Quotes & Links #66

1) carnegiecouncil.org: Towards Non-Western Histories in International Relations Textbooks

Most textbooks begin with ancient Greece and Rome, advance through the European Middle Ages, and continue with the Peace of Westphalia and the Enlightenment. Some make passing reference to the wider world during these periods, but never in comparable depth, and only really begin to acknowledge non-Western societies during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

2) harvardmagazine.com: The Science of Scarcity

That’s a phenomenon well-documented by psychologists: if the mind is focused on one thing, other abilities and skills—attention, self-control, and long-term planning—often suffer.

Which is why being in love is such an annoying and difficult emotion. It demands to much attention. ;)

“To put it bluntly,” says Mullainathan, “if I made you poor tomorrow, you’d probably start behaving in many of the same ways we associate with poor people.” And just like many poor people, he adds, you’d likely get stuck in the scarcity trap.

3) washingtonpost.com/monkey-cage: Executive election rules in dictatorships matter. Here’s why.

[…] I find that executive election rules in dictatorships affect a number of outcomes, including regime durability, economic growth, and political stability.

Horrible headline, but oh well. The article itself is quite interesting and a good overview of recent research results. The article is also less optimistic on Botswana, a country praised in “Why Nations Fail” for its inclusive institutions and democratic system.

4) veratevelde.com: awesome broken windows theory tests
A list of some very cool experiments.

5) econlib.org: Low hanging fruit and the inequality question

It’s consumption inequality that matters. If you are not reducing the output of the yacht and private jet industry, then you are doing precisely NOTHING to reduce economic inequality.

Some interesting thoughts on inequality and the – surprise, surprise – contradiction of taxation.

6) vice.com: Are Multiple Personalities Always a Disorder?

Contrary to what a DID/DDNOS diagnosis implies, multiples want everyone in their system to be seen as people. Not fragments, alters, or personalities, but distinct individuals who happen to be inhabiting the same physical body.

I wonder how this feels like. The vocab used to describe certain situations (fronting, multiplicity system) is also quite interesting.

7) project-syndicate.org: The Puzzle of Liberal Democracy

8) bloomberg.com: Elon Musk’s Space Dream Almost Killed Tesla

The changes in his attitude and thinking were obvious to friends, including a group of PayPal executives who gathered in Las Vegas one weekend to celebrate the recent sale. “We’re all hanging out in this cabana at the Hard Rock Cafe, and Elon is there reading some obscure Soviet rocket manual that was all moldy and looked like it had been bought on EBay,” said Kevin Hartz, an early PayPal investor.

Fascinating guy. Funnily, for every guy like Elon there are probably many many more who fail for no reasons at all.

9) forbes.com: Senator Warren Means Well, But She’s Dangerously Wrong

I have to say that I think all except the second of these is barking mad.


10) timharford.com: The problem with sexed-up statistics

But the final discovery — that we are having 40 per cent less sex — is true. According to the rigorously collected Natsal survey, heterosexually active people aged 16-44 typically had sex five times in the past month back in 1990. By 2010, the number had fallen steadily to three times. Perhaps the next Natsal survey will be able to figure out why.

DESPITE TINDER! Probably because of youporn and such. I wonder if the rate affects everyone or especially certain people (shy ones or whatever). Maybe the numbers will rise again because of such apps.

11) danwang.co: The strangeness of Berlin

Berlin can’t stay weird and cheap forever. Plan a visit before it turns into Paris.

Let’s hope not. ;)

12) vox.com: Why one top economist thinks Obama’s trade deal is worth passing
The twitter debate about TIP is quite prominent and most of the people involved seem to have some strong priors. This is a good article why.


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