Tag Archives: energy

Links: ACA news, job training news, “Walrus Haulout” grants, money and jobs and social services, and more!

* “Aetna Joins Rivals in Projecting Loss on Affordable Care Act Plans for 2016: Health insurer will review how it will continue its public exchange business in existing states.” This is essential reading for FQHCs, and note: “In addition, Medicaid-focused insurers continue to do well.” It’s interesting to contemplate Tyler Cowen’s 2009 post, “What should we do instead of the Obama health reform bill?“, in light of recent news.

* My favorite recent grant program: “Re-announcment of the Community Training and Video Production for Walrus Haulout Public Education Video.

* A new Tyler Cowen book is coming out in February; the link goes to the post describing the book (and how to get a free copy of another book), and here is a direct Amazon link to The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream.

* “ How The Cures For Cancer Snuck Up On Us,” good news all round.

* “How The West Was Won,” which is actually about how and why “Western” culture took over the world because a) it’s popular and b) it’s not so much Western per se as the result of technologically oriented development.

* “You Should Read More Romance Novels: The libertarian case for bodice rippers,” file under “headlines I could not have imagined reading.”

* The pre-order page for Tom Wolfe’s new novel, The Kingdom of Speech. If Wolfe writes it you ought to read it. EDIT: Read it; you can safely skip this one. The research and really entire worldview are not so good.

* “Why Police Cannot Be Trusted to Police Themselves,” a point that seems increasingly obvious.

* “It turns out that putting money directly into the pockets of low-income parents, as many other countries do, produces substantially larger gains in children’s school achievement per dollar of expenditure than does a year of preschool or participation in Head Start.” Attention UPK legislators!

* “Israel Proves the Desalination Era is Here: One of the driest countries on earth now makes more freshwater than it needs,” an important point and one I didn’t realize.

* Mark Manson: “Is It Just Me, Or Is the World Going Crazy?

* “How to Write a Novel,” amusing throughout and it seems that many quality authors use many different systems (or lack of systems). There is not one, single route to good end product.

* Oliver Sacks: “Me and My Hybrid,” from 2005, and his points still stand today.

* GM delivers 100,000th Chevy Volt in the US alone.

* “US fertility rate falls to lowest on record” as Americans fail to reproduce themselves, driving the need for more immigrants (remember this data when you hear some kinds of political rhetoric). And: “More Old Than Young: A Demographic Shock Sweeps the Globe.” And: “Europe’s ageing population is set to wreak havoc with the economy.”

* “The Next Generation of Wireless — “5G” — Is All Hype: The connectivity we crave — cheap, fast, ubiquitous — won’t happen without more fiber in the ground.”

* L.A. isn’t a suburb. It needs to stop being planned like one. There’s still some truth in Dorothy Parker’s observation about LA being “72 suburbs in search of a city.”

* “Can 42 US, a free coding school run by a French billionaire, actually work? Just across the bridge from Facebook HQ, a radical education experiment is underway.”

* “Why Tokyo is the land of rising home construction but not prices:”

Here is a startling fact: in 2014 there were 142,417 housing starts in the city of Tokyo (population 13.3m, no empty land), more than the 83,657 housing permits issued in the state of California (population 38.7m), or the 137,010 houses started in the entire country of England (population 54.3m).

A social bonus, too: “In Tokyo there are no boring conversations about house prices because they have not changed much. Whether to buy or rent is not a life-changing decision.” I would love to never have those boring conversations ever again, yet they seem everywhere around me.

* NSA attacked Pro-Democracy Campaigner, demonstrating (yet again) the ills of secret proceedings and near-unlimited power.

* The race for a Zika vaccine.

* “The case for making New York and San Francisco much, much bigger.”

* Mark Zuckerberg’s charity sells $95 million of Facebook stock.

* “Aging out of drugs: Most addicts just stop using in time, without needing costly treatment. Why?” An important question for anyone providing drug treatment services or seeking SAMHSA grants.

* “It’s the first new U.S. nuclear reactor in decades. And climate change has made that a very big deal.” Nuclear power is still, oddly, underestimated; note that New England and Germany, both places with lots of superficial climate change worry, are now emitting more carbon dioxide than they used to—because they are phasing out nuclear plants and failing to replace them.

* “Making bicycles in Detroit is an uphill climb.” My bike came from REI and was made in China.

* “Cycling Matches the Pace and Pitches of Tech.” Probably a bogus trend story, but I like riding so I hope not.

* “‘I’ve done really bad things’: The undercover cop who abandoned the war on drugs: Neil Woods used to risk his life to catch drug dealers. But as gangs responded with escalating violence and intimidation – some even poisoning users who talked to the police – he started to see legalisation as the only solution.”

