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The End of Linky Friday( 222 )


[A1] Things I didn’t know: Auto company Tata is the largest manufacturing employer in Britain. Turns out, they’re watching the Brexit vote closely.

[A2] Supply & Demand: Brides in China are getting expensive.

[A3] Missed this: In late 2014, Shinzo Abe’s government was linked to some far-right hate groups (“Kill, kill Koreans”).

[A4] After learning 20 things in North Korea, the Tim Urban fails to figure out Japan.

[A5] The legend of used panty machines in Japan is perhaps more fiction than fact. Oh, well. Happosai was still kinda cool.

[A6] Falcon Hospital sounds like a soap opera (or a merger between two), but such things exist in Qatar.

[A7] Mongolia, that land-locked nation between China and Russia, has a navy! It’s one ship, and seven people (only one of whom knows how to swim).


Image by Photographing Travis

Image by Photographing Travis

[H1] I have mixed feelings about limiting the ability of homeowners to rent their house out for short periods, AirBnB style, but I am otherwise pretty sympathetic to the army contractor dude and being able to rent out to students, and pretty hostile to hard caps.

[H2] Unfortunately, building codes are getting in the way of really cool $20,000 houses because zoning rules don’t quite understand them.

[H3] The notion of having to subsidize housing for people making up to $250,000 sounds like something that is not sustainable to me. Is this the sort of thing that we’re going to see more of, or will rent control will fix it.

[H4] Ebb. Flow. Suburbs in, suburbs out, suburbs back in. The domestic migration map is pretty cool, though.

[H5] Matthew Desmond looks at evictions the role of housing in poverty.

[H6] Robert L Reece looks at the stubborn home value gaps between blacks and whites in the South.


antarctica photo

Image by eliduke

[R1] Tough times for the Mennonites in the UK.

[R2] The power of religion: Christianity may be good at curbing drug use.

[R3] Fewer Americans are getting married in churches.

[R4] Boze Herrington looks at the seven signs you’re in a cult, applied to a sad case in Kansas City.

[R5] From Mormons to African Methodist Episcopalians, a chart of the politics of religion.

[R6] Eve Tushnet looks at the Three False Gods of Marriage, Freedom, and Morality.


Japanese classroom photo

Image by comprock

[E1] Some are sounding the alarm at Liberia’s alleged intent to outsource its education system to Mark Zuckerberg.

[E2] Teachers are in demand in the UK, but a bunch may be deported because they’re not getting paid enough money.

[E3] Tom Cutterham says that students to day are many things, but they are not coddled.

[E4] Brazil seems interested in replicating our education reform model.

[E5] Finland’s schooling sounds almost like unschooling at times, compared to our increasingly rigid regimen.


[T1] In the future, we may not need to remember so many complicated passwords. I still can’t get over that a college football message board requires more complicated passwords than does my bank.

[T2] Julianne Tveten on the politics of code.

[T3] Thorsten Wiedemann wore a virtual-reality headset for 48 hours, and here were the results.

[T4] Teleportation really is kind of metaphysically creepy. Also, maybe, time travel.

[T5] Some problems are too big for our minds to grasp, but an algorithm may have a hand on it.

[T6] The iTunes EULA, in graphic novel form….

{Ed note: As the title suggests, this will be the last Linky Friday. My wife has accepted a position at Palmer Station on Anvers Island. Unfortunately, it’s not clear how much Internet access I will have access to. We are told there is some, so I will be writing dispatches from there regularly. I will just not be able to put together features like this. It’s a two-year contract, so who knows what happens after that?}

Image by The Official CTBTO Photostream

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Morning Ed: Europe {2016.03.31.Th}( 82 )

Ann Jones went to Norway and came back and is all snooty about it, while Anu Partanen moved here from Finland and explains how the social welfare system there works because Finlanders are selfish, and Swedish economist Tino Sanandaji talks to American writer James Pethokoukis on the Swedish economy.

British Journalist Michael Booth has some harsher words for Scandanavia, both in the Washington Post and The Guardian. Residents of these countries register their protest here.

Neil Davidson makes a Socialist Case for leaving the EU.

Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry looks at the Trans-Atlantic importance of Iain Duncan-Smith’s resignation from the Cameron government due to welfare cuts. On the one hand, I admire IDS for standing up for his principles. On the other, uhhh, given the alternative, Tory unity seems kind of important.

David Graber wonders if Britain is becoming spurred into action by being bored with hopelessness. How do you say “Doomed” in British?

Or is Britain headed for its own Trump? John Rentoul says that they need to start getting used to the idea of Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Foreign investment in France is seeing record-highs, but employment law and costs may be holding back employment.

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Morning Ed: Multiculturalism {2016.03.30.W}( 42 )

Culture clash in Pocatello, Idaho. How a university’s need for foreign students (and their money) generated community conflict.

Reihan Salam fears that successfully immigration Muslim migrants may require more than we are willing to give. Dave Bier, though, gives five reasons why refugees are good for our national security.

Dara Lind is outraged by Ted Cruz’s unAmerican plan to secure Muslim neighborhoods, but Eli Lake says he’s basically describing France. Hopefully, these folks will be able to help.

John Burnett and NPR look at Irish illegal immigrants.

Jesse Singal explores the idea that prosecutions should be literally race-blind.

Running credit checks for hiring was found to be discriminatory and banned, but banning it may have backfired. I’ve often wondered about this and things like this. They could also be discriminating against their non-white resumes. I discuss the drug tests and credit checks, as well as throw in IQ tests, here.

Karan Mahajan looks at the history of Asian America.

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Morning Ed: Society {2016.03.29.T}( 258 )

From Christopher Carr: Under the CyberKnife

From Christopher Carr: A lot of these are things that are mostly well known, but I’m shocked that lifetime risk of HIV in DC is 1 in 13.

Freddie, as always, has some thoughts on Taking Offense. In this case, taking offense on behalf of the unoffended.

No comment.

Somewhere along the way, Taco Bell quietly became healthy.

The Challenger engineer who tried to sound the alarm has died.

At Vox, a lamentation of the fat person that sits next to you on a plane. Airbus in investigating ways to charge fat people more.

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Morning Ed: Politics {2016.03.28.M}( 185 )

Marybeth Glenn explains why #NeverTrump did not translate into support for Cruz.

Chris Ladd explains how the GOP can rebuild in the post-Trump era.

