Monday Links

  • Twelve technologies that the McKinsey Global Institute thinks will be game-changers economically, summarized by Neil Irwin at Wonkbook. The ones that get the most attention – driverless cars! – are estimated to have a smaller impact
  • Medical students in North Carolina are implicitly biased against obese people – about a third moderately or strongly so. This shouldn’t be surprising – most facets of American culture are anti-obese – but merely highlights the need to understand this implicit bias
  • Development economist Chris Blattman’s new paper indicates that simply giving money to poor people in developing countries – unconditionally – creates jobs efficiently. In his summary, he concludes: “Perhaps we need to stop projecting our own labor markets and biases and low opinions of our own self-control onto the poor, and show them the money”
  • Carl Zimmer uses the rare disease fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) – a rare disease that causes a second skeleton to develop on top of the first – to explore the world of rare diseases and the research that goes into them. He hints at, though doesn’t explore, using prize architecture to help incent research and development, which is fascinating in and of itself. Sidenote: I want to be Carl Zimmer
  • Profile of Josh Barro, a curmudgeonly Millennial  blogger/writer who has often been brutally honest in his critique of today’s Republican Party. A description that hopefully will be on his tombstone years from now:  “He appears devoid of introspection, or any detectable emotions at all, save irascibility”
  • Unintended consequences of Americans’ nascent love affair with Greek yogurt: acid whey. The article is a bit… sensational, but fun to read

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