Links from the Week's Thread
- David Shulman describes the desperate struggle for survival by the 15,000 Bedouin shepherds in the West Bank: “[W]e are now witnessing in the Jordan Valley an accelerated process of what must, I fear, be called ethnic cleansing. It’s not a term I use lightly”
- Pankaj Mishra on the age of anger: “Today, the society of entrepreneurial individuals competing in the rational market reveals unplumbed depths of misery and despair; it spawns a nihilistic rebellion against order itself.”
- Stephanie Nolen looks at both sides of the Brazilian government’s implementation of race tribunals, used to eliminate fraudulent applications to affirmative-action programs: “Some tribunals work purely from physical appearance; some panelists apparently see race as more than that and ask candidates about their experience of discrimination, or their families.The end result, frequently, is confusion.”
- John Herrman defines the word “platform” in the post-election context: “Somewhere between media and social media — between familiar ideas about politics and the news and the ones that underpin the world we live in today — platforms changed from responsibilities into abdications of responsibility. Claiming to provide a platform, in Silicon Valley, doesn’t demand defense. It is the defense. Platforms don’t cause problems; people do.”
- The formula behind Michael Lewis’ books, as elucidated in a review of The Undoing Project: “The scientific narrative nonfiction formula, as Lewis and Gladwell use it, consists of depicting a character or small cadre of characters who embody a counterintuitive claim .... The scientific narrative nonfiction author then moves the reader from his or her original perception of the status quo to the counterintuitive truism through a winding road of anecdotes and eccentricities provided by the character or characters, all the while shearing and honing these stories for salience and readability. “You think that ‘experts’ have a solid grasp on something? Actually, here are some relatively unknown people who can prove otherwise.” This is the crux of the formula. Importantly, the reader must be somewhat educated (and thus interested in the subject at hand), but not too knowledgeable in the specific field being discussed.”
- Kate Black has three remarkable pieces in the fall issue of Glass Buffalo: The Dying Game, Security Settings, and Claireview. Black explores themes such as trauma, mortality, and patriarchy in an incisive manner full of rich detail and humour.
- Suroosh Alvi is the founder of Vice. Listen to him explain how, as a recovering heroin addict, he took a Haitian English weekly in Montreal to become the $4 Billion media empire that is now VICE.