Interesting stuff

  1. Lenin: The ruthless creator of inhuman totalitarianism
  2. Think your phone helps you be more social? Think again.
  3. Executives don’t decide; they establish and protect the mission
  4. She was interested in becoming a writer and she was interested in herself—she was made for Instagram.”
  5. What’s clear is that climate change is going to reshape every system made of water on Earth.”
  6. “Being educated means “being able to differentiate between what you know and what you don’t.” As it turns out, this simple ideal is extremely hard to achieve…”
  7. The British are happy to profit on selling weapons to kill civilians.
  8. Government failure has destroyed Lebanon’s water resources
  9. A novelist gives hints on improving academic writing
  10. “Technical protein” will end farming animals for meat.

H/T to PB and MK

Interesting stuff

  1. The Waze algorithms don’t care about the societal cost they inflict and neither does Waze
  2. From Intellectual to influencer: “In the case of the public intellectual, the institution was the academy and the role was thinking. In the case of the public influencer, the institution is the corporation and the role is marketing. The shift makes sense. Marketing, after all, has displaced thinking as our primary culture-shaping activity, the source of what we perceive ourselves to be.”
  3. Read this long, detailed exploration of how renewables are more cost-competitive than fossil fuels for electricity. Also see this detailed forecast.
  4. A young ecologist disrupts the conversation on ecosystems
  5. “These results indicate that using measures such as citation number, h-index, and impact factor are useless when comparing researchers in different fields, and even for comparing researchers in the same subfield.”
  6. Cities, markets and people
  7. “‘If we go into a runaway climate effect, the damage may be between €100 trillion and the loss of civilisation,’ he said. ‘The probability, I would say, is about 10% that this is going to happen. And when it comes to the urgency of decarbonising society and keeping the forests alive, we need at least 20 years. We have only 30 years left to do this… [Taken together, this] simply means that we are in a deep state of climate emergency.'”
  8. Dictators are great performers, so let’s yank them off stage.
  9. India’s demonitization is a great example of how engineers do not understand economics people.
  10. A lovely comparison of Dutch and English, e.g., “I realized then that the trouble was in the tuning of the ear. Past the words, there is the listening to place. To the sea winds that blow inland, speaking the hollow, quickened syllables of flames, and blow over the dunes…”

H/T to PB

Interesting stuff

    1. The art of people-smuggling (out of Venezuela)
    2. A fascinating (realistic) perspective on how primitive humans were far more likely to be experimenting with social structures than falling into rigid power hierarchies based on agricultural surplus.
    3. How to make meetings less terrible
    4. Why are Republicans increasingly willing to “throw America under the bus”? Their aging white male supporters doubt they’ll ever be able to fairly win an election. #timeforchange
    5. Religious orders in Germany are disappearing because so few people want to dedicate their entire lives to God
    6. China’s leaders try to quantify everything, and that’s too much.
    7. Why can’t we agree on what’s true any more?
    8. Why is there less money spent on US politics than almonds? Free riders creating collective action problems.
    9. “Hydrogen” means “creates water” because burning hydrogen leaves water behind. #mindblown.
    10. Need to write an abstract for a paper but don’t have time for individual words? Use Big Data/AI/Machine learning!

Interesting stuff

  1. Restoring overgrazed land in Masaai-lands
  2. statistical significance is a  poor master, but that doesn’t mean it’s a useless servant
  3. Some people are hoping for an alternative to capitalism, private property and inequality, but how can they overcome those entrenched interests?
  4. An American diplomat on professionalism and the Trump-disaster
  5. Do orcas see the world as we do?
  6. The US military is vulnerable to the climate change its magnifying
  7. Want good citizenship (and democracy)? Teach statistics
  8. What’s left of real conservatives in the US? Good ideas but few fans
  9. A thug reviews 1984
  10. An op/ed on the failures of Dutch drugs policy, which is particularly relevant after a Dutch lawyer (representing a witness testifying against a drug lord) was assassinated in front of his Amsterdam house.

