Bias, Dance, Work, Spain, Sport

The Psychology Of Prediction

Morgan Housel | Collaborative Fund | 21st July 2019

Useful check-list of biases and errors that commonly skew our forecasting. “Your willingness to believe a prediction is influenced by how much you need that prediction to be true. If you tell me you’ve found a way to double my money in a week, I’m not going to believe you by default. But if my family was starving and I owed someone money next month that I don’t have, I would listen. I would probably believe whatever crazy prediction you have, because I’d desperately want and need it to be right” (4,200 words)


Dancing With The Ancients

Alexandra Enders | New York Review Of Books | 20th July 2019

Dance is handed down from one practitioner to the next. There is no universal notation system, and until very recently there was no adequate recording system. Choreographers speak of making a dance “on” a ballerina. The form is ephemeral, embodied in the dancers themselves. Memory is central to the art. Rudolf Nureyev learned L’Après-midi d’un Faune from Leon Woizikovsky, who learned it from Nijinsky. At Nijinsky’s back we sense “a line of bodies stretching back to antiquity” (1,660 words)


Tourist Journalism And the Working Class

Kevin Mims | Quillette | 19th July 2019

A sort of reverse-exposé of Amazon’s warehouse working conditions, in which somebody who does the job on a regular basis explains that conditions are actually pretty good — flexible hours, supportive management, high safety standards, decent wages. Yes, you do a lot of walking, a lot of fetching and carrying, but who ever expected otherwise? “I’ve done low-paying manual labor for most of my working life, and rarely have I appreciated a job as much as my role as an Amazon associate” (4,200 words)


Reflections From Spain

Bryan Caplan | Econlib | 17th July 2019

An economist’s notes from a month in Spain. High posted rates of unemployment are largely illusory; many people draw unemployment benefits while holding down undeclared jobs. Housebuilding is wildly over-regulated, given that most of Spain is practically empty. Wholesale deregulation of immigration and of housing would make Spain “the biggest economy in Europe in twenty years flat”. Spain is “the California of Europe”, with “more to gain from immigration than virtually any other country on Earth” (1,900 words)


Crisis On Infinite Courts

Brian Phillips | Ringer | 14th July 2019

The tragedy of Novak Djokovic was to arrive “either a little too early, or a little too late” in the Federer-Nadal screenplay — too late to have an equal lead role in the story, too early for the story to have ended without him. He has thus been a “weirdly extraneous” figure, even as he has mopped up titles and dominated world tennis for most of the past 10 years. Fans admire him only grudgingly. In his moments of triumph it always seems that headlines should read, “Federer Loses”, not “Djokovic Wins” (1,600 words)


Video: Pierre Cardin. Affectionate look back at the work of the French designer who embodied the hedonism, the tackiness and the silliness of the Swinging Sixties (4m 05s)

Audio: Yuval Noah Harari | TED Intervews. Historian and savant Yuval Noah Harari talks to Chris Anderson about the erosion of liberalism, and the regression towards authoritarian rule (1h 11m 08s)

Afterthought:
”I
f things were simple, word would have got around”
— Jacques Derrida


Editor’s note: We are experimenting with a Browser sub-Reddit, for links to pieces that don’t quite belong on The Browser, but are of interest nonetheless. It can also serve as a suggestion-box for pieces that you think should be on The Browser. If you happen to be on Reddit, please do look in — Robert Cottrell