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There are many of us, I think, who look around today’s sociopolitical landscape — the ruinous state of our societies, politics, culture — and hold our heads in disbelief. Everywhere you look, it seems as if people have become toddlers throwing tantrums.
liberalism  society  stories  by  umair  haque  on  usa 
11 hours ago
A Vaccine Won’t Stop the New Coronavirus - The Atlantic
Updated at 7:43 p.m. on Feb. 25, 2020. In May 1997, a 3-year-old boy developed what at first seemed like the common cold. When his symptoms—sore throat, fever, and cough—persisted for six days, he was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Hong Kong.
2019-ncov  flu  health 
11 hours ago
302 Found
Call it the Bernielash. In response to Bernie’s swift and stunning rise, a predictable sentiment is coming from the establishment, the powers that be — not just on the right, but also on the left (which isn’t much of one.) “Bernie’s not electable!! He’ll lose!!”
collapse  politics  society  stories  by  umair  haque  on  usa 
11 hours ago
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This is Bernie’s big breakthrough moment. He’s soaring in the polls, rising to the level of a nominee by majority. That’s an accomplishment that shouldn’t be understated.
politics  stories  by  umair  haque  on  usa 
11 hours ago
302 Found
Most people are ashamed of censure. So it would be normal for a President to be humiliated by the disgrace of being impeached. Too normal, by far, for this one. He’s, famously, a man without shame, a textbook narcissist. And so instead, he’s on a rampage. Of a certain kind: an authoritarian one.
authoritarianism  collapse  fascism  society  stories  by  umair  haque  on  usa 
11 hours ago
302 Found
“What can I do?!” Or, the other version: “I’m doing all I can! What do you expect me to do!” I point out America’s collapsing — and Americans (at least some of them) are doing terrible, terrible things( to little children, no less).
society  stories  by  umair  haque  on  usa 
2 days ago
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I cannot believe I missed this past weekend’s Bitchmeme,¹ especially since it’s right in my wheelhouse: the ever-chilling war between the press and insiders. It seems to me this is likely a normal state of being in every industry.
500ish  -  medium 
2 days ago
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I’m so glad she chose me. …for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, ’til death do us part…
christianity  health  life 
5 days ago
302 Found
Tony Blair gave a speech recently in which he made a simple point: identity politics broke the left. Whatever else he was wrong about, he’s dead right about this. It’s a theme I’ve been hammering away at, so let me distill some of my points into a little essay.
liberalism  society  stories  by  umair  haque  on 
5 days ago
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veryone has their own “distraction kryptonite” — the thing that irresistibly pulls them away from spending their time on activities they care about. For some, it’s the aspirational images of Instagram. For others, it’s the global pulse of Twitter.
email  productivity  from pocket
5 days ago
302 Found
You don’t have to look too hard to see the parlous state of the American left. OK, it’s true — there’s not really an American “left”, so let’s just use the term lightly, to mean “Democrats.” Now, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Democracy’s life is on the line.
politics  stories  by  umair  haque  on  usa 
6 days ago
CBC Radio
"One reason why [dystopian novels] have to conclude on an optimistic note is that it's very hard to write a book where you kill everyone off at the end," says Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid's Tale, with her typical dry humour. "It has a sort of a downer effect on the reader.
books  science  fiction  writing 
6 days ago
It’s time for cities to address “privacy fatigue” — they’ll need design help
It’s a good time to be a design firm in California. An important one, too. Last month, the state’s new consumer privacy law went into effect, requiring businesses to reveal the types of personal information they collect, and their purpose in doing so.
cities  google  privacy  sidewalk  talk  -  medium 
6 days ago
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I’ve come to believe something troubling and strange. I might as well say it to you plainly, since there’s no point hiding it. I think our societies are dying. Let me explain.
brexit  collapse  society  stories  by  umair  haque  on  usa 
6 days ago
The conversation about American torture is 400 years old | Aeon Essays
Torture was a traditional tool of statecraft when Europeans began the conquest of North America during the 17th century. Its legitimacy as an appropriate means to punish treason, heresy and other grave offences was secure across the European continent.
history  society  from pocket
6 days ago
What happened when China provided its cities with real-time pollution data
A few years ago, China deployed a nationwide monitoring program across hundreds of cities, blanketing virtually its entire population. Seen through the lens of recent news, that sounds terrifying.
china  cities  environment  from pocket
7 days ago
I stumbled across a huge Airbnb scam that’s taking over London | WIRED UK
It’s November 2019 and I’m standing in an Airbnb in Battersea, south London. But this is not the Airbnb I booked. Everything is slightly, confusingly, off. All the rooms are the wrong sizes, all the furniture in the wrong places.
airbnb 
7 days ago
I Love David Lynch’s Dune in Spite of Its Faults | Tor.com
I turned seven the year Star Wars celebrated its 20th anniversary. The space opera film trilogy’s re-release on VHS turned into a three-night movie event in my house, which in turn spawned my lifelong love affair with the franchise.
