The Paranoid Style in American Politics–American politics has often been an arena for angry minds. In recent years we have seen angry minds at work mainly among extreme right-wingers, who have now demonstrated in the Goldwater movement how much political leverage can be got out of the animosities and passions of a small minority. But behind this I believe there is a style of mind that is far from new and that is not necessarily right-wing. I call it the paranoid style simply because no other word adequately evokes the sense of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy that I have in mind.
Worth reading again over 50 years later! harpers.org
What’s the Deal With George W.S. Trow–Rather than a straightforward critique, “Within the Context of No Context” expresses “only a kind of informed confusion,” Trow admitted in his 1997 foreword. Its real impact comes from the music of his prose. You have to read and reread it, which is easy enough, because it’s like a Twitter feed, each line an incantatory aphorism: “Television is the force of no-history.” “What television has to a dominant degree is a certain scale, and the power to enforce it.” It also possesses “a certain ability to transmit and receive and then to apply layers of affection and longing and doubt.” www.thenation.com
Abortion Rights Foes Have Weaponized Zoning Regulations. Here’s How.–Using zoning rules and regulations to hinder access to abortion services is nothing new, but it’s picked up momentum as an anti-choice strategy in recent years as reproductive rights foes use every available tactic to make abortion inaccessible. Since 2013, nine cases of cities using local zoning ordinances in attempts to shutter abortion clinics have been reported, many tracked by the National Institute of Reproductive Health (NIRH), a leading reproductive rights organization. rewire.news
Why dating apps are like bicycles–Evidence suggests that marriages in America between people who meet online are likely to be happier and last longer. Online dating also seems to be boosting interracial marriages by overcoming social divisions. Dating apps have completed what the bicycle began. Both technologies are, you might say, revolutionary. www.1843magazine.com
These Women Are Only On Facebook For The Groups–What would actually make groups more alluring — and more valuable to users — would be to increase their usability, and their application to other parts of users’ lives. Some functions, like the ability to search previous posts, have admittedly improved. But larger improvements would include functions like making it easy to contact members off of Facebook — say, through email — which remain anathema to Facebook’s business model. Facebook wanted increased connection, but exclusively through Facebook, and exclusively on Facebook’s terms. www.buzzfeednews.com
Silicon Valley Came to Kansas Schools. That Started a Rebellion–Silicon Valley has tried to remake American education in its own image for years, even as many in tech eschew gadgets and software at home and flood into tech-free schools. Summit has been part of the leading edge of the movement, but the rebellion raises questions about a heavy reliance on tech in public schools. www.nytimes.com
What’s New About Conspiracy Theories?–The constituency, too, has shifted. Historically, Muirhead and Rosenblum maintain, it’s been out-of-power groups that have been drawn to tales of secret plots. Today, it’s those in power who insist the game is rigged, and no one more insistently than the so-called leader of the free world.
Donald Trump got his start in national politics as a “birther,” promoting the idea that President Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States. Several news organizations have tried to keep track of the conspiracy theories Trump has floated since then. One list, posted by the Web site Business Insider, has nineteen entries. These include the claims that vaccines can cause autism and that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia may have been murdered. www.newyorker.com
Why are Silicon Valley billionaires starving themselves?–The man who rebooted Stoicism for today's tech moguls is author, podcaster, and tech startup investor Tim Ferriss. He calls the philosophy "an ideal operating system for thriving in high-stress environments." Maybe it is and maybe it isn't. But one thing is for sure: There's a danger in champions like Dorsey promoting extreme dietary choices that resemble eating disorders to their followers. theweek.com