A compilation of the articles I’ve read and enjoyed this summer.
“In my country today there are people who are wondering if the Resistance had a real military impact on the course of the war. For my generation this question is irrelevant: we immediately understood the moral and psychological meaning of the Resistance.”
“THE world has enjoyed an unprecedented run of peace, prosperity, and cooperation the last 25 years, but now that might be over. At least when it comes to those last two.
That, more than anything else, is what Britain’s vote to leave the European Union means.”
“They were known as literary subversives, rebel voices in the era of Silent Generation conformity. But among their other contributions to American life are words that some of the Beats marshaled on behalf of wild places.”
“The fact is, we are in the midst of an election that should be extremely thrilling for progressives, because the possibility for change — for progress — is actually thrumming around us.”
“We’re used to talking about the private and public sector in the real economy, but in the surveillance economy this boundary doesn’t exist.”
“An 18-year-old said she was attacked at knifepoint. Then she said she made it up. That’s where our story begins.”
“Rather than asking “What is good for students?” – “good” in every sense of the word - we instead orient policy and actions around abstractions like “success,” or “college readiness” without examining the underlying costs of pursuing those abstractions.”
“While Wiesel leveraged his literary talents to win sympathy for Jewish victims of genocide, he sought to limit the narratives of other groups subjected to industrial-level extermination.”
“It’s considered an indication of authenticity that he doesn’t generally speak from a teleprompter but just wings it. (In fact, he brings to the podium a few pages of handwritten bullet points, to which he periodically refers as he, mostly, wings it.) He wings it because winging it serves his purpose. He is not trying to persuade, detail, or prove: he is trying to thrill, agitate, be liked, be loved, here and now.”
“Whereas the panopticon devised by Jeremy Bentham in the eighteenth century was a structure designed to create the feeling of constant observation among inmates in a prison, the antiopticon created by the concrete security walls and corridors creates a sense of blindness to dimensionality, control enforced by a lack of vision.”
“Welcome to the 2016 Republican convention: a four-day celebration of the ritual suicide of American democracy.
“I’ve always treated neoliberalism as a political project carried out by the corporate capitalist class as they felt intensely threatened both politically and economically towards the end of the 1960s into the 1970s. They desperately wanted to launch a political project that would curb the power of labor.”
“It all started with a question, one my parents had been unable to answer for 70 years.
What happened to the French doctor they had taken in during the Russian siege of Budapest?”
“While it’s clear that external silence can have tangible benefits, scientists are discovering that under the hoods of our skulls “there isn’t really such a thing as silence,” says Robert Zatorre, an expert on the neurology of sound. “In the absence of sound, the brain often tends to produce internal representations of sound.””
When I was a child, I always half-suspected that America wasn’t real. It had to be made up. It was too good and too simple a story to make sense in the everyday world of bus stops and breakfast cereals and adults who invariably let you down.
Living and sometimes working here as a grown-up has not changed my opinion. Right now, backstage at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia, I can see the story being written in real time.