Links: Wasting time, counterintuitive claims, technology won’t fix education, population problems, the modern laptop, and more

* “Why do people waste so much time at the office?

* From “The department of unintended consequences:” “It turns out that generous maternity leave and flexible rules on part-time work can make it harder for women to be promoted — or even hired at all.” Basic economics holds that making something more expensive means less of it is consumed.

* Why Technology Will Never Fix Education.”

* “The Invented History of ‘The Factory Model of Education,’” which is news to me and fascinating throughout.

* An obvious point, but, a story about how people can’t be saved from themselves. In this post I wrote, “It is very hard, if not impossible, to fix most broken people.” Penelope Trunk tried, and failed.

* “Ashley Madison: Is infidelity a billion-dollar business?

* Tugg: A Kickstarter-like method for getting Indie movies in theaters. Brilliant.

* “Germany passes Japan to have world’s lowest birth rate;” the real problem in the developed world is underpopulation, not overpopulation.

* Tech billionaires aim for cheaper spaceflight.

* Someone found this blog by searching for “do musicians get laid alot.”

* The creation of the modern laptop:

Pick up your laptop. Actually, scratch that—read this paragraph first, then pick up your laptop. You are holding one of the most advanced machines ever built in the history of humanity. It is the result of trillions of hours of R&D over tens of thousands of years. It contains so many advanced components that there isn’t a single person on the planet who knows how to make the entire thing from scratch. It is perhaps surprising to think of your laptop as the pinnacle of human endeavour, but that doesn’t make it any less true: we are living in the information age, after all, and our tool for working with that information is the computer.

I use an iMac. Point stands, though, and the iMac’s screen is incredible.

* An interview with Tim Parks.

* On food culture, an interview in which Rachel Laudan points out that industrialized agriculture allows us to live the way we live now, and to romanticize inefficient processes.

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