* How did art become irrelevant? Jeff Sypeck’s answers for poetry. Read it! I’d emphasize that pop music has assumed everyday poetry’s place in the culture. Highbrow academics who study poetry often haven’t realized as much, or choose not to recognize what’s happening on the ground. Poetry is out there but it isn’t mostly in books and it isn’t about the things academic critics find important.
* “Daggers Drawn:” literary critics used to have opinions and knowledge. They’ve since gone feckless. Which may explain why I write some of the reviews I write.
* Road kill: Despite improvements, driving in America remains extraordinarily dangerous. That about 30,000 Americans die in car accidents every year is one of my favorite fun facts for discussions about threats, dangers, urban planning, and so forth.
* “Teenager’s Jailing Brings a Call to Fix Sex Offender Registries,” a point that seems completely obvious to anyone paying attention. I wrote about a similar issue in footnote to this GWC post.
* “Why we’re so scared of GMOs, according to someone who has studied them since the start;” the fear is pervasive yet irrational and actually dangerous, especially for the food security of developing countries. We need another Green Revolution and this is the only real way forward.
* “A Book Buyer’s Lament,” something I feel keenly.
* Energy, by Sam Altman, a hard problem.
* “Lab Rats: How the Misogyny Police and Sloppy Journalists Smeared a Top Scientist: When “fauxminist” outrage over a minor faux pas can ruin a Nobel winner’s career, this is not good for women, for science, or for the culture.”