* Universal basic income is not feasible. I think it’s a cool idea and it could one day be feasible but isn’t now.
* California and liberalism’s golden dream. Note especially the part about middle-income people fleeing California, which has largely become a state devoted to the very rich and very poor. And the state is busily pursuing land-use policies that reinforce this divide.
* In “What happened to the academic novel?” I quoted the original author as saying, “what happens when reality outpaces satire, or at least grows so outlandish that a would-be jester has to sprint just to keep up?” Now, in “State of Conflict,” we get an absurd story that shows how academic reality outruns academic satire. In it, a nineteen-year-old Nebraska student “set up a folding table on a plaza outside the student union and covered it in pamphlets, stickers, and buttons that said ‘Big Government Sucks!'” In return, “Lawton, a 46-year-old graduate student in the English department… left to make a sign: ‘Just say NO! to neo-Fascism.’ She was so agitated that she misspelled ‘fascism’ and had to start over.” If you are a 46-year old grad student, chances are that something is very wrong. The correct response to a sign one doesn’t like is the typical response: “Most people walked by without a second look.” Lawton didn’t do what typical people do and evidently doesn’t know what fascism is, either, apart from a slur.
* “Learn to Ride: E-bikes are great—as long as people know how to ride them. Here’s how to make sure they’re safe.”
* “Why doesn’t the federal government protect access to affordable housing the way it does access to TV?” A great point I’d never really thought about.