Links: Dug decriminalization, what’s wrong with higher ed, HGTV’s uncanny valley, life and context, and more!

* “Top medical experts say we should decriminalize all drugs and maybe go even further.” It seems the current approach is ineffective at best and is more likely to be actively harmful, so a new method is in order. Or, rather, a new-old method, because drug laws didn’t come into being until the late 19th Century.

* “How Harvard helps its richest and most arrogant students get ahead,” more probably, some of what’s amiss in education today. It’s the administration response that seems most outrageous; still, I do think about my own writing, in “Ninety-five percent of people are fine — but it’s that last five percent.”

* “The body’s own fat-metabolism protects against the harmful effects of sugar,” or so it seems.

* “Is your state road system broke? Then hit up. . . the Prius drivers!” An example of misguided policy and failing to think about the bigger picture.

* “Facebook’s Harm Is Taking Life Out of Context.” Seems plausible to me.

* “Is there a Rawlsian argument for redistribution as a form of social insurance?” A brilliant post, do read the whole thing, and note that I have thought this before, albeit phrased differently: “In fact what I observe is people taking the status quo, and its current political debates, as a benchmark of sorts, and choosing sides, yet without outlining the “stopping principles” for their own recommendations.” And I have succumbed to this as well!

* “A 400-year story of progress: How America became the world’s biggest economy.”

* “The Abbie Hoffman of the Right: Donald Trump.” Better than the headlines.

* In Alabama, “Democrats ought to invest in Doug Jones’ campaign against Roy Moore: He’s a longshot, but it’s time to take a stand.” Absolutely. Seemingly no one is attending to this.

* HGTV is a never-ending fantasy loop. Look deeper, and it gets pretty ugly. A weird, fascinating article. I imagine the people on these shows finishing their “perfect” houses, and after the wine is drunk and the camera crew has left, they’re looking at each other, realizing that they don’t even know the person sitting across from them, thinking, “Now what?” What happens when you discover that a house or remodel cannot fill the void in your soul?

* “On Echopraxia by Peter Watts.”

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