Michael Pettis’ piece on Trump supporters is really solid. David Masciotra has a decidedly unsympathetic one. Though I mention both (balance!), and disagree with both, the former is actually quite good and thought-provoking. The latter is Salon spitting on people it doesn’t like.

Though it’s kind of right up my alley, I can’t really agree with Charles Camosy’s argument that the Democrats should give way on the abortion issue. An unwavering commitment to abortion-on-demand has become too central to their coalition and, perhaps more importantly, they aren’t especially in a position where they need to scramble for votes.

I have been and will continue to be ruthlessly unforgiving of those who helped Trump rise to where he is even if they later renounce their actions… but I’ll give Christoper R Barron a pass, maybe Stephanie Cegielski, but not Mark Levin.

As Calvin Coolidge once said, “Expect to be called a stand patter, but don’t be a stand patter. Expect to be called a demagogue, but don’t be a demagogue.”

Rumors of Chris Christie’s utter humiliation at the hands of Trump may have been exaggerated. I would not be surprised to see him back in 2020, if he can carry the Trump mantle.

Elections are good for Wheel of Fortune.

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Linky Friday #159: Dolphins & Killer Whales( 171 )


VHS photo

Image by wachovia_138

[C1] V is for… what’s something that starts with “V” and means “busted?” New technology may allow anti-terrorism efforts to identify terrorists.

[C2] There’s a proposal in Israel to pay an annuity to Jewish-American spy Jonathan Pollard, who is stuck in the US.

[C3] Tennessee will let lapse a law that could have put pregnant women in prison for wearing a seat belt.

[C4] A man in North Carolina was arrested for failing to turn in a VHS tape… fourteen years ago.

[C5] Jared Fogle got pounded in prison. How are we supposed to feel about that?


The 7th climate of the Moon. From a 15thC Arabic collectaneous manuscript, the "Kitab al-bulhan"

The 7th climate of the Moon. From a 15thC Arabic collectaneous manuscript, the “Kitab al-bulhan”

[A1] As economic dreams fade, Chinese workers are fighting back. I wish them luck. They might need it.

[A2] The story of Jimmy Dushku, the guy who is being followed by North Korea’s twitter account, and nobody (including him) knows why.

[A3] An interesting article on India’s efforts to undo the caste system. Razib Khan looks at the history of the British and the Caste System of India.

[A4] Is English getting in the way of Chinese-Japanese-Korean relations?

[A5] How Taiwan sees Japan. {More}

[A6] A water park in Japan lets you play with, eat dolphins.


orca photo

Image by The Lamb Family

[N1] The world isn’t all bad! A man and his penguin.

[N2] The retirement of Shamu: SeaWorld announces that it’s ending its orca program.

[N3] Well this is a perfectly Australian story: Venomous spider traps a snake in the garage.

[N4] Researchers are saying that female animals may be less colorful to avoid sexual harassment.

[N5] Rome is importing falcons from Texas to hunt starlings.


divorce photo

Image by banjo d

[F1] I have heard this before: Some babies are just harder than others. I remember a friend who almost wept for joy when his second child stopped crying. After his first, he hadn’t realized that some babies do actually stop crying.

[F2] When practice doesn’t make perfect! Scott Stanley and Galena Rhoades investigate why extensive relationship history (experience!) doesn’t lead to marital success.

[F3] Americans are increasingly accepting of social change in most respects, but not divorce. I attribute it to the triumph of experience over hope. {Related}

[F4] Alan J Hawkins and Sage E Allen look at how Americans contemplate divorce (and usually don’t).

[F5] Brandy Zadrozny vs Liz Pardue-Schultz on whether or not stay-at-home mothers should be able to call what they do a “job.”


Image by That Dam Kat

Image by That Dam Kat

[S1] I think it says something negative about our culture that I am skeptical that any game can coexist with Madden. People want even their streetball games to have real players and teams for no reason whatsoever.

[S2] Paul Gardner argues that to get more respect, Major League Soccer needs to have more self-respect. {via Chris}

[S3] Contrary to my view a decade ago, I think there may be a justification for public spending on stadia and the like (at least, so long as we allow professional leagues their extortion), but according to a new study it really isn’t so.

[S4] [This link was posted in error. My apologies to those offended.]

[S5] Tom Ley writes about how UNLV’s Rebel mascot gets the all-clear on the racism front. Interesting enough, no other top-tier football program had a Confederate Flag on its helmet more recently than UNLV, which they had in the 60’s when they were Nevada Southern.


fat man bicycle photo

Image by Tony Fischer Photography

[T1] Out above the water, television viewers witness a floating sea vessel! Alas, its name is not as cool as Boaty McBoatface.

[T2] The battle between Uber and municipal governments is heating up in Texas.

[T3] Meet the 500-lb man wanting to bike across the county.

[T4] Toronto to Vancouver in three hours sounds kind of cool.

[T5] Fanis Grammenos and Tom Kerwin argue that car buyers actually tend to be economically rational about the whole “buying a car” thing.

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Morning Ed: Media {2016.03.24.Th}( 45 )

Brendan Nyhan tweetstorms the rise of Donald Trump, and the multifactorial institutional failures that made it happen, and Der Spiegel explains how the US media made it happen.

Likewise, conservative Jeff Blehar tweets his frustration at the media loop that assisted Trump so greatly, while John Ziegler has some harsher words for conservative media in particular.

If you’re looking for work at a growing and fast-paced publication, there are jobs available right now.

Mathew Ingram argues that the Justice Department isn’t helping the industry by preventing newspaper buyouts. It seems to me that consolidation is something that really is going to need to happen.

The Columbia Journalism Review looks at the cult of Vice.

An academic-to-English translator. Applies to certain bloggers, too. {shuffles feet}

Charley Locke argues that podcasts need to go multimedia to reach a larger audience. Is that true? One of the things I like about podcasts is that I can listen to them while doing other things.

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Morning Ed: Labor {2016.03.23.W}( 48 )

My wife has complained about EMR inbox notifications, and now her complaints have been backed by science.

Related: Living with yourself (or not) after a professional mistake kills someone. Even when there are no lawsuits, hospitals are a liability factory.

The benefits of the standing desk may have been greatly exaggerated.

When people are not given paid sick time, they made other people sick. Not surprisingly, this applies especially to food workers.

Wil Wheaton thinks writers should be paid. I think for Wil Wheaton, that is a good point. Also, Harlan Ellison. The “unique platform” provides more for some than others.

