Migrants, Money, Autism, Ai Weiwei, Berlusconi


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Why We Should Welcome Migrants

Simon Kuper | Financial Times | 18th September 2015 | | Read with 1Pass

A manifesto for open borders. Europe has room to spare. Many of its cities sprawled in the age of the automobile, and are now sparsely populated. Only about 2.5 per cent of the EU’s land is used for housing. There is plenty of room for migrants in Europe's labour markets, too: "European countries are turning into old people’s homes. In 2050, I plan on being 80. Either I’ll be cared for by a robot or by a Syrian" (693 words)

Dear Dad, Send Money

Anonymous |  | 5th September 2015

Letters from the Middle Ages. "A student’s first song is a demand for money," wrote an exasperated medieval dad, "and there will never be a letter which does not ask for cash." Wrote one young scholar, "I respectfully beg your paternity that by the promptings of divine pity you may assist me, so that I may be able to complete what I have well begun. For you must know that without Ceres and Bacchus Apollo grows cold" (860 words)

Jonathan Mitchell On Neurotribes

Jonathan Mitchell | Cortical Chauvinism | 16th September 2015

Autistic man argues against the "neurodiversity perspective" (as presented in recent book "Neurotribes") where neurological difference is like "a linux and a windows operating system that just work differently"; sees autism instead as a "horrible disability." Discusses experiences in psychoanalysis where cause of his autism was ascribed to "castration anxiety." But see responses from "Neurotribes" author in the comments (1,670 words)

I Try To Talk Less

Ai Weiwei & Ian Johnson & Liao Yiwu | New York Review Blog | 12th September 2015

Conversation with Chinese artist Ai Weiwei (and writer Liao Yiwu), now both in Berlin. On his renewed permission to travel: "It’s like I was on arid land and thrown into water. I’ve been running for so many years and now have reached the shore." On politics: "If you don’t understand politics you are a victim of politics... But those who participated in politics were even more miserable" (3,117 words)

Cardiologists And Chinese Robbers

Scott Alexander | Slate Star Codex | 16th September 2015

Scott Alexander on a roll this week; just be absolutely sure to read past Section I of this piece about criminal cardiologists (and so much more). Impossible to excerpt without misleading (1,790 words)

Dodging The Trump Bullet

Luigi Zingales | City Journal | 19th May 2011

In 2011, Luigi Zingales compares Donald Trump to Silvio Berlusconi. Berlusconi "created an unlikely coalition between the business elite, which supports him for fear of the alternative, and the poor, who identify with him because he appeals to their aspirations. In a country where corruption and lack of meritocracy has all but killed the hope of intra-generational mobility, citizens chose to escape from reality and find consolation in dreams" (690 words)

Video of the day: The Seed

What to expect: Meditative, beautifully drawn animation of natural life (2'17")

Thought for the day

There is a crack in everything. It's how the light gets in
Leonard Cohen

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