In democracies, the opposite is true: the winning coalition is large, and the real selectorate is almost as large as the nominal selectorate. This means that dictators can keep their jobs by handing out private goods to their cronies, whereas democratic leaders have to dole out public goods to maintain their power. That seems to square pretty well with observations in the real world.

This is supposed to be yours, as the first person singular pronoun My implies. Problem is, it’s TheirChart. And there are a lot of them. I have four (correction: five*) MyChart accounts with as many health care providers, so far: one in New York, two in Santa Barbara, one in Mountain View, and one in Los Angeles. I may soon have another in Bloomington, Indiana. None are mine. All are theirs, and they seem not to get along. Especially with me. (Some later correction on this below, and from readers who have weighed in. See the comments.)

Payment technologies offered by the Federal Reserve have evolved over time. In the Federal Reserve’s early years, it established a national check-clearing system and used dedicated telegraph wires to transfer funds between banks. In the 1970s, the Federal Reserve developed an automated clearinghouse (ACH) system that offered an electronic alternative to paper checks. And in 2019, the Federal Reserve committed to building the FedNow SM Service, which will provide real-time, around-the-clock interbank payments, every day of the year.

This Texas Town Was Deep In Debt From A Devastating Winter Storm. Then A Crypto Miner Came Knocking.

Notes on banking and crypto.

You’re a 22-year-old Ukrainian who has just been handed a Kalashnikov, four magazines of thirty rounds, a helmet, and body armor. Last week you were studying architecture at Kyiv National University. Now you’re standing in the lead rank. An officer counts off and puts a hand on your shoulder. “You’re a fire team leader.” He points at the next three people in your rank. “That’s your team.” There are three people behind you. You’ve never seen them before. They await your command.

Long one of America’s safest cities, Seattle had 612 shootings and shots-fired incidents last year, nearly double its average before the pandemic. The city has just experienced its two worst years for homicides since the 1990s, when murder rates were at all-time highs. Gunfire has erupted all across surrounding King County, not just in neighborhoods plagued by violence.

New cars make me want to Saab. Once upon a time, not all cars had to look like folded-up Optimus Prime.

How do you suppose they’re going to tell what position you had that thing set to when your car rolled under the reader? The answer turns out to be relatively simple: they put a sign over each lane, and it just flashes up a “2” or a “3” depending on what it heard from your transponder’s response.

An interesting illustration of this comes from Union of Salvation (Soyuz Spaseniya, 2019), a film about the radical Decembrist revolt of 1825, made with the support of the Russian state. To the considerable shock of older Russian friends of mine who were brought up to revere the Decembrists, the heroes of this film are Tsar Nicholas I and the loyal imperial generals and bureaucrats who fought to preserve government and order against the rebels.

1. China cannot be tied to Putin and needs to be cut off as soon as possible. In the sense that an escalation of conflict between Russia and the West helps divert U.S. attention from China, China should rejoice with and even support Putin, but only if Russia does not fall. Being in the same boat with Putin will impact China should he lose power. Unless Putin can secure victory with China’s backing, a prospect which looks bleak at the moment, China does not have the clout to back Russia. The law of international politics says that there are “no eternal allies nor perpetual enemies,” but “our interests are eternal and perpetual.” Under current international circumstances, China can only proceed by safeguarding its own best interests, choosing the lesser of two evils, and unloading the burden of Russia as soon as possible. At present, it is estimated that there is still a window period of one or two weeks before China loses its wiggle room. China must act decisively.