URLs du Jour


  • If you found yourself cowering in a corner as a result of recent headlines about the upswing in violent crime reported recently by the FBI, read Steve Leavitt at Freakonomics for perspective.
    So the actual increase in violent crime from 2004 to 2005: 2.5%. Given that violent crime has fallen 40-50% since its peak, this hardly seems like reason to panic. And I find it very interesting that none of the headlines I could find made any mention of the fact that property crime fell 1.6 percent. I guess after so many years of falling crime, more falling crime just isn't newsworthy.
    Steve also points out, amusingly, that the media are quoting an "expert" criminologist for their stories who was massively wrongheaded in his commentary on the crime issue back in the nineties. I guess you don't get dropped from reporters' rolodexes that easily.

  • Also catching my eye was this HuffPo article from Ms. Anya Kamenetz. It's about the (good) financial advice to college graduates given here. At the end of her quibbling post, Ms. Anya protests about student loans:
    It would be great if all graduates could follow some neat formula to solve this debt problem. But people are really in a bind. We need a better way of thinking about it than the tired language of "personal responsibility."
    "Tired language"? What the hell does she mean? Is there a new and sparkly way to say "you should honor your freely-incurred financial obligations"? I recall Will Wilkinson's reaction to one of her previous efforts:
    Anya Kamenetz's mind is an ideological funhouse mirror designed to baffle and enrage the economically literate.
    So I guess we could just append "… as well as the morally responsible" to that.

  • Speaking of Garrison Keillor: two articles, one by Sam Anderson in Slate, another by Lawrence Henry at American Spectator. I think Henry knows some things that Anderson doesn't.

  • Tyler Cowen comments on the American Film Institute's 100 Most Inspiring Films:
    I hate inspiring films. This AFI list of the most inspiring films is yuck. How about Audition, or Ichi the Killer?
    I wouldn't go that far. (And to answer Tyler's question: they just considered American films.) All of the movies are good, some great; it's the AFI, after all. But a lot of them are more "good for you" than "inspiring".

    Saving Private Ryan? Tom Hanks and most of his men get killed on a PR mission that has nothing to do with the war. That's inspiring?

    Pinocchio is there, but not The Lion King?

    Where's Groundhog Day? Roxanne?

    For another list, you can check Bryce and Lisa at Co-Creations Unlimited. They're very objective:

    The number that follows each movie is a CONSCIOUSNESS CALIBRATION number, where 75 = grieving, 100 = fearful, 150 = anger, 175 = pride, 200 = courage/empowering, 250 = trust, 300 = inspiring/hopeful, 350 = forgiving/accepting, 400 = understanding/reasoning, 500 = loving, 540 = joous/serenity, 600 = blissful, 700 = ineffable, 800 = enlightening, 1000 = christ consciousness. The highest any nationally released movie has ever calibrated to is now 700 (What the Bleep Do We Know). If you are wondering what a consciousness calibration number is you must check out our website that explains Dr. David R. Hawkins evolutionary technique.
    Now Bryce and Lisa do have Groundhog Day. But if you're tempted to ask "Hey! Where's Lord of the Rings?" … well, don't even try, because:
    Note: Yes we have seen Lord of the Rings but it will never be on any of our lists of inspiring movies as it is very fear/anger based and calibrates to only a 150.
    So there you go.

Last Modified 2018-06-10 6:46 AM EDT