What We’re Reading

Working from home:

The benefits of working from home are already well established; according to a 2015 study, employees are 13% more productive when they work from home. It turns out that working from anywhere leads to even greater productivity. Under WFA, patent examiners processed 4.4% more applications than those who merely worked from home. Choudhury then looked at what percentage of patent applications were granted, did some “back-of-the-envelope calculations,” and estimated that the work from anywhere program added about $1.3 billion to the U.S. economy.

Marriage market:

One explanation for the declines in marriage is the putative shortage of economically attractive partners for unmarried women to marry. Previous studies provide mixed results but are usually focused narrowly on sex ratio imbalances rather than identifying shortages on the multiple socioeconomic characteristics that typically sort women and men into marriages.

1904 Olympic Marathon “research”:

The only source of water for the competitors was a well at about the 11-mile mark. James E. Sullivan was a chief organizer of the Olympics, and decided to allow only one water station on the 24.85 mile course of the marathon even though it was conducted in 32 °C (90 °F) heat over unpaved roads choked with dust. His ostensible reason was to conduct research on “purposeful dehydration,” even though dehydration is potentially fatal. The marathon ended with the worst ratio of entrants to finishers (14 of 32) and by far the slowest winning time, 3:28:45, almost 30 minutes slower than the second slowest winning time,

T. Boone Pickens:

Don’t think competition is bad, but play by the rules. I loved to compete and win. I never wanted the other guy to do badly; I just wanted to do a little better than he did.


When people talk about harmful stress — the kind that can affect health — they usually point to big, life-changing events, such as the death of a loved one. A growing body of research suggests that minor, everyday stress — caused by flight delays, traffic jams, cellphones that run out of battery during an important call, etc. — can harm health, too, and even shorten life spans.

Have a good weekend.