Links: The perils of the shouting class, more from Balaji S., tunnels and the transit future, and more!

* “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.

* “Climate crisis: Scientists spot warning signs of Gulf Stream collapse.”

* How ‘Heaven’s Gate’ Killed 1970s Hollywood.

* “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.

* Is Taiwan next?

* “How Austin Has Undergone a Pandemic Influx From Hollywood: ‘Growth on a Turbocharger.’

Links: Noticing, trade-offs, freedom, epistemology, and more!

* “Criticism is being good at noticing things.”

* “Many people around the world have always resisted America’s self-appointed role as democracy’s champion. But they have also been rightly appalled when America sits back and allows genocide to engulf places like Rwanda or allows dangerous regimes to threaten the world order.” Compatible with “Where are the woke on Disney and China?

* “Saving the liberal arts,” by David Perrell and Jeremy Giffon. A good essay but one that should spend more time on epistemology.

* “The Looming Stagflationary Debt Crisis.” Maybe: plausible enough to repeat. Roubini, however, has predicted something like seven of the last two recessions. I wonder what’s in his portfolio. Ethereum, probably, for someone worried about stagflation.

* “Obama wins by reflecting people’s views:” not the actual headline—the headline is overly inflammatory, but it is from the article. Some politicians today are ignoring the strategy, currently being pursued by the executive branch, of simply saying one thing but doing something else. This line is also key: “while there’s more to politics than winning elections, there’s literally nothing you can achieve unless you win elections first.”

* “The Radical Women Who Paved the Way for Free Speech and Free Love:” but, more than that, a history about how control of telecommunication infrastructure—then, the mail—can be used to exert control over what people think. It’s useful to consider who controls what infrastructure today.

* “People are more than capable of believing things that are obviously not true and abandoning principles they’ve held their entire life.” Also: “there is an economy of attention and unclaimed attention is like a pile of money in the middle of the street.” And many other quotable moments.

* Don’t Take It Personally: “Since academic criticism has long since abandoned disinterested literary analysis, general-interest publications are really the only venues available (aside from personal blogs) for critics who favor this approach. Without it, we could ask whether literary criticism still exists.”

* How many American children have cut contact with their parents?

* Did Groupies Originate in the Time of Haydn & Mozart?

* A review of Nightmare Scenario, on the institutional failures revealed by COVID.

* The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and The Children of Húrin by J.R.R. Tolkien, although it’s about the larger questions of what fantasy literature is doing today.

* “China’s Sputnik Moment? How Washington Boosted Beijing’s Quest for Tech Dominance.”

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