The US government keeps trying to channel funding toward places with lots of poor people and a shortage of jobs, and they are trying again with the CHIPS and Science Act, which includes billions for "regional technology hubs" etc. But the track record of these efforts is abysmal, always overwhelmed by the social and economic forces that lead to concentration of industry in the first place.
Tyler Cowen interviews Will MacAskill of the Effective Altruism movement, lots of very theoretical argument about hypotheticals.
We underrate the pleasure of sitting and thinking: "Participants (university students; total N = 259) were asked to sit and wait in a quiet room without doing anything. Across six experiments, we consistently found that participants' predicted enjoyment and engagement for the waiting task were significantly less than what they actually experienced."
Why aren't smart people happier? This piece argues that we define intelligence as the ability to solve well-defined problems, but happiness rests a lot more on the ability to solve ill-defined problems like "how can I find a good spouse" or "what career should I pursue." Interesting but I think this answer ignores mental health and genetic predisposition and also what I think is one of the biggest ingredients in happiness, acceptance.
Using algae to make lime for concrete greatly reduces the carbon footprint, but it's a long way from being commercially viable.
Treasure of the Maravillas, a 17th-century Spanish shipwreck in the Bahamas.
Twitter thread on the Aka ("Pygmies") and how their lives have been changed by world economic forces, even when they were mostly hunter-gatherers.
The old hangar at Miramar Naval Station that used to host the Top Gun school is supposed to be haunted.
We have so many clothes that disposing of them has become a big problem for the first time in human history. Most "donated" clothes end up in landfills.
Interesting conversation at Vox about what "postmodernism" is and how it was captured by capitalism, aka "neoliberalism."
NY Times story on the feral donkeys of Death Valley, which the National Park Service would like to exterminate. But a new study says they cause the most trouble in the parts of the park where there are a lot of people; in the remote areas their numbers are controlled by mountain lions. Ungated article here.
Jennette McCurry (Sam from iCarly) has written a memoir about the miseries of being a child star titled I'm Glad My Mom Died.
Using Philip K. Dick's fiction to understand our current information dystopia.
In the early 20th century working class people from London used to go down to Kent for a week or so to pick hops for cash, earning money and getting out of the city for a while. Spitalfields Life has numerous photos from the 1950s.
Ben Pentreath's summer in Dorset.
Clear crystal quartz found at a Neolithic ceremonial site in Britain, and evidence that the stone was worked at the ritual site. As if making tools from this special stone was a ritual in itself.
These days some American liberals have had it with the Constitution and want to jettison it; after all, why should be governed by rules dreamed up by rich men in the 1780s? Why argue over the interpretation of a document manifestly inadequate for our times? Against this you might offer that very, very few governments have lasted as long as ours has, and that stability has a real value. I think what really bothers these critics is their inability to translate their slim electoral majorities into policy change (NY Times).
As of August 12, at least 1,000 Russian officers have been killed in Ukraine, all confirmed by funeral notices and other Russian sources. The actual number is much greater, since new names are still being added from as long ago as March.
Excerpts from the memoir of a Russian soldier who fought in Ukraine but has turned against the war.
Russian reporter posts photographs of a Wagner group headquarters to Telegram with the geolocation tags still in them; Ukraine destroys the building with a missile two days later.
New strategic situation update from Jomini of the West.
Ukrainian psyops aimed at causing panic in Crimea.
Ukrainians crowdfunded access to a satellite that can produce hi-resolution radar images of the battlefield.
Christian Esch of Der Spiegel on wartime Moscow.