Illustration for article titled Obscure sorrows, fake crowds, a machine rescued, anti-racism economics, DC cyberattacks

1. The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.

"occhiolism, n. the awareness of the smallness of your perspective, by which you couldn’t possibly draw any meaningful conclusions at all, about the world or the past or the complexities of culture, because although your life is an epic and unrepeatable anecdote, it still only has a sample size of one, and may end up being the control for a much wilder experiment happening in the next room."


2. American football team simulated crowd noise. Other teams mad.

"The Atlanta Falcons have been stripped of a 2016 draft pick for using artificial crowd noise at home games. They have also been fined $350,000 (£236,000) and their team president Rich McKay has been suspended from the competition committee for three months. The Falcons played noise into the Georgia Dome during the 2013 and 2014 seasons in order to disrupt opposition teams calling plays in the huddle."

3. A massive tunnel boring machine stuck beneath the streets of Seattle has finally been rescued.

"On March 31, Bertha slowly rose out of the ground, suspended by seven miles of cable. The crane also had to delicately flip the cutter head on its back, so that its flat face could be set on the ground. 'Meanwhile, behind the scenes, welders already were adding reinforcement steel rods and plates, to stiffen Bertha’s front end,' writes Mike Lindbloom of the Seattle Times. 'The old bearing will be replaced with a heavier one that needs support, and Hitachi may well have decided to make the drill stiffer, as a margin of insurance against future trouble.'"


4. The economic impact of the reduction of sexism and racism since 1960 has been huge.

"In 1960, 94 percent of doctors and lawyers were white men. By 2008, the fraction was just 62 percent. Similar changes in other highly-skilled occupations have occurred throughout the U.S. economy during the last fifty years. Given that innate talent for these professions is unlikely to differ across groups, the occupational distribution in 1960 suggests that a substantial pool of innately talented black men, black women, and white women were not pursuing their comparative advantage. This paper measures the macroeconomic consequences of the remarkable convergence in the occupational distribution between 1960 and 2008 through the prism of a Roy model. We find that 15 to 20 percent of growth in aggregate output per worker over this period may be explained by the improved allocation of talent."


5. The nation's capital may not be prepared for an attack on its electronic infrastructure.

"More than a year after homeland security advisers urged the nation's capital to take action to counter significant cybersecurity risks, District of Columbia officials have yet to implement the recommendations and might not create a contingency plan for a catastrophic cyber attack as the panel advocated, according to Chris Geldart, director of the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency."


On Fusion: Tech companies are sending your secrets to crowdsourced armies of low-paid workers.

Today's 1957 American English Usage Tip:

dolce far niente. 'Delightful idleness.'

The Credits

1. | Yizus A. Rangel 2. 3. 4. | @noahpinion 5.


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