Transitioning, Bureaucracy, Lagos, China, Forecasting

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Straight Man To Queer Woman

Deirdre Nansen McCloskey | Hedgehog Review | 18th July 2018

Economics professor remembers transitioning from man to woman thirty years ago in Iowa. “I was married from 1965 to 1995, to the love of my life. When I was a guy I was a guy. I was straight. I had occasionally cross-dressed, but that little male peculiarity is pretty common, especially for some reason among engineers. Most of them are straight. And they don’t want to be women. When early in 1995 I discovered cross-dressing clubs, I was struck by the heavily male conversation at them” (2,190 words)

How To Use Bureaucracies

Samo Burja | Less Wrong | 17th July 2018

A consideration of how and why bureaucracies come to exist, when everybody claims to be against them. “The purpose of a bureaucracy is to save the time of a competent person. Put another way: to save time, some competent people will create a system that is meant to do exactly what they want — nothing more and nothing less. Effective bureaucracies are handling the project they were created to handle. Ineffective bureaucracies are not handling the project they were created to handle” (2,600 words)

Lagos: Hope And Warning

Armin Rosen | City Journal | 8th July 2018

Letter from Lagos, a city of 17 million without a municipal government or a metro. “Poverty, confusion, and moral fluidity haven’t stopped Lagos from achieving global prominence. An all-pervading looseness has been a source of the city’s growth, since it has expanded with a velocity that prudent planning would avoid. Lagos is an agglomeration of slow-motion catastrophes that no one seems willing or able to solve, beginning with the likelihood that the population will double by 2050” (3,850 words)

Balding Out

Christopher Balding | Balding's World | 17th July 2018

Bitter farewell despatch from an American professor after nine years in China. “I leave China profoundly worried about the future of China and US China relations. China is a rising power, and, probably more importantly, it is a deeply illiberal, expansionist, authoritarian, police state, opposed to human rights, democracy, free trade, and rule of law. China presents a fundamental threat to the liberal democratic order, and the ignorance on display by so many is simply mind boggling” (4,500 words)

Collective Awareness

J. Doyne Farmer | Edge | 17th July 2018

Every ten years the accuracy of weather prediction gets better by a day. In ten years the accuracy of a two-day weather forecast will match that of a one-day forecast now. Why aren’t we making similar progress with economic forecasting? Why do governments still rely on methods developed 80 years ago? “With the Internet, we can gather rich, detailed data about what the economy is doing at the level of individuals. We don’t have to rely on surveys; we can just grab the data” (5,400 words)

Video of the day Creating Feeling: Frank Gehry

What to expect:

Frank Gehry talks about the need for emotion in architecture (4’48”)

Thought for the day

Time is a game played beautifully by children

Podcast How To Disagree Better | Ezra Klein

Ezra Klein talks to the AEI’s Arthur Brooks about the art and practice of constructive disagreement
(1h 36m)

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