Weekly Digest 5/17/18

Scott Alexander on basic income vs. basic jobs – Long read about why universal basic income is better than a basic jobs guarantee; UBI provides better incentives, less bureaucracy and helps those most in need. Must read.

Felix Salmon on the philanthropic mindset of many tech billionaires – I think Salmon’s generalization of tech billionaires is too facile but his article does raise interesting questions about philanthropy. Is it better to balance the playing field for the billions already living or to create the conditions so that many more billions can be born? Is it better to focus on moonshots or the incremental change?

Kelvin Stott on the pharma industry – Stott says that the return on investment has been declining for the past 20 years and will soon reach 0% due to diminishing returns. Furthermore, the industry will start to decline within a few years and will have to adapt to the new environment in order to survive. Not sure how to reconcile this article with all the articles about the pharma industry overcharging for drugs and making massive profits.

Bill Simmons interviewing Ethan Hawke – Skip the first 23 minutes if you’re not interested in hearing about sports. The interview goes into the Before Trilogy (best trilogy ever), being on the set with Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke’s early career and more.

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