Links: Collapse, economic behavior, vaccine success, academic nonsense, and more!

* “Preparing for the Collapse of the Saudi Kingdom.”

* “Divorce laws and the economic behavior of married couples,” an underappreciated point.

* “Vaccine Has Sharply Reduced HPV in Teenage Girls, Study Says.” This one verges on the obvious, but it’s worth reiterating. Vaccines really are a public health free lunch.

* A Long Game: On how California cities became as screwed up as they are, and how to fix them.

* Mindsets for Thinking about Innovation In — and Competition from — China:

China’s largest online/ebook publishing company, Yuewen Group, which has over three million digital books in its catalogue. More notable than the scale here however is how the company monetizes: Chinese readers can pay per every 1000 words (sort of like by chapter), and have been able to do so for more than half a decade.

Brilliant. This is one advantage of avoiding path dependence.

* The Smartest Book About Our Digital Age Was Published in 1929:

The key driver of change, as Ortega sees it, comes from a shocking attitude characteristic of the modern age—or, at least, Ortega was shocked. Put simply, the masses hate experts. If forced to choose between the advice of the learned and the vague impressions of other people just like themselves, the masses invariably turn to the latter. The upper elite still try to pronounce judgments and lead, but fewer and fewer of those down below pay attention.

* “Do teens read seriously anymore?” I can’t tell, but even when I was a teen reading seriously seemed like a thing that only I did. The default meaning of “reading” may also be changing.

* Academic Drivel Report: Confessing my sins and exposing my academic hoax.

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