Stop Yelling at Runners for Not Wearing Masks!

Maintaining physical distance is far more effective than a cloth mask for reducing disease transmission. Masks are an important part of reducing spread for people who must be in close proximity to others. They are also an important social signaling device. But when outdoors with proper distance maintained, masks are less necessary.

Rock climbing and the economics of innovation

Because reality has a surprising amount of detail, a quick overview of the many innovations and advances in equipment, technique, travel, and knowledge that were needed before Alex Honnold was in a position to “free solo” El Capitan. Everything builds on everything, and it’s turtles all the way down.

The Myth of the Wealthy Welder

Dissecting a conservative myth that contends middle-America tradespeople can be as or more successful than college-educated city dwellers in the modern economy. In reality trades are rarely lucrative, and the underfunding of public education means that trade schools leave students deeply indebted even as they face a lack of opportunity.

How Game of Thrones Lost Its Way as a Political Drama

I’ve spent the entire last week being upset about this epic television show’s finale, indeed the entire final season. I’ve read dozens of articles, tweetstorms, memes, and hot takes, discussed it with many people. There is a lot I could say, but I’ll just post this one article that sums up some of my key frustrations, and leave it at that.

Slippery When Wet

Elle revisits the “Kayak Killer,” Angelika Graswald. In addition to everything else weird about this story, I’m struck by how much misunderstandings about kayaking contributed to a presumption of guilt. Investigators fixated on a missing drain plug and that she rescued his paddle while ignoring that he was intoxicated, wearing inadequate clothing, sans PFD, in dark, windy conditions, and he hit 40º water.