The Out-Loud-To-Your-Friend Constraint for Writing

Saturday, December 31, 2016
By dreeves
Poem from Calligrammes by Guillaume Apollinaire

I like writing under the constraint that every sentence be something you could conceivably say out loud to a friend. With effort it’s no less expressive than academic-sounding phraseology. ‘Course no constraint you’ll ever chance to see need hinder one’s expressive-osity. Say, strict pentameter, iambicly. Or writing without that most common non-consonant — you know which glyph I’m... »

Smoking Sticks and Carrots

Friday, May 22, 2015
By dreeves
New England Journal of Medicine, a cigarette, Beeminder, a carrot

Let’s talk about science! Beehavioral science. A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine last week has been all over the news. It’s much better than previous studies and statistics I’ve seen on the efficacy of commitment devices. Not because others have been down on commitment devices. On the contrary, I’ve been frustrated in the past by... »

Welcome, Job-Destroying Robots

Saturday, August 2, 2014
By dreeves
A line of robots doing human jobs

Let me first emphasize that I’m not talking about the deeper question of superintelligence and what happens when robots can do anything a human can do. This is about the (relatively) more immediate question: What happens when robots can perform any unskilled labor much more cheaply than humans? My answer is that we’ll need a good social safety... »

Measuring the Impact of the Sharing Economy

Saturday, April 5, 2014
By Georgios Zervas
Couch surfing

Online marketplaces facilitating peer-to-peer exchange of goods and services have been flourishing. Last year half a million visitors to New York City used Airbnb to find a place to stay. Airbnb is an online marketplace that matches those looking for... »

Living the Robot-Mediated Life

Friday, March 21, 2014
By dreeves
As seen on TV (with a bee)

It turns out people are pretty morbidly fascinated by Bethany Soule’s and my auction-based lifestyle. After Bethany’s Messy Matters article, “ »

Sex, Race, and Politics in Online Dating

Friday, January 31, 2014
By Sharad Goel
Love birds

With Valentine’s Day two weeks away, there’s still plenty of time to find your soul mate. But daters beware: nearly 50 years after the Supreme Court ruled bans on interracial marriage unconstitutional, race still matters. Among newlyweds, only 9% of... »