From the world pool: June 8, 2018


I’ve been lazy recently. Not so many links.

Socio-political commentary

World news

The fight to define the very essence of Israel

What leaks into nearly every conversation these days is uncertainty about Israel’s future boundaries. I don’t just mean geographic boundaries. I mean legal, institutional and cultural limits. Most people in the country will insist that Israel is and must remain Jewish and democratic. Almost nobody can tell you what this means.


This makes me unreasonably happy.  Apple blocks web-tracking tools used by Facebook

Who Tracks Me

Millions in China with bad ‘social credit’ barred from buying plane, train tickets

It seems that gathering data is behind everything these days. Tomorrow’s cities: Google’s Toronto city built ‘from the internet up’

Oopsie. Amazon Alexa heard and sent private chat

What could possibly go wrong? Amazon urged not to sell face-recognition tool to police

Feminist issues

The Media Must Stop Taking ‘Incel’ Agitprop Seriously

It all starts with the “sexual hierarchy” that he and other writers have cited as a social problem that gives rise to incel terrorism. In short, they can’t get dates or get laid, so they blame women and society at large; inevitably, some act out violently. But accepting this argument is to take the embittered propaganda of these communities at face value. 

… it also ignores the elephant in the room. If all of these groups experience a certain dislocation and loneliness from being on the wrong side of sexual hierarchies, why aren’t we awash in mass murderers from those groups? Where are the lonely, nerdy women who kill because they can’t get a date on Tinder? Where are all the black women mowing down pedestrians in a rental van because society’s beauty standards aggressively privilege whiteness?

…The problem is not that they aren’t having enough sex; the problem is that they despise women, and will do so no matter how much sex they’re having.


Why are the poor blamed and shamed for their deaths? When someone dies, she often suffers a brutal moral autopsy, says Barbara Ehrenreich. Did she smoke? Drink excessively? Eat too much fat?

Art + Design + Writing

Ruby Silvious: Tea Bag Art


The Illustrated Guide to Law  Note “It was you!” —an explanation of how attention and memory work.

Just Interesting

Tales from the far-flung Faroes

This isn’t just interesting, it’s fascinating. Bundyville

How an ancient tradition shaped a nation’s work ethic

This is “dugnad”, a word which literally means help or support in Norwegian, a custom of communal work in Norway that dates back centuries, and one that has existed in some form or another in most agricultural societies around the world.

In Siberia in 1908, a huge explosion came out of nowhere

The fireball is believed to have been 50-100m wide. It depleted 2,000 sq km of the taiga forest in the area, flattening about 80 million trees. The earth trembled. Windows smashed in the nearest town over 35 miles (60km) away. Residents there even felt heat from the blast, and some were blown off their feet.

Just cool

Macrocybe titans  Oh my.

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