Icosian Reflections

…a tendency to systematize and a keen sense

that we live in a broken world.

IN  WHICH Ross Rheingans-Yoo—a sometime economist, trader, artist, expat, poet, EA, and programmer—writes on things of int­erest.

My Most-Read Posts of 2015

I published 72 posts in 2015, with the first on January 1 and the last on November 18, for an average of 1.6 posts/week on that interval, up 70% from 2014's 0.9 posts/week. These 72 posts accounted for about 47% of the 152 posts published through December 2015.

According to Google Analytics (which ignores my pageviews), I saw an average of 57 views per day, with non-homepage views-per-day up 97% from the last half of 2014 (before which I don't have GA records). September 18 (when 2015's overall most-viewed post was published) was the single-day high, with more than a thousand more views than any other day in Faults history. GA thinks that 41% of all sessions originated from Facebook.

tl;dr I am writing posts and people are reading my blog. I'm pretty happy with these numbers.


The ten My Faults My Own posts published in 2015 with the most total pageviews were: (in ascending order)


December in Review

Now that we're back and I'm finally caught up on my blog-feed reading from 2015, I figured I'd link to selected posts from some of the blogs I really enjoyed getting caught up on. This is not all of the posts from all of the blogs, just some selected ones from selected ones, chosen more or less following my whims.

My reading from December 1 to December 31 totalled almost 600 posts from 23 blogs; December in Review: Part I and December in Review: Part II include about ninety links with commentary from me. If that sounds like too much for you, December in Review: Best Of is twenty links (plus two bonus mathy ones). Finally, My Faults My Own | Reading Feed already has stuff from the first bit of January, albeit in more abbreviated form.

No warranty, especially not merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, should be implied -- my interests in reading range significantly farther than my interests in writing, so don't expect that every blog


October 28 Links: Thinkers, Statesmen, Economists, Doctors

As always, there's a lot more stuff that I enjoyed reading this month on Reading Feed. Do check it out!


Leah Libresco is the single person who I believe has the best practical ideas about how to be a human being in this world.

(This video -- of her speaking about her new book -- isn't embeddable, but if you click, it will open in a new tab.)

It is something of an issue for me that certain significant bits of her deeply-considered epistemic beliefs disagree with my much-less-deeply-considered epistemic beliefs. When I put it that way, it sounds like there's an obvious, easy fix, and when you dereference what it is that I'm talking about, calling it "an obvious, easy fix" sounds...odd.

This was the beginning of a much longer post, but I realized that I have absolutely zero idea where that post is going, so instead: Here, have a great video by a math nerd explaining her experience converting to Catholicism. Even if


September 23 Links: Affording College, Thinking Outside the Box, and Papametrics

...and we're back! Staring at a critical mass of cool things in my feed today, I decided to dust off this old format, and serve seven things that I think are worth reading, even if I don't have time to write more than a paragraph or so about each.

First, a reminder that my own Reading Feed is still going strong, being the place that I leave links in the top quartile or so of the things I'd read that day. It updates every day or too, so check back whenever you've got time to kill...or see the nifty widget on the upper-right of the Faults homepage for the most recent of them.

The most recent (as of Sept. 18) links, to provide a taste, are to Dylan Matthews on the anti-vax movement and anti-autism bigotry, Bruce Schneier on "The War on the Unexpected", and Alex Tabarrok on how increasing the severity of sentences fails to provide significant deterents to crime (in a way other interventions


April 17 Links: The Ecuadorian Tourism Agency, and Other Air Travel Pranks


Ecuador, attempting to prove that it's indistinguishable from Costa Rica, tricks a tour group thinking they've gone to Costa Rica into believing that they were going to Costa Rica when in fact, they were taken to a part of Ecuador that was, apparently, indistinguishable from Costa Rica.

I'm really not kidding:

As Ecuador residents arrived, not in Costa Rica but another Ecuador airport, Tena, where they were given fake stamps in their passports as they went through a staged passport control. No attention to detail was spared as huge posters were placed over the welcome billboards at the airport. Adverts depicting Imperial beer and 'Esencial Costa Rica,' Costa Rica's national brand, were displayed in the airport to throw the group off the scent.

Even fictitious immigration documents and car licence plates were created to make the group think they were in Golfito, a port town in Costa Rica. On top of all that organisers used mobile phone and GPS blockers to keep passengers from using technology to discover


April 10 Links: The Once and Future Friday Tradition

Back after more than two months, the Friday linkwrap!

(Does anyone else get as excited for these as I do? No, right?)

So, I've been pretty delinquent about these, but at least I've had the decency to keep stashing things I found worth reading at Reading Feed, with backlogs at Reading Feed (March 2015) and Reading Feed (February 2015).


WSJ | China to Start Keeping a List of Badly Behaved Tourists sounded pretty scary -- until I read the article and realized that the measures are directed at Chinese citizens abroad, not visitors to China. And then it all sorta made sense, conditioned on China being, 'yknow, China.

Said Chinese president Xi Jinping:

Don't throw water bottles everywhere, don't destroy people's coral reefs and eat fewer instant noodles and more local seafood. (...)


On the topic of environmentalism, I'm on the record opining that pressuring the Harvard Management Corporation to divest from fossil fuels is a red herring, but that doesn't mean that digging up all of the of

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