Fortune looks at the prospects of knowledge workers being replaced by thinking machines.

This is the spawning of the age of the cage and aquarium.

All is not well in Japan as wage hikes are being slashed.

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Morning Ed: Politics {2016.03.22.T}( 20 )

Are labor unions really freaking out over Trump? Or is it that they’re playing up a potential problem so that Democrats will pay more attention to them? Back in January, Robert Reich explained how Democrats gave working class whites the shaft.

Did something the WWE spawned create a Top 10 Global Risk?

This Theory of Trump resonates with me, as does this theory of the fall of the conservative movement.

Will the US elect a mentally ill president? Probably, we already have. You already have to be a little bit crazy to do what it takes to be president, is my view.

How being right on Iraq may have led Barack Obama astray.

Germany’s right-wing party (AfD), which in addition to being anti-refugee wants to ban circumcision, made some impressive gains in German elections. That may not be the whole story, however.

In counsel to anti-Trumpers considering their options, Jesse Walker has a good rundown of the world outside the major parties.

David Waywell explains that indifference towards the Brexit is okay, and Eurosceptic Clive Bates argues that fellow sceptics should vote to stay.

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Morning Ed: United States {2016.03.20.M}( 210 )

If you ever wanted your own supervillain lair, there’s one for sale in Arizona.

If you live in St Louis and you seek to have a goat, or more than one chicken, you are out of luck.

In light of Kevin Williamson’s controversial piece on letting dying communities die, Justin Fox reports that it’s actually hard to move out of a dead-end town. I would argue that maybe this would warrant some kind of plan to help people relocate (we could call it the Kansas City Plan), though Adam Ozimek just doesn’t see that as a solution.

To combat terrorism, a federal pilot program is reaching out to Somali youth in Minnesota.

From Native Times, an article about how political correctness is disrespecting their identity. Like most kids, I was taught to refer to them as Native Americans growing up, only to move west and find out that they’re fine with Indian. I’ve since shifted to Amerindian when possible.

There’s a house for sale for $70k. Looks nice. It has some pictures. The first forty or so look nice, but then you get to the last five and what the hell.

Alec MacGillis looks at the always-interesting question of poor areas voting Republican.

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Linky Friday #158: The Scientific Darkness( 227 )


pyongyang photo

Image by (stephan)

[Ci1] If the lights went out, here is what some cities would look like.

[Ci2] Joel Kotkin on the failures of urban mass transit. In Houston, between 2003-14 the population grew 23% and transit ridership fell 12% despite (or because of) the introduction of light rail.

[Ci3] How uncharitable is it of me to read this piece as a long, eloquent statement that “I love living in California and hate that other people are ruining it by living here, too.”?

[Ci4] Does a new report on Vancouver housing puncture the Chinese Investor narrative? My parents were recently in Australia, where Chinese land purchasing is apparently a very pressing issue.

[Ci5] Via Hanley, here’s some absurd Brutalism. As we all know, I’m kind of a fan of the style, but these lack the critical utilitarianism.


[Cr1] Who peed in your cereal? This guy peed in your cereal.

[Cr2] Walter White made meth out of an RV in the desert. Some dude in Albuquerque sold heroin out of a port-a-potty in an adult video parking lot.

[Cr3] Welcome to Pariahville, a city of refuge in Florida for sex offenders.

[Cr4] Behind every fortune lies an even greater crime: The dark, murderous, violent Dawn of Capitalism.

[Cr5] Vice takes the confessions of workplace masturbators while 538 answers a reader’s pressing question of whether they masturbate unusually much.


closed school photo

Image by pbump

[E1] A theory that the end is high for the Higher Ed Bubble. The argument makes sense, and I can see some colleges being in danger, but I’ve been reading these predictions for a decade now.

[E2] Amazon (along with Apple and Google) is looking at creating an education platform.

[E3] Erica Reischer objects to sticker rewards in schools. I am inclined to go with the science on this, wherever it takes us.

[E4] Elites are shunning law school. Which seems kind of funny because elites seem best positioned for law school not to be a waste.

[E5] Parents who can afford it can buy their way into the right schools and hire consultants to help. Hooray for school choice!


kremlin photo

Image by goforchris

[G1] Oh, this is nice: In addition to the other concerns I have about unnecessarily splitting up families, I have for-profit foster care to worry about.

[G2] Todd Seavey says that all of our immigration narratives are false. I used to be a pro-immigration partisan, but while I am still left of center on the issue I have become pretty alienated from all sides of the debate.

[G3] Conor Friedersdorf argues that California’s LGBT rights bill seems to mostly add red tape and hurt state business to little ultimate good.

[G4] Apropos item #3 in this Hit Coffee post, vaping (and smoking) in California may be illegal for nineteen year olds, but pot is okay.

[G5] Ontario is giving socialism basic income a try, and Hannah Fearn argues that Britain should, too.

[G6] Iain Murray objects to the Department of Labor’s announcement on joint employers.


[S1] Babies think about thinking, and know when they don’t know.

[S2] The slope between epigenetics and eugenics may be slippery.

[S3] This and this ties in to one of my arguably-crackpot but absolute beliefs: If society (or important society, at any rate) wants to believe something badly enough, science will verify it. Paying them does too, of course, but not just that.

[S4] Olivia Goldhill writes of psychology’s reproducibility crisis, but maybe it’s a sign of the field’s strength that we’re talking about it.

[S5] Scientists are becoming jaded.


[W1] The arctic island of Svalbard is trying to figure out how to get people to come visit during its very dark, very cold winters.

[W2] Martin Robbins is worried about sexism and racism on future Martian colonies.

[W3] Ariel Williams lays out what a real alien invasion might look like: disease and internal collapse.

[W4] Why is Mercury so dark and what’s up with its crust?

[W5] Jupiter vs Saturn vs Uranus: Which planet is best?

[W6] Ethan Siegel investigates why Pluto and Charon are so unusual while Philip Metzger argues that Pluto was robbed.

[W7] Boooooooom! Neil DeGrasse Tyson destroys a little girl with a silly idea. {Related}

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Morning Ed: Anglosphere {2016.03.17.Th}( 57 )

A poll suggests that Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders, and Brits support EU-style free movement. Hey, can we get in on this?

According to the Brookings Institute, Utah has become the bastion of the middle class.

