Pluralistic: Higher interest rates increase both the monetary supply and inflation (04 Feb 2023) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow

Pluralistic: Higher interest rates increase both the monetary supply and inflation (04 Feb 2023) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow

You’d think that a self-styled physicist of human behavior would avail themselves of the underlying methodology of the “hard” sciences, which is to say, forming falsifiable hypotheses and then checking to see whether they were borne out by real-world outcomes.

But that’s not how the neoclassicals roll – they function like the caricature of the physicist whose every inquiry begins with “imagine a perfectly spherical cow of uniform density on a frictionless plane.” Or, as Ely Devons famously quipped, “If economists wished to study the horse, they wouldn’t go and look at horses. They’d sit in their studies and say to themselves, ‘What would I do if I were a horse?'”…

(This is why the most heralded revolution in economics for generations is “behavioral economics,” which is a fancy way of saying, “Doing economics but checking to see if our assumptions about human behavior are actually right.")

The evidence for monetarism and its interest-rate prescription for reducing the monetary supply and taming inflation is…not good. In a post called “Do High Interest Rates Reduce Inflation? A Test of Monetary Faith,” Blair Fix brings out some empirical big guns to test the Friedman method, and finds it sorely in want of a practical basis:…

Fix pulls data from the World Bank to investigate the link between interest rates, monetary supply and inflation. He finds that even extremely high interest rates (e.g. Nicaragua’s 1992 interest rates of 450%) correlate with an increase in the monetary supply – this is likewise true for single- and double-digit interest rates.

Good to know. Scary, too.

Here’s the complete thread of today’s sourdough bread 🥖🍞

From: @eumrz

There you go. The bread looks, sounds and smells pretty good. We’ll open it for breakfast tomorrow. 🥖🍞

Second fold. The dough is ready. It does not need any kneading at all. Now it’ll sit and leaven for two hours. 🥖🍞

First fold of the dough, 20 minutes later, with a few drops of olive oil both on the counter and the glass bowl. I’ll let it sit again for another 20 minutes. 🥖🍞

200g sourdough, 500g strong wheat flour, 10g salt and 300g water. That’s all it needs. First mix of the dough and I’ll let it sit for 20 minutes. 🥖🍞

200g of sourdough go to the bread, the rest I save for the next time. 🥖🍞 #eng

Sourdough bread on the way. Following Dan Lepard’s method. This is how the sourdough has leavened during the night. 🥖🍞 #eng

I love being back to baking 🥖

two loafs of bread

Mastodon: A New Hope for Social Networking - TidBITS

Mastodon: A New Hope for Social Networking - TidBITS

There’s more talking with than talking at by far, and while it’s not always civil—that’s probably neither possible nor fully desirable—there’s a calmness and sense of control not present elsewhere. With nobody stuffing material down your timeline’s throat or constantly urging you to “engage” more, you set the pace for your own experience and curate it more closely to what you want.

I think this quote sums up what I value the most in Mastodon. Other than that, this thorough and comprehensive post by Glenn Fleishman is a great guide to understand and join this wonderful fediverse.

Are We Seeing the Last Gasp of the GOP’s Two Santa Claus Scam?

Are We Seeing the Last Gasp of the GOP’s Two Santa Claus Scam?

Citing Supply-Side Economics, in eight short years Reagan ran up greater deficits than every president from George Washington to Jerry Ford combined, taking our national debt from around $800 billion all the way up to around $2.6 trillion when he left office.

By 1992, when Bill Clinton won the presidency, Reagan and Bush’s debt had climbed to over $4.2 trillion, giving Republicans a chance to double down on Two Santas. Bill Clinton would be their test case.

House Republicans loudly demanded that Clinton “do something!” about the national debt, waving the debt ceiling like a cudgel. Over the next eight years they repeatedly wielded the debt ceiling, shutting down the government twice. The battles lifted Newt Gingrich to the speakership.

Clinton caved, making massive cuts to the social safety net to get a balanced budget in a gut-shot to the Democratic Santa programs.

By the end of the Clinton presidency the formula was set. When Republicans held the White House, they’d spend like drunken Santas and cut taxes to the bone to drive up the national debt.

When Democrats come into the presidency, Republicans would use the debt ceiling to force them to cut their own social programs and shoot the Democratic Santa.

The whole article is definitely worth reading. It’s eye opening.


Twitterrific: End of an Era • The Breakroom

Twitterrific: End of an Era • The Breakroom

We are sorry to say that the app’s sudden and undignified demise is due to an unannounced and undocumented policy change by an increasingly capricious Twitter – a Twitter that we no longer recognize as trustworthy nor want to work with any longer.

