Quote of the day

"A market is a place set apart for men to deceive each other"
— Anacharsis

How Fox News Changed America

Highly readable academic paper (PDF) by economist Bruce Bartlett arguing that Fox News may have succeeded too well in capturing American conservatives. It is “the dominant – and in many cases, virtually the only – major news source for millions”. Viewers undergo “self-brainwashing”. They “refuse to even listen to any news or opinion not vetted through Fox, and believe whatever appears on it as gospel truth” (6,770 words)

The Gatlin Dilemma

Justin Gatlin, currently the world’s fastest runner, is setting new personal records at the age of 33. Which is almost incredible. Most top sprinters peak around the age of 27, Usain Bolt ran his best at 22. Gatlin may be innocently atypical; but a past four-year ban for using steroids scarcely inspires confidence. “Gatlin is a former doper, dominating a historically doped event, while running faster than his previously doped self” (2,360 words)

Theorizing The Drone

Philosopher explores the tactical and ethical implications of drone warfare. Interesting and well-researched throughout. The drone pilot is the opposite of the kamikaze or suicide bomber. The drone pilot cannot be killed; the suicide bomber is certain to die. Both disturb our moral sense of what is acceptable in war, because neither is risking retribution. The drone pilot is far out of reach; the suicide bomber is already dead (7,700 words)

Unclimbable

Diary of an expedition into the Cirque of the Unclimbables, a remote ring of mountains in Canada’s Northwest Territories “sacred to serious rock climbers”, reached by floatplane from the Yukon. “You fly until the flat forested land pushes up into toothy gray mountains, glaciers peeking around the sharp edges of the spires, and the pilot cheerily reminds you that any mistake out here will result in all of your deaths” (7,800 words)

Sepp Blatter Is A Genius

Fifa boss Sepp Blatter understands international football better than any player or country or fan. He is “friendly, multilingual and has no ideology. He always remembers his guests’ names”. He knows that the emotions which drive the World Cup have nothing to do with sport: They are arrogance, and vanity, and corruption, and greed. He is happy to accommodate. He, and Fifa, care “only about naked power and money” (881 words)

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