iLots and lots of good stuff this week.
1) Paul Krugman on how you (or at least the Republican Party) never gets punished for being obviously and provably wrong on economic policy. (“Look, people who don’t look like you are getting your hard-earned money!”)
2) Hooray for Obama for forcefully advocating net neutrality. Boo to Republicans for opposing it… because Obama favors it? What politicians purposefully take the side of Time Warner and Comcast over small businesses and American consumers?! Great Oatmeal illustrated piece on net neutrality. And a really nice Wired explanation of the key points (from earlier this year):
The real issue is that the Comcasts and Verizons are becoming too big and too powerful. Because every web company has no choice but to go through these ISPs, the Comcasts and the Verizons may eventually have too much freedom to decide how much companies must pay for fast speeds.
And, of course, you can’t beat John Oliver on net neutrality.
3) Amazingly, a FIFA investigation of FIFA has concluded that FIFA has done nothing wrong. I’m shocked. Shocked.
4) Hanna Rosin catches up with famed fabulist Stephen Glass 15 years after his crimes. Great stuff.
5) Chait eviscerates the absurdity of the new legal challenge to Obamacare like no other. Dahlia Lithwick and Barry Friedman say maybe we don’t actually have to worry all that much. I hope they are right.
6) Pope Francis demotes far-right, Communion-denying Cardinal. I love this guy more every week.
7) Seth Masket argues that big money does not threaten party control, but rather enhances it.
8) Well now that Kansas has re-elected Sam Brownback, their state budget looks worse than ever.
9) If you are a podcast listener and not listening to Serial, get with it already. Here’s 10 theories on what really happened.
10) Kevin Drum identifies long-term trends shaping American politics. (It’s from two years ago, but it’s good stuff).
11) Jeffrey Toobin writes that being a lawyer is still great if you come from an elite law school. Otherwise, not so much.
12) I love the ego depletion model of willpower. And all the research seemed pretty damn convincing in Willpower. But new research says not so fast.
13) Vox on the best way to lose weight.
The one thing you need to know from science about dieting is rather straightforward. What works is cutting calories in a way that you like and can sustain. That’s it. Fewer calories means more weight loss. It’s really that simple. You can stop reading here if you want….
“It’s the wrong question,” he added. “The better question now should be ‘what is the best diet for different individuals, and how can we match them to those diets?’” To understand this, Gardner said researchers would need to look at people’s behaviors, microbiomes and genetic makeup, and how they respond to particular diets. Until science reveals this more refined picture, remember Caulfield: simplicity is the revelation.
14) Charter schools can be great for truly at-risk kids, but those based on a model of working teachers to the bone, really don’t seem scalable. It’s good to see some of the intensive charter schools figuring out that maybe they can do this and still let their teachers have a life.
15) Why do obese women earn less money. Shockingly, the answer is discrimination.
16) When people don’t like the solution to a problem, they will just deny the problem exists. So says new social science research.
17) Great column from Charles Blow summarizing the history of race and party politics in America. A very effective and succinct summary of the key development in the last 50 years of American politics.
18) 18 Common words you should replace in your writing. Yeah, a pretty good list.
19) Enjoyed UNC grad Jason Zengerle on the athletic/academic scandal and Roy Williams:
Except that Williams didn’t actually table his suspicions (however vague he maintains those suspicions were). He acted on them and, although he didn’t bring an end to the “paper classes” scam, he at least ended his team’s participation in it. In the cesspool that is big-time college sports, that’s a commendable course of action. As an athletic department official at one college sports powerhouse put it to me, “Out of the 300 Division One basketball coaches, 290 of them would have looked the other way and perpetuated the fraud, 8 of them would have stopped participating in it, and maybe 1 or 2 would have actually blown the whistle on the whole thing.” Looking at the situation that way, what Williams did isn’t just defensible. It might actually be admirable.
The problem for UNC and Williams, of course, is that, were they to embrace such an argument, they’d be admitting just how debased big-time college sports have become. And, despite acknowledging that their university perpetuated an academic fraud for 18 years, they’re still not willing to admit to that general level of debasement