Eric dP:

I marveled at the New York Times infographic showing how decisively Usain Bolt would have beaten each Olympic medalist in the history of the modern games.

With a growing sense of unease, I followed Anthony Hecht’s advice and read the first-person accounts of Mat Honan and James Fallows getting hacked through their online accounts and losing a huge share of their electronic files.

I enjoyed Matt Yglesias on why a wrap costs more than a tortilla, even though they are exactly the same thing.

Plus, I have two promising items to add to my reading list:

  • Clark:

    Here’s a cool-looking chart: a time series of Wall Street trading volumes, showing the astonishing increase in “High Frequency Trading” by faster and more aggressive computer programs—the consequences of which literally nobody understands.

    And a cool car-sharing infographic.

    Scientists develop a “Dow Jones”-style index for ocean health.

    Apparently, music works like a drug: it stimulates the brain’s production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that plays an outsized role in both reward-driven learning and addiction.

    Meaghan:

    Earlier this week, in a New York Times op-ed, Benjamin Hale, University of Colorado philosophy professor wrote about a phenomenon he calls the “veil of opulence.”

    According to Hale:

    Those who don the veil of opulence may imagine themselves to be fantastically wealthy movie stars or extremely successful business entrepreneurs. They vote and set policies according to this fantasy.

    He goes on to explain the effects of this in contrast to the established philosophical concept of the “veil of ignorance:”

    The veil of opulence would have us screen for fairness by asking what the most fortunate among us are willing to bear. The veil of ignorance would have us screen for fairness by asking what any of us would be willing to bear, if it were the case that we, or the ones we love, might be born into difficult circumstances or, despite our hard work, blindsided by misfortune.

    It’s an insightful and interesting read.