My weekly collection of the provocative, intriguing, or curious, in a world where the house is falling down. The contextual, the cultural, and other things that catch my eye.
Image: Fashion Revolution
- The full cost of Black Friday. It’s a recipe for over-production.
- Net Zero calculations overstate the long-term energy costs. This IMF article is a bit technical, but innovation gains will reduce the long-term costs of shifting to renewables. Related: In the US, climate crisis is the biggest threat to financial stability.
- Remembrance Day for Lost Species is this weekend. 60% of species have disappeared in the Sixth Great Extinction, so there are plenty to choose from.
- India’s ruling party is dismantling ideas of liberty and equality. So says Arundhati Roy in a long lecture. It is using bureaucratic and legalistic tools to strip millions of citizenship.
- I’m sceptical about the prospects for the space economy. But it seems that there are some things that are better manufactured in space.
- Nine theses on digital culture. It’s a bit dense, and a bit academic, but the penultimate post on The Frailest Thing blog is certainly thought provoking.
- The 2018 Oscars cock-up tells us quite a lot about systems safety. As Tim Harford explains on 99% Invisible, safety features often make us less safe. Podcast, 32 minutes.
- Clive James, who died this week, was probably a better critic than poet. But his five favourite poetry books are a good way to remember him. Or listen to some of the songs he wrote with Pete Atkin.
“The whole world’s at sixes and sevens, and why the house hasn’t fallen down about our ears long ago is a miracle to me.” (Thornton Wilder)