Interesting stuff

  1. Listen: America’s Math Curriculum Doesn’t Add Up. I really identified with a lot of the problems they discuss, especially from my graduate school years.
  2. Listen: A surprisingly insightful discussion of fashion trends, market disruptions and climate change.
  3. Listen: Richard Thayler’s Nudge 2.0 has some corrections. Related read “The death of behavioral economics
  4. Read: California bans non-recyclable packaging that’s labeled as recyclable (how is this not already illegal?!?)
  5. Read: Maybe people need to do less cancelling and more forgiving? Related: Read “More Americans give up on the Common Good
  6. Read: The ways conspiracies actually spread (a series of subjective half-truths that anyone can embellish)
  7. Read: Cycling injuries in NL (based on hospital admissions) are 3x worse than official figures (based on police reports).
  8. Read: Those on the Left embracing cancel culture (and other post-modern concepts of “relativity”) are embracing the “confessional” tactics of religious conservatives (God as arbitrator of truth, channeled by spokesmen/priests) that the Enlightenment fought on its way to promoting liberal, universal values. Related listen to this debate on meritocracy.
  9. Listen: The disaster of subsidized flood insurance in the US.
  10. Read: “Surgical masks are highly protective [against COVID], but cloth masks fall short” — I just bought a bunch of N95s, as there are too many anti-vaxxers for the Netherlands to be safe.

H/Ts to BZ and PB

Interesting stuff

  1. Read: Whole milk is back baby! “Why have so many of us turned our backs on dairy in the first place, even if it was not medically necessary? There’s this quest for absolution in the foods we eat.”
  2. Read: How digital media turned us all into dopamine addicts and Stop Giving Companies Your Phone Number
  3. Listen: The Breaking Point Of Democracy …comes when we stop debating and start cancelling
  4. Watch: How Suburban Development Makes American Cities Poorer
  5. From Iceland:
    1. A Pink But Toxic Gold-Rush (of farmed salmon)
    2. The Nature Pass: The Stupidest Tax In History
  6. Read: How Canada is making big money from (exploited) foreign students. (This rings many bells from my time teaching there in 2013-14.)
  7. Read: Climate Change Is Already Rejiggering Where Americans Live
  8. Read: The Surprisingly Big Business of Library E-books (i.e., revenue optimisation models against the basic idea of a library)
  9. Read: Is your name ruining your life?
  10. Read: On 7 Sep, I did a Reddit “ask me anything” on climate, water, drought, floods, fires and how (if?) we can adapt to climate chaos. It got 1200+ upvotes (good for visibility) and attracted 380+ comments (about 1/3rd mine). Read the questions and answered (sort by “popular”) to see what we discussed.

Interesting stuff (on-the-road edition)

I’m in Iceland, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading and listening to amazing stuff. Enjoy!


(1) Read: Supply chain shortages underline the “anti-globalization” aspect of C19

(2) Listen: A sociologist on how academics and policy makers failed to grasp C19

(3) Read: Those with long-Covid are taking care of themselves as medicine fails them

(4) Read: Covid will evolve as we grapple with it, and we may not win. Related: C-19 is here forever

Climate-chaos related

(5) Read: CC is intensifying fires, rain, etc., and we can’t flee

(6) Read: CC is bankrupting small towns (too much damage; not enough wealth or subsidies

Other cool stuff

(7) Read: How the Lebanese are using crypto to escape a failing banking system

(8) Listen: A podcast on the plumbing of mega financial firms that *may be* manipulating crypto markets

(9) Listen: The story of Sadie Alexander, the first Black economist in the US. She could not get a job as an economist (sexual/racial discrimination) but her insights have been recovered

(10) Listen: The “West” should cut ties with Saudi Arabia (holy shit, the “pro side” was amazing)

Interesting stuff

  1. Listen: People talking about their relation to water
  2. Read: The case for “[educational] credential disarmament”
  3. Read: A reporter creates “IdiotCoin” to show how stupid cryptocurrencies are. It rises in price. (Don’t underestimate the weirdness of markets.)
  4. Read: Zillow and other firms are buying and flipping houses for profit. I see this as a good (for them) business model due to the high transaction costs of buying/selling as well as the poor state of many houses for sale (=lower price).
  5. Read: Rolex was not “first on top of Everest” but you wouldn’t know it from their advertising.
  6. Read: How international scam artists pulled off an epic theft of Covid benefits [over half?!?]
  7. Read: Who Wants To Return To The Office? (White men)
  8. Read: Why are so many knowledge workers quitting their jobs? (Commutes?). Related: Those left behind are burning out.
  9. Listen to this 2011 debate “the war on terror was an appropriate response to 9/11.” Quite an interesting set of perspectives.
  10. Read: The secret lives of mosquitos (interesting!)

