A few links from today’s meeting

This site “explores the pros and cons of controversial topic.  The page on “peer reviewed studies on medical marijuana” says 63% of such studies were favorable, and only 8%  not.

BUT some of the “peer reviews studies” were in publications with suspicious sounding names like “Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics.” Which, for all I know, is a completely legit publication. On the other hand.

International Journal of Advanced Computer technology sounds legit-ish, but

Google’s public data explorer has a bunch of data in easy-to-browse and visualize form. For example you can compares per-capita  income in the US, over time, in various locales. Or unemployment in Europe, over time. Or an animated view of changes in life expectancy and fertility rate, over time.

Background check stats from The Brady Campaign say

Since taking effect in 1994, the law has blocked more than 2.8 million gun sales to prohibited purchasers including felons, domestic abusers, and other dangerous individuals

Source of NRA income form tax filings.


Most recent on the left:


Beyond Labels Chat

The technology for building web apps is moving faster than ever.

If you go to this site, you’ll see (until I take it down or replace it with something else) a web-based chat app that I built for BL.

(It runs on the desktop — with Chrome and Firefox at least and maybe newer versions of Microsoft Edge, and maybe IE.

It runs on mobile devices: Android, iPhone, tablets.

You can sign in if you have credentials with Google. If I add a couple of lines of code I can add Facebook, Twitter, sign in by Email and other forms of authentication.

It took me ten minutes to build and deploy. Ten minutes! It took longer to write this post!

Of course it was only ten minutes because I cloned an earlier version. That one took me a whole hour! An hour!

But it was based on something that someone at Google had done and open sourced — with a tutorial. But still!

Building collaborative multi-platform apps like this is still out of the reach of most people, but it’s coming in reach fast.

I think this change has implications for what people might be able to do in ther communities — and what we might do for  Beyond Labels. It would be fun to have the folks who winter away join us even when not in the area.

Discussion topic what might this mean for us and the world?

(Note: app currently displays only the last 25 messages, so not for real use. But it does store all messages, so I could make it for real if people thought it was useful.)


TPP and Mankiw

Having (perhaps) whetted folks’ appetites with my quick reading of Harvard Econ professor Greg Mankiw’s “The Economy is Rigged, and Other Presidential Campaign  Myths,” we’ll turn to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (Good or Bad for the U.S.) next week.

You’re obviously free to do your own research. But here’s another piece by Mankiw on the subject:

Economists Actually Agree on This: The Wisdom of Free Trade

Think I’m only selecting one side? Here’s a bit of a rebuttal, courtesy of Google:

Greg Mankiw is Everything That’s Wrong with Economists

Who is this Greg Mankiw?

As you know, I always like to do a bit of research on my sources, and Wikipedia is a good start. As I mentioned on Monday, he’s well known for his activity on the Bush Council of Economic Advisors and his authorship of an introductory Economics textbook that is in very wide use today—so his is a very familiar name to recent college grads who’ve taken Econ.

I like to follow him mostly because he’s articulate, funny, thoughtful and accomplished. But I also admit that I tend to agree with him a lot (whether that’s because he’s convincing or because we just see the world in similar ways is a subject for future debate).

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