Economics

RIP Ronald Coase, the Economist Who Hated Math

Ronald Coase's reach covered everything from the air we breathe to the airwaves through which we communicate.

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Ronald Coase, winner of the 1991 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, died in September at age 102. Thomas Hazlett interviewed Coase in our January 1997 issue. In the introduction, Hazlett explained part of what made Coase unusual for an economist: "No one could remember a single equation, an estimated parameter, a correlation coefficient-nary a Greek symbol-in any of his articles."

Without math, Coase provided unusually fruitful insights that shaped the economics profession, producing two papers that remain among the most cited in the literature. The first was his 1937 article, "The Nature of the Firm," which, as Hazlett explained, outlined "the subtle logic of how firms pursue efficiency in a complicated world." The second was the 1960 essay "The Problem of Social Cost." That article looked at how market actions affected third parties. "Before Coase," wrote Hazlett, economic analysis maintained that the market "would predictably fail to achieve an optimal solution"-an idea Hazlett said "provided intellectual justification for a wide range of government interventions."

Coase's insight was "that once property was well-defined and easily tradable…the optimal social outcome would obtain no matter who owned the property.…Hence, whenever someone clearly possessed the right to pollute: Voila! Social efficiency! This became famously known as the Coase Theorem."

As editor from 1964 to 1982 of The Journal of Law and Economics, Coase led the application of economic thinking to legal questions, a field that has been hugely influential in both economics and law. Coase told Hazlett that though he was not an ideological libertarian, in his experience overseeing decades of studies of regulation, he found that "Regulation of transport, regulation of agriculture-agriculture is a, zoning is z. You know, you go from a to z, they are all bad."

Among other accomplishments, Coase also pointed out that, contra conventional wisdom, lighthouses could and did operate privately at a profit.

Coase's mark on the real world was profound. As The Wall Street Journal pointed out in its obituary, he "provided the intellectual framework for reducing pollution by trading carbon credits instead of enforcing antipollution laws, as well as for auctioning the airwaves for cellphones and pagers." His reach covered everything from the air we breathe to the airwaves through which we communicate-an impressive feat for an economist who disdained math.

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  1. So he made a bunch of obvious points and did some very superficial analysis on carbon credits. Yeah, that’s about what I’d expect from someone who escews math.

    1. Are you implying Ronald Coase’s observations are invalid because he did not provide any new formulas?

      1. Pedestrian, not invalid.

        1. Maybe pedestrian NOW, but not then.
          Hindsight is pedestrian.

        2. Good call!

          Thank god we have guys like Krugnuts to help us with the mathematical economics…..oh where would we be without them!

          1. Wealthier?

            1. Hey…..! Shut up man….you’ll blow the scam!

        3. Pedestrian, not invalid.

          So, you just wanted to be a condescending prick today.

          1. He just let him keep digging, apparently he wants to pretend that the insights weren’t groundbreaking.

            Never stop Tulpa from brig contrarian for its own sake, he gives us his most hilarious “insights” when he does this.

  2. That’s very dimwitted Tulpa, even for you.

    http://www.econtalk.org/archiv…..on_co.html

    1. I think we should never underestimate Tulpa’s capacity for dimwittedness.

  3. Brian Doherty writes that Coase’s reach covered everything from the air we breathe to the airwaves through which we communicate-an impressive feat for an economist who disdained math.

    He didn’t disdain math. He simply recognized that human action cannot be modeled through mathematical equations.

    1. Math is a lot more than formulas and equations. This is the attitude I deal with all the time… it’s very disheartening.

      1. Re: Tulpa,

        Math is a lot more than formulas and equations.

        No, it’s pretty much formulas and equations when it comes to modeling, Tulpa. Mathematical economic equations leads you to false conclusions like, for instance, the idea that any changes in price will instantaneously compel buyers to switch from one seller to another. This is not sarcasm, Tulpa, this is THE conclusion that has to be drawn from perfect competition models.

        http://mises.org/daily/1988/Platonic-Competition

        1. If there is inventory on the store shelves then the market is not clearing. Obviously the prices are too high and Venezuela needs to nationalize the electronic stores. The mathematics does not lie!

      2. It’s very disheartening for Tulpa to try and encourage his community college students to excel. How does he reach these KEEDS?!? Man, Tulpa, your life of sacrifice and bringing enlightenment to the masses must be brutal. How do you do it? Especially with the fact that you suffer from Cystic Tulposis? You are truly a hero.

          1. You keep a lot of Grade A videos in your back pocket.

          2. That guy looks way too Irish to be me. Come on, man.

              1. Huh, I thought it was litotes.

                1. The Irish are just understated Italians?

                  Makes sense.

                  1. They’re kind of like pale Italians with bad taste in wine, like Italians from Tuscany. Also, touchdown Seahawks.

            1. You crackers all look alike.

          3. Son of a fucking bitch that is up beyond an age verification wall, and Google wants me to change my data to reflect its asinine openness policy. I’m keeping my anon, assholes.

            1. Google thinks 17 year old niggas are not yet of age to hear how their homies talk.

              1. Google thinks 17 year old niggas are not yet of age to hear how their homies talk unable to enter whatever birthday will put them over the age wall when they created a totally free and unverified YT Google/YT account.

                More like.

      3. Can you put that in mathematical terms?

        Didn’t think so. Invalid! Pedestrian!

      4. Math is a lot more than formulas and equations. This is the attitude I deal with all the time… it’s very disheartening.
        Spoken like someone who truly doesn’t understand the math. At the end of the day, mathematics isn’t reality. It is a description of reality. Sometimes an incredibly useful one. And at other times a wildly misleading one. Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, the mathematization of human behavior leads to mathematical models that are hugely unstable, with parameters shifting over time and becoming most unpredictable precisely when you most need them to be right. Blind faith in mathematics is something a competant practitioner neither needs nor wants. He knows the critical aspect is the understanding of the phenomena that the mathematics is intended to describe.

        1. Hi, the following statements are not equivalent.

          1) Math can be incorrectly applied to economics.
          2) Math cannot be correctly applied to economics.

          Can we, maybe, acknowledge that the problem with Keynsianism isn’t that they use math, but that their theory is wrong?

