Links - June 15, 2017
- The Quiet Master of Cryptocurrency — Nick Szabo Tim Ferriss Podcast
I generally can’t stand Tim Ferriss, but this is a good episode. Nick’s blog is great (if you haven’t read him, start here).
- Extra: Henrietta Lacks Radiolab
At Northwestern, the “One Book” program tries to build community by sending incoming students a copy of a book before they arrive on campus. My year, it was The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. This episode gives an overview of her story, and by interviewing her family members, and some of the scientists involved in the research that her case spawned. To be honest, I started the book that summer, but never finished it. I’ll get to it some day.
- Funky Hand Jive Radiolab
Microbiomes are interesting. It’s odd to think that so much of our life is defined by bacteria.
- Squatters of the Lower East Side 99% Invisible
Planning urban development is hard, and sometimes, the unplanned spontaneous decisions of many lead us to interesting places that central planning couldn’t reach.
- Reversing the Grid 99% Invisible
I had never thought about the political implications about generating electricity at home. This episode discusses “net-metering,” or the billing mechanism that allows someone with PV panels on their roof to get credit for generating more electricity than they consume. How did it come about? Some guy plugged his PV panels into his meter, and it started going backwards!
- Speed Dating For Economists Planet Money
This makes the idea of getting an economics PhD even less appealing than it already was. The fact that even the people who arguably know the most about how markets function can’t build a better matching market.
- Spreadsheets! Planet Money
It’s ridiculous to think that spreadsheets were so revolutionary only a few years ago.
- Slot Flaw Scofflaws Planet Money
Is it illegal to study how a system works, to the point that you understand it so well that you can exploit it? No, that’s the whole point of open source software. Patch the issue, give the gray hat his bounty, and move on.
- Passports 50 Things That Made the Modern Economy
This series of podcasts by Tim Harford has given us strong history lessons, telling us why things are the way they are. This specific episode though, focuses more on asking whether any of it makes sense “From a certain angle, it is odd. Many countries take pride in banning employers from discriminating against among workers based on characteristics we can’t change: whether we’re male or female, young or old, gay or straight, black or white. […] But mostly our passport depends on the identity of our parents and location of our birth. And nobody chooses those.” Somehow, this seems ok in our modern mind set - it is all a game of Us & Them.
- What Kind of Idiot Gets Phished? Reply All
Lately I have been more paranoid than usual about this, and I am considering changing how I handle my password management all together, and even buying a YubiKey for personal use. This episode just backs that feeling even more.
- Blockchain Beauty Contest Exponent
If you think about it hard enough, everything is made up. Countries, money, companies, the constitution, everything! And, blockchains, too…
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