Linky Friday #13

FlashForward - Smoke


[T1] The Economist looks at the costs and benefits of air conditioning. If you read only one of these links, this is probably the one I would recommend.

[T2] This is made more interesting as my smartphone word-predict tries to figure out my writing patterns.

[T3] Wired explains why Nintendo shouldn’t make iPhone games. I have a knock-off fake Mario game on my phone, though without the physical buttons it’s hard to use.

[T4] The synchronicity of Google products really does make me with Google+ was more popular.


[C1] The story of ending casino segregation in Las Vegas.

[C2] I’ve been saying this a long time: A whole lot of the pressure on women to be skinny isn’t coming from men.

[C3] The Federal Reserve Bank of San Fransisco investigates the relationship between relative status and emotional well-being by looking at suicides (Warning: PDF)


[L1] Cass Sunstein has a good piece looking at judicial voting patterns. I find it very illuminating that even among jurists, opinions are shaped by peer-environments.

[L2] Apple products are apparently quite vulnerable to theft.

[L3] There is a growing divide in urban crime rates.


[M1] Noah Smith writes about how we can protect workers from the rise of automation. Really smart people tell me that we will never have to worry about the day… but I still have my concerns. And, as the article points out, it becomes a very big issue about who reaps the wealth from these enormous capital investments.

[M2] Four cities and two states/provinces that will pay you to move there.

[M3] A listing of associate lawyer salaries by city.

[M4] Jordan Weissman makes the case for why Chicken McNuggets are a great argument against patent law.


[E1] According to Magen Cubed, Captain America is awesome because he’s liberal. To be fair, they had a couple of conservative Captain Americas once. They turned out to be, or turned into, villains. Insane villains at that.

[E2] A leftist case for sports.

[E3] As we tear down the gates of the gatekeepers, the question becomes how we find new music and books. PaidContent argues that online discovery is broken but can be fixed. The Domino Project endorses Kickstarter as a way of taking potentially successful books to publishers.

[E4] If you like, hate, or are simply old enough to remember Richard Marx, you might enjoy this story.

[E5] Lauren Davis asks if Dune ruined science fiction novels.


[H1] A lot of people think that hospital readmissions are due to premature discharges. Actually, most of the time, readmission occurs for a new reason. Some are calling it “post-hospital syndrome.”

[H2] The problem with “make it legal and tax it” is that if you tax it enough, you get the black markets anyway. Dave Schuler collects some links suggesting that gangs are not as dependent on the drug trade as we might think.


[W1] These places have to be seen to be believed. Even seeing the pictures, it’s still hard for me to believe. Seriously, give it a look.

[W2] Arctic drilling is in for some renewed scrutiny. I’d be more amenable to the criticisms if it weren’t for the sense that most drilling just about everywhere is considered to be bad by the critics. That said, there do seem to be some institutional control problems here.

[W3] How outdated cell phones are assisting infidelity in Japan.


[D1] Boom! Crush!

[D2] A tourist’s guide to hell.

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.


  1. C2 — this doesn’t surprise me at all. Much of what women do; particularly they way they look/dress, has almost nothing to do with men and the attracting of, and everything to do with other women. We don’t measure ourselves by the manly compliments and hit ons, but by the sharp knives of other feminine tongues.

  2. M4

    That story says to me we need to “fix” patent law… not necessarily eliminate it or strengthen it.

    Changes I’d propose:

    1.) Allow for simultaneous discovery. If you hold a patent and want to file against someone for infringement, you have the burden of proving that they somehow utilized your efforts.
    2.) Bar patents on recipes. Food ought to be open-source. If you want to keep secret a recipe, by all means, do so. If you want to patent a particular form of technology you’ve developed and used to create a food product, that’s fine to. But to patent a process… I can’t really get on board with that.

  3. I do often wonder if much of the critiques of air conditioning is due to Eurocentrism (plus that heating is an older technology). If cooling air was the older technology and the one most needed by the West, would people be talking about how decadant heating is?

  4. The link for C3 doesn’t work, and Will is (or should be, eh?) busy packing, but this is probably the report he’s talking about.

    There, my little contribution to Will’s move.

  5. T1:
    No wonder that before 1950, fewer than 500,000 lived along the whole 500-mile southern littoral

    I’ll keep reading, but I am deeply suspicious of any article that starts off with a pretty glaring factual error in the very first paragraph.

    • Working now — nice.

      Lately I’ve been arguing with a friend online about matte paintings, and the vast number of them that have been used in movies over the decades to create places that weren’t real, but should have been. One of my current favorite places that I want to be real is here.

    • What’s really disturbing is that the logic of it isn’t as completely ridiculous as we could want it to be.

      • There is a logic to it, in a way. Basically, letting businesses and individuals who own property in a place participate in local elections that effect them. I don’t buy it, but it does have a logic to it. It’s not Citizens United Redux. (Montana went to court against that ruling.)

        Thanks for sharing the link, Mike.

        • Actually, I agree about the logic. Once you say that non-resident property owners should be represented, there’s no good reason to restrict that to flesh-and-blood people. The extension isn’t even all that pernicious, since both Ed with the ice-fishing shack and Exxon with the refinery get one vote, and Exxon no doubt already has plenty of pull with the local government.

          • But couldn’t Joe Schmoe just set up multiple corporations and acquire endless votes? And I doubt corporations are free to set up, meaning you are ultimately allowing folks to buy additional votes. The component members of corporations are free to vote in favor of the corporations’ best interest if they are so motivated. It is not as if corporations on the whole are entirely ignored in elections.

          • Each corporation would have to own a separate parcel of property. It’s much cheaper and less complicated to buy a lot of local radio and TV ads, and corporations already have that absolute right, courtesy of CU.

          • Why? A husband and wife can’t operate two different, unrelated corporations out of different offices in the same house?

            And I think there is a difference between people/companies being able to buy advertising space and being able to buy additional votes. A big difference, actually.

          • The vote doesn’t come from the corporation merely existing in a jurisdiction, it comes from being a property owner in that jurisdiction. That’s a system that’s not going to be worth gaming when there are far more efficient ways to influence elections.

  6. Something occurs to me about the Flash Forward vidcap that Will used for the header on this Linky Friday. The character is illustrated on an overpass over the ruins of the 110 freeway in downtown Los Angeles. He is looking south, past the smoking ruins of the financial district’s skyscrapers and the heaped-up piles of vehicles on the freeway. Since he is looking south, we see that the smoke is drifting westward. But prevailing wind patterns in Los Angeles tend to be away from the relatively cool ocean and towards the relatively warmer inland areas. So mostly, the wind blows from west to east, at least at the surface levels we’re seeing illustrated here.

    So it’s totally unrealistic.

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