          1. Can we, maybe, acknowledge that the problem with Keynsianism isn’t that they use math, but that their theory is wrong?

            Practitioners of every niche of economics use mathematical modeling as a general rule. The problem with modeling the entire economy mathematically (macroeconomic modeling) is the exact same problem with trying to plan the entire economy centrally: you can’t possibly acquire enough information to understand the dynamics of the millions of individual decisions that actually comprise the macro economy. The problem with Keynesians isn’t the either/or you suggest, it’s both. Their theory is wrong, and a major component of their theory is macroeconomic mathematical modeling that will never, ever have complete data, or even sufficient data. Perhaps a more accurate statement than “Math cannot be correctly applied to economics” would be “math cannot be correctly used to model your theory”, but it’s still a valid point.

            Microeconomic models tend to more accurately predict real-world behavior, but are limited in scope. They’re not useful for central planning and trillion dollar mistakes aren’t made in their name, so they don’t get discussed at the same level.

            1. I believe that math can be usefully used to describe the macroeconomy, and I’m not talking about statistics like GDP, but rather to for instance model the structure of production and show how money surpluses (inflation) lead to a boom and bust cycle. I haven’t worked it out or anything but when I see a description of Austrian business cycle theory using Hayekian triangles, I kind of see the outline for how such a model might look. I think that a correct application of mathematics to economics would look extremely different than Keynesian-style economics, but I believe it’s possible and would be very useful. Since it would model a very different sort of thing, it would not run into the knowledge problem, which totally I agree is a problem with the Keynesian models. Unfortunately, the economists I like bear an antipathy towards mathematical modeling so I doubt this work will be done any time soon. This antipathy is understandable under the circumstances but I think it’s misguided :-/

          2. Well, as I said before, mathematics is just a description of reality – sometimes useful, sometimes misleading. Because the reality you’re describing here is human behavior, you wind up with big problem with math using any theory. Human behavior isn’t fixed, defined and predictable. What that means to the modeler is that the parameterization of your mathematical model carries a high risk of instability. That is to say, the coefficients in your model, they’re subject to change at a moment’s notice. Oh, and you can only know they’ve changed after the fact. And to throw a whole new kink into the equation (forgive the pun), they change precisely at the points (boundary conditions, crisises) where you face the most pressing decision points. Does that mean the models are useless? No. They’re often a decent rough approximation of reality. And as such can sometimes give you worthwhile insights. But, mathematical models, particularly, also risk driving the modeler into a false sense of certainty about what is only a description.

      5. Math is a lot more than formulas and equations.

        Yeah….it’s symbols and equal signs…..and many red “x” marks where you got the formulas and equations wrong!

        1. Not to mention the broken lives of people who suffer from the idiocy of policies based on mathematical-oriented economic theories.

          1. blaming math for bad economic theories is like blaming guns for murder…both can be used by bad actors to produce bad results…

            1. They’re not blaming math for bad economic theories. They’re blaming the application of math in a situation where math is incapable of actually explaining reality.

              Certain things can’t be mathematically shown and any attempt to do so will result in bad models and bad decisions. It’s not blaming math for the problem, so your gun analogy isn’t very apt.

              1. I’ve read the arguments that math is incapable of describing reality from Austrian school economists (Rothbard, Hayek, etc) and found them lacking. They limit the kind of math they consider ill-suited to calculus and statistics. That’s not all of math! I have yet to hear a good argument for why “math is incapable of actually explaining reality.” The arguments usually go, “people aren’t like physical particles, they have free will” or “people don’t assign a number of utils to their ends” and then jump to the conclusion that no math can describe economics. I think this is wrong. Indeed, these same economists love them their praxeology which is all about logically deriving propositions from a few assumptions but god forbid anyone try to make a formal model? Arggg, it frustrates me. I’m sorry for the rant ^_^

                1. I have yet to hear a good argument for why “math is incapable of actually explaining reality.”

                  Spoken like a member of the priestly caste annoyed at a challenge to the dogma of hocus-pocus. How deep have you ever gotten into Pricipia Mathematica?

                  1. We’re playing it fast and loose with the object of mathematical calculation here; we can certainly use math to quantify and predict the behavior of natural forces and inanimate matter, but the same does not apply to economics, which is (properly) a science of human action.

                    It is as rationalistic as any form of mysticism to believe that an economy of acting volitional beings can be predicted (or dictated) by reference to math equations. We can use math to describe what has already happened, or in a particular context (i.e., the economics of a Civic vs. an F-350), but not to predict an entire economy.

                    1. We can use math to describe what has already happened, or in a particular context (i.e., the economics of a Civic vs. an F-350), but not to predict an entire economy.

                      IF human beings behave with repeated, predictable patterns under certain conditions, you can create a (incomplete) predictive model based on those conditions. But human beings are adaptive and rarely respond uniformly under any given set of conditions anyway. So creating a model that is accurately predictive more than once is, at the very least extremely unlikely (more probably impossible). Other very complex natural systems like climate are also difficult to create accurate predictive models for…

                    2. When I read descriptions of economics as the science of human action, I find carefully thought out and almost rigorously logical derivations of theories describing economics. This can be turned into math. Not math as seemingly most people misunderstand the term, but in the broader way that real mathematicians understand it. Let me give an example:

                      When you exchange x for y in a voluntary transaction, then u(x)u(y) where u is your subjective utility. Now you may object that I’m assuming utility is a number but I am not! I’m only assuming that utility is ordered, that there is a notion of preference.

                    3. crap…there should be a `greater than` sign between u(x) and u(y)…

                    4. tru dat

                      but utility is kinda iffy in econ, i mean the whole idea of “utils” boils down to units of psychic rewards-the problem though is that even when looked at comparitively, it still doesn’t really tell you much; so for instance u(X)=50, u(Y)=100, It doesn’t neccessarily mean that u(Y) is twice that of u(X) or u(x) is half that, even though the math models tell you so.

                      same prob with ordinals, they have to be transitive in order to be analyzed properly, but people are not transitive in their preferences really-assume a can opener i guess.