Links: Claims about program participants, nonprofit life cycles, building better cities, power production, electric cars, and more!

* The title is awful, but: “Tell the truth about benefit claimants and the left shuts you down: How neuro­biologist Dr Adam Perkins became a victim of the new McCarthyism.” Example: “Over the past five years, he has accumulated a mass of evidence about the personalities of welfare claimants and concluded that individuals with aggressive, rule-breaking and anti-social tendencies — what he calls the ‘employment–resistant personality profile’ — are over-represented among benefit recipients.” Key word: “Claims.” Don’t cite his work in proposals.

* “The Nonprofit’s Grant Writing Life Cycle: No Matter Where You’re Going, There You Are.”

* “The poor are better off when we build more housing for the rich,” an under-appreciated point—but when most people talk about affordable housing, they’re actually trying to signal how much they care, rather than understanding and then solving the problem. See also my (policy wonk) post, “Do millennials have a future in Seattle? Do millennials have a future in any superstar cities?

* An incredible comment from someone who read “Why you should become a nurse or physicians assistant instead of a doctor: the underrated perils of medical school.”

* NASA: “Coal and Gas are Far More Harmful than Nuclear Power.” But, nuclear remains a pretty complicated way to boil water to make steam.

* Why clean energy is now expanding even when fossil fuels are cheap.

* Why online mattress companies proliferate; the title is mind because the title of the original is too stupid to repeat.

* “He taught me that it’s much better to face harsh reality than to close your eyes to it. Once you are aware of the dangers, your chances of survival are much better if you take some risks than if you meekly follow the crowd. That is why I trained myself to look at the dark side.” That’s from a fascinating interview on Europe with George Soros.

* “Seattle Transit Tunneling Is Going Great, and The People Want More.” Headlines like this are rarely seen! Not every large-scale construction project is a total boondoggle.

* “A Tesla in Every Garage? Not So Fast.” Note that this is from an engineering professional association and is written by a historian. The headline is slightly deceptive (“battery electric vehicles represent a more thorough upsetting of the existing order of things than Musk and his acolytes might like to admit” appears in the body) but the discussion is good.

* “From liquid air to supercapacitors, energy storage is finally poised for a breakthrough.” An important story. Also: “Welsh home installs UK’s first Tesla Powerwall storage battery. And: Solar + Storage, another key piece in the energy infrastructure puzzle.

* If you lease a car today, Tesla will allegedly have an autonomous car by the time that lease expires. Isaac, however, likes to say that he doesn’t see the point of an autonomous car unless you can have a cocktail and read the Sunday NYT while being in the “driver’s seat.”

* How GM Beat Tesla to the First True Mass-Market Electric Car.

* William Gibson: How I Wrote Neuromancer.

* “The Sexual Misery of the Arab World,” also an under-appreciated point.

Links: The digital revolution, NIMBYs and your paycheck, flu shots, batteries, details, Texas is our future, and more!

* “The Limits Of The Digital Revolution: Why Our Washing Machines Won’t Go To The Moon:” On the future of work and why innovation may be slowing.

* How NIMBYs make your paycheck smaller.

* “For God’s Sake, Go Get a Flu Shot.” This may be the most immediately actionable piece you read today.

* “Why San Francisco’s way of doing business beat Los Angeles’.”

* The invisible device that powers everything you do, on lithium-ion batteries and John Goodenough, who is responsible for more of the modern world than is commonly realized.

* “Inside the lab: Why Apple still sweats the details on iMac,” a fascinating story; Apple also updated iMacs on October 13. The 5K iMac is an amazing machine. If you order, make sure you get the Fusion drive upgrade.

* Europe’s love affair with diesel cars has been a disaster. Also: Car dealers are awful. It’s time to kill the dumb laws that keep them in business.

* “What’s Really Killing Digital Health Startups.” See also our post on FQHCs and EMRs.

* “Why Texas Is Our Future,” and why so many people are moving there.

* “The 2016 Chevy Volt: An energy-efficient car that doesn’t drive like one.”

* Why high-speed rail doesn’t work in the U.S., from someone who actually works on rail projects.

* “What [If Anything] We’re Buying With $1 Trillion in Student Loans.” I propose that all further articles about higher education, cost, and access must use the phrase or at least concept “Diminishing marginal utility” or “Diminishing marginal returns.” As noted here and elsewhere, treating “college” as if it’s one big, identical thing is crazy.

* “‘Guilty until proven innocent’: life after a false rape accusation: A growing group of men are calling for changes in the law around sexual assault to protect those who are the victims of false accusations.”

* Why nuclear energy is our best option at the moment: shout it from the rooftops. Most international political problems are really energy problems in disguise.

* A penny for your books, making a point I’ve long reiterated.