If you are having issues with low blood pressure, this will help raise it.

Peak ProsperityPeak Prosperity wrote the following post Mon, 04 Jun 2018 14:19:07 -0400
Bartlett Naylor: The Banks Are Becoming Untouchable Again
Bartlett Naylor: The Banks Are Becoming Untouchable Again



Click the play button below to listen to Chris' interview with Bartlett Naylor (55m:53s).

Join the conversation »

Image/photo Image/photo Image/photo Image/photo

When the dust settled after the Great Financial Crisis, we learned that the big banks had behaved in overtly criminal ways. Yet none of their executives would be held criminally accountable.

And while legislation was passed in the aftermath to place restrictions on the 'Too Big To Jail/Fail' banks, it was heavily watered down and has been under attack by financial system lobbyists ever since.

To talk with us today about the perpetual legislative warfare pitting citizens on one side and lobbyists (and many lawmakers) on the other, is Bartlett Naylor. Naylor is a veteran of the Wall Street wars. He spent a number of years as an aid to Senator William Proxmire at a time when Proxmire was head of the Senate Banking Committee. Naylor himself served as that committee's Chief of Investigations.

Sadly, Naylor sees the banks winning out here. More and more of the prudent restraints placed on the banking system are being dismantled, as further evidenced by the recent bill President Trump just signed:
When you have millions of customers, the slightest increase in difficulty of leaving could result in thousands of customers deciding it isn't worth the effort to change. For me, I've barely used the card since I refinanced my house and no longer had a mortgage with them, but I've managed to procrastinate for months when it comes to actually getting rid of it. It turns out that, for my Chase card that I also wanted to cancel, I had forgotten that it was cancelled a year ago for inactivity (which means it must have beenseveral years since I used it).
I should have tagged my comment with sarcasm. :-D
I figured it probably was, but thought it was worth pointing out how little friction it takes to start changing behavior.
Free ThoughtsFree Thoughts wrote the following post Fri, 25 May 2018 00:15:00 -0400
Tomorrow 3.0: Uberizing The Economy (with Mike Munger)
Tomorrow 3.0: Uberizing The Economy (with Mike Munger)

Mike Munger joins us to discuss his new book Tomorrow 3.0: Transaction Costs and the Sharing Economy.

We discuss the future of the sharing economy,  the role of the middle man, and the fundamental economic concept of transaction costs.
Mastodon got mentioned in the context of sex workers sites being shut down due to FOSTA-SESTA.

Free ThoughtsFree Thoughts wrote the following post Fri, 04 May 2018 00:15:08 -0400
What’s Facebook Done With My Data? (with Will Duffield)
What’s Facebook Done With My Data? (with Will Duffield)

Will Duffield joins us again to discuss Cambridge Analytica and the future of social media.
EconTalkEconTalk wrote the following post Mon, 23 Apr 2018 07:20:46 -0400
Jonah Goldberg on The Suicide of the West
Jonah Goldberg on The Suicide of the West

(2018-04-23 6:30, Podcast Episode)

Image/photoJonah Goldberg of National Review talks about his latest book, Suicide of the West, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Goldberg argues that both capitalism and democracy are at risk in the current contentious political environment. He argues that we take for granted what he calls "the miracle"--the transformation of the standard of living in the democracies with market economies. Goldberg argues that unless we actively work to preserve our political and economic systems, the forces of populism, nationalism, and tribalism will work steadily to destroy them.

Time: 1:27:24

How do I listen to a podcast?

Size:40.1 MB

Right-click or Option-click, and select "Save Link/Target As MP3.

Read More below the fold at http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2018/04/jonah_goldberg.html (0 COMMENTS)
The Urban Monk Podcast : Your Wired Child with Guest Richard Freed
Technology in all of its forms is becoming more prevalent in our every day lives. From mobile phones to tablets and video games and social media, it's quite pervasive. For developed adults, we've come to adapt, but how does it affect the development of a child? Pedram talks with psychologist Richard Freed about the studied effects of technology on the developing brain. How much is too much? Is there an acceptable amount of screen time at all for younger children? How can a parent best control the amount of time their children spends in front of the television or holding a tablet?
Why Are Cops Unaccountable? (with Jay Schweikert and Clark Neily)

Jay Schweikert and Clark Neily join us for a conversation on law enforcement and accountability. We also discuss qualified immunity and how technology is helping to combat police misconduct.
 law  podcast
I brought this feed channel back while I was at it.

