Links: Book reviews, is learning unpleasant?, the decline of religion, the “Asian squat,” and more!

* “What’s the point of book reviews? The problem with literary criticism in the digital age.” I read reviews but write fewer than I once did.

* Contra to the link in this post, maybe there is a campus free speech crisis.

* And Then There Were Nones: How Millennials’ Flight From Religion is Transforming American Politics.

* “Why Can’t Everyone Do the ‘Asian Squat’?” I’ve been engaged in a multi-year odyssey in an attempt to be able to reliably, regularly perform weightlifting squats, and the attempt has been revealing. Being able to perform standard weightlifting squats seemed like it would be easy, but in actuality it’s been one of these activities that first appears to be as simple as walking across the street yet turns out to be a trek across the country.

* “Why Earth’s History Appears So Miraculous.” Scary, but also important. See also The Three-Body Problem.

* People are using old laptop batteries to build their own versions of Tesla’s Powerwall, which is very cool but also very dangerous. “Don’t do this at home” is actually great advice here.

* “American Adults Just Keep Getting Fatter.”

* “India Is Moving Towards Minoritarian Dystopia, One Community At A Time,” which may be most interesting for its implications outside of India.

* The World of Crime and Punishment,” which makes me want to read it. When I tried reading it when I was younger, Raskolnikov seemed too ridiculous, illogical, and just nuts. Now I have a lot more context for how common those conditions are.

* Is it the case that “The Democrats have become the party of sexual morality?” And other interesting observations about political parties and political history.

* “The Bitter Truth of Learning: it’s Tough, Unpleasant, and Often Pointless.” An underrated point. See also The Case Against Education.

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