At Matt Yglesias’ recommendation, I decided to read By Steppe, Desert, and Ocean: The Birth of Eurasia. It’s decent. Recommended from me too.
This Liz Bruenig column, I Became a Mother at 25, and I’m Not Sorry I Didn’t Wait, has elicited unhinged responses. I feel that people invest too much into their various life choices in terms of those choices reflecting on their views and preferences for society as a whole. Americans express a preference for larger families than they end up having. Is that revealed preference? Or is it a cultural and policy environment that doesn’t allow for large families (I think it’s more cultural than policy to be honest, so not sure if it’s soluble)?
In general, people should talk less and just focus on their own life. If you want more kids, have them, figure out how you can have them, etc. If you don’t want to have kids, don’t, but kindly shut up about how awesome your life choice is and how you get to travel (many of us don’t think your life is that awesome and you constantly talking about how awesome it is is weird).
By the way, thanks to everyone who has supported my Substack! It’s been a good experience.
I figured out how to link to my Clubhouse account, Razib Khan. Also, I created a “club” for my Substack, Razib Khan’s Unsupervised Learning. I’ve been doing “Rooms” every Friday since the end of February.
Scotland’s Independence Parties Gain Upper Hand as Pressure Builds on U.K. I guess I was mildly pro-independence in 2014, but at this point, it seems like it would be ill-advised for Scotland to do this.
Again, I recommend The Horde: How the Mongols Changed the World. Reminder: this is a book about the Golden Horde. Not the whole Mongol Empire.
When Covid Hit, China Was Ready to Tell Its Version of the Story. Of course, China is manipulating media. First, the USA does some of this too. Voice of America? Second, I think The New York Times going the way of “moral clarity” really puts it in a worse position to respond and benefit from this expansion of Chinese propaganda. Half the articles in The Times read like biased propaganda as well, and they’re not even clever about it. The shift toward subscription newspapers to becoming “fan-service” for their customers means there’s top-down propaganda (China) and bottom-up propaganda (more and more The New York Times). It’s pretty clear that many of the desks of The New York Times won’t publish things their staffers and subscriber might not like.