Why we need a better staffed congress — The always excellent Lee Drutman on how congressional staff has declined over the last couple of decades and how that, among other things, has led to the ceding of many of its powers to the executive branch.

Shut up with the transhumanist shit already — A short thinkpiece about rationalism blending seamlessly into magical thinking and religion. Which sums up Silicon Valley pretty well.

1984 is not a manual of resistance, it is a chronicle of crushing, obliterating defeat — A nice writeup on Orwell as a more important essayist than novelist. Particularly loved this excerpt of a profile he did on H.G. Wells.

Because he belonged to the nineteenth century and to a non-military nation and class … he was, and still is, quite incapable of understanding that nationalism, religious bigotry and feudal loyalty are far more powerful forces than what he himself would describe as sanity. Creatures out of the Dark Ages have come marching into the present, and if they are ghosts they are at any rate ghosts which need a strong magic to lay them. The people who have shown the best understanding of Fascism are either those who have suffered under it or those who have a Fascist streak in themselves.

And maybe Trump is just a weak president. — because apparently all I post about is that asshole. However, it seems increasingly likely that he will be a strange yet ineffective president. Unless, of course, we have a terrible national emergency on the scale of 9/11 or the financial crisis. In which case I’ll be setting all of my hair on fire and advising liberals to buy more guns.