If you skip these weekly posts I link to, you shouldn’t. I have been skimming them, but for week 21, I read it all the way through. I realized several things while reading it, the most important was how much I have already normalized, as Amy describes it, the Trump regime. While I try never to refer to him by his full title and I shudder when I hear others do it, sometimes I do forget or ignore how bad things are. Reading week 21 made me realize that, well, things are bad and they’re getting worse. Please remember that this is not the world we want and yet, here we are.
Anyway, your links this week:
- Redux: You’ve got mail, you idiot! This post originally ran on October 26, 2011, back when Donald Trump was relentlessly propagating an easily debunked conspiracy theory about President Obama. As we ponder the triumph of “alternative facts,” it’s worth considering what makes bullshit so appealing and why it’s so hard to debunk. (The Last Word On Nothing)
- Letter to My Younger Self by Pete Sampras (The Players Tribune) Note: For most of the time he was active, Pete was one of my favorite tennis players. The others are current player Gilles Simon and legend Bjorn Borg.
Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it. Here are three politic-related (in a way) links and one that is not.
A couple of these stories are from NPR and I would recommend listening to them (I tried to embed, but it didn’t work). If you can’t reading should be okay, but the actual audio versions of the stories are pretty good.
The first article, about anxiety, is especially good (in spite of being on Vice). As someone who suffers from anxiety (not as severe as the author of that column), I always find these articles equally useful and interesting — and I share them, both with my friends who have anxiety (aka most of them) and especially with people who don’t. Anxiety, if you don’t have, is very hard to understand. There are plenty of articles, cartoons/comics, and books that help. The author of that article actually mentions my favorite book about anxiety: My Age of Anxiety by Scott Stossel. I highly recommend it — I listened to the audio book version, but I’m pretty sure the print version would be good, too. You can get it wherever books are sold, but I’m pretty certain your local library has it.
Bonus link: Fear Of Fainting, Flight And Cheese: One Man’s ‘Age Of Anxiety’ (NPR) An interview with Scott Stossel.
Oddly, I’ve read a bunch of stuff this week. There’s no theme to these articles, they’re covering a variety of topics. Sometimes I include an ‘if you only read one’ but this week, all of them are pretty good.
This first link is from my dad — I’m very lucky to have parents who know what I like and while they don’t always approve, they do pass things along to me that might be interesting. This article is one of those instances. Actually, there are two articles from my parents in this post! The first, from my father, and the second, from my mother. In the first article, much of the article is about my favorite author, William Gibson. The second article is told in a webcomic format, which my mother knows I like.
- What Is an @uthor? Today’s social media landscape confronts contemporary authors with a qualitatively different opportunity to confront their public selves. (LA Review of Books)
- Guilty, Then Proven Innocent With eight successful exonerations so far, North Carolina’s Innocence Inquiry Commission could be a national model for fighting wrongful convictions. (The Atlantic)
- Scorched Earth, 2200AD Climate change has done its worst, and now just 500 million humans remain on lifeboats in the north. How do they survive? (Aeon)
- Send in the Weathermen: As the Department of Defense’s only commando forecasters, SOWTs gather mission-impossible environmental data from some of the most hostile places on Earth.
- Wokking the Suburbs As he stepped woozily into the first American afternoon of his life, the last thing my father wanted to do was eat Chinese food. (Lucky Peach)
A collection of interesting links I’ve read throughout the week (or, really, since the last time I made a links post).
- The Ghost Files: US historians have long complained about gaps in the National Archives. Can big-data analysis show what kinds of information the government is keeping classified? (Columbia)
- China Gives Hong Kong Its Worst: If China wants Hong Kong residents to stop taking to the streets in protest, it should start picking better leaders. Of course, that’s exactly why an estimated 300,000 demonstrated yesterday and almost 800,000 voted in a recent unofficial referendum: to gain the right to choose the city’s chief executive officer. (Bloomberg View)
- Hobby Lobby Is Only the Beginning: A country that cannot even agree on the idea of religious accommodation, let alone on what terms, is unlikely to agree on what to do next. A country in which many states cannot manage to pass basic anti-discrimination laws covering sexual orientation is one whose culture wars may be beyond the point of compromise. And a nation whose marketplace itself is viewed, for better or worse, as a place to fight both those battles rather than to escape from them is still less likely to find surcease from struggle. (New York Times)
- The Urgent Need to Shield Journalism in the Age of Surveillance: The media landscape has been transformed by NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s decision to leak a vast cache of documents to select journalists, notably at the Guardian and the Washington Post, which made global headlines a year ago this month. And “the new challenge this year is how to maintain the Internet as somewhere for free expression and innovation,” as Michael Maness, VP of journalism and innovation at the Knight Foundation, said. (PBS)