TGIF Links

July 15, 2022

Friday morning links for you all.  A good start to the weekend.


Nice interview with Michael Lewis, one of my favorite non-fiction writers today, and also the author of an exceptional podcast I highly recommend, Against the Rules.  But this interview doesn’t even mention the podcast! Disappointing.


And as a parallel, a different interview—one with Paul Gilroy, author of many books including The Black Atlantic and (my fave) Postcolonial Melancholia.


In short, this article suggests Fukuyama was right: “the feeling that the world is getting worse is not universal. In fact, it is mostly held by residents of rich countries like the United States.”


A look back at “Sex, Lies, and Videotape” on its 30th anniversary. I still remember watching the movie, I believe in a theater; struck me as pretty great then, still does now.  (Just an aside: it's so interesting to think about how much of my thinking is retrospective, now.)


Oh this looks interesting:

“Since at least the end of the eighteenth century, with the French and American Revolutions and the revolt of the slaves in Haiti in 1791, there has been a general movement toward equality. The march has been nourished by revolts against injustice, within countries as well as internationally, moving us away from societies of privilege and colonialism. It is a movement that has never completely stopped. On income and assets, we are today very, very far from the concentration levels of the early twentieth century, as well as previous centuries. Even since the 1980s, a period of rising concentration, we have continued on the path toward equality as inequalities arising from gender and origin, and between the global North and South, have diminished. In the long term, the march toward equality is very clear. I really want to insist on that.”

Here’s a kind of slam on “deconstruction” masquerading as a book review, though the book is only faintly reviewed.  It is a little too partisan for me, but (a) it’s worth thinking about, despite its polemicism (I didn’t know deconstruction could still get people riled up! I guess we never really leave grad school behind), and (b) the book it (fails to) review sounds interesting. And here's a reply to that piece, which is perhaps (imho) overly defensive and self-aggrandizing.

 “Overall, these results indicate an important causal link between desegregation and greater equity across students of different backgrounds. This finding has historical importance, since it has been difficult—partly due to data limitations—to know the impact of the Mendez decision. Beyond that, however, we believe that these findings have implications for contemporary education policy.”


Very useful piece about the impacts of desegregation, this time particularly among Mexican Americans.


People who know me know I'm kind of fascinated by Göbekli Tepe.  Well, another ancient religiously-valenced site has been discovered, this one in Jordan, and 9000 years old.  Fascinating.


Keep a long-term perspective alive in your soul.  Don't confuse the immediate with the significant, the urgent with the important.  They're both real, but we're dispositionally designed to be more short-term than long.  For our mental health, for our souls, that is a danger.  Be well.