Links: Publishing, BDSM (these two are not related, surprisingly), Chekhov the player, Lasch, parking, L.A., the ten-year hoodie, and more

* “The [Non] Death of Publishing,” which argues that publishers used to the recession to consolidate their positions and make more money; I can’t evaluate most of the claims, but they seem plausible.

* “BDSM in the mainstream.” (Maybe.)

_MG_8952-1* “The No-Limits Job” is dumb, but it’s also in the NYT’s Fashion & Style section, where rigor goes to die. The basic problem is that the industries described glamor industries, which means lots of people want to get in because people think they’re cool. This drives the salaries down (to zero, in the case of internships). You may notice that there are no examples of programmers working 70 hours a week for $22,000 a year, and the words “supply” and “demand” never appear. I’ve seen this basic supply / demand principle in action, since I went to grad school in English Lit, where many, many people want jobs (because they’re fun) and relatively few jobs are available, with the result being that supply and demand meet at a low number. Solution: Don’t go into glamor industries. If you do, don’t complain about the trade-offs you’ve made.

* Chekhov: a lifetime of lovers. Demonstrating that writers can be players too.

* Christopher Lasch: Scourge of the elites.

* Don’t subsidize parking. This should be obvious.

* Has L.A. fallen behind? (Hat tip Marginal Revolution). To me, the car-centric culture and traffic are the worst parts, and I don’t see those improving without some combination of removing or raising urban height limits wherever subways or light rails are built or planned.

* Upgrade or die.

* The ten-year hoodie on Kickstarter; I “backed” the Flint and Tinder underwear project and though the outcome okay but not exceptional.

* The case for a true Mac Pro successor.

* How New York Could [and should] Get More Affordable Housing.

The future of the city: the L.A. and New York models

Matt Yglesias wrote an implausible-sounding story about “How Los Angeles—Yes, Los Angeles—Is Becoming America’s Next Great Mass-Transit City.” It sounds like L.A. is (slowly) becoming a more palatable place to live, and the city’s mass-transit strategy makes sense to me because driving pretty much anywhere in L.A. right now is a hellacious, grinding experience, and that experience is only getting worse over time. Which means L.A. and its residents only really have two choices: accept the hellacious driving experience and accept that it’s going to get continually worse, or attempt to build some kind of alternative system, presumably modeled on New York.

At the moment, we only really have two “models” of cities: the New York-style, walking and public transit version, or the L.A. style of car-based transport. Most cities over the last 75 years have followed the L.A. model, but L.A. is now demonstrating the limits of that very model.* When Southern California first began growing in earnest in the 1920s, cars were just getting started, and for each marginal driver getting behind the wheel made a lot of sense. But we’re now at the point where each marginal driver makes the situation that much worse, and the net effect of all that driving is an awful lot of misery. The only real alternative is allowing much denser construction patterns and building mass-transit around those very dense developments. I just didn’t expect that L.A.’s politicians and bureaucrats—and, by extension, its voters—would actually embrace, or at least tolerate, this solution.

* I’ve written a little bit about this topic before, most notably in Cars and generational shift.

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