Links: Values, nuclear fusion, hospital prices, psychology, and more!

* After years of doubts, hopes grow that nuclear fusion is finally for real.

* [Scott Aaronson’s] values, howled into the wind: an essay I identify with.

* “Three Miles and $400 Apart: Hospital Prices Vary Wildly Even in the Same City.” Frustrating, given how hard it still is to extract honest pricing from hospitals, even though pricing is, or should be, as easy as an SQL lookup.

* “Burn the Universities and Salt the Earth.” An overstated rant, but not wholly inaccurate, either. This is overstated: “Liberal arts programs in major universities issued hobby degrees to women who would be taken care of economically by their newly found husbands, or hobby degrees to men who would inherit the family business. Outside of doctors, lawyers, engineers, and accountants, nothing of economic value was taught, but university attendance was still mandatory to stay rich, because the university was not merely a place of knowledge, it was the 20th century equivalent of a networking and dating site for rich people,” but then many polemics can be directionally right while getting some specifics wrong, or overly simplified.

* “Covid Panic is a Site of Inter-Elite Competition.” The back end, especially, is not about Covid, but about people. Freddie is missing any statements about hospitals or hospital capacity, however. None of us exist in isolation, and it seems to me that most Americans still expect to be able to go to a hospital, be evaluated relatively quickly, and be seen relatively quickly, even though those conditions have become substantially worse in the last two weeks. We’re getting some press coverage of this, but not, in my view, what we should be getting.

* “This is what peak culture looks like:” a reading of culture progressing more like technology than some critics might want to admit. I remember occasionally pitching ideas like this in grad school, where “old” is somehow automatically considered better than “recent.”

* “Review | In ‘Old Poets,’ Donald Hall dished on Robert Frost, T.S. Eliot and more.”

* “Innovation Liability Nightmare.” Important, though you may not immediately think so.

* Why the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) matters. Better than the usual and yet still needs to slip in a bit of woke garbage, about 80% into the article.

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