bearbusAcademia has had a reputation for being of the left for quite some time, but it’s become noticeably more stark over the last couple of decades. More from Megan McArdle.

Mukul Devichand considers how Je Suis Charlie changed the world.

Mark Tapson argues that Huckleberry Finn should not be altered to meet modern sensibilities. Relatedly, Colleen Gillard argues that Harry Potter trumps Huck Finn, and that the Brits tell better stores.

Coming soon to SVU Texas: “The kids are turning epinephrine into a powder and snorting it up their nose. They call it episniffing.”

The crass amoral partisan and politico in me finds watching the left’s grappling with Cologne to be interesting. The other part of me just finds it all too depressing.

On a more optimistic note, here’s a piece written by a Syrian refugee and the woman offering refuge.

While I favor using pronouns that people identify with, this strikes me as another argument in favor of a safe gender-neutral pronoun. Also, while I understand the dilemma I’m not sure about the “no tie” thing. Maybe “Tie or dress”?

A man is suing his ex-wife for gender-shaming him on the Memo line of his alimony checks.

Can I figure out some way to blame this story on the TSA?

The US lost some cool buildings in 2015. Many of them were brutalist. A moment of silence, please.

Here’s your chance to serve your country and eat free “food.”

Craig Mod is moving away from digital books. I… can’t really imagine ever going back. I’m mostly looking forward to the day when ebooks start taking advantage of their greater potential. Right now they seem stuck in the land of “books, but digital” instead of what they should be “Interactive web-pages tied along a long, single story.”

Philip Cohen writes of pornography and our broken peer review system.

FLDS Leader Warren Jeffs is a real creep, it turns out.

Adoptive father David French explains how adoption is usually preceded by brokenness, explaining some of the daunting statistics on adopted children.

Category: Newsroom

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14 Responses to Linkluster Bermuda

  1. Brandon Berg says:

    Is it just my imagination, or has the quality of McArdle’s blogging gone down since she went to Bloomberg, or maybe even the Daily Beast? I can’t point to anything specific, so maybe it’s me who’s changed, but I used to get excited when I saw a new post by her pop up in my news feed, and now sometimes I just don’t bother.

    • I’ve never been a frequent reader of McArdle’s columns, so I’m not in a position to say she’s not as good now as she used to be, although I do usually enjoy what I read. (One exception are her posts on cooking. It’s not that they’re bad quality, it’s just that I’m not very interested.) She does seem to have a one-note take on Obamacare, but while I favor the law, I can’t really deny the inconvenient (for me) facts about its inefficiencies.

      In a recent column on public employee unions, she seems to be (a little uncharacteristically, in my experience) clumsy. She calls fair share/agency fees “closed shops” when they’re really “union shops.” She also reverts to the “FDR didn’t like public employee unions” trope, which while true, doesn’t say much (I don’t think we should base what our policies on what FDR thought of them.) I don’t know if that clumsiness is all that bad, though. My “closed shop”/”union shop” distinction is probably more pedantry than anything, and again, it’s probably true that FDR believed public employees shouldn’t unionize.

    • KenB says:

      Now that you mention it, I’ve had a similar impression. I’m not sure if it’s because she’s putting less time into them or because I’m not the audience she’s really aiming at anymore. She seems to mostly do libertarian-lite stuff aimed at liberals who haven’t thought much about these things — these days, I’ve often already read her source material, and she tends not to add much in the way of further analysis.

  2. trumwill says:

    It may answer your question that I don’t read her as much as I used to. Or that could be a product of the fact that I can’t use her for Linky Friday content. I haven’t actively noticed a decline, but maybe I passively have.

    • aaron david says:

      Why can’t you use her for linky Friday? I too find that I don’t read her as often as I used to, but I think that it comes down to the fact that she is a fairly polished pro at this point and much of the snarkyness just doesn’t fly at that level. Which is too bad, because when she lets her snark flag fly, she is one of the best.

      • trumwill says:

        Otherwise sane people go apoplectic at the mention of her name. Not worth bringing out that dark side if I can avoid it. I linked to her review of the movie Truth here. Over there I swapped it out for an inferior one that basically made the same points less cleverly.

  3. jhanley says:

    Re: Peer Review Process.

    I can’t stress enough how important it is that other people in my discipline write the papers I want them to write, rather than the papers they want to write.

    It’s just like blog posts, and all those damn bloggers who think they can write about what they want to write about instead of what their commenters want them to write about.

    Anyway, I can’t believe this linkluster wasn’t all about David Bowie’s flirtation with fascism.

  4. I have mixed feelings on e-books. I’m not one of those people who find holding a book in my hand and smelling the pages to be some wonderful sensuous experience. (Working at a library has taught me that if you can smell the pages, it’s probably because they’re moldy.) But I probably do prefer reading paper books, for some of the reasons the author of that piece seems to suggest: they’re easier to go back to. I tend not to reread books that I read for the first time on my Kindle (Tony Judt’s Postwar is an exception.)

    At the same time, paper books have the inconvenience of being bulky and hard to get rid of. I have way too many books left over from my grad programs, and they take up too much space. And while it’s theoretically a simple thing to donate them, it’s hard in practice for me to part with them. I also really like the “ink letter” features (I forget the exact name) of Kindle.

    Another thing I like about Kindles, although it’s not really an “ebook” feature, is that I can cut and paste online articles or long blog threads onto a word document and upload that to my Kindle, and I find them easier to read than reading them on my computer.

  5. aaron david says:

    I would say that the idea of transforming a book that much only depresses me. I don’t have an ereader, except the free thingy from Amazon, and I try not to read anything electronically if I can find an actual copy of the book.

    Why, you might ask? Because I find myself falling down the rabbit hole of information access, looking everything up while getting increasingly distracted from the story/information. Some might find that to be a good thing, me, not so much. I have found that since I got a laptop, I read maybe half of what I used to. Maybe.

    • There’s a lot of truth to that. When I read on my computer, I do a lot more “skimming” than actual reading. I also do a lot more “link hopping,” where I start out reading one thing and then follow a link. Or I’ll have several tabs open to different articles/posts on my browser, and skip among them as I “read.”

      (Kindles are a bit different, at least for me. My version is so old that while it’s technically possible to look things up, in practice it’s not possible at all.)

    • trumwill says:

      If the books had a quick reference point, though, maybe you could avoid diving too deep into supplemental reading. Tap on some historical person’s name, get a very brief description of them and how they relate to the story, then move on!

      I guess my thing is that I have some difficulty following characters (historical or fictional) and could really use a quick jolt of a reminder. What I otherwise do is go on in confusion and end up missing things.

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