Links: Bogus authenticity, radicalizing the romanceless, universities, destiny, and more

* “Realer than you: How did authenticity become the hot new status symbol?” The contemporary obsession with travel as a somehow soul-enhancing experience is my favorite example of this general trend. Here is my review of The Authenticity Hoax.

* “Radicalizing the romanceless.” Maybe. Though this is my favorite link from this patch.

* “Promising solution to plastic pollution,” an underrated problem.

* “U.S. Is No. 1, China Is So Yesterday,” which is another underappreciated problem: demography is destiny.

* A totally indecent, untraditional, radical proposal: “universities should prioritize academics.” This may also ameliorate some of the current elite university admissions madness.

* “Kindle Unlimited pisses off Amazon authors;” note that this is one danger of competing on price.

Links: Demography, arrests, books as art, are marriage and porn substitutes?

* The Shit Test Encyclopedia; note as always that linking does not imply endorsement and that often the most interesting pieces are ones in which I do not find plausible many claims. Adam Phillips’s book Becoming Freud falls into this category, though it is the only book by or about Freud that I’ve found palatable.

* “Demography Is Rewriting Our Economic Destiny,” an underappreciated and significant issue; this can be read profitably in tandem with Bryan Caplan’s Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think.

* “Decades-long Arrest Wave Vexes Employers: Companies Struggle to Navigate Patchwork of Rules That Either Encourage or Deter Hiring Americans With Criminal Records;” if a third of Americans have arrest records something is seriously wrong with our society.

* “The Innovative Art of the Book-Preserving Underground: How do illustrations for new editions of Fahrenheit 451 or Breakfast at Tiffany’s stay fresh? Artists for The Folio Society remain true to the text.” I’ve bought Folio Society books.

* “Americans aren’t getting married, and researchers think porn is part of the problem,” which must be read skeptically.

* “The Henry Ford of Books,” about James Patterson, who is not good at sentences but perhaps he knows as much: “he is philosophical about his critics, in particular critics of his craft. Patterson decided long ago that he’d rather be a successful popular novelist than a mediocre literary one.” I have often been told that I should be writing nonfiction, and perhaps my own smaller circle of critics are correct. I’ve started a couple of Patterson books without finishing them.

* “How to be an expert in a changing world,” which, like many Graham essays, is about more than it appears to be about; this for instance applies to artists: “Good new ideas come from earnest, energetic, independent-minded people.”

* “The Birdcage: How Hollywood’s toxic (and worsening) addiction to franchises changed movies forever in 2014.” Here is me on Birdman and note too that the author is nostalgic for a time when movies were central to the culture, which hasn’t been true for at least a decade.

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