Links: Crypto for what?, building the future, UFOs, and more

* “Why America can’t build.” Important, for both human flourish and climate change goals.

* “My awakening moment about how smartphones fragment our attention span.”

* “Whatever happened to the Bee Apocalypse?” It’s ongoing, but not in the news.

* “The intellectual mistake of once-and-for-allism.” An excellent point and yet simultaneously I think that shunting an issue to the side leaves more room for other issues, particularly if the issue seems un-decidable—like “whether we are living in a simulation.” Are we living in a simulation? The question is interesting but, if there is any way for us to find evidence one way or the other, I’m not aware of it.

* Book review of The Dawn of Everything. The most interesting parts concern the “gossip trap;” search for the word “gossip” and read those parts, if no others.

* “George Orwell outside the whale.” A vital essay on the freedom of imagination.

* “Embrace the Arms Race in Asia.” Maybe.

* “Stanford Professor Garry Nolan Is Analyzing Anomalous Materials From UFO Crashes.” Oddly, though, there appears to be almost no follow-up, despite this piece coming out in December 2021. The parts about peculiar magnesium isotopes stand out, though I’m not knowledgeable enough to judge the claims, but I’d like a lot more detail—about the chain of custody, for example.

* “Georgetown Varsity Blues Dad Wins by Revealing Rich Kid Perks.” “Varsity Blues” was the “scandal” in which parents were bribing their kids’ way into some colleges. I put the word “scandal” in quotes because it seems like an open secret, not a scandal, though the parents were particularly brazen. It seems that “Khoury rolled the dice [by insisting on a trial]—and won—in part by presenting evidence that wealthy parents whose children apply to elite colleges often receive breaks in admissions’ processes.”

* “Rebuilding my conception of the academic life.” From a psychologist who is joining the University of Austin.

* Skepticism around web3 and crypto, apart from currency uses.

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