Jul/Aug 2023

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(These are excerpts—click on the title to view the whole piece!)

History 2.0

The four-day work week is still a mirage at a time when we could work much less than that and still maintain a high quality of life. Instead we work harder and longer than medieval serfs without the serfs' social and economic security. And not just those of us who have to hold down two or more "service sector" jobs flipping hamburgers or taking care of the sick and elderly. Our well-educated are also slaves to life styles they have no choice but to maintain—white-collar drones who have to come up with tuition for the kids' private schooling (or for costly preparation courses to get them into elite public schools), pay off a mortgage in a neighborhood inhabited by people on their own socio-economic level, buy gas for the SUV and meet the other endless expenses of life in the middle- and upper-middle classes.

Thomas J. Hubschman

Learning to Count to Three Again: My Personalized Escape Room

I'm reminded that the notion of having all of one's children grow up to outlive you is a fairly new expectation. Not so long ago, human family trees more closely resembled those of ducks and other animals. I also realize I have several cousins on both sides who never had children at all. On both sides, there are fewer great-grandchildren than grandchildren. It's what happens when two families shift from rural China to more upscale urban lives in four generations: marriage and children become more of a choice.

Marko Fong