L.A. writer on commerce & culture, @BV columnist. New book is THE POWER OF GLAMOUR. Also wrote THE FUTURE AND ITS ENEMIES and THE SUBSTANCE OF STYLE.

Too Many Public Works Built on Rosy Scenarios: Virginia Postrel

bloombergview.com — "Infrastructure" may be one of the least glamorous words in the English language, but with the right touch the concrete and steel of roads, bridges, tunnels, dams and railroads can look as alluring as a movie star.

"Riots" by Virginia I. Postrel and Jacob Sullum, Reason, July 1992

3D printing the ancient sculpture spinning thread.

slate.com — The Venus de Milo is a paradox: the embodiment of beauty, yet disfigured. And she is a puzzle, gazing serenely at something we cannot see, something once held, we assume, by her missing arms. "La Vénus de Milo est un mystère," declared the French archaeologist Salomon Reinach in a 1890...

Chipotle Removes GMOs to Show It Cares

bloombergview.com — Offering customized dishes and generous portions, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. has become the new touchstone of American fast-food dining. Everyone from jeans makers to new restaurant concepts want to be " the Chipotle of" their specialty. Chipotle is the place Hillary Clinton stopped for lunch and where President Barack Obama got caught reaching over the sneeze guard.

Breaking Moore's Law? Does Not Compute

bloombergview.com — Can a relatively minor change in a single company's pricing strategies distort our picture of what's happening in the economy? Yes, if the company is Intel Corp. Semiconductors are what economists call a " general purpose technology," like electrical motors. Their effects spread through the economy, reorganizing industries and boosting productivity.

Target's Lilly Pulitzer Boom and Bust

bloombergview.com — When Target Corp.'s website went offline early Sunday morning, under pressure from the demand for its Lilly Pulitzer capsule collection, and its stores were quickly picked bare by frenzied shoppers, consumers were frustrated. The company issued an apology. "We realize there is an extreme amount of excitement around this collaboration, and we apologize for any disappointment this may have caused," it said.

How the Easter Bunny Got So Soft

bloombergview.com — Easter bunnies aren't what they used to be. The plush toys that line store shelves this time of year are cheaper, often safer, and much, much softer than in bygone days. They represent a small, squishy example of a pervasive phenomenon: goods whose quality has improved gradually but significantly over time, without corresponding price increases and with little recognition in the public imagination.

From Weddings to Football, the Value of Communal Activities

nytimes.com — WHAT do weddings, the Super Bowl, presidential inaugurations, graduation ceremonies and political rallies like those that took place in Washington last week have in common? They're all communal activities, with lots of emotional and symbolic content. But they can also serve a rational purpose, argues Michael Suk-Young Chwe, an economist in the political science department at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Delta’s Oil Refinery Plan Flies Against Economic Sense

bloomberg.com — April 20 (Bloomberg) -- When I saw that Delta Air Lines Inc. is negotiating to buy an idled Pennsylvania oil refinery in hopes of saving money on its fuel bill, I had a flashback to July 7, 1981. Back then, I was an intern in the now-defunct Philadelphia bureau of the Wall Street Journal, and DuPont Co.

Glamour and the Striding Woman: The Evolution of an Icon

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May 04, 2015

Mad Men fans who didn't recognize Roger's gift to Peggy, here's some background buff.ly/1Pjcz00 It's as though Leonardo did porn.

May 04, 2015

.@seattle_d I will admit that I thought of surveillance first.

May 04, 2015

RT @GabrielRossman: @vpostrel Of course I have that option because I was hired on a departmental line, not true of people in the piece

May 04, 2015

RT @GabrielRossman: @vpostrel I can totally sympathize w this, turned down a courtesy appointment in sister discipline bc I don't want to do more service

May 04, 2015

This @FedEx truck has been parked on my street for at least 2 hours. What's up w/ that? pic.twitter.com/B96bOvwbav

May 04, 2015

Recalling @Reason's 2010 "Draw Muhammed" contest, @nickgillespie opines on why the thug's veto must be fought. buff.ly/1IGww1a

May 04, 2015

Fun @CalSunday piece on how George Ellery Hale's backyard observatory was restored. I remember when it was for sale. buff.ly/1zt94ST

May 04, 2015

Unintended consequences: How joint appointments in ethnic studies hurt minority profs' careers ("service loads") buff.ly/1PitmjV

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