Monday Assorted Links

1. Trump loyalist Matthew Whitaker was counseling the White House on investigating Clinton. 

“Whitaker’s open sympathizing with Trump’s frequent complaints about the Mueller investigation resulted in an unusually close relationship between a president and a staffer of his level. The president met with Whitaker in the White House, often in the Oval Office, at least 10 times, a former senior administration official told me. On most of those occasions, Sessions was also present, but it’s unclear if that was always the case.”

The President lied?

2. American Meritocracy Is Killing Youth Sports.

“Norway’s youth-sports policies are deliberately egalitarian. The national lottery, which is run by a government-owned company called Norsk Tipping, spends most of its profit on national sports and funnels hundreds of millions of dollars to youth athletic clubs every year. Parents don’t need to shell out thousands to make sure their kids get to play. And play is an operative word: Norwegian leagues value participation over competition so much that clubs with athletes below the age of 13 cannot even publish game scores. Remarkably, teams that release their scores online can face expulsion from the Norwegian confederation of sports.

It might seem like any country’s athletic prowess would atrophy under such socialist and anticompetitive policies. Instead, Norway is an athletic juggernaut. In the last Winter Olympics, the country won 39 medals—the most of any country in the history of the Games and nearly twice as many as the United States. It did so with a smaller population than Minnesota’s.”

Interesting throughout.

3. Why I stopped wearing a bike helmet.

“Riders in the United States wear helmets more than anywhere else and yet get killed more frequently than in any other Western nation. In fact, in countries like Denmark and Netherland, where the fewest riders strap on helmets, fatal crashes are incredibly infrequent.

If that inverse relationship seems surprising, let me break it down for you: Having quality infrastructure and a culture that respects safety will impact exponentially more lives than insisting that riders wear helmets. Trying to solve the problem of vulnerable cyclists with helmets is like trying to reduce the number of fatalities in school shootings by making students wear bulletproof vests. It’s not actually solving the problem.”

4. We Have to Save the Planet. So I’m Donating $1Billion.

“I have decided to donate $1 billion over the next decade to help accelerate land and ocean conservation efforts around the world, with the goal of protecting 30 percent of the planet’s surface by 2030. This money will support locally led conservation efforts around the world, push for increased global targets for land and ocean protection, seek to raise public awareness about the importance of this effort, and fund scientific studies to identify the best strategies to reach our target.”

5. What’s the most influential book of the last 20 years?

 

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