Worth Reading 160: Text message

The ‘cost’ bias – Chris Dillow explains how a lot of our understanding of how much something might cost the economy is completely wrong.
The robots are coming – John Lanchester in the LRB on how automation is changing everything around us.
Die Another Eh: What Does It Mean Now That James Bond Is In The Public Domain In Canada? – It’s almost as though copyright law has been set up to be as confusing and stifling of creativity as possible.
American democracy is doomed – Slightly incendiary title for a piece that’s arguing the current structure of American democracy needs to change, but sums up a lot of the problems with how American democracy (doesn’t) work. The problem isn’t having a constitution, it’s having that constitution seen as a near-sacred text that can’t be jettisoned and replaced.
A mayor for all seasons? – Professor Colin Talbot argues that devolution to Greater Manchester and the imposition of an elected Mayor is following the model of previous British government blunders.

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Worth Reading 101: Linkage for beginners

Why Ukip, the Tea Party and Beppe Grillo pose a threat to the mainstream – Anthony Painter looks at the challenge populist movements make to the concepts of liberal democracy. The fuller Policy Network publication of his views is here.
When did you get hooked? – John Lanchester reviews A Song Of Ice And Fire and Game Of Thrones for the London Review of Books.
Jimmy Page, Aleister Crowley and the curse of Eddie and the Hot Rods – A forgotten moment from musical and magickal history.
The ‘Busy’ Trap – Are we too busy keeping ourselves busy to actually do anything useful?
WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Melanie Philips stole my Muslim transsexual baby, forcing me to eat my cat, which gave me cancer – Alex Andreou in the New Statesman asks just what we gain from our ‘raucous’ press.

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Worth Reading 88: Like a rocket

The ‘scrounger’ myth is causing real suffering to many in society – New research reported by the LSE’s British Politics and Policy blog.
Let’s call it failure – If you haven’t yet seen John Lanchester’s LRB piece on austerity, here’s your chance.
Happy Christmas! Here is a flame war in a can – Charles Stross points out certain similarities between two historical figures.
A Bum’s Christmas – Traditionally borrowed from Blood and Treasure, HL Mencken’s short story.
The 5 Worst Ghosts of 2012 – A sceptical perspective on some of the ‘ghost’ stories that the media have pushed this year.

And as it’s the season, tips on how to avoid drunk drivers:

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