Good on San Francisco for approving super-small apartments. If we want to increase density (a liberal goal) and keep places affordable (also a liberal goal, though more of a conservative one in my experience), projects like this need to happen. Hopefully DC follows suit. Also, stuff like this is awesome.

Knock-off textbooks for free! This is a brilliant idea, if they can figure out how to make money from it. There is a bubble here to be popped (apologies to my father-in-law, who has a side-career writing textbooks).

Joshua Gans lays out a shockingly solid case for why online schools shouldn’t bother with accreditation.

Chris Blattman says that the connection between corruption and development is not what we think it is. Is this one of those things that we sorta want to be true because it’s so convenient to believe?

Why Belarus uses Opera Browser: Authoritarianism. Bad things have their upsides, I suppose. Opera is a pretty solid browser.

A lot of the things that people tout that should be cost-savers for medical care turn out not to be. Preventative medicine being one. Online access to doctors being another. Contrary to popular belief, limitations of access more generally can really be cost-savers for the system. Intervention begets intervention.

This is an outstanding question. Why aren’t we all using Japanese toilets?

How Eastern and Western cultures tackle learning. Some recent studies have suggesting that the Eastern method is better in the overall. But I can’t imagine it’s something that could be accomplished here.

Along these lines, this article about Singapore is really quite interesting. But there is limited applicability to the US generally. I even question its applicability to China, where Sumner focuses.

Riverside Ramblin’ is one of the first blogs that I linked to. While going through and killing dead links I saw that it has actually been reborn. Here’s an interesting post on retailing and employee recruitment.

The problem with articles like this, that talk about the sexual revolution and hook-up culture as being bad for women, is when it becomes about how women should treat other women, as opposed to how women should expect men to be treated by women.


Category: Newsroom

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9 Responses to Linkluster CXLIX

  1. Peter says:

    The original Riverside Rambles was a blog of this sort-of hippie named Larry, who lived in Hannibal, Missouri. Your new Riverside Ramblin’ is a collection of articles about the retailing business. I doubt they’re related.

  2. trumwill says:

    They’re definitely related – at least insofar as they both have the same unrelated URL. This may be someone who usurped Larry’s URL and the name, but I don’t think Larry had the following to justify that. I think it’s him and that he’s gone into retail.

  3. Peter says:

    You could be right … as I recall the “original” Larry was in retail, in a manner of speaking. He worked nights at a convenience store in the bad part of town and wrote about the strange characters he encountered.

  4. David Alexander says:

    If we want to increase density (a liberal goal) and keep places affordable

    Admittedly, the solution isn’t so much to cram in more smaller units, but simply to build more units AND increase density. The problem is that zoning is rather political, and so rezoning areas from single family and small apartments to large high-rise units is controversial as many want to keep the character of their neighbourhoods the same.

    Mind you, the real density problem per se isn’t with somewhere like San Francisco or New York, but more so with places like Colosse or even Zaulem, and to a lesser extent, suburban areas of San Francisco or New York. So when you see people complain about density, it’s not because there New York isn’t dense enough, but because Colosse doesn’t look like Chicago or hell, isn’t as transit friendly as Calgary.

    Fun fact: My township of 750K composed mostly of suburban single family homes is more dense (6,406.7 people per square mile) than Phoenix (2,798 people per square mile), a city of 1.4M residents.

  5. Plinko says:

    The Japanese style toilets are also all over the Republic of Korea – I have to admit I’ve never attempted to use the features despite nearly every toilet I’ve encountered there having them. Some have so many buttons I couldn’t even guess what they were for – some warm the seat which sounds like an idea Americans could get behind.

  6. trumwill says:

    David, places like Colosse would do well to allow high-density units, too. But places like San Fransisco should lead the way, in my view and put their money where their mouth is. For both libertarian and liberal reasons. Colosse should do it for libertarian reasons, mostly.

    Plinko, I’d love to try them out someday.

  7. Plinko says:

    Sounds like you need to do a whirlwind tour of major Asian cities.

  8. Φ says:

    I liked the article about MOOC accreditation. I especially found thought-provoking the idea of unbundling the teaching and testing. Come to think of it, allowing even brick-and-mortar schools to issue “credits” based on their own testing creates all kinds of perverse incentives.

    In practice, the schools have their reputations to consider. And we do have external testing bodies for engineering, accounting, and other fields.

    But this seemed naive:

    What is more, so many employers spend their own time and energy, re-testing the graduates anyhow.

    Well, no, they don’t, not without significant legal risk of a disparate impact lawsuit. Requirements to take independent testing (aka “accreditation”) are allowed for now, however.

  9. Will Truman says:

    Phi, I actually think there’s a good chance that Disparate Impact won’t come into play. What is described here is a cross between college degrees and 90s-IT-style certifications. Both of which managed to get by (the former still does, the latter collapsed for different reasons).

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