Threadgorian Calendar by Scott Alexander – Bi-weekly public open thread. Comment of the week defends Jeanne Calment, who lived to a record age of 122, from accusations she was a fraud.
Perpetual Motion Via Negative Matter by Robin Hanson – Hanson speculates about how much useable negentropy is available for humans to use in the future. He then considers the possibility of negative matter and whether it would allow infinite computation.
Politics and economics:
Class Has Normative Power by Three Masks – ‘Class is like whether your shirt has a ketchup stain on it or not when you go in for a job interview. In some detached sense, whether we have that red splotch on our clothes or not makes no difference and could just be viewed as a cultural choice. But the way we feel it is as “ugh this is horrible and people will think horrible things of me I need to change it as soon as possible.” This is where the fact that class is an economic phenomenon becomes very important. Even if not every upper-class person has money, they are generally “where the money is”, and so by adopting their styles you are more likely to have access to that money.’
Sebastian Junger On Tribe by EconTalk – ‘Sebastian Junger talks about his book Tribe with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Junger explores the human need to be needed and the challenges facing many individuals in modern society who struggle to connect with others. His studies of communal connection include soldiers in a small combat unit and American Indian society in the nineteenth century.’