Photography in the digital age by Michael Stipe - in pictures

Private Equity Ghouls Just Murdered a Good Website:

Splinter, the site formerly known as Fusion and staffed by some of the best human rights and labor reporters in the country, has ceased publication today. The site’s shuttering was announced in a very bad internal memo you can read parts of, if you can stomach the sanctimonious, paper-thin talking points. (For a truer picture of the corporate environment in which Splinter operated, go here and here.) Yes, there are villains: Great Hill Partners, owners of the former Gawker Media sites as well as The Onion, The A.V. Club, and The Root. Ad-supported journalism is a dicey enough proposition; put private equity vampires in charge and the death cycle is only accelerated, every indignity of working in media is magnified, every misery heightened, every moron promoted, every bootlicker protected.

On the Far Right Past of Ingvar Kamprad, Founder of Ikea:

When I repeatedly asked Mr. Kamprad for an answer in my interview with him in 2010, I finally received a shocking reply: “There’s no contradiction as far as I’m concerned. Per Engdahl was a great man, and I’ll maintain that as long as I live.”

Vintage filth: a guide to history’s rudest texts:

The Roman poet Catullus is the father of dirty books. Some readers loved his earthy sexual imagery, others less so, but he didn’t have much truck with critics, attacking them in a poem so filthily abusive it wasn’t translated literally until the 1970s: “Up your ass and in your mouth / Aurelius … / Calling me dirt because my poems / have naughty naughty words in them.” I feel we need more of this engagement between writers and critics.

Jeff Bezos’s Master Plan:

Today, Bezos controls nearly 40 percent of all e-commerce in the United States. More product searches are conducted on Amazon than on Google, which has allowed Bezos to build an advertising business as valuable as the entirety of IBM. One estimate has Amazon Web Services controlling almost half of the cloud-computing industry—institutions as varied as General Electric, Unilever, and even the CIA rely on its servers. Forty-two percent of paper book sales and a third of the market for streaming video are controlled by the company; Twitch, its video platform popular among gamers, attracts 15 million users a day. Add The Washington Post to this portfolio and Bezos is, at a minimum, a rival to the likes of Disney’s Bob Iger or the suits at AT&T, and arguably the most powerful man in American culture.

How the Germany Synagogue Shooter’s Manifesto Follows the Far-Right Playbook:

The document puts the gunman within a growing recent tradition of violent far-right extremists around the world, who seek to inspire future attacks by adding to a library of manifestos or footage of past attacks.

Dinner in America: Who Has the Time to Cook?:

Forgetting you mail-ordered a bespoke set of ingredients for a selection of restaurant-style recipes is a luxurious predicament to be in, but the frequency with which those meal kits seem to be abandoned points to the very same problem they were invented to fix: Consumer surveys have found that most people who buy meal kits do so in hopes of saving time. As it turns out, it takes time to unpack, cook, and clean up after a meal-kit dinner, too.



America's 'Diner Man' Is Donating His Life’s Work to the Henry Ford Museum

The red meat good/bad thing has been going around for a while, again. This article explains alot of it, observing:

This isn’t as remarkable as it might sound, because this turnabout isn’t about new evidence. It’s about how the evidence is being interpreted, and the limits inherent to nutrition advice in the first place.

Actually, what has happened is that somebody did a metastudy and did not find any strong evidence that red meat is bad for you - and this after all these years of the nutrition experts saying just that. But that is science for you: we have a theory, test it, and may have to revise it. The theory about red meat has now been revised.

But not all are happy:

For Hu, it is enough. He thinks it’s inappropriate to apply the standards of drug trials or more rigorous science to nutrition; he also published an observational study concluding that red meat is bad for you just this summer. He is deeply invested in that line of thinking not being overturned.

He is supposed to be a scientist but elects to disregard scientific methods ... Which, of course, places him firmly in the same camp as, say, those who think acupuncture, chiropractic, or homeopathy work, in spite of all rigorous, clinical studies. It just works because I know it does. It just must.

But don't get me wrong: there are a lot of other - very good - reasons to cut back on or give up read meat.

But at least here is this:

While the precise downsides of bacon, for example, are unclear and possibly nonexistent, what is apparent is that we don’t really have enough evidence to consider it a bad food.

