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A couple more OMG contingencies the White Paper forgot.  No mention of end-of-civilisation-as-we-know-it death rays at all.

Buildings with forest skins and buildings with algae coatings.  Aesthetic design and saving the planet.

Incompetence as a signalling device.  Fascinating.  It can’t be restricted to the Italian academic world; I’ve seen too many examples elsewhere.  And as noted in the comments, it’s a side effect of the Peter Principle.  (Crooked Timber)

The Beloit College Mindset list for the class of 2013—enter the world of the 18 year olds.

Philip Tetlock reviews three books on predicting the future.  Worth reading.

Brewing brew with 45m year-old yeast (Wired).

Working on maker’s schedules, versus manager’s schedules (H/T Dan Drezner)

Finger painting on the iPhone (New Yorker)

Black Swans and Dragon Kings. (Technology Review)

The architecture of the enemy, including aliens, tends to the gothic, and definitely disturbing when ambiguous (on the excellent BLDGBLOG).

What makes us happy: “That the only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people.”: the key outcome of the Grant Study, a longitudinal study of Harvard men.  The key conclusion of a different longitudinal study, the Glueck Study was that “What we do affects how we feel just as much as how we feel affects what we do.”

Something I’ve been meaning to link to for a while: Ten principles for a Black Swan-robust world.  I particularly like numbers three, five and ten.

Fan reaction to the new Star Trek film (h/t Instapundit)

Evolution and reassortment in flu viruses (NYT)

The strategic effect of conspiracy theories, once believed, in Pakistan (Times)

Walt: how to scare your friends for fun and profit (Foreign Policy)

Paying attention: the myth of multi-tasking (NYT)

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