Links: History of computing companies, marginalia, Orwell, demographics, computers, and more!

* Compaq and coronavirus.

* On writing in books, which has a great opening: “If a new book is a monologue, a used book is a conversation. Underline a passage or write a note in the margin and you have left a message for future readers, or for future versions of yourself.”

* Orwell: The cant hunter. Genuinely independent thought seems to have been rare then and still seems to be rare today.

* The trials of Sarah Longwell, a never-Trump Republican. I admire her tenacity. See also the link immediately above about the rarity of independent thought.

* Everything you wear is athleisure?

* Aging and the Demographic Transition. Underpopulation is likely the real challenge going forward, not overpopulation.

* New Macbook Air is a fine, good, and boring update. The price drop is nice.

* “The endless hunt for the perfect flu vaccine: We’ve seen off smallpox, polio and measles – so why does a truly reliable flu jab still elude us?” Most of us probably imagined a flu pandemic, not a coronavirus pandemic, and, if we are lucky, one legacy of the pandemic will be that we take vaccine research far more seriously—and fund it far better.

* “Trump Has Broken the Republican Party—and Conservatism—for Good. There is no going back.” I hope not: I am so old that I can remember the days when “Republic intellectual” was not an oxymoron.

* The Precipice. I ordered a copy. Looks good and reminds me of The Ends of the World, an excellent book you should read if you’ve not already.

* Why the US will outcompete China.

* The erosion of deep literacy, found in an unexpected place.

* “‘Scared to Death’ by Arbitration: Companies Drowning in Their Own System.”

* On novelist Robert Stone. I read one of his late novels and didn’t love but will give some of the earlier ones a shot. Late Elmore Leonard is not his best and some of his late books are ridiculous.

* On the movie Chinatown and the larger culture around it.

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