H/T to LS

Interesting stuff

  1. A fun “rap battle” video of bitcoin against fiat
  2. Venezuela’s oil capital collapses into chaos
  3. Fuck.
  4. “Free” media undermined good writing. That’s why you should pay writers you like
  5. The first windmills
  6. SoulCycle’s users are boycotting its Trump-supporting founder — and succeeding
  7. What if we stopped pretending the climate apocalypse can be stopped?”  lines up almost exactly with what I’ve been thinking in recent years, i.e., that we’re not making any serious dent in GHG emissions and that it’s better to focus on local community and resiliency. One ironic manifestation of this thinking is that property values in Amsterdam (a city in a region that will be underwater in 50-500 years — the timing will be difficult) may rise rather than fall, as people crowd into a place that’s well run relative to other places that are physically safer but institutionally dysfunctional. How will your future play out?
  8. Photos with impact
  9. The fall of the US might be good for the world, in the same way as the fall of Rome was
  10. This cool showreel provokes your imagination

Interesting stuff

  1. Money and trade in a US prison
  2. Millennials are NOT well insulated from the next recession
  3. Read the Cliff Notes version of Sapiens (my review is a little shorter 😉
  4. Related: a very short history of capitalism
  5. Wanna make a new country? Don’t ask — fight.
  6. People like confident leaders more than cautious ones
  7. How can we make waiting a lot less boring…
  8. What is Goop selling to women?
  9. Some good news on climate? 
  10. Scenes from America’s heroin-laden streets

H/T to DV

Interesting stuff

  1. An interesting discussion on intoxication, consent and responsibility
  2. The peculiar dynamics of sharing your location with “friends”
  3. Bolsinaro thinks the Amazon is theirs to burn. That’s true but we all suffer
  4. City planning for everyone
  5. Good BBC podcasts: Is university worth it, fake stories going viral, and climate change starts to show up in the weather
  6. Joe Rogan talks to America’s men
  7. An amazing profile of a cop’s job
  8. Afghanistan pursues normality
  9. The threat of fake science (is rising)
  10. The modal American is a male, gen-Xer without a university degree

Interesting stuff

  1. A walk among Hong Kong’s protesters (here’s my impression from a visit 9 months ago)
  2. Lower speed limits improve city life (and safety)
  3. Climate change is affecting crop yields and reducing global food supplies
  4. Two Dutch guys might get life in prison for trafficking marijuana and MDMA. I consider this a terrible injustice given that murderers get shorter sentences (e.g., 18 years for killing a leading politician). I guess that Big Pharma/Alcohol don’t like competition.
  5. Despite all my efforts to leave Russia, it had followed me. Why? Are we suddenly living in a Russian-like world that Putin has created?
  6. How Eric Arthur Blair became George Orwell
  7. Climate catastrophe looms ever larger as the bad news (e.g., Greenland’s icesheet slipping off land and raising sea level by 7.5 meters in a short time) outpaces even the worst fears of scientists. Related: Watch this video on how the people of the Sundrabans (Bay of Bengal) are trying to cope with rising seas.
  8. There are some really interesting parallels between Brexit and warfare. Yes, the UK will adapt and survive, but no it’s not a good idea to declare a war that you will lose.
  9. The funny economics of near-zero interest rates
  10. The Dutch are innovating to feed 11 billion

H/T to FB

Interesting stuff

  1. The sad tale of America’s religious freedom fraud and Christian “science”
  2. The history and application of gamification to Lyft drivers
  3. On the strange experience of living through the only accurate doomsday prediction” (echoes of my own perspective…)
  4. Why mass shootings in the US? Guns. Why are white men targeting “immigrants”? Trump is an openly racist President who motivates “losers” to attack on his behalf. How would a real president lead? Read Obama’s tweet
  5. Will Germany ban domestic flights? They should.
  6. The biggest money laundering center centre? Britain.
  7. The Dutch need to talk more about how their wealth was built on suffering
  8. America put Mexicans in gas chambers
  9. Editing is writing
  10. The key insight was to stop trying to build a mechanical carriage, and instead build something more like a mechanical horse.

Interesting stuff

  1. This podcast on American supermarkets has an interesting (sad) discussion of how government farm programs have distorted what’s grown, what Americans eat, and their health problems.
  2. Around 95 percent of crypto currency trades are fake, which reveals that some “shitcoins” are really shit frauds and that markets are actually working more efficiently than incorrect data show. (Read the full analysis .)
  3. George Orwell’s 1984 is ever more relevant: “The crucial issue was not that Trump might abolish democracy but that Americans had put him in a position to try. Unfreedom today is voluntary. It comes from the bottom up.”
  4. Go to Coney Island to see humanity in all its glorious variations
  5. Scammers are buying old sites with inbound links from reliable sites (think NY Times to Aguanomics.com) b/c they can fill the old sites with spam.
  6. The eighteenth-century “reclamation” of Paris was brutal
  7. Norwegian territory of Svalbard allows anyone to live there, theoretically.
  8. A great podcast on reading books and learning
  9. Insights into Pakistan’s Imran Khan and Turkey’s pivot to its past
  10. The ethics and aesthetics of garbage