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Messages - ergophobe

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Economics & Investing / Re: Schwab starts talking about recession
« on: December 11, 2018, 06:43:51 PM »
The New York TimesBy ROBERT J. SHILLER
The Housing Boom Is Already Gigantic. How Long Can It Last?
The economist Robert Shiller says the rise in housing prices is the third biggest since 1913. The biggest boom ended disastrously in 2006.
It’s the Worst Time to Make Money in Markets Since 1972
Market statisticians are falling over each other in 2018 to describe the pain being felt across asset classes. One venerable shop frames it this way: Things haven’t been

In any event, it must be noted that illegal immigrants aren’t adding anything unique to the labor market—machines or teenagers could replace them, were wages high enough.

A few years ago, one of the farm labor groups put out ads trying to get anglos to work as pickers and did not a get a single person who made it past the first day. The machines that can pick crops aren't on the market *yet* so we need either legal or illegal immigrants to pick the crops. If they aren't legal, they'll be illegal.

You never hear about this, but the cost of living is increased due to illegal immigration.

The article author does not mention that food is artificially cheap throughout the US because it is picked by illegal workers. You never hear about that either.

Nobody wants to admit that without illegal workers, California ag would collapse, because there are not enough legals to keep California ag on its feet, with the result that the big CA farmers are buying land in Mexico and growing their food there. As one of them, who has been expanding operations into Mexico, said on the radio: "your crops are going to be picked by Mexicans. You just have to decide whether you want that Mexican working on an American farm or a Mexican farm." He said he would rather farm in the US, but he does not have enough labor to pick his crops.

Don't get me wrong - I would like to see illegal immigration stopped, but if California ag is going to have the workers it needs, we need a much more rational and open legal immigration policy.

Similar to the problem of illegal pot which could be fixed by allowing legal pot. I say *could* because in California they overtaxed the legal pot to the point that the black market in illegal pot is still thriving last I knew. But in theory, legal pot could and should undercut the illegal market and all the "externalities" that are a consequence of the criminality of pot, rather than of pot itself, would be diminished.

One of the things nobody mentions in the conversation about crime and immigration is that the illegal pot growing on public lands in the US is largely staffed by illegal immigrants. Get rid of the illegal pot growing and you get rid of a substantial amount of illegal immigrant crime (that's a guess - I don't have data for that, but I know that illegals are often staffing the pot farms on public lands).

That said...
Simply put, the statistics show that illegal immigrants dramatically increase crime rates.

He's citing Breitbart to support that. I just can't treat an article seriously that cites Breitbart as a factual source. And by the way, the NYT is not a "source" for this either, but they cite sources when they make assertions. A source is the original research paper done by qualified researchers for a peer-reviewed publication. Journalists worthy of the name go to the original research as in the case of this article for the ... ahem... left wing Cato Institute:

The vast majority of research finds that immigrants do not increase local crime rates and that they are less likely to cause crime and less likely to be incarcerated than their native-born peers.

Or another Cato article
The 25,064 homicide arrests he referred to occurred from August 1955 through April 2010 – a 55-year period.  During that time, there were about 934,000 homicides in the United States. As a side note, I had to estimate the number of homicides for 1955-1959 by working backward.  Assuming that those 25,064 arrested aliens actually were convicted of 25,064 homicides, then criminal aliens would have been responsible for 2.7 percent of all murders during that time period. During the same time, the average non-citizen resident population of the United States was about 4.6 percent per year. According to that simple back of the envelope calculation, non-citizen residents were underrepresented among murderers.

Another leftwing media outlet, the National Review argues that illegals commit homicide at higher rates than others, but nowhere near 38%
The total population of California was approximately 37 million, and the illegal alien population was approximately 2.5 million. Applying the same analysis as above, this yields an estimated rate of 97.2 illegal aliens imprisoned for homicide and related offenses per 100,000 illegal aliens, and 74.1 citizens and legal residents imprisoned for homicide and related offenses per 100,000 citizens and legal residents.

That would yield roughly (2.5/37)*(97/74) = 8.9% of murders committed by illegals. I'm not saying that's a good number - that's a tragedy. But that's the *worst* number I could find from anything I would consider remotely a reputable source.

If you go to the center left media, you find even less support for the 38% assertion.

And center center, which does find one study that supports the assertion that illegals commit more crime than legals

And, not sure where Oxford stands politically, but in general they cite research that says immigrants commit less crime than native-borns
Martinez, Stowell, and Lee (2010) analyzed the relationship between homicide and immigration in San Diego during periods of major increases in the foreign-born population (1980–2000). They wanted to test the “immigrant paradox.” The paradox is that despite social disorganization theory’s prediction that people living in socially disorganized neighborhoods will have higher crime rates, communities with large immigrant populations have lower levels of crime.

So I question that article. I didn't run down all of his "facts" but just happened to hover on that one link and see that he was not linking to research, but to Breitbart articles. At that point, I didn't bother to check the rest of his "sources."

Now, as it turns out, agriculture is actually a small part of the California GDP, so perhaps you could argue that California should close the borders and just have our food grown in Mexico and import it, but there are long-term security implications to a country that cant' grow its own food.

