We are strange creatures, sometimes brutal, not always photogenic, often delicate. We’re fascinated by metrics, big pictures and endless horizons of possibility. And we always, always want more.

Leah Reich

Facebook makes it easier to get sex and keep friends without having a job.

Tyler Cowen

Why must it be that, just because certain political attitudes or behaviors are correlated with some genes, that this calls into question the notion that we can really change?

Andrew Gelman

Telling other countries that they’re acting irrationally because they don’t want what the United States wants is the opposite of soft power. It’s self-defeating diplomacy.

Dan Drezner

[D]on’t even get me started on the frequent perception by fellow citizens that the federal government has anything of importance to do with things like trash pickup, school hours, or the hours that the DMV is open.

John Patty

A Minimalist Map of Milwaukee

It’s not actually that minimalist, or even that good, but it’s an interesting way to reduce the city. Made by Archie Archambault (via The Journal Sentinel).

I’d love to see Matt tackle this kind of thing with all of his nonexistent free time.


The more I read people’s reactions to this study, the more I’ve started to think the outrage has nothing to do with the study at all. There is a growing amount of negative sentiment towards Facebook and other companies that collect and use data about people. In short, there’s anger at the practice of big data. This paper provided ammunition for people’s anger because it’s so hard to talk about harm in the abstract.

danah boyd

'Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me,' the saying goes. Fool me two dozen times — there’s no adage for that.

John Gruber on Facebook’s manipulations of users’ emotions