We can't all be original and no linkathon by its nature will be. But thanks to Alastair Roberts for an intriguing list of links from which to draw a few excerpts.
Salon has a piece called "The 1 percent ruined love: Marriage is for the rich"
It's in Salon, so of course the 1 percent are to blame but the piece is less shrill than expected for a piece that appeared in Salon.
The gist that money challenges make marriage difficult for anyone not in the upper-middle class or above is still worth noting. Also of note is the observation that once traditional gender roles are in flux or questioned then the foundation of marital stability becomes something like "keeping that spark alive". More traditional marriages in which spark was considered a fringe benefit if you even had it might be stultifying journeys in mutual inertia but that was just the trade-off of not depending on "spark".
Alastair Roberts also links to Roy Baumeister's old lecture. At the risk of linking to old work I've done.
here's my old sprawler
Roy Baumeister, the disposability of men, and social meaning for the unattached male
For those who only read this blog for a Mars Hill Church connection there's a few anonymous case studies of guys who used to be there. We live in a society that so values eros that those who have not or can't pair off may discover how disposable they are regardless of gender but this old essay just happens to address males. The consumerism of "family" however it gets defined, may be more foundational to the economy than some self-styled social conservatives may realize.
And as consumption and production goes, Alastair Roberts links to RibbonFarm with this intriguing piece called "You are Not an Artisan". The sexy jobs are of conspicuous production, production of things like hand-crafted mugs that sell for $20 rather than the fifty cent mugs manufactured overseas.
We're treated to a distinction between the artisan and the tradesman, between the bard and the chimneysweep and the case is that the bard may be sexier because of upward social mobility, ease of initial learning and enjoyment of the activity, and gives us stuff to blog about. But the chimneysweep, unglamorous though he be, is doing more productive work. Let's playfully suggest that if the only goal is go upstream where "culture gets made" you're sure to not change the culture at all. Regime change is faster than culture change.
As RibbonFarm puts it, people want sexy work not truly creative work because the creative part can be removed and so long as people have jobs that permit upward social mobility and status development the actual creation part is less important. This is how movie stars can keep making millions by essentially recycling all their most successful bits decade after decade. This is how novelists keep mining "themes" when they have not come up with ideas that are actually all that new compared to what has come before in literature or even compared to what they have done in their own work. It's also how some pastors recycle their ideas and make a point of asking their buddies in the guild to recycle their own best stuff for an audience that has probably downloaded the sermons before.
Here's a little pull quote from an already lengthy summary of a lengthy piece:
If you actually look at the work computers leave for us — supporting algorithmically unscalable information work — you will see that it is a far larger category than the “sexy that can be packaged as creative” subset that we are racing desperately to save. It may still not be enough to keep everybody productively employed, but there is certainly more to do than we think there is.
There's more but that's enough on this link.
In other links, someone at Slate may not realize that evangelicalism has had a robust progressive streak for some time. Given the author it's hardly a surprise but we'll try to be nice. Elsewhere in the venue, it's noted recently that among free-thinkers and atheists there's still sexual harassment. This is no surprise, seeing as in evolutionary terms there's no observable difference we could prove between our brains and that of people who existed even six-thousand years ago.
Finally, Terry Teachout links to one of the few interviews Paul Desmond gave.