Interesting stuff

  1. Political hobbyism takes us away from spending time working with others to acquire power. While we sit at home, people who seek political control are out winning over voters.”
  2. An advertising guy has lots of insights for economists (I bought his book to read and learn 😉
  3. How psychics “see your future” (with a little help from your credulity)
  4. A good overview of illegal drug markets in the UK
  5. Dutch celebrities sue Facebook for fake ads — and win.
  6. Listen to these two great episodes of the Capitalisn’t podcast: DuPont covers up the hazards of teflon and Monsanto lobbying farmers to use glycophosphate
  7. My boss (LUC’s Dean) is also a researcher into parents-child communication. She’s just released a paper on gender and racial stereotyping in kids books.
  8. I really learned a few things listening to this podcast on the “economics of Millennial Socialists”
  9. A short video on how the Dutch nearly destroyed Amsterdam with US-style highways, off-ramps and urban destruction.
  10. Before there was recycling, there was the rag trade” (I bought the book!)

Interesting stuff

  1. Nice podcast explaining Pigouvian taxes and their origin 
  2. Do economic sanctions work? No.
  3. Why Does Tipping Still Exist” — especially when it’s biased
  4. How Oligarchs and Populists Milk the E.U. for Millions” Me: End the CAP!  
  5. Governments are using spyware to target journalists via hacked WhatsApp messages. The same can happen to you. Here’s how to protect yourself.
  6. Regrets for a Dutch town that switched from natural gas to “renewable” biofuel.
  7. Greater urban density means more connections and more innovation
  8. Church vs tribe: “Western Individualism Arose from Incest Taboo
  9. Prosperity in China is changing the way people behave towards each other
  10. Will India get rich fast enough to prevent more smog deaths?

Interesting stuff

  1. Do MBA programs help or hinder ethics in business?
  2. Napoleon was still is pretty important
  3. The co-evolution of technology and techniques
  4. Inside the echo-chamber Facebook builds for you
  5. Our changing perception of digital data (from files to relations)
  6. The Dutch government has spent €11billion subsidizing wood pellets as [carbon-neutral] biofuel — which it isn’t when you including processing and shipping 
  7. The interesting tension between freedom and stability in cultures
  8. Leaf blowers are really really bad for the environment (like 20x car emissions)
  9. Tom Friedman is right to call attention to the four horses of America’s apocalypse institutional meltdown: Trump, Facebook, Fox news Lies and Republican traitors. Getting rid of Trump does not mean getting rid of the problem. 
  10. Fires in California (due to climate change but also over-stretched firefighting capacity, undermaintained infrastructure, and overpopulation in vulnerable areas) may be the beginning of the end for California. (Drought? Don’t even go there.)

Interesting stuff

  1. For years, I have complained that “nobody wakes up in the morning, looks at GDP statistics, and changes their plans for the day.” Listen to this podcast on mis-measuring productivity and manufacturing statistics, which may have given populists excuses to “fix” problems that never existed. (My impression is that many more people would be happier if they looked at their quality of life instead of a [random? inaccurate?] reference point that supposedly tells them how well they are doing compared to peers.
  2. Parents sometimes forget that they are not in control
  3. Hollywood may slowly be overcoming its sexism
  4. Will Smith “stopped caring about others’ opinions” when he turned 50
  5. Who are the Kurds? Trump certainly didn’t know who he betrayed.
  6. Check out these photos of museum visitors who “match the art”
  7. Airbnb is bringing cash to remote Himalayan villages. A good thing?
  8. Straight talk on privacy, encryption, crime and the State
  9. Why can’t billionaires just stop accumulating and help society?
  10. Capitalism in America: A tipping culture that borrows from the worst of Old Europe and WeWork’s crazy founder paid $1billion to go away.

H/T to PB

Interesting stuff

  1. Over-stuffed schedules are undermining our friendships and well-being.
  2. America’s math curriculum needs to be fixed.
  3. Fast casual restaurants in the U.S. have adopted tablets on their tables “to increase customer satisfaction profits,” but they’re a trainwreck for servers.
  4. Ultimately, capitalism is going to lose its customers. There won’t be anybody to buy the product because everybody is going to be so poor.
  5. “Small government” types in Texas built a low tax “city” that few people want to live in (and fewer should drive by).
  6. This report (pdf, in Dutch) explores the time savings from optimizing train travel in Europe, indicating that trains can displace many plane trips on speed alone.
    Blue for train and purple for plane trip duration. Green bars show train times with optimization.
  7. Some very interesting insights into the (dehumanized) algorithms that maximize profits for Capital One (credit cards) at the expense of poor peoples’ bad judgement.
  8. Some useful insights into the “unicorn massacre” (Uber, et al.)
  9. Science can be good with exact theories, but not when it comes to humans
  10. The Agricultural Revolution was good for collecting taxes, not citizens.

H/T to EH

Interesting stuff

  1. Melting permafrost is putting climate chaos into overdrive (and we barely know what’s happening)
  2. Informal urbanism makes cities human-friendly
  3. The Economist, commenting on “unexplainably low” inflation, suggests “a uniform handout to the public in which every adult received an equal share of newly created money.” I like that idea — and suggested it 3.5 years ago!
  4. Amsterdam will tax street advertising (i.e., sidewalk-boards or windows-ads). Love this.
  5. Stockton’s basic income experiment is improving lives, not slackers.
  6. Jeff Bezos, SciFi nerd, is taking humanity to space.
  7. The simple math of mass transit (7x capacity) over private cars 
  8. A scalper’s life and retirement…
  9. Maybe climate chaos disrupting sports will get men to turn away from muscle cars, red meat, and competitive (positional) consumption?
  10. Water quality is important, but it’s getting worse.

H/T to PB

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