Remember: Just because an idea is old doesn't mean it's good.

Knowing whether old ideas are more likely to be good requires understanding whether conditions have changed in important ways.
Horse archery was an amazing method of warfare for over a thousand years...then people invented guns, and suddenly this great idea that had stood the test of time became obsolete.
Then again, when underlying conditions don't change much, tried-and-true approaches are probably better.
"Learning the lessons of history" usually just means assuming ergodicity and stationarity in an informal time-series model...


More from Noah Smith

Bloomberg Ideas conference now starting! I will be live-tweeting it. You can watch on our Facebook or Twitter pages (links below)!

Our first panel is about cryptocurrency! We have @matt_levine, @tylercowen, @eiaine, @nirkaissar, and Camilla

Ou: Crypto will be useful for the unbanked.

Cowen: Crypto has to compete against a bunch of other emerging payments technologies. Bitcoin is too inflexible.

Cowen: I'll bet on the payments companies over crypto.

More from Society

We finally have the U.S. Citizenship Act Bill Text! I'm going to go through some portions of the bill right now and highlight some of the major changes and improvements that it would make to our immigration system.


First the Bill makes a series of promises changes to the way we talk about immigrants and immigration law.

Gone would be the term "alien" and in its place is "noncitizen."

Also gone would be the term "alienage," replaced with "noncitizenship."

Now we get to the "earned path to citizenship" for all undocumented immigrants present in the United States on January 1, 2021.

Under this bill, anyone who satisfies the eligibility criteria for a new "lawful prospective immigrant status" can come out of the shadows.

So, what are the eligibility criteria for becoming a "lawful prospective immigrant status"? Those are in a new INA 245G and include:

- Payment of the appropriate fees
- Continuous presence after January 1, 2021
- Not having certain criminal record (but there's a waiver)

After a person has been in "lawful prospective immigrant status" for at least 5 years, they can apply for a green card, so long as they still pass background checks and have paid back any taxes they are required to do so by law.

However! Some groups don't have to wait 5 years.
I've seen many news articles cite that "the UK variant could be the dominant strain by March". This is emphasized by @CDCDirector.

While this will likely to be the case, this should not be an automatic cause for concern. Cases could still remain contained.

Here's how: 🧵

One of @CDCgov's own models has tracked the true decline in cases quite accurately thus far.

Their projection shows that the B.1.1.7 variant will become the dominant variant in March. But interestingly... there's no fourth wave. Cases simply level out:

Just because a variant becomes the dominant strain does not automatically mean we will see a repeat of Fall 2020.

Let's look at UK and South Africa, where cases have been falling for the past month, in unison with the US (albeit with tougher restrictions):

Furthermore, the claim that the "variant is doubling every 10 days" is false. It's the *proportion of the variant* that is doubling every 10 days.

If overall prevalence drops during the studied time period, the true doubling time of the variant is actually much longer 10 days.

Simple example:

Day 0: 10 variant / 100 cases -> 10% variant
Day 10: 15 variant / 75 cases -> 20% variant
Day 20: 20 variant / 50 cases -> 40% variant

1) Proportion of variant doubles every 10 days
2) Doubling time of variant is actually 20 days
3) Total cases still drop by 50%

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Funny, before the election I recall lefties muttering the caravan must have been a Trump setup because it made the open borders crowd look so bad. Why would the pro-migrant crowd engineer a crisis that played into Trump's hands? THIS is why. THESE are the "optics" they wanted.

This media manipulation effort was inspired by the success of the "kids in cages" freakout, a 100% Stalinist propaganda drive that required people to forget about Obama putting migrant children in cells. It worked, so now they want pics of Trump "gassing children on the border."

There's a heavy air of Pallywood around the whole thing as well. If the Palestinians can stage huge theatrical performances of victimhood with the willing cooperation of Western media, why shouldn't the migrant caravan organizers expect the same?

It's business as usual for Anarchy, Inc. - the worldwide shredding of national sovereignty to increase the power of transnational organizations and left-wing ideology. Many in the media are true believers. Others just cannot resist the narrative of "change" and "social justice."

The product sold by Anarchy, Inc. is victimhood. It always boils down to the same formula: once the existing order can be painted as oppressors and children as their victims, chaos wins and order loses. Look at the lefties shrieking in unison about "Trump gassing children" today.