More skip than here, but whatever

May 05, 2023

It's a strange thing: I keep storing up stuff to share, but don't share it.  In some way I'm too busy learning about things to share them.  It's a problem, I admit it.  I'll work harder on that.


More evidence that things are getting a bit less claustrophobic & besieged in higher ed, and maybe across the culture as a whole—more college presidents resisting calls to shut down speakers.  Some of this is due to fewer intentionally inflammatory speakers, apparently, and some is due to an attempt to respond to right-wing assaults on academic autonomy by reasserting the value of that autonomy.  Some is also due to college presidents feeling braver about pushing back against certain factions of faculty, staff, and student pressure.


And this is a good piece about the changing meaning of “harm” on college campuses, that tries to articulate the reasoning from multiple positions on this issue.  This is a topic that bears watching, in coming years.


Is technology a way to avoid needing to be human, to judge?  This piece makes me think about that.  Some of it certainly is, but then again the complaints about the "algorithmic" nature of certain moral theories has long ago become a cliché.  So this piece is good for laying out the worry, once again.


Pens, notebooks, paper, I’m down with a piece that talks about them and worries if we’re too obsessed with them, or not obsessed enough.


Thoughtful piece on the demographic challenges facing China, and how the geopolitics of the world are likely to change in coming decades.  Consider this:

“according to current projections, China’s population is likely to drop below 1 billion by 2080 and below 800 million by 2100. Those specific numbers will surely change; the downward shape of the curve almost certainly will not.

India by contrast will keep growing quickly for a while. Its population is projected to approach 1.7 billion by 2060 before descending back to about 1.5 billion by century’s end.”

Numbers aren’t everything, and the piece makes that clear, but the future is likely to be interesting, and interestingly affected by demographic changes.  (One thing the piece doesn’t mention is Africa, and in particular Nigeria’s, importance. All I would say on that is: we should be teaching a lot more people Yoruba right now.)


Whoah. lots of details in this piece about the “clean energy transition” in the US. You get quite a briefing (not an education, but a briefing) going through it.


Finally: The Dan is great. That is all.


Turn up the Eagles, the neighbors are listening.


There's still gas in the car, for me.  Hope the same is true for you, and that you've found a world that you're welcome to.