Links: Modern narcissism culture, technology saves the world, freedom, and more!

* It is obscene: a reflection in three parts. One of the best essays I’ve read in recent memory, and one that speaks to the narcissism often cloaked in rhetoric of fairness or caring. It’s consistent also with “Junk Bonds and Corporate Raiders: Academe in the Hour of the Wolf.”

* Technology saves the world: a counterfactual examination of what the pandemic might have been like.

* Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, Bomber Mafia, may be largely simplified and inaccurate.

* “U.S. Housing Market Needs 5.5 Million More Units, Says New Report: Construction of new homes in the last two decades lagged behind historical levels, contributing to a recent surge in home prices.” Building more housing, fast, is probably the simplest way to get a lot of money in everyday people’s pockets, fast.

* “Kids need freedom, too.” One of these obvious statements that is nonetheless mostly absent.

* Is the COVID-19 lab-leak hypothesis likely wrong?

* Whatever happened to flirting?

* “‘How Much Damage Have My Colleagues and I Done?’ A former dean of students loses faith in how colleges handle sexual assault.” What appears to be a rare admission, for this venue and from this kind of person.

* How children fail, a review of a fascinating book that’s many decades old and yet, based on the excerpts, seems like it could’ve been written yesterday. Ordered. And now mostly read: many of its comments resonate with my classroom experiences, even though I don’t teach children.

* Why everyone hates the media: surprisingly subtle and useful. Most “information” is not about information per se: this essay is compatible with the one immediately linked below.

* John Stuart Mill on why most Internet arguments are pointless: most arguments and beliefs are based on people’s feelings. Citing facts, or apparent facts, in response to feelings rarely changes anything.

* “ American Basketball Pro Spent Eight Months in Secretive China Detention A human-rights group says a legal form of Chinese detention that often leaves people cut off from family and lawyers is used at a ‘mass level’”

* Good interview with Marc Andreesen.

* Antonio García Martínez, cancelled by Apple, on future plans.

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