India, Gayness, Fathers & Sons, Altruism, Ukraine

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Will Narendra Modi Clean Up India?

James Crabtree | Prospect | 12th May 2015 | | Read with 1Pass

Can any leader change India's culture of corruption? Narendra Modi took office a year ago with the declared intention of cleaning house, but he has achieved dismayingly little. It may be the sheer scale of the task that daunts him. But he is not a timid man. More probably, it is political calculation. The next election in 2019 is "certain to be the most expensive campaign in Indian history". This is no time to be making rich enemies (3,900 words)

What Was Gay?

J. Bryan Lowder | Slate | 12th May 2015

Homosexuality and the gay sensibility have tended to go together. But as homosexuality moves from the margins to the mainstream, what happens to gayness? Can it take on a life of its own? "The benefits of opening gayness to everyone are manifold; our culture can never have enough people who are paying attention, who understand the arbitrariness of received wisdom and dogma, and who are capable of queenly critique" (9,300 words)

Porn, Video Games And Ritalin

Stuart Jeffries | Guardian | 9th May 2015

Girls outperform boys because boys suffer more from the degradation of the family, says psychologist Philip Zimbardo. "A young person is more likely to have a television in their bedroom than a father in their house by the end of their childhood. And even if fathers are around, sons don’t engage with them much: boys spend 44 hours in front of a screen for every half hour in conversation with their fathers" (1,960 words)

Peter Singer And Effective Altruism

John Gray | New York Review Of Books | 4th May 2015

John Gray teases apart Peter Singer's arguments for effective altruism until nothing of them remains: "That value should be maximized appears obvious to Singer. Nowhere does he tell us why this should be so. As a result the claim that living ethically means doing the most good is left hanging in midair. Plausibly, the idea that practical rationality must mean maximizing something belongs in economics rather than ethics" (3,800 words)

My Ukraine

Chrystia Freeland | Brookings | 12th May 2015

Reflections on the revolution and war in Ukraine. A quarter-century of corrupt government has impoverished and divided the country. Who remembers now that every region in Ukraine — including Donetsk and Crimea — voted for independence in 1991? But the long post-Soviet slump is over. The Maidan uprising and Russia's aggression have revived Ukrainian idealism. And if Ukraine can be free, then Russia can be free too (6,000 words)

Video of the day: Psychedelic Blues

What to expect: Animated documentary. Peter Stampfel remembers the founding of the Holy Modal Rounders (PG-15) (3'16")

Thought for the day

Scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of the demand
Josh Billings

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