Conrad Black objects to Wilfrid Laurier University declining to put/keep up a statue memorializing John A McDonald, Canada’s first prime minister.

Ted Bromund looks at the history of the US-UK relationship.

Hey, there’s something about Canada we don’t want to talk about.

The American Enterprise Institute endorses New Zealand’s pension and retirement plan.

If you’re looking to escape Trump’s America, here are some options.

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Morning Ed: Society {2016.03.16.W}( 10 )

Ghost in the Shell turns 20. The meta of it all was really kind of lost on me, but holy crap it was gorgeous then and is gorgeous now.

Hunter Schwarz found a pretty fatal flaw that undermines the supposed realisticness of House of Cards. More seriously, though, I don’t like that news organizations lend themselves to these movies and shows at all.

Per Sara Lipton, sticks and stones may break some bones but words’ll sometimes get other people killed.

Young people are choosing not to DARE to be scared.

Life after Viral Fame. As we laugh and laugh, some of them end up contemplating suicide. Haha.

MEP Daniel Hannan argues against gender-bending Shakespeare because we should let Shakespeare’s women speak for themselves. Meh. Shakespeare has been so prevalent for so long, I support all sorts of experimentation. Fiona Laird agrees.

Vox examined the causes of death in Shakespeare. A lot of stabbings, it turns out. I’d love some cable network to do a production of every single Shakespeare play as an ongoing series.

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Morning Ed: Politics {2016.03.15.T}( 105 )

While liberals and anti-Trumpers pat themselves on the back for not being as authoritarian and being scientifically superior to Trumpers, it may be that the cause and correllation between personality and politics may not be what we think it is.

For the record, it’s often said of Republican politicians that they’re probably not personally racist but cater to it anyway, but when it comes to Trump I actually don’t think it’s true. Clinton and Sanders seem reluctant to call Donald Trump a racist. My brain knows that Jay Smooth is probably right here, but ugh.

Morning Joe responds to criticism that it has been subject to criticism for being in the tank for Trump. It’s… especially aggravating to me because Scarborough could have been a positive force in this primary and deliberately chose not to be. He’s not alone.

How Mitt Romney came around to his decision to go to war against Trump.

Ross Douthat argues that The Party Must Decide to tank Trump, while last year Jonathan Rauch argued that democracy is strengthened by hacks, machines, big money, and back-room deals [PDF].

Steven Horwitz writes about the politics of nostalgia, formerly the province of the right but having since infected the left.

A look at data and elections, from Texas.

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Morning Ed: Technology {2016.03.14.M}( 46 )

Is the end of the CFL lightbulb at hand?

Want to pay for dates? An app imported from Germany has got you covered.

Grow food anywhere with portable farming shipping containers.

Introducing the perfect blue pigment. {via Jaybird}

On the one hand, they’re getting closer. On the other hand, like CG, the closer they get the more obvious every flaw is.

Cool! New artificial fingertips will connect to the upper arm and allow people to feel textures.

Virginia Postrel looks at the state of wearable tech and why it hasn’t taken off yet. They could help innovation in the study of Parkinson’s disease!

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Linky Friday #157: All Business( 55 )


school teacher photo

Image by blondinrikard

[E1] As it turns out, teachers respond differently to the same behavior depending on whether the student is black or white.

[E2] Maybe instead of replacing bad teachers, we should replace bad textbooks.

[E3] Thomas Kane looks at looking at the data and putting education research to work.

[E4] I wonder how much Arkansas State, East Carolina, and other paid for their Second Life campuses? I suspect they did not get their money’s worth.

[E5] Steven Pearlstein explains four things universities can do to become cheaper. Friday classes may be a tough sell.


school bus photo

Image by maerzbow

[T1] Uber, but for Big Yella.

[T2] The automobile and the invention of dating.

[T3] This is, indeed, some pretty impressive photoshopping work. Beautiful and horrifying at the same time.

[T4] Some research indicates the driverless cars could produce enormous emission reductions. And driverless cares are, really, only the beginning.

[T5] The notion of carry-on free air travel sounds a lot more reasonable without children than with them.


blockbuster photo

Image by aaron_anderer

[B1] A convenience store trade magazine looks at the economics of vape shops.

[B2] Shipping prices have fallen so precipitously that it’s cheaper to rent a capesize ship than a Ferrari.

[B3] Dennis Perkins writes of his experiences working in the video store industry for 25 years, and watching it die, while Mental Floss has fifteen facts about Blockbuster, including the whole Alaska thing.

[B4] Joe Carter explains how churches can help the poor by combatting predatory lending.

[B5] Evan Smith looks at creating Silicon Valleys in the Heartland.


boston city hall photo

Image by izik

[G1] Gerald Warner is concerned about a new law in Scotland that would subordinate parental authority to the state.

[G2] Ritchie King looks at when it’s tax-advantageous to be married or not. We benefit greatly from our marriage in that respect, but of course a lot of people don’t. (And, for better or worse, the tax code provides a significant disincentive for me to rejoin the workforce.)

[G3] Oregon looks at doing carbon pricing the right way. If you want to get me on board, that’s pretty much what you gotta do.

[G4] It would take an awful lot to build The Trump Wall. Could they even recruit the right people to design it?

[G5] The socialist oasis on Chavez City has everything one might want but bread.


[L1] Nap rooms are falling out of favor in the workplace.

[L2] Monica Potts says that the Sharing Economy allows Millenials to cope with downward mobility, but at their own expense. However, the “Gig Economy” thing may be more myth than fact, as there has been no increase in self-employment among Millenials.

[L3] Money doesn’t equal happiness. When it comes to lawyers, at least. Sounds like we should pay lawyers less. {ducks}

[L4] Ben Tarrant reports that would-be gaming journalists are getting scammed.

[L5] LV Anderson is skeptical of a UK company’s new menstrual leave policy.


sleep study photo

Image by dmott9

[S1] Going to have to share this one with Clancy: Research finds that animals in our bed can help us with our sleep.

[S2] Jesse Singal looks at the relationship between sleep and appetite.

[S3] Akshat Rathi cheated sleep for a year.

[S4] Paleoslumber: The history of sleep. Apparently, people used to sleep twice a day.

[S5] Now this is a pretty great obituary, even better than the uppercut-by-Batman guy.

Image by conner395

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Morning Ed: Society {2016.03.10.Th}( 130 )

As a Twitter follower, I’ve seen directly Bethany Mandel attract the hate mobs of Breitbart, and it’s not pretty. It’s even creeped on to Facebook.

Mankind’s greatest enemy: The white man.

Too many movies fail the Bechdel Test, so some scripts are up for a rewrite.

Here are things you can avoid if you want to lie more effectively. I mean, ways you can tell if other people are lying. Maybe you just need to have the right face.

The Curse of the Power Rangers.

Stan Lee is 93, and watching his legacy slip away.

No. Just no. I do plan on being cremated, though, and am open to all sorts of other stuff to have done with my ashes.

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Morning Ed: Crime {2016.03.09.W}( 88 )

Gretchen explains how her life became restricted when she married a sex offender, affecting everything from where they live, whether they should have children, and perhaps where they can travel internationally.

The story of a rape accusation recanted… that turned out to be true. Then the story of an expelled alleged rapist who was more likely the victim of rape.

Texas is having a problem with oil theft.

Maggie McNeill, the “Honest Courtesan”, argues that rape is actually about sex and not power.

How Joel Dreyer went from a respected psychiatrist to a major drug dealer.

Doran Larson makes the case for open prisons.

Matthew Pearl writes of the war against the original KKK.

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Morning Ed: Politics {2016.03.08.T}( 184 )

As talk ramping up about the possibility of a brokered convention, at Hit Coffee I explained how Trump makes the impossible possible… last August. That, combined with my suggestion last May that Jeb Bush may have a rough road to the Republican nomination, makes me believe that my crystal ball isn’t completely broken.

Trump’s rise doesn’t portend good things for the Israeli government, which relied heavily on the continued support of his party. One of the two Trumpies I read most regularly is Jewish and a Zionist. I’ll have to read through his archives to see if he’s commented on this.

The Guardian talks to some closet Trump supporters.

Imprisoned felons cannot vote in most places, and Puerto Ricans can’t vote in presidential elections, but Puerto Rican felons can vote in the GOP primary and may have helped Rubio to his victory there.

I’m not uniformly opposed to term limits, but the ones suggested here are too short. I’d be more open to 20 years in either house or 30 years total. (Senators would be able to complete their terms.)

I have historically thought their virtues were overrated, but I’m coming around on the idea of nonpartisan elections (at least at the state and local levels).

Jeff Stein wants to do away with legislative districts in the name of moderating congress. I’m (unsurprisingly) not in favor and I’m not sure it would accomplish the desired ends, though for state legislatures I think there’s a strong argument for one house to be multi-member districted with large districts.

Half of Democrats, and over a third of Republicans and independents, believe that hate speech should be a criminal offense.

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Morning Ed: United States {2016.03.07.M}( 56 )

For Sale! The most troubled half of one of our most troubled states.

Well, with all of the babies being born in Utah, I suppose this was bound to happen at some point.

Florida is stepping up enforcement against left-lane snails.

Idaho is getting a new nuclear power plant.

Martin Edwin Andersen of The Nation calls on Obama to apologize for some of our dirty history in Argentina.

BusinessInsider looks at the best and worst states to make a living and Mental Floss looks at the relative value of $100 in each state. Also, the richest town in each state.

There was some “No more Californians” please sentiment in Deseret and Arapaho when I lived in each, but… Portland?

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Linky Friday #156: Work & Learn( 53 )


Humboldt University photo

Image by itsbruce

[E1] I didn’t leave my home city for college, so I can’t imagine going to Germany, but nonetheless it seems like kind of a sweet deal, even if the universities are a bit less posh.

[E2] If you were raised poor, college doesn’t reap the same gains as if you were raised wealthy.

[E3] The ACT has been giving unusually low scores on essays, while the SAT is addressing concerns that students are being required to read too much.

[E4] Relatedly, the SAT is imposing a ban on non-students from taking the SAT.

[E5] Is it time to do away with Algebra II? The idea actually had some currency with people on my Twitter feed who objected to the previous devaluation of reading. Funny how that works. Oscar and Alan are already discussing the article here.

[E6] This makes sense: According a new study (PDF), ability grouping raises outcomes in competitive cultures and lowers them in cooperative cultures.


coding photo

Image by mutednarayan

[L1] Mark Carrigan points to a TechCrunch article and talks about a potential coding skills bubble. In my view, though, that makes coding academies a better idea rather than a worse one, because one of the most immediately available alternatives costs a whole lot more.

[L2] The manufacturing job sector is hurting… in China.

[L3] Here at OT we have recently talked about non-competes and Massachusetts came up. As it happens, the commonwealth is looking to address the issue.

[L4] Should “having defended your personal safety while on the job” be a protected class?

[L5] Adam Ozimek argues that low-skilled labor markets need better information, on the basis of disparate Armed Forces Qualification Test results.

Medical School:

medical school photo

Image by bertknot

[M1] People blame “the cartel” for the lack of medical school expansion, but the truth is that medical schools are costly.

[M2] Medical students are being introduced to the the families of the cadavers that they use. This is relevant to the Himmelreich-Truman household, where not only has one of the two gone to medical school, but one or both may donate their bodies to science when they die.

[M3] Women are being punished for objecting to transvaginal ultrasounds… by their college.

[M4] Mara Gordon looks at how we’re failing to train doctors to perform abortions, even if they want to learn, and the labor misallocation problem (no pun intended).


[H1] CityLabs looks for the reasons behind The Great Urban Revival among college graduates.

[H2] Microapartments, Amsterdam style!

[H3] On Reddit, here are some interesting maps looking at the relationship between property values and transit.

[H4] Daniel Hertz writes about zoning and the education gap.

[H5] The New Yorker looks at an eviction case, from the point of view of the landlord and the tenant while Oregon tries to balance landlord and tenant needs.


ellis island photo

Image by David Jones

[I1] More than one border hawk on my Twitter feed has linked to this article to roll their eyes about refugees asking about WiFi. So, uh, I guess it’s completely unreasonable that they would want to let their loved ones know they arrived safely or something?

[I2] Labor revolt! Employees are striking because immigration! Interstate immigration, that is.

[I3] From South Africa to Montana: the Great Falls Tribune says that bringing in Afrikaners is becoming more common as farmers need labor and labor is perhaps anxious to escape squatter camps.

[I4] If it’s immigrant tolerance that you seek, look not in Denmark but in Texas.

