BRIEFLY NOTED: For 2021-11-22 Mo

Thing that went whizzing by that I want to remember:


This is perhaps the most bonkers thing I have read this month:

Anne-Christine Taylor & al.: Letter to the Editors of The Chronicle of Higher Education by the Directors of the Society for Ethnographic Theory: ‘We were dismayed that the Chronicle decided to publish Jesse Singal’s article on our publication HAU (How One Prominent Journal Went Very Wrong, Oct. 5, 2020) in such an inchoate state…. The article merely reprised the developments of a turbulent period simply in terms of a conflict between two individuals. It gives the false impression, casually smuggled in towards the end, that HAU remains substantially unchanged. Nothing could be further from the truth. HAU came into being as a radical departure from established ways…. Its independence was its strength…. Unfortunately, that very independence also proved a temporary weakness, that sustained an informality beyond when it was healthy for the journal…. This informality had to be the first thing that had to be addressed to re-establish trust in the journal and its workings, following the media campaign launched against HAU and its founder Giovanni da Col. The world of HAU described in Singal’s piece bears absolutely no resemblance to the new organisation of the journal or the ethos of its current structure of editorial collectives…. Rather than situate the events of the past within the broader concerns of contemporary publishing and its fraught relationship with academia, the article dwelled on gossip, email exchanges, and innuendo, shallow in its ethical judgement, and betrayed its informants. Its analytical value as a sociological analysis of academic practices is underwhelming and not up to the standards of CHE. On all counts, this was a missed opportunity…

LINK: <>

What, exactly, is “an informality beyond when it was healthy for the journal”? And what could “the media campaign launched against HAU and its founder Giovanni da Col” be, other than the “conflict between two individuals” that Jesse Singal describes? And what was “inchoate” about Jesse Singal’s story, other than that Anne-Christine Taylor and company would rather that nobody ever speak about what happened before they took over the journal?


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Phil Libin: The Out-of-Office (OOO) World <>

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Very Briefly Noted:


Foster Grant: Word Counts of the Most Popular Books in the World: ‘Les Miserables, Victor Hugo – 530,982 words. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy – 561,304 words…. For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway – 174,106 words…. Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry – 365,712 words. Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand – 561,996 words. Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky – 211,591 words…

LINK: <>

Wayne Ma: Apple’s Road Map for Mac Chips Shows Likely Advantage Over Intel: ‘Apple’s third generation of Mac processors… look to be an especially big step up from the processors Intel is expected to begin shipping around that time…. All of the A- and M-processors are manufactured for Apple by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., which has arguably become Apple’s most important technology partner…. It’s unclear when Apple products containing the company’s third-generation processors will be released, analysts and people familiar with TSMC’s plans expect the company to be able to reliably manufacture 3-nanometer chips by 2023…. A less powerful version of Apple’s third-generation processor is expected to debut in a future iPad…. That chip, code-named Ibiza, also will likely be used in a future MacBook Air…. More powerful third-generation processors, code-named Lobos and Palma, will likely show up in future MacBook Pros and other Mac desktops…. The next Mac Pro… will include a processor with at least two dies based on the M1 Max… part of a family of first-generation processors code-named Jade. The next MacBook Air and a future iPad will likely contain Apple’s less powerful version of the company’s second-generation processor—code-named Staten…. And upcoming MacBook Pros and desktop computers will likely use more powerful versions of Apple’s second-generation chips, which are part of a family of processors code-named Rhodes…. Apple [has] finished their physical design and handed them off to TSMC for trial production…

LINK: <>

Nathan Lane: Manufacturing Revolutions: Industrial Policy and Industrialization in South Korea: ’I study the impact of industrial policy on industrial development by considering a canonical intervention. Following a political crisis, South Korea dramatically altered its development strategy with a sector-specific industrial policy: the Heavy Chemical and Industry (HCI) drive, 1973–1979. With newly assembled historical data, I use the sharp introduction and withdrawal of industrial policies to study the impacts of industrial policy—during and after the intervention period. I show (1) HCI promoted the expansion and dynamic comparative advantage of directly targeted industries. (2) Using variation in exposure to policies through the input-output network, I show HCI indirectly benefited downstream users of targeted intermediates. (3) I find direct and indirect benefits of HCI persisted even after the end of HCI, following the 1979 assassination of the president. These effects include the eventual development of directly targeted exporters and their downstream counterparts. Together, my findings suggest that the temporary drive shifted Korea manufacturing into more advanced markets and created durable industrial change. These findings clarify lessons drawn from South Korea and the East Asian growth miracle…

LINK: <>

Martin Wolf: Best Books of 2021: Economics: ‘_Cogs and Monsters: What Economics Is, and What It Should Be_, by Diane Coyle, Princeton University Press £20/$24: Coyle, now at Cambridge university, is an exceptionally thoughtful commentator on economics. In this book, she rejects what she calls the “straw men” arguments of the many critics of economics, though admitting how difficult it is for economists to be objective. Instead, she focuses on two other weaknesses: first, the assumption of the rational economic “cog” has become even more unrealistic in the age of “snowballing” digital “monsters”; and, second, practitioners of economics are wildly unrepresentative of the society they study…

