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August 15, 2005


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Bernard Guerrero

Mmmmm, candied pork. Ever had Cuban meat pastelitos? Or cheese. Don't much care for the guava ones, myself.

(BTW, I mentioned you in passing over at Tacitus and linked HWDD. Just an FYI.)


Bernard, I've had the guava and cheese ones, and will cheerfully have yours if you don't want any.

Hey, we already link to Tic. Setting aside Kahneman and Tversky, I think you're being too literal about revealed preferences. To paraphrase Samuelson, it's a little circular to reason, "people behave according to their preferences, and their preferences reveal how their behavior is motivated". It's actually a fairly technical concept concerning the mathematical treatment of the utility function, and probably shouldn't be extended into a sociological law or anything.


What the hell is going on down there? It's beautiful in Boston today, and it was rainy and cool yesterday. This is too weird.


Say, Bernard, I went over to Tacitus and looked at both your stories. Carlos' advice is quite good. You have a tendency to push arguments much too far.

Take your CNOOC piece. I tend to agree with your conclusion: the bid wasn't worth blocking. Unfortunately, you ran completely off the rails, because you changed an argument over a specific case into a general principle. That forced you to say some silly things, such as that China (or the U.S., for that matter) could never use control over oil assets in third countries to secure a petroleum supply at below-market prices. You meant to argue that such a circumstance is unlikely to occur, and wouldn't hurt the U.S. much if it did, except in the case of a general war, in which case it doesn't matter because we have the got the Seventh Fleet, and they have not. (Apologies for the run-on sentence.) Unfortunately, the resort to a grandiose general principle (property is a social construction) utterly obscured your argument.

Anyway, it's something you should consider.


The heat broke in NYC Sunday night, but it'll be back tomorrow. If I hadda guess, the cold front is being pulled by Hurricane Irene out in the Atlantic.

Syd Webb

Following C's link to the piece on brandy consumption in Wisconsin, I was appalled to read that, "Almost all of the world's grape brandy is distilled in California."

In my country, true, almost half of the 1.1 million litres consumed each year are imported but looking in my bottle shop few imports seem to come from the USA.

I tried unsuccessfully to determine Californian brandy production but was impressed to discover Armenia produced 7 million litres in 2003.

Is any HDTD reader au fait with Californian or US production? Failing that, any recommendations of fine Balkan wines and spirits?

Bernard Guerrero

Hey, constructive criticism is always appreciated, particularly from you guys. That said, I'm sure you'll be less than surprised to discover that I sort of disagree with you. :^)

More specifically, I'm trying when possible to hit deeper principles while simultaneously addressing something topical. Granted, I'm losing some clarity in the process. I think your criticism is more warranted in the CNOOC case, actually, where I was clearly stretching. The principle Carlos is objecting to seems, to me, to already be rather widely applied. Are we claiming that people's appetite for helping others in relation to other goods isn't monotonic and convex?


Well, I know my own consumer behavior violates the weak axiom of revealed preferences all the time. And WARP is the most sensible part of the theory.



I rarely get nationalistic, but my devotion to my great adopted state of Alta California knows few bounds. (Yes, I live in Massachusetts and I am a New Yorker. That only makes me a typical Californio.) In addition, Leland Stanford was indeed the world's largest brandy producer, and thus my education was, in part, due to California's brandy production. Moreover, as a dedicated leftist, I must approve of any product initially developed by the Department of Viticulture and Oenology at the University of California at Davis, which developed the "California style" brandy after WW2 at the behest of the state government.

So I am biased and you should ignore my advice.

Which is, dear sir, to try Korbel. Jepson? Feh. Euroweenie wannabes. Korbel, that's serious Blue State tipple, my friend, suitable for drinking at a baseball game in East Elmhurst. Especially when you're asked to ump.

BTW, I just watched Sideways with my girlfriend. Damn boring for the first half-hour, and then it suddenly gets into gear. Recommended.

The Angels are beating Boston 8-0 at the top of the seventh. Wow. I don't like the Sox, but the "Los Angeles Angels" is a bit like the Nets calling themselves the "New York Nets" if they move to Atlantic Avenue. It's just wrong.

Sir Francis Burdett

I didn't realize Wisconsin was so Street

"pass the Courvoisier"

Bernard Guerrero

"Well, I know my own consumer behavior violates the weak axiom of revealed preferences all the time."

Please detail the extent of your irrationality, Citizen Yu.

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