                  2. I’m a mathematician, but I’ve not yet read Principia. It’s not really my field but I’m familiar enough with basic foundations and set theory. Why?

                    “the dogma of hocus-pocus”

                    Don’t know what you mean. I do get frustrated that economists whom I tremendously respect seem to have such limited understanding of what math can be useful for.

                2. Eitan,

                  Economics is a chaotic system. So, yes it can be modeled. Its usefulness in economic theory, though, is highly suspect. You are essentially playing craps with human lives. As long as you don’t use force to test your models, you can develop whatever theory you like.

                  1. Well, I think mathematics is highly useful as a language to describe economic theories, including Austrian economics. If you’ve ever seen the business cycle explained by means of “Hayekian triangles” then you might see what I mean 🙂

                3. They limit the kind of math they consider ill-suited to calculus and statistics. That’s not all of math!

                  It’s not all of math, but it’s central to economic modeling. I’d love to hear how you think an economic model can be created using no statistics and probability or calculus. I guess it may be theoretically possible if one possessed perfect information, which isn’t possible. So that’s not a discussion worth having. But really, DK nails it below:

                  As long as you don’t use force to test your models, you can develop whatever theory you like.

                  You’re never going to have a perfectly accurate economic model due to the information problem, but nobody would care if you tried as long as the purpose of your model was to provide useful information to yourself or others. The real tragedy of incomplete macroeconomic models is that they are mostly used by central planners to improperly allocate resources.

                  1. Yes, I agree with that. My problem is that people take reasonable statements like that and extrapolate to unreasonable statements like “math cannot be used to understand human action”. If you take a look a couple posts lower, you’ll see some notes I wrote to model some small part of economics, the marginal utility theory of goods from a Mengerian viewpoint. Carl Menger was the founder of the Austrian school.

      6. Tulpa, I totally understand what you mean. It’s like, cardinals, math, but ordinals, no that’s not math at all…some people should just stop talking about things they don’t understand…I once wrote up some notes translating Austrian marginal theory into set theory…it’s pretty nice…

        1. I posted it below but I’ll post it here too 🙂

          http://www.math.sunysb.edu/~eitan/menger.pdf

    2. He simply recognized that human action cannot be modeled through mathematical equations.

      I was going to argue against that, but then I scrolled down and followed a link to a story about a dog being abducted and gang-raped.

      That is certainly what Godel had in mind when he posited his incompleteness theorems.

      1. Did you guess Florida? I guessed Florida.

        1. I saw Berlin in the link and guessed Berlin, NH. (The entire town smells like rotten eggs, by the way.)

          1. Hmmm. Maybe it’s only a West Coast thing. Adam Carolla used to have a bit on his radio show called “Germany or Florida”, where he would read the details of a horrific crime (often including cannibalism, incest, or bestiality) and the listeners had to guess if it took place in Florida or Germany…

            1. Alternate title: Where’s Warty?

            2. Loveline was and is syndicated nationwide.

    3. He simply recognized that human action cannot be modeled through mathematical equations.

      Why not? I can model human action through math.

      http://www.math.sunysb.edu/~eitan/menger.pdf

      1. Why not? I can model human action through math.

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

        Wait, wait,

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

        No, you can’t, now shut the fuck up Tulpa2.

      2. What you’ve got there is a restatement of a theory of human behavior in mathematical notation. I’d hesitate to call it a model, because it doesn’t appear to have any predictive value; it’s merely descriptive. Knowing that human beings prioritize their wants/needs and expressing that knowledge in terms of set theory doesn’t tell us anything useful, for example, about what basket of goods a man in Wal Mart with 20 dollars is likely to buy or what substitutions he might make in the satisfaction of his wants within the constraints of his budget. No model is ever going to accurately predict that for even a handful of people, let alone for millions of people. Yet such models are used every day in macroeconomic policymaking – in the construction of the chained CPI for example.

        1. Well then you guys ought to be saying that human action can’t be modeled, period. Not that human action can’t be modeled by math. People keep blaming the gun, instead of how it’s being used. Anyway, what’s wrong with being descriptive? I think describing things rigorously is very useful for helping me understand them 🙂

          1. Human action can be approximated. Roughly. Very, very, roughly. Usefulness for conclusions? Near zero. Usefulness for policy? Absolute zero.

      3. No you can’t.

        Only deterministic systems can be fully modeled mathematically. Of course you can estimate human activity mathematically but you can never accurately predict human activity. The reason has to do with the non deterministic behavior of life.

        No life system can be adequately modeled mathematically because they are non-deterministic. Life always does what it wants to do and not what we expect. One needs no high level education to understand this one, but it seems that the most highly educated are ones most resistant to the stubborn fact that life cannot be accurately predicted.

        1. I never claimed predictive power…I make the following claims:

          *praxeology can be turned into formal mathematics.
          *such a formalization would be useful for it’s further development.

  4. “Before Coase,” wrote Hazlett, economic analysis maintained that the market “would predictably fail to achieve an optimal solution” – an idea Hazlett said “provided intellectual justification for a wide range of government interventions.”

    First of all, Mises had already alluded to market efficiency in Human Action when describing the role of the entrepreneur. Second, the term “optimal solution” or “optimal market solution” begs the question. NOBODY can know the optimal solution because consumers are fickle. The market solves scarcity problems through a constant process of discovery (hence clearing prices and entrepreneurship) for the simple reason that people cannot read minds.

  5. Germany or Florida?
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..arket.html

    1. No.

      Political cartoons are never funny.

    2. I guess it’s a good thing they didn’t make Obama the baboon Rafeeki, ’cause that would be racist!

  6. http://www.usatoday.com/story/…..s/3486581/
    “President Nicol?s Maduro ordered a military “occupation” of the company’s five stores as he continues the government’s crackdown on an “economic war” it says is being waged against the country, with the help of Washington.

    Members of Venezuela’s National Guard, some of whom carried assault rifles, kept order at the stores as bargain hunters rushed to get inside.”

    1. “I want a Sony plasma television for the house,” said Amanda Lisboa, 34, a business administrator, who had waited seven hours already outside one Caracas store. “It’s going to be so cheap!”

    2. What a socialist shithole. But I repeat myself.

      How crazy/stupid would you have to be to vote for a ruling party that deranged?

