and the middle portion much poorer. It turns out that if you turn the clock back about 500 years, the pattern was reversed. The places that are rich today were poor then, while those that are poor today were generally rich in the past.

I predict I will be in the theaters with my 11-year-old in the next couple of weeks.

Photo link here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Quotes of the day

Your hands should not, together with the face,
be drawn with the brush
You reveal them in your work
And hide them in the painting.--Fran├žois Malherbe

It is difficult to say what will happen for Google, but a good dose of self-doubt that they are somehow above it all is a good place to start. Oh yes, and Facebook, if you are listening, all of the above applies to you too.--Joshua Gans

In China, the year is traditionally divided into periods based on the moon’s orbit around the earth and the sun’s path across the sky. This lunisolar calendar is laden with myths and celebrated by rituals that allowed Chinese to mark time and make sense of their world. So too the modern political calendar in China. It takes shape around the mysterious workings of the Communist Party, which rotates its top leaders every decade at a Party Congress, a comet-like event that awes onlookers as a portent of change and renewal. The next congress is set to take place in the fall of 2012—the 18th occurrence in the party’s 91-year history—and is already being associated with unusual phenomena. The most spectacular was last week’s eclipse of Bo Xilai.--Ian Johnson

Monday, March 19, 2012

Quote of the day

Yeah, [I like Obama:] I’m living in London and I’m socialist. What do you expect?--Elle MacPherson, former supermodel, and current policy expert

Every large public school system has many excellent and good teachers. Unfortunately, every public school system also has really bad teachers who cannot be fired. Some miss many classes, others do not know the materials they teach, while others do not really try to teach, and prefer to joke around or mainly give their opinions. They should be fired, but they cannot in part because of the tenure system. Having the power to get rid of the bad teachers would improve everyone’s teaching, partly by raising the incentives and morale of other teachers.
...
Teachers’ unions are the major force opposed to abandoning the tenure system, as they are the major opposition to pretty much every major school reform that has ever been suggested- including charter schools, school vouchers, and evaluations of teacher performance. They are an important hindrance to improving the quality of teaching and the performance of students.
...
I oppose teachers unions and the tenure system for teachers (including university teachers) partly because they are especially detrimental to the education received by students from low income and more disadvantaged backgrounds.--Gary Becker, some dude that is much less famous than supermodels

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Quotes of the day

... over the past two generations China has been emerging not from aMarxist, but from a feudal state. Indeed, if one were to take Marx'sview, China could only arrive at communism through capitalism, andonly arrive at capitalism through feudalism.--Rick Brookstaber

A new report from the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) claims that defense spending in Asia this year is set to overtake that of Europe for the first time in centuries.--Walter Russell Mead

Providing “for the common defense” is one of the primary reasons our Founding Fathers ordained and established the Constitution. Moreover, they clearly wanted the defense imperative to be unmistakable, so they put it in the Constitution’s very first sentence, the Preamble. Later, in Article I, Section 8, they gave Congress the power “to lay and collect taxes” and “to borrow money on the credit of the United States” in order to fulfill the imperatives.
...
In short, the Constitution first tells us what to do (defend the country), and then tells us how to pay for it (tax, and borrow on credit). Could the founders have made it any clearer? Maybe, just maybe, if they’d said it something like this: “The president and the Congress must defend this country; to do that properly, Congress must maintain the country’s good credit, and must tax and borrow as necessary.”
...
Notably, the Constitution does not say, “Defend this country, unless it would require Congress to borrow money.” No, our founders wrote it to say precisely the opposite—a point that should be obvious to everyone, not just Constitutional originalists.--Steve Conover

The CSS Virginia, a.k.a. the Merrimack, makes a splash

A couple of splashes, actually, 150 years ago today.

She meets the USS Monitor, tomorrow.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Quotes of the day

If it had not been for Jefferson Davis recognizing Lee's value and putting him in important positions of leadership, the Confederacy probably would have ended several years sooner. --Joshua Horn

Is it me, or does Robert E. Lee look a lot like another southerner, this one of our time, Ben Bernanke?--Cav

The 'Greatest Generation' built things like Hoover dam and created a country of unprecedented prosperity and universal education; then, as if to prove that failure is endogenous, raised the greatest generation of naive, self-absorbed whiners in the History of Man.--Eric Falkenstein

Since life is a dream, we argue (with plausible but erroneous logic) that politics must be an encounter of dreams, in which we hope to impose our own.--Michael Oakeshott

Chart of the day: Registered Dems fading

Source here.