Marginal Revolution: Berlin is ugly

I like that it’s ugly, because it keeps the city empty and cheap and it keeps away the non-serious. There are not many (any?) splashy major sights. Even the Wall is mostly gone. The way to see and experience Berlin is to do things. The ugliness selects for people who want to enjoy the city’s musical, theatrical, museum, and literary treasures.

Berlin is evidence that most tourists don’t actually care so much about history, culture, and museums, as it is not for most people a major tourist destination, despite having world-class offerings in each of those areas. Mostly tourists like large, visually spectacular sites, or family activities, combined with the feeling that they are taking in culture or seeing something important.

Marginal Revolution: Berlin is ugly

One result of the internet, I think, is that it makes almost everyone smart more eclectic, whether in terms of substance or presentation.

Marginal Revolution: *Create Your Own Economy*, standing on one foot

Tyler Cowen summarizes some of the contents of his new book. Some bits I’m curious about:

2. A new vision for how “autistic cognitive strengths” are a major dynamic element in human history and that includes a revisionist view of the autism spectrum.

3. New ways of thinking about what you’re really good at (and not so good at).

4. A view of why education is much more than just signaling, but why you should be cynical about most education nonetheless.

7. Why the Sherlock Holmes stories are a lot more interesting than most people think.

10. The importance of neurology for unpacking debates about aesthetics, especially when it comes to music.

I finished his Discover Your Inner Economist last week, which was wide-ranging and breezy and smart, just like the blog he co-writes. Looking forward to this new book.

Marginal Revolution: *Create Your Own Economy*, standing on one foot

“The reality is that democracy is a very blunt instrument, and in today‚Äôs environment we are choosing between ways of muddling through. We may hear that the election is about different visions for America‚Äôs future, but the pitches may be more akin to selling different brands of soap.”