Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Quotes of the day

Pickup artists [are] the girliest of men.--Megan McArdle

The purpose of [pickup artist] strategies is to substitute a relatively standardized routine for wit, apathy for confidence, and then bugger off before the woman realizes your greatest accomplishment in life is a level 60 orc shaman. The Game, in other words, basically just tells you how to fake it. Which is fine when you're in college or just starting out and haven't had time to do anything yet. But as a schtick, it really wears thin as time passes. ... The Game is the mental/social equivalent of breast implants. Superficially appealing, especially to the less experienced, but ultimately inferior to the real thing.--DavidBN

... sexually unrestricted men and women, compared to sexually restricted individuals, were better able to discriminate between these actual and deceptive signals of receptivity for female targets.--Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 47, Issue 7, November 2009

... men's benevolent sexism was associated with greater relationship motivation and greater investment in romantic ideals and family.--Psychology of Men and Masculinity, Volume 10, Issue 1, January 2009

... gratitude, controlling for materialism, uniquely predicts all outcomes considered: higher grade point average, life satisfaction, social integration, and absorption, as well as lower envy and depression. In contrast, materialism, controlling for gratitude, uniquely predicts three of the six outcomes: lower grade point average, as well as higher envy and life satisfaction.--Journal of Happiness Studies (11 March 2010)

When it comes to part-time work, the gender wage gap goes the other way: Women generally out-earn men.--Catherine Rampell

Make sure you pay my taxes on time.--Genevieve Huebsch Gratz, Ken Griffin's grandmother

So why do we trust hospitals so much more than car drivers?--Robin Hanson

It takes a lot to spook the solid old gold market. But when it emerged last week that one or more banks had lent 380 tonnes of gold to the Bank of International Settlements in return for foreign currencies, there was widespread surprise and confusion.--Rowena Mason

The U.S. had a $4 billion trade surplus in agricultural products with China in the first four months of 2010, helping shave the total deficit to $71 billion in the period. The U.S. is the world’s largest exporter of soybeans and cotton, commodities for which China is the world’s top importer. Exports “exploded” after China’s 2001 accession to the World Trade Organization, says the US Department of Agriculture. Growing livestock and textile industries have stoked demand for animal feed and fiber.--Gregory Meyer and Leslie Hook

Acting as budget director during the economic boom of the late 1990s was a bit like handling a state-of-the-art yacht in still water. Managing a budget that's bursting at the seams to keep the economy on track while half of Congress screams about the deficit will be more like windsurfing a South Pacific typhoon.--Derek Thompson

Maybe [Robert] Reich is right, but he can only be right if economics is wrong. The marginal product of labor must be a fiction. George must prefer unemployment to working as a contractor. Allowing workers to choose higher pay instead of government mandated protections must be a dangerous illusion of liberty. And if he's right, then hundreds of millions of pages of paternalism actually are necessary to trump the free will of 300 million Americans. But don't kid yourself, cowboy, because regardless whether that story is right, it's the story that rules.--Tim Kane

By 1875 fully one-third of federal revenues came from the beer keg and the whiskey bottle, a proportion that would increase in the years ahead and that would come to be described by a temperance leader in 1913, not inaccurately, as "a bribe on the public conscience." ...it would be hard enough to fund the cost of government without the tariff and impossible without a liquor tax. Given that you wouldn't collect much revenue from a liquor tax in a nation where there was no liquor, this might have seemed like an insurmountable problem for the Prohibition movement. Unless, that is, you could weld the drive for Prohibition to the campaign for another reform, the creation of a tax on incomes.--Daniel Okrent

The first stage was for the Panel to determine that the [Climategate or Climatequiddick] e-mail enquiry was not really about the e-mails – it was about what the accused, in the event, achieved. The e-mails evidenced the “guilty mind” and prospective conduct of the conspirators. By moving away from the content of the emails they then suggest that the intent of the conspirators became irrelevant. This is a well recognised and rarely successful ploy. If you shoot at a man with malice and miss the consequence of your malice is mitigated, but not its criminality. The Panel, in the absence of any permitted challenge, have equated absence of success to absence of malice.--Bob Denton

I think [President Obama] should have been more firm with those on the other side of the aisle. He is a person who doesn't like confrontation. He's a peacemaker. And sometimes I think you have to be a little more forceful. And sometimes I don't think he is enough with the Republicans.--Harry Reid

Harry Reid, having voted for the war before he was against it, having claimed he was misled when in fact he was derelict in his duty to review available information, having called General Petraeus a liar and then declared the war lost and the surge a failure, and having clung to that position in the face of the obvious success of the surge, has not learned his lesson.--William Jacobson

Harvard historically has no problem with raging comsymps, though an actual deep-cover Russian agent may push the bounds of even Harvard’s famous tolerance for America-bashing.--Jules Crittenden

Since the early 1990s, both medievalists and electronic media theorists have pointed to the hypertexted quality of medieval illuminated manuscripts in making complementary claims: medievalists to continuing cultural relevancy and electronic media theorists in continuity to literary tradition. The medieval books we admire so much today are distinguished by the remarkable visual images, in the body of a text and in the margins, that scholars have frequently compared to hypertexted images on internet “pages.”--Elizabeth Drescher

Church is the child tasting bread, the man stooping low, the cloud of witnesses who for once are not weeping at what we have made of things, the sudden realization that all of it is true, the parts we yearn for and the parts we dread and the parts we ignore or twist to fit our tiny theologies — all of it is true, and it is true the way your fury and love and secret shames are true.--Tony Woodlief

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