1. A while back I wrote:
Cats are widely acknowledged to have won the internet over dogs, which has prompted a lot of explanations as to why. This recent Australian piece argues that lower costs of producing and disseminating cat videos have resulted in a spike of such videos. … This cat lover invokes the cat lovers’ craving of community, humans’ innate tendency to like cats, and a jealousy of their lazy, independent lifestyles. … There are thousands of other articles, each presenting some version of the theories above. I’ve looked around a bit, but I haven’t seen my own theory:
Dog lovers are outside throwing sticks and frisbees. Cat lovers are at home, filming their cats.
On CNN, they advance the same theory:
And that might be the ultimate explanation for why cats are so big on the Web. As enigmatic, homebound individuals with unconventional obsessions, unusual interests and limited social skills, “They have a lot in common with the people who spend the most time on the Internet,” says Joshua Green, vice president of digital strategy at Arnold Worldwide. “The centrality of cats to the digital world is because they have a cultural connection to the people who live there. The fact is, cats are just better nerd pets.”
2. I also wrote:
It is BECAUSE it’s sold that clean water is plentiful: someone makes money collecting dirty water, purifying it, bottling it, and delivering it to your local supermarket where you can pick up a refrigerated bottle for 99 cents. The only reason some people don’t have clean water is because they don’t have money to buy it. To fix the problem of access to clean water, the only workable solution is to make everyone rich enough to buy it at market prices.
Blog-favorite Megan McArdle, writing about the drought in California, agrees:
California’s proposal is far too heavy on top-down regulatory management, and far too light on pricing. … California’s problem is … that its population uses more water than it has to. And the reason people do this is that water in California is seriously underpriced.
Her piece is actually worth reading in its entirety, especially if you think water is the next scarce resource.