      1. It’s not about food and toilet paper anymore; the impoverished masses are getting plasma TVs now. We know who they’re going to vote for…

        Important to note that all of the looted goods are “imported”.

        1. No matter, things will get ugly for the Maduro gang when the run out of things to loot.

          1. What?!? The stores aren’t going to restock for the next looting? Foreign companies won’t keep exporting to Venezuela.

            Side note: I was looking at Google Flights map for comparative pricing to Carribean/Latin America destinations. Venezuela was noticeably higher. Like coach there was first class to anywhere else.

            1. One of the many fucked up things about Venezuela: The currency exchanges rules and its effect on travel.
              http://www.reuters.com/article…..TW20130924

            2. I just checked. $3,000 round trip to Caracas. Insane.

              1. See, I was guessing it was a premium for the non-zero chance that a plane landing there would be added to Air Caracas’s fleet.

                1. They did confiscate a Mexican plane this week because it allegedly contained “drugs”.

                  1. To be fair…we’ve probably captured thousands of Mexican and other foreign-registered planes because of drugs.

      2. There are plenty who would want that here, and the party in power now is that deranged. They would do it in a heartbeat if they thought they could get away with it. Really it is just one small step past obamaphones.

        And did you see the link the other day of the English, a substantial portion of which are calling for price controls on food and the nationalization of the energy and rail industries?

        1. This shocked you? Brits are simply Frogs with really bad teeth.

        2. the nationalization of the energy and rail industries

          You mean, like they already had until the 80s? Gosh those were great times for the English.

          1. The difference is that this time they have the right Top Men…

    3. Water and snacks were being sold outside the store by savvy Venezuelans keen to profit from the commotion.

      Sounds like gouging in an emergency. Guess these guys will be next.

      FREE SNACKS FOR THE POOR*!

      *waiting hours for stolen flat screens

      1. Those flat-screens were liberated not stolen, comrade.

  7. This might be a good place to put this:

    Recently, a friend has been looking for a piece of property on which to put a building to store some of his toys in. It will not be a going business concern; no customer traffic, or noise, or whatever.

    He looked at a property which seemed to be acceptable. He checked with the city to ensure it was not a prohibited use, did not violate any zoning or other restrictions. He took a guy out to look it over and get an estimate of cost involved in site prep. A neighbor came out, and asked what was going on, so he told him. The neighbor commences to motherfuck him over “spoiling his views” and “wrecking his neighborhood” and miscellaneous additional noxious lines of bullshit.

    My friend, who is a nice guy, sympathizes with the neighbor, and has decided to keep looking.

    If I were the property owner whose sale just got blown out of the water, I would be one pissed off son of a bitch. If this fucking neighbor wants to have final say on who or what ends up on that parcel of land, he should get his fucking checkbook out, and buy it. Fuck him.

    1. We have a few wing nuts like that here. The most notorious incident was when a couple purchased a house 3 lots up from the beach, tore it down, and built a new one right up to the height limit (30 feet in that part of town). When buyers downhill from them tried to do the same thing, they sued, twice. One buyer capitulated and changed his architectural plans to suit them, and the other fought and won. After he won, he changed his architectural plans to block even more of their view just to spite them (which was awesome, IMO).

      This couple tried to keep the lawsuits a secret, but it made the local paper. They were essentially shunned by the whole community, so there was a happy ending.

      1. What? Social norms creating order?! Who’d’ve imagined that?!

    2. I had a neighbor like that once. 5 acres came up for sale between us and he was afraid someone would put a trailer park on it. He sued and lost, then he bought the land himself……..and put a trailer park on it.

      1. I think it was he was afraid no so much someone would put a trailer on it as someone would put a meth lab on it.

        So.. suthun… :p

  8. In fact, I’m tempted to go reenact that whole thing and see if I can find out how much the fucking idiot neighbor would be willing to pay me to not build the building. Not one penny, I surmise. But he has no problem taking money out of the owner’s pocket.

    1. Did this happen in Portland? Sounds so familiar somehow..

      1. Nah, you can tell its not Portland because the neighbor didn’t get the city to come down on the property sale. And there wasn’t restrictive zoning already in place.

        1. Good points.

          Portland, OR: SWPL in physical form.

          1. Oregon land use law in general is fucking retarded. Neighbors essentially have veto power on what land is used for; if enough of them complain, they can get just about anything shut down. My parents had to essentially get neighborhood permission to build a new house on a farm that our family has owned for 170 years. And they were replacing an existing, run-down house.

    2. Carrot, stick etc. You can always try to put a hog rendering plant there instead. Maybe that would be more to his liking…

  9. Russian Nationalists pelt Dutch royal couple with tomatoes

    Two activists from the unregistered Other Russia party were arrested Saturday for yelling insults and throwing a tomato at the Dutch royal couple before a concert in Moscow.
    The incident took place when Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima came out of their limousine and walked on a red carpet toward the entrance of the Moscow Conservatory building to attend the ceremonial closure of a year dedicated to celebrating Dutch-Russian ties.
    Two young people from the crowd of onlookers reportedly started shouting “You have Dolmatov’s blood on your hands!” and threw a tomato at the royal couple. The tomato missed the intended target and the couple proceeded to the entrance without responding to the insults.
    Police arrested the hooligans and escorted them to a patrol van parked nearby.
    Spokesman for the Other Russia party, Alexander Averin, told RIA Novosti after the incident that the party activists staged a protest against the negligence of the Dutch government that led to the death of their fellow party member, Alexander Dolmatov, in a Dutch prison earlier this year.

    Other Russia is an awesome name for a party.

  10. Math is a lot more than formulas and equations. This is the attitude I deal with all the time… it’s very disheartening.

    I’ll tell you what I find disheartening; people who are so obsessed with the numerical representation of reality they ignore reality itself. Like people* who seriously believe getting rid of the TSA in its entirety would be bad because it would reduce teh GDP.

    *Not in this example referring to You-know-who, up there on his cross, waiting to swoop down and accuse me of impugning his liberthoritarian credentials.

    1. Funny enough, leftist didn’t seem so concerned about the private sector jobs that were lost when the TSA was put in place.

