I hope you had a good weekend.
Why is Israel So Poor? Israel is a nation with a high level of human capital and moderate wealth. The author points out that Israel is a “low trust” society. It is not often remembered that Israel is arguably the most ethnically diverse developed society in the world, because “Jews” get lumped together into one category by outsiders. Additionally, I think Israel’s geopolitical situation is probably an economic drain. Long term uncertainty is probably does not encourage investment. Why not put your capital to use somewhere safer?
Genes May Overpower Diet in Battle of the Bulge. The title is kind of deceptive, the article is much more nuanced, and puts the focus on gene-environment interaction. Precisely, not everyone has the same effect from the same change in diet. This is why I’ve started to get annoyed by my “paleo fundamentalist” friends (I lean paleo myself, but I’m not a purist). Humans vary, including in their response to diets, and what may work for most may not work for all.
Death of the ‘McMansion’: Era of Huge Homes Is Over. Does even Joel Kotkin like McMansions?
Bangladesh bans enforced Islamic dress code. From what I recall of Bangladesh (last time I visited was 2004) the vast majority of women didn’t cover their hair, but a small minority did don the full-on burqa. I didn’t see many women wearing just a plain headscarf, as is common in Arab countries or among religiously conservative Western Muslims of all ethnicities. Also, I hate the term “moderate Islam.” Something so insipid about it.