* Dell Opens Up About Its Linux Efforts And Project Sputnik. I gotta say, though, Dell’s website and comparison tools are insanely confusing. I feel like there has to be a better way. Like Apple’s way.
* How Europe learned to fear China. Too late, it seems.
* “Breaking up Big Tech would be a big mistake.” The problem is less with the companies involved than in us, the users.
* The anatomy of online dating has been revealed in unprecedented detail. Much of what’s been found is politically incorrect but simultaneously obvious. Also, “Attraction Inequality and the Dating Economy.” Does this sound familiar? In 2014 I wrote The inequality that matters II: Why does dating in Seattle get left out?“, and it stands up well today.
* “In L.A., Birthplace of Sprawl, Homes on Transit Fetch More.” Why would they not? Driving sucks and parking is expensive (not always in directly monetary terms, either).
* “Michel Houellebecq: Prophet or Troll?” Not the best essay and full of undergraduate errors, but parts resonate.
* “The Need That Democrats Aren’t Addressing: Candidates must challenge the public to give, not just promise the public more of what it gets.” This is consistent with my read. Likewise “How Not to Lose to Donald Trump.” A lot of what I read and hear in the media plays well to California and New York and academia and almost nowhere else, despite the fact that the vast majority of electoral college votes are in those other places.
* Linus Torvalds on social media (majority of the interview covers other topics, but I like his rant):
I absolutely detest modern “social media”—Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. It’s a disease. It seems to encourage bad behavior.
I think part of it is something that email shares too, and that I’ve said before: “On the internet, nobody can hear you being subtle”. When you’re not talking to somebody face to face, and you miss all the normal social cues, it’s easy to miss humor and sarcasm, but it’s also very easy to overlook the reaction of the recipient, so you get things like flame wars, etc., that might not happen as easily with face-to-face interaction.
This rant is consistent with Cal Newport’s book Digital Minimalism. A lot of people seem to be living crappier lives than they otherwise would due to social media.
* “The Corruption of the Republican Party.” I’d like to see a better Republican and Democratic party, as you can probably tell from this batch of links. If you identify too much with one party or the other, you are probably not thinking for yourself enough.
* Philip Pullman on loosening the chains of the imagination. We seem to be tightening those chains.
* A striking, unusual reading of modern British life, although it is not framed that way.
* The new, good decaf, yet it can’t get any respect. Dare I admit I like it?
* A college president stands up for academic freedom. That this is notable, is depressing.
* Why we stink at tackling climate change. I’ve gotten reader pushback regarding stories about technological ways to ameliorate climate change. While I get the pushback, the current trajectory seems to be, “Let’s not do much of anything,” which has problems of its own.