Don Marti

Sun 30 Sep 2012 08:28:01 AM PDT

Sunday links: crime pays

Rohin Dhar: What Happens to Stolen Bicycles? For all practical purposes, stealing a bike is risk-free crime.

Greg Stevens: Revealed: the grubby world of comment spam. Good intro to how the annoying side of search engine optimization works.

Tracy Earles: FISA cans CAN-SPAM: two major differences between the Canadian and U.S. anti-spam laws. FISA requires that the recipient must have opted-in, and the sender must be able to document that consent.

Timothy B. Lee: The One Government Bureaucracy Richard Esptein Trusts. A top-down bureaucratic process like this is prone to a variety of systematic errors. (Bonus link: A Stack Exchange To Prevent Bad Patents. Also, this article from Kevin Carson covers how to handle companies supported by state intervention: The Left-Rothbardians, Part I: Rothbard)

Lisa Knepper: How Licensing Laws Kill Jobs. Jestina Clayton is the type of entrepreneur we should be encouraging if we want to put more Americans back to work. Instead, the state of Utah shut her down.

William J. Quirk: Too Big to Fail and Too Risky to Exist (via The Feature). Four years after the 2008 financial crisis, banks are behaving more recklessly than ever.

Maggie Koerth-Baker on abuse of the news embargo system: Authors of study linking GM corn with rat tumors manipulated media to prevent criticism of their work.

Prof. Mahmoud El-Gamal: American Muslims, Freedom of Speech, and Cultural Divides. One area that is clearly a point of conflict between current American norms and current Islamic norms pertains to freedom of speech on revered religious figures, and those on both sides who wish to escalate a clash of cultures have been exploiting this point of conflict unrelentlessly.

Timothy B. Lee again: Washington’s Wealth Is About Changing Norms, Not Engaged Rich People. Washington a half-century ago had much stronger norms against public officials becoming influence-peddlers. That meant lobbying firms had much less influence over the legislative process—both because fewer of them were former public officials and because many fewer people still in public office were contemplating second careers on K Street. As a result, lobbying firms couldn’t offer their clients the same bang for the buck they can offer today....