Briefly Noted for 2020-12-12
Briefly Noted for 2020-12-17

Briefly Noted for 2020-12-13

Supreme Court: 'The State of Texas’s motion for leave to file a bill of complaint is denied for lack of standing under Article III of the Constitution’

The Hellenistic Age Podcast: Syrian Nights, Macedonian Dreams

Melissa: My Singing Vegetables

Robert J. Gordon: The Rise & Fall of American Growth: 'The year 1870 represented modern America at dawn. Over the subsequent six decades, every aspect of life experienced a revolution. By 1929, urban America was electrified and almost every urban dwelling was networked, connected to the outside world with electricity, natural gas, telephone, clean running water, and sewers. By 1929, the horse had almost vanished from urban streets, and the ratio of motor vehicles to the number of households reached 90 percent. By 1929, the household could enjoy entertainment options that were beyond the 1870 imagination, including phonograph music, radio, and motion pictures exhibited in ornate movie palaces…

Noah Smith: Why I'm so Excited About Solar & Batteries ‘In the 19th century we switched to coal... in the 20th century we upgraded to oil.... After World War 2, a global extraction regime and price controls allowed us to keep cheap oil flowing. That ended with the Oil Shocks of the 70s. And though oil became cheaper again in the 80s and 90s, it never attained its former lows, or its low volatility. Then in the 00s it got expensive again.... We didn’t get anything better than oil during this time.... More expensive energy makes physical innovation harder in every way.... This stagnation in energy technology almost certainly contributed to the productivity slowdown of the 1970s.... Why didn’t bits fill the gap?... IT did drive the re-acceleration of productivity that began in the late 80s and continued through the early 00s.... But around 2005... that productivity growth faded.... Some have argued that digital services are substantially undervalued in our economic production statistics.... Physical technology is less “skill-biased” than IT, meaning that pretty much anyone can be a factory worker but only a few people can use computers productively and effectively... [or] IT simply touches less of our lives than energy does.... “Bits” innovation sometimes drives fast productivity growth, and sometimes doesn’t.… The cost declines in solar and batteries — and to a lesser extent, in wind and other storage technologies—comprise a true technological revolution.... And there’s no end in sight to this revolution. New fundamental advances like solid state lithium-ion batteries and next-generation solar cells seem within reach, which will kick off another virtuous cycle of deployment, learning curves, and cost decreases…

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