Links: Fiber, sex lives, suburbs, competition, food (which may all be linked)

* “Startup claims it will build fiber network in LA and wireless throughout US;” like everyone else I will express skepticism.

* “Why So Many People Care So Much About Others’ Sex Lives,” which makes a number of points I’ve observed at various times.

* “Don’t Send Your Kid to the Ivy League: The nation’s top colleges are turning our kids into zombies,” which matches my (anecdotal) experience.

* “Multiple Lovers, Without Jealousy: Polyamorous people still face plenty of stigmas, but some studies suggest they handle certain relationship challenges better than monogamous people do;” has anyone written the great polyamorous novel? Could anyone?

forgotten bike and pink woman* Suburban sprawl and bad transit can crush opportunity for the poor.

* Nicola Griffith: Who Owns SF?

* Dubious-seeming, but: “Are siblings obsessed with moral hazard?

* Germans Love Getting Naked at the Beach. So Should We. Maybe.

* “French Food Goes Down,” which I have heard independently from other sources; I find it interesting that many countries that start with or develop a major lead in some field eventually lose that lead. Think of Japan’s giants losing out in consumer electronics to Apple and Samsung.

* Important news rarely covered: “Rand Paul introduces bill to reform civil asset forfeiture;” for background and a terrifying story, see Taken: Under civil forfeiture, Americans who haven’t been charged with wrongdoing can be stripped of their cash, cars, and even homes. Is that all we’re losing?, in The New Yorker

* “What ‘Women Against Feminism’ Gets Right.”

* The power of Google used for evil, or, why I will never rely entirely on Gmail or associated services, and you shouldn’t either. Note however that the author is not blameless.

Humanities, writers, money, and sex, which could all be seen as the same subject

* Stop defending the humanities.

* What is Dark Matter?

* “How much my novel cost me: Writing my first book got me into debt. To finish the next one, I had to become solvent,” in which the author learns many things that seem like they ought to be obvious and also mis-prioritizes things in a way that most people grow out of by 30.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA* “Q&A: The Duke Freshman Porn Star,” which is interesting and yet I 1) can’t help by marvel that anyone today thinks they can appear in porn and, given the contemporary appetite for it, not eventually be recognized and 2) think that anyone going to a school costing more than $50,000 a year ought to expect it to be filled with rich kids. In addition, I don’t see the appeal of schools like Duke or USC; yes, they have big sports teams, but the basic experience and structure is similar to that of most public schools costing half to a quarter as much.

* “Goodbye Academia,” which is part of a growing genre and I agree with this comment: “I feel liberated and happy, and this is a very bad sign for the future of life sciences in the United States.”

* “What good are children?

* “The Scary New Evidence on BPA-Free Plastics,” probably overwrought but interesting nonetheless.

* Why Google Fiber will never come to Seattle; this is both important and depressing.

* “From bestseller to bust: is this the end of an author’s life? The credit crunch and the internet are making writing as a career harder than it has been for a generation.” Except I’m not sure I’d call it “harder;” I’d call it “different.” Weirdly, neither “self-publishing” nor “Amazon” are explicitly mentioned.

The number and percentage of writers who have ever been able to make a full-time, middle-class living at writing novels is small and has always been small. That’s one reason so many get gigs at MFA programs: for all but the most popular writers, there’s more money in teaching writing than writing.

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