What I’ve been reading

  1. Currently about half way through Quakeland by Kathryn Miles. Of the natural sciences, earth science may be a close second in my book to chemistry. Perhaps in some other world there’s a version of me doing science among the rocks in the field instead of with beakers in the lab. So far the take away is simple – we’ve been hosed by earthquakes in the past and it’s just a matter of time before we’re hosed by them again. If you think you’re safe because you don’t live in California, think again. Interesting science backed up with compelling storytelling.
  2. In the battle between free speech and safe spaces on our college campuses, free speech is really taking it on the nose. 60% of all college students either believe hate speech is not protected speech or don’t know. The other statistics are equally discouraging.
  3. As always, Andrew Sullivan offers considerable food for thought in this recent article on tribalism and American politics.

    So much of our debates are now an easy either/or rather than a complicated both/and. In our tribal certainties, we often distort what we actually believe in the quiet of our hearts, and fail to see what aspects of truth the other tribe may grasp.

  4. The last book I finished was World Without Mind by Franklin Foer. If you’re not up for his full polemic against the economic, democratic and intellectual takeover Silicon Valley is perpetrating on the rest of us, this Washington Post article covers the basics.
  5. Bret Stephens makes several good points regarding the the dying art of disagreement.