Icosian Reflections

The crisis through which we are passing

is only part of our day’s work.

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

Reading Feed (last update: May 17)

A collection of things that I was glad I read. Views expressed by linked authors are chosen because I think they’re interesting, not because I think they’re correct, unless indicated otherwise.


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Blog: Don't Worry About the Vase | Formula for Dying Babies


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Blog: Marginal Revolution | Ask and they shall deliver — "Companies in the [EU] would be allowed to build wind and solar projects without the need for an environmental impact assessment, according to draft proposals obtained by the Financial Times that call for the fast-track permitting of renewable projects in designated “go-to” areas."

Comic: xkcd | Health Data

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Infant Formula, Price Controls, and the Misallocation of Resources

Blog: In the Pipeline | Personal Paxlovid Update


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Blog: Marginal Revolution | I favor bird consequentialism — Environmental conservation opposes radical climate

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Crypto at Davos, or Harvard Profs vs. David Cameron

This semester, I'm a Teaching Fellow for CS 161, Operating Systems, taught by the legendary Margo Seltzer, former president of USENIX, advisor to Harvard WiCS, and mother of two.

She's quoted in an article by the Financial Times[1] alongside two other Harvard professors speaking at Davos[?], criticizing David Cameron's post-Charlie proposals to criminalize strong encryption:

If bad guys who are breaking laws cannot use encryption, they will find another way. It is an arms race and if governments say you cannot do this, that means the good guys can't and the bad guys can. End to end encryption is the way to go. (...)

Jonathan Zittrain weighs in:

This is not just about hardware but software. You would have to find a way for a phone not to be able to download any app that could defeat [the breaking of] encryption... That would be a referendum on our entire ecosystem. (...)

Making Zittrain's comment a little more concrete, messaging app WhatsApp would run afoul of Cameron's proposed securities policies, as

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