Interesting stuff

  1. Listen to a debate on the EU’s “Green new deal,” which seems to be too little, too late to me. Why? Voters will not approve a reduction in their consumption (e.g., “flying different” rather than “flying less”)
  2. Read: Jonathan Haidt explains how social media (and its “viral” algorithms) have undermined American society and democracy.
  3. Listen to how a 1906 law (to prevent theft of Texas sand) undermines US port infrastructure.
  4. Read: Russia pays locals to attack and undermine their governments (here Slovakia) .
  5. Read: “J.R. Harris is one of the most prolific solo hikers the world has ever seen. But he’d never tell you that himself”
  6. Watch: The Clothing loop (you should do this!)
  7. Explore: How much will your area (in the US) flood due to rising sea levels and river flood risks?
  8. Read: How the Netherlands became a narco state
  9. Read: Speech by Fabio Panetta, Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank, on the “Wild West of crypto” and why the ECB wants to regulate it.
  10. Read: How Two Internet Nemeses Became Friends (hint: they talked)

H/T to CD

People are fucking in Brussels

Theory: Brussels — as the workplace of many “EU professionals” — has a large population of people from all over the EU (diversity and away from home), most of them fluent in English (good for mixing), and all of them working in a social/bureaucratic atmosphere (personal relations and “mixers”) are common. This seems quite the formula for an active dating scene in comparison to, say, Berlin or Barcelona (cities dominated by the “youth” dating scenes).

Data: I don’t have any. Do you? (Even anec-data are welcome 🙂

My one-handed assertion is that “nature will find a way” 🙂

Interesting stuff

  1. Listen: The nitty-gritty of small town, bottom up (self-) governance
  2. Listen: What’s a “good” education?
  3. Hahaha! An NFT of Jack Dorsey’s first tweet sold for $2.9 million in March 2021. It was re-listed for sale for $48 million, but only got a bid of $280. That’s a 99.999% drop in “value”. RIP NFTs 😉
  4. Listen: Is the U.S. Really Less Corrupt Than China — and How About Russia?
  5. Read: Heard of data colonialism? Here’s an example: “Worldcoin promises a fairly-distributed, cryptocurrency-based universal basic income. So far all it’s done is build a biometric database from the bodies of the poor.
  6. Listen: A Ukrainian on how the West is failing and (read) how the rest of the world might kinda support Putin (due to Western hypocrisy among other things).
  7. Read: Rising groundwater (fed by rising sea-levels) is going to screw up so much infrastructure!
  8. Read: Making friends with flooding 🙂
  9. Capitalists are entering the (US) housing market, and it’s looking like they are going to use market power to suck profits (=raise prices) out of people’s pockets. Related: Americans are moving away from climate risks (e.g., wild fires), so expect rising imbalances of supply and demand.
  10. Money! In praise of USD (cash), digital money is exciting, and digital money will destroy your life.

The future of the human species

We hear a lot of “we need to prevent climate change chaos [CC] to save the Earth humanity,” but that cliché is just wrong.

  • There are nearly 8 billion of us, and I am pretty sure that some of us will survive the current (sixth) mass extinction that is being driving by CC.* Humans, like cockroaches, will find ways to survive, even if it’s in a Matrix of some sort.
  • Human populations are already falling due to a combination of pessimism, female empowerment, and the high cost of raising babies. So we’re moving from quantity to quality, which will mean that everyone will have a greater chance of living.
  • Even if male fertility continues to fall (the “Children of Men” scenario), we will find a way to reproduce.
  • Humans are the pre-eminent species at adopting ourselves into hostile environments and/or changing those habitats to suit ourselves.

In combination, I predict that our world of 2100 or 2200 will be much more dangerous (due to CC) than today but inhabited by a smaller population of humans who have found ways to cope with harsh conditions and a falling standard of living. (We will need to pay for man-made alternatives as today’s “free” ecosystem services weaken/collapse/reverse.)

Beginning around then and strengthening as history unfolds and humans are beaten back, I predict that some ecosystems (and their services) will come back as people are forced to retreat. In some ways, there may be a flowering of diversity in this “new Eden” but it may not be so friendly to our descendants.

My one-handed conclusion is that humans will always be on Earth, even if they are less dominant.

* There’s the possibility of a catastrophic, “Don’t Look Up” event, but I’m not sure that even that would eliminate ALL humans.

Interesting stuff

  1. Read: How to (not) seize an oligarch’s yacht. Related: How Putin’s Oligarchs Bought London
  2. Read: Americans are tired of Covid, so they are ignoring the rate of infection, which is leading to data problems that can inhibit a public-health response.
  3. Read: Who’s Making Money Off Your Image? “It’s time to prevent “portrait piracy” before the rest of us need to worry too.”
  4. Read: The End of Globalization? (Thanks, Putin)
  5. Read: Inflation is real, and it’s caused by a mix of factors
  6. Read: How to deal with online trolls and bullies
  7. Read: How Starbucks replaced people with profit
  8. Read: Facebook uses GOP-smear tactics against TikTok
  9. Read: The Great Resignation doesn’t mean lots of people don’t love — and identify with — their jobs!
  10. Listen: Education is not about facts or authors, but learning to think

Basic political-economy

Economics concerns itself with voluntary, win-win exchanges among actors that increase overall wealth. Economics depends upon property rights.

Politics concerns itself with rights to choose, refuse or oblige. Rights imply the ability to force others into action (or prevent them from acting), which translates into non-voluntary (compulsory), zero-sum transfers of wealth (or its equivalent) from those with less power to those with more power.

Power can be exchanged into wealth but wealth cannot always be exchanged into power.

Interesting stuff

  1. Read: People don’t hate work; they want better jobs
  2. Read: Too much happiness is a bad thing. Related: Choose enjoyment over pleasure.
  3. Listen (x3): The world for sale — how commodity traders traitors enable corrupt kleptocrats. Related: How the Brits became the “butler” to the corrupt and how to stop them (and Putin).
  4. Read: Ukraine’s fighters have pivoted warfare.
  5. Read: Deaf DJs are making a scene on the dancefloor
  6. Read: Behind the Accidentally Resilient Design of Athens Apartments
  7. Read: Ezra Klein has some wise thoughts on liberalism (vs authoritarian-populism)
  8. Read: Ten useful pieces of advice on bitcoin
  9. Read: What’s the REAL cost of your consumption?
  10. Listen: Ireland’s history

Interesting stuff

  1. Read: Six months in, El Salvador’s bitcoin gamble is crumbling. Related (and good) — listen to two Salvadorians explain how badly it’s going. Related (and amazing): Desperate people are playing the crypto-casino
  2. Listen: Many myths of male “biological” advantages debunked.
  3. Listen: Animals are too neat to eat.
  4. Read: Some people are dropping “smart” for “dumb” phones, to save money and their sanity.
  5. Read: Boomers are retiring to Margaritaville, and it’s all party, no responsibility (except to each other).
  6. Listen: A great discussion on how to really do higher ed
  7. Read: Are we (humans) entering an entirely new era?
  8. Read: Exercise is great; the “exercise industry” not so much
  9. Read: Transparent (public) salaries reduce discrimination against non-White-males
  10. Read: California’s anti-inflation policy is a total fail