A brief gallivant about the marketplace of ideas.

Month: July, 2016

Read — 2016/07/31

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Why voters don’t buy it when economists say global trade is good“, by N. Gregory Mankiw (NY Times). The reason, according to a pair of papers by Mansfield and Mutz, is sociotropic voting. Sounds innocent. It stems from isolationism, nationalism, and ethnocentrism. Oh. The authors (and Dr. Mankiw) also find that more highly educated people are better. Hmm.
  2. Study finds Chinese students excel in critical thinking. Until college.“, by Javier C. Hernández (NY Times). More precisely, “Chinese freshmen in computer science and engineering programs began college with critical thinking skills about two to three years ahead of their peers in the United States and Russia”. However, “Chinese students showed virtually no improvement in critical thinking after two years of college”.
  3. John Kerr, chronicler of Freud-Jung rift, is dead at 66“, by Benedict Carey (NY Times). Forget the doctorate (and the registration fees). My favorite sentence is the last (long) one:

    “We would be talking on the phone about some abstract point of metapsychology,” said Dr. Stepansky, “and he would say, ‘Sorry, I’ve got to get to the tavern; the baseball game’s about to start, and my blind friend Tony relies on me to provide the play-by-play.’”

Read — 2016/07/30

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. In tribute to son, Khizr Khan offered citizenship lesson at convention“, by Richard A. Oppel, Jr. (NY Times). One revelation that stands out appears at the end of the article, when it’s reported that Mr. Khan and his wife “had the university’s R.O.T.C. cadets over for dinner once a year [and] Mr. Khan would give them each a pocket-sized copy of the Constitution”. This man isn’t lying when he asserts his faith in this document from 1789.
  2. Welcome to Zuckerworld: Facebook’s really big plans for virtual reality“, by Bryant Urstadt & Sarah Frier (Bloomberg Businessweek). Even Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t know how long virtual reality technology will require to mature.
  3. Kurt Vonnegut opens a car dealership“, by Sean Braswell (OZY). Up for a friendly game of Name Those (Vonnegut) References?
  4. Why are textbooks so expensive?“, by Donald Prothero (SkepticBlog). Spoiler alert: The answer (according to the writer) is used books.

Read — 2016/07/27

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Apple stock moves higher on strong earnings report“, by John Divine (US News & World Report).
  2. Christian Siriano reflects on designing Michelle Obama’s DNC dress“, by Steff Yotka (Vogue).

Read — 2016/07/26

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. What are young non-working men doing?“, by Derek Thompson (The Atlantic).
  2. Google took different approaches than Yahoo“, by Jack Nicas (Wall Street Journal).
  3. Can this brain exercise put off dementia?“, by Sumathi Reddy (Wall Street Journal). A study suggests that speed training — as distinct from memory and reasoning training — reduces the risk of dementia by nearly 50%. “Speed training is designed to improve the speed and accuracy of processing visual information and expand the useful field of view, or UFOV”.
  4. What America really thinks about dudes who cry in public“, by Tracy Moran (OZY).
  5. Roach milk: the next superfood?“, by Samantha Cole (Popular Science).

Read — 2016/07/21

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Who let the dogs out? Ask these ranchers“, by Stephen Starr (OZY).
  2. Mysterious Planet Nine may have given our solar system its bizarre tilt“, by Russ Swan (Wired).
  3. How to keep your VHS tapes alive forever“, by Emily Estep (Film School Rejects). The domain name alone should be sufficient motivation to check out this article.

Read — 2016/07/20

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Why you should let your children break the rules sometimes“, by Anne Marie Chaker (Wall Street Journal). In parenting as in elsewhere (I’m thinking of “Mad Men” and teaching): manage expectations deliberately, and use mistakes and deviations as a teaching point (and reflection ex post facto).
  2. How Melania Trump’s speech veered off course and caused an uproar“, by Maggie Haberman & Michael Barbaro (NY Times). Maybe the Trump team feels that it is above oversight and expert feedback. Maybe the Trump team feels that it has its own cadre of expert advisors. Whatever the case, “[i]t was, by all accounts, an entirely preventable blunder”.

Read — 2016/07/18

Today’s selection of articles includes:

How to select quality salmon

Yesterday I starting to watch the film “Jiro dreams of sushi“, and this morning I struck up a short conversation with a chap at the fish counter who was carefully selecting his fillets — and who turned out to be a former Alaskan fisherman. So it goes.

What I was told: Look for meat that is shiny and firm. If you can see the scales, the ideal is shiny and free from patchiness.

The following post is a simple and helpful reference:

Read — 2016/07/13

Today’s selection of articles includes

  1. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg calls Trump a ‘faker’, he says she should resign“, by Joan Biskupic (CNN).
  2. How dishwasher Corey Menafee smashed racism at Yale — literally“, by Lizzie Crocker (The Daily Beast).