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Blog: Tyler Cowen @ The Bridge | My Personal Moonshot — "Rather than talk about moonshots we might take collectively, let me go small scale and lay out the 'moonshot' I have tried to take with my own career. My goal is to be the economist who has most successfully used the internet as a platform to foment broad enlightenment..."

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Blog: Marginal Revolution | What is new at the World Bank? — "Mr. Kim is, by nature, a cheery person, but there was no mistaking the edge to his voice when he started talking about the World Bank economists whose pay is tied to how many loans they churn out. In his view, the bank needs to reward staff, Wall Street-style, for devising innovative financial solutions." And: this is the same Jim Y. Kim rumored to be on the shortlist for President of Harvard, before making claims that he was committed to his job at the World Bank. Lots more at the NYT story.

Blog: Fake Charity Nerd Girl | Saying no — "but I want to state for the record as a woman that out of the times I can recall that I’ve failed to say no to something that I didn’t want or that made me uncomfortable or upset, 0% have been because I was scared of the guy in question reacting with anger or violence and 100% have been due to a thought process like 'well it seems really awkward to say no right now … I mean it’s not like a big deal … I don’t want to make things weird …'"

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Blog: Stephen.Wolfram | Showing Off to the Universe: Beacons for the Afterlife of Our Civilization — "Let’s say we had a way to distribute beacons around our solar system (or beyond) that could survive for billions of years, recording what our civilization has achieved. What should they be like?"

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Comic: xkcd | Hawaii

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Blog: Fake Charity Nerd Girl | California — "in French, “California” means “the world is going to end and we will go hot tubbing in our underwear and braid LED lights into our hair” and I think that’s beautiful"

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Blog: The Unit of Caring | I wish that people in jail for minor crimes, awaiting trial, unable to afford bond, were required to be let free when the government shut down. — "Sometimes I wish the government could actually be shut down, and then we could make an informed decision about whether we even fucking want it around..."

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Blog: Tyler Cowen @ Bloomberg View | Rule of Law Can't Ignore Human Costs — Weakly argued, I think, though Tyler does well to raise important points.

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Blog: Marginal Revolution | The value of media attention for mass killers — "But nobody wants it! Everybody hates it!" / "Oh. Well, then stop."

Blog: Malcolm Ocean (Tumblr) | very brief musings on the twiddler — On Malcolm's recommendation, I bought one of these. Am still figuring out how useful it is (i.e., have not yet been able to evaluate whether I can compose long-form content with it) but things look promising so far.

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Blog: Marginal Revolution | Is Legal Pot Crippling Mexican Drug Trafficking Organisations?pace Betteridge...

Comic: xkcd | Memorable Quotes

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Blog: Overcoming Bias | Social Innovation Disinterest Puzzle — "I naively assumed that the world was just as eager for better social designs. But in fact, the world shows far less interest in better designs for social arrangements. Which, I should have realized, is a better explanation than my unusual genius for why it seemed so easy to find better social designs. But that raises a fundamental puzzle: why does the world seem so much less interested in social innovation, relative to innovation in physical and software devices and systems?"

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Blog: The Unit of Caring | Productivity hacks — "there are bad things about the tech industry I guess but you can claw ‘a culture that sees productivity hacks and disability accommodations as the exact same sort of thing and is extremely happy to extend both wherever they’re helpful’ out of my cold dead hands.

Blog: The Unit of Caring | Productivity hacks, 2 — "And to be clear, there isn’t and shouldn’t be a dividing line between productivity hacks and disability accommodations."

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Blog: Ribbonfarm | Cringe and the Design of Sacred Experiencesinter alia, quotes another essay: "When a work is labeled “experimental” it ought not to produce either disdain or admiration: it should only make us demand some rigor in the experiment. I think the reason we get so much bad experimental art is because no one understands how to make a good artistic experiment. We act like because something is “experimental” that somehow absolves it from having any standards at all. Bullshit. Just because a scientific experiment is an “experiment” doesn’t mean that scientists can do whatever they want. We apply rules to them so that the answers the experiment provides are answers we can use. Optimize experimental art for a certain result, rigorously. Know you’re experimenting. Avoid pretense. Then you’ll be able to say whether or in which realms you’ve failed or succeeded. You can use that information to make better art. Shitting on a canvas and calling it experimental so it will mean something gives us some nice information about people, but no useful information about art."

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Blog: Julia.Galef | Insightful articles on free speech & social justice — "So these are all articles that I think contribute something useful to the discourse on free speech and social justice, by proposing a principled way to navigate tradeoffs, or by helping explain the dynamics that are producing our current situation..."

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Blog: Tyler Cowen @ Bloomberg View | Congress Needs to Bring Back Earmarks — "A handout here or there would help end partisan gridlock."

Blog: Tyler Cowen @ Bloomberg View | Congress Needs to Bring Back Earmarks — "A handout here or there would help end partisan gridlock."

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Comic: xkcd | 2016 Election Map

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Against teacher collective bargaining — "Our estimates suggest that teacher collective bargaining worsens the future labor market outcomes of students: living in a state that has a duty-to-bargain law for all 12 grade-school years reduces earnings by $800 (or 2%) per year and decreases hours worked by 0.50 hours per week. The earnings estimate indicates that teacher collective bargaining reduces earnings by$199.6 billion in the US annually. We also find evidence of lower employment rates, which is driven by lower labor force participation, as well as reductions in the skill levels of the occupations into which workers sort. The effects are driven by men and nonwhites, who experience larger relative declines in long-run outcomes."

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Blog: Marginal Revolution | How they eat at the National University of Singapore — "“These are not just places where you eat — it’s where students and staff linger, mix and also learn from each other,” he said, adding that this element of campus life is “a cultural dimension that makes Singapore special.”"

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Blog: Marginal Revolution | Should You Accept a Coffee at a Meeting or Interview? — from the comments: "And I thought that Prof. Cowen was the truly cynical one of the pair, but clearly it is time to reconsider."