Links: Abusing the university bureaucracy, democracy, driverless cars, don’t be a writer, and more!

* “Title IX Is Too Easy to Abuse.” Seems obvious, but I’ll repeat it anyway.

* “Politics is bad because we use an 18th century voting system.” Similar to American democracy is doomed.

* “How Trump’s Election Shook Obama: ‘What if We Were Wrong?’“, much more interesting than the usual, especially:

But days later, Mr. Obama seemed less sanguine. “I don’t know,” he told aides. “Maybe this is what people want. I’ve got the economy set up well for him. No facts. No consequences. They can just have a cartoon.”

* “As Uber and Tesla struggle with driverless cars, Waymo moves forward.” Things I had not realized.

* “The Diversity Staff at the University of Michigan Is Nearly 100 People.” I wonder how much diversity that amount of money would buy in terms of raw tuition.

* “How much are words worth?” Though I think this underestimates, dramatically, what many are making; consider e.g. Stratechery, which charges for its newsletter / daily access. Or the many for-profit trade pubs out there. Nonetheless, “Don’t let your kids grow up aspiring to be writers” is good advice.

* What if I’m just a minor writer?

* “Evolution’s Worst Mistake? How About External Testicles?” Article better than the title implies.

* One Reform to Save America.” I’d not heard of the four-party, mid-century concept, but it makes sense. And “There are over 6,000 breweries in America, but when it comes to our politics, we get to choose between Soviet Refrigerator Factory A and Soviet Refrigerator Factory B” is a good point. This is the core of the proposal:

The way to do that is through multimember districts and ranked-choice voting. In populous states, the congressional districts would be bigger, with around three to five members per district. Voters would rank the candidates on the ballot. If no candidate had a majority of first-place votes, then the candidate with the fewest first-place votes would be eliminated. Voters who preferred that candidate would have their second-choice vote counted instead. The process would be repeated until you get your winners.

Sounds like an improvement to me. Political scientists can explain why the current U.S. system doesn’t work (see also the link above).

* “Here’s How Higher Education Dies: A futurist says the industry may have nowhere to go but down. What does the slide look like?” I’d call this speculative; I’ve seen so many essays like it, none of which have come to fruition. This line of argument seemed more reasonable from 2009 – 2013 and seems less plausible today.

* “Pedal power: the rise and rise of cargo bikes in Germany.” I wonder if it’s true or a bogus trend story.

* “Equipment for Living: Losing and recovering oneself in drugs and sobriety.” On psychedelics, ritual, and more.

* “Billions in U.S. solar projects shelved after Trump panel tariff.” The phrase “own goal” comes to mind, for both this and the 2016 election more generally.

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