Assorted links

by on January 12, 2009 at 11:32 am in Web/Tech | Permalink

1. Laura Miller's pieces for Salon.com.

2. The increasing use of German words in English; is it just the financial crisis?

3. One moderately fast reader.

4. The good economic news.

5. Via Jim Swofford, do avatars consume as much electricity as do Brazilians?

6. Markets in everything; the usual, etc., nothing new here.

StreetWalker January 12, 2009 at 11:58 am

Tyler, the avatar link seems broken. But when found, I think the issue is simply that Linden Labs runs some very energy-inefficient servers. Newer server technology can save considerable energy.Many in tech is talking about energy efficiency now.

BeckySharp January 12, 2009 at 12:38 pm

All, What would the contract look like for the markets in everything auction?

Tyler Cowen January 12, 2009 at 12:53 pm
Greg January 12, 2009 at 1:04 pm

So if this is moderately fast reading, what’s very fast reading?

Andy January 12, 2009 at 2:14 pm

And I thought my 125 books last year was a lot…

dearieme January 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm

We’ve had competitions for any word imported from German (modern German) that is for an unambiguously Good Thing. We’ve been offered only two – delicatessen and kindergarten. Come on, chaps; rise to the challenge.

Barbar January 12, 2009 at 4:36 pm

You know what’s really meaningful? That the French lack a word for entrepreneur.

Joshua Holmes January 12, 2009 at 6:43 pm

The spelling commission thing is a good idea, but several things are wrong:

* W and V should remain separate, since they mark separate sounds.

* Th and Z should remain separate, since they mark separate sounds. Actually, Th marks two sounds, the voiced and unvoiced. If anything, we should reintroduce the letters eth and thorn to mark those sounds, or spell one as Th and the other as Dh.

* Double consonants are important, since they can tell you that the previous syllable’s vowel is short instead of long. That rule should be extended, not abolished.

ogmb January 12, 2009 at 6:53 pm

Josh, mezinks you missed ze joke.

Anonymous January 12, 2009 at 9:29 pm

It’s not that Second Life uses inefficient servers; it’s just that their servers need to use a lot of CPU time (unlike, say, your average web server which is mostly just doing I/O).

Icelandic has also contributed a financial-crisis word: kreppa, which might make the jump to English around the time our economy is in the same state as theirs.

Elliot January 13, 2009 at 1:43 am

Has anyone thought to compare the CO2 output of an avatar to that of the standard metabolic output of a human?
After a bit of searching, I found a rough calculation for the daily output of the average human, which is 3.149kg of CO2 per day, here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/3611885/Take-the-car-and-save-the-planet.html

So, if one follows the math, a human puts out 1.598 tons of CO2 per year, while an avatar puts out 1.17 tons. As interesting as this may be, it is essential to keep in mind that CO2 produced by humans was already in circulation, as it were, having originated ultimately from sugars fixed by plants, while the avatar added 1.17 tons that were not in circulation previously.

dearieme January 13, 2009 at 11:56 am

@Jody: “waltz” – excellent.

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