[I5] Bryan Caplan talks about the immigration health exclusion.

[I6] John McWhorter looks at lingua francas and the language impact of immigration.


manga photo

Image by Earls37a

[A1] The US has a solar energy hypocrisy problem, leaving India in a bind.

[A2] This reminds me that I need to go back and watch Spaceballs again at some point.

[A3] In Jacobin, Gavin Walker looks at the movement against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. One medium they use is manga.

[A4] Scott Sumner writes of how the Chinese are apparently abandoning the city to return to the country, and how there may be no housing bubble there.

[A5] Japan doesn’t let unproductive companies die, and kanji is difficult, so they still use fax machines. {More} Also, compact discs!

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Morning Ed: World {2016.03.03.Th}( 151 )

A couple whose flight was delayed due to weather conditions were put up in an S&M hotel.

Aung San Suu Kyi won the presidential election, but still doesn’t get to be president.

Techie microstates? Some tech entrepreneurs want to make it happen.

Beatrice Faleri explains the costs of immigration controls in Britain.

This Liel Leibovitz piece about anti-nationalism in Israel reads pretty familiar to stuff over here.

Tim Harford explains how clusters make coincidental things seem non-coincidental, with potentially bad results.

Volvo is working on a kangaroo avoidance system for Australia.

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Morning Ed: Society {2016.03.02.W}( 60 )

The new movie about Jesse Owens involves a lot of racism, but leaves a lot of racism out. Relatedly, a new study has determined that Hollywood has a whitewashing problem.

With the advent of the new DC Rebirth, Abraham Riesman thinks there are too many comic books coming out. Comic book retailers seem to be getting overwhelmed. The reboot problem is has been going on for a while, but the “too many titles” thing is a problem that I did not especially expect the comic book companies to have.

Having a child has likely changed my politics in some subtle ways I do not realize, but one overt change is my views on funding PBS, so this makes me happy.

The UK is rather nonplussed about a team called the Redskins playing in London.

This is amazing, but I promise you if we start poking at robots we will regret it.

Colleen Gillard argues that Harry Potter trumps Huck Finn, and that the Brits tell better stories.

Alan Jacobs explains the relationship between operating systems and The Reformation.

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Morning Ed: Economics {2016.03.01.T}( 33 )

Adam Ozimek asks if economics study actually changes minds. Tyler Cowen says yes.

As it turns out, if you make it more difficult to form a hospital, fewer hospitals are formed. Relatedly, rural hospitals are shutting down delivery rooms.

Never mind the curse of the lottery winner. What about the curse of the neighbors of the lottery winner?!

Cafe Hayek says we’re richer than the Rockefellers. Barry Ritholtz says no we are not.

Dylan Matthews reports that giving poor people money is good for the recipients and maybe not so good for those around them, but it’s unclear. Relative wealth and relative income are tricky.

Eric Morath argues for a five-tiered federal minimum wage. Better than a single, aggressive minimum wage, but I’d prefer this be dealt with a lower levels of government. On the other hand, Oregon may be overdoing the minimum wage hike in general.

FastCompany has an article about how and when Google started taking design seriously.

What we can learn from capitalism by looking at the mushroom industry.

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Morning Ed: Politics {2016.02.29.M}( 31 )

James Pethokoukis argues that Donald Trump is hypnotizing the GOP, while Kevin Drum says that voters have simply gotten tired of reality.

Valerie Lieber thinks that Bernie Sanders needs to be outed as a Jew.

So apparently the Communist Party is not very enthusiastic about the prospects of the 2016 election.

The EPA says that it has cleaned up after the Gold King Mine disaster, but locals aren’t so sure.

This news cycle is apparently tarnishing Fox News’s brand. Fox has become within the GOP what the MSM is between Republicans and Democrats: So obviously biased on the other side. (Trump vs anti-Trump in the GOP, obviously.)

Americans are a little unclear on what single payer means, but they like it until they find out that there are increased taxes or inconveniences.

Rhiannon Lucy Cosslet looks at a YouGov poll on “sleeping with the enemy” (someone of different political persuasion) and explains why she may kiss a Tory but never marry one and Margaret Corvid explains why political dating websites are good.

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Linky Friday #155: Fear( 74 )


corporate greed photo

Image by msdonnalee

[M1] Vaio, Toshiba, and Fujitsu may Voltron themselves into a goliath PC manufacturer.

[M2] The $3,000,000,000,000 wealth transfer of the Oil Crash, while Tim Harford is worried about the cost of cheap oil.

[M3] I’ve long wondered what it would be like to have the sort of career that makes you fear the question “So where do you work?” even more than being unemployed.

[M4] Who should fear the government when corporations are doing the heavy lifting privacy-invasion? By, for instance, taking pictures of your license plates and selling your comings and goings?

[M5] Amazon Prime is a winner in two ways: People pay for it, then they buy more products from Amazon. Anecdotally… yep, that’s exactly what happens.


Image by AK Rockefeller

Image by AK Rockefeller

[C1] Here’s an interesting profile of a serial killer hunter.

[C2] Of course treadmills got their start as a torture device. Of course they did.

[C3] Here’s what cities need to do when there’s a mass-killer on the loose. For schools, you can buy your kids bulletproof blankets.

[C4] Headline of the year: Meerkat expert cleared of glassing monkey handler in fight over llama-keeper

[C5] I ran across an article on a weird way to hijack cars the other day, and so of course I had to Snopes it, and turns out it’s a myth. This is not as bad as fearmongering Halloween candy, but the drip-drip-drip is really deleterious to the public health.


Surveillance photo

Image by Skley

[G1] Edwin Lyngar is worried that we have become addicted to fear. I agree, and might cite this as an example.

[G2] Paul Mason ponders the cashless society, while Chris Bertram at Crooked Timber fears that it’ll be a mechanism for government control.

[G3] The federal government is having a hard time going after for-profit colleges in fear of the economic repercussions.

[G4] Andrea Moore grew up in a crack-addled house, but feared being taken away from it.


spider photo

Image by Counse

[N1] Well, this is the stuff of childhood nightmares (and eco-friendly children’s movies).

[N2] Ed Yong looks at the landscape of fear in the animal kingdom.

[N3] So, should we eradicate mosquitoes or not?

[N4] Thank heavens Sea Scorpions didn’t have opposable thumbs, is what I’m sayin’.

