Volume 3.25 (June 16-22)

Pick of the Week– The Not-So-Beautiful Game (Philip Delves Broughton, NYT)– “However much I knew, I could never really “know” the game in the same way as those who had endured hot summer afternoons of Little League or long losing droughts with the Mets. Anyone could like El Duque, the same way anyone can like Lionel Messi.   So it is with the new crowds of World Cup fans. If I feel a little protective of my game, it’s because my enthusiasm for it has been uneven and hard won. ”

Politics

The Truth About Our Libertarian Age (Mark Lilla, New Republic)– “Yet our libertarianism is not an ideology in the old sense. It is a dogma. The distinction between ideology and dogma is worth bearing in mind. Ideology tries to master the historical forces shaping society by first understanding them. The grand ideologies of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries did just that, and much too well; since they were intellectually “totalizing,” they countenanced political totalitarianism. Our libertarianism operates differently: it is supremely dogmatic, and like every dogma it sanctions ignorance about the world, and therefore blinds adherents to its effects in that world. It begins with basic liberal principlesthe sanctity of the individual, the priority of freedom, distrust of public authority, toleranceand advances no further. It has no taste for reality, no curiosity about how we got here or where we are going. There is no libertarian sociology (an oxymoron) or psychology or philosophy of history. Nor, strictly speaking, is there a libertarian political theory, since it has no interest in institutions and has nothing to say about the necessary, and productive, tension between individual and collective purposes. It is not liberal in a sense that Montesquieu, the American Framers, Tocqueville, or Mill would have recognized. They would have seen it as a creed little different from Luther’s sola fide: give individuals maximum freedom in every aspect of their lives and all will be well. And if not, then pereat mundus. ”

Population Shifts Turning All Politics National (Ashley Parker and Jonathan Martin, NYT)

Health Care

The Trouble with Apple’s Health App (Aaron Carroll, The Upshot)– “Yet I’m very skeptical we will see any great changes in the near future because of this development. A lack of true communication between information systems poses a huge challenge for these types of products. Although a law known as the Hitech Act, enacted as part of the stimulus package in 2009, encouraged hospitals and medical offices to start using electronic health records systems, it didn’t adequately address how to make different systems talk to each other. And so it’s common for practices, hospitals and emergency rooms to be unable to share data because they don’t use the same types of systems.”

Race

If Affirmative Action is Doomed, What’s Next? (David Leonhardt, The Upshot)

Guns

How Many Gun Deaths Are There in Your State? (Paul Waldman, The American Prospect)– “Though there’s a strong correlation between rates of gun ownership and rates of gun deaths, it isn’t perfect. For instance, in Louisiana, which tops the list with almost 19 deaths per 100,000 population, gun ownership rates are slightly lower than some of the Western states near the top (one explanation comes from the“culture of honor” among Southern white men in which slights have to be met with aggression, producing higher rates of violence and homicide, but that’s a topic for another day). But as a general matter, states with higher rates of gun ownership have higher rates of gun death.”

Economics

Why We’re All Crony Capitalists, Like It or Not (Neil Irwin, The Upshot)– “And there’s the rub for those who want to shut down the Ex-Im Bank. It’s all well and good to assail crony capitalism and to say that taxpayers shouldn’t be subsidizing private industry. But it also would amount to unilateral disarmament on the international stage, essentially putting American exporters at a clear disadvantage compared with European and Asian competitors.  More broadly, the debate over the Ex-Im Bank exposes an uncomfortable truth about global capitalism. As much as a purist might believe there exists some state of nature in which governments neither subsidize nor obstruct business, and capitalism represents a pure survival of the fittest, that isn’t the world we actually live in.”

Mormonism

More Housewives, More Heretics (Winterbuzz, Feminist Mormon Housewives)

We Are Better Than This (Katie L., Feminist Mormon Housewives)– We aren’t actually, but this is worth a read anyway.

How the Mormons Conquered America (Michael Fitzgerald, Nautilus)

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