Links: Toni Bentley on “50 Shades,” MFA madness, global climate change, media politics, and more!

* “Fifty Shades of Grey Is an Ode to Female Sexuality, but There’s One Thing Missing” by Toni Bentley, whose amazing and amazingly lascivious book The Surrender I often want to recommend and yet rarely do, for reasons that will probably be obvious to readers of said book.

* “Things I Can Say About MFA Writing Programs Now That I No Longer Teach in One,” though it’s false that “Writers are born with talent” and that people who didn’t start as teenagers are probably doomed. The rest, though, are true, especially this: “If you aren’t a serious reader, don’t expect anyone to read what you write.”

* “Scientists know there are more giant craters in Siberia, but are nervous to even study them,” which may be the most important article you’re going to skip.

* The Robots Are Coming: John Lancaster, brilliantly, on Tyler Cowen’s Average is Over and Brynjolfsson and McAfee’s The Second Machine Age. Both are good but if you’re a non-specialist be biased towards Average is Over.

* “Dave Barry: The Greatest (Party) Generation.”

* “Mercedes Carrera Explains Why Cytherea’s Rape Was Not Covered By The Feminist-Dominated Media.”

* “Are landlords the future global plutocracy?” See also Yglesias, The Rent Is Too Damn High: What To Do About It, And Why It Matters More Than You Think; I find it fascinating that many superficial liberals claim to be concerned about income distributions but also favor heavy land-use controls that exacerbate inequality. One or the other, people!

* “University labour strife underscores cost of tenured academics;” tenure costs much more than its distortionary effects are worth. But I would say that, wouldn’t I?

* “Finding the Dense City Hidden in Los Angeles,” which surprises me too.

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