Weekend Reads: June 29th, 2018

Kanye, Brutalism, and Twitter

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Into the Wild with Kanye West

Jon Caramanica | The New York Times | Shared by Tyler Cowen

Rapper and legendary influencer Kanye West has been a provocative firebrand since he first arrived on the music scene. How does he look at himself and his role as a public figure and artist? A new in-depth profile of Mr. West for The New York Times explores his transgressions, triumphs, and why he’ll never back down.


Brutalist Design is the Bad Influence We All Need

Maria Grilo | Imaginary Cloud | Shared by Tyler Cowen

In a world dominated by Google and Apple design principles, many websites and apps look nearly identical as they all copy the same aesthetics. In response, “web-brutalism” has gone from something edgy and punk to mainstream.


Why Are Parents Bringing Their Children on Treacherous Treks to the US Border?

Julie Turkewitz and Jose A. Del Real | The New York Times | Retweeted by Tyler Cowen

What benefit-cost analysis do parents make when deciding to make the violent journey to the US border, and how does family separation play into their decision-making? Julie Turkewitz and Jose A. Del Real interview parents in The New York Times.


Democrats Are Wrong About Republicans. Republicans Are Wrong About Democrats.

Perry Bacon Jr. | FiveThirtyEight | Retweeted by Brent Skorup

As the partisan divide increases in the United States, ignorance on each side about their ideological counterparts increases as well.


“Going Native” with Dune’s Paul Atreides

Toby Harper | Imperial & Global Forum | Tweeted by Mark Koyama

Can board games teach us about imperialism? “I know my late-night Risk sessions with friends certainly do.” Toby Harper details how the game Dune develops individual understanding of knowledge, control, and power.


"Bourgeois Dignity": The Idea that Created the Modern World

Luis Pablo de la Horra | Foundation for Economic Education | Shared by Donald Boudreaux

Why was there a sudden shift in growth and prosperity starting in eighteenth century England? To what can we attribute the turn to markets, property rights, and free trade? “Ideas,” says Deirdre McCloskey in a new book reviewed by Luis Pablo de la Horra.


Twitter Is Making Cowards of Us All

Dan Hannan | Washington Examiner | Retweeted by Brian Knight

Modern technology helps facilitate the mob instinct in humans—but did the internet create the problem? Dan Hannan offers his thoughts on incivility online.


Thousands of Swedes Are Inserting Microchips into Themselves – Here’s Why

Moa Petersen | The Conversation | Shared by Tyler Cowen

More and more Swedes are opting to embed microchips in their skin for use as credit cards, key cards, and more. However, it may not be for the reason you think.


Venezuela’s Future — and Ours

Kevin Williamson | National Review | Shared by Donald Boudreaux

What policies ultimately caused Venezuela to reach the point of institutional breakdown it currently faces? How do both Venezuela’s and the United States’ positions relate to F.A. Hayek’s Road to Serfdom? Kevin Williamson explains.


Newly Discovered ‘Limb Pit’ Reveals Civil War Surgeons’ Bitter Choices

Emily Baumgaertner | The New York Times | Retweeted by Veronique de Rugy

Excavators found the limbs of Union Army soldiers on a Civil War battlefield where surgeons buried them. This discover could help experts understand medical practices from the 19th century.


Uber Is Helping Saudi Arabia Drive Its Cultural Transformation

Kirsten Korsec | TechCrunch | Tweeted by Jennifer Huddleston Skees

On Sunday, Saudi Arabia’s king lifted the nation’s ban on female driving. Uber is looking to help women leverage their new freedom in the work force while also considering the unique cultural norms in the country.


Unhelpful, Caustic and Slow: The Academic Community Should Rethink the Way Publications are Reviewed

Thomas Wagenknecht | London School of Economics Impact Blog | Retweeted by Peter Boettke

How does the current peer-review process stymie research? Thomas Wagenknecht outlines three problems he finds with the current system.


Liu Cixin’s *Three Body* Trilogy

Dan Wang | Book Review | Retweeted by Tyler Cowen

The Three Body science fiction trilogy by Liu Cixin offers ideas about how technology can advance, how humans can build technologies, and how optimism and pessimism balance in this ideological world. Dan Wang offers this review on his blog.