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    • Zeynep Tufekci's Facebook solution - can it work? - Marginal REVOLUTION

      Here is her NYT piece, I’ll go through her four main solutions, breaking up, paragraph by paragraph, what is one unified discussion: What would a genuine legislative remedy look like? First, personalized data collection would be allowed only through opt-in mechanisms that were clear, concise and transparent. There would be no more endless pages of …

    • There is no Thucydides trap - Marginal REVOLUTION

      That is the title of a new and interesting short essay by Arthur Waldron, here is one interesting bit of many: Since the attack on Scarborough Shoal, now six years ago, my own opinion is that China expected to have occupied a lot more. Her slightly delusional view of her claims, first made explicit in …

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    • The Trump administration, lookism, and the Saudis - Marginal REVOLUTION

      I’ve been guilty of this too, and I apologize.  It strikes me that it has become politically acceptable among some of the high status people in my Twitter feed to make fun — if only implicitly — of the ugly, idiosyncratic, puzzled, sweaty, or otherwise mockable images sometimes presented by members of the Trump administration. …

    • What would count as an explanation of the size of China? - Marginal REVOLUTION

      There are two striking facts about China.  First, the country is quite large.  Second, the country was remarkably large early in its history, compared to most other political units.  For instance, here is China in 200 AD: How did this happen? Or consider a modern version of the puzzle: currently there are over one billion …

    • Authoritarians Distract Rather than Debate - Marginal REVOLUTION

      It’s long been known that the Chinese government hires people to support the government with fabricated posts on social media. In China these people are known as the “50c party”, so called because the posters were rumored to be paid 50 cents (5 jiao or about $.08) to write the posts. The precise nature and extent …

    • Clive Crook is mostly right

      Here is one bit: Trump’s critics complain about his relentless invoking of crisis — despite agreeing with him that the system is collapsing. Conservatives keep telling us that the American project is in mortal danger, that liberty itself is at stake. Liberals keep telling us that global capitalism is wrecking everything that’s decent in society, …

    • Why did the Stars Wars and Star Trek worlds turn out so differently? - Marginal REVOLUTION

      That question came up briefly in my chat with Cass Sunstein, though we didn’t get much of a chance to address it.  In the Star Trek world there is virtual reality, personal replicators, powerful weapons, and, it seems, a very high standard of living for most of humanity.  The early portrayals of the planet Vulcan …

    • Murders per gun, which countries have the most and least - Marginal REVOLUTION

      This is a lengthy email from an MR reader who wishes to remain anonymous.  These are his words, not mine, everything which follows: Back in December I asked you knew of any naive measures of  “gun murders / # of civilian guns” per country, and seeing where the US falls in this distribution. Some time …

    • Drop the Ban on Supersonic Aircraft - Marginal REVOLUTION

      WSJ: In the 1960s the future of aviation seemed bright. In 1958 Boeing had built its first jetliner, the 707, which cruised at speeds of up to 600 mph. The Concorde came along in 1969, flying at Mach 2—more than 1,500 mph. An age of affordable supersonic flight seemed inevitable, promising U.S. coast-to-coast travel in …