Book Reviews: Zoolitude And The Void by Jacob Falkovich – Seven Surrenders the sequel to ‘Too like the Lightning’ mercilessly cuts the bad parts and focuses on the politics, personalities, and philosophy that made TLTL great. The costs of adding too much magic to a setting, don’t make the mundane irrelevant. One Hundred Years of Solitude: Shit just happens. Zoo City: Realistic Magic: “The Zoo part is the magic: some people who commit crimes mysteriously acquire an animal familiar and a low-key magical talent.” The Mark and the Void: “Technically, there’s no magic in The Mark and the Void. But there’s investment banking, which takes the role of the mysterious force that decides the fate of individuals and nations but remains beyond the ken of mere mortals.”
MRE Futures To Not Starve by Robin Hanson – Emergency food sources as a way to mitigate catastrophic risk. The Army’s ‘Meals Ready to Eat’. Food insurance. Incentives for producers to deliver food in emergencies. Incentives for researchers to find new sources. Sharing information.
Politics and Economics:
Harvard Admit Legacy Students by Marginal Revolution – Demand for Ivy league admissions far outstrips supply. The main constraint is that the Ivy League depends on donations. One way to scale up, while maintaining high donation rates, is to increase legacy admissions. Teaching quality is unlikely to suffer, qualified students are easy to find.