Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Links, July 1, 2015

The hard work of taking apart post-work fantasy by Mike Konczal
China's annual human rights report on the US by Chris Blattman
The west has normalized racist wars- but you can't solve complex problems with 1000lb bombs by Frankie Boyle: "We live in a country[UK] where posting “Let’s riot or something bruv!” on Facebook will get you a couple of years in prison, while writing a column saying we should bomb Syria is practically an entrance exam for public intellectuals." Similar phenomena in many countries. 
The crisis of non-fiction publishing by Sam Leith (via Lambert Strether): "Where 15 or 20 years ago the big trade publishers were, oddly, swamping the market with sort-of-scholarly micro-histories of salt or longitude, they now seem, with exceptions of course, to be tiptoeing away from specific, knotty, deeply researched and nuanced books about things. The sorts of book on which they tend now to rely are investigations of “big ideas”. Their lodestars or exemplars are the Malcolm Gladwells and Daniel Kahnemans and Nicholas Carrs. I do not mean to denigrate those individual authors, rather to say that they produce a particular type of work.....The university presses are turning towards the public because with the big presses not taking these risks, the stuff’s there for the taking."
The psychology of saving by Tim Harford
Inequality, the state & the left by Chris Dillow: "Rather than merely hope that the state can be grasped by good people, the left needs to think differently. What we also need are horizontalism or what Erik Olin Wright has called (pdf) interstitial transformations - self-help groups independent of the state which can grow to supplant capitalism or at least act as a counterweight to capitalistic pressures.
Sadly, though, I'm not sure that much of the British left is thinking along these lines. Perhaps, though, real progress towards socialism will occur only when the left begins to question its love of the state."

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