A few new links

March 25, 2023

Nothing special--just a few things.


To begin with, this seems to me entirely unexpected: a discussion by Virginia Heffernan, one of my favorite journalists and commentators, of the chip fabs in Taiwan, and a reflection on the way the trip there became for her, in some sense, a religious experience.


Interesting piece by Steven Mintz. Do colleges really and systematically transform students in this way?  My impression is that there’s a good deal of truth in this essay, but I am willing to be convinced otherwise.


I think of this as good news. I am with those who think that the for-profit education sector was pretty much 100% for-profit, 0% education.


Just more information about how science is done in private, and how nervous scientists can be about presenting questions and doubts to the public. Maybe they’re right to be nervous, but I think the disjunct between the private uncertainty and the public confidence gets them into trouble. At one point I think we will need a serious reconsideration of how science presents itself rhetorically, in the wake of the pandemic.  Pieces like this, with the data they archive, will be instrumental to that reconsideration. (And for the record, I am wholly prepared to believe a “natural origin” for Covid, though I am also able to believe that it emerged—accidentally—from a lab.) 


An interesting piece on the “Asbury Revival” that happened in February. Religion always has the capacity to surprise.


For nerds, this is pretty great: a list, curated by the journal Antigone, of a number of excellent ancient greece and rome related websites.


Michael Shaara’s The Killer Angels is one of the most influential novels for my formation.  His sci-fi story “All the Way Back” is one of my favorite stories.  I even have a soft spot for the overly-Costnered For Love of the Game, which is discussed here.  Shaara had it rough, and didn’t help himself. A good story.


Another piece about the four-day workweek.    


Interesting: “the position of cities in the world economy has diverged from national economies….Our findings support predictions that globalizing cities would diverge from national economies and that globalization would generate a new global geography that transects long-standing cleavages in the world system.” Remarkable piece of scholarship, showing what good social-science methodologies can do.


Be well! It's a rainy Saturday here, I hope you are snug and resting this weekend, wherever you are.