Friday, June 12, 2015

Friday Water Cooler

If Your Bullshit Detector Is Not Screaming, It's Broken (

Data scientists find connections between birth month and health (

What's your sign? Learn your ailment. Click to enlarge.

The U.S. Can't Count on Technology to Revive the Job Market (Harvard Business Review). Indeed, we can count on it to destroy the job market, as it's doing.

All the Happy Workers ( Fantastic long-form piece talking about worker ennui (disengagement, apathy, depression, alienation, absenteeism/presenteeism); the management-led cult of positivity; and implications for productivity.

The Real Point of Prohibition ( "Prohibition was all about maintaining maximum productivity on the factory floor." Sure, church ladies endorsed Prohibition, but in the end it was a straight-up productivity grab by an owner class that never stopped drinking.

Samuel Clemens with John T. Lewis (one of the
possible models for Jim in Huckleberry Finn)
Mark Twain Recalls His Mother ( And talks about slavery. Amazing piece.

The Online Privacy Lie Is Unraveling ( In real life, the most intensive and intrusive everyday spying is done by marketers, not government.

Even Affluent Americans Strongly Support Higher Taxes on the Rich ( GOP presidential candidates need to read and understand this.

Amartya Sen: The economic consequences of austerity ( In this superb long-form post, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen reminds us what austerity did for Germany after World War I, and what it's doing for (or to) modern economies today.

Concerns over earthquakes spread to Texas (

Does the central bank's balance sheet matter? ( A mercilessly wonkish piece that argues convincingly (albeit in a roundabout way) for direct payments to households as a legitimate QE tool. If the whole point of Quantitative Easing is to stimulate the economy, why not stimulate it directly, by injecting money into households rather than into banks or bond markets? Seems radical now. Won't be, in a couple of years.

Where Are We With Market Valuations? ( "As of 06/05/2015, the stock market is likely to return 0.2% a year in the next 8 years." No misprint.

The Warren Buffett Economy: Why Its Days Are Numbered ( David Stockman explains why the recovery is not a recovery. Check out the graphs and decide for yourself.

Cisco's John Chambers predicts 40% of companies will be dead in 10 years ( The age of the dinosaurs is ending.

China's greenhouse gas emissions may have already peaked (, not due to enlightened environmental policy (are you kidding?) but economic contraction; which raises the question of whether GHG emissions might not be a better overall economic indicator than GDP.

With a series of major hacks, China builds a database on Americans (WaPo).

Why Are Libertarians Mostly White Dudes? ( Women and non-whites reject the idea that government is out to get them. This is why Rand Paul's popularity with female voters rounds off to zero.

Please share today's Water Cooler links! And join us here every Friday for news of the weird and wonkish.

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