Links: Wealth tax failures, information flow, genius and obsession, bad romance, and more!

* “France Tried Soaking the Rich. It Didn’t Go Well.” Try to focus on substance and effectiveness of proposals, not how they make you feel or what signals you think they might communicate.

* Defecting Chinese spy offers information trove to Australian government.

* Paul Graham’s bus ticket theory of genius.

* Psilocybin for Major Depression Granted Breakthrough Therapy by FDA

* U.S. Tech Companies Prop Up China’s Vast Surveillance Network.

* Bad romance, a long and well-reported piece on the bizarreness of the National Inquirer.

* How single men and women are making politics more extreme.

* “Indiana Wesleyan Student Kicked Out of Honors College for Questioning Cultural Appropriation: Bias incident reports, safety concerns, and harassment charges, all because of a slightly trollish Facebook post.” Remember when universities were about debating ideas? You probably do remember my post about journalists and academics as modern-day clerics, persecuting modern-day heresy.

* “System76 Will Begin Shipping 2 Linux Laptops With Coreboot-Based Open Source Firmware.” It is striking how many people make noise about privacy and freedom online versus how many take concrete, simple steps to improve those things.

* “
Why Are College Students So Afraid of Me?
Because adults at places like Bucknell and Holy Cross have convinced them they are oppressed.”

* Popcorn’s multi-sensory appeal.

* U.S. birth rate falls for 4th year in a row: “A final tally of babies born in the U.S. last year confirms that the birth rate fell again in 2018, reaching the lowest level in more than three decades.” It’s hard to see this as a sign of optimism. We need to decrease housing costs by building a lot more housing, yet we’re not doing that.

* China’s growing threat to academic freedom.

* Napoleon Chagnon Is Dead: What academe’s shameful treatment of him tells us about truth and ethics now.

* How real chocolate gets farmed and made. Most chocolate that’s heavily marketed is bad.

* “Our Planet May Be Barreling Toward a Tipping Point.” In the meantime, we can’t even execute climate-friendly strategies like removing urban height limits and parking minimums, or building low-emission nuclear power plants.

* The bottleneck in US higher ed.

* Jeff Sypeck on the vogue for political rigidity in “young adult” novels, among other topics, including cultural change over time. Being into comic books used to be seen as weird and undesirable, for example?

One response

  1. I want to point out that Piketty himself is specifically in favor of a global wealth tax and, at least as of when he wrote Capital, he was lukewarm on national wealth taxes, for exactly the reasons listed in the article.


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