Opening the week with links

March 06, 2023

I have been quiet, sorry; I was away this weekend in Nashville, a very fun city, visiting a dear friend and his family.  But I didn't forget about you, not by a long-shot.


This is encouraging, though it also comes with its own challenges:

“Research on individual voting behavior over time supports the idea that early partisan predilections persist over an individual’s life span.…Younger Americans are tilting the electoral playing field strongly towards the Democrats and making it very likely that the “over/under” line in American politics will be 45, if not 50, for at least the rest of this decade.”

They note this is paired with a “shrinking gender gap” among younger voters, with men and women voting similarly (unlike over-45s, where men are significantly more likely to vote Republican than are women). Intriguingly, they suggest this is amplified by younger voters’ lack of reliance on TV—thus, the “Fox News Effect” is much less powerful for them.


More on China. Kind of a first-draft/raw data piece on how China’s economy is becoming increasingly a service-oriented economy.  Interesting.  Still a long way to go from service-centered economies of the US or Europe—still very heavily manufacturing-oriented—but a big change.


And related to that—this study offers a picture of China’s economy at present, and where it is likely to go.  Short story: it’s not as scary as some “China rising” people want to make it. Key quote:

“Whether China can sustain rapid economic growth will largely be determined by what happens with productivity growth. Yet Chinese productivity growth has been decelerating, and there are strong reasons to think it will continue to do so — reflecting economic theory, the international evidence, China’s own track record, and the prospect of intensifying ”decoupling” from the West.” 



"the Soviet Union also became a space of projections for those who looked for ways to criticise capitalism and Western imperialism. Those who blamed capitalism for oppression believed that eliminating capitalism would end all forms of oppression. For them, the Soviet Union was an internationalist project that brought equality and freedom to formerly subjugated peoples.”


On left "purity politics". In some ways this is too cautious; but it’s worth listening to.

On the work ethic of Isaac Casaubon, one of the scholarly greats.


Sent to me by someone who knows about how distorted visions of one’s opponents can distort oneself. Not just Lithuanians are susceptible to the complex about Russia described herein.


Really interesting study that I'd love to talk about with students--I'll probably use it in my "comparative ethics" course. But for now I'll just heartily agree with this line: "The woods is therapy, the forest is therapy. You can have the worst day ever but when you get out here? The forest just takes it all away.”  If you have a chance: no joke, just regularly make your way outside sometime on a trail or in woods beyond trails, you'll see what she means, it really really has helped me. Hopefully you too.


Not entirely unrelated to the previous piece: are we losing our capacity to focus our attention?


Take a walk; focus off-line; be well.  Till next time!