Favorites September 8th 2023
I linked to Brown's thread where he argued that he couldn't get published unless he focused on only climate change as a cause of increased forest fires. Now it comes out that his peer reviewers suggested he not do that, and he specifically chose not to do that so that he could make a big deal about it. Noah Smith's take was that maybe this was a real problem a decade ago, but at this point major papers have no problem publishing good news about climate change. Meyer's interview is wild.
I like how well this illustrates that lines of paint don't offer much protection. The little girl who was killed riding on the back of her parent's bike wearing a helmet was hit by a car door. We need fully protected bike lanes. Once lawmakers start actually getting out there and biking, they realize this too, I'm happy to see the progress that's being made because CA Senator Portantino started riding a bike.
A powerful laptop at this point takes about as much power as just one light bulb used to use.
Flotsam and Jetsam
– Since the crackdown by Xi on tech companies, their market caps are way down. But I didn't realize Baidu was never that big. (src)
– More zero emission steel plants getting built. (src)
– Microsoft is paying for direct CO2 Capture (src)
– Amazonian deforestation has slowed down significantly (src)
– New buildings have good sound insulation, the reason so many apartments don't have this is that they're old. (src)
– NYC's right to shelter means that there are way fewer people living on the streets. Some politicians are complaining about the expense, but it's definitely better than the alternative. (src)
– RCT of early access to testosterone therapy for folks requesting it shows positive results. (src)
– Philidelphia, LA, and a few other cities have seen declines in homecide bringing them back down near 2019 rates. (src)
– Short thread of ideas for actions the Federal government can take to reduce the cost of housing. (src)
– The federal government went hardcore YIMBY in the 90s, but just for satellite dishes. (src)
– The upcoming boosters look to be very effective against the currently-circulating variants. (src)
– Milan is getting 466 miles of fully separated bike lanes for $285 Million, seems like a good deal. (src)
– US will stop paying people to go try to find new wildlife viruses. (src)
– Oil is surprisingly cheap in historical terms (src)
– Presentation about a successor language to C++ for very large codebases. Spoiler: it’s Swift. (src)
– Pelosi running for reelection, which means Wiener gets another 2 years of writing Californa laws! Overall this is probably fine. (src)
– Good mixed use development requires actually thinking through how storefronts will look. (src)
– Self driving cars are like vaping: much better than the thing they're replacing, but because they're new, they're subject to endless moral panics and negative media coverage. (src)
– Privacy Sandbox Paradox, people distrust complexity in advertising systems. (src)