What the heck!
I only barely caught this story, which is like something out of a TV show where you are both transfixed and rolling your eyes.

Salon investigates the claims of a congressman about how Americans are getting more ignorant of world affairs. The piece is reminiscent of my post on knowledge and righteousness.

The economist looks at the career choices of rom-com characters. Long-time readers will recall that I disapprove of chefs and architects, preferring instead that they have more normal jobs.

Being born-again is linked to brain atrophy! Before we get cocky, so is being irreligious.

It frustrates me to no end that while the rest of the world (outside of earthquake-prone areas!) ought to be looking towards nuclear power, Germany is abandoning it. I have serious issues with taking global warming seriously when realistic alternatives are dismissed based on vague fears.

I have a fascination with subterranean things. Coming from the gulf coast, we didn’t even have basements (though Colosse has an underground tunnel system). Now, I’m not sure how I ever lived without them.

Some day, I want to read through all of this. I just have to be in a state of mind that I seem to rarely be in these days. It touches on a lot of subjects of interest, though.

Women, it turns out, get treated better by the police than men.

As a rail-skeptic (sorry, David!), I of course found this piece about the superiority of air travel versus rail to be very convincing. Actually, it’s an article less about comparing the two and more about fixing our airports.

Surveillance cameras may make us better people. Persistent scrutiny often does, I suppose.

When we talk about foreign call centers, we think of India. We might ought to be needing to think of the Phillippines instead. Due to our history with them, I forget how truly bad-off they are over there. I think of them as being like Puerto Rico, but they’re closer to Mongolia. Their history with us is undoubtedly helping them in this enterprise, so at least there’s that.

Singe in the city? Maybe the problem is the city.


Category: Newsroom

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4 Responses to Linkluster 118

  1. David Alexander says:

    Re: The Philippines

    One could argue that the Philippines are what Puerto Rico would look like without massive US tax transfers. Regardless, it’s certainly not some horrid backwards impoverished place, and even Mongolia is doing decently thanks to trade with China. Hell, even Manila has a frigging subway line…

    Re: Air Travel

    Supposedly, the real problem is that airport terminals just aren’t designed to berth so many of the larger jets, with designed aimed for smaller planes like 737s and A320s, so unless this comes with reconstruction of terminals, it’s just going to frustrate operations by the airlines. Oddly, the solution to having larger airplanes run more often is sometimes used by other forms of transport, but given the opportunity costs of air travel, less flights is certainly going to make flying less convenient.

    Re: Basements

    In contrast, the vast majority of homes around here have basements, although, I live outside of the original Levittown, a community filled with homes that were built without basements to cut down on construction costs and time. Since our homes in the Northeast tend to be smaller, we’re a bit more likely to have partially or fully finished basements to serve as family rooms or offices or guest space with some unfinished space for water heaters, furnaces/boilers, and washing machine/dryer combos. Some people even use the basements as rental units illegally to bring in extra income.

    I’ll note that my home has a basement, but since it’s a split level ranch, one part of my home doesn’t have a traditional basement underneath, but a ground level floor that the town calls a basement.

  2. trumwill says:

    One could argue that the Philippines are what Puerto Rico would look like without massive US tax transfers.

    It’s more than just the tax transfers, though. I tend to think our involvement with PR has had an effect. Or, at least, how our tax transfers have lead to a more first-worldish infrastructure than a lot of similarly-situated countries.

    Supposedly, the real problem is that airport terminals just aren’t designed to berth so many of the larger jets, with designed aimed for smaller planes like 737s and A320s, so unless this comes with reconstruction of terminals, it’s just going to frustrate operations by the airlines.

    Really? I’d kind of thought it was the other way around. They were meant for a certain number of planes and assumed that air travel would involve increasingly bigger planes. Instead, we have SWA and such with more small hops with higher frequency than the airports are equipped to hold.

    I’ll note that my home has a basement, but since it’s a split level ranch, one part of my home doesn’t have a traditional basement underneath, but a ground level floor that the town calls a basement.

    That’s pretty common out here. In Deseret, our final hope involved what was a basement from the front but had a walk-out exit out back.

  3. David Alexander says:

    It’s more than just the tax transfers, though. I tend to think our involvement with PR has had an effect.

    It’s a bit weird. The islands would probably have even greater American influence compared to now, but on the flip side, you’d have an even larger Philippino presence in the United States. Of course, economically, the islands would have developed differently, and the US would have ensured a government that would behave near first world norms* and not third world norms. Mind you, it’s highly unlikely that we’d keep the place. Puerto Rico is a relatively small island with a current day population of 3.7 million, but the Philippines currently has 92 million people with a landmass the size of Arizona. I can’t think of anywhere that large that remained a colonial outpost.

    *The Philippines are a bit weird because there isn’t much to compare it to. They’re a former US colony, but their size allows it to dwarf any other US possession, and culturally it’s an anomoly in their region due to it’s majority Christian status. Puerto Rico, OTOH, is easier to compare given that the Caribbean basin is populated by a mix of similar states which range from Haiti, the bete noir of the region, the Dominican Republic which is Puerto Rico with a slightly different racial mix but no US federal resources, or Jamaica which was a former British possession that is poor yet stable, but nowhere near as bad as Haiti. And then there are the various other current possessions such as Martinique which I’ve argued is Haiti on a micro scale culturally, but heavily dependent on transfers from the French government.

  4. Scarlet Knight says:

    The irony about nuclear power is that it is embraced by France, yet it is despised by the left. Normally France is held up as a paragon of virtue.

    O/T:

    A NJ student was run down while jogging. Anytime a jogger is run down, it is a great day.

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