Just some links

February 08, 2021

So cool, both in method of study and in conclusions drawn.  “This new evidence adds to a growing realization that the Bronze Age was surprisingly global, with long-distance trade connections stretching from China to the Mediterranean.”


A fairly “in the weeds” interview with Thomas Piketty, on his recent book “Capital and Ideology”.


A good if pitiless reading of Barack Obama’s memoir.  It gives me a lot to think about.

“Obama says that one of his missions as president was to breathe new life into some of the institutions whose decline had exacerbated this growing inequality, including public schools and state universities, labour unions, and government agencies. What he doesn’t say is that this mission was at odds with the political rhetoric on which he built his campaign. After all, that sort of institutional reform has nothing to do with his life story or his personal example. He had no direct experience of any of these things – not trade unions, not public schools, not government work. He had been a community organiser in Chicago but gave it up when he got frustrated by how little difference he could make personally. He wanted to leverage his unique skill set. Like Jerry Seinfeld and LeBron James, Obama exemplifies what can be done by super-talented individuals in a winner-take-all world. He won and did indeed take it all, including the $65 million he and Michelle received in a package deal that has produced this book. More power to him. But his example is not a recipe for structural change. Quite the contrary.”

The review should know of what he speaks; when his own dad dies, he'll become Lord Runciman.


Something that complicates our Rousseaueanism.


Good, from a couple years ago (and still true):

"On balance, mainline Protestants are political moderates. Because of their diverse political composition they may be ideal places to practice political deliberation in American society…. However, they are also declining at a rapid rate, having dropped from 30% of the population in the 1970’s to just 10% today. It seems telling that the one Christian tradition that is politically heterogeneous is also the one that is also rapidly declining."


For the last four years, whenever I visited, DC felt like a city under enemy occupation.  Maybe now things will be different.


Be safe, everyone.