Junior Begins Going To Every Funeral He Can – The Sopranos

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from Microeconomic Insights: ‘The economics of density: evidence from the Berlin Wall’

The Long Run

by Gabriel Ahlfeldt (London School of Economics, LSE), Stephen Redding (Princeton University), Daniel Sturm (LSE) and Nikolaus Wolf (Humboldt University Berlin)

The full post and online access to the full article is available on the Microeconomics website

Economic activity is highly unevenly distributed across geographical space. This is reflected in the existence of cities as well as the concentration of economic functions in specific locations within cities, such as Manhattan in New York and the Square Mile in London. Understanding the strength of the forces of agglomeration that underlie these concentrations of economic activity is central to a range of policy questions.

What makes cities thrive? Is it proximity to natural resources – such as rivers, oceans, and energy sources – that make places attractive for firms to locate production? Is it shared amenities – such as leafy streets and scenic views – that make them attractive places for people…

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A response from Steve Pinker to Salon’s hit piece on “Enlightenment Now”

Why Evolution Is True

Phil Torres is a “riskologist” who studies existential risk, and seems to have it in for the New Atheists (Salon, of course, is always willing to provide him with a platform for that). Torres’s latest Salon piece is an attack on Steve Pinker and his last book (Enlightenment Now, or EN), a piece called “Steven Pinker’s fake Enlightenment: His book is full of misleading claims and false assertions.” Torres’s piece is pugnacious, ending with a suggestion that Pinker may actually be hiding stuff that he knows is wrong:

Let me end with a call for action: Don’t assume that Pinker’s scholarship is reliable. Comb through particular sentences and citations for other hidden — or perhaps intentionally concealed — errors in “Enlightenment Now.” Doing so could be, well, enlightening.

When I read Torres’s piece, I wasn’t impressed, as Pinker’s “errors and false assertions” seemed to…

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The Australian approach to “consumer protection” policy is a threat to consumer welfare and free speech

Truth on the Market

The US Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights recently held hearings to see what, if anything, the U.S. might learn from the approaches of other countries regarding antitrust and consumer protection. US lawmakers would do well to be wary of examples from other jurisdictions, however, that are rooted in different legal and cultural traditions. Shortly before the hearing, for example, Australia’s Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (ACCC) announced that it was exploring broad new regulations, predicated on theoretical harms, that would threaten both consumer welfare and individuals’ rights to free expression that are completely at odds with American norms.

The ACCC seeks vast discretion to shape the way that online platforms operate — a regulatory venture that threatens to undermine the value which companies provide to consumers. Even more troubling are its plans to regulate free expression on the Internet, which if implemented in the US, would…

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Creative destruction in legacy media

Prohibition club in Chicago

Why Evolution Is True

This is the first time I’ve seen actual footage of a “speakeasy”—an illegal alcohol-dispensing joint that operated during Prohibition in America (between 1920 and 1933). Sent by reader Michael, the video even has sound, and shows dancing girls, a band, and an oily top-hatted master of ceremonies. And, as Michael pointed out, the booze is clearly visible on the tables.

The YouTube notes say this,

Old film of Mack’s Club (12 East Pearson Street) in Chicago, Il on February 13, 1931. The troupe leader is Harry Glen. These scenes were taken with early Movietone sound cameras. 

This club was in downtown Chicago, and I can’t find any other information about it, nor any about Harry Glen. Perhaps ambitious readers may find other information.  I’m just showing this because movies of speakeasies during Prohibition, which were illegal, are rare, and those with sound even rarer.

I don’t know how America survived…

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