Just for your reading pleasure.
Big news in Human evolution in 2022—all the top discoveries: cooked fish and early beer! Domesticated dogs and amputations! Grandmothers and gonorrhea!
A nice piece about the editor of Jewish Currents, who has really revitalized the journal.
David Brooks said it, but it also happens to be true: this is a really fine piece on “the banality of genius,” with the example being the Beatles. Glittering with insights, not least being about Ringo’s “long apprenticeship in patience.”
James Fallows speaks to a member of Zelensky’s speechwriting team; interesting on public messaging. And this, on Zelensky's New Year's speech, is correct: A magnificent speech, well analyzed well here.
Interesting piece on the sociological canon today. Sounds remarkably like the sociological canon of fifty years ago. Why hasn't it changed much?
I hadn’t known this existed—a nice list of memorials to Istvan Hont, a very thought-provoking historian of 18th century political thinking.
A bleak analysis of Egypt’s current economic woes. Hint: Sisi, even more than his overall regime, is to blame.
Nice piece on “Receptiogate”—read about it if you don’t know what it is—and on what it shows us about how the research funding model for humanists, especially in Europe, is broken.
As anticipated, we may have reached peak China. It's not that China won't continue to grow rich or strong, but that its fundamental energy has always been the scale of a population. Now it has begun to shrink. It was already getting older. These two facts make it at least reasonable to begin to contemplate the idea that the future role of China in the world will not entirely be continuous with its role during the past half century or so.
More on China from the NYT: “The median age in China has already surpassed that of the U.S. and could rise above 50 by 2050. Even Europe’s fastest-aging countries are not expected to surpass a median age of 50 until around 2100.”
Be well. Have a good week! Win the Monday, people.