If today’s corporate kvetchers are more concerned with the state of their egos than with the state of the nation, it’s in part because their own fortunes aren’t tied to those of the nation the way they once were. In the postwar years, American companies depended largely on American consumers. Globalization has changed that…. The well-being of the American middle class just doesn’t matter as much to companies’ bottom lines. And there’s another change. Early in the past century, there was a true socialist movement in the United States, and in the postwar years the Soviet Union seemed to offer the possibility of a meaningful alternative to capitalism. Small wonder that the tycoons of those days were so eager to channel populist agitation into reform. Today, by contrast, corporate chieftains have little to fear, other than mildly higher taxes and the complaints of people who have read Thomas Piketty. Moguls complain about their feelings because that’s all anyone can really threaten.
James Surowiecki, “Moaning Moguls”
Actually, Supreme Court justices enter the building through a secure underground garage and, unlike women simply trying to receive the medical care they are morally and constitutionally entitled to have, never come anywhere near confronting face-to-face the protesters who appear at the front of the building. Just… FYI.
i love how “lmao” has evolved over the years from a genuine expression of mirth to the modern symbol of wet, unemphatic amusement; the mere ghost of an emotion, reflecting the journey of modern youth from innocent naievete to hardened apathy lmao
Maybe this happens because people say “i love” about things that are actually horribly depressing instead of saying “It’s depressing” about them.
In rare (and increasingly rarer) unguarded moments on Twitter, typically late on a Saturday night, I sometimes post something anxious, something about my life, something that’s not my professional face, but a glance at what I really think about. A few of the strangers that favorited those tweets have gone on to be close friends of mine. Newsletters filter out unwanted attention, but they might be doing this too well — filtering out the likeminded people we want to stumble upon these slightly less censored thoughts.
Joanne McNeil, “Tiny Letters to the Web We Miss”
The un-webbing of the web is, in a nutshell, the thing I hate about newsletters. It’s the branding of the human: the interesting people give you what they are seeing/noticing/enjoying/thinking about using exactly the same medium, format, and urgency that J.Crew uses to get you to buy clothes.
Seriously, have you read a J.Crew email lately? They have narrative. They offer a value proposition. They are generally imbued with a positive, almost humanist vibe. The motives are different, but the experience for the reader is the same.
Sweet, salty, bitter, sour, umami, and…carbohydrate?
Discover why scientists think we have a sixth taste via NOVA Next.
This isn’t surprising given the speed at which muscle cramps respond to pickle juice. But it’s definitely cool.
The gloves came off: four simple words. And yet they express a complicated thought. For if the gloves must come off, that means that before the attacks the gloves were on. There is something implicitly exculpatory in the image, something that made it particularly appealing to officials of an administration that endured, on its watch, the most lethal terrorist attack in the country’s history. If the attack succeeded, it must have had to do not with the fact that intelligence was not passed on or that warnings were not heeded or that senior officials did not focus on terrorism as a leading threat. It must have been, at least in part, because the gloves were on—because the post-Watergate reforms of the 1970s, in which Congress sought to put limits on the CIA, on its freedom to mount covert actions with “deniability” and to conduct surveillance at home and abroad, had illegitimately circumscribed the President’s power and thereby put the country dangerously at risk. It is no accident that two of the administration’s most powerful officials, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, served as young men in very senior positions in the Nixon and Ford administrations. They had witnessed firsthand the gloves going on and, in the weeks after the September 11 attacks, they argued powerfully that it was those limitations—and, it was implied, not a failure to heed warnings—that had helped lead, however indirectly, to the country’s vulnerability to attack.
Mark Danner, “US Torture: Voices from the Black Sites”
Never underestimate how far people are willing to go to rationalize why horrible things that might be their fault could not possibly be their fault and, moreover, are clearly the fault of someone else whom they are predisposed to dislike.