A country that can’t ensure the daily operation of Penn Station isn’t a country that can prevent transportation gridlock. A country that contracts out the operations of prisons to the lowest private bidder isn’t a country that can rehabilitate its criminals.
Why Canada Is Able to Do Things Better, The Atlantic
Ouch. The truth hurts.
…we’ve invited technical standards bodies, national- and supranational-level regulators, and shadowy hackers into the innermost precincts of our lives. As a result, our ability to perform the everyday competently is now contingent on the widest range of obscure factors—things we’d simply never needed to worry about before, from the properties of the electromagnetic spectrum and our moment-to-moment ability to connect to the network to the stability of the software we’re using and the current state of corporate alignments.
A Sociology of the Smartphone on Longreads
“As the later Canadian explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson noted, John Franklin’s entire crew died of starvation and exposure in an area where, for generations, the Inuit had raised their children and tended their elderly. It was possible to live and even thrive in the Arctic—but, steeped in the racial prejudices of colonial England, almost all of Britain’s polar explorers declined to imitate indigenous ways of travelling, hunting, eating, and staying warm. Everywhere else in the former British Empire, English chauvinism led to the death of untold numbers of native people. In the Arctic, English chauvinism led to the death of untold numbers of Englishmen.”
—Kathryn Schulz, “Literature’s Arctic Obsession” in The New Yorker
“Go back to Ben Franklin—his descriptions about how the Iroquois Nations lived and worked together. Compare that to America today. I think that, when you look at veterans coming out of the wars, they’re more and more just slapped in the face by that isolation, and they’re used to something better. They think it’s P.T.S.D.—which it can be—but it’s really about alienation. If you lose any sense of being part of something bigger, then why should you care about your fellow-man?”
—James Mattis, in The New Yorker, “The Warrior Monk” by Dexter Filkins
“…narrowing our eyes allows us to see farther, while opening them wider lets in more light.”
“The role of nonmilitary means of achieving political and strategic goals has grown, and, in many cases, they have exceeded the power of force of weapons in their effectiveness.”
—Evan Osnos, David Remnick, and Joshua Yaffa, “Trump, Putin, and the New Cold War” – The New Yorker
“The term ‘propaganda’ has been replaced by ‘a behavioral approach to persuasive communication with quantifiable results.’ “
—Tamsin Shaw, “Invisible Manipulators of Your Mind” – The New York Review of Books
“the battle that will need to be waged in the long term is not between an elite-led politics of facts versus a populist politics of feeling. It is between those still committed to public knowledge and public argument and those who profit from the ongoing disintegration of those things.”
—William Davies, “How statistics lost their power – and why we should fear what comes next” – The Guardian