Interesting stuff

  1. Should the UN declare a responsibility to protect Americans from the Trump administration? (Yes)
  2. Notes on Beirut’s broken sewage system  (and corruption)
  3. Racism, gender and diversity in economics: EconTalk and Capitalisn’t
  4. The Germans rose above their past by facing their failures. The Russians have not reconciled with the real horrors of Stalin; America struggles with its slavery past.
  5. Time to re-read “The Coddling of the American Mind“?

    Teaching students to avoid giving unintentional offense is a worthy goal, especially when the students come from many different cultural backgrounds. But students should also be taught how to live in a world full of potential offenses.

  6. YouTube can take you down a dark rabbithole, but you can also direct your own adventures.
  7. Minecraft is magic and disconcerting in the same way as life. Explore.
  8. Marmelade
  9. Climate-chaos will put poverty- and corruption-driven migration into overdrive. If the EU and US block migration, then they are more likely to have wars on their frontiers.
  10. America’s failure to deal with the rise of China risks world stability

H/T to PB

Interesting stuff

  1. A (really) deep analysis of the weaknesses in the Big 5 personality tests
  2. The cult catastrophe at WeWork
  3. Our egos + social media – community = mayhem
  4. Discrimination by the State against women and minorities
  5. Social media has fed our egos and rage at the same time as our local social networks have collapsed
  6. Wikipedia’s “culture of neutrality” limits the damage from “my opinion over your facts.”
  7. China’s assurances about flood control may be as hollow as their assurances that “Covid is under control” in Wuhan.
  8. Race and fragility in universities. Related: On White Fragility:Few books about race have more openly infantilized Black people than this supposedly authoritative tome.
  9. The story behind airline ticketing
  10. The extremely effective, Swiss political system explained (part 1)

Interesting stuff

  1. How communications technology changes our brains
  2. The Writing of “Silent Spring”: Rachel Carson and the Culture-Shifting Courage to Speak Inconvenient Truth to Power
  3. “…because of poor political decisions [in the US] that every public-health person I know disagreed with, everything that could go wrong did go wrong.”
  4. Re-opening schools will be much harder than closing them
  5. Why are cases up and deaths down in the US? Lagging data and more.
  6. Some good background on the rise of Putin (and KGB power)
  7. The world is getting angrier, outrage defeats our public discourse, and how poker players are better at dealing with uncertainty
  8. Colonial powers used opium for income, then made its use criminal.
  9. Rethinking public spaces in the era of Corona
  10. The first EMTs in the world were Black guys from Pittsburgh, until they were shut down by a racist mayor
  11. A funny angry rant on climate change deniers

Interesting stuff

  1. Higher education faces a financial reckoning with charging a lot for little. Related: The notion of education for education’s sake no longer carries any weight
  2. Really living off the grid changes your timing
  3. Air conditioning is reinforcing climate change, but it isn’t really needed.
  4. Trump’s behavior reflects his upbringing as a spoiled brat. Related: Historians on why Trump is America’s worst president ever
  5. A very Canadian reflection on the passport. Related: Citizenship used to be about community; now it’s mostly about rents 
  6. Heavily monopolized markets make a joke of consumer choice
  7. The museum of whale penises raises many questions
  8. Myths about the Black Death, Middle Ages and Renaissance
  9. What’s wrong with WhatsApp?

As any frequent user of WhatsApp or a closed Facebook group will recognise, the moral anxiety associated with groups is rather different. If the worry in an open network is of being judged by some outside observer, be it one’s boss or an extended family member, in a closed group it is of saying something that goes against the codes that anchor the group’s identity. Groups can rapidly become dominated by a certain tone or worldview that is uncomfortable to challenge and nigh-impossible to dislodge. WhatsApp is a machine for generating feelings of faux pas, as comments linger in a group’s feed, waiting for a response.

Interesting stuff

  1. A conversation on improving race and policing, and another on defunding — moving money into social services — the police
  2. Taxpayers should get ownership shares (as “capitalists”) in exchange for the risk they bear for bailing out companies
  3. The economy is a mess, so why are stocks up?
  4. How India manages crowds of up to 250 million (!)
  5. Pandemic insurance existed, but nobody bought a policy
  6. I’m shocked! Shocked! “Covid-positive passengers fly instead of staying home.
  7. Russia’s GRU (~US CIA) has made some mistakes, so Putin replaced killed its leader. I bet Trump is jealous.
  8. The Pentagon’s budget for “defending America” has been growing for years, but so has its inability to track funds, equipment or buildings (!). Read about their $21 trillion black hole of accounting.
  9. “What’s wrong with America?” The health care system extracts from the poor to help the rich.  The result? Deaths of despair (via drug overdoses). Related: An interview with a Chinese Fentanyl salesperson (it’s illegal to sell the chemicals in China, but not to sell abroad.)

