Monday Message Board (on Tuesday)

Another Monday Message Board, running a bit late. Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please. If you would like to receive my (hopefully) regular email news, please sign up using the following link You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin, at my Facebook public page   and at my Economics in Two Lessons page

6 thoughts on “Monday Message Board (on Tuesday)

  1. Sounds more like a one armed bandit. I am sure I also exhibit “reward prediction error”.

    “If you put enough money into a vending machine to buy one candy bar and the machine accidentally gives you two, the unexpected reward triggers a burst of dopamine in your brain. This is a classic example of learning through reinforcement; you’ll probably go back to that vending machine, hoping to repeat the windfall. Dopamine serves as a teaching signal, tracking the difference between a predicted and an actual reward — a discrepancy known in the field as reward prediction error — reinforcing behaviors thought to yield a future reward.” …”Much of the new information on dopamine relies on researchers’ relatively newfound ability to study different subpopulations of dopamine neurons independently. Their work has revealed that different cells can play different roles.”

  2. Re the medium is not the message, here is the manual on how to make the megaphone user trigger their “reward prediction error” as above. A 12 yr old with a little practice would be able to triggwr a share with fake real or fuzzy news.

    “Graph Searching

    By formulating a special web address, we can use Facebook’s older “Graph” search and, with patience and imagination, we can use this to perform amazing searches.”
    Facebook Graph Search Operators

    Astounding detail and precision to target… us. Just a tool. For good or ill.

  3. An inspiring article by Jeff Sparrow on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a self described democratic socialist who made it into the US House of Reps at the last election. Hopefully Alexandria will be the first of many young Democrats to sweep aside the relatively conservative Democratic establishment and move the party a good three or four paces further to the Left. The clip in Sparrow’s article is also worth watching.

  4. Melbourne University has decided that Melbourne University Press should only publish academic books, which means no more books like Bob Carr’s and Mark Latham’s autobigraphies. Most of the board (including Carr himself) and the CEO have resigned in protest. A Victorian government minister has weighed in on the side of the old board and ex-CEO.

    Melbourne University is entirely within its rights to make MUP stick to its purpose, which is academic publishing. Even with its non-academic publishing (reportedly described as airport trash by the Chancellor) it loses millions of dollars per year, money that Melbourne University could be putting into students and academic programs.

  5. Bill Shorten, in an act of chutzpah, has started channelling Margaret Thatcher. He’s said the Labor Party “is not for turning” when it comes to its franking credits not-any-more cash refund policy. Thatcher, of course, said “the lady’s not for turning”, in a speech to the Conservative Party conference in 1980, meaning anyone who thought she would change her policies could forget it. She meant what she said.

    Of course the political-historical illiterates in the media who have reported Shorten’s statement have not picked up on the Thatcher reference. This include Katherine Murphy, political editor of the Guardian, from whom one might have expected better.

  6. Behooved, Bill & billionaires, and boiled, Blair & blood stained! Big. Buying “Winners Take All”

    Anand Giridharadas. ‘We’re all passengers in a billionaire hijacking’ says the critic who has the world’s richest people buzzing
    “…but I think again, what you need in the moment that we happen to be in, it behooves us just as much if not more on making it harder to do something bad. It seems to me that making 5,000 or 10,000, or even 20,000 companies do good, better, or certify themselves as doing better, pales in comparison to the effect that you’d have making it illegal to ruin the climate, making it illegal to employ people in ways that drive them into hunger when they work 40-hour weeks.”

    Cory doctrow: “Anand Giridharadas is the Aspen Institute Fellow and former McKinsey consultant whose book Winners Take All is a must-read indictment of the way that charitable activities are used to launder the reputations of billionaires who have looted and boiled our planet, amassing titanic fortunes while starving the public coffers, and still retaining sterling reputations and massive influence thanks to the trickle of funds they release through “philanthropy.”
    In a new Business Insider interview, Giridharadas reflects on Davos (see his remarks in advance of the event) where Bill Gates called him a communist and Tony Blair dismissed his critiques with a wave of his blood-stained hands.

    Anand Giridharadas. “Did @BillGates call me a Communist at #Davos? He was asked about my critique of plutocrats.  
    [Bill Gates]
    “If people think Communism works better or something, I don’t know…The people who suggest there’s an alternate system, I’ll just respectfully disagree.”

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