Archive for April, 2009

Natural Born Killers

Posted in Random on 20090430 by Avenging Sword

Red Emma’s post brings to mind a Military Review article I read years ago entitled “Natural Killers – Turning the Tide of Battle”.  The basic notion was that some people are naturally predisposed to feel no remorse about killing; and that such personnel, properly identified & trained, could be (and often were) useful in combat.  My interest piqued, I soon made may way through Grossman’s book “On Killing” – only to discover – alas –  that it mainly dealt with killings by “ordinary” human beings who did feel remorse.

Since then, however, I’ve harbored an occasional interest in the “dark side” of human nature.  Some articles that recently made their way into that file:

1.  Coping w/ the Adolescent Psychopath – the title says it all.

2.  Origins of Antisocial Behavior – “New research on the origins of antisocial behaviour, published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, suggests that early-onset antisocial behaviour in children with psychopathic tendencies is largely inherited.”

3.  Studying psychopathy via fMRI

4.  The evolutionary roots of murderous tendencies:


Random Links XXXI

Posted in Links on 20090429 by Avenging Sword

Real American Heroes:

The Republic will always need heroes.

Piping Engine Sounds:

Democracy InAction:

Credit Crunch & Mafia:

Downward Mobility:

And people ask me why I live so far below my means.

Gun Rights & the Disabled:

Automaker Downfall:

How America OD’d on Debt:

Japanese Stasis:

Narrow Banking Redux:

AIG Systemic Risk:

World Cell Phone Usage:


Public Pension Losses:

Frannie v. Private Labels:

Note how small Frannie’s share of mortgage credit was during the bubble years.

Random Links XXX

Posted in Links on 20090428 by Avenging Sword

Soldier Survival:

Educational Dysfunction, Student Entitlement Edition:

Discipline vs. Niceness:

Stereotype Threat:

Postmodern Dating, PDA Edition:

Slumdogs in Real Life:


1.  This is “network computers” redux.  With WiFi instead of landline ‘Net connections.  Works so long as you’re willing to depend on the network & providers thereon.

2.  The passages re. the relative clout of manufacturing vs. “branding and marketing” were annoying to read.

3.  Note that Moore’s Law can work in more than one direction.  Instead of better performance for the same price, one can have the same performance for less price.

Interesting Times:

Echoes of the Chronoliths & pro/anti-Kuin protests….

Mexico Downfall:

We really need a Southern Wall….

Random Links XXIX

Posted in Econ on 20090426 by Avenging Sword

Fiscal Responsibility:

The title, “Real Reaganites Raise Taxes”, says it all.

Student Loans & Credit Crunch:

Permanent New Frugality:

So this is what happens when an entire country adopts my financial habits.

Bank Nationalization Done Right:

Worthy comment hoists therefrom:

Transparent Society, Financial Reform Edition:

Gaussian Copula & Financial Crisis:

Monetary Futures Targeting:

Random Links XXVIII

Posted in Econ on 20090424 by Avenging Sword

Corporate Overleveraging:

There is always a price to efficiency, and redundancy does have benefits in a storm.

Swiss Bankruptcy?:

Another one bites the dust?

Death of the Check:

EU Capital Controls:

P2P Mortgage Lending:

My preference remains Denmark’s mortgage system, but this is still an interesting notion.  It would work much better with a Transparent Society.

Fiscal Responsibility:

“Real Reaganites Raise Taxes” – the title says it all.  Bartlett’s fatalism WRT the welfare state (and adaptation thereto) brings to mind Charles Murray’s “In Our Hands” proposal.

The Great Inflation’s Aftermath:

Gold Standard & the Depression:

Canadian Banking:

Why Canada’s banking system hasn’t imploded.

Canadian Mortgages:

I’m still a fan of the Danish mortgage banking system, but Canada’s apparently isn’t too shabby, either.

Liquidity Insurance:

An interesting notion on how to regulate financial institutions going forward.

Earth Day Links

Posted in Random on 20090422 by Avenging Sword

Apropos “Earth Day”, I give you: 

How to Destroy the Earth

There’s also Part III of Larry Niven’s “The Alien in Our Minds“, which is perhaps the most entertaining discussion of the Fermi Paradox I’ve ever read. 

(Quasi-HT:  my brother, to whom I originally forwarded the first link, but who reminded me of its existence earlier today.)

Random Links XXVII

Posted in Econ on 20090421 by Avenging Sword

Financial Crisis:

India Bank Regulation:

Bank Recapitalization Debated:

Chinese Downfall:

Asymmetric Information, Ratings, & Guarantees:

Thoma (first couple links, above) brings up an important point:  even after we put down insolvent banks, it will likely take some time before credit begins flowing normally once again.  During that time, government assistance to solvent banks might be necessary IOT get the latter lending again.

Laissez-Faire Recovery:

Japan Downfall, Illustrated: