Other Stuff

Author={Jacobson, Mark},
Title={The Return of Superfly},
journal={New York Magazine},
comment={The story of Frank Lucas, who ran a dope smuggling operation in Harlem in the 1970s. A true-life black gangster. A loveable murderer.},
category={Other Stuff, Humanity, Urbanism, Economics}
% This story, originally published in August 2000, was the basis of the Ridley Scott movie American Gangster.

title={Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories},
author={Dahl, R.},
publisher={Farrar, Straus, Giroux},
comment={Roald Dahl read hundreds of ghost stories and selected his favorites (mostly from the first half of the 20th Century) for this collection.},
category={Other Stuff, ghost stories}
% The introduction is interesting. He says most ghost stories are awful. And then he starts finding good ones and realizes they are all by women. He uses this as a jumping off point for arguing that children’s books are the hardest books to write – and most good ones are written by women. He argues that the best children’s books are far more widely read and read by more generations (after generation) of people than even the best adult novels. Having got that out of the way, he does say he finally found a few good ghost stories written by men.
% He also says in the introduction that this collection was supposed to be turned into a TV series. But the pilot (The Hanging of Alfred Wadham) was never picked up.
% Playmates is really good, managing to go from creepy to heartwarming as the cold lonley man requests the company of the kind ghosts his daughter had played with when she goes off to school.

Author={Berger, Joseph},
Title={For Strictly Observant Jews in Brooklyn, the Sabbath Expands},
journal={The New York Times},
comment={Orthodox Jewish people are prohibited from carrying anything on the Sabbath outside the home because it’s considered work. But since ancient times there has been the concept of the eruv, which symbolically extends the boundaries of the home letting Jewish people carry things to other places around the home. Now there is an eruv that covers most of Brooklyn (except Williamsburg). It is demarcated by fishing line and building walls.},
category={Other Stuff, nyc, brooklyn, orthodox jews}

Author={Jacobs, Alexandra},
Title={Crazy Eddie’s Life Was Insane!},
journal={The New York Times},
comment={Review of a new biography of Crazy Eddie by Gary Weiss. Crazy Eddie wasn’t just behind the wacko NYC-area commercials that I remember from my youth, but also commiting fraud and crime on an international scale.},
category={Other Stuff, nyc}
% A lot of this story is told elsewhere already, not the least of places being Wikipedia.
% In many ways, on many levels!, Crazy Eddie was an icon of a grittier and more colorful 1970s NYC.

Author={Clune, Michael W.},
Title={Night Shifts},
journal={Harper’s Magazine},
comment={Promoted as ‘how tech can shape our dreams’ but that is just a small part of this article; with a description of a device developed at MIT Media Lab that can affect the first stage of dreaming (hypnogogia). But the article then delves deeply in philosophical meaning of dreams, including the idea that dreams represent access to an incredibly, irrepressibly creatively active part of our mind that is always there, but usually on the leash. So much so that even art from dreams seems dull and static compared to the dreams themselves as revealed in the hypnogogia phase. Also talks about how it seems vaguely possible to influence deeper stages of dreaming, but (as outlined in the deeply profound last few paragraphs) really the wild creative energy of dreams chooses on its own what to accept as fodder from our concious lives and runs with it – like leaving a sacrifice on an altar to a god.},
category={Other Stuff, philosophy, Science, Health, dreams, technology, Health}

Author={Spiegelman, Nadja},
Title={James Joyce’s Love Letters to His “Dirty Little Fuckbird”},
journal={The Paris Review},
comment={The complete text of letters James Joyce wrote to Nora Barnacle. Famously extremely dirty letters.},
category={Other Stuff, sex, erotica, james joyce}

