Links: Artists, sex, utility, antibiotics, books, hypocrisy, and more!

* From Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen, and thus perhaps more cerebral and less salacious than might be otherwise expected: “Why don’t people have more sex?

* A lesson we have to learn, over and over again: “Not everyone is going to like the thing you made, and that’s okay:”

Consider this, about having perspective on criticism: If you enjoyed making a thing, and you’re proud of the thing you made, that’s enough. Not everyone is going to like it, and that’s okay. And sometimes, a person who likes your work and a person who don’t will show up within milliseconds of each other to let you know how they feel. One does not need to cancel out the other, positively or negatively; if you’re proud of the work, and you enjoyed the work, that is what’s important.Don’t let the fear of not pleasing someone stop you from being creative.

(The main situation in which it’s not okay is when a person acts as a gatekeeper or has the ability to block forward progress if they don’t like your work; this is a major and under-discussed problem in academia.)

* Why don’t French books sell abroad?

* “When We Lose Antibiotics, Here’s Everything Else We’ll Lose Too.” We’re losing antibiotics.

* Randomized Control Trials (RCTs) of Tennessee’s preschool program show that preschool doesn’t appear to improve the later school performance of those enrolled, or much of anything else.

* On the good news front: “Fed up with slow and pricey Internet, cities start demanding gigabit fiber.”

* “Overall, we Americans have a stronger attachment to U.S. dominance than to fair play or anyone’s rights.”

* An interview with the author, essayist and critic Daniel Mendelsohn; this is especially useful:

I think undergraduates should be kept away from Theory at all costs. I don’t think people should be allowed to even hear the word “theory” until they’re doing graduate work—for the very good reason that it’s impossible to theorise about texts before one has deep familiarity with them (not that that stopped anyone in the 1980s when I was in grad school). Undergraduates should be taught to have a clean appreciation of what texts say and how they say them, and learn how to write intelligently and clearly about that. If undergraduates had to have a model of criticism it ought to be popular criticism rather than traditional academic criticism.

* “The Stem and the Flower,” or, the distressing politicization of everyday life.

* This quote does not come from the sort of source you would expect it to come from: “When the history of how the United States became a dystopian, surveillance state is written no one will be able to say that we were not warned.”

* “The Other Side of the Story: When I was fourteen, I had a relationship with my eighth grade history teacher. People called me a victim. They called him a villain. But it’s more complicated than that.” This may tie into the first link in this list.

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