- "Parasites have evolved to damp our immune responses so that they can stay in our bodies....So in [today's hygienic] world with no parasites. [our immune system] behaves like a person leaning into the wind when it drops: The system falls over." With nothing better to do, the immune system starts attacking itself. This is the latest theory about the broad increase in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. If true, the implication is that we need to keep ourselves infected with harmless parasites to keep our immune system busy.
- Life's lessons have to be re-learned by each succeding generation. Why? Do we not bother to pass them along, or do we just not listen when we do? Interesting ideas on this from Robin Hanson, but the most interesting answer is in the first comment. "[A]s people get older, they become less disposed to construct new patterns out of words, and the patterns in their brains become more subtle and nuanced, and more divergent from the simple cliche verbal patterns that are typically exchanged as something like a carrier wave for the real primate communications that determine people's actions."
- The saying goes that there are really only two stories: "A man goes on a journey" and "A stranger comes to town". I would argue there is only one story, since the only reason a stranger coming to town is interesting is that it sends a man on a journey. Here it is in lucid detail. Of course, I would also argue that for anyone other than a novice writer, this notion of a "journey" is so completely internalized that it barely warrants mentioning.
- File under The Irony of Good Intentions: How the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regs ended up causing the current boom in SUVs and Pickup Trucks. CAFE exists in near total absence of foresight and reasoned thinking, but boy it makes us feel morally/politically/environmentally correct, doesn't it? That, as always, is what counts.
- Rock band performance contract riders. We all know the infamous story of Van Halen's "no brown M&Ms" contract clause. Well, here is Iggy Pop's. There is nothing insane about it. Just 28 pages of Ron-Howard-punching, hovercraft-constructing, badger-dissing hilarity.
- Immortal headbutt of Zidane. That's quite a legacy.
Monday, October 08, 2012
[Good Links] Links: Cheap and Heavy
Links: Cheap and Heavy: The usual compilation of the serious and the silly.