- Seth Masket investigates what happens when you raise the cost of voting. Unsurprising: minority and poor voters suffer more.
- Tim Burke pushes back against MOOCs and the failure of managerial class models of higher education.
- Nina Zumel provides a public service by transforming William Cleveland’s plots into ggplot2.
- Gopnik on Galileo [The New Yorker]
- Xavier Marquez traces the spread of liberal norms:
[I]t seems clear that many of these norms are liable to lose their force as they become globally dominant simply as a result of adaptation on the part of groups adversely affected by them. There was a time, for example, when it was a matter of live controversy who should be admitted to the franchise, whereas nowadays most adults everywhere are enfranchised, even if their votes are utterly meaningless, since powerful groups have adapted to the mere existence of elections (if not necessarily to the possibility of actually fair elections). Similarly, it may be that as legal freedom of speech becomes increasingly unlikely to genuinely threaten powerful interests, the more easily it comes to be accepted as a global norm. Successful adaptation by groups that are disadvantaged under particular norms reduces their propensity to produce conflict; and the global dominance of a norm can thus mean either that it is ripe for struggles to give it substance (let’s turn the fake democracy into a real democracy) or that it has been hollowed out, and live conflicts have relocated to other normative arenas (the right to healthcare, or to a standard of living, or to bear arms, or to enforce one’s religion on others, etc., rather than suffrage, etc.).
Yes, Dan already linked this but I think it’s particularly interesting and might get more readers today.