Chris Blattman

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Tradle, Russian demographic disasters, writing advice, why economics publishing has hit a new low, and other links I liked

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1. I am loving Tradle (guess the country by its exports–this one took me 5 tries)

2. Clive Thompson’s writing advice: getting a first draft is all about finding ways to trick yourself into avoiding procrastination

When I’ve finally convinced myself to sit down and start writing, I write prose by following four rules. They are:

  • I begin each paragraph with a hyphen.
  • I lower-case the first letter of every sentence.
  • I don’t put a period at the end of a sentence. (A question mark or exclamation point is fine.) Instead…
  • … in lieu of a period, I end each sentence using two forward-slashes, like this //

The upshot is that when I’m writing a first draft, the text looks pretty weird.

…So why exactly does this help me write a first draft?

Because it makes my prose look provisional.

3. This population figure for Russia is wild, from an FT article on the county’s shrinking, aging population (and the fleeing of draft-age populations)

4. Drone-based delivery of blood in Rwanda

5. A simply amazing video of a Univeristy of Western Ontario historian who has been running the longest and most elaborate Dungeons & Dragons game for decades

6. Economics publishing has hit a new low