Interesting stuff

  1. Audrey Tang, Taiwan’s “digital minister”, is an original thinker
  2. So Moynihan was wrong about “black families”? Listen to this.
  3. San Francisco is losing its Private Investigators
  4. Margaret Atwood sees the darkness of our times — and how to resist
  5. The economics of vending machines (a lot has changed since I ran one!)
  6. How targeted (vote! stay home!) political advertising works 
  7. Thomas Friedman looks at US politics through a foreign policy lens
  8. Gaming chairs are getting better at supporting immobility, which is bad for your circulation (and probably your soul), but also part of the “retreat from reality” I predicted for a good part of society.
  9. Anne Appelbaum on the twilight of democracy (the comments to this podcast leave me worried for America; seems that lots of people are excited to trade freedom for controls on “left-wing terrorists” [sic]. Read Jacob’s Dark Age Ahead (2005) for more.
  10. An over-caffinated guy says “don’t get into watches!” (Too late 😉

Interesting stuff

    1. When we lose weight, where does it go? (Hint: Water!)
    2. A view on what Covid will bring, from 6 months ago
    3. Who steals “famous art”? Underworld criminals looking for swag
    4. China’s civil war isn’t over (bad news for Taiwan)
    5. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange is setting up a “futures market” for water based on California water trades. I think this is a bad idea b/c (1) there’s no “commodity water” equivalent to oil (water prices reflect unique local and regulatory considerations) and (2) there’s no easy way to store or deliver water, due to its weight and low value per unit (a barrel of oil is worth $40; a barrel of [potable tap water] water is worth about $0.16; agricultural water is worth 1% of that, or less).
    6. Equality is not as useful as equity:
    7. Interesting details on how the airline industry is “melting down”
    8. Tired of experts? Lobbyists? Activists? Check out the UK’s Citizen Assembly format and how they approached climate change
    9. How a Chinese millionaire disrupted damaged BitTorrent by trying to rip off people via his crypto-scam
    10. Health care in rich countries: The US ranks very low due to high costs and chaotic results (this is even before Covid!). The NL does well 😉

H/T to AL

Interesting stuff

  1. Why you should install Signal and ditch WhatsApp (and probably Telegram)
  2. There is something different in the United States today, and I know that you feel it; something noxious, toxic, sick, diseased, and most of all decadent. The wealthiest nation on Earth with such iniquity, where pandemic burnt—still burns—through the population while the gameshow host emperor froths his supporters into bouts of political necromancy.”
  3. Miami Will Be Underwater Soon. Its Drinking Water Could Go First
  4. The burdens of paperwork are growing heavier 
  5. Amsterdam, the beauty.
  6. A fascinating documentary about Shenzen, shanzhai (copycat innovation) and how (some) Chinese see “IP-theft” as “open sourcing” (spin?)
  7. A fire historian explains why California’s burning is mostly about people encroaching on areas that burn naturally  [paywall]
  8. Iceland’s viking culture explains why they offer coffee & cake to visitors 🙂
  9. How Are Psychedelics and Other Party Drugs Changing Psychiatry?

H/T to CD

Interesting stuff

  1. Fossil fuel companies are dying, and that’s good for the environment
  2. Back in 1920, we knew how to reduce the pandemic spread
  3. So many forecasts are not even close to right
  4. Rapidly melting ice means we are facing a big (not included in IPCC) risk of non-linear sea level rise (e.g., +5 meters in 10 years).
  5. Looking back 50 years on shareholders vs stakeholders
  6. How Republicans used local elections to “queer the pitch” in national elections (via gerrymandering)
  7. Airlines are pushing for 30-min preflight C-19 antibody tests. I can see the profit motive. Let’s hope there’s also a penalty for being too lax on false-negatives.

Interesting stuff

  1. Maybe we should read fewer books, better?
  2. Why Karachi floods
  3. How to escape a volcanic eruption
  4. Surprise! (Not!) The plastic industry came up with “recyclable plastic” to confuse consumers and sell more “virgin” plastic
  5. Western US wildfires are exactly what climate scientists predicted and people can’t accept this new world of smoke and fire Get used to it.
  6. How Taiwan successfully (so far) contained Covid and a great sad summary of how the US (185k+ deaths) is failing
  7. The death of the office economy — many interesting dimensions
  8. Many of Trump’s have zero interest in reality
  9. Dr. Daniel Pauly on why overfishing is a Ponzi scheme” Insightful!
  10. Is the US going through a “mega cycle” of disruption?
    “American politics has fallen into a pattern that is characteristic of many developing countries, where one portion of the elite seeks to win support from the working classes not by sharing the wealth or by expanding public services and making sacrifices to increase the common good, but by persuading the working classes that they are beset by enemies who hate them (liberal elites, minorities, illegal immigrants) and want to take away what little they have. This pattern builds polarization and distrust and is strongly associated with civil conflict, violence and democratic decline.”

Interesting stuff

  1. It’s not so nice when “nice white families” take over a non-white school
  2. How energy bars turned into meals
  3. The first “good” map was made by a Greek who also (accurately) calculated the diameter  of the Earth.
  4. Working at home is forcing cultural change
  5. Taibbi on the Trump Era that we’re sick of
  6. Rice vs wheat: a labor, calorie and governance comparison
  7. How settlers screwed up ecosystems in the “New” world
  8. What does “gentrification” mean?
  9. Singapore’s “authoritarian capitalism” doesn’t scale
  10. Every episode in this podcast series has changed my mind on race and US history. Listen in!

H/T to TJ

Interesting stuff

  1. Measuring the scale of coronavirus via sewage
  2. So… the American Revolution was not about democracy but changing which leaders were in charge (and making money, especially via cotton and slavery). Related: Race and science
  3. Why are market prices surging? A lot of money managers only get paid if client funds are “invested” (!)
  4. A website with Trump’s new slogan (“Keep America Great”) points out how he’s broken all his promises and failed to deliver
  5. Western “liberals” are rejecting tolerance for their subjective truth?
  6. Lol: “Facebook apologizes to users, businesses for Apple’s monstrous efforts to protect its customers’ privacy
  7. Why are there 5280 feet in a mile?
  8. The pandemic is nuking college-town economies (velocity of money case study)
  9. Online advertising wears the emperor’s new clothes (= it’s often worthless)
  10. Blockchain: the amazing solution for almost nothing

H/Ts to PB and BZ

Interesting stuff

  1. The Olympics are bad for local communities. (Maybe keep it in one place to avoid disruptions?)
  2. Will our eyes give up all our data in the future?
  3. The collapse of a key Antarctic glacier
  4. How the pandemic might play out in 2021 and beyond
  5. Listen to this excellent 2006 TED talk on how schools kill creativity (a big failure and missed opportunity, IMO)
  6. Socially responsible/impact/ESG investing is doing rather well
  7. California is already living with climate chaos (+2C, fires, blackouts)
  8. RobinHood’s “free” trading takes advantage of retail investors
  9. Race and advertising: “Black people are not just white people with darker skin”
  10. The USPS built America. Crippling it (policy since 2006) is a mistake.

Interesting stuff

  1. The Truth Is Paywalled But The Lies Are Free
  2. The roots of wokeness [brutal but accurate]
  3. A continuing conversation on the lack of diversity in economics
  4. An AI explains human intelligence
  5. Police became professional — and far too powerful — because of the need to control bad drivers
  6. Tech firms are worth so much because they have monopoly power?
  7. Get a vasectomy
  8. A good interview with Kate Raworth on Doughnut economics. She talks about “change” but doesn’t usually explain the tools (besides “be nice”) but those are discussed here. Jason Hickel is also interviewed. Here’s my review of his book.
  9. A good summary of how Trump is wrecking US foreign policy, power and alliances
  10. Watch this TED talk on sex workers and the “protective” laws that harm them

Interesting stuff

  1. America is experiencing “hygiene theatre” (sterilizing surfaces) that’s just as ineffective and wasteful as post-9/11 “security theatre”. Wear a mask!
  2. What a difference student debt makes (follow-up on the billionaire who paid off the debts — averaging $80k — of 400 Howard U students).
  3. Managing China’s rise by helping its neighbors
  4. Covid-finance: students vs universities and tenants vs landlords
  5. America’s police are violent and ineffective compared to other rich countries. Can the “exceptional” nation learn from others?
  6. It turns out that Switzerland is not ruled by anyone in particular.”
  7. NGM on women’s suffrage: 100 years ago and a long way to go.
  8. Exit, Voice, Loyalty is 50 years old… and relevant today
  9. Should we fight over pie (wealth) — or make it bigger?
  10. Economists are starting to get a better handle on uncertainty