Weekend Reads: June 15th, 2018

Trade Deficits, Drones, and the Gig Economy

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The Lifespan of a Lie

Ben Blum | Medium | Retweeted by Andrea O’Sullivan

Philip Zimbardo contributed perhaps the most famous psychology study of all time, the Stanford Prison Experiment. In introductory courses on psychology or crime, students learn that the SPE shows that human behavior is deeply affected by our own social roles and situational circumstances. But a dive into the study’s records tells a different story.


Drone Cops Take Flight in Los Angeles

Geoff Manaugh | The Atlantic’s Defense One | Retweeted by Christopher Coyne

Former Gizmodo Editor-in-Chief Geoff Manaugh takes readers along as he learns about the Los Angeles Police Department’s new Unmanned Aerial System capability. Drone use in law enforcement has been touted as a way to increase safety for officers, yet observers wonder about “mission creep” with such devices.


When Bad Things Happen in Slow Motion

Ivan Amato | Nautilus | Recommended by Tyler Cowen

“About 38 years ago, I was on a road in Pennsylvania. I was sleeping in the back of a car. I woke up. The driver of the car was also asleep … very slowly we hit the guardrail, the car flips into the air, and I can feel in my gut that all of life is going to change.”

Can the brain actually slow down time in situations of peril? Ivan Amato explores the concept of “tachypsychia” with several experts.


The Face of God Is in the Eye of the Beholder, Researchers Say

Corky Siemaszko | NBC News | Tweeted by Brian Knight

How do biases affect the way Americans conceptualize God?


How a Tiny Website Became the Police's Go-To Genealogy Database

Sarah Zhang | The Atlantic | Retweeted by Brent Skorup

Police used a genealogy website to arrest the Golden State Killer, and more departments are starting to make more arrests using the same technology. Sarah Zang discusses the boom in police departments using “GEDmatch.”


Amazon’s Clever Machines Are Moving from the Warehouse to Headquarters

Spencer Soper | Bloomberg | Retweeted by David Beckworth

Automation transformed Amazon warehouses, and now they’re putting their robots to work in Amazon’s headquarters as well.


Don’t Be so Sure the Gig is Up

Liya Palagashvili | The Wall Street Journal | Retweeted by Peter Boettke

Despite a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics study that identified a fall in contract work, Liya Palagashvili challenges the assumption that the gig economy is shrinking.


The Day the ‘Trade Deficit’ Almost Disappeared

Gerard Gayou | The Wall Street Journal | Retweeted by Adam Millsap

In the 1970s, the US government formed a committee of nine economists to find out whether using the term “deficit” to describe aspects of trade could “lead to distorted conclusions about the health of the economy.” What they found still remains relevant in the national debate around trade today.


Tariffs and the Tax Cut

Editorial Board | The Wall Street Journal | Tweeted by Christine McDaniel

Tariffs on imported cars, trucks, and parts will minimize the benefits of the 2018 tax cuts according to the Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board. Projections show that those in the lowest income quintile could lose around 49% of their tax gains as a result.


LegBranch Conversations: An Interview with David Schoenbrod

Philip Wallach | LegBranch Conversations | Recommended by Tyler Cowen

LegBranch Conversations invited David Schoenbrod, Trustee Professor of Law at New York Law School, to discuss the responsibility of Congress to govern and how the Legislative Branch currently operates.