* A scenario for Google’s collapse. I don’t buy it, but could it have a 10% or 15% chance of being accurate? I get some reader pushback about some links and ideas, so I’ll note again here that I post things that are interesting, intellectually stimulating or novel, and have at least some chance of being true—even if I don’t agree with them.
* The dark side of progress?, among other topics. A rare take and, like the scenario for Google’s collapse, not my main view.
* Mark Zuckerberg Interviews Patrick Collison and Tyler Cowen on the Nature and Causes of Progress. Many topics will be familiar to regular readers, but I’m posting this for the sake of completeness.
* “The Inside Story of Christopher Steele’s Trump Dossier.” Or, the challenges of writing spy/espionage fiction, because the real world is so weird.
* “The Real Class War:” more interesting than its title implies, though it’s missing one key idea: the way we’ve increased housing costs far faster than inflation via land-use restrictions.
* The Resurrection of John M. Ford, the Greatest Sci-Fi Writer You’ve Never Read. Strange timing for this, though, as the new editions don’t come out till 2020 and aren’t available on Amazon.
* Is there a limit to what our brains can understand? I tend to think yes, just based on everyday observation, and based on reading about the Von Neumanns of the world. We still don’t understand much about consciousness.
* “America’s Rivalry With China Is Nothing Like the Cold War.” I’m not totally convinced but the view is well-stated and the evidence is strong.
* Ken Liu and Chinese science fiction. In China literary fiction that touches political issues is mostly forbidden or censored, so the energy needed to make sense of the world flows elsewhere.
* “This Is Why Your Holiday Travel Is Awful.” A history of Penn Station, Robert Moses, and the growth of veto choke points that prevent anyone from doing anything anywhere.
* “Tumblr’s First Year Without Porn.” It went poorly for the site.
* “Oceans running out of oxygen.” Humanity shrugs.