I’ll go back to posting proper material soon enough, but in the interim, here’s another open thread.
* Atlantic: Declining marginal returns to science? In past few decades importance of new discoveries fell even as research budgets soared. One more of many datapoints. I explained why we can expect to see this here.
* Campus Reform: American university to mandate all freshmen and sophomores take “diversity and include” classes. It is funny to note that three were similar requirements to graduate from Soviet universities (“Scientific Marxism” and “History of the CPSU”). You needed to do well in those two classes to get a prestigious “Red” certificate, as opposed to a “Blue” one. However, amongst serious people – e.g., other scientists – possession of a Red certificate conferred no benefits.
* Chipotle submits to online pressure and fires manager who refused to serve African-Americans with a Twitter record of dine and dashing. Chipotle’s is probably the most SWPL fast food chain in the US – i.e. “muh BML” millennial cucks are their core clientele, so I don’t see them hiring back the Hitlerite Hispanic manager who denied dine and dashing Somali thugs their rightful food. But in compensation, she has a good case for unfair dismissal.
* ZeroHedge: Nice survey of cooperation between Russia and China
* Bloomberg: E-commerce in Russia set to nearly treble in next five years and consolidate a fragmented market. One of the biggest inconveniences of online shopping in Russia – hard to find reviews of all but the most popular products, because its sales are evenly spread over a couple dozen shops. There is plenty of room for expansion – the current size of the Russian e-commerce market is around $30 billion, which is 10x less than the US and 20x less than China (!!). That should promote consolidation.
* Rootless Cosmopolitans. TASS: Russian millionaires keep 70% of savings in foreign banks
* vecs: Good Twitter thread on economic progress in the late Russian Empire [in Russian]
* Kyiv Post: Ukrainians say bribe problem worse now than in 2015
* BBC: Ukraine activist Kateryna Handzyuk dies after acid attack. Obviously, this journalist murder got far less attention than a Russian one would have. And the fact that nationalist ATO veterans were responsible was hushed over in the Western press. Indeed, some hinted that Putler was to blame.
* NSFW: Alleged photos of Khashoggi’s murder leaked by Turkey. Saudi Arabia to seek death penalty against 5 members of 15 man Khashoggi assassination squad. If the latter is for real – MbS is really stupid.
* Barron’s: Italy is no Greece – its faceoff with EU over budget deficit could precipitate the death of the Euro (h/t reiner Tor)
* Leonid Bershidsky: Europe’s Losing Credibility on Iran Sanctions. Obviously it is rather difficult to sidestep Iran sanctions if you are a set of spineless vassal states whose central bankers are afraid of getting jailed the next time they travel to the US.
* Greg Hood: The Tragedy of Trump
* Irish Examiner: Poland’s booming economy means workers stay at home
* NBF: Venezuela is months from the end game of total chaos or a coup. 840,000% annual inflation rate as of this October!
Science & Culture
* Gwern: Embryo selection for intelligence. Major update to a 2016 text.
* Robin Hanson: World government puts all the eggs in one basket
* Gwern: What Is The Morning Writing Effect?
* The future that neoliberals want: All relationships in Walking Dead are now interracial or LGBT
* VoE: Far-left Greek PM to attempt to remove Christianity as State religion. Will take 10,000 Orthodox Church employees off public payroll. One supposes that appeasing refugees is more important.