Stuff to read

  1. Guess what? House Hunters (a reality TV show) is scripted
  2. An incredible detective story: tracking down a fake Rolex “brand”
  3. Here’s an interview with me [mp3] on the Future of Agriculture podcast. (I’m not optimistic.)
  4. I recommend listening to “Hash Power, a three part audio documentary that explores the world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies,” which was published in 2017, thus providing some interesting predictions of where crypto was going (and not!)
  5. Three delusional visions of smart cities
  6. How Boeing lost its way
  7. Thomas Sowell explains why “trickle down economics” is a lie
  8. A new report on water governance in China
  9. Marriage is more complicated than just a couple making promises
  10. Oceans are absorbing carbon at a rate likely to cause mass extinction within this century. So, yeah, we’re fucked.

Stuff to read

  1. Exercise is not just about losing weight
  2. When is a “burger” a burger — and other naming nonsense
  3. Americans only started working too much (rather, taking too few vacations) in the 1980s
  4. Here are some excerpts from a new documentary on Elinor and Vincent Ostrom and the study of the commons, which will come out in May 2020
  5. In an experiment, students lived in the desert on 15 liters of water per day “without difficulty adjusting to a low-resource lifestyle.” Could you?
  6. Thirty people are sailing from Europe to the COP meeting in Chile. Support their mission?
  7. The most important wind in the world — the monsoon — is failing.
  8. China is exporting its digital surveillance model, beginning with BRI countries. Related: Read this 1993 essay on Singapore: “Disneyland with the death penalty
  9. “Bluntly stated, we should accept the grim reality that victory in modern major wars was most often achieved by mass slaughter, not by heroics or the genius of generals” Related: I agree with Bernie Sanders on “ending America’s endless war
  10. I’m quoted in this essay on over-population, sustainability and the Bay Area.

Stuff to read

  1. #Greenblood: Dozens of journalists have been killed while reporting on environmental crimes
  2. #ExtinctionRebellion activists are using drones to disrupt flights from airports. I’ve predicted that they will go beyond this, to actually down planes that are contributing to climate change. 
  3. The Dutch are pretty honest. Read the story of my returned gold ring
  4. An interview with Hal Varian, Google’s chief economist
  5. The DeGrowth movement is growing (see my post)
  6. Life without wireless in your face
  7. Amazon doesn’t care if its site is full of counterfeit books (I see this firsthand with fraudulent copies of my books).
  8. The entrepreneurs behind Worn & Wound (a watch-enthusiast site). Related: Dan Henry turned his watch passion into a business.
  9. A long tale on the short life of SpeedX/BlueBird (shared) bikes
  10. The market is going nuts for companies promising big profits on zero capital. Be afraid.

Stuff worth your time

  1. The economics of migration, explained.
  2. A useful, if slightly frustrating, conversation on climate change with Bjorn Lomborg, who believes that “people will find ways to survive” — a policy recommendation I do not support. 
  3. How Satoshi channeled greed into value (blockchain institutions)
  4. Way too much data on watches and male perspectives on their wrists
  5. A decent overview of how the Americans won, then lost, the world
  6. If men want to ban abortions, then they need to pledge celibacy. Related: Women don’t just casually abort 
  7. A big Dutch technical university wants more female professors, so they are only accepting female candidates for positions over the next few years

Stuff to read

  1. The man controlling Russian media (for Putin)
  2. If you’re interested in “fair” water pricing, then read this paper [pdf] on Nairobi’s system: “we find that high-income residential and nonresidential customers receive a disproportionate share of subsidies and that subsidy targeting is poor even among households with a private metered connection.”
  3. “Why should migrants respect borders when we didn’t respect theirs?” Good question.
  4. GMO crops in Spain/Portugal increased profits, and lowered herbicide, insecticide and diesel use. Adopt!
  5. Google and Amazon allow you to opt out of spying — a little.
  6. George Orwell’s 1984 is ever more relevant: “The crucial issue was not that Trump might abolish democracy but that Americans had put him in a position to try. Unfreedom today is voluntary. It comes from the bottom up.”
  7. A fantastic hitjob on Uber, a company that’s taken $70 billion from gullible investors who bought the “Uber Technologies, Inc. operates as a technology platform for people and things mobility” lie.
  8. American rivers are too full (climate disruption!) for barges to move. Chaos in the Midwest. Will they vote for “Mr Coal Trump” again? (Don’t let USACE near this problem — they caused it with all the channeling, etc.)
  9. The mathematics of digital compression
  10. A Dutch researcher wins the “Borlaug food prize” for suppling better seeds to millions of small farmers.