Author={Bergman, Ronen and Fassihi Farnaz},
Title={The Scientist and the A.I.-Assisted, Remote-Control Killing Machine},
journal={The New York Times},
comment={The undisputedly fascinating (and well-told) story of an Israeli assassination of an Iranian nuclear weapons scientist using a remote-controled AI enhanced machine gun.},
category={Politics, Other Stuff, superscience, ai}
% The Times writes this story as if this presages the future of warfare. But the real lesson is an old one: well-funded states can pull off nearly-unbelievable operations with sci-fi qualities if they have enough reason to do it.
% Reading between the details, what you learn is that this was a very specific circumstance: if the guy had ridden in the back seat of an armored car like most top officials, it woud not have been possible. In other words, old-school protections would have vastly outperformed fancy modern techniques. That does not seem like it will change any time soon.
% Also, the article makes it sound like putting a 1-ton machine gun in place is easier than just flying in a drone. This is clearly not true, and in most cases governments will surely fall back to the far simpler operation of using a drone.
% What this really is is just the modern equivalent to the old Casto exploding cigar or operation Azorian: it’s crazy stuff, and a good story, but in the long run will remain an extremely marginal (and complex, and expensive) option compared to people who want to kill the traditional way with an AK-47 blasting lead everywhere.

Author={Lovecraft, H.P.},
Title={The Colour Out of Space},
comment={A creepy tale of something coming down to a small down in Massachusetts and contaminating the area with an undescribable color and poison.},
category={Other Stuff, lovecraft}
} % This story has all the hallmarks of a bad acid trip — even though it was written more than a decade before acid was first synthesized. % Particularly in its description of the mysterious color that shines in the dark. % It is, in fact, fairly scary with oblique references to the undescribable monster one person was turned into.

title={The Book of the Damned: By Charles Fort},
author={Fort, C.},
publisher={H. Liveright}
comment={Fort’s classic work. Written in an impenetrable style that waffles between serious critique of science, self deprecation, and documentation of the phenomenologial, it had moments of brilliance interspersed with long sections of incoherence.},
category={Other Stuff, Criticality, science fiction, superscience, science fact, scientific positivism}
} % Wikipedia quotes Colin Wilson as sayging: “Expressed in a sentence, Fort’s principle goes something like this: People with a psychological need to believe in marvels are no more prejudiced and gullible than people with a psychological need not to believe in marvels.” % Chapter 4 contains this amazing line: “I think, myself, that it would be absurd to say that the whole sky is gelatinous: it seems more acceptable that only certain areas are.” % While this book has the same base-level incoherency of any cult-founding document, I can identify with the pseudo-skepticism (for that’s what it is — not pseudo-science, but pseudo-skepticism) that underlies Fort’s thinking. After all, it is only a few years after this book is published that Hubble would prove that there are galaxies beyond the Milky Way, and thus infinitely expand the size of the universe as we know it. For a person living today, science is regarded as foundational. The details might change, but the underlying core is solid. This is accepted as one major cultural pillar of our times. And yet, even now, it is so easy to point to how much science gets wrong, even at very very basic levels. (See Most Research Findings are False.) Imagine living in Fort’s time 100 years ago. At that point good science was so mixed with bad science that it must not have been clear at all that a positivist approach to science would actually yield any productive outcomes. % Fort mentions ancient Chinese seals found in Ireland. See: \url{} % One idea of Fort’s that I really like is his conception that most of the unexplained phenomenon of the world might have got there because the Earth passes through a part of space that is littered with the detritus of some higher culture. He compares himself to a deep-sea fish hit on the nose with a plate of steel that feel from somewhere above. % Towards the end of the book he documents indcidents that are uncannily similar to modern day UFO observations. See particularly Chapter 22 (with drawing), Chapters 24 and 25 for dirigibles in the sky, and 26 for lights in the sky.

title={The Story of Jack and the Giants},
author={Doyle, R.},
publisher={Digital Scanning, Incorporated}
% Ancient stories of Jack slaying giants. With lots of good violence and gore, and picking up cool D&D style equiment like an ultra-sharp sword, an invisbility cloak, and boots of swiftness.

title={Grimm’s Fairy Tales},
author={Grimm, J. and Grimm, W.},
series={Graded supplementary reading series},
publisher={Maynard, Merrill}
% These are awful. Sooooooo boring. Soooooo incongruous. MANY of the stories end with characters randomly dying for no reason. Or conversely living happily ever after for no reason. It’s like a study in non-sequitor doldrums.
% And the story that’s called snow white isn’t the one that Disney made a movie out of.
% And the story called cinderella isn’t the one Disney made a movie out of.

title={The Complete Calvin and Hobbes},
author={Watterson, B.},
number={bk. 1},
series={Calvin and Hobbes Series},
publisher={Andrews McMeel Publishing}
% Calvin’s dad in bike gear frame (vol 2 page 472 of complete c+h)
% C&H vol III page 259: mrs. wormwood “PAY ATTENTION” drawing
% Ice Cream Sandwiches — towards end of Volume III

title={The White Album},
author={Didion, J.},
series={Pocket books},
publisher={Pocket Books},
comment={A series of essays capturing the zeitgeist of California in the 1960s.},
category={Other Stuff, essays, california, planning, malls, jerry brown, ronald reagan, sam peckinpah, huey newton, black panthers, hov lanes, getty museum}
% These essays are a mixed bag. Some are excellent, some are dated, and some border on offensive in they way they expose Didion’s class privilege in that the lens she writes from doesn’t seem to be able to escape from the world of rich celebrities who surround her.
% page 31 - the black panthers believe that political power begins at the end of a gun, and go so far as to specify their exact weapons.
% page 32 - huey newton is shot and fighting over insurance with the kaisers when he shows up at the hospital
% page 62 - she talks about water systems in CA, and sam peckinpah needing water to sink a truck - Convoy
% page 70 - Jerry Brown refused to live in the governors mansion Ronald Reagan built, living in an apartment instead. In his later life as governor, he moved back into the old mansion that Reagan and others had abandoned. Didion points out it has a marble counter top - which people on her 1977 tour didn’t know what it was for.
% page 75 - The art collection at the Getty reminds people of all they were supposed to learn, but never did.
% page 79 - an entire essay about HOV lanes written in a critical style - and a good example of the trap of essay writing - time is likely to prove you wrong.
% page 127 - the common assumption that the art work shows the character of the artist - style is character. (in a pretty good essay about Georgia O’Keefe)
% page 163 - A finished movie defies all attempts to analyze what makes it work or not work. Responsibility is clouded by accidents, compromise, and clauses of its financing.
% page 179 - a history of malls

Author={Perlow, Leslie A. and Hadley, Constance Noonan and Eun, Eunice},
Title={Stop the Meeting Madness},
journal={Harvard Business Review},
comment={Goes into detail about the cost of too many meetings to business and productive work. Recognizes the value of meetings. Offers steps for making them more productive, which focus mostly on getting input and buy-in from everyone who has to be in the meetings.},
category={Other Stuff, Economics, business, meetings}

Author={Waldstein, David},
Title={Grab and Go: How Sticky Gloves Have Changed Football},
journal={The New York Times},
comment={Football players now wear “stiky gloves” that have a tacky surface to enhance grip. This has resulted in players changing tactics to make one-handed catches. The tacky grip is a silicone that acts as both a liquid and a solid. In the old days, some players used Stickem, a goopy sticky product, but it got on the ball and other players, so it was banned.},
category={Other Stuff, sticky gloves, football, sports}

Author={Laskow, Sarah},
Title={The Hidden Memories of Plants},
journal={Atlas Obscura},
comment={New research on plants is finding that some plants in some situations have the ability to retain memories. Some plants can be “trained” to respond to stimulations. Talks abou falling mimosa plants learning not to fear falling. And the history of claims of plant memory in the form of the Sovient leading “scientist” Lysenko — who confused real findings with outlandish claims within the context of being a powerful person in the Soviet State. Vernalization has been recognized for a while: plants can learn to know when winter is passed and they can start growing. Lysenko exploited this by chilling seeds to make fall crops grow in the spring. One theory as to how they do this is epigenetics — where certain sequences of DNA are turned on and off by environmental signals. Sometimes these can be passed acrosss generations too. Also covers the training of pea plants to choose a path following air flow towards light.},
category={Other Stuff, Science, plant memory, epigentics, lysenko, plants}

