* Chicago’s plan to match education with jobs; this is long over-due.
* Is charity a major source of deadweight loss? Notice the linked column: “Increasing evidence shows that donors [to charity] often tolerate high administrative costs, fail to monitor charities and do not insist on measurable results — the opposite of how they act when they invest in the stock market.”
* What an awesome office! Uncomfortable chairs, though.
* “Shame Is Not the Solution” for improving teachers. On the other hand, I suspect some of the districts who want to make teaching evaluations and test scores public are doing so out of desperation, or because they can’t build the kind of sophisticated evaluation systems Gates mentions. (For another discussion of this issue, see LA Times Ranks Teachers from Marginal Revolution.)
* Let’s hope the MPAA ratings board dies; sample: “[. . .] while the MPAA board pretends to be a source of neutral and non-ideological advice to parents, it all too often reveals itself to be a velvet-glove censorship agency, seemingly devoted to reactionary and defensive cultural standards.”
* Sounds like fun: “With its sex-obsessed young heroine, ‘Turn Me On, Dammit!’ goes where few movies have gone,” and like the rare movie that actually goes where other movies haven’t.
* Why Don’t You Do Something Other Than Sit at Your Computer? (Side question: “Is your computer depressing you?”)
* The idea of the “food desert” is fading. I’m not sure it was ever real, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it in your proposals.
* A short, accurate description of the long-term problems in Europe. This is also, on some level, about how people form groups and act in those groups. (“Americans in Massachusetts and Americans in Mississippi do feel themselves part of the same country, sharing language and culture. Germans and Spaniards do not feel the same.”) See further Jonathan Haidt’s book The Righteous Mind.
* Testing the Teachers, and how do we know what we’re actually getting out of college?