[N5] Oh, man, I knew this day was coming. Thanks to Clickhole for the heads up that it’s finally happening.


death photo

Image by Aaron Escobar

[H1] If you want to live to 112, the solution apparently involves chain smoking. Maybe this is why advocates are trying to convince me that my smoking cessation wasn’t good for my health.

[H2] Maggie Koerth-Baker says that choosing not to vaccinate is rational, and that’s a problem.

[H3] In England and Wales, more babies are being born to women 35 and over than women younger than 25.

[H4] As my wife likes to say, life is a terminal, sexually-transmitted disease. Apparently, drinking will kill you.

[H5] Youth pill! Youth pill!


[B1] The story of how a neuroscientist discovered that he had the brain of a psychopath.

[B2] Long winters can be tough, but Norway gets by and it turns out our brains do better in the winter than the summer. I’d always thought that was the case for me, but I figured it had to do with being raised in the southern heat when winter is the only tolerable season and summer is exhausting in its very existence.

[B3] The walking dead (in their own mind).

[B4] Among Adam Grant’s advice for overcoming fears of public speaking: Don’t calm down! I personally slip into a bit of an accent.

[B5] Doing psychological research with babies is difficult, and there are accusations that corners are being cut. These scientists are, however, undeterred.

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Morning Ed: World {2016.02.25.Th}( 51 )

Hiroshi Hiyama reports that Abenomics is going through a rough patch in Japan.

A man in China threw a mock funeral to see who would show up.

Germany has announced that it will no longer take refugees from Morocco due to crime concerns, while in Norway refugees wait to hear word of their fate.

If you’re a smoker or vaper in Belgium, no pulmonary fibrosis drugs for you unless you can pay for it yourself. But if you’re a teacher in France, smoke on because Terrorism.

Archaeologists are rushing to get the loot (errr, archaelogical treasures) from the Arctic before they’re swept away by rising seas.

Adam Taylor wants to destroy time zones and fix the calendar. I’ve come around on the existence of time zones (from “against” to “in favor”). I think. Maybe.

I suspect this matters to me more than it should, but it would be really nice if we could clean this crap up.

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Morning Ed: Society {2016.02.24.W}( 58 )

As far as “How to fix Twitter” suggestions go, these from Randi Harper seem really good. I think it’s important to allow pseudonymity, but favoring those who are willing to unmask – or at least submit their phone number to Twitter itself – seems prudent.

Say whatever you might about Tim Tebow, but this is really cool.

Was a denounced and retracted article on SB Nation the product of The Cult of Longform Writing?

Companies tracking employee pregnancies seems creepy, but Emily Crockett says we shouldn’t be so freaked out.

Arrh! Return of the Research Pirates.

Nuh-uh. Couples should never be married without their active consent ever. I’m fine with the status quo, go back and forth on the French option, and oppose the Australian one.

Grady Smith argues that the tension between country music’s party-boy style and religion is doing both a disservice. I checked out of the contemporary country scene some time ago, but if the depiction is accurate it’s a shame. Many of the best religious songs I ever heard were country, and some of the best country songs religious.

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Morning Ed: United States {2016.02.23.T}( 58 )

As immigrants assimilate and intermarry, it’s becoming harder to see the lines and count the people on each side.

Feral hogs are running rampant in Texas. Over 750,000 killed, but a growing population all the same.

If you’re looking to leave the country when Donald Trump becomes president, Nova Scotia may want you!

Some NIMBYs in California needed some residents to object, so they hired actors.

Are trafficked prostitutes victims or perpetrators of crime?

Ali Shakur doesn’t want to be black anymore. I debated whether or not to share this one, but it was a fascinating read and decided to do so. Please comment with care.

The map you’ve all been waiting for: Squirrel-sourced power outages. Also, who knew there were so many goats in Texas (maybe the Rams should have gone to San Antonio?).

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Morning Ed: Politics {2016.01.21.M}( 72 )

Bruce Frohnen asks whether the Republican Party can survive and Mark Malvasi wonders if we’ve reached the end of ideas.

George Packer investigates why leftists go right.

I’ve never been one to believe that a brokered convention is right around the corner, but this time around I think it’s more possible than it’s ever been. Candidates are preparing for it.

What can Bernie Sanders really do about mass incarceration? Ryan Cooper says that he can lead the way on bail reform.

In order to continue accepting welfare benefits, Utah may be requiring “Self-Reliance Training.”

What would be the effect of a Bloomberg candidacy? Probably negligible, but if Sanders somehow wins the Democratic nomination and Trump (or maybe Cruz) wins the Republican nomination, he could be the biggest third-party candidate since Wallace.
Betting markets for elections fascinate me.

David Wasserman explains why Ted Cruz has a mathematically tough path to the nomination. If politics doesn’t work out, maybe he can go back to teaching law where he was apparently quite popular.

In 2009, Gabriel Rossman wrote about Astro-baptists, the child of astroturfers and Baptists that leads to corporate alliances with identity groups.

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Linky Friday #154: Whisky, Sexy, Freedom( 119 )


Book of Mormon photo

Image by ImNotQuiteJack

[R1] When looking at religious observance and engagement, nobody beats the Mormons. In 2006, Will Wilkinson wondered if Objectivists should become Mormons.

[R2] Conservatives beware: Actually reading the Bible may make you more liberal.

[R3] Amber Lapp says that religions are not doing a good job of making people in non-prescribed family formations welcome, which she says is a problem because that’s where it could be most needed.

[R4] A bible professor believes that the Bible actually says that Eve was created from Adam’s privates.


manatee photo

Image by psyberartist

[N1] Some romances are not meant to be, I’m afraid.

[N2] Check out the sea cow convention.

[N3] While you may be able to eat alligators for Lent, you should not throw alligators through drive-thru windows.

[N4] When polar bears get frisky.

[N5] RIP, 150,000 penguins and a dolphin. {via Chris}


democracy photo

Image by pipcallas

[D1] “On subjects like this in our intellectual world, usually there just is no “debate”; there are just different sides who separately market their points of view.”

[D2] The Cultural Cognition Project looks at fact polarization and how it trumps value polarization. The question is… are people interpreting factual questions as an invitation for a value response? {Tweet}

[D3] Another brick on the wall of cocooning ideologies. Now made even easier!

[D4] Todd Seavey writes of The Triumph of the Insult and the failure of the mainstream political system, while Michael Brendan Dougherty argues that Trump rises because conservatives have failed his supporters.