This is so sad. So terrible that a capricious billionaire is taking down all the work that so many amazing developers have been doing for years. We are not going back to your Twitter, spoiled brat Musk. Piss off.


Good luck convincing average people to use Mastodon | Greg Morris

Greg Morris - 🔗 Good luck convincing average people to use Mastodon

«Manuel Moreale on internet silos:

“fundamentally people are, when it comes to the internet, lazy. And gathering where everyone else is definitely seems easier. It’s also easier to delegate the job of moderating and policing to someone else, and so as a result people will inevitably cluster around a few big websites, regardless of what infrastructure we build."

I think this post is spot on. These people hanging around on mastodon, and other ActivityPub supporting platforms, are a tiny minority. Most people don’t want to think about servers, moderation, or anything. They will just go where everyone else is.

Why do you think people hold on to horrible places like Instagram for far too long? They are lazy, unmotivated and insulated by a herd. It’s a nice idea, and a wonderful place to be, but it’s never going to be mainstream…..but that’s totally OK.»

I regretably agree with this. For a few days I thought everybody would see clearly that Twitter was no place to stay. But weeks have gone by and everybody is business as usual in Musk’s site. Especially in Spain, where this debate is not even happening.

Bloggers: Shortcut to obtain a list of your posts from last month

The goal of the Shortcut is simple: it looks for the posts you published last month in your blog and copies a list in your clipboard, with the publishing date, the title and the url in Markdown format. Ready to paste in your editor and publish.

The next screenshot shows the workflow. The texts are in Spanish (my system’s language) but once installed in your devices the Shortcut should show your own language. And I’ll try to explain the screenshot right away.

List of posts shortcut workflow
  1. The first thing you need to do is to enter your blog’s RSS feed in the Shorcut.
  2. The automation will obtain the first day of the current month.
  3. It will substract a month in order to obtain the first day of the previous month.
  4. It will search in the last 60 posts of your feed (you can set the amount you want), and see if there’s any posts published between those two dates. That is, published last month.
  5. If there is any, it will write (in the background) a line for each post with the publishing date, the title and the url in Markdown format.
  6. For the rest of the posts (published this month or before last month) it will do nothing.
  7. Finally, in a few seconds, you will have a list of all the posts from last month in your clipboard, ready to paste wherever you want.

You can download and install the Shortcut clicking on this link. It works on macOS, iOS and iPadOS.

Remember to paste you blog’s feed in the first step of the Shortcut.

You don’t need much more. I went one step forward and hooked the Shortcut to a Keyboard Maestro macro that launches Mars Edit, types the title of the post referencing last month, runs the Shotcut and pastes the result, asks if everything looks fine and, if it does, publishes the post swiftly. But I’ll tell you about KM another time.

Hope it is useful for somebody and it’s not too customized to my own needs. If you like it, retoot, repost, relink and print fliers to tell your whole neighborhood 😊.

Here’s a link to the Shortcut again, they’re free 😅.

What you need to achieve justice

This is a loose translation of an alleged Venetian proverb from 1610:

To achieve justice you need
the bag of a banker,
the patience of a hermit,
to be right,
to know how to explain you are right,
to find someone who listens
and wants to acknowledge you are right,
and a debtor who can pay.

The source, a judge with a very known and brilliant blog in Spain, has it in Spanish:

Para hacer justicia hace falta
Bolsa de banquero,
Paciencia de ermitaño,
Tener razón
Saberla exponer
Encontrar quien la escuche
Y se la quiera dar
Y deudor que pueda pagar.

I've been playing around with OpenAI's Whisper thanks to the Google Colab notebook made available by DotCSV in this YouTube video:

I did a transcription of a video interview in Spanish and the result was, let's say, good enough. It does have a lot of errors and it needs a lot of cleaning, but having such a tool is very very promising.

Check it out here:

I never thought I'd be following the live

This of the House thing is fascinating to watch from Europe. I hope the Republicans that are not voting for MacCarthy stay put. Or maybe they are like my father used to say: They said they were incorruptible, they were only expensive.

Quoting @GottaLaff:

OK. I get it now.

Advertencia de contenido: Trying how this CW works

I'm posting to Mastodon using the Content Warning option, because I want to understand how it works and how it shows in my timeline.

It’s about time to open and start doing stuff, Umerez.

If I’m doing this correctly, this should show up in my blog, in the timeline and in Mastodon.

One last try. Not very sure about setting up two RSS feeds in

And if I set the Mastodon RSS feed correctly, this post from @ivory should show up in the blog and in, too.

If I’m doing this correctly, this should show up in my blog, in the timeline and in Mastodon.