Miscellanea: June 2018


OLPC’s $100 Laptop was Supposed to Change the World – Then It All Went Wrong – Adi Robertson at The Verge

The Father-Fuhrer – Kevin D. Williamson at National Review

The Untold Power of Investor Cliques – Leanna Orr at Institutional Investor

The More of Everything Problem – Ian Hathaway at Ianhathaway.com

Why We Haven’t Met Any Aliens – Geoffrey Miller at Seed Magazine

The Last Man Who Knew Everything – Matthew Walther at The Week

Authoritarian Gridlock? Understanding Delay in the Chinese Legislative System – Rory Truex in Comparative Political Studies

Corruption as the Only Option: The Limits to Electoral Accountability – Nara Pavão at The Journal of Politics. “When voters believe corruption to be a constant among candidate options, they are likely to overlook this aspect of government performance, basing their vote on other concerns. This attitude is particularly prevalent when corruption is more pervasive, which leads to the prediction that accountability for corruption will be weaker when it is needed the most.”

Fall of the American Empire – Paul Krugman at The New York Times

Joshua Firth | The War on Money Laundering and Why You Should Care – Jordan Harbinger with Joshua Firth on the Jordan Harbinger Show

What makes some art so bad that it’s good? – John Dyck at The Conversation

Machine Learning’s ‘Amazing’ Ability to Predict Chaos – Natalie Wolchover at Quanta Magazine


Venturing into Sacred Space | Archetype of the Magician – Like Stories of Old on YouTube

The Black Hole Bomb and Black Hole Civilizations – Kurzgesagt on YouTube

How Neutrons Changed Everything – Veritasium on YouTube


Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts, by Annie Duke (3.5/5): Well-written and well-thought-out, but not outstanding. If you’re the type of person interested in Fooled by Randomness, The Signal and the Noise, or Superforecasting, you’d be interested in Thinking in Bets, but the problem is that the book is just a shallow swim in a handful of the topics covered by those other titles, especially Superforecasting. It’s a damn shame, too, because there was a real opportunity here to use Duke’s background as a poker player to go beyond Tetlock’s question of “how do you predict under uncertainty?” and ask “how do you act under uncertainty?”, which just barely touched in the book.

Dune Messiah, by Frank Herbert (2.5/5): This was a major step down from the first book, particularly in the convoluted mess that was the first half, but thankfully enough threads untangled themselves by the end that I was able to see where everything had been going.

Ego is the Enemy, by Ryan Holiday (3.5/5): Like The Obstacle is the Way, Ego is the Enemy is more sledgehammer than scalpel, but sometimes that’s the tool for the job. With Ego, more than with Obstacle, I found myself struck by some of Holiday’s observations and personally convicted to change. I’ve never thought of myself as an egotistical person, but Holiday skillfully rips off many of the masks ego wears and shows you where it’s been hiding.



King Charles – Loose Change for the Boatman

Madder Mortem – Fallow Season

Martin Rubashov – Hideout

The Moth & The Flame – Live While I Breathe

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