* “How Can We Pay for Creativity in the Digital Age?” Not a great title, but the overall question about how artists pay the rent and for food is useful.
* “Matt Yglesias on Why the Population is Too Damn Low,” and many other topics.
* “What Is China’s Strategy in the Senkaku Islands?” Distressing but also important.
* The weirdness of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell; Clarke has a new book coming out and in honor of the new one I’m re-reading the previous one, which is still that good.
* “This Republican Party Is Not Worth Saving.” By a former Republican and current conservative.
* Going postal, an extremely clever rant about how bad social media is. Overall, though, social media mostly tells us about how bad we are: use the block and mute buttons adequately on Twitter, follow the more cerebral, and knowledge- and data-driven people, and it can be pretty good. But you also have to restrain your worst impulses—something I don’t always do successfully. It’s possible social media has negative amplification effects.
* Why millennials think they adore socialism. Strangely, he never mentions the U.S.’s surprisingly socialistic land-use policy regime, which drives up the cost of housing and inflicts severe shortages on the non-owner population. Actually, “socialistic” might be less true than something like “crony” or “insider” capitalism; whatever you want to call it, though, the high cost of housing is like a vice around the necks of the young.
* “Loyalty Oaths Compared: An Orwellian Exercise.”
* An online-only charter school in Oklahoma sees huge enrollment growth.
* Arts & Letters Daily feels like a throwback to an earlier time, but it’s still a delight and has an RSS feed (via which I read it). I’ve been asked where all these links come from: some from emails, some from friends, some from link aggregators, and some from AL Daily.
* “How Algorithms Are Changing What We Read Online: The AI of the internet determines what’s relevant. One day, it decided my work wasn’t.” I’ve never heard of this guy and yet his work sounds like just the sort of thing I’d like to read: I’m not interested in most of the standard political and pop culture stuff being endlessly re-written. Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to have a link list of his recent works anywhere, at least that I can find. His website appears to be pretty generic, and its RSS feed seems to have last been updated in 2015. How are we supposed to find his work and follow him? I’m the kind of person who’d link to his kind of work all the time, but he’s not easily surfaced.
* How Fantasy Triumphed Over Reality in American Politics: probably the best essay on this topic I’ve read in recent memory.
* “[Academic life] used to be more interesting.” The sense of relative freedom and autonomy—from bureaucrats, from bureaucracy, from political correctness, from snitch culture—seems notable here.
* The history of book burning.
* Lessons of the Pinker Affair: The Problem with the Academy is False Beliefs, Not Intolerance?
* Ocean acidification risks deep-sea reef collapse.