Interesting stuff

  1. Biohacking life” — a physics geek gets into our metabolism
  2. Governments are printing money to “get out of the crisis”, but they are probably sowing the seeds of the next crisis (of inflation? fiscal collapse?)
  3. An incredibly interesting dive into Japanese cosmology
  4. The American Press Is Destroying Itself (under pressures of political correctness)
  5. This is the governance article (good/bad responses to C19 as a function of government quality) I’ve been looking for!
  6. Excess deaths really explain the damage from C19: NYT and Economist
  7. Some techniques for reaching consensus on difficult topics
  8. Humans have used technology to help women to have 8 billion babies
  9. Massive glaciers are melting in Antartica in front of researchers’ eyes.
  10. A VC guy on big tech monopolies, inequality and race

Interesting stuff

  1. The US is a failed state (leadership matters) and an exception essay on the collaborators (think Nazi’s) who enable Trump
  2. This is how to frame China’s geopolitical moves… but Trump — who has no leadership abilities — is not the one to respond to them.
  3. One-quarter of universities are “walking dead”
  4. An excellent paper on how the arrival of water meters affects water consumption (23% drop) and the distribution of those costs (poorer areas pay £23 more per year — much less than feared).
  5. American stocks are up for strange reasons, but its safety net is failing workers, and the real economy may crash from its sugar high.
  6. An interview with the founder of Bellingcat, an “investigative activist” group that’s uncovered Russian crimes in Syria and shooting down MH17. Related: How totalitarian countries are attacking free media and journalists at home.
  7. Apartheid had its roots in protecting white labor from (more competitive) black labor.
  8. Monopoly power allows discrimination to persist
  9. Small companies are failing at record rates worldwide under the influences of C19, trade disputes, market power and political interference. That’s bad for innovation.
  10. Peer review has all the problems typical to biased humans

H/T to AC

Interesting stuff

  1. The rise of Chinese translation (and listening) AI
  2. Perfume
  3. Poorer countries are experiencing a debt crisis that will break records
  4. Gen Z is getting screwed (again) by coronavirus
  5. The Netherlands is setting sunshine records due to climate change and coronavirus (fall in pollution). That’s great for suntans but terrible for farmers 🙁
  6. Quantified: Social science insularity  (poor anthropology!)
  7. Stop the spread by banning large events. Save yourself by remembering the value of touch. Counting deaths by cause is hard.
  8. A tourist’s guide to Rome in the first century AD
  9. How Not to Write About Africa
  10. A photo-journalist friend drive 6,000 miles and talked to many (real, working) Americans about how corona-related policies and behaviors affect them. A quick but insightful read.

H/T to KM

 

Interesting stuff

Corona-related

  1. America is sacrificing the poor for the rich (again)
  2. Corona is separating good from bad leaders
  3. Coronavirus isn’t stopping drug traffickers from meeting demand

Non-Corona

  1. Revenge of the ghetto fashion designer
  2. Podcast episode on “dragons and snakes”, i.e., how would-be greats are using asymmetric methods to undermine US military power
  3. How Houston’s (pro-growth/missing) land use planning puts neighborhoods at increasing risk of flooding.
  4. Good advice for life. (I like the “There is no “They” out to get you”)
  5. BoJo is much more a Disraeli than Churchill
  6. Successfully teaching America’s most “challenged” students
  7. One of the best discussions of macroeconomics, monetary policy, and banking that I’ve heard
  8. An entertaining (and scary) look into how computer products (in this case, a drawing tablet) are sending your data to lots of unknown places…

Interesting stuff

Corona

  1. A post-pandemic world will have more government, be less globalized, and rethink its market economies
  2. A list of the economic and political areas C19 will impact (improve?)
  3. The “real” death rate from C19 in NL (measured via “excess deaths”) is 9,000 — 32% higher than the official C19 death count.
  4. Good advice on how to keep yourself sane in lockdown
  5. Covid as the “shift” from US to Chinese dominance
  6. Universities shouldn’t re-open but adapt
  7. This cartoon says it all

Non-Corona

  1. Why are so many leaders incompetent — and male? 
  2. A useful summary of the good points (somewhat buried by its poor format) in “Planet of the Humans.” I agree with all 5 — and have for years 😉
  3. Logs, which I kinda understand, are pretty cool
  4. Episode 1,000 of Planet Money: behind the green curtains

H/Ts to IH, VZ