June 2021

I spent June in Virginia visiting my family for the first time in 18 months. I showed up right as the Brood X cicadas were getting into full swing and left after they were nearly all gone.

I made a brief trip down to Richmond, which is maybe my favorite city, and I was shocked to see how much it was changing – mostly for the better it seems. There is construction everywhere. Lots that had been empty or occupied by vacant low-rise industrial buildings are being turned into housing. The San Francisco Bay Area feels stagnant in comparison.

Reading

I’ve been slowly making my way through Trading at the Speed of Light by sociologist Donald MacKenzie. It’s about high frequency trading (HFT), and so far it’s been great. MacKenzie lays out all the strange political decisions that have caused HFT to develop as it has – reliant on a connection between Chicago and New York – and the technology that moves information between these cities at almost the speed of light.

This post, Seven things that surprised us in our first year working in policy from the Lead Exposure Elimination Project (LEEP) was excellent, and I contributed after reading it.

The Legion Lonely is a total bummer of an article about men and loneliness, and it’s very good.

Phenomenal World had a solid piece about how the wage share of income dropped for 50 years and how that relates to the Fed’s view of labor.

Listening

June wasn’t a big music month for me, but I came across this song off Samuel Organ’s new album and listened to it a lot.

I’ve been listening to the Brady Heywood Podcast, a podcast about engineering disasters (it’s not the only one on engineering disasters I listen to). I particularly liked this brief episode about the Tacoma Narrows Bridge that discusses how engineering as a profession lost knowledge it had decades earlier: