Good Things of 2018 (links and images:

1. The Righteous Mind, by Jonathan Haidt (2013). The psychology of how liberals and conservatives differ in what they value. A companion to Thomas Sowell's A Conflict of Visions. See his online quiz.

2. Who We Are and How We Got Here by David Reich (2018). About using DNA to trace the movement of peoples and how they mixed.

3. The Possessed, by Theodore Dostoevsky. How Russian liberals progressed to nihilists, communists, cynics, poseurs, and thugs. Like Bonfire of the Vanities, but dark and serious. The failure of the elite class, aristocrat and bourgeois, Russian, German, and Jewish.

4. Here I Stand (2006), a wargame set in the 16th century pitting the Hapsburgs, Turkey, France, England, the Papacy, and the Protestants against each other in both religious and military conflict.

5. Jumanji II (2017), a charming movie remake in light of new technology in which four completely different teenagers are thrown into the bodies of videogame characters who must complete a quest.

6. In the First Circle, a novel by Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1968/2009). About how Stalinism affected all kinds of people, from the inmates in a special scientist lab prison to their bosses to Stalin himself.

7. The Estate of Marriage (1522) by Martin Luther. He even talks about dirty diapers in this sermon series. Classic Luther.

8. Back to the Future II (1989). The original movie is good too. The sequel is striking because it interweaves with footage from the first movie, the result of time travel, and these are not flashbacks--- the plots are tightly interconnected.

9. Amazing Maps on Twitter. They're amazing. And educational. And fun.

10. Vanished Kingdoms: The History of Half-Forgotten Europe by Norman Davies (2012). Burgundy, Galicia, Etruria, Strathclyde, the Soviet Union, and a dozen others, all gone. Beautifully written: history, geography, and the spirit of the age and country.

11. The Curmudgeon's Guide to Getting Ahead: Dos and Don'ts of Right Behavior, Tough Thinking, Clear Writing, and Living a Good Life, by Charles Murray (2014). Short, condensed, wisdom.

12. The Annual Article List, To try to make ephemera into the permanent. A list of a dozen good articles discovered this year, with web links. You need to go to

Prof. Spang says Scots and Icelanders used “hundred” for 144, a gross, so maybe I can use 12 for a Top Ten list. Also rans: Clement of Alexandria. Markopolos on Bernie Madoff. Bugliosi on OJ Simpson. My new bargaining paper.