Links: What’s happening in publishing, what’s happening in education, the housing thing, and more!

* “American education’s new dark age” is the official title, but the real question is closer to “What is college for?” If colleges aren’t specifically training reading and writing skills, those skills atrophy, or are never developed in the first place.

* On The Two-Income Trap, a book that sounds excellent on fundamentals—but has it had much impact on policy?

* “As a political biography, it’s odd, yes. But as partisan pornography, it’s undeniably fantastic.” Ignore the title, don’t read the book being reviewed here, and savor instead the review itself, which is art.

* “How American Culture Ate the World: A review of A Righteous Smokescreen” is way too long and blathery; the short answer is that Europe blew itself up not just once, in 1914 – 18, but again, during World War II, thus dooming its early lead. Everyone speaks or attempts to speak English as a consequence of those wars and their political fallout, including the foolish adoption of Communism. While Europe blew itself apart, murdering and expelling millions of its citizens, China and Russia adopted dysfunctional Communist political-economic systems. When everyone else is screwing up, it’s sufficient to not screw up too badly, and the United States was the least-crazy, most-functional country. We see Russia, right now, actively driving out whatever smart, capable, and imaginative people may be left in the country. For just about the entirety of Russia’s existence, the smartest thing most people could do was leave. It still is.

* “The Death of Authority in the American Classroom.” Pretty much. Beer & circus for all.

* Homelessness is a housing problem. The people who say otherwise usually don’t think about how a person got to be living on the street and screaming at strangers; that person’s problems are usually exacerbated by high housing costs and precarious housing.

* Granting funding is broken—something we all know—and this writer has an extremely impractical, non-scaleable way to fix it.

* Description of why “5G” is not just marketing hype, though its promise may take many years to be fulfilled.

* “Why is it so hard to buy things that work well?” Dan Luu is writing one of the most interesting blogs right now, and you should subscribe to his RSS feed.

* Russia is dying out: on the country’s demographic crisis. It’s hard to imagine the Ukraine invasion as doing anything but making this existing problem far worse.

* The many faces of literary censorship.

* Disney’s Institutional Capture.

* Brandon Sanderson on changes in the publishing industry, among other topics. He also finds that half of his sales are in audiobook format.

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