* “The Humanities as We Know Them Are Doomed. Now What?” I’d add a lot of “purportedly” to this title and article. There is also oddly little discussion of how the humanities have damned themselves, or ourselves, through the pursuit of advocacy and absurdity rather than truth or knowledge. This comic does more to explain the situation than many books.
* “Donald Trump and norms: Resistance needs substance.” Lots of context here, context that is lost in the typical discussion—especially on Twitter.
* “Through the Looking Glass at Concordia University,” which bolsters the first link: “Universities are in a state of crisis, but this crisis did not emerge overnight. It required an hospitable environment to take root. Some journalists and professors have dismissed the phenomenon as a form of moral panic, invented by right-wing provocateurs.”
* “Why commuting by public transport makes most people happier,” at least when the subways work.
* “A feminist makes a documentary about Men’s Rights Activists,” not the sort of thing one typically reads.
* “The Tunnel That Could Break New York.” I offer this for its own sake but also because it’s a sign of bad news in civic government; the U.S. better maintenance and more infrastructure, but it simultaneously needs to get costs under control and in line with other developed world countries. If costs are reasonable, voters will get on board. If not, they often won’t. The U.S. may also be suffering from the curse of “good enough.”
* “Why capitalism won’t survive without socialism” is a bad title for a good interview with Eric Weinstein; he speaks of institutions with “embedded growth hypotheses” in them, and how those institutions have become dysfunctional over time:
Let’s say, for example, that I have a growing law firm in which there are five associates at any given time supporting every partner, and those associates hope to become partners so that they can hire five associates in turn. That formula of hierarchical labor works well while the law firm is growing, but as soon as the law firm hits steady state, each partner can really only have one associate, who must wait many years before becoming partner for that partner to retire. That economic model doesn’t work, because the long hours and decreased pay that one is willing to accept at an entry-level position is predicated on taking over a higher-lever position in short order. That’s repeated with professors and their graduate students. It’s often repeated in military hierarchies.
Academia suffers similarly.
* “On Toxic Femininity;” not at all my favorite phrase, but it’s revealing how little one hears it used.
* “Scientists assessed the options for growing nuclear power. They are grim.” Very bad news.
* The great Apple keyboard coverup. Good news: the new Apple laptop keyboards are likely resistant to the problems that have plagued models from the last two years. Bad news: models from the last two years are still prone to failure.
* “To Recruit Students, Colleges Turn to Corporate-Marketing Playbook.” Profs in humanities departments are probably aghast and impotent.
* Hoity lawyer prefers sexting to lawyering, although that is not the headline; still, I wonder what this tells us about the law and lawyers.
* “If you haven’t read @devonzuegel’s post on North American vs Japanese zoning it will help you understand why Tokyo can be dense, highly populated, and cheap, and the US never seems to manage that.”