12.14.2009

Lazy Linking, Second in an Occasional Series


Lazy linking, the second offering in an occasional series when I come across things I like and have an opinion on but want to write only one line in response instead of a whole post. In case you're wondering, these are the kinds of things I find enjoyable to read on a weekend. In other news, I am looking for a life.

* Hat tip to Jared Diamond - yes, Jared Diamond - for recognizing the good things big business has done and can do for the environment, and for encouraging a more inclusive discussion on how to not pit profits against the planet.

* What is it that makes some nations richer and some poorer? 230+ years after Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nations," I don't think we know. Tim Harford admits he doesn't, and he's a lot smarter than most.

* Not sure what to make of Megan McArdle pointing out that 44 percent of Americans would vote for Bush today over Obama; she thinks it means Obama is slipping, I think it's related to the fact that Sarah Palin's autobiography has been #1 on the New York Times bestseller list for its first three weeks.

* Porn may be alluring, but Chart Porn is even more seductive to me. Check out the eye candy on December 10 (climate change debate), November 17 (distribution of income tax payers), and October 26 (everything you wanted to know about the Federal Reserve, on one page).

* Speaking of visually appealing charts, who knew sentence diagrams could be beautiful? Stefanie Posavec literally deconstructs Jack Kerouac's "On the Road."

* I have thoroughly enjoyed the "What Should I Eat" flowcharts on "Eating the Road." Latest entry: "Freezer Aisle." Other entries: fast food, chain restaurant, and breakfast cereals.

* I know you've been asking yourself this question all month long: what should I get my favorite economist? Stephen Landsburg suggests you buy him or her the American Economics Association's 2010-2011 calendar, featuring 18 economists from recent history.

* Phoenix may have approved of taxing itself to pay for light rail, but its car-oriented residents don't appear to understand how to peacefully co-exist with light rail users: 51 accidents in 12 months so far.

* I don't have a smart phone, but I have to assume that the launch of City-Go-Round is a very, very good thing: real-time info + enhancing the transit experience + open data access = lots of unanticipated good is going to come of this.

* The silver lining in bubbles bursting (see: Silicon Valley, 2000; Wall Street, 2008) is it reminds us of the importance of diversification. So says Ed Glaeser, and I believe him.
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