* Actually, American democracy has faced worse threats than Donald Trump: The golden age of American politics was illiberal, undemocratic, and bloody. Still, success in the past is not a good reason for complacency in the present. There is a good essay collection Tyler Cowen contributed to, Can it happen here?, that I’ll write about at some point.
* How Friends Triggered the Downfall of Western Civilization; I think this essay is satire.
* “Jordan Peterson Is Not the Second Coming.” Seemingly everyone now has a Jordan Peterson thinkpiece and this is Reason‘s.
* Scott Aaronson on the Robin Hanson brouhaha that ought not to be a brouhaha. I’m reminded of Paul Graham’s principle that we ought to look “at what people call ideas they disagree with besides untrue.” If someone calls an idea or person something other than “untrue” or “mistaken,” the person or idea labeled is often worth a second look (“often” is not always!).
* “The Lights Have Gone Out in Caracas.” #socialism.
* How the 50mm lens became normal. Almost anyone who becomes interested in photography buys a cheap-but-good “nifty 50.”
* Is the United States becoming too big to govern? Related to link #1.
* “College may not be worth it anymore,” a point that I’m amazed it’s taken so long to propagate.