Gay Marriage Hits The Supreme Court
26th March 2013 | Jonathan Rauch | Brookings
The Court will, in effect, have to make a political decision: "Gay marriage doesn't fit any existing judicial template. It doesn't neatly fit civil-rights decisions overturning, for example, racial discrimination, because society has always (rightly or wrongly) viewed male+female as intrinsic to the nature of marriage in a way that white+white is not"
Will The Chinese Be Supreme?
26th March 2013 | Ian Johnson | New York Review Of Books
Roundup of books on China's future by Edward Luttwak, Arvind Subramanian, and Odd Arne Westad. Luttwak argues: "Only a fully democratic China could advance unimpeded to global hegemony, but then the governments of a full democratic China would undoubtedly seek to pursue quite other aims". And if China does grow threatening, other countries will unite against it.
Anthony Lewis — The Paul Krugman Of His Time
26th March 2013 | Michael Kinsley | New Republic
Short, sweet obituary note for Anthony Lewis, who "more or less invented Supreme Court coverage", and was a New York Times columnist "back when being a Times columnist was not unlike being a Supreme Court justice in terms of prestige, tenure, exclusivity and supporting infrastructure". Relentless critic of Vietnam war: "You read him twice a week to top up on fury"
Google No Longer Needs The Media
26th March 2013 | Paul Ford | Financial Times
On the closure of Google Reader. "This is the downside to apps: Your ability to labour along in familiar ways is contingent upon money coming to the app provider. This works when we remain consumers. But when we work inside these systems we increase our levels of risk. Users of free services get what they pay for" (Metered paywall)
Is Wagner Bad For Us?
26th March 2013 | Nicholas Spice | London Review Of Books
Long, discursive essay. "If there is a common denominator to the attacks on Wagner’s work as bad for us it is the idea that it causes a loss of self-control or volition in the listener: that, in representing emotional states beyond normal bounds, it lures us into these states so that we lose what Auden called our ‘dream of safety’." But how does Wagner achieve this?
Thought for the day:
"Just as the market for automobile repair will work poorly if the average customer blames his grocer for engine trouble, local elections will work poorly if the average voter blames the president for the quality of public schools" — Bryan Caplan