Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Things to read

1. "Conservatives are wrong about everything, except predicting their own place in the culture," says Frederik de Boer here. If you read his piece (and you should) you will see that what he really means to say is that conservatives are right about the facts, but wrong about morality. But they are not just right about facts, but right about facts to do with human nature, and they are more honest in talking about reality as well. Hmm. De Boer is an interesting and fair-minded man of the Left, but (rather like Scott Alexander) his ability to see the qualities of the Right suggests that there is hope for him yet.

2. Meanwhile and also in America, "On average, workers born in 1942 earned as much or more over their careers than workers born in any year since". What about women? "Women have done much better than men. More women have entered the labor force and taken on more prestigious and remunerative careers." That's good, right? "Still, women are making less than men over their working years, and women’s rising earnings have not made up for the decline in men’s incomes for the population as a whole. ... As more women entered the labor force, median household incomes rose even as incomes of individual workers of a given age stagnated, with families using extra workers to bring home more money. But that climb ended in 1999, and since then, median household incomes have fallen, according to the census." More details here. People born in 1999 are just starting to go to university. For their whole life, median household incomes have been declining. And then they meet the people de Boer is talking about. Something has gone wrong.

3. This. It's about Clayton Christensen. It's well worth your time even if (especially if?) you have no idea who he is.

4. French opinion polls were way off. Don't look out for 'shy' Tories or what have you - look out for 'reluctant' ones. Macron had lots of reluctant support. Le Pen was a pretty good example of what they didn't want to vote for. British polls (for what they are worth) may be telling us that Corbyn is our Le Pen: generative of loud support from the few, and widespread but lukewarm opposition from the many.

5. "When asked by a journalist which language he spoke at home, Prince Philip, who is of German-Danish-Russian descent and the nephew of King Constantine I of Greece, replied “What do you mean, ‘at home’?” Born ninety years ago on a kitchen table in Corfu ..." More here, including: "In Paris, Philip lived with his aunt, Princess Marie Bonaparte, a disciple of Freudian psychoanalysis who would soon become France’s leading sexologist. At this point he attended a kindergarten in Jules Verne’s former house, where he was mocked for the brevity of his name. “Of Greece”, he would awkwardly reply when asked what came after “Philip”."

6. On Rod Dreher and Andrew Sullivan on reaction. Andrew Sullivan is becoming interesting again.

7. Did you ever watch "Girls"?

8. You can eat a horse, but you can't eat a robot. Can you eat people?

9. Behavioural economics scepticism.

10. The "mean girls" of philosophy are very very mean.

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