Links from Around the Web

Quick links, cheap shots, bon mots…

1. Snopes.com calls "subliminal advertising" a myth — it is not effective, let alone even exists in the way people think it does. The scientist who conducted the study which gave rise to the term forged all his results.

2. Felix Salmon writes two terrific posts on saving vs. spending that every 20-something should read. Here’s part 1, here’s part 2. He confronts the typical advice that a young person should save as much money as possible and specifically start saving for retirement to take advantage of compound interest. He says it’s when you’re young that a little money can go a long way (ie, $100k usually means a lot more to a 25 year-old than a 40 year-old). I would add that when you’re young you should try to accumulate unique experiences and expose yourself to bulk, positive randomness while the cost of failure is low…even if this means delaying a long-term investment strategy.

3. David Zetland over at Aguanomics shows his colors as a pragmatist: "When 95% of the population knows more about long showers than food production, you have to be careful about asking them to reallocate water. That’s why most of my policies proposals are extensions and modifications of the status quo — not revolutionary ideas — e.g., complete water privitization with distribution of water vouchers to citizens." Here here. It’s tiresome to hear high level gripes about how dysfunctional some domain is (water rights in the west or public education in the U.S. to name just two) and then the cries for a utopia that will never happen given the existing political framework. The atomic bomb cannot be used. For issues that involve interest groups (read: everything) we must reform we what we have, make some compromises, and iterate toward the ideal.

4. Cal Newport reminds us that "traditional" jobs, while often skewered in the self-help blogosphere and how-to business literature, can in fact be fulfilling for many.

5. Slideology – the presentation blog of Nancy Duarte et al, the team which designed Al Gore’s global warming PowerPoint.

6. Bobby Fischer video interview from when he was in his 30’s. This is the somewhat famous clip of Fischer on a park bench. The end oozes a delicious self-confidence: "Even when I lost to Spassky I was still better than him…I’m not afraid of him – he’s afraid of me but I’m not afraid of him."

7. Never ever ever talk to a cop about a crime even if you’re innocent. This has been making the rounds. It’s a 45 minute video clip of a law professor explaining how even the smartest most innocent people incriminate themselves by talking to a cop. It’s worth watching.

4 Responses to Links from Around the Web

  1. Anonymous says:

    Fischer won the championship when he was 28 and that video was done while he was preparing for the match.

  2. Dario says:

    Wow, the pair of videos about pleading the fifth was excellent. Many thanks

  3. Sean S says:

    Fischer looked so much different in his later years, especially the years immediately preceding his death. I do believe he had a serious mental illness, though perhaps that is to be expected in someone with such a unique brain. Whatever it is in his brain that gave him the ability to play chess so much better than almost everyone else (I do believe his brain was different, and his ability was not due simply to intense practicing), also worked against him.

    It must be difficult being a genius, notwithstanding the benefits that come along with it.

  4. LP says:

    “Chess doesn’t drive people mad, it keeps mad people sane.” (Bill Hartson, grandmaster)

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