HMM: New research shows why you don’t need to be perfect to get the job done. “When neuroscientists think about the strategy an animal might use to carry out a task—like finding food, hunting prey, or navigating a maze—they often propose a single model that lays out the best way for the animal to accomplish the job. But in the real world, animals—and humans—may not use the optimal way, which can be resource-intensive. Instead, they use a strategy that’s good enough to do the job but takes a lot less brain power.”

Congratulations, guys, you’ve just rediscovered Satisficing.

LIES, DAMNED LIES, AND GOVERNMENT STATISTICS: All California’s 2023 Job Gains Were Fake. “The data since January 2024 has not yet been rebenched, which means that the figure includes the Early Benchmark Revision for these recent months are growing at the same rate as the official CES estimates. But one can be absolutely certain that once the next set of revisions come in, California will not have generated any actual job growth for the second year in a row. In fact, make that all of America.”

SUBURBIA’S IRREDEEMABLE REPUTATION IN THE AMERICAN CANON:

“My God, the suburbs!” John Cheever, the short-story writer who has rejoiced in the nickname “the American Chekhov,” had what can only be described as ambivalent feelings about the twentieth-century housing developments that grew up on the outskirts of major cities. He said of them that “they encircled the city’s boundaries like enemy territory and we thought of them as a loss of privacy, a cesspool of conformity, and a life of indescribable dreariness in some split-level village where the place name appeared in the New York Times only when some bored housewife blew off her head with a shotgun.”

Cheever was not wholly consistent himself. The prospect of glacial monotony did not stop the author moving to the suburbs and putting down some very firm roots both of the familial and literary kind. TIME magazine styled him “the Ovid of Ossining,” a reference to the scenic Westchester village where he lived from 1961 until his death in 1982. Admirers of Mad Men might recognize Ossining as the hometown of the ultimate suburban couple, Betty and Don Draper. This was a conscious homage; as the show’s creator Matthew Weiner has said, Cheever’s stories were a considerable influence on his writing. The show might be named for Madison Avenue, but when it comes to suburbia, “mad” is also the operative word. For a whole generation of writers trying to make sense of postwar America, the suburbs offered particularly fertile ground for “madness in the mundane” storytelling. Commingled with all that ennui, there could be sex, drink and existential messiness galore.

Back in May of 2009, in a Wall Street Journal article titled, “The End of the Affair,” the late P.J. O’Rourke wrote an encomium to cars, which the Obama-Biden administration was then just beginning its war on (as part of its still-ongoing war with many other aspects of American life), that was also at times, an encomium to the suburbs:

But cars didn’t shape our existence; cars let us escape with our lives. We’re way the heck out here in Valley Bottom Heights and Trout Antler Estates because we were at war with the cities. We fought rotten public schools, idiot municipal bureaucracies, corrupt political machines, rampant criminality and the pointy-headed busybodies. Cars gave us our dragoons and hussars, lent us speed and mobility, let us scout the terrain and probe the enemy’s lines. And thanks to our cars, when we lost the cities we weren’t forced to surrender, we were able to retreat.

And get on with our lives in relative peace and happiness. No wonder the left hates the suburbs so.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: ‘MckArthy [sic] Era:’ Columbia Middle Eastern Studies Chair Decries Free Beacon Report on Deans’ Anti-Semitic Text Exchanges.

Columbia College dean Josef Sorett, under fire for his role in a texting scandal that landed three of his fellow administrators on leave, has support from at least one prominent Columbia faculty member: Gil Hochberg, a Hebrew professor who chairs the school’s Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies department.

In a Sunday post shared to her private Instagram account, Hochberg linked to the Washington Free Beacon‘s June 12 report exposing vitriolic text messages sent between Sorett and his colleagues amid a panel on campus anti-Semitism. Hochberg rallied behind Sorett, calling him a “dear friend” whose critics are part of a new “MckArthy [sic] Era.”

“I hope no one is taking a photo of my screen as I post this. I mean, how can this be real?????” Hochberg wrote in the post, which was obtained by the Free Beacon. “Josef Sorett dear friend. We will not be quite [sic] about this!”

Quite.

PROGRESSIVE POLICIES ALWAYS MAKE THINGS WORSE: Distress, depression rates double among transgender Americans in 10 years.

Related: Neurosis and the Curley Effect. “Reading all of these pieces I’m seeing a story that goes something like this: Depressed, neurotic people (especially single women) are more likely to support Democrats. Democrats support policies and messaging that produce more depressed, neurotic people, especially single women. Now maybe this is an accident, but maybe it isn’t.”

PERSONNEL IS POLICY: Antisemitism group calls on Biden to fire official who posted, deleted anti-Israel tweets: ‘Just horrifying.’

An antisemitism watchdog group is calling for the Biden administration to fire a recently promoted White House official whose anti-Israel social media posts resurfaced this week.

StopAntisemitism said Tyler Cherry, who was promoted earlier this month as an associate communications director at the White House, called for the elimination of Israel and promoted anti-Israel viewpoints on social media going back years, as well as anti-police commentary.

“We’re hoping this is the quickest hire and fire scenario in President Biden’s administration to date,” Stop Antisemitism founder Liora Rez told Fox News Digital. “For the Biden administration to either A, not vet properly, or B, to vet and then approve an inner circle appointee like this… is just horrifying.”

It also isn’t exactly a shock.

THE NEW SPACE RACE: 99 SpaceX Raptor Engines Before New Mass Production of Thousands. “Elon Musk showed Everyday Astronaut the SpaceX Starbase and rocket factories. SpaceX has a new Raptor engine that will be a couple hundred pounds lighter without a heat shield. It will have built in cooling channels. This is the version of the Raptor engine which wil be produced by the thousands. The Texas Starbase will eventually be able to produce one hundred Starships and Boosters per year.”

ANALYSIS: TRUE. We Can’t Protect Kids Without Fathers. “The difficulties facing children today can be traced to many factors, from the advent of smartphones and social media to the failure of state-run education and malicious influences in pop culture. But the most important, and perhaps least acknowledged, cause has been the disappearance of fathers from the lives of their kids.”

THE FIX IS IN:

On the one hand, maybe Trump was foolish to accept all the Team Biden/CNN (but I repeat myself) demands.

On the other: Maybe Trump Was Right to Accept Biden’s Sundowner Debate Rules. “What if Trump goes up against Biden with this one message underpinning his performance: ‘I’ve come to this debate the same way I’ll go back to Washington, with literally everything stacked against me. And I’ll still win.'”

DEFUND THE UN:

Typo: the meeting is June 30, not June 20, but of course the UN caved.

FIGHT THE POWER: Conservative students allege tyranny, intimidation by Tarleton State. “A Tarleton State University professor was allegedly forbidden from advising a Turning Point USA (TPUSA) chapter because of its political bias, even though another professor is actively advising the Tarleton Progressives. The professor also reportedly told one of the would-be club’s leaders that ‘the higher-ups’ wanted her to know that she was on their ‘radar.'”

COLD WAR II HAS BROADER PARAMETERS AND A LOT MORE ACTION, EVEN IF IT IS MOSTLY LOWER-KEY: Mexican Cartels, Underground Chinese Bankers Team Up. “We’ve been wondering what all these Chinese nationals were doing pouring into America, and ‘Cartel Thug’ seems to be among the possibilities.”