06 April 2015

Anything but water

  1. A libertarian journalist asks "what would it take to convince you that climate change is happening?." Related: It is important to direct some resources towards conservation (of biospheres) rather than ignore them when/if tackling climate change. Want an easy win? Stop subsidizing deforestation in Brazil and Indonesia

  2. Pricing US road freight for externalities would reduce freight by a little (the combination of reduced shipping and shifting to rail). Those estimate imply that trucking lobbyists are more hype than useful. Speaking of lobbyists, watch John Oliver's monologue on the manipulative US sugar lobby

  3. "Moore's curse" afflicts those who expect "transistor rates of improvement" (doubling efficiency every 18 months) on other areas of life, e.g., energy efficiency. Related: students taking notes by hand have higher comprehension than those using laptops (I don't allow them in class)

  4. Shadow government bodies (bureaucrats, NSA, et al.) are undermining US democracy

  5. An economist (and new dad) reflects on women's rights, the (weak) US medical system, migration and collective action. Related: A Reddit thread on US vacation time had this insightful comment:
    I think a lot of people in the younger generations in America, as well as the older, are realizing that there's more to the American dream than working for success, it's about how fully you live life and the legacy you leave. This is a fairly new concept post 1950s America.

    It's the beginning, but there are some chinks in the armor of the american work-industrial complex. Most newer businesses, traditional and new-tech, are building in awesome benefits packages: unlimited vacation days, paid vacations, charitable giving matches, free gym memberships, free beer in the office, and a bunch of other really person-centric options.

    Have to put it out there as a semi-younger (late twenties/early thirties) American, this is one of driving factors in the entrepreneurial boom in our generation, at least in my opinion. Besides the typical factors of business opportunity, natural business instincts, etc. a lot of my friends and business acquaintances, even if not for their main job, have tried to start little side gigs for extra money and to explore making that a full-time gig. They want to live a more comfortable life, doing things on their time.

    I have quite a few friends who were very accomplished in school (a few law school grads) who have chosen to completely abandon their profession and work on a ranch in Wyoming or somewhere else in the west. All because they want to explore what life has to offer and they feel like the working world is just a trap that you cannot escape. I sat down and talked with one of these guys at a reunion once, and his take on life and his bright and positive energy and attitude were really obvious.

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