Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday Morning Breakfast Links

1. A new book on how social class works in America. Summary: Elite students get elite jobs because they have low-level and mid-level contacts in elite firms, and because they know the unwritten rules about how to correctly signal talent in elite job interviews (much of which is based on etiquette or social convention, rather than on substantive displays of talent). Tip of the hat to Marginal Revolution.

2. Another via Marginal RevolutionPrestigious Hong Kong preschools conduct interviews for prospective students, and parents spend thousands of dollars preparing their toddlers for the occasion (starting as young as 8 months).

3. "Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation as Russians Pressed for Control of Uranium Company." The New York Times reports.

4. Inspired by Jacques Derrida's literary deconstruction, pseudonymous blogger Scott Alexander "deconstructs" a recent study purporting to show an effect of growth mindset training on student learning. (The significance of the blog post is not just that this particular study happens to obfuscate its central findings, but rather that this sort of rhetorical maneuvering and scientific fad-chasing seems to be a broader problem in scientific research.)

5. A new species is born? Creepy cell line infections. (Via Scott Alexander.)

6. Armenian a capella group Luys Quintet's stunning vocal performance in an ancient Armenian monastery carved into the side of a mountain.

7. The mathematics of "smooshing" cards--interesting in its own right, and could be important for understanding fluid mixing.

8. A window to Brazzaville; or, daily life in the Congo. Contemporary music, Congolese professional wrestling, witchcraft (the last two go together), and life after civil war.

9. Sachs schools Krugman on Cameron (and Keynes).

10. Digital humanities: "Shakespeare's plays reveal his psychological signature."

11. UK General Election predictions (at 538).

12. Web of corruption: The dark dealings of Toledo-area coin dealer Tom Noe.

13. A hypothesis about why Europeans started eating bland food after the Middle Ages.

14. Teaching evolution in Kentucky.

15. Marketing the field of philosophy in today's higher ed.

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