Interesting interview with Cornell West about pragmatism and democracy, short.
The "Inequality Paradigm": a review of three recent books on economic history, with reflections on how we use history instead of sociology to understand contemporary issues; e.g., the 1619 Project as a way of approaching racism.
Evidence that finding new knowledge is in fact getting harder.
Finland is a heavily militarized country. Besides the stuff at the link, all Finnish bridges have built-in points for placing explosives to destroy them.
At the Italian site of Salorno-Dos de la Forca, Bronze Age people were cremated at high temperatures, and then their remains were just left on the platform. A substantial pile of ash and burned bone must have built up, dominating the site.
Interesting piece in the NY Times on why staying in an unfulfilling marriage can be a good choice: "two out of three unhappily married adults who avoided divorce or separation ended up happily married five years later. . . . Five years later, unhappily married adults who divorced or separated were no happier, on average, than unhappily married adults who stayed married."
Reproductions of historical hairstyles from the Bavarian Theater Academy.
The Biden administration is leaning hard into solar power and US production of solar cells, using tools like the Defense Production Act.
The NY Times is running a very depressing series on mental health issues among teenagers. This chapter covers the hundreds of teenagers who camp out in hospital emergency rooms for days because they are suicidal or self-harming and there are no spaces for them in mental health facilities.
Manifesto of the new right in America, from Christopher Rufo: "The goal is to protect these people, Middle Americans of all racial backgrounds — working class and middle class — to protect them against what I think is a hostile and nihilistic elite that is seeking to impose its values onto the working and middle classes to bolster their own power, prestige, status and achievement." From a long NY Times piece by Nate Hochman.
Having an unfamiliar, difficult-to-pronounce name may hurt your employment chances.
The decline in college enrollments in the US is accelerating; after falling by 3.5% last spring, they are down by 4.1% this spring. Universities had hoped that an easing pandemic would lead to a rebound in enrollments, but that hasn't happened and there isn't any sign that it will.
Headed to prison? For a fee, a "prison consultant" will help you get into a less onerous facility, reduce your time in the slammer, and make the best use of your time there. Some of the rich parents in the "Varsity Blues" scandal hired them. Interesting that sentencing is a bureaucratic process that can be managed for better outcomes like any other such process, and so is the tracking of prisoners' cases that influences things like parole. (NY Times)
Lately Russia has been launching missiles at Ukrainian rail infrastructure to interdict rail movement, but this is a losing game; it costs much less to repair the railroad than to build the missile. I had been wondering about this, I mean, already during the US Civil War Sherman's army had special crews that could rebuild railroads faster than Confederate raiders could destroy them. Modern railroads are more complex, but not that much more, and modern workers have bulldozers and cranes.
Remarkable video showing the speed of modern, radar-guided counter-battery artillery fire.
Situation in Severodonetsk on June 3, with Ukraine counter-attacking.
CBC: 'In this war, the ordinary infantryman is nothing': Ukrainian soldiers in Donbas feel abandoned and outgunned. Of course infantrymen have felt this way since WW I at least.
A friend of Igor Girkin's explains what is actually behind the mutinies of L/DPR reservists: not so much opposition to the war as a protest against particular decisions by the Russian government that left them under-equipped, under-trained, and exposed.
The importance of Ukraine's counter-offensive in the south: "Ukraine’s future as a viable independent state may depend on regaining control over the Kherson region."
Constantly updated map of the combat situation.
Why is the fighting in eastern Ukraine such a trench-bound slugfest instead of a World War II-style armored contest with sweeping advances and retreats?
Why didn't Ukraine do more to prepare for the war that the US told them was coming?
In retrospect, perhaps the best argument for why many in the Ukrainian elite did not believe the US intelligence could be accurate can be found in the dismal failure of Russia’s attempt to take the major cities of Kyiv and Kharkiv.
“It just didn’t compute,” said the source close to the intelligence services. “A takeover of Kyiv and the whole country in a few days? We thought it would be a disaster for Russia. And it was. We didn’t think Putin could be that stupid.”