Links: Lessons to unlearn, carbon capture and storage, status and signaling, and more!

* The Lesson to Unlearn. It is dangerous to have someone like Graham focused on the weaknesses of the education industry, because he’s well positioned to accelerate changes. I believe Lambda School is (or was) funded by Y Combinator.

* Update on carbon capture and storage, which is probably the most important link in this batch. Climeworks offers CO2 storage subscriptions and we can infer from their popularity or lack thereof how many people actually give a damn about global climate change.

* The New Yorker on William Gibson. Haven’t gotten into the last few Gibsons, but I still admire Pattern Recognition.

* Medical billing: where all the frauds are legal. We need price transparency, now.

* Oklo launches Aurora advanced fission clean energy plant in US.

* 2019: the year the revolt went global. From Martin Gurri.

* Women wearing leggings at work. Who cares?

* Why white-collar workers spend all day at the office. It’s a signaling race. Most writers know we have 2 – 4 decent hours in us, for example.

* “The Cynic’s Guide to Reading Business Books.” An excellent meta-read of books more generally.

* “The lonesome Irishman.” On the movie The Irishman; the essay almost makes me want to watch it, but not quite enough, because I feel like I’ve seen enough mob movies. After The Sopranos, Goodfellas, The Godfather, and probably some more, plus reading Diego Gambetta’s Codes of the Underworld: How Criminals Communicate, I think that universe is pretty played out. Killing people is also bad. Many of the things that thrive in the underworld should be legalized, like gambling has been and marijuana is being. If gambling, prostitution, and most non-opioid drugs are legal, there’s not much left for the mob to do, and it will be starved of revenue, because most activities are best done using conventional means and corporate or legal structures.

One response

  1. I think you’re being unnecessarily cynical about the climate capture thing. Climeworks are quite new, hardly anyone knows about them, and those who’ve vaguely heard of them may be suspicious of their claims and unsure how to verify them. The people who are most actively environmental may be the most likely to have previously absorbed ideas like “offsetting your plane travel doesn’t really work, so you need to reduce it” and “pursuing capturing carbon from the air is an expensive fantasy that distracts from the need to reduce emissions”. It seems things have changed technologically and price-wise but the common understanding hasn’t caught up. I think there’s a messaging problem and they need to keep getting ‘referrals’ from trusted sources until the idea becomes mainstream. And it is expensive, to a degree that will make people seek certainty. There is a real opportunity cost in giving $1200/year to one organisation (or likely more if you want to cover all your emissions) when offsetting schemes that work by slowing deforestation could potentially reduce far more carbon but are far harder to accurately measure the effects.

    I think we’ll see movement in this space when there is an organisation like Givewell, or a branch of Givewell, that concentrates on independently evaluating the effectiveness of various carbon offsetting and storage opportunities.


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