LinkFest 2016-06-24

The War on Stupid People

This has been clear [to me] for a very long time: most Americans confuse intelligence, a biological fact like height, with human importance. This is why being called stupid is an insult, and part of the reason why IQ research is so contentious.

Barry Latzer on Why Crime Rises and Falls

Time series analysis is really tricky, and this is a good article on crime that gets into why.

Did Japan actually lose any decades?

Short answer: no. Eamonn Fingleton sometimes comes across as a crank, so I appreciate finding others who corroborate his views. Japan's economy is doing exactly what you would expect from a First World country with a static population. However, a lot of models at present assume a continuously growing population, so you get a mismatch between modeled expectations and reality.

Paul Allen's space company nears debut of world's biggest plane

I'm glad Internet billionaires put their money where their mouth is. I assume most of them take the common complaint, "where's my flying car?", and do something about it.

Hacker's Toolbox: The Handheld Screwdriver

When I was a locksmith in college, we all used the 4-in-1 combination screw driver much like the one shown here.

There are now more bureaucrats with guns than there are US Marines

Once I considered working for the fraud investigative division of HHS. These are the "bureaucrats with guns", really more like FBI Special Agents who only work on certain crimes. I do have a bit of misgiving about the trend of each Federal agency feeling the need to train and equip their agents like SWAT teams, and about the militarization of the police in general. However, this is precisely the appeal of these forces as jobs; they are relatively safe, quite well-paid, and you get good equipment and training. A dream job, for a cop.

The Middle Class is Shrinking Because Many People Are Getting Richer

The decline of the middle is actually the rise of the upper middle class.