Interesting stuff

  1. Listen to Freakonomics talk about tracking disease in wastewater
  2. Watch this funny satire on “Airbnb aesthetics”
  3. Out-of-control advertising is “enshitifying” the internet.
  4. Read: Is Amazon using excess profits from commissions paid by sellers to crush competition? Seems right to me.
  5. Listen to a good conversation on correctly using statistics
  6. Listen: California’s omni-present “this building contains chemicals known to cause cancer” signs are actually useful (!)
  7. Read: RIOT (a bitcoin miner) seems to embody a mix of fraud and delusion.
  8. The Dutch government will not make housing more “affordable” by giving money to buyers, since they will just pay more for the limited supply. BUILD MORE SUPPLY!
  9. A few choice excerpts from Right Ho Jeeves (PG Wodehouse, 1934), a novel that skewers the English upper classes, via Bertie’s relation with his butler Jeeves:

    I [Bertie] eyed him narrowly. I didn’t like his looks. Mark you, I don’t say I ever had, much, because Nature, when planning this sterling fellow, shoved in a lot more lower jaw than was absolutely necessary and made the eyes a bit too keen and piercing for one who was neither an Empire builder nor a traffic policeman

    I [Bertie] have no doubt that you could have flung bricks by the hour in England’s most densely populated districts without endangering the safety of a single girl capable of becoming Mrs. Augustus Fink-Nottle without an anaesthetic.

    I was trying to think who you reminded me of. Somebody who went about strewing ruin and desolation and breaking up homes which, until he came along, had been happy and peaceful. Attila is the man. It’s amazing.” she said, drinking me in once more. “To look at you, one would think you were just an ordinary sort of amiable idiot–certifiable, perhaps, but quite harmless. Yet, in reality, you are worse a scourge than the Black Death. I tell you, Bertie, when I contemplate you I seem to come up against all the underlying sorrow and horror of life with such a thud that I feel as if I had walked into a lamp post.”

    The fact that pigs were abroad in the night seemed to bring home to me [Bertie] the perilous nature of my enterprise. It set me thinking of all the other things that could happen to a man out and about on a velocipede without a lamp after lighting-up time. In particular, I recalled the statement of a pal of mine that in certain sections of the rural districts goats were accustomed to stray across the road to the extent of their chains, thereby forming about as sound a booby trap as one could well wish

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Author: David Zetland

I'm a political-economist from California who now lives in Amsterdam.

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