Charles Kenneth Roberts

Politics, History, Culture

Monthly Archives: January 2019

Links to Read: January 2019

The Sea Was Never Blue: Something I think about fairly often is how so much of what we consider objective is so subjectively experienced. Color seems as universal as anything can be. There are light waves that our eyes receive in different hues and brightness. But different societies divide the color spectrum differently, and they emphasize colors in different ways; a society might refer more to brightness or hue. People speaking languages without a blue-green distinction have trouble differentiating between colors that seem obviously separate to speakers of other languages.

Sidney Wants to Be Someone Else: What if we just let people go to high school as often or as long as they wanted? The cost would be a downside, but I don’t know what other serious problems there would be.

What Life Is Like When Corn Is off the Table: Americans live, of course, in a nightmare dystopia, though one that is fairly pleasant as far as nightmare dystopias go. There are all kind of bizarre aspects to it that will make fascinating topics for future writers of cultural anthropology, history, and sociology books. The omnipresence of corn is one of things: If you’ve got a severe corn allergy, everything in America is trying to kill you because everything has corn in it, because the federal government uses a variety of subsidies and penalties to make corn cheap, because corn farmers have outsized political influence.

A 4-Year-Old Trapped in a Teenager’s Body: “Didn’t he know how lonely it was? Didn’t he know my brain was unfit to handle the hormones assailing my body? Didn’t he know the behavior for which he was constantly punishing me was out of my control? Of course he did. He’d been through it himself. But he had dealt with precocious puberty by lying about it, concealing it, and ignoring it, and that was how he wanted me to deal with it too — as if it didn’t exist, as if the cause of my misbehavior was simply my own immaturity, poor decision-making, and lack of self-discipline, all things I could control if I weren’t so weak.”

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