22 Dec 2011

Anything but water

  • Digital retouching of photos is not only getting out of control ("unreal" humans) but contributing to people's anxieties (self image, etc.) Want to scare yourself? Look at the before and after photos here (seems Ms. Jolie is dong pretty well). Speaking of weird perceptions, read the straight dope on being "black."

  • Personal assistants by the task. This, combined with peer-to-peer banking, is going to undermine the taxation system. Time to look again at property taxes?

  • Oh snap! bioplastics are not always biodegradable, good for oceans, petroleum-free, good for the environment, or the solution to the "plastic" problem.

  • The five best toys of all time. Seriously.

  • Economists have thought, since Hotelling's 1931 paper, that energy extraction activities would balance between current prices and future prices, in an effort to maximize current and future "rents" from the resource. This paper [PDF] (via KP) shows that's not the way the industry works. The implication is that we may not be efficiently managing resources with free market price signals. That's not a silly idea where energy is concerned -- taxes on consumption of this resource can slow down consumption to keep energy cheaper tomorrow. Think about it.