* “The Shouting Class,” on the errors generated by listening too much to Twitter and its ilk, which favor a certain kind of person and personality.
* “ Law School Loses Luster as Debts Mount and Salaries Stagnate: With high-paying jobs out of reach for most, graduates of the University of Miami and other well-regarded programs routinely carry six-figure student loans for years.” Law school lost its “luster” more than a decade ago—I wrote about Paul Campos’s Don’t Go to Law School (Unless) in 2012, and the main thing that’s changed between now and then is that tuition has gotten even more outrageous—but the numbers reinforce how insane law school is for most people: “Recent graduates of the University of Miami School of Law who used federal loans borrowed a median of $163,000. Two years later, half were earning $59,000 or less.” That student debt can’t be discharged in bankruptcy, and that no mechanism incentivizes predatory schools, keeps the system functioning.
* “If Einstein Had The Internet: An Interview With Balaji Srinivasan.” Balaji may be the most sophisticated and foresighted thinker today.
* “How the Bobos Broke America: The creative class was supposed to foster progressive values and economic growth. Instead we got resentment, alienation, and endless political dysfunction.” Too much good to excerpt, but the mea culpa is rare: “‘The educated class is in no danger of becoming a self-contained caste,’ I wrote in 2000. ‘Anybody with the right degree, job, and cultural competencies can join.’ That turned out to be one of the most naive sentences I have ever written.” And accurate. Like Brooks, I think I underestimated the degree to which people are motivated by status and exclusionary practices; amusingly, it’s the people who are most busily talking about inclusion who are usually the most exclusionary.
* “Tunnels are our Transportation Future.” Many points not commonly made elsewhere.
* The Real Story of “The Central Park Karen.” Note: “To tell this story is to address a different set of problems. Among them: our collective intoxication with public shaming. Our willingness to dispense with due process when we think we ‘know’ the truth in the absence of evidence. The media’s complicity in perpetuating public judgments, even when the facts directly contradict those judgments.”
* “How I joined the literary prostitutes club, writing erotica for cash.” It’s from Aeon and thus presumably safe for work, depending, anyway, on one’s work: it’s text, and no one fears text any more.
* “Chasing Nabokov.”
* “Does America really lose all its wars?” Probably not: but most wars are also not so obvious as WWII—but they are also not as big, which is very good.