Greg Bales

I … make the conservative case for climate change. We don’t call people conservative when they put all their chips on one number of a roulette wheel. That’s not conservative. It’s pretty frigging crazy. It’s dangerous, risky. Conservatives think this way about foreign policy. We know that if North Korea has a nuclear weapon, they’re probably not going to use it. But we don’t act as if that’s a certainty. We hedge our bets. Climate change is like that. We don’t know exactly what’s going to happen. Given that fact, shouldn’t we hedge?

An interview with Jerry Taylor of the Niskanen Center.

How a Professional Climate Change Denier to Fight for Science” by Sharon Lerner for The Intercept

Here’s what Farran’s research says is the status quo for federally funded preschool in Tennessee:

  • The biggest chunk of the day, 25 percent, was spent in transition time: lining up for lunch, snacks, bathroom visits and switching between activities.
  • By far the most common learning activity, between 20 and 25 percent of the time, was whole-group instruction.
    Centers, or choice time, happened less than 15 percent of the time.
  • Kids had outdoor play or gym visits just 3 to 4 percent of the time—15 minutes in an eight-hour day. In many classrooms, students never had a chance to run and play at all.

Fifteen minutes outside or in the gym for four-year-olds to run and, more importantly, play?! That’s the murder of early childhood, not its education.

A Harsh Critique Of Federally Funded Pre-K” by Anya Kamenetz for NPR

“Since we work fewer hours, we are constantly figuring out ways to do more with our time,” Ms. Brath said.

Sitting inside their airy office, Brath’s employees checked off the ways. “We don’t send unnecessary emails or tie ourselves up in meetings,” said Thommy Ottinger, a pay-per-click specialist. “If you have only six hours to work, you don’t waste your time or other people’s time.”

Thirty-hour workweeks? Sign me up.

In Sweden, an Experiment Turns Shorter Workdays Into Bigger Gains” by Liz Alderman for The New York Times

Editing requires other skills and instincts.

Several editors spoke to me about this in psychological terms: Editing requires an ability to sympathize with the reporter’s and/or producer’s struggles, while maintaining enough distance to offer meaningful critique. You should be able to tell your reporter that his story is a hot mess, while making him feel excited about fixing it. Sometimes, editing is like therapy.

Editing also requires an ability to structure stories—and to maintain perspective, to step into the audience’s shoes.

Editors must also be coaches and talent spotters—with an eye and an ear out for new, distinctive voices.

These skills are (hopefully) timeless, but editing also demands new knowledge, things we couldn’t learn at journalism schools or in newsrooms even five years ago.

MacAdam goes on to add that editors must understand how to think about audiences, distribution channels, and the diversity of ways that stories might be told. Editors may be the unsung talent in a newsroom, but nurturing them is in the best interest of the profession.

Journalism has an editing crisis, but we can do something about it” by Alison MacAdam for Poynter

[ editor Nicholas] Thompson attributes some of the The New Yorker’s digital success to an investment in expanding the magazine’s copy editing staff. Since August, The New Yorker has hired two copy editors, growing the desk to six staffers.

A plate for the armor.

How The New Yorker Grew Its Digital Audience by Focusing on Quality” by Benjamin Mullin for Poynter

The preference for print over digital can be found at independent bookstores such as the Curious Iguana in downtown Frederick, Md., where owner Marlene England said millennials regularly tell her they prefer print because it’s “easier to follow stories.” Pew studies show the highest print readership rates are among those ages 18 to 29, and the same age group is still using public libraries in large numbers.

The article is about Naomi Baron’s research into the reading habits and preferences of millennials. Reasons they give? Print offers the absence of distraction and the ability to focus on the text at hand. For students different media have come to represent different kinds attention.

Why digital natives prefer reading in print. Yes, you read that right.” by Michael S. Rosenwald for The Washington Post

Breakfast cereal is toasted, granulated defeat, sprinkled with sugar, riboflavin, and iron filings. It’s all already there for you, and you just pour milk on top. Breakfast cereal is enjoyed by children because children are too passive and stupid to make a real breakfast for themselves.

The first paragraph is a tour de force, and judging by the place’s website, I have no reason to disbelieve anything in the review. Anything.

A visit to the cereal café” by Sam Kriss for Idiot Joy Showland

Every age has a theory of rising and falling, of growth and decay, of bloom and wilt: a theory of nature. Every age also has a theory about the past and the present, of what was and what is, a notion of time: a theory of history…. Our era has disruption, which, despite its futurism, is atavistic. It’s a theory of history founded on a profound anxiety about financial collapse, an apocalyptic fear of global devastation, and shaky evidence….

Disruptive innovation is a theory about why businesses fail. It’s not more than that. It doesn’t explain change. It’s not a law of nature. It’s an artifact of history, an idea, forged in time; it’s the manufacture of a moment of upsetting and edgy uncertainty. Transfixed by change, it’s blind to continuity. It makes a very poor prophet.

One might also say it makes a very poor profit.

The Disruption Machine” by Jill Lepore for The New Yorker

When I need a fresh perspective, I physically give myself one. I rearrange rooms, even swap their traditional uses for one another. But it all has a weight. The 70-year-old upright piano has a weight and it is best calculated at un-budge-able. ShoesThe dining room hutch has a weight that could be set at “Maybe I will move that one tomorrow.” Couch technology, at least, has progressed such that it is easily slid against a new wall, and then another—furniture Ice Capades.

I have locked myself out of my house once or twice before, but only recently realized it is also possible to lock myself in. To fill a space so precisely that rearranging rooms cannot happen unless and until there is less to rearrange. Drawers are a kind of seduction until you put something inside. Shelves can’t hold themselves. Empty flowerpots are filled with your fear of commitment.

I like this passage in particular, but the essay as a whole is about how things become memories and vice versa.

Bring It on Home” by Amy Woolard for The Rumpus

The truth here is actually the real secret of China’s manufacturing success—keeping labour costs so low that making things by hand is cheaper than using machines….

It felt like we’d been given just a small glimpse at China’s vast manufacturing infrastructure. More importantly it felt like we were starting to understand why it existed: so that young workers in a far country can make the rest of the world our disposable, impulse-buy goods.

After visiting the International Trade Market in Yiwu, China, a wholesale market millions of square feet in area, full of the cheap plastic goods that stock our shelves, Maugham goes one step further behind the curtain of our consumer fantasies: to a nearby factory that makes Christmas.

Yiwu: The Chinese city where Christmas is made and sold” by Tim Maughan for The BBC