H/T to DL

Stuff to read

  1. Looking for inspiration regarding specialization? Listen to this
  2. So what happens after we reach “peak mobile”?
  3. If you want to geek out on the complexity of the energy transition (from fossil fuels), then check out this energy model. It focuses on the EU, but there’s a LOT of data and complexity to explore!
  4. What’s Really Driving the Cryptocurrency Phenomenon? Related: Nothing Can Stop The Bitcoin Protocol and the trust among developers of a trustless protocol
  5. The supporters of populists have a lot in common with the Germans who chose Hitler.
  6. Indoor pollution is a real problem (even in Amsterdam) — and it’s worse in theatres!
  7. How many times will your town flood before you call it quits? This Maryland town had three “1 in a 1,000 year” storms in 3 years.
  8. This is the best analysis of the connection between drought, climate change and the war in Syria
  9. Whoops! One cotton bag has 7,000x the impact of one plastic bag!
  10. An excellent podcast on affordable housing policies (fails)

Stuff to read

  1. The collapse of civilization (probably due to climate change) will affect different classes in different ways
  2. The brutal indifference of colonial murder
  3. An interesting discussion of doctors, aging and genetic ethics
  4. The young are impulsive and emotional, which is why they might rescue us.
  5. Ukraine’s new president might be a comedian, but he’s got the right ideas for his people.
  6. Fairbnb is about to launch. I’ve given advice to them on how to help (rather than harm) communities.
  7. Soldiers know the difference between a plan and a strategy. Do their superiors?
  8. Is your neighborhood livable? We have 6/6 within walking distance of our flat.
  9. A nicely balanced article on climate-change-induced conflict
  10. Helping whistleblowers uncover financial crimes

Stuff to read

  1. Used stuff is not “dumped” on poor people, but bought by them
  2. Remote sensing will help us find/measure air pollution from power plants
  3. History’s “message” often depends on the identity of the narrator
  4. When I walked into the Bronx I was an atheist. It was something I was sure about. After years of traveling America, I wasn’t so sure.”
  5. Why books (and lectures) don’t work. Thought provoking…
  6. Beautiful water photos
  7. Time to call it Climate Change Crisis
  8. One statistical “success” lead to a thousand useless publications
  9. A really good analysis of the Muller Report (and Trump’s chaos)
  10. Spying is getting very complicated (and these tools will be used on us)

H/T to PB

Stuff to read

  1. Minimum wages help low paid workers overcome “unequal market power” in setting wages, but they can — in “loose” labor markets — still make it harder to get hired.
  2. More evidence of sexism in the economics profession (as well as the clueless behavior of manspaining graduate student trolls)
  3. How your diet drives climate change — and what to do about it
  4. Are subscription services encouraging over-consumption?
  5. A pretty accurate vies of the “downside” of Amsterdam 😉
  6. Environmental justice needs more attention (and action!)
  7. Watch this TED talk on working as a team instead of competing to beat each other.
  8. Listen to this interview on trusting the poor (rather than treating them as babies) as a means of helping them improve their lives.
  9. I support replacing student debt by taking an equity stake in their future.

H/T to PB

 

Stuff to read

  1. Bad news: Global soil fertility gone in 30-60 years due to overuse of pesticides and fertilizers. Good news: Some (small %) of farmers are returning to “bio-organic” practices. Hurry!
  2. How to be a good parent
  3. The idea that mass catering must be devoid of pleasure is false
  4. Play the “evolution of trust” game 🙂
  5. In praise of dementia (assuming you have caregivers!)
  6. The best advice. Really.
  7. The market is betting on climate change (happening)
  8. London’s congestion charging has improved quality of life
  9. I agree that Bernie should give away his $2 million. It may be the easiest spending to defeat the “billionaire” thief-in-chief.
  10. A charming video on the chalk that mathematicians love, featuring my old boss 🙂

H/Ts to PB and RN