[D5] Who should Obama nominate to the Supreme Court? How about himself?

[D6] For a guy who elevated himself to the Speaker of the House, John Boehner has some weirdly off political instincts.


Kanye West photo

Image by iShot71

[E1] Bethany Mandel says that we shouldn’t laugh at Kanye West and other celebrities cracking up, and to an extent I agree… but I still laughed at this.

[E2] The inheritability – and lack of predictive power – of “grit.”

[E3] Freddie deBoer looked at Purdue University’s newest pretty (and very empty) building, and contrasts it with important existing facilities, putting in a good word for cost-conscious alternatives. I’m personally a little bummed because I found out they’re tearing down the dorm I lived in for four years, and replacing it with more luxurious accommodations. They won’t be empty, at least.

[E4] Karl Miller argues that we need to stop looking at technical schools as some sort of consolation prize, while Sarah Grant looks at coding boot camps, and attempts to ascertain their effectiveness for loan purposes.


sex photo

Image by ndanger

[S1] There will apparently be a referendum on the ballot in California to require pornography actors to wear condoms. This was just shot down by state regulators, and Scott Weiner explains why it’s a bad idea. It remains the law in Los Angeles

[S2] Desde La Fe attempts to make the case for saving sex until marriage. Relatedly, here are some facts about waiting.

[S3] Shedding some light on the long-term implications of short-tenure sex.

[S4] The perils of being casual about sex and serious about consent and Rebecca Traister argues that we need to be talking about the ways that sex can be both consensual and bad.

[S5] Well, these blokes seem like right-fine gentlemen. (And that title. Ugh.)

[S6] Economists investigated the notion that sex tends to make people happy by trying to encourage some couples to have more sex, and it did not make them happier.

[S7] Sex myths!


freedom photo

Image by Moyan_Brenn

[F1] Actor Waris Ahluawalia was allegedly banned from a Mexico City to New York flight on account of his turban and Aaron Saltzman says that he was interrogated for reading an article about Daesh.

[F2] Refugee girls dressing up as what they want to be when they grow up.

[F3] Some Cubans aren’t so sure about normalization with the United States.

[F4] Jason Brennan argues that closed border advocacy arguments lend themselves to anti-liberty arguments.

[F5] Is there really any way that gun control can work in the age of 3D printers?


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Morning Ed: Society {2016.02.18.Th}( 110 )

Gnosticism and X-Files: Was Fox Mulder wasting his life? {via Zac}

Following up on a tweetstorm on the matter, Noah Smith explains the majesty of the 90’s. goes on to write a blog post about it.

Payton Manning is on top of the world right now, but his sordid past may be catching up with him. Bob Kravitz, though, is skeptical.

Meghan Neal writes of the tension between term papers and Wikipedia articles. What is the best focus of a brilliant mind, term papers or Wikipedia articles?

Punk and heavy metal may have a calming influence. Only tangential, but when I used to get sleepy while driving late at night, I’d try to find a Tejano station.

Elizabeth Nolan Brown explains how museums in Europe are renaming some classics to conform to modern sensibilities. I don’t reject this out of hand, when especially egregious or when they weren’t named by the original artists, but… treat carefully is all.

John McWhorter explains what OJ Simpson taught him about being black.

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Morning Ed: United States {2016.02.17.W}( 66 )

Zaid Jilani argues that ex-presidents get generous pensions precisely so that they don’t have to engage in Clintonesque speaking tours. Anti-Clinton angle aside (obviously, it’s not just the Clintons), it’s an interesting history.

In an article lamenting the lack of regulation for tax preparation services, Ben Steverman points out that tax preparers actually have a worse track record than amateurs. Some of that may be due to the complexity of the returns they hand.

The ABA is cracking down on underperforming law schools with simpler-but-tougher bar-passage requirements.

Assimilation: Still not a problem.

The Hmong seem to be doing pretty well in the US.

When it comes to religion, the US is in the middle of the pack, but compared to wealthy countries we are a major outlier.

With Planned Parenthood defunded, Texas is looking to fill the gap that was created.

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Morning Ed: Cities {2016.02.16.Tu}( 16 )

The science of cities is looking at universal rule of business/city growth.

Here’s a novel NIMBY argument: If you build that elevated train, pedophiles will look at our children.

Tim Harford makes the relatively obvious but important point that London’s outrageous cost of living is a liability created by its own success.

Jonathan Manthorpe explains how foreign investment in has changed Vancouver, hitching the fate of the city to the fate of China.

Thirty embarrassing facts about thirty cities or so. I actually only knew about The Strip not being in Las Vegas proper because of UNLV being in the same townlet.

Reno seems to be bringing in some tech firms. That… seems to make sense. You have a flagship university, proximity to California but not so expensive and a different regulatory environment. Or, if we insist on California, Fresno?

Refusing change is indeed not the way to Keep Austin Weird. Unsurprisingly, I oppose anti-group housing laws.

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Morning Ed: Politics {2016.02.15.M}( 28 )

Adam Eisenstate talks about his time as Donald Trump’s ghostwriter.

Will Trump win the nomination on the strength of the Hispanic vote?

Kevin Drum explains why Bernie Sanders isn’t talking about welfare reform.

This is why Republicans can’t have nice things: Jeb targets Rubio over the disconnect between his taste in music and his concern for culture. There’s… really a tension here between the kinds of entertainment that culturally conservative (or “culturally cautious” since many would be loathe to use the “word “conservative”) worry about their kids consuming, and what they actually want to consume themselves.

Rebecca Nelson writes of The Secret Republicans of Silicon Valley. I can’t speak of Silicon Valley, but I will say that there was no place I kept a tighter lid on my heterodoxical beliefs than when I was in the Pacific Northwest. Everyone in Deseret assumed – for the most part – that I was a radical liberal. But that was okay, because I was not as alone as a radical liberal in Deseret as I would have been a conservative where I was working. (The team leader adjacent to us was a Paulite. He was treated more as a gadfly than a villain, though, so there’s that.)

Greta Christina argues that being socially liberal but economically conservative isn’t enough. Some good points, though #4 and #5 assume a disagreement that may not exist, assuming that aggressive policing and the war on drugs are economically, rather than socially, conservative positions.

Here’s an interesting interview with Leah Wright Rigueur, who wrote a book called The Loneliness of the Black Republican, which looks at the history of the group and the party.

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