A brief gallivant about the marketplace of ideas.

Tag: travel

Read : 2020-02-12

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. The nuclear family was a mistake” by David Brooks (The Atlantic, 2020-03). An extended look at extended family.
  2. How Japan has almost eradicated gun crime” by Harry Low (BBC News, 2017-01-06). Restricted availability, strict ownership conditions, and intentional de-escalation during tense encounters by law enforcement.
  3. ‘The intelligence coup of the century’” by Greg Miller (Washington Post, 2020-02-11). As Bruce Schneier corrects on his blog, “this isn’t really news…What is new is the formerly classified documents describing the details”.
  4. Cybersecurity tips for international travelers” (US Federal Communications Commission).
  5. Airbnb swings to a loss as costs climb ahead of IPO” by Jean Eaglesham, Maureen Farrell, & Kirsten Grind (Wall Street Journal, 2020-02-11).

Travel…for what?

Why is it that, when most people travel, we spend so much time planning how to see new places, and not how to meet new people? To put it another way: When people visit us, do we take them out to see local sights and eat local bites, or do we introduce them to local friends?

Imagine you contact a friend in another city, to let her know you’ll be in town for the weekend. Most of us have received the reply, “Great! I want you to try this awesome restaurant I found!” Most of us are cool with that. How would we respond if she replies, “Great! I want you to meet these awesome friends I’ve found!” To put it another way: Your friend calls you and says, “A few friends of mine are visiting this weekend. I’d love them to meet you. Are you free?” How do you respond?

Maybe, at heart, many of us are introverts, or at least exhibit introverted tendencies, especially when in unfamiliar settings — the norm when visiting a new place. Maybe it’s prospect theory at work: The possible negatives of discomfort and disappointment outweigh the possible positives of meeting someone really cool. Maybe it’s a fear of inadequacy or rejection: People might see us for who we are, and not like us; restaurants and natural attractions have to accept us (if we pay up).

But I wonder, if we spent more time seeking out and building relationships, instead of checklists and photo libraries, would our travel, our lives, be more fulfilling?

Read — 2018-07-01

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Taking another person’s perspective doesn’t help you understand them“, by Brian Gallagher (Nautilus, 2018-06-27). Huh, that’s funny. Projecting yourself into someone else’s shoes doesn’t help you understand them. But listening to the other person does.
  2. Machine learning: a primer“, by Lizzie Turner (Medium, 2018-05-27).
  3. Why businesses fail at machine learning“, by Cassie Kozyrkov (Hacker Noon, 2018-06-28).
  4. 11 ways to save money when booking travel“, by Kristin Wong (NY Times, 2018-06-27). Don’t be afraid to balance saving your own money with saving your own comfort!
  5. Everyone is canceled“, by Jonah Engel Bromwich (NY Times, 2018-06-28). The worst of millenialism.

Read — 2018/01/18

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Lost luggage? Why airlines can be slow to help“, by Scott McCartney (Wall Street Journal). In short, incentives. The article includes packing tips to help avoid issues and to resolve them when they occur.
  2. North Korea brings pop singer to talks with South“, by Andrew Jeong & Jonathan Cheng (Wall Street Journal).

Read — 2017/11/19

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Slavery ensnares thousands in U.K. Here’s one teenage girl’s story“, by Ceylan Yeginsu (NY Times). Read this. Then open your eyes to the people around you.
  2. When unpaid student loan bills mean you can no longer work“, by Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Stacy Cowley, & Natalie Kitroeff (NY Times). Debtor’s prisons didn’t make sense centuries ago. They still don’t make sense now.
  3. In China, an education in dating“, by Sui-Lee Wee (NY Times). Where to start?

    In the first hour, Zhang Mindong proclaimed them sartorial disasters. Most of the first day was devoted to improving dress. (“Narrow collars, sleeves should be folded up above the elbow and trousers should be fitted.”) They bought clothes and got haircuts.

  4. Mike and Nathaniel’s week in tech: Everybody loves bitcoin“, by Mike Isaac & Nathaniel Popper (NY Times).
  5. What you need to know about the new ID law and travel“, by Shivani Vora (NY Times).

Read — 2017/03/12

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. The battle for Mosul moves west“, by Alan Taylor (The Atlantic). Thirty-three sobering photographs from the war in Iraq. Such reports are easy to gloss over when they are nameless accounts of unknown persons thousands of miles away. They are less easy to gloss over when the eyes of a child that could have been yours or could have been mine plead for an end to the violence that has become her life.
  2. 36 hours in Sapporo, Japan“, by Ingrid K. Williams (NY Times). A lovely city.

