Favorites January 18th 2024
This is from a thread of interesting things he found by reading every post by Our World in Data. Greenland leads the world in suicides, but they don't happen in the dark winter months, but in the summer, possibly due to low quality sleep. I also had not read about how improved sanitation was what lead to polio becoming more common.
The 'dentists are bad' article was really interesting, especially the point that because we don't actually have much scientific research on dental care, there's plenty of room to run scams. He linked to two different articles where the author went to a bunch of dentists and was given vastly different care suggestions, with huge differences in price. Some folks popped up with similar experiences. Anyway, as far as policy prescriptions, it seems clear that we should let dental hygienists run their own practices.
I had no idea Volcker was 6'7"
Flotsam and Jetsam
– Solar/Wind power deployment look like a nice smooth exponential ramp over the last 30 years (src)
– Significant surge in startups shutting down since Q3 2023 (src)
– Making primaries more democratic has made people like the candidates less! Yglesias argues in favor of smoke-filled rooms. He also linked to a counter-argument I also liked by Jeff Maurer. (src)
– "I think the most depressing fact about humanity is that during the 2000s most of the world was handed essentially free access to the entirety of knowledge and that didn’t trigger a golden age." An excerpt from a very long article discussing 'the decline of genius' which I have not actually read. (src)
– North Korea sorta looks like they're preparing for war, here's the article, although there's not a ton of hard evidence (src)
– Living inside your main source of wealth leads to bad decisions, and misallocation of resources (src)
– "While France has two types of reactors & hundreds of types of cheese, in the US it’s the other way around" This is from a NYTimes article Nuclear Power Can Save the World, Stapp also links to a great article about why Nuclear plants are so hard to build. (src)
– Drew Pavlou explains that he is no stranger to being threatened for his advocacy against opressive governments, he's been condemned personally by the CCP, Twitter randos do not impress him. (src)
– "researchers in 2022 demonstrated that you could process an opponent's microphone, extracting the noise induced by their GPU, and use that noise to know where they were on a Counter-Strike map" (src)
– Looks like the Trump era allowance for a class of dishwasher that is not bound by water or energy usage requirements is going to move forward, Alex Tabarrok is excited. (src)
– An old XKCD comic is coming true, there's now binoculars that tell you which bird you're looking at (src)
– NYPD hands out official cards to let you get out of traffic tickets. Another argument for automated enforcement. (src)
– Cupertino has lost their bid to stop Builder's Remedy projects, and this will also serve as useful precedent in other CA cities. (src)
– 'Leftists' who want to abandon Biden to show the Democratic party that they should be listend to are "antiestablishment crank populists. In other words: Trump’s base", they're just looking for an excuse to vote for Trump. (src)
– No need to have complex takes on Trump's authoritarian tendencies, he's posting that the president should be allowed to commit as many crimes as he wants. Of course it was in all caps. (src)