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*Between Quran & Kafka: West-Eastern Affinities*

That is another truly splendid book by Navid Kermani.  Imagine deep and thoughtful essays on Goethe and Islam, Kleist and love, Shiite passion plays, Wagner and empathy, and why he doesn’t so much sympathize with King Lear, all from a George Steiner brand of polymath.  As I’ve mentioned before,... more

Marginal Revolution University 12/13/2017 - 7:36am
The culture that is San Francisco

Animal shelter faces backlash after using robot to scare off homeless people. Via ChiefRobot and Will Knight. The post The culture that is San Francisco appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

Marginal Revolution University 12/13/2017 - 7:13am
Escaping Modernity

(Don Boudreaux)

TweetWill Smith (not the actor, but a regular reader of Cafe Hayek and of materials from the Foundation for Economic Education) wrote to me last evening to request that I post, at Cafe Hayek, in full this August 2002 column of mine from The Freeman.  In this column I... more

Cafe Hayek 12/13/2017 - 6:21am
Facts about uh and um

…if a speaker marks a delay with “um,” that delay will be longer than if it had been marked by “uh.”  If “uh” is used, the delay that follows before resumption of fluent speech is roughly a quarter of a second; if “um” is used, the anticipated delay approaches three-quarters of a second. In one... more

Marginal Revolution University 12/13/2017 - 12:23am
Is Free Trade a Problem If Some People Use Their Greater Freedom to Eat More Than Intellectuals Think Wise?

(Don Boudreaux)

TweetHere’s a letter to the New York Times: What’s the point of today’s report “A Nasty, Nafta-Related Surprise: Mexico’s Soaring Obesity”?  It seems to be that freer trade, because it expands the number of options open to ordinary people, is suspect if some of those... more

Cafe Hayek 12/12/2017 - 9:50am
Switzerland is Prepared for Civilizational Collapse

More than any other country, Switzerland’s ethos is centered around preparing for civilizational collapse. All around Switzerland, for example, one can find thousands of water fountains fed by natural springs. Zurich is famous for its 1200 fountains, some of them quite beautiful and ornate, but... more

Marginal Revolution University 12/12/2017 - 5:25am
Tuesday assorted links

1. The Western elite from a Chinese perspective. 2. Podcast with NPR Planet Money. 3. Bershidsky on Bitcoin futures. 4. “The timing of the agreement also coincides with speculation that India, Japan, the US and Australia will soon formally reconvene the dormant Quadrilateral grouping first... more

Marginal Revolution University 12/12/2017 - 12:59pm
The social origins of inventors

That is a new paper by Aghion, Akcigit, Hyytinen, and Toivanen, here is one brief excerpt: In particular we see that IQ is by far the main characteristic for the probability of becoming an inventor in terms of the share of variation it explains, followed by parental education.  These two groups... more

Marginal Revolution University 12/12/2017 - 10:47am
Just remember the password people!

I have some tricks for doing this, which I have scrawled in the inner part of the margin of the manuscript.  Here is Matt Levine on Bitcoin: I half-joked yesterday that “perhaps the cost of bitcoin storage — keeping your private key in a vault, worrying about hackers, etc. — is so high that ... more

Marginal Revolution University 12/12/2017 - 10:43pm
A Series of Questions for Protectionists

(Don Boudreaux)

TweetBob has for years chosen to buy beer from Augie.  One day, Bob chooses to give up drinking alcoholic beverages.  As a result, Bob stops buying beer from Augie.  Augie’s reduced sales cause him to lay some workers off.  Many of these workers have worked for decades in... more

Cafe Hayek 12/11/2017 - 9:58am