Separately, three articles discussing freedom and repression of expression on college campuses:

  1. The dangerous safety of college“, by Frank Bruni (NY Times). A call for challenging viewpoints and “constructive engagement”.
  2. The ideology behind intolerant college students“, by Stephen L. Carter (Bloomberg). A brilliantly written article connecting the current fervor for “safe spaces” to the philosophy of Herbert Marcuse in “Repressive tolerance”.
  3. The coddling of the American mind“, by Greg Lukianoff & Jonathan Haidt (The Atlantic). An in-depth investigation of the current collegiate campus Zeitgeist, and its likely effects on education and mental health.

Read — 2015/04/02

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. The best way to find an airfare online“, by Scott McCartney (Wall Street Journal). Why it’s easier than ever to compare flights — and harder than ever to find good deals.
  2. Beijing: Taipei can apply to AIIB but needs ‘appropriate name’” (Japan Times). Beijing gives Taiwan a green light for participation in the Asian Infrastructure Bank (AIIB).

Read — 2015/01/31

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. How to find the best deals on flights“, by Elaine Glusac (NY Times). An interview with David Solomito, director of brand marketing at Kayak. Low on explicit money-saving tips, but this one stands out: “for North America, the ideal booking window…is four to six weeks in advance of a trip”. As one might expect, “[t]he lowest fares depart Friday and return on Monday”.
  2. Serena Williams beats Maria Sharapova to win Australian Open“, by Piers Newbery (BBC Sport). Mlle Williams wins her 19th Grand Slam title in straight sets, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5).
  3. Best ways to profit from beaten-down energy stocks“, by Eric Rosenbaum & Bryan Borzykowski (CNBC). Big-picture advice counseling slow action and focus on fundamentals.
  4. Oscars animated shorts roundup“, by Robin Lindsay & A.O. Scott (NY Times). A look at the 2015 favorites among the five films on the 2015 Oscar “Best Animated Short Film” list.

Read — 2013/04/27

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. Europe Facing More Pressure to Reconsider Cuts as a Cure“, by Andrew Higgins (NY Times). European leaders do an about-face vis-à-vis the 2011 review (“This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly”) of financial crises by economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff. A prudent move or merely a convenient ground for policy change? (Also featured in the article is the economist Guntram Wolff.)
  2. In Speech to Planned Parenthood, Obama Criticizes New Abortion Laws“, by Peter Baker (NY Times). Said Obama, “You’ve also got a president who’s going to be right here with you fighting every stop of the way”.
  3. Dutch Man Said to Be Held in Powerful Internet Attack“, by Nicole Perlroth (NY Times). M Kamphuis’s offense: DDoS, or distributed denial of service. A subsequent attack volleyed fire of 300 GB per second, “slowing Internet traffic for millions of Internet users worldwide”.
  4. Haute Hostels Put to the Test“, by Seth Sherwood (NY Times). For those of you considering a trip to Paris, Lisbon, Barcelona, or Berlin. And a personal recommendation, for those of you visiting Milan: Ostello Bello.

Read — 2012/09/08

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. After High Note for Euro Plan, Discord Emerges“, by Steven Erlanger (NY Times).
  2. Canada Closes Tehran Embassy and Orders Iran Envoys to Leave“, by Ian Austen (NY Times).
  3. Managing a Child’s Allowance, the Online Version“, by Ron Lieber (NY Times).
  4. Space Tourism Is Here! Wealthy Adventurers Wanted“, by Jesse McKinley (NY Times).
  5. Reading, Math, and Grit“, by Joe Nocera (NY Times). Asserts that “resilience, integrity, resourcefulness, professionalism and ambition” can be instilled in and are crucial to the success of teenage schoolchildren.
  6. The Organic Fable“, by Roger Cohen (NY Times). At times reads like a vindictive vendetta against the admitted sometime excess of the organic craze. Interesting to read that a Stanford University study found that “fruits and vegetables labeled organic are, on average, no more nutritious than their cheaper conventional counterparts” and that “organic meats offered no obvious health advantages”. I wonder if the study could compare the top 10% of organic products against the top 10% of non-organic products? Or explore whether people can taste a difference between the two? (Go go Gadget control group!)