Links: “The Girlfriend Experience,” Hilarious book reviews, “The Red Pill,” oil and climate change, and more!

* The Girlfriend Experience: A show based on Steven Soderbergh’s movie tries to tell a new kind of story about sex and female empowerment.” This is the best of the reviews / discussions about the show, which has generated a lot of smart-ish essays.

* “He Got Greedy,” a crazy story.

* “Review: ‘Maestra,’ a Novel of Sex, Murder and Shopping.” The review sounds more entertaining than the novel:

Advances in publishing industry marketing have allowed G. P. Putnam’s Sons to bring forth “Maestra,” a pornographic shopathon travelogue thriller that has billionaires, art world scheming and a sociopathic heroine who can unfasten belt buckles with her tongue. It should go without saying that this book is part of a trilogy, is headed for the movies and has created a stir in countries where it has already appeared. As one reader reasonably put it on’s website: “This book’s pomposity is unbelievable and the sex is ludicrous. Will sell millions.” Right now its sales on that site are sinking, and it’s selling only decently. But point taken.

* Swallowing the Red Pill: The online community hosted on Reddit is where men go to air views about women,” an article with a bad frame but that can be interestingly read between the lines. See also “The appeal of ‘pickup’ or ‘game’ or ‘The Redpill’ is a failure of education and socialization” and “Confessions of a Pickup Artist Chaser.”

* “ Oil industry knew of ‘serious’ climate concerns more than 45 years ago.” Then again, we, the public, have known for decades, and have done nothing. But scapegoating is appealing.

* “The Absurd Primacy of the Automobile in American Life: Considering the constant fatalities, rampant pollution, and exorbitant costs of ownership, there is no better word to characterize the car’s dominance than insane.” The most important piece you won’t read today. I just got back from L.A. and L.A. feels insane: a supermassive city built for cars.

* “Glaciers and sex: On the academy’s latest folly,” concerning the bad writing infesting academia. I used to cite examples of awful academic writing, but somewhere along the way I realized that almost no one cares.

* “Why There’s Hope for the Middle Class (With Help From China).”

* “Love in the Time of Monogamy,” a review of the recent evolutionary biology literature.

* On John Colapinto’s novel Undone; I ordered a copy.

* “The Senate’s criminal justice reform repeats one of the worst mistakes of the war on drugs;” depressing: “The Senate’s bipartisan criminal justice reform bill, spearheaded by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), suggests at least some federal lawmakers have truly learned nothing from the failures of the war on drugs.”

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