Links: Housing shortages, Hollywood sells out to China, merit and schools, John Updike, and more!

* “The housing theory of everything: Western housing shortages do not just prevent many from ever affording their own home. They also drive inequality, climate change, low productivity growth, obesity, and even falling fertility rates.” Housing shortages are entirely self-imposed, too.

* “How Hollywood Sold Out to China: A culture of acquiescing to Beijing’s censors is now the norm, and there’s little sign of it changing.”

* “As US Schools Prioritize Diversity Over Merit, China Is Becoming the World’s STEM Leader.”

* “The future of weight loss,” which concerns the new drug semaglutide, as well as setpoint theories of weight. I’ve seen claims that sugar consumption, particularly via liquid, explains almost all the weight gain of the last forty years.

* Sports writing is not fun. One could likely generalize this to many if not most forms of journalism.

* Book Review: The Revolt Of The Public. I also read The Revolt of the Public and agree that it’s good, prophetic, and already seemingly close to common wisdom.

* “Can We Have Sex Back?” A bit too culture war, but, also, that first sentence!

* “Starlink and the possible future of a free, uncensored Internet.”

* “John Updike and the Politics of Literary Reputation:” there’s much here, but I have a slightly different theory, having started many if not most of Updike’s novels: they’ve got little or no plot. Many individual sentences are good, but they’re boring. Tedium is, to my eye, is the biggest modern challenge to Updike, Philip Roth, and Saul Bellow. Someone like Tom Wolfe holds up well in his top books, Bonfire of the Vanities and A Man in Full, because both are driven by plot.

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