Sunday | 10 March 2013

work / culture

TRASHING SHERYL SANDBERG
Joan Walsh | Slate

The Facebook exec’s feminist critics seem to say that if you can’t solve everyone’s problems, don’t solve anyone’s.

WHY DO WE HATE SUCCESSFUL WOMEN
Katie Roiphe | Slate

Liberals want more female CEOs. But they hate the ones who exist.

economics

WEALTH INEQUALITY IN AMERICA
politizane | Youtube


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WEALTH GAP BETWEEN WHITES AND BLACKS WORSENS
Tami Luhby | CNN.Money

The wealth gap between blacks and whites has nearly tripled over the past 25 years, due largely to inequality in home ownership, income, education and inheritances, according to a new study by Brandeis University.

The difference in wealth between typical households in each racial group ballooned to $236,500 in 2009, up from $85,000 in 1984, according to the study, released Wednesday. By 2009, the median net worth of white families was $265,000, while blacks had only $28,500.

BANKERS BORROW WAY TOO MUCH
Matthew Yglesias | Slate

An excellent new book, The Bankers’ New Clothes by Anat Admati of Stanford Business School and Martin Hellwig of the Max Plank Institute, argues that these debt levels rather than the more discussed topics of excessive gambling or “too big to fail” are the real problem with modern finance. And their argument is attracting praise not just from left-wing figures like Simon Johnson but also from conservatives like John Cochrane writing in the Wall Street Journal.

technology / policy

DEREK KHANNA WANTS YOU TO BE ABLE TO UNLOCK YOUR PHONE
Ezra Klein | Wonkblog / Washington Post

Khanna had unwittingly stumbled into a deep fissure in today’s Republican Party. The party sees itself as the champion of private enterprise. But which private enterprises? The ones that exist today? Or the ones that might exist tomorrow?

There’s a difference between being the party of free markets and the party of existing businesses. Excessively tough copyright law is good for big businesses with large legal departments but bad for new businesses that can’t afford a lawyer. And while Khanna, like many young conservative thinkers, believes in free markets, the Republican Party is heavily funded by big businesses.

“Capping bank size, limiting bank activities, higher equity capital requirements,” writes Jim Pethokoukis at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, “all tools in the toolbox for eliminating the crony capitalist subsidy of the US financial system by government.” This thinking is leading to some unexpected alliances. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), a hard-core conservative, is co-sponsoring legislation with Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), a leading liberal, that would break up the big banks.

race

AGAINST THE ‘CONVERSATION ON RACE’
Ta-Nehisi Coates | The Atlantic

No one who wants to write beautifully should ever — in their entire life — write an essay about “the subject of race.” You can write beautifully about the reaction to LeBron James and “The Decision.” You can write beautifully about integrating your local high school. You can write gorgeously about the Underground Railroad. But you can never write beautifully about the fact of race, anymore than you can write beautifully about the fact of hillsides. All you’ll end up with is a lot of words, and a comment section filled with internet skinheads and people who have nothing better to do with their time then to argue internet skinheads.

science

THE SCIENCE OF SLEEPLESSNESS
Elizabeth Kolbert | The New Yorker

In the nineteen-eighties, Allan Rechtschaffen and Bernard Bergmann, both, like Kleitman, sleep researchers at the University of Chicago, performed what is now considered to be one of the classic experiments in the field. It showed that rats, when totally deprived of sleep, would, after two or three weeks, drop dead. But Rechtschaffen and Bergmann could never figure out the precise cause of the rats’ deaths, and so, they wrote in a follow-up paper in 2002, even “that dramatic symptom did not tell us much about why sleep was necessary.” Rechtschaffen has observed that “if sleep doesn’t serve an absolutely vital function, it is the greatest mistake evolution ever made.”

art

cloud

A HOVERING MAGNETIC CLOUD AND OTHER KINETIC SCULPTURES BY LAURENT DEBRAUX
Chris Jobson | Colossal

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