Links: Political dissidents in the news, Lockwood on Updike, boredom and revolution, pricing, and more!

* “He Never Intended To Become A Political Dissident, But Then He Started Beating Up Tai Chi Masters.” On China and many other topics.

* Patricia Lockwood on John Updike, which is much better than I thought it’d be (like Updike she does great sentences), and the title, “Malfunctioning Sex Robot: Updike Redux” is funny too. But there’s still too much air-of-superiority-don’t-we-all-agree-about-everything.

* We’re on the cusp of radical change in agriculture? Maybe.

* Where a lot of PC ideas come from.

* Xu Xiaodong Never Intended To Become A Chinese Political Dissident, But Then He Started Beating Up Tai Chi Masters. Much funnier than you might think. All the Cold War novels of dark repression comedy are becoming or have become relevant again.

* Death By 1,000 Clicks: Where Electronic Health Records Went Wrong. I do a lot of work for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and hang out with a lot of doctors. Just about all doctors and healthcare people hate FQHCs. EHRs also seem to have the same problem as a lot of enterprise and education software: people who choose the software are not primary users of the software and thus judge it differently than primary users.

* How do we move the needle on progress? Many of the themes will be familiar to regular readers.

* The end of sex? Not something commonly seen and also something some of you aren’t going to like.

* The China Cultural Clash. Better than the other pieces on this issue.

* “Sea ‘Boiling’ with Methane Discovered in Siberia.” Expect a lot more of this as global warming accelerates. Also, Fracking boom tied to methane spike in Earth’s atmosphere. We are not working hard enough on nuclear energy.

* How not to be alone.

* Nasa works hard to get probes to land on Mars.

* Pricing niche products: Why sell a mechanical keyboard kit for $1,668?

* “The Deadly Boredom of ‘A Meaningless Life’.”

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