Best of the Web

Best of the Web, October 29, 2017

Russian Revolution Centenary
One Hundred Years of Insanity Paul Berman, Tablet

Social Media
Moral Outrage in the Digital Age M J Crocket,

Education and Free Inquiry
Harvard Returns to Its Puritan Roots Jonathan Marks, Commentary

Freedom of Expression on Campus: An Overview of Some Recent Surveys Eugene Volokh, Washington Post

Is It Offensive to Declare a Psychological Claim Wrong? Lee Jussim, Psychology Today

Kolmogorov Complicity and the Parable of Lightning Scott Alexander, SlateStarCodex

Sex and Gender
Why We Should Not Deny the Science of Biological Sex Differences Michael Clegg, Conatus News

The Fragile Generation Jonathan Haidt and Lenore Skenazy, Reason


  1. Just to put in my two cents: I recommend Berman’s article in the Tablet. What’s interesting about the run-up to the 100th year anniversary is how little we’ve seen along the lines of celebration (I’ve been watching and paying attention, and I have to say that I’m surprised). Perhaps what this means is that even among one-time supporters of the October Revolution (Bolshevik coup d’état), there is a growing recognition of the author’s argument. By the way, his chronology of events (February 1917 – 1918) is correct. The Russian Constituent Assembly, convened in January of 1918 was the result of the most democratic election up to that time (including universal male and female suffrage, 3 years I think prior to the US). All of the democratic and left-wing parties (which led the February Revolution) were represented. The coup d’état, carried out by the Bolshevik party, overthrew it by force. The mistake that many well-meaning progressives make is to mark the betrayal/counterrevolution at Lenin’s death and Stalin’s rise to power. As the article explains, this is incorrect: the final betrayal was January 1918. Why was the Cheka founded that year?

  2. Carl Sageman says

    Thank you. I love these weekly roundups. They spare me from frustration when I scan the low standard of most newspapers. The list helps me find some gems I may have otherwise missed.

    On a different note, I’m grateful for you not scoring comments. Ad populism is harming many other sites and distorts reality to a numbers game.

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