Odds and ends
Much more importantly, the New York Times has a compelling and fairly far reaching article up about what's going on with research into female sexual desire. There are so many good parts I'm not even sure what I'd quote if I was going to excerpt something.
Shorter but still ripe for discussion is a recent post at Carl Wilson's blog on judgment and distance. I'm just going to quote Wilson quoting Orwell:
When you meet anyone in the flesh you realize immediately that he is a human being and not a sort of caricature embodying certain ideas. It is partly for that reason that I don't mix much in literary circles, because I know from experience that once I have met and spoken to anyone I shall never again be able to show any intellectual brutality towards him, even when I feel that I ought to.
Wilson asks whether we should be 'public enemies,' or just not associate with people we disagree with, as Orwell suggests. I know that "can we just be less mean?" isn't really a legitimate or fair response, but my knee is jerking.