Some links

March 22, 2023

As ever--this is basically just becoming a taxi stand, where links come in to me, and I ship them out to you again.  Well, maybe you find it useful.  All of my intense creative writing is going into, well, writing, writing on paper, for paper publications.  I don't apologize.


Smart piece about Master and Commander, a classic movie from 2003, and what is revealed by a certain demographic’s (say, middle-aged men’s) affection for it: a crisis of male friendship.


Interesting if troubling idea: is the US actually generating a coherent opposition to its agenda (the “liberal world order”) which will cause alliance formation among its enemies, making them synergistically more powerful together than they would be apart? Is there enough coherence among these rivals besides their opposition to the US?  Need there be anything more than this?


A sobering piece from Thomas Edsall about new research concerning Trump’s victory in 2016:

“the new analysis suggests that Trumpism has found fertile ground across a broad swath of the electorate, including many firmly in the mainstream. That Trump could capture the hearts and minds of these voters suggests that whatever he represents beyond racial resentment — anger, chaos, nihilism, hostility — is more powerful than many recognize or acknowledge. Restoring American politics to an even keel will be far tougher than many of us realize.”


Missed this last month, but it reminds me of two things: the "corporate state" of early modernity (Hello, East India Company), and also Elizabeth Anderson's work in her book Private Government.


Very helpful to read about AI.


I love Fahrney’s pens. That is all.


Probably true, and for you and me as well: “Ultimately, what sets Fred Rogers apart from so many other public figures, and the reason he reaches me in spite of his medium, is very simple. I believe wholeheartedly that, given the chance, he would have been glad to meet me.”


This is good news: "This year’s “Freedom in the World” survey notes that the number of countries suffering declines in 2022 was the lowest in 17 years, and was nearly matched by the number of countries experiencing improvements."


Take that as a good thought to end on for today.  Be well, everyone.