Hey. I'm John Coates. I post/comment on anything I find interesting.


Est. Nov. 15, 2007
Fri Oct 17
Like most Copenhageners, I bike because it’s fast and efficient, The Danes Wheel Out Their Bikes as Cars are Eliminated
Wed Oct 15

Conventional wisdom tells us that people are terrible with numbers. But as Kent realized back in the 1950s, we are even worse with words. In one study that Fischhoff co-authored, people had trouble understanding a 30-percent chance of rain. It wasn’t the probability that tripped them up, but the word: rain. Are we talking drizzle or downpour? All day or just part of the day? And over what area, exactly? (Communicating forecasts in Italian is extra challenging. In English, we can use forecast instead of prediction to convey uncertainty. In Italian, there is only previsione, which has a strong deterministic connotation.)

The divine cruelty of what happened in L’Aquila is that when Boschi said that a major earthquake was “improbable,” he was — and remains — correct. But where a career scientist hears the word improbable and knows that rare events do occur, a non-scientist hears improbable as shorthand for ain’t gonna happen.

The Aftershocks — Matter — Medium
Daren’s fendered commuter (by Chapman Cycles)

Daren’s fendered commuter (by Chapman Cycles)

Tue Oct 14
The next thing you’ve got to do is decide which is the Best Beer in the World. Your choices are: Russian River Pliny the Younger, Alchemist Heady Topper, Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout, Whatever the Best Hill Farmstead Thing Is Supposed to Be, 3 Floyd’s Zombie Dust, Some Obscure Belgian Shit That Costs $80 a Bottle, Several Huge Ones I’m Surely Forgetting, or Other. Other is probably your true favorite, but it can be exhausting to justify. Just go with Zombie Dust—it’s the most fun to say. Oskar Blues Old Chub Does Canned Scotch Ale From Colorado Proud
Mon Oct 13
And Stout notes that in the 20 years after 1993, when a change to the tax code encouraged corporations to tie executive compensation to share price, investors in the S&P 500 saw returns that were slightly worse than what they were getting during the 40 years prior. The life expectancy of S&P 500 companies, meanwhile, has been cut dramatically—from around 70 years in the 1920s to 15 years today. Is ‘shareholder value’ bad for business? - Ideas - The Boston Globe
Sun Oct 12
Here the focus is narrow, almost obsessive. Everything that is not absolutely necessary to your happiness has been removed from the visual horizon. The dream is not only of happiness, but of happiness conceived in perfect isolation. Find your beach in the middle of the city. Find your beach no matter what else is happening. Do not be distracted from finding your beach. Find your beach even if—as in the case of this wall painting—it is not actually there. Create this beach inside yourself. Carry it with you wherever you go. The pursuit of happiness has always seemed to me a somewhat heavy American burden, but in Manhattan it is conceived as a peculiar form of duty. Find Your Beach by Zadie Smith | The New York Review of Books
The second biggest change, moving to Gap, was shifting from Europe to America – that was a huge shift – but the biggest challenge of all is the scale of this company: how much you have to dial up to communicate. At Cos my voice could be quite intimate, but that won’t work here. If I want to do pretty, I can’t hint at pretty, I have to exaggerate pretty. Designer Rebekka Bay on reinventing Gap for an ‘anxious, uncertain’ generation | Fashion | The Guardian