  last edited: Thu, 05 Apr 2018 20:25:27 -0400  
Elizabeth Anderson on Worker Rights and Private Government | EconTalk | Library of Economics and Liberty


Philosopher Elizabeth Anderson of the University of Michigan and author of Private Government talks about her book with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Anderson argues that employers have excessive power over employees that we would never accept from government authority. Topics discussed include the role of competition in potentially mitigating employer control, whether some worker rights should be inviolate, potential measures for empowering employees, and the costs and benefits over time of a relatively unregulated labor market.
The Urban Monk Podcast : What the Heck Should I Eat with Guest Dr. Mark Hyman
Diets are hard. Not even in the weight loss sense, but just in the general idea of the general foods a person should eat to be generally healthy. We're told that fats make us fat, but then someone else comes along to say that fats actually help to lose weight. Salt is bad, but someone else says it's fine. Gluten will mess you up, but someone else says, "Maybe in moderation you'll survive." What is it?? Dr. Mark Hyman joins Pedram Shojai on The Urban Monk to discuss the confusing, confounding, conflicting messages regarding what to eat. Who should we listen to? What do all the various food studies mean? What the heck should we eat?

This is about 30 minutes long. The parts I found the most interesting weren't the things mentioned in the summary, but rather the discussion of the big picture issues, the "inconvenient truths" of our processed food system.
I just got to the podcast linked in the post this weekend and thought it was really good.

Sovereign ManSovereign Man wrote the following post Mon, 19 Feb 2018 10:27:22 -0500
088: The dangerous, false logic of “Common Sense”
088: The dangerous, false logic of “Common Sense”

On the morning of May 18, 1927 in Bath Township, Michigan, a 55-year old municipal worker named Andrew Kehoe used a timed detonator to set off a bomb he had planted at the local school.

Kehoe was Treasurer of the School Board, so he had unfettered access to the school.

According to friends and neighbors, he was having personal issues with his wife (who he had murdered days prior) and extreme financial difficulties. He was also severely disgruntled about having lost a local election the previous autumn.

Whatever his reasons, Kehoe took out his rage on the 38 schoolchildren he killed that day.

It remains the deadliest attack on a school in US history.

Sadly, it wasn’t the first– there were numerous reports of school shootings throughout the 1800s and before.

And as we all know too well, it wouldn’t be the last.

Last week’s shooting in Florida is another tragic stain in the pages of US history. And it’s completely understandable that emotions are running high now.

People are demanding action. They want their government to “do something.”

The problem, of course, is what we’ve been talking about so far this year in our daily conversations: emotional decisions tend to be bad decisions– and that includes public policy.

We keep hearing the phrase “Common Sense Gun Laws,” for example.

And that certainly sounds reasonable. Who could possibly be against common sense?

[As an aside, I do wonder why “common sense” is only reserved for the gun control debate. Why doesn’t anyone demand common sense airport security? Or a common sense federal budget?]

But it’s never quite so simple.

Many of these “common sense” solutions are emotional reactions.

As an example, the Florida shooter in last week’s tragedy is only 19 years old. So now one of the proposals being tossed around is to have a minimum age limit to be able to purchase a firearm.

I suppose if the shooter happened to have been 70 years old, people would be talking about having a maximum age limit instead.

Yet neither of these “common sense solutions” really solves the problem.

A big part of this is because no one really knows what’s causing the problem to begin with.

We know that there are far too many people committing acts of violence in schools and other public places.

And, sure, a lot of the time they use firearms. But we’re also seeing murderous rampages with cement trucks, U-Hauls, and everyday appliances like pressure cookers.

Any of these can be turned into a weapon of mass destruction.

But the debate only focuses on firearms.

One side presupposes that more regulations and fewer guns will make everyone safer.

The other side of the debate, of course, argues that more guns and fewer regulations will make everyone safer.

The reality is that there’s no clear evidence that either side is correct.

Australia is often held up as an example of a nation that passed strict gun laws (including confiscation) in 1996 following several mass shootings.

And yes, gun violence dropped precipitously. Australia now has one of the lowest murder rates in the world.

But contrast that with Serbia, for example, which is the #2 country in the world in terms of guns per capita (the US is #1).

Serbia has a strong gun culture and fairly liberal laws. Yet its gun violence rate is incredibly low, on par with Australia’s.

