Assorted Paragraphs and Links

Things I would blog about were I blogging more regularly (normal pace will return in August):

Peter Beinart on Rep. Anthony Weiner:

Truth be told, I don’t think the real reason pundits are baying for Weiner’s head has anything to do with his ability to be a good congressman. It’s more primal than that. We live in a kick-them-while-they're-down culture. We love to see the powerful humiliated because it proves that they were no better than us to begin with. Yet we simultaneously imagine that because they're powerful and famous, they don't need the empathy that we'd desire were we in their stead. Instead of being moved by their suffering, we revel in it.

How many of the pundits mocking Weiner have marriages that could survive the kind of scrutiny they have been giving his? The realization that everyone’s private life is messy and flawed should produce humility and compassion. Instead, pundits enter the public arena as disembodied Olympian figures, entitled to render the harshest of verdicts, secure in the knowledge that no one will ever investigate their most intimate of domains.

The kick-them-while-they're-down culture was also on display after the Mavs beat the Heat and LeBron hate escalated to epic levels. Speaking of LeBron, here's Bill Simmons on LeBron, which may be relevant to anyone born with multiple natural talents:

Is it possible that he's so talented that he never ended up concentrating on one great thing? He never developed a go-to gimmick like Dirk's high-post game, Wade's one-on-one game, Kobe's one-on-one game, Duncan's low-post game … he's like one of those fancy diners that has a six-page menu loaded with options, only when you ask the waitress what's good, she says, "I don't know, everything!" But wait … I asked you what's good.

Simmons recently launched Grantland. From his excellent opening post, on why he's running a collaborative site instead of penning solo columns:

Writing is a fundamentally lonely thing. It's just you and a blank Microsoft Word document. The process can drive people crazy. (And has.) It's much more fun to create something with other people. It just is.

The Last Psychiararist on Julian Assange:

Assange believes that truth needs no intent, which is obviously false. Without a context, the truth can mislead.  Excluding the context on purpose, when you know that it will be misunderstood, is often as good as lying.  This has always been my/everyone's concern about Wikileaks.

Robin Hanson quotes the following, in a post about wearing helmets while biking:

Ordinary cycling is not demonstrably more dangerous than walking or driving, yet no country promotes helmets for either of these modes.

An interesting account of how someone went to therapy to deal with severe social anxiety. He gives a nerveracking presentation in front of others, and then:

But then [the therapist] played back the video of my presentation, and I was even more surprised. The thoughts rushing through my head really were not apparent at all in the video. I seemed a little nervous, but nothing compared to how I actually felt.

Here are the 20 Thiel Fellows under age 20 who won the $100k grant. They look great.

4 comments on “Assorted Paragraphs and Links
  • > How many of the pundits mocking Weiner have marriages that could survive the kind of scrutiny they have been giving his?

    Well, roughly 100.0% of the relationships I’ve been in could pass the “have you been cheating on her by sending pictures of your erection to other women?” test.

  • I look at Weiner’s sexting through a human potential and general intelligence lens.

    Preventing ourselves from cheating on our wives seems very simplistic to me compared to starting up a company against the odds. In all things, implement risk management measures, and quickly identify and get help if necessary when a sub-system is underperforming. Friends, advisors, and mentors want to help.

    He’s 46 years old, and that’s more than enough time to develop our intelligence and human potential.

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