  11. Coase’s health really went off the rails once Borders closed.

  12. Totally OT.. what is your brain trying to tell you when you crave white cheddar popcorn, pepper beef jerky, and cheap pinot noir all at the same time? Cuz it can’t be healthy, is all.

    1. Congratulations, you’re pregnant. Stock up on pickles and ice cream. I hope you got the name of the guy who knocked you up after that night at the convention. Did you really need to work the glory hole, though?

      1. So I guess Heather is just a given for a first name.

    2. Your brain does a good job of telling you what your body needs sometimes. I was anemic after changing meds, and I absolutely craved rare (almost raw) beef 3 times a day. When my bloodwork came back normal, the cravings stopped…

      1. So my brain is telling me to live like a homeless wino whose EBT just kicked in?

        1. No, no, no. Well, sort of. The salty cravings are probably because you already live like a wino.

          If I go big on a Saturday night, my first stop on Sunday morning is to get a big bowl of salty Pho.

    3. The domestic help went off with a couple of her girlfriends to one of the chains, Chillis most likely, for lunch. Brought me back a chicken cordon bleu. I didn’t eat any sides because the barley wine I’m drinking is a carb nightmare on its own. Except for the ham, not up to my local deli’s standards, it was pretty good. Swiss cheese tasted quality, and in this dish that is what matters the most.

      1. Which barley wine? Partial to Blithering Idiot meself.

          1. Sounds yummy from the testimonials.

            1. It’s good. And I’m about to start on the second of the four pack. The cans are Red Bull sized unfortunately. The San Fran – Panthers game is on in an half hour so I need to pace myself.

              1. That’s gonna be a good one, I think. Carolina is on a hell of a roll.

                1. Cam still has a few bad habits like rolling out wide leaving his blockers with too tough of a job of defending him. He has a wild, unpredictable talent that is great when he pulls through.

                  You could not ask for a better defense though.

                  1. Lol trying to get Epi’s goat?

                    1. I’d assume he’d want a Carolina victory in this match given San Frans regional rivalry with the Seahawks.

                    2. Meh, the Seahawks have beaten up the Niners badly the last few times they’ve played; they’re no threat. Oh, also, Seahawks are now 9 and 1.

                    3. Oh, also, Seahawks are now 9 and 1

                      I imagine they’ll have an impressive record when they eventually flame out in the playoffs.

                    4. They’ve managed to win 4 games in an ugly way.

                      Best case scenario: they go the way of the ’06 bears and get their butts kicked by Manning in the SB.

                      Worst case: They look like the ’11 Packer by going 15-1 and losing in the first round at home.

          2. Pish tosh. A man wants his wine with a ‘tude.

            http://www.pompousasswinery.co…..detail&p=9

        1. I haven’t had Blithering Idiot before. I read the profile, similar reviews to 21As. I like a hot boozy sweetness in my hopped up ales. That’s heaven to me.

          1. Then look for Old Ruffian. It’s one of my favorite American Barleywines.

  13. iwhat is your brain trying to tell you when you crave white cheddar popcorn, pepper beef jerky, and cheap pinot noir all at the same time?

    I don’t know about your brain, but it sounds like your tongue wants to commit suicide. Or erase the aftertaste of something truly horrific… hmmmm? You can tell us.

  14. Ground pepper beef jerky in a beef stew complements the dish very well. I usually add it with sauteing the onions, celery, peppers and carrots to get the vegetables steeped in beef and pepper flavoring early on.

      1. There are only two things I really do differently from a standard beef stew, and that is the sauteing described above, and boiling down beef stock with wine and shallots for the stew base. Plus, no potatoes, that’s just too Irish for my taste.

  15. LA schools halt iPad program after students start hacking them

    The Los Angeles school district is putting the brakes on a project to give an iPad to each student, a $1 billion initiative that is the largest rollout of its kind in the nation and has been plagued by students hacking the devices’ security features.

    District officials have already provided their devices to over 25,000 students, and under their original plan would have finished distributing tablets to the last of its 650,000 students in late 2014.

    Superintendent John Deasy has described the rollout as a civil rights initiative designed to give students in his district, mostly from low-income families, access to a 21st century tool common in middle-class households. Students are supposed to use it to take standardized tests, do homework, read curriculum, play learning games, capture video and more.

    But they also want to use the devices for fun. In a high-profile setback, some 300 teenagers from three high schools found a way to bypass security protocols on their iPads earlier this year to access Twitter and other sites the district seeks to block.

    Students have since been barred from taking the iPads home. Following that and other concerns from school board members, Deasy has proposed delaying by a year, to late 2015, the completion of the iPad rollout.

    What a totally unforeseeable outcome.

    1. The stupidity of statists in regard to technology is a wonderful thing. Whether it’s imbeciles in the administration having no comprehension of the technology that would supposedly be behind the exchanges, or imbeciles in the LA school system somehow thinking that kids wouldn’t hack the tablets. I mean, 650,000 tablets to be given out, and they don’t anticipate hacking? They’re not just imbeciles, they’re fucking retarded.

      1. They’re not just imbeciles, they’re fucking retarded.

        Why the hell do you think they’re in charge? Everyone who could be is out actually making money.

      2. And I’ll bet they punished the kids who hacked them rather than acknowledge and commend their creativity.

        1. Well, of course. The entire point of the iPad rollout was the glorification of Deasy and his “civil rights initiative”, not the kids. They threw a wrench in his glorification, so they have to be punished.

    2. “Superintendent John Deasy has described the rollout as a civil rights initiative ”

      Stop right there.

    3. described the rollout as a civil rights initiative designed to give students in his district, mostly from low-income families, access to a 21st century tool common in middle-class households
      Students have since been barred from taking the iPads home.

      I don’t know what’s sadder– giving free shit out or loaning free shit out on sufferance and taking it away when the kids use “their” iPads just like other kids do, which is supposedly the point of the program.

    4. Superintendent John Deasy has described the rollout as a civil rights initiative designed to give students in his district, mostly from low-income families, access to a 21st century tool common in middle-class households. Students are supposed to use it to take standardized tests, do homework, read curriculum, play learning games, capture video and more.

