* Adam Kotsko follows up his piece on grad students and credit card debt with some important reflections on moralism in personal finance.
* In an interview in the March 2008 newsletter to the Grant Study subjects, Vaillant was asked, “What have you learned from the Grant Study men?” Vaillant’s response: “That the only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people.”
* So now, overnight, thanks to Common Core testing, the majority of students across the state and in the city are failures. That means that the schools are now required (by the state’s rules) to provide “academic intervention services” for them, which will take money away from the arts, physical education, foreign languages, history, civics and other essential subjects.
* African leaders this week called for an end to the import of old cell phones and computers from Europe. According to the Guardian, electronics “donated” to African countries aren’t always useful, and often just end up being an environmental hassle. Yet the high cost of recycling these goods in Europe–ironically due to stringent environmental regulation there–means those that don’t end up in landfills find their way to African countries, which are then left to deal with hazardous components.
* How Back to the Future II‘s “old” make-up compares to actual aging. Crispin Glover’s latest explanation for why he didn’t do the sequels. It does put the thumb on the scales a bit to make George a successful novelist…
* Dystopia now: Apple is on it.
* And with Breaking Bad coming back, it’s a good time to revisit the best thing I know of written about it: Malcolm Harris’s “The White Market.” A bunch of people snarled at me when I linked to this earlier this morning on Twitter, but for me it’s really the definitive piece on the show. White supremacy is the ontology of Breaking Bad –the show doesn’t really make any sense without that fantasy as an unstated assumption.