Author={Forton, Jacey and Haag, Matthew},
Title={Water Slide That Decapitated Boy Violated Basic Design Standards, Indictment Says},
journal={The New York Times},
comment={A park built an insane water slide that has injured a bunch of people, without taking into consideration best design practices.},
category={Other Stuff, waterparks, water slides}
% Which of course recalls Action Park and their loop-de-loop slide, with a plan drawn on a napkin. The difference, and it’s critical, being that Action Park was just operating back in the days where amateur-design and adventurous entertainment weren’t necessarily about cost-cutting, but about the spirit of experimentation. Like kids jumping off a roof into a backyard pool. There’s something fun about taking risks.
% Here though, the park took risks to save money and get to promotion quickly. The spirit of adventurous risk-taking is lost if the impression of professionalism, and engineering design is put forward. Then it’s just criminal. …not that Action Park wasn’t criminal too - just in a more innocent, bygone way. Maybe?

Author={Farrell, Patrick and Bracken, Kassie},
Title={A Tiny Fruit That Tricks the Tongue},
journal={The New York Times},
comment={About the miracle fruit, Synsepalum dulcificum, which contains the protein miraculin that acts as a sweetness inducer when it comes in contact with acids. So lemons and radishes taste sweet after eating the fruit.},
category={Other Stuff, miraculin, miracle fruit, food}

Author={Greenwood, Veronique},
Title={Actually, You Do Want to Know How This Sausage Gets Made},
journal={The New York Times},
comment={Scientists find that industrial salamis use starter cultures in the sausage that take over early in the curing process and generate a fairly uniform taste profile. The old-school method of salami making left the salamis out to air dry and pick up cultures from their environment, resulting in a more varied bacteria biome and a more interesting/delicious flavor profile. Industrial cultures in particular generate a lot of vinegary flavors which are unwated in quality salamis},
category={Other Stuff, cooking, food, salami, cured meat}
% Makes me wonder if the non-industrial salami is healthier for you as well. (Knowing that cured meat products like salami are notoriously unhealthy.)

Author={Wilkinson, Alec},
Title={The Serial-Killer Detector},
journal={The New Yorker},
comment={Thomas Hargrove runs the Murder Accountability Project (MAP) which compiles data on murders in the US and uses basic algorithms to try to detect multiple murders that might have been committed by a single person. Hargrove estimates there might be 2000 serial killers working in the US. There has been a decline in the solving of murder cases — in 1965 92 percent of of murders were solved, now it’s less than 60 percent; about 5000 people are killed each year without getting caught. The Radford Serial Killer Data Base collects reports of about 5000 serial killers around the worl — most of them are in the US. In prior work Hargrove used statistical analysis in his journalism (inspired by the book called “Precision Journalism” by Philip Meyer) to expose the fact that Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) wasn’t actually a real thing, it was in fact people putting their babies in cribs in the wrong way. Hargrove also makes use of a concept called geographic profiling — most serial killers operate in a specific area that is not too far and not too close to their homes. This is based on work by Kim Rossmo called “Geographic Profiling” which reveals all sorts of statistical likelihoods demonstrated in criminal behavior.},
category={Other Stuff, murder, homicide, serial killers, statistics, criminology, sids, sudden infant death syndrome, geographic profiling, algorithms, unsolved murders}

Author={Shane, Scott and Perlroth, Nicole and Sanger, David E.},
Title={Security Breach and Spilled Secrets Have Shaken the N.S.A. to Its Core},
journal={The New York Times},
comment={An in-depth look at how cyber tools stolen by The Shadow Brokers from the NSA have been used, and have shaken morale and confidence at the agency. Edward Snowden’s release got a lot more media coverage but The Shadow Brokers have released actual code and tools developed by the US and can be used against the US and other targets. Those tools were created at a huge expense to American tax payers and are noe being used by North Korea and Russia against the US and its allies. Millions of people have already been affected, even hospitals have been shut down. More attacks are likely. The US government has to explain to its close allies and business leaders how weapons they developed are being used against them. ``The leaks have renewed a debate over whether the N.S.A. should be permitted to stockpile vulnerabilities it discovers in commercial software to use for spying — rather than immediately alert software makers so the holes can be plugged. The agency claims it has shared with the industry more than 90 percent of flaws it has found, reserving only the most valuable for its own hackers. But if it can’t keep those from leaking, as the last year has demonstrated, the resulting damage to businesses and ordinary computer users around the world can be colossal.’’},
category={Other Stuff, superscience, spying, nsa, cyber weapons}
% Once again, I suggest that the reason the US government is so paranoid about cyber weapons is because they have developed their own arsenal and know its power. But much like nuclear weapons, most of the actual threat comes from ourselves, not from outside malicious agents.

Author={Halpern, Jake},
Title={The Nazi Underground},
journal={The New Yorker},
comment={Goes into the giant underground chambers carved out by the Nazis in Lower Silesia, Poland. One of the largest infrastructure works undertaken by the Nazis, nobody knows what they were for since the Nazis destroyed all records of them and the construction was kept secret.},
category={Other Stuff, superscience, poland, ruins porn, nazi gold}

Author={Belluck, Pam},
Title={Time Travelers to Meet in Not Too Distant Future},
journal={The New York Times},
comment={The article covering the time travel party (``convention’’) held at MIT back in 2005. Includes details about printing invitations on acid free paper, and having a DeLorean there. No known time travelers showed up.},
category={Other Stuff, time travel, delorean, mit}
% I was at this party. This article says there wasn’t going to be alcohol, but I remember seeing people drinking. I also remember an incredibly dull party until SCUL showed up.

Author={Dwyer, Jim},
Title={National Security Agency Said to Use Manhattan Tower as Listening Post},
journal={The New York Times},
comment={According to material released by Edward Snowden, the NSA was using the AT&T building at 33 Thomas St (The Long Lines Building — a windowless monolith) as a base to spy on communications in NYC.},
category={Science, Other Stuff, true conspiracies, communication, edward snowden, nsa}

Author={Acocella, Joan},
Title={A Language to Unite Humankind},
journal={The New Yorker},
comment={About the creation of Esperanto, how it was dreamed as a way to unite all of mankind, and how that dream was hindered by anti-semitism. ``To readers today, Esperanto may look quite political, and not necessarily in an appealing way. It may look like the family-of-man idea that had been sold to the unfortunate over the centuries, to discourage them from complaining that they hadn’t got a very good seat at the family table. In particular, it may seem directly opposed to the identity politics that many have now embraced, in order to end those injustices. They are not part of the family of man, they say. They are part of the family of women or African-Americans or gay people, and never mind individualism and case-by-case judgment. But Schor believes that it is precisely this division—the great political quarrel of our time—that Esperanto may be able to heal, by reconnecting us, through a common language, to a shared earth.’’},
category={Other Stuff, language, esperanto, universalism, Humanity, linguistics, anti-semitism, judaism}

Author={Sifton, Sam},
Title={Pie Fidelity},
journal={The New York Times},
comment={An article about baking pies that says of Kierin ``Of all the great pie bakers in New York City, the current champion is probably a young woman named Kierin Baldwin, who runs the pastry department at the Dutch, an American restaurant in SoHo.’’},
category={Other Stuff, cooking, pie}

Author={Woodruff, Andy},
Title={Beyond the sea},
comment = {A cartographer estimates what you could see if you stood on any coastline and looked directly accross the sea. A nice explanation of how varied coastlines are and how great circle lines work relative to latitude, and the complexities of understanding the curvature of the Earth.},
category = {mapping, Other Stuff, great circle, sight lines, coast line}

