Links: The great melt, the bike, social media and the novel, and more

* “Antarctica Is Melting, and Giant Ice Cracks Are Just the Start.” And: “95-Degree Days: How Extreme Heat Could Spread Across the World.”

* Why is cycling so popular in the Netherlands? Also: Japan shows the way to affordable mega cities.

* Social media and the novel: “Writers thrive on privacy, not on Twitter. What does a world in which our interior lives are played out online mean for the novel?” Still, I’d argue that the amount of our “real” or “interior” selves we put on social media is pretty small. Among people I know really well, I’m struck by the wide gap between what their Facebook presents and what they say over coffee or beer.

* “OnePlus 5 review—The best sub-$500 phone you can buy.” Good news for everyone: Apple has more competition and Android users have a good phone that doesn’t cost as much as or more than an iPhone.

* “Making cities denser always sparks resistance. Here’s how to overcome it.”

* “Why It’s No Longer Possible for Any Country to Win a War.”

* St. John’s college teaches every student the exact same stuff. Interesting. Odd though that they appear to teach no computer science.

* There is a new Charles C. Mann book coming out:

In forty years, Earth’s population will reach ten billion. Can our world support that? What kind of world will it be? Those answering these questions generally fall into two deeply divided groups–Wizards and Prophets, as Charles Mann calls them in this balanced, authoritative, nonpolemical new book. The Prophets, he explains, follow William Vogt, a founding environmentalist who believed that in using more than our planet has to give, our prosperity will lead us to ruin. Cut back! was his mantra. Otherwise everyone will lose! The Wizards are the heirs of Norman Borlaug, whose research, in effect, wrangled the world in service to our species to produce modern high-yield crops that then saved millions from starvation. Innovate! was Borlaug’s cry.


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