Links: 20121113


  • There’s Still a Case for Gold – Ron Paul wrote an excellent article about his book The Case for Gold (coauthored with Lewis Lehrman). Hopefully, Paul will become a more active article writer upon his retirement from Congress. “Thirty years after its first publication in 1982, The Case for Gold remains remarkably timely. The Case for Gold is the minority report of the U.S. Gold Commission and lays out a thorough and comprehensive defense of sound money. Today, The Case for Gold remains a timeless piece of scholarship, offering successive generations both a prescient warning and a path to sound currency and a stable U.S. dollar.”
  • The Power of Indoctrination – “Public schooling, or more accurately, government schooling, is where Americans are indoctrinated as children into believing that the welfare-warfare state way of life constitutes freedom. From the first grade on up, the notion is drilled into their heads that they live in a free country and should be grateful for that. By the time that a person graduates high school, the indoctrination is almost always complete: Most high-school graduates have no doubts that Americans are free. And they carry that mindset all the way into adulthood and possibly even to the day they die.”
  • The Economic Consequences of the Warfare State (part 1, part 2) – “… another root cause of federal spending involves the national-security state — the military establishment, the military-industrial-complex, the CIA, the NSA, and all of the other aspects of what libertarians refer to as the warfare state. Included here, of course, are the expenses associated with the invasions and long-term occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, the hundreds of overseas military bases, the thousands of domestic bases, drone operations, military involvement in the drug war, the operation of overseas prisons, and so forth.”
  • Contra Richard Koo and the Keynesians: It is not about ‘aggregate demand’ but about real prices – Another gem from Detlev Schlichter. His Austrian School analysis of money flows in the economy is outstanding.
  • Will the Police Protect You? – Always think twice before calling the police.
  • “Dr. Seuss” on the moral implications of the welfare state.

    Video from the American Enterprise Institute. H/t Dan Mitchell.
  • Metabolic constraint imposes tradeoff between body size and number of brain neurons in human evolution – “Recently, we showed that the energetic cost of the brain is a linear function of its numbers of neurons. Here we show that metabolic limitations that result from the number of hours available for feeding and the low caloric yield of raw foods impose a tradeoff between body size and number of brain neurons, which explains the small brain size of great apes compared with their large body size. This limitation was probably overcome in Homo erectus with the shift to a cooked diet. Absent the requirement to spend most available hours of the day feeding, the combination of newly freed time and a large number of brain neurons affordable on a cooked diet may thus have been a major positive driving force to the rapid increased in brain size in human evolution.” H/T Mark Sisson
  • Nutonian, a free symbolic regression machine learning program, has been updated.
  • Wakari – Python on the cloud. “We believe that programmers, scientists, and analysts should spend their time writing code, not working to setup a system.” While I am personally not a fan of python, this appears to be an interesting idea as it alleviates the headache of dealing with various versions of python and packages.
  • Robots under the skin– ‘“The robot enters the patient’s body via the navel. We firstly insert a small capsule. Then the two robotic arms are inserted through this capsule one by one. Once inside, the robot is configured to be remotely controlled by the surgeon.”The robot sends 3D pictures to help the surgeon execute precise, non-invasive surgery on delicate parts of the human body without any visible scar.’ H/T Fast Company.
  • Brain Architecture Project – “The Brain Architecture Project is a collaborative effort aimed at creating an integrated resource containing knowledge about nervous system architecture in multiple species, with a focus on mouse and human.”
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