So Kingdoms of Faith: A New History of Islamic Spain is worth it for the first 2/3 of the book. The last 1/3 is a bunch of stuff about the Emirate of Granada that’s hard to keep track of. If you didn’t know that in 1500 most of the Muslim communities of the peninsula outside of Granada were in the kingdom of Aragon, then this book is worth reading, as it explains the reasons for this.
The Brown Pundits podcast is going to release a bunch of stuff in the next few days (already on Patreon page). Readers of this weblog will probably appreciate the conversation with Zaid Jilani the most. We talk about whether Matt Yglesias really believes the stuff he puts out there. Zaid has some insights. The podcast could have gone much longer because it’s interesting to talk to someone who doesn’t have paint-by-the-numbers answers to everything.
Rulers, Religion, and Riches: Why the West Got Rich and the Middle East Did Not is interesting because it’s starting to convince me of the importance of ideas and doctrine in religion in terms of material consequences! Need to think more deeply on this. But recommended.
China’s Hard Edge: The Leader of Beijing’s Muslim Crackdown Gains Influence. “He promoted education in Chinese instead of in Tibetan, and offered financial and other incentives to encourage interracial marriages.” Forced assimilation and demographic absorption have been a past Chinese tactic.
‘There are no black people on Game of Thrones’: why is fantasy TV so white? People criticize Quillette for publishing predictable stuff…but the point that’s not brought up is how ‘respectable’ media regularly publish predictable clickbait to pay the bills.
A Mysterious Infection, Spanning the Globe in a Climate of Secrecy. Maybe we’ll die of infectious diseases rather than heart disease or cancer?
U.S. Urges Immediate Halt to Military Operations in Libya. What’s going on in Libya again? Another mess we forgot….