Links: Drinking, e-mail, grad school opportunity costs, ‘The Entire Ukraine Is a Brothel’

* The educational value of booze. See further The Joy of Drinking.

* How the World’s Most Famous Computer Scientist Checks E-mail Only Once Every Three Months. I shoot for once every two days and often miss. Paul Graham’s “Disconnecting Distraction” is also on point. Before I open my e-mail in box, I try to ask myself, “Will doing so get me paid or laid or make me happier?” The answer is almost always “no.”

* I sympathize with the argument in “Death to high school English,” especially where Brooks says:

Only now, a decade and a half later, after seven years of teaching college composition, have I started to consider the possibility that talking about classics might be a profound waste of time for the average high school student, the student who is college-bound but not particularly gifted in letters or inspired by the literary arts. I’ve begun to wonder if this typical high school English class, dividing its curriculum between standardized test preparation and the reading of canonical texts, might occupy a central place in the creation of a generation of college students who, simply put, cannot write.

Problem is, I’m not sure the structure of high school English is the biggest problem so much as the generally uninspiring teachers in front of the classroom. Paul Graham’s The Age of the Essay is also on point here.

Although I’m in grad school for English lit, I find most capital-C Classics pretty tedious.

* What you can do instead of grad school, good advice. You should also read Robert Nagle’s Straight Talk About Grad School if you haven’t already. I find it more true as I go on.

* “Even as more people are struggling to pay medical bills and being rushed through office visits with their doctors, an elite group with money has another option: exclusive medical care, around the clock and anywhere in the world, including on a yacht or private plane.” Expect this dynamic to increase as insurance worsens and government becomes more tied to health care; this also basically describes how English health care works.

* FBI: If We Told You [All the Nasty Shit We Do, Like Spying], You Might Sue. Which sounds like an excellent reason. . . to sue. And a great ad for the ACLU!

* It’s hard to read about books like “A Billion Wicked Thoughts without thinking that a lot of what we think we know, we don’t.

* ‘The Entire Ukraine Is a Brothel’. Sounds far more entertaining than most protests.

* I’ve started reading Tim Harford’s Adapt, which is interesting so far but makes me worry that he might be going in an Gladwellian direction.

* Among the strangest queries that have brought people to The Story’s Story recently: “teen jeans ass.”

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