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Burning Man and Econ Man

Interesting piece. Romer was on Econtalk last April. I can virtually guarantee you the NYT gives a leftward slant to Romer's views, but the piece is still worth reading if you, like me, are interested in urban life and Burning Man.

A week earlier, there was hardly anything here, in the remote desert of northwest Nevada. Then tens of thousands of people had just shown up, many in the middle of the night. They had formed an instant city, with a road network, and a raucous street life, and a weird make-do architecture.

It was an alluring sight for an economist who has talked of building cities from nothing. And Burning Man has been more and more on Mr. Romer's mind lately, as world politics have made him gloomier. He is ill at ease behaving like a traditional academic. He's not particularly interested in publishing papers. He doesn't want to give speeches cheerleading his field. But he believes winning the Nobel has expanded his possibilities. More people will listen to what he has to say, if he can just decide where he wants to direct our attention.

Maybe it's here.

Mr. Romer came to the desert imagining himself as an objective outsider: de Tocqueville among the Burners. But Black Rock City started to rub off on him. One morning, a man who called himself Coyote, who was responsible for surveying the city's streets, took Mr. Romer around.

The World of Private Labels

For the domestic engineers in the audience.

Private label is a designation that would seem to be reserved for products of true refinement and distinction, but in fact it is what the consumer-product industry calls goods that retailers produce themselves. Private-label products are not a recent innovation–stores have been developing and selling their own products since the 19th century–but their resemblance to various brand-name consumer staples raises the question of what, exactly, is the point of brands. These days, as cheaper substitutes proliferate online and retailers curate their private-label portfolios based on ever more granular sales data, it's getting harder and harder to tell.

South Africa: Historical Overview

I'm not qualified to opine whether the historical account provided here is any good, but it appears to be solid enough. I would note, however, that it appears to downplay immensely the atrocities being committed today against the whites.

In April 1994, South Africans of all races voted in the country's first democratic elections, choosing Mandela as their first black president. The inhumane apartheid regime seemed to be miraculously ending peacefully, though much work remained to improve the lives of all South Africans.

Mandela casting his ballot for the first time in his life in 1994.
Today much of that initial promise remains unfulfilled. After 25 years in power, the ANC draws intense criticism for South Africa's persistent poverty, inequality, violence, health crises, and corruption

Sen. Kamala Harris Laughs After Supporter Calls Trump 'Retarded'

Ha. Well said, well said! Even the Left can't keep track of its shifting taboos, such is the rapidity with which woke thought moves.

On Friday, during an outdoor town hall in Londonderry, New Hampshire, a man asked 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) about what she plans to do in order "to diminish the mentally retarded actions" of President Trump.

As the audience cheered and applauded, Harris laughed and replied: "Well said. Well said. I plan to win this election, I'll tell you that."

Related: This Drag Show Is Literally Retarded

Caution: Adult content.
Caution: Disturbing content.
Caution: Retarded content.
Caution: Hilarious content.

Drag Syndrome is self-described as–hold on a second, I doubt they have the verbal agility to make such descriptions, so I'll pin this ad copy on their handlers–a “Drag collective featuring highly addictive queens & kings with Down-Syndrome.” They consist of three white males who go by the stage names of “Horrora Shebang” (“a very super major Bitch in many hoods around the world”), “Frozita Honkong” (“very kind but can bite hard if one shouts too loud in her presence”), and “Gaia Callas” (“a prolific artist, performer, filmmaker and a painter”), along with a white female who wears beard makeup and has been dubbed “Justin Bond” (“King Justin Bond if you're NASTY! Justin Bond is multi-talented, handsome King. He can sing, he can dance, he can love you till the end of time.”)