      Wouldn’t using that one billion dollars to, I don’t know, actually teach them things do more for their ‘civil rights’ than giving them ipads?

    5. LA schools halt iPad program after students start hacking them

      Can’t have independent learning going on!

  16. ??? ????????? I just got paid $858o working off my computer this month. And if you think that’s cool, my divorced friend has twin toddlers and made over $9k her first month. It feels so good making so much money when other people have to work for so much less. This is what I do,

    ???????? http://www.jobs53.com

    1. I’m skeptical.

      1. Me, too. I never got paid more than $746p working off my computer.

    2. Apple’s business model is better:

      $1,000,000,000 / 650,000 = $1,538.46 per iPad.

      1. They probably hired 100+ new administrators at $100,000+ a year w/ benes to oversee the program.

  17. LOL Andy Dalton

    1. No, he just tied it! You always knock the football down on a Hail Mary!

    2. Jesus, fuck. My pick’em for the week is getting raped like a stolen dog.

      1. Yeah, but no one picked Jacksonville or St. Louis.

        I feel stupid for picking the Packers sans Rogers, but I wanted to believe in them.

        1. You were betting on a miracle?

  18. Paula Poundstone brings the heavy intellectual heat in defense of ObamaCare.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-34…..-problems/

    So take that you tea-thug haterz!

    1. Was that supposed to be…comedy?

      1. Not intentionally, no.

        I cannot understand the mentality of someone who thinks that 1) their “support” (not that she’s actually doing anything) for one of the most powerful people in the world means anything, and 2) talking about why they still have faith (because let’s be honest, she just did the equivalent of recording a message to Jesus where you tell him you still believe the earth was created 6000 years ago, no matter what the haters say) means jack or shit.

        Also, earnestness is the polar opposite of comedy. But then again, no one in their right mind calls her a comedian anyway.

        1. I had to Google her just to figure who she was and why anyone would care what she thinks.

          I still don’t understand why anyone should care what she thinks.

          1. Did you find the part about her being a child molester?

            1. God damn you, I was going to post a comment along those lines! Although, I thought it was only child endangerment charges she was brought up on. Apparently there was more than that that I didn’t remember.

        2. Also, the arrogance that she speaks for a majority of us.

          Has obamacare ever had majority support?

          Also, also, how the fuck did she become famous as a comedian? Is it possible to make money by having people laugh at you?

      2. The comedy is in the comments where people think that it’s only the website that needs fixing and after that everything is will be fine.

        1. Also there’s a guy on my FB feed that said

          Private contractors messed up again. Go figure.

          He’s a smart guy but has an addiction to Kool-aid.

          1. Do let’s stop giving them the benefit of being “smart, but…”. Leftoids have the critical thinking skills of a sumnambulist and the obedience of a lemming.

            You’re setting the bar *very* low if you can honestly say you think the leftoids are intelligent.

            1. *somnambulist

            2. He’s very pro-gun. Not to my level but not bad for someone coming from the leftish side of things.

              Also he hates this whole social justice warrior/feminist whiner crap and doesn’t give a damn about complaints of workplace discrimination.

              So he is not irredeemable.

              1. I honestly wish you success on your “reclamation” project Warren!

                1. I’m not actively trying. It’s not like I win a toaster or anything if comes over to our side.

                  That said, once the real problems with Ocare start next year it should be a real eye-opener for him.

                  1. It’s not like I win a toaster or anything if comes over to our side.

                    I’ll say right here and now that if you make a bona fide libertarian out of this dude I will totally buy you a toaster.

                    1. It’s a trap. GBN once offered to buy me a toaster but explained that first he’d need my personal information so that he could get it to me.

                      All I wanted was a toaster, but instead I got a stolen identity.

                    2. HA GBN! You won’t get me so easy!

                    3. All I wanted was a toaster, but instead I got a stolen identity.

                      Hey, you weren’t using it.

                      Besides, those days are long behind me. Warren, just send me your credit card info and your social security number so that I can verify you in our system and we’ll have your toaster shipped tomorrow.

                      It’s a real nice one, too. Does 4 slices a time and all.

                    4. Hmm, I want the one that will cook an egg as well.

                    5. Sure, whatever.

                      Just send the info I need and a money order ($16.95) for shipping and handling and we’ll have your toaster out in a jiff.

                    6. Sends Warty’s info

                      heeheehee

                    7. The cake toaster is a lie.

          2. Liberals love private contractors when contractors let them pretend that there are far fewer government workers than there are.

            If I have to read another analysis from a leftist claiming that there really aren’t that many government workers which leaves out the ten million federal contractors, I am going to murder a small child.

            Honestly, this stuff goes beyond mendacious. If Edward Snowden was not technically a government employee, then that term has no meaning.

    2. That child is criminally stupid. Watching her makes you want to give up and weep.

      Or add her to the list you intend to gun down soon after the crash.

    3. That was about the dumbest thing that I’ve ever read.

      If we were ordering something from Amazon, we’d keep trying for months.

      Jesus.

      When they have to pull out the kiddy-diddling, cat ladies to defend this moldy turd they’ve really run out of options.

    4. If “David” couldn’t break me, how could it be that I’d already throw in the towel on a law that makes it possible for my kids to remain on my family policy until they are 26?

      Paula Poundstone is a millionaire. The fact that liberals see nothing wrong with millionaires being glad that their children can stay on the dole into their mid-20’s makes me suspect that liberals aren’t really as anti-rich people as they pretend to be.

    5. Smoking Gun’s Paula Poundstone file:
      http://www.thesmokinggun.com/d…..abuse-case

      Nice work, CBS.

    6. That’s a man, baby

    7. It starts with asking should the law lose support just over the website snafu?

      Let me think about that a moment. They were so breathtakingly incompetent that they fucked up the website in ways that most people would have to plan for and execute on purpose, but we are supposed to be confident that they wont fuck everything else up.

      I dont know, I feel torn.

    8. “If we were ordering something from Amazon, we’d keep trying for months.”

      No, I would not. In fact, I shopped at Amazon once and never will again.

      I looked her up. Wow, she is some piece of work. Molesting a girl under 14. She was 40. She should be shot.

