Happy 01-11-10, folks. First time we’ve seen a palindrome date in that format since October 22, 2001, if I have my math right. Ain’t numbers fun? Here’s this week’s news:
- Isaac’s done (with directing for a living, that is). In related news, Newsweek notices the burgeoning pro-am movement.
- Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:
- Only in China: a ginormous “City of the Future” called, of all things, Ordos, has been built entirely with government funds in the middle of nowhere and has almost nobody living in it. But hey, all that construction keeps the GDP numbers high…
- Michael Rushton points us to this story from Der Spiegel about Hamburg, where artists are resentful that real estate developers are trying to make money off of them. Believe it or not, this is progress: at least the developers acknowledge that thar’s gold in them thar artists. Meanwhile, Don Hall sez we should be subsidizing real estate for small artistic productions.
- Major coolness: an interactive map of Netflix rentals by movie popularity and ZIP code. Someone needs to run the numbers on the correlation between the average Metacritic score of the top 10 movies in each ZIP code and that ZIP code’s median household income, stat.
- Sounds like Barry has some blockbusters in store for us in 2010. I’m not sure I know of another blogger who plans out his entire year of posts in advance.
- This week’s BLOGGER ON FIRE is Bob Hughes from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, writing on the CEP Blog. Check him out.
- Stephanie Evans wonders whether the arts can take some credit for the economic impact of “Avatar.”
- Via CEOs for Cities, Seth Godin apparently thinks libraries are done, since they “can’t survive as community-funded repositories for books that individuals don’t want to own.” Instead, he thinks they should become something akin to educational institutions, training people to take intellectual initiative. I’m not sold. Intellectual initiative is great, don’t get me wrong, but I do believe there is a place in life for those one-of-a-kind reference materials that someone, someday, is going to find useful – just as I believe that there’s a place for art that may have negligible relevance to the masses but a deeply powerful impact on a select few.
- A lot of people are trying to figure out why the arts don’t connect with more people. Does it all just come down to this in the end?
People who have had moving arts experiences know that we’re worth supporting. People who have not don’t know what the fuss is all about.
In recent research, University of Washington economists Yoram Bauman and Elaina Rose found that economics majors were less likely to donate money to charity than students who majored in other fields. After majors in other fields took an introductory economics course, their propensity to give also fell.
University of Wisconsin sociologists Gerald Marwell and Ruth Ames, in a 1981 paper, found that in experiments, economics students showed a much higher propensity to free ride than other students. In questioning after the experiment, the sociologists found that for many of the economics students, the concept of investing fairly “was somewhat alien.”