1. The wisdom of Ben Casnocha, as expressed in tweets. My favorite: “If you really understand something, you can: 1) explain it using a clear metaphor and 2) explain the strongest counter-argument to the idea.”
Also, the best description of decision making in a capitalist economy I’ve ever read: “When choosing aisle or window seat on plane you need only ask yourself one question: Do I go to the bathroom more or less than avg person?” Assumes equality of initial distribution, of course.
4. Why didn’t the British Empire industrialize it’s colonies? Many people believe that the British people (as opposed to the elites) didn’t actually benefit from the Empire. Industrializing would’ve allowed greater resource extraction. “one reason why the empire was possible was that it provide[d] a psychic rent to the British population as a whole…..this psychic rent permits greater inequality at home than otherwise would have been tolerable.”
5. Great advances in science 2012. I was disappointed by the DNA photo. The fault is mine.