Author={New York City Independent Budget Office},
Title={Analysis of Fire Department Response Data, 2013},
journal={New York City Independent Budget Office},
year = {2016},
month = {02},
comment = {Most fire department responses are to medical emergencies or non-fire non-medical emergencies. The busiest fire departments that respond to actual fires are all in the bronx and the low-income parts of Brooklyn and Queens. The busiest fire departments responding to non-medical non-fire emergencies are in Manhattan.},
category = {fire departments, nyc, other stuff}

Author={Case, Nicky},
Title={Simulating The World (In Emoji)},
comment = {Uses interactive visual of forest fires to explain features of complex systems: emergence, feedback loops, and self organization. ``This is why we’re so bad at handling complex issues. Everyone’s looking for the root cause, but if causality is not linear, but loopy, then there is no root cause!’’},
category = {systems, emergence, feedback loops, self organization, forest fires, emoji}
% This is the same person who did the Parable of the Polygons.
% They also recommend a book called Thinking in Systems, Donella Meadows, 2008

Author={Beschless, Michael},
Title={How Santa Claus Ended Up on U.S. Military’s Radar},
journal={The New York Times},
comment = {The story of how an incorrectly published santa hotline number ended up with children calling NORAD, and santa being tracked by radar.},
category = {santa, christmas, norad, conad, cold war, radar}
% according to the family, based on the NPR StoryCorps version of this story, Shoup, the guy who took the calls, carried letters to santa from children with him until the day he died: \url{}

title={In Cold Blood},
author={Capote, T.},
series={Modern Library},
publisher={Modern Library}
comment = {The classic when it comes to true crime.},
category = {true crime, murder}
% I listened to the audio book version of this. It was totally engrossing, but I didn’t think it was the masterpiece of literature that I had expected it to be.

Author={Miller, T. Christian and ProPublica and Armstrong, Ken},
Title={An Unbelievable Story of Rape},
comment = {Long-form engrossing tale of tracking down a serial rapist and revealing the truth behind rape victim’s recounts of their experiences.},
category = {rape, true crime}
% This story is like the rape version of In Cold Blood.

Author={Furchgott, Roy},
Title={Soundproofing for New York Noise},
journal={The New York Times},
comment = {Article on soundproofing techniques used in NYC apartments.},
category = {soundproofing, architecture}
% I just like the photo of the dude’s office in this picture. I want an office like that someday.

Author={Warren, Mark},
Title={Why the Best War Reporter in a Generation Had to Suddenly Stop},
comment = {CJ Chivers stopped being a war coorespondent and went home because his son had a rash.},
category = {skin, CJ Chivers, war, reporting, weapons}
% I wish this article went into more detail about his skill at indentifying weapons from fragments.
% mentions a classic article of Chivers called The Long Walk. I should find that and read it.

Author={sullivan, John Jeremiah},
Title={You Blow My Mind. Hey, Mickey!},
journal={The New York Times},
comment = {A father takes his kids to Disney World and finds places to smoke pot. Discusses how Disney convinced Florida that Epcot would be a utopian city of 20,000 people completely enclosed under a dome with only electric vehicles. Disney was lying about that intent. But since Florida thought it was going to be a city with residents, it granted Disney complete control over all aspects of the development. All on the soil where the very first North American utopias, the forgotten Franciscan missions of Spanish Florida, had been destroyed, when the South Carolina colonists burned them at the start of the 18th century, murdering their priests and enslaving their Native American populations. The Disney developers had to clear orange groves left over from those missions'' The tunnels represent ground level. Everything else is built on top. Disney World is a giant mound, one of the greatest ever constructed in North America. When you’re walking around in the park, you’re about 15 feet above where construction began. An importance of these tunnels for Disney was that he could keep the costumed characters invisible, when they weren’t “on.” He didn’t ever want the children to see Pluto, for instance, slouching back from his shift to a break room. So at Disney World, the characters pop up where they’re needed, then disappear.’’ There is something unnatural or I should say unearthly about Lil’ Dog’s weight, or his density. It was like carrying a meteorite. To carry both girls would have been easier.''We were watching the people. That’s what you do at Disney World, mostly. Above and beyond all else, it’s a place where people look at other people (the lines and the endless walking and the crowded feed stations) to reaffirm the fact that we are there together, that the value of the place is such, it has been worth traveling to from all over the world. I couldn’t tell what we made of one another, in the looking. When Disney World was built, it embodied a shared idea of America as pure capitalist fantasy. It’s no longer communicating that idea; the idea is no longer intelligible. I don’t know what it’s communicating. The old virtues are gone, the new ones unidentifiable.’’ ``Unfortunately the pictures were entirely of women’s bottoms. It wasn’t “nice” or shapely bottoms that Lucho had been after, but gigantically obese ones. They’ve never seen people who look like us, most places in the world.’’},
category = {disney, mickey, pot, disney world}
% Talks about another book called “Married to the Mouse” about building Disney World. It sounds amazing. That book tells how The US government grants visas specifically so Disney World can fill its foreign accent needs at EPCOT.
% That bit about not being sure what Disney World is communicating anymore AGAIN reminds me of Adam Curtis.

