Links The evils of the non-compete clause, how COVID-19 spread, the nature of the future, and more!

* Texas needs to ban non-competes: one of these little, seemingly inconsequential things that may have big impacts over time.

* “Pandemic Leads Dozens of Universities to Pause Ph.D. Admissions: More than 140 humanities and social sciences programs at top schools have suspended admitting students for fall 2021.” Good.

* The NYT on novelist Walter Tevis.

* “25 Days That Changed the World: How Covid-19 Slipped China’s Grasp,” an important and well-reported article.

* “John Collison: ‘It is entirely plausible that you could set up Stripe in Dublin now:’ Stripe co-founder on how his billion-dollar company continues to evolve.”

* “An Economist’s Guide to Potty Training,” which is more entertaining than it sounds, and fundamentally about incentives. Incentives matter and they’re hard.

* Curious and sometimes offensive interview with Anna Khachiyan, of the Red Scare podcast.

* How Perfectionism Has Made the Pandemic Worse.

* “The End of the World as We Know It?,” due to population decline? Bryan Caplan’s book Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids is one take.

* The disruption of Intel, and many other points about the history and state of computing.

* “My two weeks with John le Carré: What I learned about writing, fame and grace when I showed him around Miami in 1991.” Extremely charming but also deep.

* “Peer-reviewed papers are getting increasingly boring:” see: “We need to challenge the conventional peer-reviewed research paper, by which I refer to a publication was reviewed by 2 to 5 peers before getting published. . . . Research used to be more more like ‘blogging’. You would write up your ideas and share them. People could read them and criticize them.” There are too many veto players, and an excess of veto players tends to ossify a field and create excessively tedious papers and books. Here is one simple, partial solution to some of these problems.

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