Habits and New Year’s Day Links

The gym will be unbearably crowded today. That’s good, though. I hope that some folks make a habit out of their resolution tohabit exercise more. I can personally attest to one of the primary themes of Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit, which I started rereading yesterday:

Typically, people who exercise start eating better and becoming more productive at work. They smoke less and show more patience with colleagues and family. They use their credit cards less frequently and say they feel less stressed. It’s not completely clear why. But for many people, exercise is a keystone habit that triggers widespread change.

Some links

Luke O’Neil laments the changing media landscape in Esquire:

This conflation of newsiness with news, share-worthiness with importance, has wreaked havoc on the media’s skepticism immune systems. It didn’t happen out of nowhere, it’s a process that’s been midwifed by the willful blurring of the lines between fact and fiction on the part of a key group of influential sites, that have, unfortunately, established a viable financial model amid the wreckage of traditional media.

Theodore Roosevelt was appointed NYC Police Commissioner at 36.
Theodore Roosevelt was appointed NYC Police Commissioner at 36.

Theodore Roosevelt came up through New York City politics. Roosevelt biographer Edward Kahn gives some advice to Mayor Bill de Blasio:

The new mayor must avoid self-righteousness and be willing to work with political opponents. Liberal or progressive groups in New York…have tended to adopt a shrill tone of moral superiority that played poorly to a wide audience. But Roosevelt was willing to compromise and build alliances beyond his base…Even when he targeted trusts as president, Roosevelt didn’t wage war on American big business. “The captains of industry,” he said in a 1901 address to Congress, “have on the whole done a great good to our people.” Praising your opponents before hauling them before the Supreme Court was classic Roosevelt.

Law professor Glenn Reynolds decries the stupidity of zero-tolerance policies in schools in USA Today:

When your kids attend schools like these, they are under the thumb of Kafkaesque bureaucrats who see no problem blotting your kid’s permanent record for reasons of bureaucratic convenience or political correctness.

But then again, according to Allison Benedikt, you are a bad person if you send your children to private schools:

Whatever you think your children need—deserve—from their school experience, assume that the parents at the nearby public housing complex want the same. No, don’t just assume it. Do something about it. Send your kids to school with their kids.

Ken White’s rebuttal to Benedikt’s limousine liberal manifesto:

I want to minimize the ability of people like Alison Benedikt, who tend to encrust government, to tell me how to raise my family or live my life. I believe in free expression, free worship, free conscience, personal responsibility, the rule of law, strictly limited government (and the strict limitation of people with clipboards and people with guns and badges, thank you very much), and that the best society is one in which free people make free choices, not one in which you allow the Alison Benedikts of the world to make the best interests of your children subservient to the best interests of a collective imagined by a smug self-appointed elite.

There seems to be mass hysteria when it comes to the so-called “student loan bubble.” In the Journal of Economic Perspectives, Christopher Avery and Sarah Turner conclude otherwise:

The claim that student borrowing is “too high” across the board can—with the possible exception of for-profit colleges—clearly be rejected. Indeed, media coverage proclaiming a “student loan bubble” or a “crisis in student borrowing” even runs the risk of inhibiting sound and rational use of credit markets to finance worthwhile investments in collegiate attainment.

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