Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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States as Incubators

In response to a post from Matthew Cooper over at The Atlantic about the possibility of the FDA overseeing the tobacco industry, Crooked Timber examines the economics of the world’s smoking bans.

While all of that is quite interesting, it was the following quote from The Atlantic that I found fascinating. In response to the incredible popularity of smoking bans after New York City instituted theirs in 2004, Cooper writes, “Consider it part of the beauty of federalism. The small ideas that incubate in laboratories of democracy, as the former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously called the states, have grown wildly.” While this may be a well known idea, I had never really thought of states as the incubators for new ideas that may move up to a national level. Very interesting.

June 14, 2009