Just some more links

October 03, 2021

Small ball these days.  I'm writing a lot, but mostly not on this blog, I guess? 


Fun study about surprisingly substantial effects of “kindness assignments” on undergraduates.


But are such studies trustworthy?  It's unclear; and this is depressing. “papers that successfully replicate are cited 153 times less than those that failed.”


Somewhat concerning: “U.S. fertility rates are likely to be considerably below replacement levels for the foreseeable future. This is driven by more than a decade of falling birth rates and declining births at all ages for multiple cohorts of women, not simply the aftermath of the pandemic-induced reduction in births. Furthermore, the simulated fertility rates we report in this essay are similar to those observed in virtually all other high-income countries. This evidence leads us to expect that U.S. birth rates and total completed fertility rates are not likely to rebound any time soon.”


Some good advice in here about the first year of teaching as a new professor.  People who are not new professors this year may find it interesting too, not least because of the picture it implies of what the first year of teaching is like—it’s not wrong…


So true: “Through social media, hyperstimulation works to reorganise our predictive model and restructure our habits: we wake up and reach for our phone, never leave home without it, and constantly feel drawn toward our phones even when in the company of friends.”

Very nice memoir of Jacques Barzun, mid-century intellectual and one of the great candidates for the title of champion twentieth-century “Man of Letters”.


Enjoy today, everyone.