A few things worth reading

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Since a few people suggested they were interested in me still blogging I thought I would keep doing it periodically. And providing a list of things I think are worth reading every once in a while might be of use to some people (God knows why). So here goes.

The always excellent Vaclav Smil on the major trends in global energy. Read it here.

I have been reading a lot of David Simon, writer of The Wire, lately.

His talk at the Sydney Festival Ideas is a brilliant indictment of modern economic practises. Watch it on Youtube.

And on why newspapers should erect paywalls if they are to preserve quality journalism. A subject Simon is excellent on. Here and here.

A few books.

Why is the world powered by fossil fuels? E.A. Wrigley’s book “Energy and the English Industrial Revolution” provides some good answers, and provides some interesting historical perspective on the limits of bio-energy. Buy it here.

Marc Levenson’s The Box is a fascinating look at the history and importance of container shipping. Though it will leave a certain type of reader wanting more, due its lack of quantitative analysis. Buy it here.

There is nothing worse than bullshit. And Francis Wheen skewers all sorts in his wonderful book How Mumbo Jumbo Conquered The World. Particularly enjoyable is his chapter on that most awful of 20th century inventions: post-modernism. Get it here.

A film

Chasing Ice. I have a part time interest in photography and this documentary about The Extreme Ice Survey is both interesting, and at times quite powerful. It also has a song by Scarlett Johansson over the closing. (She sings?) Get it here.