"The History of Western Europe: Every Year"

A six-minute video showing the changes in political boundaries. By 1000 AD and even  more by 1300 AD it shows the zillions of polities in Western Europe that economists point to as a primary source of Western Europe's later prosperity. (If a ruler expropriated property or even taxed too much, another government was "just down the road".)

Decentralized government tends to be good for human beings and other living things.

"Auto Cop"

Featuring this these fine four paragraphs about speed limit laws:

But why should anyone object to (as Ford itself puts it) more “efficient” enforcement of the law? This assumes, of course, that the laws being enforced are reasonable, defensible, etc.

They’re not, of course. And everyone knows it.

Which is precisely why they aren’t enforced “efficiently.” It would trigger an uprising.

The whole point of the current system is the selective enforcement of idiotic laws. In order to maintain idiotic laws.

Related: "Is Every Speed Limit Too Low?"

"2 formerly obese economists lost a combined 120 pounds in 18 months — here are the best tricks they used"

I didn't use any of them. But one of the secrets of weight loss is that different things work for different people. I found after reading a fair amount, I still needed a lot of trial and error.

Although somewhat contradicting my first statement, one wag cracked that almost all successful diet advice amounts to this: Eat more vegetables. Lots more.

Which was going to give me trouble, but then I read what a famous cook--I no longer remember who--said: "Show me somebody who doesn't like vegetables and I'll show you someone who hasn't had them prepared well." I now agree. You will probably want either fat (olive oil, butter, cheese) or heat (roasting) or spices. Or all three.

Related to the economists' advice: The Economist, "The economists’ diet" and "Is This the Most Controversial Diet of 2018?"

"‘Backwards’: Hillary Clinton Apparently Still Has No Clue Why She Lost"

Ladies and gentlemen, Ms. Hillary Clinton:

Of the states she talks about specifically, six of them voted for both her husband, Bill Clinton, and for Barack Obama. Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida (with the exception of FL, which went to Bob Dole in 1996) together make up 99 electoral votes, a significant chunk of the needed 270 votes to win an election.

Related, a review of her awesome achievements: "Hillary Clinton, Pride of Radcliffe".

"Sentimentality and the Things Left Unseen"

Theodore Dalrymple:

In essence, Mr. Corbyn thinks that expropriation and redistribution according to his view of what is right is the route to justice and prosperity. One might have hoped that the world had had sufficient experience of such notions to extinguish them from the human mind forever, but foolishness, like hope, springs eternal. . . .

. . . in the modern world there is no totalitarian as dangerous as he who does not realise that he is one.

"The Real Engine of the Business Cycle"

Amir Sufi and Atif Mian:

In a new study, we show that the credit-driven household demand channel rests on three main conceptual pillars. First, credit-supply expansions, rather than technology or permanent income shocks, are the key drivers of economic activity. This is a controversial idea. Most models attribute macroeconomic fluctuations to real factors such as productivity shocks. But we believe the financial sector itself plays an underappreciated role through its willingness to lend.

"The World's Energy Superpower: US"

Sounds very sweet to me.

Fracking saved the Obama administration, its only baleful effect. Other than that, the U.S.’s emerging energy dominance is one of the great developments of recent times. It is ironic that our myopic press obsesses on trivialities like Russians posting on Facebook, while largely ignoring the geopolitical implications of the policies that are freeing up U.S. energy production.

"The Martian Obelisk"

"A powerful science fiction story about an architect on Earth commissioned to create (via long distance) a masterwork with materials from the last abandoned Martian colony, a monument that will last thousands of years longer than Earth, which is dying."

Packs a nice little punch at the end.