Links: Pre- and post-social-media culture, powering the mind, powering the grid, and more!

* “Homelessness is a Housing Problem”: When cities build more housing, homelessness goes down. Essential reading given the quantity of incorrect statements about this issue one sees online.

* “Nuclear power can help the democratic world achieve energy independence.” Pretty obvious, but here we are. What’s Germany doing, besides restarting dirty coal plants? Relatedly, some encouragement to “Stop Being Surprised by Germany,” which covers the country’s poor showing around Ukraine, and its penchant for funding Russian militarism. I’m not sure how much its recent behavior can be blamed on World War II and its aftermath, though.

* Johann Hari’s experiment with smart drugs, and in particular modafinil (which is the common name for “Provigil”). Modafinil can be bought online from Indian sources.

* The growth of silicon carbide electronics.

* The FDA is still bad and wasteful. It’s still unable to do basic cost-benefit analysis, or implement that analysis if it does conduct it.

* “The Vanishing Moderate Democrat:” which is in-depth and not the usual. Relatedly: “Democrats Are Having a Purity-Test Problem at Exactly the Wrong Time.” It’s admittedly funny to read these pieces in a venue that has discouraged moderation and encouraged purity tests for the last five or more years, and is now reaping the fruits of those labors.

* “Energy Superabundance: How Cheap, Abundant Energy Will Shape Our Future.” “Will” seems a bit too definitive.

* A good Marc Andreessen interview.

* On the secrets of “covid fog.” Knowing what causes it is, obviously, key to being able to treat it.

* “Why go to space?” Yes, the pragmatic reasons are valid, but the fundamental reason is because it’s the final frontier. “Why defeat complacency?” might be another title.

* Actors are getting older. I theorize that there’s a fundamental break between the pre-social-media world and the post-social-media world; the latter can include video streaming, YouTube, and other things that may not in a strict sense be “social media.” The cultural world of the latter is eating the cultural world of the former in ways that we’re only beginning to appreciate. I don’t hear students talk about favorite actors any more; I hear them talk about favorite YouTubers. Also, a lot of famous pre-social-media cultural products aren’t actually very good: a few months ago, for example, I tried watching Interview With a Vampire: to put it lightly, it doesn’t hold up. We’re adjusting from a world of relative cultural scarcity to a world of total cultural abundance.

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