Blogs As Filters for Interestingness

Justin Wehr, a research assistant in behavioral health economics, blogs about posts-he-would-write-if-he-had-time. It's a smattering of interestingness:

A good question to ask anyone: "What don't you know, but wish you did?" [BC: Another good question to ask: What have you learned in the last year?]

Since discovering how to play audio faster (I am typically playing podcasts at 1.7x speed), it seems my comprehension has actually improved. Why might this be, and how can I test it?

Music is deeply personal and important to people, but at the same time it is incredibly boring to hear about other people's music preferences. Why is that?

Why don't retail stores (particularly Wal-Mart) generate revenue by allowing companies to put advertisements around the store?

Near death experiences. They have a fascinating history and are surprisingly common: 8 million people in the U.S. report having had one. Testable evidence for existence of the soul? There are many interesting studies on near death experiences and Duke even has a journal devoted to the subject.

Laughter, religion, and sleep: The three most puzzling things to psychologists.

Is productivity spiritually important as Marty Nemko suggests or just another form of hedonistic pleasure?

People should be paid for their attention on the internet. How can that be arranged? 

From this post alone it's pretty easy to tell that Justin would be a fun guy to have dinner with. Blogs are excellent filters in this respect. It's near impossible to write an interesting blog and be an uninteresting person.

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Speaking of interesting people, here's Stan James on how the complexity of a user interface evolves to meet a user's expectations. Compare the iPod of 2000 to the iPod of today. Here's Clay Shirky on the business model for local bookstores and the role they play in the community.

4 Responses to Blogs As Filters for Interestingness

  1. Justin Wehr says:

    I hope we will get the chance to have dinner sometime. Thanks, Ben.

  2. Sara says:

    For what it’s worth, Wal-Mart has already added in-store advertising via digital signage (displays that combine advertising with “useful information” for shoppers).

    link to walmartstores.com

  3. Also, retail stores charge for advertising via placement. Anytime you see a product on the end of an aisle, or even at the shelf closest to eye level, more often than not, the vendor is being charged exorbitant amounts of money to have the product there. Retail stores charge vendors for everything they possibly can, it’s almost like they are renting space to the vendors to sell their wares.

  4. abdpbt says:

    Amen on the music preferences thing! Very curious.

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