I’ve decided to introduce something in the flavor of Lifehacker‘s weekly round-ups and Po Bronson‘s oh-so-misleadingly named “weekly” recommended readings. Every Saturday, I’ll post a selection of some of the best links I’ve found in the previous week. Some weeks, like this one, there will be enough links to make one uneasy… some weeks I might blog about only one. Like my regular posts, the subject matter will often change, though there will be concentrations in some particular areas. And I’ll try to make them as interesting as possible.
On a completely unrelated note, I wish everyone a very happy Easter weekend!
So, this week’s links…
Web 2.0/Advice: Several Habits of Wildly Successful Del.icio.us Users
This post is quite old, actually, but I’ve only recently discovered it. If you use del.icio.us, it has some very useful advice. Some of the tips are common sense to the Web 2.0-literate (post often, use many tags), but there are some clever specifics about the inbox, networks, and filetypes that are worth a look-through. Using the interface, networking, and ways to find new and interesting links are all covered.
Intelligence/Education: Intelligence in the Classroom (Wall Street Journal)
Also a relatively old link (January 2007), and one that I’ve come across before, but I rediscovered and bookmarked it for the first time yesterday. It’s the first of a three-part series on education by Charles Murray, the other two parts (also worth a read) being ‘What’s Wrong With Vocational School?’ (our culture puts too much emphasis on a four-year degree) and ‘Aztecs vs. Greeks’ (highly intelligent should also learn how to be wise). ‘Intelligence in the Classroom’ has been criticized by many others interested in intelligence for putting too much emphasis on IQ scores, but I still think it’s worth a read and somewhat agree with the main premise.
Politics: An Administration’s Epic Collapse (TIME Magazine)
Yes, I’m sure that everyone’s tired of hearing how the Bush administration’s ship is rapidly sinking, but this article manages to be interesting nonetheless. The article focuses on how the three sins of this administration – arrogance, incompetence, and cynicism – have ensured its demise, and ties them to the three major “scandals” of recent news: the surge, the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and the firing of the attorneys. It’s an interesting though not particularly shocking article.
Business/Music: Spinning Into Oblivion (New York Times)
I thought this one was particularly interesting. It’s a recent Op-Ed piece in the NYT by the owner of a music store that was forced to go out of business about how the RIAA has killed the industry it has sought to protect. The argument is intriguing, and I have to say, I agree.
Religion: Einstein and Faith (TIME Magazine)
Another article that really captured my attention was this one, about Einstein’s personal beliefs. His reputation as an atheist was undeserved, it seems; he definitely believed in something beyond the physical world. It’s impossible to do this article justice in a quick summary – if your interests include religion, agnosticism, free will, or Einstein in general, and even if they don’t, it’s a spectacular read.
Religion/Politics: Where (and How) Evolution is Taught in the U.S.
It’s a color-coded map of the United States about the quality of each state’s education about evolution. Can we say red-state/blue-state?
Psychology: The Male Brain vs. the Female Brain
Ten neurological differences between the sexes. Some are simply physical (men’s brains are larger but shrink faster, sex-differing ratios of grey matter to white matter), and some are purely psychological (men tend to score a few points higher on intelligence tests, and women use more words per day). It’s incredibly interesting – these certainly explain a lot.
Religion: 30 Days – An Atheist Among Christians (Google Video)
A full-length episode of the show “30 Days” in which an atheist woman goes to live with a Christian family for thirty days. Here’s a disappointing spoiler: no bloodshed. For the most part, both parties are respectful, though feel profoundly sorry for the other and their deprived way of life. Lots of debate ensues, and it’s interesting to note who always seems to leave with the upper hand. I won’t say who – that’s too big of a spoiler. If you have forty-five minutes to spare, it’s definitely worth a look.
Education: A Great Year for Ivy League Schools, But Not So Good for Applicants to Them (New York Times)
Every major newspaper with decent education coverage is running articles on this spring’s record-breaking college rejections, but I happen to like the NYT’s the best. This year has been the most brutal on record for college applicants – most top-tier colleges suffered mind-blowing rejection rates this year. Top Ivy Leagues like Harvard and Columbia now have acceptance rates of 9%, and the most prestigious of small liberal arts colleges are reporting similar rates. Thousands of students with perfect 2400 SATs and 4.0 GPAs are being rejected from their top choices. As a potential college applicant in 2009, these statistics worry me.
That’s all the linkage for this week. If you’re interested in others, my del.icio.us page has hundreds more organized by tag!