      1. Molesting a girl under 14. She was 40. She should be shot.

        She has, like, 20 cats too, which is worse.

        1. Not to minimize what sexual abuse victims go through, but yeah, the cat thing is worse.

      2. I’ve shopped from Amazon many times and it’s been terrific. Never had to wait for months for anything.

  19. Meanwhile, in Russia

    1. Hmm, another video of a Russian driving way faster than is safe for a 2 lane road…

    2. I saw that a couple days ago. I like how calm after they’ve wound up in the drink, like nothing happened.

  20. 27 signs you are from Orange County

    I notice many of these don’t apply to North OC.

    1. Nice Wild Rivers reference.

      1. See that’s what I mean. If you live in Northern Orange County you’d likely go to Knott’s Soak City instead.

        1. Not the best waterpark I’ve ever been to. Not bad but like everything the Knotts people do, it just misses the mark in a variety of ways.

          Like the amusement park itself there are major issues that a better crew of people would not have let happen.

          1. Go to the one in Palm Springs. I take my 5 year old there a few times a year during the summer. 115 degrees, no shoes, shirts, or towels. Cold, cheap beer at the bar next to the wave pool.

            No complaints here.

        2. North OC is pretty much LA. A guy in my fraternity was from Hacienda Heights, and he used to describe it as “right next to Huntington Beach”…

          1. I’m from La Palma, but given the number of Koreans and Korean-businesses here I just say I’m from Cerritos for simplicity.

      1. I can’t think of a single Jewish neighborhood in Orange County (CA).

    2. They couldn’t dredge up some old fart to talk about remembering when there were orange groves in Orange County?

      And fuck me if I’ll ever refer to it as The OC. The Orange Curtain maybe.

  21. Samantha Powers praises Jane Fonda and says:

    There is no greater embodiment of being outspoken on behalf of what you believe in ? and being ‘all in’ in every way ? than Jane Fonda. And it’s a huge honor just to even briefly have shared the stage with her.

    I’m not going to throw a hissy fit the way conservatives currently are over the fact that Powers had kind words for Hanoi Jane. I am, however, going to question how Samantha Powers can applaud Fonda’s anti-war stance when Samantha Powers is a HUGE proponent of ‘humanitarian warfare.’

    Powers was almost certainly one of the primary voices convincing Obama to intervene in Libya and Syria. Thanks to her ‘humanitarian intervention’ Libya is now a power vacuum controlled by competing warlords. How on Earth can this fucking hypocrite applaud an anti-war activist when Powers herself is the most interventionist progressive in America?

    1. I am, however, going to question how Samantha Powers can applaud Fonda’s anti-war stance when Samantha Powers is a HUGE proponent of ‘humanitarian warfare.’

      Fonda is not “anti-war”; she supported the aggressors during the Vietnam War.

      1. Yeah, it was Joan Baez that turned out to actually have a moral principle.

    2. In that case, we should all praise Elia Kazan for naming communists.

  22. That’s a man, baby

    Ow, my eye!

  23. Watching Fox Sunday show replay, now. Christie ducks gun control question, says he supports Second Amendment. He knows what constitutes an adult approach to keeping the peasants in line. Letting Joe Sixpack own a handgun would be crazy. Support mental health!

    1. Look man, when it comes to TEAM politics, republicans could give two shits about the second.

      Shit, the last ‘phant potus candidate signed a goddamn AWB, but that was hand waved away with talk about “electability” and beating TEAM BLUE.

    2. That isnt the only question he will be ducking.

      1. For instance:

        Hey, who ate the sandwich I left in the fridge?

        Or

        Dear lord man, was your breakfast nothing but eggs, beans, and beer?

  24. Now some apologist for the Obamacare is sying there will be subsidies for increased premium, so, YAY! Nobody has asked him yet where that money comes from.

    Also, Swiss Cheeze insurance is not insurance! More bullshit about Wild Wild West Insurance!

    “I know what you need, you dopey civilian.”

    1. Nobody has asked him yet where that money comes from.

      It’s better than BOOOSH! spending $18 trillion and 100,000,000,000,000,000 lives in his revenge-lie of a war in Iraq!

      /shriek

  25. California Wind Farm Seeking First Permit to Kill Protected Golden Eagles

    1. Of course.

    2. I think it has been said here before, but if you ever find an endangered species on your property, kill it, burn it, and keep your mouth shut.

      1. Isn’t it Shoot, Shovel, and Shut up?

  26. A British NHS for America!

    The answer…is a fully national health insurance system, in which all Americans are covered in the same massive group and for-profit insurers and health care providers can’t pick and choose who to cover and how much to charge them. This system would effectively extend the current Medicare and Medicaid system to the whole population, and, in so doing, make it even more efficient.

    As in some other countries with national health insurance, Americans insured under this system would also be free to buy additional health care services, including additional private insurance. The system, in other words, wouldn’t limit anyone’s ability to pay for “premium” health care services if they chose to.

    But a lot of Americans still hate that idea. They have been told since birth that “national health care” is a disgrace. They have been brainwashed so thoroughly by America’s vastly profitable medical industrial complex that their resistance to reality and change has become a religion.

    Anti-change advocates don’t assess facts. They just claim, absurdly, that America currently has “the finest health care system in the world” and then cite horror stories about sick people dying in streets because they have to wait so long to get the (terrible) health care services available to them under “socialist” health care.

    1. I love hearing about how amazing our canadian health care system is from people who have never experienced it.

      It does a great job as long as you never get sick, or need care in any way.

    2. Ah…Henry’s gone from making poor economic calls to even worse health care calls!

    3. Ah…Henry’s gone from making poor economic calls to even worse health care calls!

  27. So did someone slip Tulpa an enema? ‘Cause he’s shitting all over this thread.

  28. They have been brainwashed so thoroughly by America’s vastly profitable medical industrial complex that their resistance to reality and change has become a religion.

    Or maybe they are smart enough to realize a government system based on a devout belief in the premise of “good enough” will provide consistently mediocre care, and stifle innovation of any sort.

    1. Oh come on, what’s 13,000 negligent deaths between friends?

      We are from the government and we’re here to help!

