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Daily Archives: March 2, 2020

It’s OK to feed wild birds – here are some tips for doing it the right way

The Conversation – “Millions of Americans enjoy feeding and watching backyard birds. Many people make a point of putting food out in winter, when birds needs extra energy, and spring, when many species build nests and raise young. As a wildlife ecologist and a birder, I know it’s important to understand how humans influence bird populations, whether feeding poses risks to wild birds, and how to engage with birds in sustainable ways. There is still much to learn about the risks and benefits of feeding birds, particularly through large integrated national citizen science networks like Project FeederWatch. But we now have enough information to promote healthy interactions that can inspire future generations to care about conservation…” [h/t Pete Weiss]

Libraries Could Preserve Ebooks Forever But Licensing Can Make Them Disappear

Gizmodo: “There are currently 342 potential borrowers waiting for 197 digital copies of Ronan Farrow’s investigative thriller Catch and Kill at the Los Angeles Public Library. “It’ll take months for that ebook to become available,” I mutter to myself as I do my usual dance: searching the LAPL’s ebook shelves for titles on my reading… Continue Reading

Algorithms and Contract Law

Scholz, Lauren, Algorithms and Contract Law (August 1, 2019). Cambridge Handbook of the Law of Algorithms, 2019. Available at SSRN: – “Generalist confusion about the technology behind complex algorithms has led to inconsistent case law for algorithmic contracts. Case law explicitly grounded in the principle that algorithms are constructive agents for the companies they serve… Continue Reading

How to build belonging at work (even if you’re not a manager)

FastCompany: “…Creating a workplace where people from varied backgrounds are thriving doesn’t end with the hiring process. Inclusive facilities such as all-gender restrooms and lactation rooms are a massive step forward, but work remains to be done. The final, crucial piece of the puzzle is fostering a sense of belonging across the entire company. Solving… Continue Reading

Survey: Nearly Half of Students Distracted by Technology

Inside Higher Education: “A recent survey found the use of technology in class, such as laptops or phones, for noneducational purposes was distracting to almost half of students, while others surveyed believe technology in the classroom is unavoidable. The study was published in the Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and surveyed 478… Continue Reading

GAO – federal government misspent $175 billion in fiscal 2019

Federal Agencies’ Estimates of FY 2019 Improper Payments – March 2020 – GAO-20-344 – “Agency-reported improper payment estimates for fiscal year 2019 totaled about $175 billion, based on improper payment estimates reported by federal programs, an increase from the fiscal year 2018 total of $151 billion. Of the $175 billion, about $121 billion (approximately 69… Continue Reading

A Review Essay of Escape From Rome

Koyama, Mark, A Review Essay of Escape From Rome (February 25, 2020). Accepted for Publication in The Journal of Economic Literature. Available at SSRN:  – “This essay reviews Escape from Rome by Walter Scheidel. It examines the argument that Europe’s persistent fragmentation following the collapse of the Rome empire is responsible for the origins of… Continue Reading

A nation’s response to disaster speaks to its strength and to its dysfunctions

The Atlantic – Epidemics Reveal the Truth About the Societies They Hit– “..Epidemics, like disasters, have a way of revealing underlying truths about the societies they impact. The Chinese have already paid a high price for the secretiveness of their system, and for the top-down bureaucratic culture that led many, initially, to conceal the disease.… Continue Reading