Assorted Links

“Money worship has been elevated into a religion. Perhaps it is the only real religion—the only really felt religion—that is left to us.”
– George Orwell, Keep the Aspidistra Flying
(A quote I thought of while watching the Frontline documentary about the education industry)

1. Vanishing Languages – A feature in National Geographic this month that looks at the linguistic genocide being committed by English, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, and Hindi (to name the big five).

2. Third World Child – Johnny Clegg and Savuka – The National Geographic article reminded me of one of my favorite songs of all time, Third World Child, written and performed by Jonny Clegg and Savuka, released in 1987. Clegg created the first prominent mixed-race band in South Africa during Apartheid, and I would also recommend other songs of his, though Third World Child touches me in a way most of the others don’t, even if I often like the other songs better. There are actually two songs on the video, with Third World Child ending at 4:09, but I like the video because it attempts to recreate as best as possible the actual music video.

you should learn to speak a little bit of English
Maybe practise birth control
Keep away from controversial politics
So to save my third world soul

3. Food and the College Experience – Some thoughts on the decline in social eating at college.

4. A Case for Not Fearing Islamism – An article in the Atlantic that suggests that accepting (since allowing is rather condescending) Islamic governments would eliminate any aggrieved sense and that when Islamic law runs countries, some of the undercurrents of radical Islamism are eliminated. Islamism (it argues) is fueled by exclusion from economic and political power. There is something to be said for this argument.

5. Why Do We Wear Pants? – The answer is horses. A report on this proposed theory of social evolution on the fact that pants for men evolved out of warfare on horseback, while pants for women emerged from bicycle riding.

What else is out there?

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