Mid-February Links: Twitter, parking, protest and intellectualism, A Wrinkle in Time

* I started a Twitter account that basically doubles as an RSS feed. So if you prefer to be updated about new posts via Twitter, you’ve now got an easy way to do it.

* A Jew in the Northwest: Exile, ethnicity, and the search for the perfect futon. I’m from Seattle, and my experience doesn’t match Deresiewicz’s. Malamud’s A New Life seemed like ancient history to me. I wonder if I have less focus on ethnicity than seemingly every other writer in the universe.

* “How to Fight The Man:”

For generations people have been told: Think for yourself; come up with your own independent worldview. Unless your name is Nietzsche, that’s probably a bad idea. Very few people have the genius or time to come up with a comprehensive and rigorous worldview.

If you go out there armed only with your own observations and sentiments, you will surely find yourself on very weak ground. You’ll lack the arguments, convictions and the coherent view of reality that you’ll need when challenged by a self-confident opposition. This is more or less what happened to Jefferson Bethke. [. . .]

Most professors would like their students to be more rebellious and argumentative. But rebellion without a rigorous alternative vision is just a feeble spasm.

The flipside of the “Concentrate on the moment. Feel, don’t think. Trust your instincts” temperament is a lack of knowledge that leads to ineffectiveness. Balancing rigor and independence is tough.

* The French parenting style; one lesson might be to worry way less, since you can’t control your child’s outcome to nearly the extent you want to imagine you can. See further Bryan Caplan, Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids.

* ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ and Its Sci-Fi Heroine.

* This is a sign of progress, even if it isn’t pitched as such.

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