dune  science  fiction 
7 days ago
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I wake every day and watch their implosion with a combination of fascination, horror, and disbelief. Like you do, perhaps. “Our societies” means Anglo ones: America, Britain, Australia perhaps. You can judge for yourself if your society is on the list.
collapse  society  stories  by  umair  haque  on  usa 
7 days ago
302 Found
Here’s a tiny question: what do you do when your Prez become Omar from the Wire? I ask because…well…that’s more or less what happened. The Prez: “When you come for the king, you best not miss.” What the? He refers, of course, to impeachment. But much, much more than that.
collapse  politics  society  stories  by  umair  haque  on  usa 
7 days ago
302 Found
When we speak casually of things like democratic decline, one obvious implication goes all too often ignored. That democracy’s in deep decline also means the left is dying. After all, the hard-right that’s ascendant is visibly interested in naked authoritarianism. Go ahead. Think about it.
liberalism  society  stories  by  umair  haque  on 
7 days ago
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It’s Valentine’s Day, and I want to talk about love. Goopy, schmoopy, earnest, cheesy, life-changing, mind-blowing love. True, deep, and fierce. But I’ll get to that. By way of two tiny stories. So bear with me for a moment.
life  love  society  stories  by  umair  haque  on 
7 days ago
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Like me, you’re probably cursed to be an Anglo. I say cursed because we live in the world’s dumbest cultures. Sorry, but yes, really.
collapse  society  stories  by  umair  haque  on 
7 days ago
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When I look at this troubled age, I end up thinking that it’s defined by a phenomenon I’ve come to call Weimar World. You can see democracy imploding and authoritarian-fascism rising now in every corner of the globe.
collapse  society  stories  by  umair  haque  on 
8 days ago
302 Found
There’s a fact of modern life that’s as simple as it is grim. The economy is rigged. Yes, really. Against you — at least if you’re 99% of people. Here are ten precise ways how — after a quick discussion of what “the economy’s rigged” really means.
capitalism  collapse  society  stories  by  umair  haque  on  usa 
9 days ago
After nuclear disaster, what about the animals of Chernobyl Fukushima |
Which is the bigger threat to wildlife: Radioactivity or humans? Wildlife ecologist Jim Beasley has gone into the contaminated zones around Chernobyl and Fukushima to learn the answer, and his findings are both sobering and inspiring.
nuclear  disaster  chernobyl 
10 days ago
Can You Say...Hero? - Mr. Rogers Profile Interview
This article was originally published in the November 1998 issue. Once upon a time, a little boy loved a stuffed animal whose name was Old Rabbit.
life 
10 days ago
American War by Omar El Akkad review – terrorism in a future US | Books | The Guardian
Set in a late-21st century US ravaged by global warming, this ambitious debut encourages western readers to put themselves in the shoes of the world’s displaced peoples A novel, like a person, doesn’t have to have a purpose.
books  science  fiction 
12 days ago
302 Found
I read a bizarre and surreal headline this morning. OK, one especially so. Utah, apparently, is sending public employees…to Mexico… because medicine is cheaper. Wait, what? This — to put it kindly — is the stuff of social collapse.
collapse  society  stories  by  umair  haque  on  usa 
12 days ago
302 Found
If you’re surprised by the rise of ad-blockers in spite of the hoops you must jump through in order to install them, I implore you to go try to read an article on the internet. Perhaps try Forbes, for example. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
500ish  -  medium  advertising  internet  reading 
12 days ago
302 Found
Across the globe, demagoguery, extremism, fascism, and authoritarianism are rising — like a tidal wave made of all the ignorance and folly of history. Why? What does it signify? I want you to understand how this tsunami of rage, fury, and stupidity sweeping across the globe came to be.
capitalism  fascism  society  stories  by  umair  haque  on  usa 
13 days ago
302 Found
When I look at America, when my friends from around the world look at America, we see the same thing. It makes us drop our jaws and shake our heads. How can a society be so deep in denial? Let me explain what I mean.
fascism  society  stories  by  umair  haque  on  usa 
14 days ago
Bill Gates Wants to Make a Universal Flu Vaccine - The Atlantic
The threat of a flu pandemic clouds even his legendary optimism, so he's launching an initiative to prevent one. Bill Gates fancies himself an optimist. Global health, he feels, is on an upward trajectory. Childhood deaths are plummeting. Polio is on the verge of eradication.
health  pandemic  science 
16 days ago
302 Found
One of the clearest ways to see America’s collapse is through the lens of its eerie mirror image: the Soviet Union.
russia  society  stories  by  umair  haque  on  usa 
16 days ago
302 Found
It was the spring of SARS. The outbreak, which had originated in late 2002 across the border in the neighboring Chinese province of Guangdong, had been growing throughout the month.
2019-ncov  flu  health  pandemic  sars  science  from pocket
19 days ago
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