1. The internet has killed the porn star. Actors and actresses are getting paid scraps compared to the Peak Porn Era. I wondered about this after several stories in the media about porn stars committing suicide or killing people. Also, there’s no mass movement – no porn version of Lars Ulrich – to protect the intellectual property rights of porn. I believe this is true because porn, unlike music, is used begrudgingly. It is a stand in for something (real sex) whereas music is consumed for its own sake.
2. NYC’s life expectancy, even in the Bronx, has increased dramatically. A big jump occurred in the late 1990s which was about the time that New York City *really* made the leap towards becoming a very wealthy city. The researchers and commenters don’t give much credence to the decrease in crime or traffic accidents, but taken in conjunction with the decrease in HIV/AIDS, the case can be made that NYC had a greater life expectancy gap that seems to have been addressed over the past decade. The NYC life expectancy was held down by problems that could be fixed through immediate public policy (both 1. and 2., h/t Marginal Revolution).
3. Federally backed crop insurance schemes induce farmers to plant crops on land that they otherwise wouldn’t plant on.
4. Students at New York’s Stuyvesant High participated in “Slutty Wednesday” yesterday to protest school dress codes. I recall some sort of minor backlash against dress codes at my high school. I stress minor because they never gained traction and certainly never made the New York Times (or our local equivalent). Though that was before Facebook and Twitter existed and before everything became Occupied for the sake of social justice.
5. Conor Friedersdorf on runaway unions in California.