Assorted Links

by F.

Elizabeth Murray died. I loved her work (see above.) She was one of my idols when I was an art student. I still think her stuff looks great—perhaps better now in the age of Photoshop. The New York Times.

Sex, Lies, and Lies. Men appear to lie about the number of sexual partners they have had (“I’ve slept with 13,239—no, 13,241 women,” he slurred, holding up his 23rd Pabst Blue Ribbon as the bartender signaled last call); or women do (“You’re the first one!” she said demurely on their wedding night as she removed her nipple rings and crotchless panties); or both. The math doesn’t add up otherwise (hint: it takes two to tango). The New York Times.

Fonts matter. Like I need to be convinced of that! Hah! The New York Times Magazine has a good but not great piece on the new highway sign font.

Helvetica: the Movie. In other font news, the movie Helvetica really needs wider, bolder, dare I say italicized distribution. I’ve yet to see it and, while I’m sure I’ll get it from Netflix in the future, I want to see all those fonts on the big screen! Petition Cinerama!

Importing Crashes. The risk of financial crashes is being outsourced along with many call centers. Sure, the US and European federal banks know not to adopt Nixon/Johnson-era monetary policy (“We need more money! We’ve got a war on! And get me some wage and price controls—stat!”). But China, Russia and other emerging markets may need to learn some hard lessons by painful experience. The Economist.

The Deadweight Loss of Econ Classes. Most students who take econ don’t remember much of it in six months. In fact, they have about the same level of economic knowledge as those who don’t take econ. Can you say “deadweight loss?” (Why pay for ignorance when you can get it for free.) And only about 20% of economists can define an “opportunity costs.” But they can solve lots of differential equations! The solution, according to Robert Frank of Cornell, is to teach principles and let the students provide details. Which, of course, is how all good teaching works. In other news, the wheel was rediscovered yesterday in Hard Lump, Kansas. When asked to comment on his invention, Angus Shittenpiss said he was now turning to his next idea: fire. The New York Times.

More Death. Cultural conservatives continue to keen over the death of “high culture” even though (a) nobody cares, (b) high culture was never really alive, and (c) they can’t describe the benefits of this thing they call high culture (if they could, they wouldn’t be conservatives, who of course know “the answers” without having to resort to messy things like evidence). The Financial Times.

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