There are plenty of examples in the world of places that passed strict gun laws, and violence decreased (Colombia).

Others where violence INCREASED after passing strict gun laws (Venezuela, Chicago).

Other examples of places which have LOW levels of gun violence, yet liberal laws (Serbia). And still others with LOW levels of gun violence and fairly strict laws (Chile).

The point is that you can look at the data 10,000 different ways and never really find a clear correlation. So there HAS to be something else going on.

Is it cultural? Perhaps.

Japan, for example, has extremely strict firearms laws. You can’t even own a sword without special permission.

And Japan, of course, has very limited gun violence. But this is not a violent culture to begin with.

You probably recall back in 2011 after the devastating earthquake and tsunami, Japanese people sat quietly outside of their collapsed homes and waited for authorities. No looting. No pillaging.

Contrast that with the city of Philadelphia earlier this month, where people were out rioting, looting, and setting property on fire… simply because their football team won the Super Bowl.

Perhaps there’s something about the US that has people so tightly wound they dive into violence at the first opportunity.

Maybe it’s all the medication people take. Or the crap in their food. Who knows. But it’s worth exploring the actual SOURCE of the problem rather than treating a symptom.

The larger issue, though, is that this “common sense” mantra is tied exclusively to LAWS.

Guess what? There are already laws, rules, regulations, and procedures on the books. They’re not working.

In the November 2017 mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, the shooter was able to purchase weapons because the Air Force erroneously failed to record his military court-martial.

And with the Florida shooting, the FBI had the suspect on a silver platter and did nothing.

It’s clear that the laws on the books aren’t being properly implemented. Yet the solution people want is MORE LAWS.

How about better execution? How about applying that all-important “common sense” to the way laws are carried out?

This is conspicuously missing from the debate.

There’s almost no conversation about what’s actually CAUSING the violence.

Instead, people are focused on a manifestation of that problem (guns) and demanding more laws to control that symptom even though the existing laws are being pitifully executed.

This is a pretty horrendous way to solve a problem.

[We discuss this more in today’s podcast, along with plenty of other extremely uncomfortable realities. Listen in here.]

There is the evolutionary side of things where, if you wouldn't or couldn't defend the tribe against the big bad world, your genes didn't propagate.
arguments on gun violence focus too much on guns and too little on violence

One of the things Simon Black talks about is that guns, trucks, and pressure cookers are just a symptom. Treating symptoms rather than diseases is an ineffective long-term plan.
  last edited: Tue, 27 Mar 2018 09:37:17 -0400  
None of us can solve this alone. But a good place to start is to tell our collective sons that it's OK to cry. It's also OK to have a stiffie. It happens. You just might be asked to take it elsewhere.

Could not agree more ;-)

In a way we are all preaching to the choir, so no need to roast anyone, I hope.

@Alexandre Hannud Abdo thanks for the link, I've put it on my reading list. Our kids are sick with the stomach flu and Mario is not available, so atm it is kind of hard to read ;-) Or write for that matter ;-)

the evolutionary side of things

There is a biological/evolutionary aspect to violence, for sure. In my opinion it tends to get overrated, though. Do you ever watch documentaries, that re-enact historical scenes? The way history is presented to the viewer is often so biased that it hurts. For example, in a documentary on Neanderthals you might see women with kids in the cave and men out hunting. This idea has been proven wrong decades ago, but it is so persistent, that Neanderthals still gets presented this way. (They consumed so much energy, that it would have been practically impossible for half of their population to stay in, while the other half is huntung. Also, what about their kids' Vitamin D???) Or the vikings, where it was found only recently that they had a much more equal task sharing than anyone would have imagined. The list could go on...

In my opinion, the lack of a clear skill set in our society for how we - or how men - deal with emotions in combination with individual challenges (biology/evolution) leads to a taboo, which leads to frustration, which leads to a culture of aggression and violence on one side and a feeling of powerlessness and victim-hood on the other.
The Urban Monk Podcast : Where's My Driverless Car? with Guest Eric Noble
Autonomous cars hold a lot of promise. Imagine if we could reduce or even fully eliminate automobile accidents due to road rage, drunk driving, or distracted drivers. Imagine if rush hour traffic was no more! Imagine the time you could get back to nap, read, or talk more intently with someone on the phone if you didn't have to drive! These are some of the various promises made by the concept of a self-driving car, but how realistic are these promises? On this episode Pedram Shojai welcomes Eric Noble from The Car Lab to discuss the advancements auto-makers have been able to make and how much further we still have to go before we get a fully autonomous car that allows us to take a heavy duty nap on the road. What are the technological limitations? Are we sure we'll be able to overcome these barriers? What sort of time frame can we expect before everyone is able to afford a self-driving car? Are there legal barriers to self-driving cars? How long before we can expect everyone to have a driverless car?
Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay on the Enemies of Modernity | EconTalk | Library of Economics and Liberty

Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay talk with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about their essay on the enemies of modernity. Pluckrose and Lindsay argue that modernity--by which they mean democracy, reason, and individual liberty--is under attack from pre-modern and post-modern ideological enemies. They discuss why modernity is under attack and encourage people on the political left and right to support modernity.

I particularly like the discussion later in the show about the state of political discourse. The guests' essay, which is the focus of the conversation, contains the following graphic, which I also like:

This is the essay discussed, which I am in the midst of reading right now.

A Manifesto Against the Enemies of Modernity - Areo

This document is very long and detailed so a brief bulleted summary is provided below for those who don’t have the hour it takes for a careful read.

  • Modernity, in terms of the views and values that have brought us out of the feudalism of the Medieval period and led us to the relative richness and comfort we enjoy today (and which are rapidly spreading around the world), is under threat from the extremes at both ends of the political spectrum.
  • Modernity is worth fighting for if you enjoy and wish others to enjoy the benefits of a first-world existence in relative safety and with high degrees of individual liberty that can express itself in functional societies.
  • Most people support Modernity and wish its anti-modern enemies would shut up.
  • The enemies of Modernity now form two disagreeing factions — the postmoderns on the left and the premoderns on the right — and largely represent two ideological visions for rejecting Modernity and the good fruits of the Enlightenment, such as science, reason, republican democracy, rule of law, and the nearest thing we can claim to objective moral progress.
  • Left-right partisanship is the tool by which they condemn Modernity and continually radicalize sympathizers to choose between the two warring factions of anti-modernism: postmodernism and premodernism.
  • A “New Center” centrist position is well-intended, represents most people’s politics, and cannot hold. It is naturally unstable and reinforces the very thinking that perpetuates our current state of what we term existential polarization.
  • Those who support Modernity should do so unabashedly and without reference to relatively minor partisan differences across the “liberal/conservative” split. The fight before us now is bigger than that, and the extremes at both ends are dominating the usual political spectrum to everybody’s loss.
  • Modernity can be fought for, and it’s probably what you already want unless you’re on the lunatic fringe of the left or right.
    However, at least from the outlines, these articles seem to ignore that it is not only, or really, a lunatic fringe that is attacking modernity. The powerful are probably the ones most responsible for this attack, for rationality oriented towards freedom would not allow them to concentrate as much power as they have. It is in the elites' interest to undermine modernity. And they usually do this by employing rationality as a smokescreen, diverting it's purpose from individual freedom to their own interests, and by fostering the lunatic fringes to scare everybody else into buying into their rationality even if it is not directed towards freedom at all.
    I don't recall if they came right out and said so, but I suspect they would consider many of those in power to exist on the fringe. They certainly talk about those on one side pointing to the fringe on the other side and trying to say that was representative of the entire other side. So, even if those in power aren't actually on the fringe, they are willing to play that game to help keep themselves in power, which would squarely put them in the anti-modernity camp.
    Matt Stoller on Modern Monopolies | EconTalk | Library of Economics and Liberty

    Matt Stoller of the Open Market Institute talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the growing influence of Google, Facebook, and Amazon on commercial and political life. Stoller argues that these large firms have too much power over our options as consumers and creators as well as having a large impact on our access to information.
    Free Speech Online

    Will Duffield joins us this week to talk about the freedom of speech in the internet era. How has the shift to digital communication changed interpretations of the First Amendment?

    We discuss the implications of lower barriers to entry for ownership of the mechanisms for distribution of speech, draw a distinction between speech gatekeepers and speech enablers, think about whether big web companies are beginning to act like states, and have a conversation about “fake news.”
    Peak ProsperityPeak Prosperity wrote the following post Sun, 24 Dec 2017 13:03:37 -0500
    David Collum: The Vicious Cycle Approaches
    David Collum: The Vicious Cycle Approaches


    Whether or not you've had time yet to plow your way through David Collum's excellent 2017 Year in Review, our annual podcast with Dave always brings additional color to light -- and this year's is no exception.
    The Anti-Male Trend: Dr. Helen Smith on stopping the fashionable male-bashing

    Welcome to HumanLab: The Science Between Us, with Amy Alkon interviewing the luminaries of therapy and behavioral science.

