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Jay Gischer
Lives in Mountain View, CA
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Jay Gischer

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The thrust of this piece is that people, particularly people on the left, hate earnestness, and want more scorn, and DeBlasio isn't giving it to them.  My empathy is with Mr. DeBlasio, because I definitely lean to the earnest side.

Nevertheless, there's this, which I can't really parse:

Ms. Siegal, prompted by the mayor’s absence from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Ball, told The Wall Street Journal that Mr. de Blasio “had disdain for the striving, successful New Yorkers,” and that “it is a major shortcoming not to mingle with all classes,” as if she were a regular at game night at the Walt Whitman Houses.

That has all the earmarks of a good burn, only I don't know what it is.  The only thing I could find in reference to "Walt Whitman house" was a house in Camden.  Singular.  With no mention of game night.  So what is she talking about?
The New York City mayor’s decline in public approval may stem from his demeanor more than his policies.
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This is the mentality that loves bullies like Giuliani and Christie. 
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Jay Gischer

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This is pretty amazing. Be sure to read the reader letter.  The intransigence of prosecutors backfired in the face of someone willing to reach out and form alliances.
Before sharing a few thoughts of my own, let me just tell you there's a fascinating TPM Reader email below on what led to the news today out of Nebraska. It's really must read. I mentioned earlier this afternoon that Nebraska's unicameral legislature today passed a bill abolishing the state's death penalty. Technically, it's not law yet. The governor says he'll veto it. But the vote margin is more than enough to sustain a veto. So it seems next ...
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Jay Gischer

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For whatever reason, I've had a number of discussions of non-violence lately, with the usual objections, which can be summarized as:  But my violence is justified.

For instance, I just saw a piece that quoted Malcolm X as saying to James Baldwin:  _“Never do you find white people encouraging other whites to be nonviolent. Whites idolize fighters. …At the same time that they admire these fighters, they encourage the so called ‘Negro’ in America to get his desires fulfilled with a sit in stroke, or a passive approach, or a love your enemy approach or pray for those who despitefully use you. This is insane.”_

I suppose Malcolm might have been using "never" in an emphatic way, but while what he says is true in a statistical and normative sense, it is not, when stated absolutely, the case.  Quakers, Mennonites and Amish all have developed, over the last 400 years, a practical, disciplined method of non-violence.  I come from the Mennonite tradition, but I think the Quakers have developed it better.  I want to represent for these traditions, I think they are important and valuable.    

Ethnically speaking these are white people, and I offer them as a counter to Malcom's assertion. I do not hold that "white people invented non-violence".  Jesus wasn't a white person.  There is a strong tradition of non-violence among Buddhists, as well, though I'm less familiar with them.  I'd expect there to be seeds of non-violent thought in Islam as well, though like Buddhism, I'm less familiar with it.  I am sure there are others, as well.  These ideas have been around a long time.

Non-violence is not at all the same as passive acceptance of a stronger force.  When confronted with violence, the normal human impulse to reciprocity turns to retaliation.  This creates a cycle of violence, particularly in a political sphere, where the illusion of shared identity creates a pretext for retaliatory violence acted out on bodies that did not perpetrate the original violence.

That is to say, "They <someone with identity X> did <unspeakable atrocity> to us <someone with my identity>, therefore we will do <even more horrible things> to them <some other people with identity X>."

We normatively expect people to be able to defend themselves, and I do not object to this as a civil procedure.  But I recognize that the only way for this cycle of violence to stop is, as it is put here in the link, for someone to suffer violence without inflicting it on others.  

(Gandhi observed that if someone was incapable of inflicting violence on others, then it was not possible for them to practice non-violence.  I think I agree.)

The world is a less violent place now than it was 400 years ago, when this stuff was just getting started.  It's less violent than it was even 52 years ago, when Malcolm debated Baldwin.   How much of that reduction can be attributed to people who were willing to suffer violence and yet not inflict it on others?

I do not say these things to judge people.  They are acting normatively.  It is normal for humans to defend themselves and to act retributively.  The path of non-violence takes discipline and training and support.  It is ridiculous to expect spontaneous outbursts of non-violent protest.  It is a hard road, and an unintuitive one.  Yet it is well worth it.
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+Jay Gischer, luck. And they were fine here largely because the US is geographically huge. There's space for lots of people. Not literally everybody, but being able to not have neighbors has implications for avoiding fights with them. ;)
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Some interesting data.  Though in what seems to me to be typical for New Yorkers, in the subhead "Small Towns" they talk about states.  Which aren't towns, as far as I know.
People are less likely to marry if they grow up in certain places, especially liberal ones.
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Jay Gischer

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Ok, here Adam Posen is on record talking about the proposals concerning patents and IP in TPP.  And it's pretty much what Doctors Without Borders said it was in a completely unsourced way a couple of days ago.  

