Links, Jan 13, 2016
I am going to start sharing interesting links on a regular basis. Here is the first batch:
FiveThirtyEight writes about the economics of IKEA and how they have managed to reduce the prices of some products dramatically over time. I am a sucker for “the economics of” articles
The world’s most expensive potato chip costs $11 per chip (in boxes of five)
Some open questions on the non-physical differences between men and women and how sociology has become a religion where it is taboo to ask the question
Also in Evolution: A bunch of traits in humans have undergone measurable evolutionary changes in the last 2000 years, including height, ability to digest milk, the existence of freckles, and blond hair
Tim Hartford’s new book is called “Messy”. It’s a great book. This is a short piece is “inspired by” the book and about how “piling things” might be more productive than filing things, even though pilers secretly (or not so secretly) wish they were filers. File this as “studies that make me feel better because it tells me to do what I am already doing”. Feels a little too much like those studies that tell you eating chocolate is good for you.
Apparently right-wing politicians are better looking than left-wing politicians. Argument for “why” is because better looking people tend to do better economically, and economically better off are less likely to favor re-distribution (and other economically left-wing ideas). This one has a nice story, but I’ll bet it fails to replicate at scale.
Why do giraffe’s have long necks? Obviously the ones with longer necks were able to reach higher branches and had a better chance of passing on their genes to the next generation. Turns out that’s not the answer. Turns out it’s all about mating and sex.
I love “What if” history. This is one I hadn’t read about before. What if the Normans had lost at the Battle of Hastings in 1066?
Prediction markets are one of the most under-used effective tools in the world today. Here is an interesting on why they sometimes fail.
Please recommend if you enjoy these to encourage me to continue the posting. Most of these links appear on my Twitter feed first: @ednever. Most of my long-form content is on my personal blogs: