Interesting stuff

  1. Read: The Great Resignation is restoring flexibility to America’s economy (and Americans’ lives) — watch this space!
  2. Listen: The bizarre ways in which Big Butter tried to stop margarine
  3. Read: How climate change is causing heavier downpours
  4. Listen: An insightful look into the physical and financial drivers of commodity prices
  5. Read: Workers are rethinking the role of “work” in their lives 
  6. Read: David Graeber died last year, but his last book is coming out soon. The Dawn of Everything looks like a good counterargument to those scholars who propose centralised versions of early human settlement.
  7. Read: The US defence establishment has a new report on the dangers of climate change to national security (e.g., food shortages, refugees, flooded bases). At least SOMEONE is taking it seriously!
  8. Watch: Roger Hallam, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, on how climate activists might start a revolution for change. I hope they succeed!
  9. Read (in Dutch): Dutch water boards are not that “democratic” and that’s leading to some serious financial stress.
  10. Watch: Public transport, not dangerous, hackable self driving cars, is the future

H/Ts to IT and PB

Interesting stuff

  1. Read: The rise of the unregulated “lifecoach” industry
  2. Read: Smart: “Housing activists, officials and researchers are deploying new tools to empower tenants, spotlight negligent property owners and curb evictions in U.S. cities.
  3. Read: It’s Time to Stop Talking About “Generations”“So who were these silent conformists? Gloria Steinem, Muhammad Ali, Tom Hayden, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Nina Simone, Bob Dylan, Noam Chomsky, Philip Roth, Susan Sontag, Martin Luther King, Jr., Billie Jean King, Jesse Jackson, Joan Baez, Berry Gordy, Amiri Baraka, Ken Kesey, Huey Newton, Jerry Garcia, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Andy Warhol . . . Sorry, am I boring you? It was people like these, along with even older folks, like Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, and Pauli Murray, who were active in the culture and the politics of the nineteen-sixties. Apart from a few musicians, it is hard to name a single major figure in that decade who was a baby boomer. But the boomers, most of whom were too young then even to know what was going on, get the credit (or, just as unfairly, the blame).”
  4. Read: Inflation is back: The US hit 5.9% (annualised)
  5. Read: The thorny truth about socially responsible investing (it’s not)
  6. Watch: Container homes are a terrible idea
  7. Watch: The story of oil (and how we got climate change, 50 years after we saw it coming)
  8. Read: “Time millionaires” are enjoying life more than pursuing money. Related: The 9.9% (upper middle class) who are simultaneously harming themselves and destroying the world in their quest to “stay on top.”
  9. Read: Is the Democratic Party’s tail (woke college elites) wagging the dog (the median voter)? That would explain how they barely beat T**p. Related (and very interesting) read: Hungary’s anti-gay laws are not nearly as dangerous as the EU’s attempt to force the country to wokeness.
  10. Listen: Energy, capital and commodity markets are disrupting each other

Interesting stuff

  1. Read: Natural gas prices spike due to an “unbalanced energy mix (good analysis).
  2. Listen: An excellent perspective on the CCP’s use of markets to leverage themselves to a socialist (centrally controlled) paradise.
  3. Read: John Carreyou, the reporter who broke the Theranos scam, on Elizabeth Holmes’s trial
  4. Watch: Why city design matters (and I live in Amsterdam)
  5. Read: Insider trading is the norm in US stock markets
  6. Read: It’s time to switch from cloth to N95 masks
  7. Listen: The whistleblower behind the Facebook files explains how the company is putting far too few resources into fighting disinformation, often because it doesn’t want to lose “engagement” (ad revenue). Extremely related, read how Zuckerberg’s empire of 2.9 billion is a “hostile state” to democracy. Related: MIT on FB’s “dangerous algorithms”
  8. Read: The best way to transition from fossil fuels to renewables is to raise the price of fossil fuels. What does the Dutch government do when natural gas prices spike? Rush to spend (taxpayer) money on subsidizing gas prices. This is a total fail. (A partial fail would be to send more INCOME to poorer households, which coild then decide to spend more on gas… or food or clothes…)
  9. Why is US media so negative (and why that poisons public discourse)
  10. Listen: The Sunday Debate: The Battle Over Free Speech: Are Trigger Warnings, Safe Spaces and No-Platforming Harming Young Minds?