      1. Those people didn’t like their health plan.

  29. As I recall, Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations did not include a lot of complicated math, and, apart from the “labor theory of value” nonsense, it’s still fairly relevant.

  30. The CD is dead… long live vinyl

  31. Forbes on Bono Embracing Capitalism

  32. Woman hurt typing fake profiles for Ashley Madison website

    1. In her claim, Silva says she didn’t question her assignment, and no one at the company suggested there was anything “unlawful or improper” about the alleged phoney profiles.

      In fact, she was led to believe “that doing so was some sort of a normal business practice in the industry,” it says.

      You don’t say. And here I thought there were hundreds of sexy Cougars in my area code that wanted me.

  33. “Ken Cuccinelli bright spot: Young voters

    “…”The [College Republican National Committee] played an integral role in winning 18-24 year olds for Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli through a calculated messaging strategy aimed at young female voters,” reads a memo the organization is slated to release on Friday, reviewed first by POLITICO.

    “According to exit poll data posted by CNN, Cuccinelli beat Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe 45-39 percent with that group, though the Democrat won voters ages 25-29 by a margin of 50-35 percent.

    “”The CRNC ran a 60-second ad exclusively online throughout the month of October opposing Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe,” the memo reads. “The ad targeted females 18-24 years old, with whom, as polls indicated, Cuccinelli had been underperforming.”

    “The ad in question, called “TerryFish,” drew on the MTV show “Catfish” to raise questions about McAuliffe, depicting a young woman who encounters the Democrat’s promises but finds that they fall flat. It was “the sole anti-McAuliffe effort running online to this demographic,” the memo said.”

    http://www.politico.com//story…..99568.html

    1. “According to exit poll data posted by CNN, Cuccinelli beat Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe 45-39 percent with that group, though the Democrat won voters ages 25-29 by a margin of 50-35 percent.

      Which would imply 15% for Sarvis in both age groups. Young people like the libertarian candidate?

  34. BBC (Nov. 6) reports on the case of the German homeschoolers facing deportation to Germany, where in turn they may face imprisonment (though the story erroneously refers to the U.S. immigration hearing officer as “a state court”).

    And here’s a quote from an American “law expert[]” praising the German law:

    “”Germany is a democratic country and it chooses to make attendance in schools mandatory. It offers many choices of school – Christian, Jewish, Muslim, private, public – every imaginable sort,” says Professor David Abraham an expert on immigration and citizenship law at the University of Miami School of Law.

    “”But its legislature has decided that children need the social context of meeting other children.

    “”Parents have a responsibility to raise their children properly, but that does not mean they have a right to counter democratic legislation. What they can’t call persecution is the obligation to attend school with other children. That’s an important social value that the German legislature has adopted,” he says.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24804804

    1. Everything within the state –
      nothing against the state,
      nothing outside the state

    2. You might think a guy named Abraham would not be so quick deem a policy an “important social value” just because a German legislature adopted it.

    3. “…but that does not mean they have a right to counter democratic legislation.”

      Actually, yes it does. If the legislation interferes with a person’s duties to their children, then yes, they have every right to trump it, whether it is “democratic” or not. “Democracy” is not some sacred ritual that renders a policy choice infallible.

  35. Math is scary – comments

    Yikes, guys. Go back to your liberal arts degrees, I guess.

    1. Acosmist|11.10.13 @ 9:09PM|#
      “Math is scary – comments”

      No scary; just use appropriately.
      There are times when it is better as a communication tool than as a discovery tool.
      It can lead to granular results.

    2. Economics, on the other hand, starts from an axiom that is known and meaningful to us ? human action. Since the action is itself meaningful, all the laws which are deduced step by step from it are also meaningful. This is the answer to those critics (such as Mr. Schuller, American Economics Review [March, 1951], p. 188) who called on Professor Mises to use the methods of mathematical logic instead of verbal logic. For mathematical logic must deal with meaningless symbols; hence its use would strip economics of all its meaning.

      On the other hand, verbal logic permits each law to be meaningful as it is deduced. The laws of economics are already known to be meaningfully true; they do not have to borrow their meaning from “operational” testing. The most that mathematics could possibly do, therefore, is to laboriously translate verbal symbols into meaningless formal symbols and then, at each step, retranslate them into words.

    3. Math is scary – comments

      I can’t read – Acosmist

      Yikes, guys. Go back to your liberal arts degrees, I guess.

      Say what you will about philosophy and English, but the pair of them make a decent foundation for arguing coherently and reading for comprehension. “Mathematical economic models are insufficient” != “math is scary”.

  36. “Coase’s insight was ‘that once property was well-defined and easily tradable, the optimal social outcome would obtain no matter who owned the property. Hence, whenever someone clearly possessed the right to pollute: Voila! Social efficiency! This became famously known as the Coase Theorem.'”

    This is simply incorrect. The Coase Theorem (not named by him) was that if transaction costs are sufficiently low, it does not matter to which party property rights were assigned, just that they be assigned. While this does hold true in many circumstances, the optimal social outcome depends on the transaction costs being low.

    The rest of his excellent paper is about what happens when transaction costs are too high. No, “and then we sprinkle magic regulation dust” is not a feature of the article. The role of law and culture is discussed at length. For Coase this was the more interesting part of the paper.

    For an excellent hour-long talk about Coase’s Greatest Hits, see: http://www.econtalk.org/archiv…..on_co.html

  37. As an engineer, I say this:

    If Tulpa was so smart, he wouldn’t want to spend his life menially crunching numbers. Let servants do all the math.

  38. “…essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful.”

    – George E.P. Box

  39. my co-worker’s half-sister makes $81 hourly on the computer. She has been fired for 5 months but last month her pay was $20214 just working on the computer for a few hours. hop over to this website…..
    http://WWW.JOBS84.COM

  40. ? ? ? ? LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY ? ? ? ? ?
    My Boy friend makes $75/hour on the internet. She has been without a job for 6 months but last month her pay was $16453 just working on the internet for a few hours. Straight from the source———— http://www.Bay95.com

  41. Coase in our January 1997 issue. In the introduction, Hazlett explained part of what made

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