LINK: <>

Doug (Mule): The Rising Tide of Semiconductor Cost: ‘Shortages and the geopolitical concentration of TSMC and ASML have awakened the popular imagination and have highlighted the science-fiction-like process of chipmaking. The road ahead has obstacles that aren’t widely appreciated. Making a semiconductor is going to get even harder, more expensive, and more technical. In other words, the challenges are going to accelerate. To operate in the future, chipmakers will need more scale, more talent, and more money…. I want to first refresh you on the death of Moore’s Law. We’ve topped out the growth in transistor-energy scaling, frequency scaling, and we’re starting to hit the end of multi-core scaling in transistor-density increases. But more important than the end of those trends, cost scaling has ended. While we continue to improve transistor density through new techniques, each one layers additional costs. ASML, in its investor day, made a bold statement that Moore’s Law will continue with system-level scaling. Another name for this is advanced packaging. But these costs are additive to the already escalating costs of making a smaller transistor…


Fabricated Knowledge
The Rising Tide of Semiconductor Cost
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Noah Smith: What If Xi Jinping Just Isn’t That Competent?: ‘From his utter destruction of potential rivals Bo Xilai and Zhou Yongkang to a sweeping “anti-corruption” campaign that purged or cowed every faction but his own, Xi showed very quickly that he was not going to tolerate the factional pluralism that the Chinese Communist Party had enjoyed under his predecessors. His abolition of term limits essentially means that he’s now president for life, effectively ending the system that had seen three peaceful transfers of executive power. And he has been more effective than any leader since Mao at creating a cult of personality around himself…. But other than turning a bureaucratic oligarchy into a personalistic dictatorship, what are Xi’s accomplishments, exactly?… There are multiple signs that Xi has actually weakened the capabilities of the Chinese juggernaut…. Xi Jinping took power at the end of 2012. By then, China was already undergoing a growth slowdown…. Why is China slowing down? Part of it is inherent to China’s growth model, which Xi inherited from his predecessors Jiang and Hu…. But if Xi didn’t create China’s economic dilemma, he didn’t do much to fix it either…. Xi has also reversed Deng and Jiang’s pattern of reforming state-owned enterprises and encouraging private-sector growth…. Xi’s reliance on SOEs… sets off alarm bells in other countries, who view state-backed competition as an unfair advantage…. Overall, Xi’s approach to the economy looks an awful lot like a kid playing with toys—smashing the ones he doesn’t like, telling his favored champions to go forth and conquer…. Why alienate India? Why push against Southeast Asian countries? Perhaps it was necessary for China to oppose Japan and the U.S. in order to complete its ascent to superpower status and avenge historical humiliations, but why did Xi choose to slap otherwise neutral or even friendly nations in the face?… Finally, we come to Covid… a number of… missteps…. First, there’s China’s “zero Covid” policy…. The government apparently bragged about its success so much that when the much more infectious Delta variant began to spread, Xi and his people felt that they would lose face if they changed to a “live with Covid” strategy…. So China continues its ever more manic efforts to eliminate a virus that is now probably too infectious to be eliminated…


What if Xi Jinping just isn't that competent?
Xi Jinping is widely hailed as China’s most powerful leader since Mao. He certainly has been highly effective at consolidating power under his own person. From his utter destruction of potential rivals Bo Xilai and Zhou Yongkang to a sweeping “anti-corruption” campaign that purged or cowed every faction but his own, Xi showed very quickly that he was no…
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Brad DeLong: Why Gillian Tett’s Anthropological Take on the World Is Very Useful: ‘let us pay attention this afternoon to Gillian Tett, of the tribes of the Financial Times and of the anthropology community, author of the very recently published Anthro-Vision: How Anthropology Can Explain Business and Life Listen to her: for I believe it is her training in anthropology that has made her uniquely insightful journalist an analyst throughout her career…


Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality
Why Gillian Tett's Anthropological Take on the World Is Very Useful
N2PE: Gillian Tett (@gilliantett) Discusses Her New Book “Anthro-Vision: A New Way to See in Business & Life”. Amid severe digital disruption, economic upheaval, and political flux, how can we make sense of the world? Leaders today typically look for answers in economic models, Big Data, or artificial intelligence platforms. Gillian Tett will discuss he…
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Kate Berner: ’CBO estimates that Build Back Better will add $367.1B to the deficit. That doesn’t include revenue collected from tax enforcement. Treasury estimates $479.6 revenue from tax enforcement. So… $112.5B in deficit reduction… Naomi Jagoda: Larry Summers: IRS Proposal Will Generate More Revenue Than Cbo Estimate: ‘Larry Summers, who served in top economic policy roles during the Clinton and Obama administrations, said Thursday that the IRS funding proposal in Democrats’ social spending bill is likely to raise more revenue than the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is expected to estimate. “I have one central message, and that is that it is reasonable to rely on substantially more revenue than is included in the CBO projection from efforts to strengthen the IRS,” Summers said on a call with reporters hosted by the Center for American Progress… <>


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