Links: Information asymmetries, the relationship of relationships, beauty and “privilege,” and more!

* “LA’s PocketList gives renters better information, faster, about which apartments are available in cities.” Seems like a work of genius, if it works.

* Are there useful similarities between employment and romantic relationships?

* “The Greatest Privilege We Never Talk About: Beauty.” Except, of course, here at TSS, where you read essays like, “The inequality that matters II: Why does dating in Seattle get left out?

* “I’ve Seen a Future Without Cars, and It’s Amazing: Why do American cities waste so much space on cars?” An excellent question, and one asked too infrequently.

* “Anne Applebaum: how my old friends paved the way for Trump and Brexit.” I have a soft spot for heretics.

* Is employment persistence like romantic relationship persistence? Why do norms about “rights” to a position differ in one situation versus the other? I don’t necessarily agree with the analogy but it makes me think.

* Potential large-scale CO2 removal via enhanced rock weathering with croplands: a hugely underrated topic.

* How to plan a space mission. Feats of epic engineering are under-covered and under-reported. If you run into stories about them, send me a link.

* Ross Douthat’s ten theses about “cancel culture.”

* “Lessons from the Awkward Life and Death of the Segway: The ‘personal transporter’ promised to change cities back in 2001. It didn’t. But its demise should be a warning for today’s urban mobility disrupters.” It was too expensive, the batteries were bad, and, worst of all, riders feel they look stupid on one. Today, very good electric bikes are, miraculously, under $1,000. Very good electric scooters are $500 – $700. City planning, however, continues to lag behind, and we continue to be caught in unfortunate path dependence.

* COVID was a preventible catastrophe in the United States. This article lays out the details, the precedents, and how a normal administration would react. It could be subtitled, “Your vote counts.” We all, in a sense, chose the bad federal reaction.

* “The lost art of having a chat: what happened when I stopped texting and started talking.”

* The TikTok War. Lots of thought in this one.

* “Does the white upper class feel exhausted and oppressed by meritocracy?” A great piece that looks, as few do, at the dark psychological shadow. Most of the media and social media are in denial about the shadow.

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