Consider taking the Effective Altruism Survey, especially if you are an effective altruist but you’re welcome to take it even if you’re not.
Clever ideas: pay a small amount of money for cigarette butts picked up. “In just a few short hours, the booth had run out of cash, with eager butt collectors bringing in more than 60,000 used filters.”
And while we’re solving pollution: bioplastic! Also solves part of the oil crisis! But what I’m most excited about is that it might put an end to endocrine disruptor plastics and their mysterious but for-all-we-know sinister effect on human psychology. If society-wide measures of personality, obesity and sexuality change dramatically after bioplastics replace regular ones, remember I told you so.
The same thundercloud has been raining on the Tiwi Islands near Australia ever since World War II. Its name is Hector The Convector.
I’ve been debating whether I self-identify more as a liberal or conservative. After reading about where liberals and conservatives eat I am forced to admit that no matter how much I flirt with conservative ideas I will always be a liberal at heart. Any tribe that eats at California Pizza Kitchen is my people.
Last Psychiatrist: Who Bullies The Bullies? One of those things where the writing is so delightful I am ready to forgive him for not really having a thesis or any coherent point. And almost ready to forgive him for no longer writing about psychiatry.
London Police To Use Wearable Video Cameras In Public. Another victory for technical solutions to human problems! I look forward to the day when a police officer without a camera is viewed with the same horror as a surgeon without gloves.
New gene is found that explains 3% of human intelligence variation – up to six IQ points. What I don’t understand is how this was missed until now! I could swear I read a bunch of genome-wide association studies that said they had combed through the entire genome and found very definitively that no gene could possibly code for more than a fraction of a percent of the total variation. Did those scientists totally just drop the ball? Are there more very important single genes waiting to be discovered?
(If you have 23andMe you can play along at home. I have the non-intelligence-boosting T;T version. I’d say I’m sad, but since I already know what my intelligence is I guess it doesn’t matter).
American Conservative: Polio Breaks Out After The US Breaks Trust. This one is absolutely our fault and totally disgusts me.
A black guy writes a FAQ on the human biodiversity movement.
And as long as I’m talking about race – drug testing makes black applicants more likely to be hired. The reasoning is basic economics – bosses want employees who don’t take drugs. They might prefer to drug test everyone to get a reliable signal on who is or isn’t an addict. But if they are not allowed to get a reliable signal, they’ll switch to a less reliable signal – stereotypes of addicts based on their race and gender. As a result, when legislation makes drug tests impossible, there is a 7% – 30% shift from hiring blacks and men, to hiring whites and women.
And as long as I’m talking about race – are the differences between Europeans and Chinese cultures based on wheat vs. rice cultivation?
Speaking of China, a very convincing article on why China is not destined to rule us all. The short answer is that everyone except America is doomed because of aging populations, America is slightly less doomed because we have lots of young immigrants, and China is super super doomed because of the one-child policy.
Leah of Unequally Yoked responds to my post on infinite debt.
Things you never knew you never knew: why do you see so many perfectly circular farms from an airplane window? [EDIT: And a great article on field corners posted by commenter Andy]
[Note: I am banning discussion of the race-related link in the comment thread below, or else it will go out of control and people will be jerks and none of the other links will ever get discussed]