A week in review, 2019-W11


  1. Eating as an out-of-the-box solution (2019-03-16)
  2. Is there a better way to say process improvement than saying process improvement? (2019-03-15)
  3. A basis for working smarter, not harder (2019-03-14)
  4. Cow and pig: avatars of improvement (2019-03-11)


  1. Robinson Meyer, Houseplants Don’t Actually Clean the Air, The Atlantic (2019-03-09). "It's such an alluring and enticing idea," Elliot Gall, a Portland State University professor, told me. "But the scientific literature shows that indoor houseplants—as would be typically implemented in a person's home—do very little to clean the air." "My view is even harsher than that," Michael Waring, an engineering professor at Drexel University, told me. "I do not think that houseplants clean the air."
  2. Charles Duhigg, Dr. Elon & Mr. Musk: Life Inside Tesla's Production Hell, Wired (2018-12-13). There’s a sense of tragedy in such stories because these men seemed, at one point, to rise above the masses and suggest that genius is possible. Silicon Valley in particular reveres these kind of heroes—and the more willful and ornery they are, the better. Technologists are often called upon to do things that seem impossible, and so they celebrate when doubters are proven wrong—when the dismissal of an idea becomes evidence of its visionary reach. The idea of the odd genius is afforded a special status within technology. People lionize inventors who listen to their intuition and ignore naysayers, who hold themselves and everyone else to a standard of perfection, regardless of what it costs those around them. Steve Jobs is gone; now we have Elon Musk.
  3. Megan Thompson, If you can't beat 'em, eat 'em:' University of Illinois serves invasive Asian carp for dinner, PBS NewsHour (2019-01-29).
  4. Nathan Robinson, Meritocracy is a myth invented by the rich, The Guardian (2019-03-14). In reality, there can never be such a thing as a meritocracy, because there’s never going to be fully equal opportunity. The main function of the concept is to assure elites that they deserve their position in life. It eases the "anxiety of affluence", that nagging feeling that they might be the beneficiaries of the arbitrary "birth lottery" rather than the products of their own individual ingenuity and hard work.
  5. Danny Wicentowski, Brian Stofiel Stumbled Onto the Right Stuff For Orbit: a Plastic Rocket, Riverfront Times (2019-03-07).


  1. Unconditional Love, This American Life (2019-03-08). [35:17] "I don't think he wants to hurt me. I don't worry about that at all." It's a very unsentimental view of her relationship with her child, but that is probably exactly what has made Heidi so successful. That is, Heidi is an unusually pragmatic person. She's not a flowering earth mother with a wealth of love to give. She is fundamentally realistic, tough minded, and these are precisely the characteristics that are needed in this situation. If you're the kind of person who actually needs love—really needs love—chances are, you're not the kind of person who's going to have the wherewithal to create it. Creating love is not for the soft and sentimental among us. Love is a tough business.
  2. Episode 211: Sartre on Racism and Authenticity (Part One), The Partially Examined Life (2019-03-11). (notes) [13:00] So one of the things the anti-Semite is doing is they're grounding themselves in the irrational and the concrete and the intuitive, as over and against the universal and the rational. So the manifestation of that, right, is to say, look, I have a certain heritage, I have these societal values, my family's been in this country for hundreds of years, I simply inherit and possess these things and I don't have to do anything for them. I don't have to be smart, I don't have to achieve a lot, because--this is the strategy, according to Sartre, of the middle class--I just have to possess these cultural values, and in that sense I gain a status and a transcendence of everyday class and social hierarchies by way of that. So, without effort, without having to compare my status to others. So, he calls this a kind of mob equalitarianism or mob egalitarianism or, another way that he puts it that I like, is elite mediocrity, an aristocracy of birth where someone who's not at the top of the hierarchy can enjoy high level status through identification with country.
  3. Continuing Education Directory Earns Six Figures, Side Hustle School (2019-03-09).


天上“龙肉” 地上驴肉【食尚大转盘 20170226】 ("In heaven there is dragon meat, on Earth there is donkey meat.")


McDonald's 油条


There might be additional links that didn't make the cut at notes.kirkkittell.com

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