Compared to past administrations, mounting evidence shows Trump has already hit lame-duck status.
Chicago neighborhoods with greater tree canopy have lower crime—whether correlation or causation is up for debate.

"Doxing is a sloppy form of justice that often hurts many beyond the intended target. It punishes their families, and even people who look like them or have similar names."

The ethics of yanking the hoods off white supremacists online.

↩︎ Wired
21h
Some white supremacists are dismayed when genetic tests show they're not as white as they believe.
To write a pop hit in 2017, slow things down—below 120 bpm should do it.

Profits are soaring, but firms spend less on workers: a macroeconomics detour.

The thesis of Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century was that the share of profits that go to capital* will always increase faster than the share that go to labor—meaning that, the longer capitalism continues, the more unequal it will become. (At least without resets like debt forgiveness, endorsed by David Graeber.)

Automation has drawn significant concern as a driver of this imbalance, but spending on what economists call capital—the useful stuff that helps a firm make its product, like technology—has actually declined. What has increased is profits. Like, a lot.

A new paper draws attention to market power as the greedy sibling of labor and capital. Market power is basically anything that causes a market to diverge from perfect competition, the set of assumptions that underpin your basic high school-level economics; market power is the ability of an individual buyer or seller to influence a commodity's price. Its fullest expression is monopoly power. 

Here are a couple of the key takeaways:

  • Market power increases with market share; the big guys are more able than before to charge what they want. 
  • But the effect is most markedly seen in smaller industries. 
  • "On average, firms charged 67 percent over marginal cost in 2014, compared with 18 percent in 1980."
  • As firms can charge more per product, they make a tradeoff with quantity. When they have to produce fewer goods, they need fewer laborers, or pay them less. 
  • As perfect competition disapperas, productivity gains are less likely to be passed onto other firms and more likely to be pocketed, which increases profits but drags the economy. 

*Note that capital here includes both profits and "capital" in the sense used in the new paper, which is really colloquially more like "investments a firm makes in itself."

22h
The Wikipedia entry for songs about Wikipedia.
A running count of Confederate monuments across the US that have been removed, or are in the process of removal.
"The only thing I’d be impartial about is what prison this guy goes to." Transcripts from Shkreli's jury selection.
Two days after his police killed 32 in drug raids, Duterte says they can kill human-rights activists who interfere.
Rejecting agency experts, Trump nixes requirement for federal buildings to incorporate protections against flooding.
Residents of Beaumont have lost hope that Exxon will ever stop spewing carcinogens—federal offices have done zilch.
Court rules Texas's congressional districts intentionally discriminate against minorities, and must be redrawn.

"This is not about the personality of an individual and his or her flaws. This is about men who organized a system of government to maintain a system of slavery and to destroy the American union."

In comparing Jefferson to Lee, Trump shows he doesn’t—or doesn’t want to—comprehend the reason for the controversy.

↩︎ The New York Times
1d
Some congressional Democrats have asked a Yale psychiatrist to help form a panel to advise on Trump's mental health.
Trump's rhetorizing on removing Washington and Jefferson statues was probably inspired by Fox News the night before.
Duct tape gets a fashion makeover from designer Raf Simons—black tape printed with "WALK WITH ME"—for $250 a roll.
Firefighters struggle to combat a blaze inside Yosemite National Park, now estimated at 1,700 acres.
CNN doesn't plan to run Trump's new ad attacking CNN.