Links: Building into the good life, family structure, Red Scare, encryption, and more!

* “Build Build Build Build Build Build Build Build Build Build Build Build Build Build: When California’s housing crisis slammed into a wealthy suburb, one public servant became a convert to a radically simple doctrine.” This is the actual NYT header and sub-head.

* “Was the nuclear family a mistake?” This one appeared in the last links post too, but it’s really good. Also, “What Comes After the Nuclear Family?” I don’t have answers. If the great novels of the 19th and 20th Centuries are about individuals chafing against the confines of communities, will the great novels of this century be about community building, or re-building?

* “Jonathan Haidt, Ezra Klein and the Nature of Wicked Problems.” Arguably we should work on problems that can be solved, like lowering barriers to scientific progress and reforming zoning.

* “Meet the ‘ladies’ of Red Scare, the most gleefully offensive podcast on the internet.” I have listened some and it’s pretty tame; “gleefully offensive” is way too exaggerated.

* Inside Critics’ Circle by Phillipa K Chong review – rickety scaffolding. The review seems much funnier and more useful than the book.

* “The CIA secretly bought a company that sold encryption devices across the world. Then its spies sat back and listened.” A very long story; one lesson may be, “Don’t trust Huawei with telecom infrastructure.”

* Peter Thiel on the new Ross Douthat book: “Back to the Future.”

* The way we read now: another elegy for the novel. I like the first half better than the second. Novels will continue to be written and read as long as things can be said and explored in them that can’t be said or explored in other media.

* A watershed moment for protein structure prediction.

* Mark Zuckerberg’s lost notebooks.

* Could micro-credentials compete with traditional degrees?

* “The new dot com bubble is here: it’s called online advertising.” One could alternately ask, “What do we really know about the effectiveness of digital advertising?” The answer seems to be, “Not much.” The idea that many companies throw away tens or hundreds of millions of dollars annually, and in some cases more, seems barely believable.

* Humanity’s Methane Problem Could Be Way Bigger Than Scientists Thought.

* January was the warmest January on record.

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