* “Teenager’s Jailing Brings a Call to Fix Sex Offender Registries,” a point that seems completely obvious to anyone paying attention. We wrote about a similar issue in footnote to this post. Those of you who are writing Healthy Marriage or Pathways to Fatherhood Grants may wish to cite this.
* “Why can’t we read anymore?” Long attention spans are one of our competitive advantages: see also “One of the Open Secrets of Grant Writing and Grant Writers: Reading.” I think attention control is an increasingly valuable job market skill; most of the programmers I know speak of it reverently too.
* For the love of God, rich people, stop giving Ivy League colleges money. The words “diminishing returns” aren’t used explicitly but are implied throughout.
* “Don’t Be So Sure the Economy Will Return to Normal,” from Tyler Cowen (An unusual perspective, as always). See also my 2013 discussion of his book Average is Over.
* Andrew Ng: “Inside The Mind That Built Google Brain: On Life, Creativity, And Failure,” which is brilliant throughout; I note this: “When I talk to researchers, when I talk to people wanting to engage in entrepreneurship, I tell them that if you read research papers consistently, if you seriously study half a dozen papers a week and you do that for two years, after those two years you will have learned a lot. This is a fantastic investment in your own long term development.”
* From “The department of unintended consequences:” “It turns out that generous maternity leave and flexible rules on part-time work can make it harder for women to be promoted — or even hired at all.” Basic economics holds that making something more expensive means less of it is consumed. Many legislators (and by extension voters) do not understand this.
* “Germany passes Japan to have world’s lowest birth rate;” the real problem in the developed world is underpopulation, not overpopulation.
* State tax rates discussed and explained by Scott Sumner, or “What’s wrong with Louisiana?” The post is fascinating, contrary to what you may believe based on the title.
* “Everything we have been told about drugs and drug addiction and how society should deal with them is wrong, says the British author and journalist John Hari. He chooses the best books on the War on Drugs.”
* CA Labor Commission Has Just Killed Uber, Though It May Take Years to Bleed Out; note particularly: “the government is making it nearly impossible to employ low-skilled labor.” That is essentially what’s happened in much of Europe.
* Ford’s latest e-bike prototype features ‘eyes-free navigation’ and a ‘no sweat’ mode. The biggest problem with the story is the lack of price. If this were $1,000 it would be interesting. Any more than that and the bike has Segway’s problems and no probable solution to them.
* Google Project Fi review. It’s the plan that uses WiFi first and data networks second, which should bring cell phone bills to the $20 – $30 per month range. This is likely to be a big deal. It’ll be interesting to see if the next iPhone supports Project Fi.
* 11 things ultra-productive people do differently, perhaps most importantly: “They fight the tyranny of the urgent.” Second most important: “They don’t multitask.”
* In 1900, Los Angeles had a bike highway — and the US was a world leader in bike lanes. Wow. Shocking to me too.
* Europe’s soft underbelly: “For many decades, Italy has been doing the things that American progressives would recommend, pouring lots of fiscal stimulus into the south, to build up the economy. But nothing seems to work.” What gives?
* Road kill: Despite improvements, driving in America remains extraordinarily dangerous. That about 30,000 Americans die in car accidents every year is one of my favorite fun facts for discussions about threats, dangers, urban planning, and so forth. Despite the recent spake of shark attacks at North Carolina this summer, one is much more likely to die in car accident on the way to the beach than be a tasty appetizer for a hungry shark.