Tag Archives: Short

Moral hazard, via dumb commercials

Another commercial which I’ve always wondered about is this one for Traveler’s insurance: The trouble with the commercial is that the dog, after seeking out ways to protect his most prized possession, finds a solution in purchasing insurance. Keep it on your person? Too hard. Put it in a bank? Too risky. But with insurance, […]

Pitch perfect comedy

I don’t always love 30 Rock, but this week’s episode hit exactly the perfect New York spot (apologies in advance for the advertisement): [sorry, hulu just does not play nice embedded] For people who don’t live in NYC, the joke is about Alec Baldwin having bedbugs and finding himself an outcast, finally reduced to asking […]

If you're going to do hip hop at the White House…

Awesome tribute to our first Secretary of the Treasury. Compares favorably to 99 Problems but a Bitch ain’t One: Geek rap is so sexy. h/t James Fallows.

NBC and Jay Leno

Gabriel had a thoughtful post about Jay Leno, comparing his programming to NPR and classical music over the past couple decades. I’m much more sympathetic to Grant McCracken’s view of Leno as a failure because he misses the contemporary moment’s desire for specificity and instead provides the blandest of something-for-everyone variety. Though McCracken and Rossman […]

Go bag

It’s that time of year again, when I first got freaked out about emergency preparedness by watching 28 Days Later. And it’s the time when I review and renew my emergency go kit. For peace of mind, this is the fanny pack that you can walk out of your house in 10 seconds with. It […]

on the right side of history

what to do when a smart person says a crazy thing?

One of the founders of string theory in physics made the case this week that the Large Hadron Collider will fail to produce/discover the Higgs boson because its very existence is so abhorrent to nature that the attempt to create it sabotages itself. The upshot is that we can expect seemingly strange delays and chronic […]

game night?

Shouldn’t there be some kind of Mario Kart sociology meetup again sometime soon? It feels like it’s been a really long time…Let’s get a move on, Scatterplot!

more nudging

Here is another one from the series of Volkswagon’s ‘fun theory’ design projects, this one a bottomless garbage can to induce people to throw away trash: The whole shebang is worth noting, for its effects on behavior and its bigger-issue demonstration of the contextualization of rationality. Plus, honestly, it’s a fun video. I don’t know […]

the inducements of rationality

Economic sociologists have long wrestled with the microfoundations of market rationality, and attempted to understand the embeddedness of behavior in the cultural context in which it rests…oh, hell, I just want to post this video of the subway stairs in Stockholm: Have a nice Friday, peoples!