Fact of the day

The first PhD’s in the United States were granted by Yale University in 1861. Since that time, the number of scientists in the United States and throughout the world has increased rapidly, even exponentially in some cases, and the rate of growth has been actually faster than the growth of the general population. In fact, if you uttered the statement “90 percent of all the scientists who have ever lived are alive today” nearly any time in the past 300 years, you’d be right.

Hard to find Why it’s increasingly difficult to make discoveries – and other insights from the science of science

I’m not sure the thesis is supported by the evidence presented. We used to go quite a while between major discoveries when people worked alone with simple equipment. Now that collaborative science is relatively easy and equipment is advanced faster collaborative and complex equipment based research is possible. That doesn’t mean that a lone researcher with simple equipment couldn’t advance science, just that they are so slow that by the time they find anything it would long ago have been discovered by other means.

A bunch of links

Raggare: Sweden’s Redneck Greaser Subculture. I guess people can wear KKK and fly Rebel flags with the same casual hipster ignorance that let’s people where Che shirts.

America’s Ruling Class — And the Perils of Revolution. Our politics as separate from our policies are becoming more like Europe and that is bad thing.

Disaster Politics: Why Earthquakes Rock Democracies Less Smith and Flores claim it is democracy and not wealth that determine why Earthquakes skill many fewer people in democracies when they occur. I’m still skeptical. Their one real comparative example is Peru , with two similar magnitude quakes under different government regimes. They don’t contrast their wealth, they contrasts their income. Which isn’t at all the same. Having a forty years to improve private and public infrastructure with they wealth they accumulate means that their income may be the same but the expected public health outcomes could be quite different. Ah you say, but political stability from democracy is what allowed that capital formation even without growth. Maybe, but now we have a chicken and egg problem.

Dual citizenship a hit amongst PIOs. India has issued about 6 million dual citizenships to people of Indian origin (PIO) in the Indian diaspora. They don’t let you vote, mostly just visit without a visa. This is a creative idea. We too should be thinking creatively about how we can recruit people like this to visit and work in our country.

The Limits Of Indexing
— Major index ETFs of emerging market equities are under performing the indices they are supposed to track. We don’t know why this is happening. It could be timing issues, illiquidity in underlying securities, deliberate tracking error to hold indexing costs down, or the MSCI EM index might just be a bad index.

British investor Anthony Ward purchased £658 million worth of cocoa (chocolate) which would fill more than five Titanics and the biggest trade in 14 years. Prices barely moved in response. Why should they? A bunch of people sold a total of £658 million worth of cocoa too.