Weekend Reading

It’s chilly and wet in our mountains just now. Suitable for an indoor weekend involving a fireplace, a large pot of slow-cooked food and good reading material.

All you can say to Francis Fukuyama these days is, history is back with a vengeance. In the U.S.:

“How conceivable is this? Trump loses the 2020 US presidential election. But he refuses to concede…. Couldn’t happen, you say. The constitution and all that. To which I would say just two words: Merrick Garland.”

It’s from The Full Machiavelli by Emrys Westacott. As a sidebar on U.S. politics, here is one of the more remarkable articles I can remember, a look at the 2016 Republican alternatives to President Trump: They Could Have Picked.

And in the U.K., is it me, or has commentary turned dark about the prospects for a Brexit deal since the P.M.’s latest scolding from Brussels? I’m talkin’ ’bout headlines like We’re Headed for a Brexit Crashout. My wife and I live in the U.S. where we are all busy looking the fool Making America Great Again, but we traveled to England and Wales the week of the Brexit vote for what we felt sure would be a repudiation of the insular, parochial small-mindedness of the leavers. It didn’t work out that way, and the 28 months since haven’t been pretty:

The U.S., naturally, reserves the right to look the biggest fool of all by affirming its course in elections in just over a week.

Enough of that, though. A few other items:

“if elephants … have all the raw mental material it takes to be persons, a time could come in the near future when we might draw them into a more expansive kind of personhood.”

The article is If elephants aren’t persons yet, could they be one day? One qualification. DO NOT follow the author’s advice to “Stand or walk among a herd of elephants.”

– About that tsunami in Sulawesi.
– How to avoid the Tourism Curse.
How would we recognise an alien if we saw one?
– And one more item for your weekend reading list, from National Geographic, a look at Antarctica’s changing ecosystem.

Have a lovely weekend. See you next week.

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