* “Fiction, like sex, is messy. It’s complicating. Achieving softness and fluffiness doesn’t seem like much of a substitute.” Alain de Botton is so good. The book he is reviewing sounds less good.
* “Whole Foods’ John Mackey: Why Intellectuals Hate Capitalism,” a question that has interested me as long as I’ve heard English professors’s irrational slams on markets and commerce. “Understanding Elite Discontent” is also good on this subject.
* “New design could finally help to bring fusion power closer to reality.” Commercial-scale fusion would ameliorate numerous political and environmental problems.
* “Take your unwanted dog to a shelter. If you have no other choice euthanize him. PLEASE, PLEASE, don’t “drop him off in the country.” A brutal story, which I’m tempted to quote from.
* “The Nearest Thing to Life by James Wood review – ‘the foremost literary enthusiast of our time.’” The book is excellent.
* “Why Are Millennials So Obsessed With Food? The author Eve Turow argues that a generation’s taste for natural ingredients will shape the future of restaurants, grocery stores, and agriculture.” Still, I’m not convinced the underlying trend is correct; it’s always dangerous to generalize based on friends and acquaintances, but I appear to cook more than anyone else I know, and by a lot.
* The most interesting piece I’ve seen on the Ashley Madison hack, which is by Megan McArdle (the piece, not the hack; at least so far as I know she’s not behind the hack). Perhaps the least surprising point is that the site has almost no women on it. Edit: “Almost None of the Women in the Ashley Madison Database Ever Used the Site” provides more detail, especially how virtually none of the “millions” of supposed accounts created by women had ever checked their internal mail or chat.