* “Has Fuccboi killed literature?” That “six figures” is enough to result in this level of petty sniping and envy is itself hilarious: what an average 24-year-old computer science makes—and the ones working for the Facebooks and Googles of the world make far more. The last paragraph of the essay is excellent and should in particular be read. It reminds me of the joke, sometimes attributed to Henry Kissinger, about academia: “The competition is so fierce because the stakes are so small.” I do appreciate the direct quotes from the book: I was tempted to order a copy until I came across them. My view is closer to that of “The death of literary culture,” and I see Fuccboi as a symptom more than a cause. In another universe it probably could have been interesting, in a way like Bret Easton Ellis or Jay McInerney was in the ’80s.
* “To make progress, we need to study it: The progress studies movement asks a big question — and warns against taking the future for granted.” Ezra Klein favors looking forward, not backwards. “Stasis” versus “progress” might be a vital feature of American ideologies that’s somehow not getting adequately foregrounded.
* “Context is that which is scarce.” As the world complexifies and attention spans seem to shorten, we’ll probably see context remain scarce. Opinions, though, are everywhere. The wrong points are often foregrounded, and even if those are in some sense “true,” they’re often not important.
* “Women’s Tears Win in the Marketplace of Ideas.” Unpalatable ideas that could be true and that only Substack seems to host.
* “How China ghosted Hollywood.” Depressing but important: virtually every movie and TV show made today is made by people deathly afraid of offending the Chinese government. Notice: “A-listers will lecture the American public on any topic that comes to mind — recall Robert De Niro’s splenetic interventions during the Trump era — except China.”
* No, the woke revolution isn’t over. Sobering, detailed, and plausible.