title = “Organizational Barriers to Technology Adoption: Evidence from Soccer-Ball Producers in Pakistan”,
author = “David Atkin and Azam Chaudhry and Shamyla Chaudry and Amit K. Khandelwal and Eric Verhoogen”,
institution = “National Bureau of Economic Research”,
type = “Working Paper”,
series = “Working Paper Series”,
number = “21417”,
year = “2015”,
month = “July”,
doi = {10.3386/w21417},
URL = “”,
abstract = {This paper studies technology adoption in a cluster of soccer-ball producers in Sialkot, Pakistan. We invented a new cutting technology that reduces waste of the primary raw material and gave the technology to a random subset of producers. Despite the arguably unambiguous net benefits of the technology for nearly all firms, after 15 months take-up remained puzzlingly low. We hypothesize that an important reason for the lack of adoption is a misalignment of incentives within firms: the key employees (cutters and printers) are typically paid piece rates, with no incentive to reduce waste, and the new technology slows them down, at least initially. Fearing reductions in their effective wage, employees resist adoption in various ways, including by misinforming owners about the value of the technology. To investigate this hypothesis, we implemented a second experiment among the firms that originally received the technology: we offered one cutter and one printer per firm a lump-sum payment, approximately equal to a monthly wage, conditional on them demonstrating competence in using the technology in the presence of the owner. This incentive payment, small from the point of view of the firm, had a significant positive effect on adoption. We interpret the results as supportive of the hypothesis that misalignment of incentives within firms is an important barrier to technology adoption in our setting.},
comment = {See digest summary: \url{}},
category = {soccer, balls, factory work, efficiencies, payment}
% The fucked up thing here is that workers didn’t want to adopt a work pattern that was slower because it would affect their ability to earn from their piece work. But then offered a lump-sum payment they were willing to adopt the slower process. In the summary I don’t see an analysis about how long the lump-sum payment would outlast their lost earnings from slower work. Effectively you could consider the lump-sum payment a short-term bribe to accept less money long-term.

Author={Arbuckle, Alex Q.},
Title={Inside a German U-boat},
comment = {Pictures of the inside of a U-boat},
category = {WWII, U-boat}
% date is the access date
% uboat

title={A Handweaver’s Pattern Book},
author={Davison, M.P.},
comment = {The handweaver’s bible. The classic text of patterns.},
category = {handweaving, patterns, textiles, cloth}
%I haven’t read this book, but I would like to own it.

title={Belief in the unstructured interview: The persistence of an illusion},
author={Dana, Jason and Dawes, Robyn and Peterson, Nathanial},
journal={Judgment and Decision Making},
publisher={Society for Judgment and Decision Making},
comment ={Unstructured interviews are not correlated with good job performance, despite the fact that they are widely used.},
category ={interviews, hiring}
% I didn’t read enough of this to know what the difference between an “unstructured” and “structured” interview is.

