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Newsroll

A quarterly magazine of urban affairs, published by the Manhattan Institute, edited by Brian C. Anderson.

Where the design community meets.

experiments in refactored perception

  • Arbitrariness Costs

    I’ve long held that civilization is the process of turning the incomprehensible into the arbitrary. The incomprehensible can be scary but the arbitrary tends to be merely exhausting. Unless the stakes are high, such as in paperwork around taxes or passports and visas. Then the exhaustion becomes tinged with anxiety. Either way the steady increase […]
  • Decision Brownouts

    In thinking about decision-making under stress, most people focus on fight-or-flight responses. Both fighting and fleeing are obvious courses of action that inherit a clear sense of direction from the characteristics of the threat itself, and are energized by the automatic mobilization of emergency reserves by an acute hormonal response. It’s barely even a decision, […]
  • News from the Universe

    I did not expect to see auroras in the Seattle area. Or ever in my life without a special bucket-list effort I had no particular intention of making. Though now I might. It feels a bit like I’ve just seen giraffes in the wild without going to Africa. You’ve probably seen some of the thousands […]