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.

Mid-February Links: Twitter, parking, protest and intellectualism, A Wrinkle in Time

* I started a Twitter account that basically doubles as an RSS feed. So if you prefer to be updated about new posts via Twitter, you’ve now got an easy way to do it.

* A Jew in the Northwest: Exile, ethnicity, and the search for the perfect futon. I’m from Seattle, and my experience doesn’t match Deresiewicz’s. Malamud’s A New Life seemed like ancient history to me. I wonder if I have less focus on ethnicity than seemingly every other writer in the universe.

* “How to Fight The Man:”

For generations people have been told: Think for yourself; come up with your own independent worldview. Unless your name is Nietzsche, that’s probably a bad idea. Very few people have the genius or time to come up with a comprehensive and rigorous worldview.

If you go out there armed only with your own observations and sentiments, you will surely find yourself on very weak ground. You’ll lack the arguments, convictions and the coherent view of reality that you’ll need when challenged by a self-confident opposition. This is more or less what happened to Jefferson Bethke. [. . .]

Most professors would like their students to be more rebellious and argumentative. But rebellion without a rigorous alternative vision is just a feeble spasm.

The flipside of the “Concentrate on the moment. Feel, don’t think. Trust your instincts” temperament is a lack of knowledge that leads to ineffectiveness. Balancing rigor and independence is tough.

* The French parenting style; one lesson might be to worry way less, since you can’t control your child’s outcome to nearly the extent you want to imagine you can. See further Bryan Caplan, Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids.

* ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ and Its Sci-Fi Heroine.

* This is a sign of progress, even if it isn’t pitched as such.

Links: Rejection by literary agents, parking trade-offs, Altucher Confidential, the video game hypothesis, MacBook Airs

* The List: A Story of Rejection, by J. A. Konrath:

The novel, rejected by everyone, is right now selling over 100 copies an hour, currently earning $3.50 a minute. That’s $210 an hour, $5040 a day. And it seems to be picking up speed.

Hopefully, it will catch up to my novel Trapped, which is also in the Top 100 (for the third time) and is currently ranked at #73. Trapped was part of a two book deal with Grand Central, but they rejected it. I published it myself in June of 2010. Since then, it has earned me more than $100,000.

* The High Cost of Free Parking by Donald Shoup was re-released in paperback, and updated; I didn’t even realize it had been re-released; I read a library copy because the hardcover was $70 or some ridiculous, academic amount. Now it’s $21, which is still too much but at least within the range of mortals. Curiously, still no eBook edition.

* See also “Between the Lines” on California’s perverse parking culture. And it is a culture, as much as a policy or set of requirements.

* The “About” page of Altucher Confidential is shockingly compelling and convinces me that I should be reading his blog.

* John Jeremiah Sullivan: Too Much Information and David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King. I never liked Wallace’s fiction, but this makes me want to try Infinite Jest again. Perhaps I was reading it poorly.

* We haven’t met the aliens because they’ve become enmeshed in video games. Alternately, the reason we haven’t met any aliens morphs with the contemporary issues we’re starting to notice; during the Cold War, nuclear annihilation was a probable parable. Today, it’s cultural suicide abetted by technology.

* The Mac Air as a Tool For Writing; I am rather fond of my iMac, to the point where it’s hard to see myself upgrading until hardware failure.

* Independent Bookstores Are Not Doomed: Here’s how they can fight back against Amazon.

* I already linked to this but see no reason no to do so again, since a reader sent it to me: Bookshelf porn. Note that this involves no actual nudity; the books are closed.

* Library porn; though I can’t help wondering at the uncomfortable-looking chairs in many of these.

* The slow erosion of legal rights; “terrorism” and “drugs” appear to be the keys to removing Constitutional safeguards.

* Dan Ariely: I got a pen! (though as a gift). I know his feelings.

* Ending the Infographic Plague.

* If you need an “engagement planner” to get engaged, you’re probably marrying the wrong woman or are simply stupid.

* The Book of Books: What Literature Owes the Bible.

* Evolution and obesity.

* “What Hacker Apprenticeships Tell Us About the Future of Education.

* World building 301: some projections.

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