I don't like them.  Neither does Posen.  He's supporting a possible reduction in the term of patent exclusivity from 12 to 7 years.  I endorse that as well.  Is this a deal breaker?  I don't know.  What is the countervailing value of the TPP as a whole?

The way TPP will turn countries towards the US, in Posen's telling, isn't through the governments, but through the "business and political integration through trade," the "winning hearts and minds" that comes through foreign investment and more routine business dealings.

"We see what having the European Union pull along first Spain and Portugal and then Eastern Europe has meant to those countries," he continues. "We have seen what the US orientation and anchor has meant to Mexico, Columbia, and Chile. We saw what happened for Japan then Korea after the war. For Peru, Vietnam, and perhaps Malaysia (admittedly a harder case) — and as importantly, likely Indonesia and the Philippines in the not-too-distant future — TPP represents the positive inducement to that path."

I endorse this.  Nothing breaks down cultural barriers more than working on a project together, whether it's for profit or not.
Adam Posen was with liberals on monetary policy, but he thinks they’re wrong about TPP.
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Makes sense to me.
One of the things that I've been amazed by is the absolute tone-deafness of the thing's sponsors.
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Jay Gischer

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Ummm, didn't you guys see the movie about how this wasn't a good idea?
A chicken embryo with a dinosaur-like snout instead of a beak has been developed by scientists
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I guess they keep making new ones since they don't think mad scientists are getting the point.
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Jay Gischer

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This sort of thing (about Hillary) used to make me mad, now it's just funny.  I'm more unhappy about the misrepresentation of Bruce Jenner as gay.  No, she's a woman, and a man having sex with a woman isn't something we'd normally called gay.  Unless we lived in Paris in the 1920's.  Not that it matters anyway.

Anyway, the "trans people are liars" thing is pretty damn tired.
TPM Reader EA prepares to be swept away on the anti-Clinton clown car ... You mentioned recently that we are headed down the Clinton rabbit hole, where everything is a scandal, no one has an ounce of decency or honesty, and we can soon expect to witness Hillary in her true demonic form, with bloody fangs and a glint of world domination fever in her eyes.
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Jay Gischer

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I think there are QA process improvements to be gained from this story:

But the system appears to be misfiring frequently, and often in offensive ways. A portrait taken by Corey Deshon of a black man named William has been auto- tagged with “blackandwhite” and “monochrome” – but also with the words “animal” and “ape”.

The system itself doesn’t appear to applying race as a factor, since at least one other photo, of a white woman, was also given the “animal” and “ape” tags.
Auto-tagging system slaps ‘animal’ and ‘ape’ labels on images of black people, and tags concentration camps with ‘jungle gym’ and ‘sport’
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The problem is not with systems, the problem is with the beholders who think 'animal' or 'ape' are inapplicable in context of hairless ape kind of animals.
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Jay Gischer

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A really great piece, and an unusually high caliber of comments as well.
While there are certainly issues with the Black Widow story in the new Avengers film, we don't just need to get to exactly the right one female Avenger. We need more than one female Avenger.
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That really is a great piece. Thank you for sharing it! 
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Jay Gischer

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So if one of Knightscope's Daleks, I mean autonomous security robots,  tries to cross the road in front of one of these new robot cars, what will happen?

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/11/coming-soon-slow-heavy-shrieking-autonomous-robot-rent-a-cops/
If you're late to work and find Google's new self-driving car in your path, take a deep breath before you flip the bird. Many people will love spotting the cherubic two-seaters when they begin roving through Mountain View neighborhoods this summer. They portend a bright future full of helpful ...
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Jay Gischer

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If this doesn't cheer you up, I got nothing.
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I don't read or quote Matthew Yglesias much, since he mostly thinks exactly the way I do, and says what I would say.   In this case, he says it very well.
On May 4, Brookings did a symposium on the 40th anniversary <http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/events/2015/05/04-okun-tradeoff/20150504_okun_equality_efficiency_transcript.pdf> of Arthur Okun's famous ...
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It seems sort of stupid to say that retirement amounts to "paying people not to work".  As people get old their productivity declines sharply.  The people in information work who keep their mental acuity often choose to keep working, because it's more interesting than retirement.  The logical extension of payments to old people who don't work is payments to the incompetent and ignorant, whose work isn't of much value.  These are the people who we lose the least from if they stop working.  But Yglesias seems never to have heard the term "moral hazard".  We can base eligibility for retirement benefits on age, which creates no moral hazard.  But if we pay people not to work because they are incompetent and unproductive, what kind of incentives does that create?  The question may not be unanswerable, but the fact that he doesn't even consider it reflects badly on him.
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I'm a software developer by day, 3000-year-old redheaded elf by night.  Born in Blaine, I surprised many in Lynden by my success.  You can tell I live in Silicon Valley, because I know what "Sunnytoga-DeAnzavale Road" refers to.
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