Fred Kaplan writes: President Joe Biden delivered his first address to the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday morning, a speech of fine words but discordant resonances. He hailed “the noble mission of this institution” and reaffirmed the central role of “partners and allies,” declaring that “our own success is bound up with others succeeding as… Read More »
The Wall Street Journal reports: About a year ago, teenager Anastasia Vlasova started seeing a therapist. She had developed an eating disorder, and had a clear idea of what led to it: her time on Instagram. She joined the platform at 13, and eventually was spending three hours a day entranced by the seemingly perfect… Read More »
Neil Irwin writes: According to an increasingly influential school of thought in left-of-center economic circles, corporate mergers and some other common business practices have made American workers worse off. The government, this theory holds, should address it. It appears that school has a particularly powerful student: President Biden. This week, the White House is planning… Read More »
Some time ago, I added an Instagram widget to the sidebar here, adding some visual content to the minimalist design of this site. Anyone who’s interested to learn more about my photography and why I include it here, can do so by reading this.
July 4: Sorry for the recent interruption in email updates. They will resume on July 12. Meanwhile, I’m still updating the site as usual. June 10: Since starting War in Context and then Attention to the Unseen, everyone who signed up to receive email updates has received these via Feedburner (which was acquired by Google… Read More »
The Washington Post reports: The mysterious disappearance last month of a Saudi dissident living in Montreal after visiting the kingdom’s embassy in Ottawa has sent fear rippling across Canada’s community of Saudi exiles. While the gravest concerns were allayed when Ahmed Abdullah al-Harbi, 24, reappeared last week in Saudi Arabia, his fellow activists suspect he… Read More »
The Washington Post reports: Followers of the extremist ideology QAnon saw their hopes once again dashed Wednesday as President Trump left Washington on the final day of his presidency, without any of the climactic scenes of violence and salvation that the sprawling set of conspiracy theories had preached for years would come. As Trump boarded… Read More »
CNN reports: Facebook on Thursday said it had taken action against ads run by President Trump’s re-election campaign for breaching its policies on hate. The ads, which attacked what the Trump campaign described as “Dangerous MOBS of far-left groups,” featured an upside-down triangle. The Anti-Defamation League said Thursday the triangle “is practically identical to that… Read More »
Houston police chief Art Acevedo responds to President Trump telling governors to “dominate” protesters saying that if Trump if can’t be constructive to stay quiet.
Business Insider reports: Facebook had evidence suggesting that the company’s algorithms encourage polarization and “exploit the human brain’s attraction to divisiveness,” but top executives including CEO Mark Zuckerberg killed or weakened proposed solutions, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. The effort to better understand Facebook’s impact on user behavior started in response to the Cambridge… Read More »
Nature reports: In 1912, German veterinarians puzzled over the case of a feverish cat with an enormously swollen belly. That is now thought to be the first reported example of the debilitating power of a coronavirus. Veterinarians didn’t know it at the time, but coronaviruses were also giving chickens bronchitis, and pigs an intestinal disease… Read More »
Harvard professor Shoshana Zuboff wrote a monumental book about the new economic order that is alarming. “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism,” reveals how the biggest tech companies deal with our data. How do we regain control of our data? What is surveillance capitalism?
The New York Times reports: The Supreme Court agreed on Friday to decide whether President Trump can block the release of his financial records, setting the stage for a blockbuster ruling on the power of presidents to resist demands for information from prosecutors and Congress. The court’s ruling, expected by June, could require disclosure of… Read More »
George Monbiot writes: Seven years ago the impressionist Rory Bremner complained that politicians had become so boring that few of them were worth mimicking: “They’re quite homogenous and dull these days … It’s as if character is seen as a liability.” Today his profession has the opposite problem: however extreme satire becomes, it struggles to… Read More »