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Vanlife. Credit: Ton Schulten.

I should acknowledge just how wrong I was about this election. I never once questioned my confident prediction that Donald Trump would never become president. “Just because Trump makes no sense doesn't mean common sense has become worthless,” I wrote after Trump won some early primaries. “One black swan does not foretell a flock of black swans.” (Yeah. About that.)

Excellent David Roberts summary piece looks back at the election.
↩︎ Vox

And you thought Klout was bad

China wants to create a statewide "social credit score," which will first take into account minor infractions like jaywalking but could expand to include things like test scores and web activity.


My motivation to create this atlas was a childlike belief that there must a place somewhere that is truly beautiful. But as it turned out, it does not work that way. Most of the islands I chose are barren land, without a tree or even drinking water. 

Have we wanted to own a book so much? Quick interview with Judith Schalansky, author of anti-travel book Atlas of Remote Islands: Fifty Islands I Have Not Visited and Never Will.
↩︎ The Island Review
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"The biggest struggle of his first day on campus: finding a place to pray."

The student journalist who spoke with Abdul Razak Ali Artan thought he'd found the perfect human interest story: a young, intellectual Muslim man who successfully transferred to a better school, only to find nowhere to pray at one of the nation's largest universities.

That journalist reflects on the brutal, heartrending turn the story took from there: Abdul was shot this week after injuring eleven of his classmates in an attempted killing spree. It's hard not to wonder if the fears he confessed in August, over Islamophobic Trump supporters, pushed him over the edge.


The haircut this author's friends referred to as The Win Butler, popular for most of the past decade with hipsters and soccer players, is going out of style after it became the haircut de rigeur of Hitler-aping white nationalists. It's even referred to now as a "fashy."

The strategic alliance of snake-oil vendors and conservative true believers points up evidence of another successful long march, of tactics designed to corral fleeceable multitudes all in one place—and the formation of a cast of mind that makes it hard for either them or us to discern where the ideological con ended and the money con began.

Rick Perlstein in 2012: Conservative politicking has always come hand-in-hand with inaccurate, fearmongering messages—"fake news" in today's parlance.
↩︎ The Baffler

The duel is back

In a duel, assailants draw simultaneously. St. Louis lawyers contend that aggressive pro-gun laws now make dueling legal, with neither party liable.


The world does not need any more 17-year-old Wall Street babies who show up during O-Week and learn how to shake hands and take selfies with war criminals, any more moderates who lust for compromise in the legislatures and tweet gleefully about Hamilton while minority voting blocs in rural areas get gerrymandered out of existence.

Elite institutions need to do their part and shut down their establishment training grounds. Beginning tomorrow, if at all possible, with the University of Chicago's Institute of Politics, headed by David Axelrod.
↩︎ The Chicago Maroon

The case for calling bullshit every time a news anchor cites "FBI crime statistics"—that data is voluntarily supplied by police departments and is often (if not always) incomplete.

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