Land of the brave – fattening them to death

(America’s) Farm policies have made low-nutritional commodities exceptionally cheap, providing the food industry with enormous incentive to market processed foods comprised mainly of refined grains and added sugars. In contrast, vegetables, whole fruits, legumes, nuts and high-quality proteins are much more expensive and, in “food deserts,” often unavailable.

—NYT: ‘Opinion | America’s Obesity Budget
Continue reading Land of the brave – fattening them to death

Envy and status in politics

People will oppose policies that benefit themselves and their community if they think it will lower their within-group status.

In other words, even when a policy might make someone materially better off (by, say, improving their housing conditions), they are likely to oppose it if the government doing so for everyone in their community would harm their relative status position.

—Gwyneth McClendon quoted in the Washington Post: ‘Envy and status in politics
Continue reading Envy and status in politics

The power balance – India v Facebook

Even officials in India, a major power, struggled to get the company to listen. Indian pressure on Facebook, however, has dropped since the arrival of new government leaders who rose, in part, on a Hindu nationalist wave still prevalent on social media.

NYT: With Alex Jones, Facebook’s Worst Demons Abroad Begin to Come Home

Why Republicans win…

The plan is to lose a few battles but possibly win the war: let the bill be struck down in district and circuit courts as unconstitutional but give the Supreme Court the final word, and hope five justices are interested in taking an opportunity to overturn Roe v Wade.

Iowa passes one of the harshest abortion bills in America

… they are smart, they are focussed, they are patient.

They plan their moves and execute them with patience over years, if not decades. While their opponents, specially the twitterati sort, react to what’s happening. Reactivity isn’t always bad. But it does usually mean that you aren’t setting the terms, or the direction. You’re just responding to the other’s terms, in/against their direction. And, over time, you are losing.

Continue reading Why Republicans win…

What does ‘x-times less’ mean?

TransferWise, for example, charges six times less for international cash transfers than Santander, a high-street bank.

—The Economist in ‘The great foreign exchange rip-off is coming to an end


I’ve never understood using multiples for discounts. What does charging ‘six times less’ even mean?
I understand what charging ‘a sixth’ means – ⅙ times the original.
I understand what charging ‘six times’ (more) means – 6 times the original.
I do not understand what ‘six times less’ means. It’s a ridiculously ambiguous term, and I’m sad that even the Economist used it.

P.S.: I love Transferwise. I cannot comprehend how people transferred money internationally before it came around – it’s fast, it’s cheap, and it’s transparent. Everything that the banking system is not. I really love it.

The Nappuccino

The most efficient nap is the nappuccino. The caffeine won’t fully engage in your bloodstream for about twenty-five minutes, so drink up right before you lie down. If you’re not a coffee drinker, search online for an alternative drink that provides about two hundred milligrams of caffeine. (If you avoid caffeine, skip this step. Also reconsider your life choices.)

— Dan Pink’s tip on tackling the most of the mid day slump, from ‘When