* The hunger for crisis: All of this literature is the product of what the philosopher John Gray has described as “a culture transfixed by the spectacle of its own fragility.” Call it dystopian narcissism: the conviction that our anxieties are uniquely awful; that the crises of our age will be the ones that finally do civilization in; that we are privileged to witness the beginning of the end. I like the term, but I’d maybe push further on it — our true dystopian narcissism is our willingness, even eagerness, to bring about the final collapse.
* Bradley Manning Sentenced To 35 Years In Prison For Leaking U.S. Secrets To WikiLeaks. I wonder if the decision to let war crimes slide, while maximally prosecuting those who reveal the existence of war crimes, could have any bad consequences down the line.
* In every society, democratic or totalitarian, the sensible, grown-up thing to do is to commit to the long haul of sleazy conformity. The rewards are mostly guaranteed: if not freedom or happiness, then respectability and degree of security. What spoils it is the obstinate few who do otherwise – those, absurdly, who actually believe in the necessary fictions; enough to be moved and angered by the difference between what an organisation does in reality and what it says in public.
* The camp is the nomos of the modern: South Carolina City Approves Plan To Exile Its Homeless.
In order to accommodate all the homeless people who will now be banned from downtown, the city will partner with a local charity to keep an emergency shelter on the outskirts of town open 24 hours a day. However, it’s unlikely the shelter, which can handle 240 guests, will be enough to handle the local homeless population, which numbers more than six times the available beds.
To see how this all turns out, consult Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, “Past Tense” Parts 1&2.
* How Detroit Can Help Solve America’s Student-Loan Crisis. Spoiler alert: Detroit just needs some heroic Job Creators™!
* And can You Solve Slate’s Gerrymandering Jigsaw Puzzle? Pretty good demonstration of how absurd representation has become.