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