Interesting stuff

  1. Read: Rebooting one’s career as a teacher at 50 years old
  2. Read: A real generational gap in mental models has emerged: Kids (“these days”) don’t understand files and folders on computers.
  3. Read: Paradise lost: The rise and ruin of
  4. Read: More climate change, more rain, more mosquitoes, more disease
  5. Read: Three tales of “up by your bootstraps-style” American Dreaming: The collapse of the LuLaRoe MLM cultan influencer who’s succeeding by telling it like it is and Gig-workers organise (world wide) for their right… to know what they will earn.
  6. Read: The problem with the internet is not that everyone can talk but that everyone can listen. The resulting cacophony undermines our social relations.
  7. Read: Americans have no idea what the supply chain really is
  8. Read: How medieval monks reduced (non-phone) distractions. Related: Our brains evolved for habits not uncertainty.
  9. Watch: Greta Thunberg is amazingly smart (put her in charge!)
  10. Watch: Want affordable homes? Your best move is to change the zoning laws to allow more density.


Interesting stuff

  1. Read: So Mailchimp deleted ALL my subscribers for new posts because I didn’t “log in” — that’s a pretty shit move (and widely criticized) when I was using service and had no reason to log in (it was working!) Anyways, I am now using a new service (Mailpoet), and you can sign up with the popup on my blog (please tell me if it doesn’t work!).
  2. Read: Why myths about (racial) superiority endure, in the face of science
  3. Read: South Africa struggles to “get respect” for its COVID policies from richer (but more dangerous) countries.
  4. Read: Private law in Iceland worked between 1000 and 1300 (before the King asserted monopoly authority). Reminds me of the successful “pirate constitutions” of the early 18th c.
  5. Read: How police manufactured and sold “secure” phones to criminals and then used their incriminating messages to arrest hundreds 
  6. Read: Using local residues to track the origins of raw materials in supply chains (and reduce fraud)
  7. Listen: How Xi is using the state to take over the economy (again)
  8. Listen: Some insights on the (good/bad) potential futures of AI
  9. Watch: John Oliver on ransomware
  10. Read: Food is getting more expensive hunting is getting harder in the Arctic as the ice melts and water warms. Related read: Americans living in flood zones are (slowly) facing the real cost of insuring their risks — and they are not happy

H/Ts to MM and TJ

Interesting stuff

    1. Read: A good discussion of why “pipelines” are a bad solution to water scarcity
    2. Read: The ‘melancholic joy’ of living in our brutal, beautiful world
    3. Listen: The Facebook files (ep 1). Surprise! FB has prioritised profits and impact over safety and community. (Read Time’s summary of the episodes.) Related read: Why Silicon Valley’s Optimization Mindset Sets Us Up for Failure
    4. Listen: The status game, i.e., how our desire for relative position leads to over-consumption, depression and strife.
    5. Read: Chile is planning to reform its water laws to weaken property rights and strengthen “social control.” I predict these reforms are likely to undermine economic efficiency without helping the “needy” since politicians will pay more attention to the “noisy”
    6. Read: The businesses that (happily) hire ex-cons
    7. Read: “Linear” governance institutions have a hard time dealing with “exponential” technologies and business models.
    8. Watch: Paper coffee cups are not sustainable, but they’re not that bad.
    9. Read: The Great Lakes Region Is Not a ‘Climate Haven
    10. Read: How a ‘fatally, tragically flawed’ paradigm has derailed the science of obesity. Related (listen): Body Mass Indexes are NOT useful for health.

H/T to MM

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!)