The only unifying theme is that they’ve been building up in the browser for months, and are generally consistent with my worldview.

Why it’s OK to hate banks · From The Economist, The people versus the bankers, an approachable, quantitative discussion of why banking is systemically broken, and why it would be good for society to inflict severe financial pain on bankers.

Who you are and where you come from · From Pacific Standard magazine, of which I know nothing, Ethan Watters writes We Aren’t the World, in which it’s revealed that peoples’ cultural roots influence their perceptions and behaviors, um, radically (etymology joke there), which isn’t surprising, and that quantitative social science has never really wired in this apparently-an-axiom, which is.

Unequal Urbanism · Geoff Meggs is a leading light on Vancouver city council and a good blogger too. I read Would a high tech boom hurt or help reduce Vancouver’s inequality? which referenced Richard Florida’s More Losers Than Winners in America's New Economic Geography and, from Urbanophile, Is Urbanism the New Trickle-Down Economics? and Failure to Communicate: Beyond Starbucks Urbanism.

Hmf; I’d sort of uncritically thought that a reasonably well-working city should be an engine of progress, by and large, but the data don’t seem to support that.

Feeds · In these days of Readerdammerung there is fresh new thinking on this topic. John Battelle offers Who owns the right to filter your feed? in which he feels helpless before the Twitter torrent and casts about for strategies to deal with it. I think he’s missing the point, because the torrent’s eddies always bring the important stuff back to me; but John is always interesting.

Pomobilly · As practiced by Willy Moon, of whom I’d known nothing, but I think I’ll have to check him out. What a voice!

Serious Schneier · Bruce is iconic of course, and usually what he writes gets the attention it deserves, but I thought that Our Internet Surveillance State should have lit up more neurons than it apparently did. I’m not sure I agree with all of it, but it’s an energizing read. We need Mr Schneier.

Sunlight! · For some reason this isn’t a news story, but the efficiency of solar energy generation has been increasing steadily for some years now and apparently isn’t slowing down. I have repeatedly heard 14%-per-annum as a typical estimate of recent growth, and while those aren’t Moore’s-law numbers, they’re gonna change the world in not too many years no matter how cheap fracked natural gas gets. Juan Cole, who usually covers Mideast politics, does a roundup in The Incredible Shrinking Cost of Solar Energy Drives Mega-Projects around the World and yeah, smells big to me.



Contributions

Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Jim Ancona (May 07 2013, at 10:07)

If you're interested in banking and instability in the financial world you might want to listen to Anat Admati of Stanford talking about her book The Bankers' New Clothes on Econtalk: http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2013/04/admati_on_bank.html

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From: Daniel Haran (May 08 2013, at 00:17)

That 14% improvement per annum sounds fishy. In any case, the really big news is falling prices per unit of power generated. From the linked article: "the best Chinese solar panels fell in cost by 50% between 2009 and 2012". Solar is about to win big, no matter the efficiency of the winning tech.

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From: Ian Rae (May 09 2013, at 08:26)

Solar power only works during daylight, and responds poorly to cloudy weather and winter. Germany has spent 100 Billion euros on it, only to discover that for every MW of solar power they need an equivalent amount of conventional power generation as backup. Solar hasn't "replaced" anything.

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