links for 2010-08-16

  • 12 words per line: "The ideal line length for text layout is based on the physiology of the human eye… At normal reading distance the arc of the visual field is only a few inches – about the width of a well-designed column of text, or about 12 words per line. Research shows that reading slows and retention rates fall as line length begins to exceed the ideal width, because the reader then needs to use the muscles of the eye and neck to track from the end of one line to the beginning of the next line. If the eye must traverse great distances on the page, the reader is easily lost and must hunt for the beginning of the next line. Quantitative studies show that moderate line lengths significantly increase the legibility of text."
  • Depends on the government: "When we look at systematic historical evidence, instead of individual cases, we find that authoritarianism buys little in terms of economic growth. For every authoritarian country that has managed to grow rapidly, there are several that have floundered. For every Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore, there are many like Mobutu Sese Seko of the Congo."
  • the best answer to the question, "why shouldn't I want to work at google" I've seen so far
    (tags: jobs)
  • "[Schmidt] predicts, apparently seriously, that every young person one day will be entitled automatically to change his or her name on reaching adulthood in order to disown youthful hijinks stored on their friends' social media sites."

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