Economics & Investing / Re: Schwab starts talking about recession
« on: December 07, 2018, 07:44:16 PM »
Here we go. This is what I'm looking for

In some cases, the US yield curve inverted but wasn't followed by a recession. In the late 1980s, for example, the yield curve inverted and then steepened again, before inverting again later on before recession. The curve also inverted very briefly in the late 1990s, too, and again in 2005-2006.

Despite the titles, the articles go on to say they think you can still use the yield curve, but you have to be careful because quantitative easing has distorted this indicator.

Economics & Investing / Re: Schwab starts talking about recession
« on: December 07, 2018, 07:43:09 PM »
>>yield curve

The problem I have with all these articles is that they do not mention how often the yield curve inverts and there is no recession (which I know has happened, but I don't know how often).

The inverted yield curve precedes recession by up to 24 months. You know what else precedes recession by up to 24 months? Congressional elections. Every recession in US history has occurred within 24 months of a congressional election. We just had one last month. Should I be worried?

Stats like this just drive me insane. Or maybe I should say journalists who don't understand squat about stats drive me insane. In itself, the fact that every recession has been preceded by an inverted yield curve is meaningless.

Other things that precede recessions by between 24 hours and 24 months
 - sunrise
 - sunset
 - summer
 - winter
 - the Olympics (sometimes it's the summer Olympics and sometimes it's the winter Olympics that precede recession by 24 months or less; once it was both)

Hardware & Technology / Re: Don't Fear the Robot Yet
« on: December 07, 2018, 07:31:59 PM »
Can I point out that this is like the Tesla accident that got everyone worried about how dangerous self-driving cars are?

Some years ago, someone (I think it was a volunteer, but possibly a new ranger) tried to pepper spray a bear in the campground in Yosemite. Unfortunately, the bear was still something like 30 feet away and upwind. So the bear was fine and unphased, but a dozen people were sent to the clinic with respiratory problems.

Since then it is illegal to carry bear spray in Yosemite, even for rangers. Maybe especially so. I see people with it all the time, even though nobody has been killed by a bear in the history of the park. No surprise, of course, that 100% of the people I see breaking this law are male.

So far, I have yet to spot any robots breaking this law.

I think it will take some time for all the effusive articles about France to start pouring out, now that it's number 1. At least we'll have to wait for the Gilets Jaunes to clear the streets.

But if we look at the old first prize winner, some of what they get in addition to their blue ribbon are charted here

There is some nuance that could be added though

Water Cooler / Re: Mailbird is okay
« on: December 07, 2018, 07:08:32 PM »
Are you open to webmail?

I know at least one person who switched to Fastmail and says it's worth the monthly fee.

I mostly use Google Apps because I find it so much nicer than desktop apps and I like Google to have intimate knowledge of my most private affairs.

Water Cooler / Re: Whats Your home assistant called?
« on: December 06, 2018, 09:46:35 PM »
Sounds about right

ECA largely blamed falling enrollment on an upswing in the economy, which left fewer adults heading to school for job skills, and on increased federal regulation of the for-profit college industry.

They're not reading The Core hhh

Generally speaking, the proper reaction is probably "good riddance" though tough for the 15,000 students currently enrolled... though a large number were never getting a job in their field. The state of legitimate higher ed is bad enough, without looking at for-profits degree mills.

This was news to me though
ACICS was shut down by the Obama administration over allegations of lax oversight, but was later reinstated on Nov. 21 by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who found it was "substantially in compliance" with federal standards.

Water Cooler / Re: Whats Your home assistant called?
« on: December 06, 2018, 06:32:07 PM »
Mine will be called Nurse Ratched

Water Cooler / Org Charts for major tech companies
« on: December 05, 2018, 04:07:06 AM »
I may have gotten this off The Core for all I remember, but I just found it again

I love the one for Oracle. Not the only company organized that way.

Hardware & Technology / Re: Hubitat
« on: December 05, 2018, 02:11:32 AM »
Only because the original electrician did not connect the ground to the original switch (the ground was in the box, but not connected... why???)

But no. You *must* have the
- common/power lead
- two travelers
- neutral
- ground (ideally)

So if you have five wires, you're good.

Strangely, it all worked fine manually after I had the first switch installed, but when I went through setup, it wanted both switches installed, so I did that because it apparently needs two. It seems like it would work with one smart and one classic, but they say no. It was like $26 for the set, so I decided to be a good boy and play along instead of experimenting.

My friend was over and installed with me and I said "Holy sh##, welcome to the 21st century!" I thought it was close to magic.

He said "Well, I would expect it to respond to voice commands in the 21st century."

I said, "Well, it's Alexa compatible, so, actually, it does respond to voice commands."

At that point he was suitably impressed.

Traffic / Re: DDG: Google provides search bubble even in incognito mode
« on: December 05, 2018, 02:00:18 AM »
They always have your IP and other data that you have to send. I suspect that like the SERPs in general, personalization has a lot of signals and you can't escape all of them.

I would be interested in their methodology, which isn't spelled out. Specifically, I would be curious about is whether I get results that seem personalized to me when I search through anonymous proxy from different geos and compared that to your results done for the same searches through the same proxies from the same geos.

That would conclusive. They may have done that, but the article doesn't say.

Of course, that is just my tech nerd amateur detective speaking. It's ultimately irrelevant if it's *possible* to avoid the filter bubble only by taking steps that the average searcher wouldn't have a clue how to take.

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