Links: Is Google doing poorly?, ideology tests, freedom to build, and more!

* Argument that Google is in internal, cultural decline.

* “DEI Is an Ideological Test: New College is not a weak target, and if Christopher Rufo wants to challenge an entrenched bureaucracy, then he will have a fair fight.” A surprising venue for this.

* “The fall and rise of American religion.”

* “I Thought I Was Saving Trans Kids. Now I’m Blowing the Whistle: There are more than 100 pediatric gender clinics across the U.S. I worked at one. What’s happening to children is morally and medically appalling.” From an unusual source.

* Even NPR notices, however belatedly, that prohibiting anything other than single-family housing units is bad.

* Big Tech at the End of History. How much thymos do you have in your life?

* Low Life and High Style: on the writer Jeffrey Bernard, who “was certainly not a man celebrated for his virtue.” The first half of his life may have been fun but the second half seems mostly to have been sad: “A 1987 episode of Arena devoted to Bernard found him in a rented room on Great Portland Street, adorned with just a few framed photos of his minor achievements and encounters with the famous, an overflowing ashtray, a dial telephone, a couple of rubber plants and not much else.”

* “Monuments to the Unthinkable: America still can’t figure out how to memorialize the sins of our history. What can we learn from Germany?”

* “‘They Didn’t Understand Anything, but Just Spoiled People’s Lives:’ How Russian invaders unleashed violence on small-town residents.” The Russian effort manages not only to be cruel and inhumane, but also counterproductive: if you were Ukrainian, or really anyone in any country near Russia, and you saw what the Russians did with the territory they invaded, would you want to be governed by the Russians, or would you want to fight?

* Apple might want to be move its supply chain out of China.

* “Give Up Seventy Percent Of The Way Through The Hyperstitious Slur Cascade.” But moral entrepreneurs need ways to attempt to make themselves virtuous and the outgroup evil, so expect more hyperstitious cascades.

* The Taliban governs Afghanistan. Note: “The Taliban had won their revolution, and had everything they’d ever wanted. But now they confronted the truth that all successful revolutions face: winning a state is a lot more glorious than managing one. To their new world—a world of responsibility, a world that demanded a different sort of synthesis—they seemed to have little in the way of an answer.”

* Induction stoves are good.

* It’s possible to make really good tofu, albeit at what labor cost?

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