Day: September 1, 2019

Here Is a Wonderful Edition of Uncommon Knowledge from the Hoover Institution

American Elephants

Here’s a remarkable video of Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson from the Hoover Institution, featuring former Secretary of State George Schultz, John Cogan, Terry Anderson and Lee Ohanian. Four economists to talk about the major improvements that happened in the United States between 1919 and 2019. There were momentous improvements affecting all of our lives and our prosperity, inventions, the Great Depression, the Holocaust, World War II, the underlying institutions. prosperity, private property, the rule of law, free markets and what they mean. The role of immigration, the role of government, and attracting talent. You’ll learn a lot of History and a lot of Economics.

This was just published on August 26, 2019. It’s long, but worth every minute. You will learn a lot. Leadership, the uses of government, Socialism illustrated, American institutions, the Great Depression, economic history, a hugely rewarding discussion. You will learn about incentives, taxes, policies and…

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An intersectionality puzzle: Black and Hispanic women are now enrolling in college at higher rates than white men?

How far can we go after the gas light turns on?

Visualize This

Ever wondered how long you could actually drive after your gas light turns on? Well, Justin Davis at might have an answer for you. Justin has been collecting reports from daredevil drivers about how long they’ve driven post-gas light, and he was kind enough to give me his data.

Test “Listen to me! When that car rolls into the dealership and that tank is bone dry, I want you to be there with me, when everyone says: ‘Kramer and that other guy, oooh they went farther to the left of the slash than anyone ever dreamed!'”

The dataset is pretty extensive, with records for every make and model imaginable—some that I’ve never even heard of! Ever seen a Vauxhall Vectra? It looks pretty unremarkable actually. They go about 32 miles after their light turns on.

Most of the data comes from cars made between 2005-2010, but records stretch back as far as the 70s. Most of the data comes from cars made between 2005-2010, but records stretch back as far…

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The Recycling Folly

International Liberty

While it’s very good to have a clean environment, many environmentalists don’t understand cost-benefit analysis. As such, they make our lives less pleasant –inferior light bulbs,substandard toilets,inadequate washing machines,crummy dishwashers, dribbling showers, and dysfunctional gas cans – for little if any benefit.

We can add recycling to that list.

To be sure, all the hassle and time of sorting our garbage might be an acceptable cost if something was being achieved.

Unfortunately, as Jeff Jacoby has explained, that’s not the case. Not even close.

Let’s explore the issue.

In an article for the American Institute for Economic Research, Professor Michael Munger explains that most recycling actually is a net negative for the environment.

…I was invited to a conference called Australia Recycles! …Everyone there, everyone, represented either a municipal or provincial government, or a nonprofit recycling advocacy group, or a…

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(Almost) Nothing is Truly ‘Natural’ – Part 4

James Kennedy

Cezanne nothing is natural fruit and vegetables painting still life Nothing on this table is natural – not even the fruits. The Basket of Apples by Cézanne

Corn isn’t ‘natural’

In 2014, I created a series of infographics to help convey this message. Corn, for example, used to be a spindly grass-like plant called teosinte, which Native Americans farmed and bred through artificial selection until it resembled the yellow corn of today.

In 9000 years, sweetcorn has become 1000 times larger, 3.5 times sweeter, much easier to peel and much easier to grow than its wild ancestor. In the 15th century, when European settlers placed new selection pressures on the crop to suit their exotic taste buds, the corn evolved even further to become larger and multi-coloured. Corn no longer resembles the original teosinte plant at all.

Watermelon isn’t ‘natural’

Watermelon began as a hard, bitter fruit the size of a walnut. It caused inflammation and had an unpalatable bitter taste. Thousands…

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