Crooked Timber:Why surveillance capitalism is every bit as bad as Stansted Airport The only way to get there from London was with Ryanair. So already, I felt a bit let down by capitalism. Where was all the market choice and innovation to translate my myriad human desires into a
competitive range of options for me to choose from and pay for? Then it turned out that Ryanair would only leave from Stansted, which I dislike, so I had to satisfice like some too-lazy-to-compare
consumer or a half-arsed social democrat.
Boston Globe:Why do so many veterinarians commit suicide? A 2014 federal Centers for Disease Control online survey of 10,000 practicing veterinarians published last year found that more than one in six American veterinarians has considered suicide.
Veterinarians suffer from feelings of hopelessness, depression, and other psychiatric disorders two to three times more often than the general population. Two studies published in the British
Veterinarian Association’s journal, The Veterinary Record, found suicide rates are double or more those of dentists and doctors, and four to six times higher than the general population.
The Chronicle of Higher Education:On Refusing to Read My small act of countercultural scholarly agency has been to refuse to continue reading or assigning the work of David Foster Wallace. The machine of his celebrity masks, I have argued, the limited benefits of spending the time required to read his work.
The Economist:Patricians of parchment Manuscripts are words written down, but they impart far more than sentences. Precise moments in time can be found, like pressed flowers, preserved in their pages. In one ninth-century manuscript
a picture of the planets in orbit has been drawn with such precision that astronomers say this configuration happens only once in 17 trillion years. They have dated the manuscript to March 18th 816.
The Economist:Europe’s scapegoatUnder one model of the effects of migration, by 2030 GDP per capita in some eastern European countries could fall by 4%. “Europe has destroyed us,” says an official in the deserted Romanian village of Certeze.
The Globe and Mail:Why it may make sense for Ontario to go it alone on climate change You could call it Ontario’s declaration of energy independence: a radical plan to sweep carbon out of the provincial economy by turning off natural gas in homes and workplaces and switching on electric cars at a cost of $7-billion to taxpayers.
Geopolitical Futures:Not Much Is New in This Election The question is not why Americans regard this particular election as apocalyptic. The question is why Americans routinely regard presidential elections as apocalyptic, without realizing they are simply acting out an old script. One reason is a general one. Americans do not remember the past very clearly, particularly when it doesn’t directly affect their lives. America was founded without a past, but with a breathtaking future. As a culture, our focus has been there. We get caught up in the moment and we lack a sense of perspective because our memory of the past has been rendered fuzzy, with the hard edges removed.
Boston Review:Paying for Punishment But understanding decarceration only through the lens of cost cutting has a major blind spot. America’s contemporary system of policing, courts, imprisonment, and parole doesn’t just absorb money. It also makes money through asset forfeiture, lucrative public contracts from private service providers, and by directly extracting revenue and unpaid labor from populations of color and the poor.
The Economist:From Dotcom Hero to Zero At its peak in 2000, Yahoo had a market value of $128 billion.
In the dotcom version of Monopoly, Yahoo got the prime slot.
Annoyed Librarian:Information Failure The time has long gone when people would settle bar bets by calling a reference librarian, but the same
sort of fact-checking Snopes engages in is what reference librarians excel at, or at least used to until
people stopped asking them reference questions and started asking them to clear the printer jams.
Kieran Healey:Olympics Trolling A moment’s thought suggests that my views are perfectly correct. Reflecting a little further on my sports bigotry,
I think the simplest model is a two-dimensional space that, I think you will agree, is both easy to understand
and wholly objective.
ABC (Australia):Crisis on high Deep in the Himalayas sits a remote research station that is tracking an alarming trend in climate change, with implications that could disrupt the lives of more than 1 billion people and pitch the most populated region of the world into chaos.
The Awl:How to read a book and walk at the same time whereas I found Wallace Stegner’s A Shooting Star tiresome and unfinishable when I was reading it at home, I found the eleven-and-three-eighth-ounce paperback tiresome but eminently finishable while walking. How does that work? Walking renders any book on hand finishable because your only alternative is your mind, and haven’t you had enough of that?
The Chronicle of Higher Education:Texas Picked an Ominous Date to Arm Its Public Colleges In what appears to be an audacious act of public forgetting, a controversial Texas campus-carry law allowing concealed guns in university buildings is scheduled
to take effect on Monday, August 1, the 50th anniversary of the University of Texas tower shootings.
The Economist:How to make children do homework The parents of nearly 16,000 pupils at 36 secondary schools in England were sent regular text messages
to remind them of forthcoming tests, to report whether homework was submitted on time and to outline what
their children were learning. Parents could opt out if the texts became bothersome. Few did. The result
was an uptick in performance in maths and (more weakly) English, as well as lower absenteeism.
Lars P. Syll:Cherry-picking Economic Models …if one extends the alcohol neutral model to take that role into account, it is optimal for humans to be drinking all of their waking hours.
The Age:Could an aspirin a day keep depression away? ASPREE involves 16,500 Australian volunteers, all aged over 70, plus a few thousand extra in the United States. It constitutes
the largest clinical trial ever conducted in this country, and one of the largest in the world. Results will be available in 2018.
