The real heavyweight battle is Carlsen v Nepo. Game 1 is scheduled for Friday, and the best-of-14-game contest could stretch over the next three weeks.
1. Hiking Is an Ideal Structure for Friendship. Love stories like this.
“As soon as we complete one hike, we immediately establish when the next will be. We rotate the organization and planning duties, eeny-meeny-miny-moe style.
That person has complete authority and responsibility to organize the hike, select the location, provide the beer and other refreshments, and make any other side-trip plans. We’ve done breakfast, dinner. We sometimes hit various local watering holes, or we just plop down with a cooler in the woods somewhere. The organizer is responsible for setting up all the logistics, soup to nuts, and is not questioned on the decisions made.”
3. 2021’s Best States to Retire. I know, I know, how can any state known for the blog ‘PressingPause’ be ranked 31st? Spurious methods.
4. Inside a Battle Over Race, Class and Power at Smith College. Don’t know where to start on this one.
5. Mean tweets may take down Biden nominee. If only Neera Tanden had shown the same tact and diplomacy as The Former Guy. Has nothing to do with “civility” and everything to do with political power. It’s a tad bit ironic that the R’s are channeling Malcolm X. “By whatever means necessary.” (credit: DDTM)
6. The most important Western artist of the second half of the twentieth century. (credit: Tyler Cowen)
Administrivia. Every time I write critically about the President, a humble blog regular and close friend whose opinion I care about, rips me for spreading “hate” and sowing “division”. Given that predicament, I guess I shouldn’t link to any of the numerous articles about our President’s Saturday phone call to Georgia’s Secretary of State which Carl Bernstein called “way worse than Watergate”.
1. The Plague Year: The mistakes and the struggles behind America’s coronavirus tragedy. Lawrence Wright’s damning deconstruction of “America’s coronavirus tragedy” details the President’s complicity which my friend might think of as hateful and divisive. Not to worry though, it’s WAY too long for him. Everyone writing books about this simultaneously let out an “Ah shit!” upon finishing Wright’s piece. I could excerpt endlessly from it, but there’s other reading to get to.
3. Walk, run or wheelbarrow: We moved our bodies forward during the pandemic. Our second born walked 153 miles in December!
“. . . my eldest walks. She carries a backpack loaded with her journal, a beanie, whatever book she’s reading. She dons her mask and canvasses our Atlanta neighborhood at New York speed, striding purposefully as if she has somewhere to be. When the sun starts to set, she sits on a patch of grass or a park bench to catch her breath and stares into the sky, tracking the light until it bleeds into darkness.
She does this every evening because, as she explains, it gives her ‘something to look forward to.’
When she comes home, cheeks flush, hair windswept, my daughter does seem happier, lifted. The simple act of walking underscoring her autonomy, reminding her that she is still a human capable of breathing fresh air, of shuttling from point A to B, that she is still a human at all.”
4. Shearing Sheep, and Hewing to Tradition, on an Island in Maine. Love, love, love the pictures. They have the same effect as an engrossing foreign film, they totally transport me across the country to the island. Long live the Wakemans and their way of life.
2. The Trump Administration Says Diversity Training Can Be Harmful. What Does the Research Say? Make it voluntary and invest sufficient time. I remember how resistant some of my Southern white colleagues were to it at the North Carolina college I taught at. The starting point was an acknowledgement that “We’re all racist”. Or for them, I should say, the non-starting point.
3. How Hatred Came To Dominate American Politics. Our hatred creates serious opportunity costs. Instead of thinking about and planning for 2025, the current administration is fixated on 2015 and Hillary Clinton’s emails. Meanwhile, other countries are investing in infrastructure, social safety nets, and trade partnerships.
4. Dr. Dobson’s Open Letter To Christians Regarding The Election. If Dr. Dobson is a Christian, I need a different term to describe my religious worldview. He claims the Presidential candidate that is much stronger on “racial unity” also brings “more wisdom in handling the pandemic”. Can you guess which candidate that is? Then again, his audience is 800,000, the humble blog’s is a little less than that.
5. This is what I’m currently watching. Starts fast.