I finished Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton. What a great read! If you had told me, when I was in high school, that when I was 34 I would read a 700-page biography of Alexander Hamilton, I would have laughed at you. But the writing was sophisticated and compelling, and it made the historical figures into rich, genuine humans to whom I could relate. I highly recommend it. I found this passage about Thomas Jefferson interesting and prescient: “Hamilton’s besetting fear was that American democracy would be spoiled by demagogues who would mouth populist shibboleths to conceal their despotism. George Clinton, Thomas Jefferson, and Aaron Burr all came to incarnate that dread for Hamilton.” (p. 220-221). Here’s another take on events of the same time. It makes me want to read more about Jefferson, to try to get a better sense of who he was, beyond the standard pablum that I’ve heard.
I also read Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, which I thought was quite good, but I didn’t feel totally in love with it. I watched the movie that they made, and I actually think it was a better movie than it was a book. Here’s an article from The New Yorker about that movie, which was a good read.
I have already had too much contradictory advice about parenting.
Interesting read on the stupid, misplaced machismo of fire management.
Great piece about how housing policy – including the mortgage tax credit – is an explicitly and implicitly racist driver of inequality.
Fun profile of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Maybe not totally worth your time, though.
So James Comey got fired and people wrote a bunch of stuff about it but none of it may matter at all. It doesn’t really seem to matter how depraved or incompetent these people are. Including Jared Kushner, apparently, who builds value for his companies by extracting petty fees from people who cannot afford to contest them.
Abstinence-only sex education is still a bad idea for society, and here’s a piece about how it’s bad for people personally.
Some thinking about poverty as though it were a disease. Interesting, but, we’re not great at treating chronic or contagious disease in this country, either…
S-Town was interesting to listen to and think about. Here’s an okay interview with the reporter.
The intersection of entomology and hypochondria! Fascinating article.
Given the murders in Portland last weekend, it’s worth re-reading this take on racism and free speech – which, again, are not actually in conflict, because hate speech is not protected free speech.
Useful for my bio politics class – Economics trying to be mechanistic to appear scientific.