The Economist:America’s growing temporary workforce America's temporary help industry first emerged after the second world war, when companies like Manpower and Kelly Girl Service began “renting out” office workers on a short-term basis. In those early years, temps numbered in the hundreds of thousands. Today, the industry employs some 2.9m people, over 2% of America’s total workforce.
Lars P. Syll:Why Economists Can't ReasonNeoclassical economics has since long given up on the real world and contents itself with proving things about thought up worlds. Empirical evidence only plays a minor role in economic
theory, where models largely function as a substitute for empirical evidence. The one-sided, almost religious, insistence on axiomatic-deductivist modeling as the only scientific activity
worthy of pursuing in economics, is a scientific cul-de-sac.
Chasing Truth. Catching Hell.:Dear Norm: How Do You Defend Those People? (Part 3,223) No, I don’t mean “how can you live with yourself ensuring due process for people who have done really really bad things” or anything like that. I mean, how do you actually do it?
When you have a client accused of something awful, and he/she has next to nothing by way of a defense, how do you defend them anyway?
USA Today:Hardwired for happy hour: Primates choose booze Scientists discovered that the aye-aye and the slow loris species both have a taste for booze, a finding that indirectly bolsters one theory for how humans came to appreciate a stiff drink.
The aye-ayes in particular were such enthusiastic tipplers that after draining their cups, they searched for more…
Foreign Policy:The Soft Logic of Soft Targets Second, trying to defend “soft targets” is essentially impossible, because such targets are by definition vulnerable and there are an infinite number of them in any minimally free society.
Foreign Policy:Britain Has a New Snooper-in-Chief “Government hacking powers, mass surveillance, and collection and sharing of data,” is how Gus Hosein, the executive director of Privacy International, summed up May’s agenda as home secretary,
a position in which she oversaw the police, the MI5 domestic security services, and border control. In that role, May increased data collection on travelers in the EU and, in Hosein’s words,
used “any opportunity to decry human rights laws as the bane of our existence.”
Open Culture:An 1585 Recipe for Making Pancakes Take new thicke Creame a pint, foure or five yolks of egs, a good handful of flower and two or three spoonefuls of ale, strain them together into a faire platter, and season
it with a good handfull of sugar, a spooneful of synamon, and a little Ginger…
**The Chronicle of Higher Education:* Law Schools Cut Back to Counter Tough Financial Times** First-year enrollment at the 204 J.D.-granting law schools accredited by the American Bar Association has fallen 30 percent from its peak six years ago. It’s slumped to its lowest level since 1973, when there were only 151 schools.
1843:The West's Biggest Statue The statue was cast in Russia in 1991 and intended as a gift to the United States to
mark the 500th anniversary of Columbus’s first voyage to the Americas. Having been
turned down by several mainland cities due to its monstrous size, ugliness and the
prohibitive cost of installation, it was eventually accepted in 1998 by Puerto Rico,
where Columbus had landed on his second voyage in 1493.
CNN:No-fly nightmares: The program's most embarrassing mistakes On the same day Kennedy revealed his flight troubles, civil rights icon and longtime Rep. John Lewis revealed he, too, had been snarled by the watchlist dragnet.
According to his office, the Georgia Democrat had over the course of a year been held up 35 to 40 times. Despite reaching out to a number of federal agencies over
that period, Lewis' name had remained on a list.
Language Log:Gertrude Trump You know the Republicans honestly folks our leaders our leaders have to get tougher. This is too tough to do it alone but you know what I think I'm gonna be forced to. I think I'm going to be forced to. Our leaders have to get a lot tougher.
Providence Business News:House OKs $20M bond for ProvPort A $20 million state bond issue that would expand the terminal capacity of ProvPort Inc., by adding more land and water acreage at the Port of Providence, is expected to be presented to voters in November.
The Economist:Where the smart is Connected homes will take longer to materialise than expected
Providence Business News:What new residential construction there is in R.I. rarely matches state's needsAlthough permit activity has increased, new construction of housing has yet to rebound from the Great Recession, according to builders and state officials.
And where residential building is taking place, it generally is not taking the form of multifamily or increased density. But that is exactly what the state needs, according to housing advocates.
The Economist:The price of caring Some reports have it that Thomas Mair, the 52-year-old man arrested for yesterday’s fatal attack on Jo Cox, a Labour MP, was waiting for her outside the Yorkshire library where she was holding a constituency surgery. Whether or not this turns out to have been the case, her murder is a stark illustration of the risks to which MPs go by making themselves so available to their constituents.
Combat!:Citigroup sues AT&T, claiming trademark on phrase “thank you” Like most consumers, I associate the phrase “thank you” with Citigroup THANKYOU Marks, which the financial-services giant uses in its customer rewards programs.
When I hold the door open for a little girl and she says “thank you,” I suffer a moment of confusion. How has this child become employed by Citigroup, and why has
my act of courtesy earned me THANKYOU Mark rewards? But then I remember that, oh yeah, trademark violations have diluted the THANKYOU Mark brand to the point where
people started using it in non-rewards point contexts. It’s the kind of infringement on intellectual property that has become too common in the modern world.