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October 09, 2021

It's the weekend!  Rest & enjoy.


Some useful advice here about designing affective “flipped courses“.  Useful if you're a primitive like me, anyway.


A really long and rich interview with Donald Fagen, of Steely Dan. As angular, serpentine, and sly as you would expect. Don't lose this web link, it's the only one you'll want.


Carlos Lozada has become my favorite book viewer who is on the staff of a major newspaper, and in this review he does a good job of thinking through some of the things Fiona Hill talks about in her memoir.  Especially the phrase “infrastructure of opportunity.”


Rural America is changing—growing much more diverse—in ways that may be surprising to you.  Some of the numbers were news to me—hopeful news.  This piece from the Brookings Institution maps some of the changes.


This is an interesting interview (conversation, really) between Merve Emre and Jonathan Franzen.

“It wasn’t my conscious intention, but I think I produced a book that has essentially no theology in it. Even when we go back and look at the Mennonites, we are looking at people who wanted to be radical, wanted to return to what they saw as the true Christianity as it was expressed by the very first Christians recounted in the Book of Acts. That’s about a way of living. It’s about a certain kind of humility and contemplation, a disengagement from the world, rather than about a list of specific things you should and shouldn’t do. I think the questions for me are, am I a good person? What can I do to be a better person?”


Small piece checking in with my colleague and friend Siva Vaidhyanathan on recent Facebook revelations:

“Imagine having so much money that you don’t have to care about money! That’s Facebook. That’s Mark Zuckerberg. No, Facebook is all about generating more Facebook, more human activities on Facebook, more humans using Facebook, and those humans using it for more time of the day....

To address the threat of Facebook, we must strike at its heart: the surveillance system that feeds the beast. We must severely restrict what Facebook can track about us and learn about us. We must limit the time it holds that personal data – maybe seven days, maybe 30 days. We must limit the uses to which Facebook, Google, Verizon, CVS, the Wall Street Journal, Amazon or any other company that vacuums up our behavioral data puts our data. We must starve the beast. We must regain power over our own activities and our own hearts and minds.”


This all has real NSC 68 vibes--with the Afghanistan withdrawal, and AUKUS, and this, it seems like we're seeing a major strategic reorientation of US foreign policy, less dramatic than 2001-2 and likely (I think) to be more long-lasting--maybe more like 1948-50.


A sombre thought to end on.  Be well, everyone.