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Here a couple interesting things I read/talked about this week:

Obama Administration is a fan of Behavioral Economics, the idea being that you have to take into account that people are not rational when designing policies.

Read about the book"The end of Overeating" which includes an analysis of how salt, sugar and fat can alter your brain's chemistry.

I myself have observed this to some degree, I've compared the hunger I feel after fasting for 36 hours to the hunger I feel after eating a single salty chip, and the latter is many times stronger. Which was an interesting revelation for me, and likely describes 99.9% of the hunger I have ever felt...

Finally, on the subject of "why do they hate us?" my wife had an interesting observation. I was asking aloud why American culture is so dominant in the world, to which she pointed out that English is spoken in such a wide variety of places that it has the ability to spread cultural "memes" much farther than, say, Mandarin Chinese, which is spoken by more but has produced far less films starring Chevy Chase.

This interested me, I had always kind of thought that American culture spread because of its inherent quality. But what if our culture spreads simply because we drop the most virulent memes into the vast English speaking brain pool?

At that point we look less like supreme artists and more like the parents of that one kid at day care who gave everyone whooping cough, and this helped me understand why some countries might hate us. They may not have met us, but they've seen the floaters we've left in the pool.