Interesting stuff

  1. Listen: This podcast (“stop pretending we can save the planet”) didn’t change my mind as much as reflect what I have been thinking: (1) We humans are not going to be able to collaborate to “save the climate” from the top down and (2) We can do quite a bit to protect and strengthen our local environments (as I said in 2008).
  2. Read: A Facebook employee who tried to reduce manipulation was fired … because the company doesn’t care. Related (listen): Facebook blocks researchers who are uncovering their incompetence indifference towards blocking manipulative political advertising.
  3. Read: “Republicans [in ND] Are Starting to Worry About Big Oil” as it destroys their water, air and farms.
  4. Watch: I saw a few clips from this documentary on Elinor and Vincent Ostrom in 2019. Now you can watch it on the web. It gives a really nice overview of two very significant careers — and one loving relationship!
  5. Read: Fuel-powered cars fixed the “horseshoe problem.” Electronic-cars promise to fix the “carbon problem,” but what problems will they bring? Related: Debate: To stop climate chaos, we must end capitalism (I’m against)
  6. Read: The devastating new UN report on climate change, explained
  7. Listen: This Is Your Brain on Pollution
  8. Read: A Tale of Two [California] Vineyards, one drying out and the other “not yet”
  9. Read: The COVID pandemic is becoming endemic as limited acceptance of vaccination allows it to spread (the Delta variant has an R0 of 5-9!)
  10. Listen: One of the best episodes on fraud in the crypto world I’ve heard

Interesting stuff

  1. Read: The damage from T**** continues: A Brain Drain Among Government Scientists Bogs Down Biden’s Climate Ambition
  2. Listen (Amazing!): When A British Rapper Freestyles in New York…
  3. Listen (to the whole series): The U.S. Is Just Different — So Let’s Stop Pretending We’re Not
  4. Read: “Trolls need kind words the most
  5. Read: The time tax: Why is so much American bureaucracy left to average citizens? Related (to read): The Great American Eye-Exam Scam
  6. Read: The democrats have the right idea: Levying massive tax penalties ($500 billion) on companies making their money from GHG emissions
  7. Read: China’s crackdown on tech is bad for big companies (and their investors), but is it bad for the industry (innovation) or customers (market power)?
  8. Read: The Surprising Benefits of Talking to Strangers
  9. Watch: James Hoffman looks at a Nespresso machine in great detail
  10. Watch: A Vox video “do I want kids” that is also quite interesting

Interesting stuff

  1. Read: The Washington Consensus has withstood the test of time quite well
  2. Read: The story behind a massive online Ponzi scheme that collapsed in Turkey
  3. Watch: More amazing freestyling from Harry Mack
  4. Read: The California dream is dying
  5. Read: What makes a graduate program predatory?
  6. Listen: Michael Pollan on plants, drugs and humans
  7. Listen: The good side of meritocracy
  8. Listen: Simone Biles said “no” — and that’s a good sign of athletes getting rights and taking care of themselves (over the goals of coaches, nations, etc)
  9. Read: How Stephen Colbert Survived the Pandemic, Trump and the Loss of Laughter
  10. Listen: How to Get Anyone to Do Anything

Interesting stuff

  1. Read: What I learned by taking a month-long break from email
  2. Listen: Inside Facebook’s Battle for Domination
  3. Read: China is turning inward “due to COVID” but maybe also because its rulers cannot handle any dispute of their (and the nation’s) absolute power?
  4. Read: National Geographic has a (timely) issue on urban heat, trees, temperature inequality, etc. Recommended.
  5. Read: As I have feared (for years), climate chaos means mosquitoes are carrying tropical diseases (e.g., West Nile, Zika, etc.) to temperate zones (NL!)
  6. Watch: Cities aren’t loud, cars are loud
  7. Listen: Brave New World vs 1984. Which better captured our current lives?
  8. Read: The Inevitable Weaponization of App Data Is Here
  9. Listen: Selling vaccination (successfully). Related (?): Watch Jon Stewart go off — in a charming and factual way — on the Wuhan Lab hypothesis.
  10. Listen [Top economist] Sendhil Mullainathan Thinks Messing Around is the Best Use of Your Time

Interesting stuff

  1. Listen: The high cost of mishandling the pandemic (an economist’s perspective)
  2. Listen: The truth behind fake news (economically/socially vulnerable people are willing to believe anything)
  3. Listen: Using greed (profits!) to reform anti-social corporations (e.g., Exxon)
  4. Listen: Let’s hear it for the young Black women who raised their profile in academic economics (much against the while male norm)
  5. Read: Why infrastructure costs so much in America (NIMBYs, bureaucracy and other factors)
  6. Listen: Insights from a homeless NFA man
  7. Listen: Stuff the British stole (an interesting angle on colonialism)
  8. Listen: An excellent 3-part podcast on Silk Road and the Dark Web
  9. Read: “Reducing hours without reducing pay would reignite an essential but long-forgotten moral project: making American life less about work
  10. Read: California’s Cliffs Are Collapsing One by One

Interesting stuff

  1. Read: Essay mills are not just for the rich, but also the poor and desperate
  2. Read: Sixty years of climate change warnings: the signs that were missed (and ignored)
  3. Read: In 2030, You Won’t Own Any Gadgets (and it will suck)
  4. Read: The Dutch government opened clubs to (fingers crossed) “vaccinated” young people. Infections are up over 700% in Amsterdam and the country is going “red” on the risk map. What a fuck up.
  5. Read: Why water is weird (hint — tetrahedrons)
  6. Read: The lie of “expired” food and the disastrous truth of America’s food waste problem
  7. Think: Check out the “climate map” of how the US will change (and become uninhabitable in some places)
  8. Read: “Rotten” links are destroying our knowledge base
  9. Read: Eat less sugar
  10. Read: There’s now more concrete (by weight) than all living matter