Title={How to Get People to Pitch In},
journal={The New York Times},
comment = {Covers the fact that paying people to pitch in doesn’t usually work. (Normally there just isn’t enough money involved.) But what does is social interventions like making people feel like other people would judge them negatively if they don’t pitch in or make they cooperative actions more observable to others so they are thought of more highly.},
category = {behaviorial economics, social interventions}

title={The medium is the massage},
author={Fiore, Quentin and McLuhan, Marshall},
publisher={New York: Random House},
comment = {awesome, accessible, visual treatment of McLuhan’s ideas. Contains the quote, ``If we were to dispose of the city now, future societies would reconstruct them, like so-many Williamsburgs.’’},
category ={McLuhan, Williamsburg}

Author={Schulz, Kathryn},
Title={What Part of “No, Totally” Don’t You Understand?},
journal={The New Yorker},
comment = {A comprehensive look at the meaning and use of the word ``no’’. Apparently it cannot be placed in a category as a part of grammar, and it means both yes and no at the same time.},
category = {language, speech}

title={Online Dating A Critical Analysis From the Perspective of Psychological Science},
author={Finkel, Eli J and Eastwick, Paul W and Karney, Benjamin R and Reis, Harry T and Sprecher, Susan},
journal={Psychological Science in the Public Interest},
publisher={Sage Publications},
comment ={Online dating is useful for broadening the range and number of people a person meets. But mathematical algorithms are unlikely to be more effective at prediction long-term compatibility than just meeting in person.},
category ={online dating}

Author={Kennedy, Eliza},
Title={When an Open Relationship Comes at a Price},
journal={The New York Times},
comment = {I usually hate this ‘modern love’ things, but this one is pretty good,
as long as you read all the way to the end.},
category = {love, open relationships}

Author={Semuels, Alana},
Title={Where the White People Live},
journal={The Atlantic},
comment = {Covers new research by Ed Goetz that suggests white people self-segregate into high-wealth neighborhoods even more than the poor are segregated into their own neighborhoods. Suggests that in some places the government actually spends more subsidizing white high-wealth neighborhoods as it does low-income neighborhoods.},
category = {poverty, segregation}

Author={Holeywell, Ryan},
Title={When “diverse” neighborhoods are more segregated than they appear},
journal={Rice Kinder Institute for Urban Research},
comment = {Diverse'' Census tracts might actually have micro-level segregation’’. For decades, he says, researchers and public policy leaders have looked at Census data and assumed that if an area has many different types of people living with it, they must be interacting with each other.'' His study found that as residents’ socioeconomic status rises, their likelihood of running into other neighbors - of any socioeconomic status - declines.’’},
category = {segregation, diversity, Census}

% But, it’s possible, that in a place like NYC, where the density means census tracts mihgt be a single block, the city is actually MORE diverse than what you would know by looking at Census tracts.

title={Tackling Persistent Poverty in Distressed Urban Neighborhoods},
author={Turner, Margery Austin and EDELMAN, PETER and POETHIG, ERIKA and ARON, LAUDAN},
publisher={The Urban Institute},
comment = {UI looks at the history of ``persistent poverty’’ (areas that remain poor over decades) and recommends solutions that work on many different aspects of life, but are place-based. PolicyMap has a cool map that shows persistent poverty at the tract level: \url{} and references this UI study.},
category = {poverty}

title={Grand Jury Discretion and Constitutional Design},
author={Fairfax, Roger},
journal={Cornell Law Review},
url = {},
comment={Argues that grand juries have broad discretionary power, beyond even the `jury nullification’ power of petit juries (see \url{}). Fairfax argues that grand juries are specifically designed as a check on the prosecutorial powers of government. Like a 4th brach of government (grand juries predate the constitution.) He argues that it is actually the responsibility and function of grand juries to use their discretion to weigh cases beyond just probable cause. Supporting this, he outlines how elected officials, cops, prosecutors, and judges all have vast discretionary powers (they choose whether a case moves forward or not) and therefore it is right that the people represented by the grand jury do as well.},
category={law, grand juries, jury nullification}
% See also rakoff2014pleading