    This is not just a show for and about men but a show for anyone who cares about equal rights and fairness for all.

    Tonight's guest is psychologist Dr. Helen Smith talking about how, in America, it's become permissible -- and even fashionable -- to be anti-male and what men can (and must) do to start changing this.

    What men have been doing is going on strike -- dropping out of college, leaving the workforce, and avoiding marriage and fatherhood in droves.

    There are countless articles sneering at the man who is more man-child than grownup, but Smith, in her book, Men on Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream - and Why It Matters, contends that men aren't dropping out because they're stuck in arrested development; they are responding rationally to the lack of incentive they see in becoming fathers, husbands, and providers.

    On this show, Smith will lay out the problems -- including shocking discrimination against men such as rampant paternity fraud, condoned and even encouraged by the government -- and what she sees as steps toward solutions, for men in general and for the individual man.
    Tim Harford on Fifty Inventions That Shaped the Modern Economy


    Financial Times columnist and author Tim Harford talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about Harford's latest book, Fifty Inventions That Shaped the Modern Economy. Highlights include how elevators are an important form of mass transit, why washing machines didn't save quite as much time as you'd think, and the glorious illuminating aspects of light throughout history.
    An excellent conversation. For me a highlight was talking about how the "healthcare debate" in the US isn't about healthcare, it is about paying for healthcare, but unless we change how we deal with chronic health condition, it is all moot. It won't matter how we pay for it because we, as a nation, can't afford to pay for the exponential rise in cases and costs of chronic health care. In rough numbers, a type-2 diabetic can expect to rack up $1 million in healthcare expenses for diabetes and diabetes complications in their lifetime. There are an estimated 100 million diabetic and pre-diabetic people in the country. This has unsustainable written all over it. And that is just type-2 diabetes.

    Episode 376 – Chris Kresser – Unconventional Medicine
    Episode 376 – Chris Kresser – Unconventional Medicine

    This week we have my good friend Chris Kresser on the show. Chris is a well known leader in the fields of ancestral health, Paleo nutrition, functional and integrative medicine, and one of the smartest guys I know.

    Listen in as we chat about functional medicine, the state of health care, eliminating chronic disease, and Chris’s new book Unconventional Medicine.

    Download Episode Here (MP3)


    Social Media:
    Twitter: @ChrisKresser
    Facebook: Chris Kresser L.Ac

    Check out and pre-order the book Unconventional Medicine here (releases Nov 7th)

    Washington's Five Tricks

    David Schoenbrod shares five specific tricks that politicians from both parties use to avoid public accountability. Is Washington more broken than people think?

    How can we more properly align our elected representatives’ incentives to keep them accountable? Does Congress have the willpower to change the rules of the game?

    Excellent discussion!

    Megan McArdle on Internet Shaming and Online Mobs

    Author and journalist Megan McArdle of Bloomberg View talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about how the internet has allowed a new kind of shaming via social media and how episodes of bad behavior live on because Google's memory is very, very good. McArdle discusses the implications this new reality has on how we behave at work and how people protect and maintain their reputations in a world where nothing is forgotten and seemingly little is forgiven.

    The article (which I haven't read yet) which prompted the above discussion:

    We Live in Fear of the Online Mobs

    Internet shaming spreads everywhere and lives forever. We need a way to fight it.
    Peak ProsperityPeak Prosperity wrote the following post Mon, 09 Oct 2017 17:10:47 -0400
    Connor Stedman: Carbon Farming
    Connor Stedman: Carbon Farming


    Climate change remains a hotly debated topic. But a scientific fact not up for dispute is the pronounced spike in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere over the past two centuries.

    There's a building urgency to find solutions that can manage/reverse that spike -- a process known as carbon sequestration. But how to do that on a planetary scale? It's a massive predicament. And most of the 'solutions' being proposed are technologically unproven, prohibitively costly and/or completely impractical.

    Enter carbon farming. It uses nature-based farming practices to park gigatons of carbon in the soil, rebuild soil health and complexity, and revitalize the nutrient density of the foods that we eat.