Links: Literacy, novels, where jeans come from, the campus war on free speech, and more!

* Why suburbia sucks.

* “Are we sex-literate? Why we should all be writing more about pleasure.” Maybe.

* “The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru: How Ben Rhodes rewrote the rules of diplomacy for the digital age,” a must-read for readers and writers, and much better than the title may imply. But see also this piece, on the many takedowns of the original piece; my interest is primarily literary, though.

* “How the Jeans Capital of the World Moved from Texas to China.” It is possible to buy jeans made in the U.S., Canada, or Japan, but they tend to be very expensive (e.g. Naked and Famous).

* “Camille Paglia: The Modern Campus Has Declared War on Free Speech.”

* Why Used Electric Car Batteries Could Be Crucial To A Clean Energy Future.

* Like so much else, you will not read “Too little too late: Sheryl Sandberg apologizes for Lean In” on Facebook. Sample: “When I wrote that post I got so many emails that requested confidentiality that said no one can say anything bad about her because Facebook controls the majority of traffic to media sites.”

* “Exploring the Elizabeth line, one of the world’s largest construction projects:” Crossrail is being in London.

* “The miserable French workplace,” which reminds me of Tyler Cowen’s observation that, if you think economics is a bad major, just try to talk to someone who doesn’t know any economics.

* “After LAUSD iPad program failure, Apple’s help spurs ‘success’ in other schools.”

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