Links: Bitcoin, politics and pessimism, vocational education, censorship, and more!

* The case for political pessimism, which I unfortunately find likely:

But there are deeper reasons why optimism for the political future of the country is unearned. Something profoundly destabilizing is happening to the United States. Trump is a major symptom, and a contributing cause, of it. But it goes far beyond him, to implicate vast swaths of our politics and culture.

* We’re seeing a shortage of skilled trades jobs and an excess of weak bachelor’s degrees. In “Rare good political news: Boosting apprenticeships,” I wrote about how pretty much everyone who teaches college knows there are a lot of students who should be doing something useful that is not college.

* Where should you fear private internet censorship the most? Thinking on this issue has not been so good, from what I’ve seen.

* “Our Trouble with Sex: A Christian Story?” Maybe not, as it turns out.

* “The Difficulties of Running a Sex-Inspired Startup;” article is at Fast Company and thus likely SFW.

* How concrete cemented its place in history.

* Wind and solar power are on track to exceed expectations. Again. Good news!

* “The Fight Against Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Might Start With Vaccines.”

* “Amy’s Drive Thru, America’s First Meat-Free Fast-Food Restaurant Is Getting Ready To Expand.”

* “Bitcoin’s Academic Pedigree: The concept of cryptocurrencies is built from forgotten ideas in research literature.” A fascinating story and largely unknown to me and, I suspect, many others.

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