Links and Books, June 2022

Posted on 30 Jun 2022 by Steve Markham

Links

  • Why We Won’t Raise Our Kids in Suburbia. I doubt that I’ll move to the Netherlands while I still have kids at home. But perhaps we’ll get a month-long AirBnB there to give them some exposure, and perhaps we’ll help them find better places to live in the US.
  • T1J - Is Violence Ever Acceptable. I don’t always agree with T1J on everything, but I find him thought provoking and watch all of his videos (but not his streams). I think, though, that not only do I agree with him 100% on this topic, he has done a great job of articulating the viewpoint and why is difficult and not-obvious. If you like this video but wish it was a very wordy essay, consider reading Guided by the Beauty of Our Weapons by SSC. Sidenote, I link to Nebula because I’m becoming more and more convinced that YouTube is bad for your health, but T1J is also on YT if that’s easier for you to access. Just search the title of the video.
  • Lethal Mass Partisanship by Kalmoe and Mason (PDF). It’s an academic paper, hard to read and harder to quote, but the punchline is reasonably quotable: “In two nationally representative surveys, we find large portions of partisans embrace partisan moral disengagement (10-60%) but only small minorities report feeling partisan schadenfreude or endorse partisan violence (5- 15%). Party identity strength and trait aggression consistently increase each kind of extreme party view. Finally, experimental evidence shows inducing expectations of electoral victory give strong partisans more confidence to endorse violence against their partisan opponents.” Reminder: 5% means roughly 12 million adult Americans.
  • Republican or Not - SNL. Also, Black Jeopardy.

Books

  • The Demon-Haunted World, by Carl Sagan. I copied more text out of the first few chapters of this book for future re-reading than any other book I’ve read, except possibly Where Do We Go From Here. It’s over 25 years old. I have no sense of whether the ideas were new when the book was new, but they have certainly been discussed ad nauseum since, so I wouldn’t blame anyone for not caring to read it. Most of the book is about UFOs, which is a topic I’m not passionate about. But I will say Sagan’s a good writer and it was a very easy read. Recommended.
  • Supergifted, by Gordon Korman. Read aloud as a family. Not great, but it’s a sequel and we plan to read Ungifted next.
  • The Dragon Reborn, by Robert Jordan. Long book is long. But enjoyable.
  • A Handbook for New Stoics, by Massimo Pigliucci. Meh.

Quotes

  • “A great argument isn’t one a genius can’t refute, but one a fool can’t refute.” - Bomani Jones (‘s brother)
  • “Special cautions are necessary when the stakes are high. We are not obliged to make up our minds before the evidence is in. It’s permitted not to be sure.” - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World (I could have included about 10 pages worth of quotes from the first few chapters of that book.
  • “It’s just a matter of degree, right? Well, sometimes the matters of degree matter by a lot.” - Sean Carroll