Zadie Smith on writing and reading;

Consequently, my interest here is not so much prescriptive as descriptive. For me the question is not: Should we abandon fiction? (Readers will decide that—are in the process of already deciding. Many decided some time ago.) The question is: Do we know what fiction was? We think we know. In the process of turning from it, we’ve accused it of appropriation, colonization, delusion, vanity, naiveté, political and moral irresponsibility. We have found fiction wanting in myriad ways but rarely paused to wonder, or recall, what we once wanted from it—what theories of self-and-other it offered us, or why, for so long, those theories felt meaningful to so many. Embarrassed by the novel—and its mortifying habit of putting words into the mouths of others—many have moved swiftly on to what they perceive to be safer ground, namely, the supposedly unquestionable authenticity of personal experience.

And Michael Chabon on the point of it all:

And what is that truth, the truth of art, that freeing blade, that slaking drink in the desert of the world? It’s this: You are not alone. I am not I; you are not you. We are we. Art bridges the lonely islands.


Flo Ngala’s photographs of Figure Skating in Harlem celebrate young skaters of colour


Walzwerk Restaurant – San Francisco, California


Mutia Taufieq breathes new life into an old format through her Polaroid collages


Mahesh Shantaram presents a look beneath the glossy veneer of Indian weddings


Andy Sweet captures the forgotten Jewish tribe of Miami’s South Beach


Augustus Jansson’s Queen City Ink Adverts


North Sea Magical Realists

The Myth of Class Reductionism:

Although there are no doubt random, dogmatic class reductionists out there, the simple fact is that no serious tendency on the left contends that racial or gender injustices or those affecting LGBTQ people, immigrants, or other groups as such do not exist, are inconsequential, or otherwise should be downplayed or ignored. Nor do any reputable voices on the left seriously argue that racism, sexism, homophobia, and xenophobia are not attitudes and ideologies that persist and cause harm.

Your Healing Crystals Are Part of the Capitalist Exploitation Machine:

In another example of the first world sucking the life from the third world, the booming demand for so-called healing crystals is ravaging Madagascar’s landscape and putting its citizens — thousands of whom are children — at risk in unregulated mines.

Winemaking in the Nordics, a world away from French chateau luxe:

In Sweden, about 30 winegrowers sell their wines, and just under 100 in their southern neighbour Denmark.

The Evangelical Mind:

Despite its apparent coordination and consistent program, evangelicalism seems to elude firm definition. Unlike with Catholics, for instance, there is no single figurehead to whom all evangelicals pledge allegiance. And although the term itself can mean simply “Protestant” in many European countries (most often those that are predominantly Catholic), it would be inaccurate to conflate American evangelicals with any particular Protestant denomination or group of denominations. Not only do many evangelicals attend nondenominational churches, but individual denominations are often split between an evangelical wing and a more traditionalist or more liberal wing (sometimes both).

A brief guide to the impacts of climate change on food production:

It isn’t always easy to make such changes. What is getting easier, though, is to see that the world’s collective appetite for fossil fuels is having a negative impact on real food and on dietary options.


Pictures from the 1939 New York World's Fair


Quirky Juxtapositions Capture Imperfect Human Moments in Photographs by Shin Noguchi


"Thou Shalt Not": A 1940 Photo Satirically Mocks Every Vice & Sin Censored by the Hays Movie Censorship Code


Olimpia Piccolo on photographing personal subjects with documentary-style precision


Jeff Bridges Takes Photographs


Portraits of Ellis Island Immigrants


Multi-Layered Oil Paintings by Jacob Brostrup Blur Natural and Built Environments


this isn't happiness™ (Map to the Stars, Paul Cupido), Peteski




Capitalism can no more be ‘persuaded’ to limit growth than a human being can be ‘persuaded’ to stop breathing. Attempts to ‘green’ capitalism, to make it ‘ecological’, are doomed by the very nature of the system as a system of endless growth.

Murray Bookchin

In both venues, some version of the perpetual question will undoubtedly be raised: “How will you pay for the costs of dealing with climate change?”

Despite its pervasiveness, this is a profoundly wrongheaded line of inquiry. Asking how to pay for the impact of climate change implies that these costs are a matter of choice. The reality is that global warming will impose massive costs, regardless of whether policymakers respond or not. Thus, the real question is not “How would you propose to pay?” but instead “Who is going to pay?” and “How much?”

People are already paying for climate change with their lives. Rising temperatures are killing more than 150,000 people every year. This death toll is estimated to increase to 1.5 million people annually by the turn of the century. Some are confronting the likelihood of failed crops; others have been forced to flee floodplains.

This leaves the Tories with a problem. If wealth and power are concentrated, how can you create widespread support for the party that defends the existing economic order?

The answer is to change the subject.

If the Tories talk about economics, it’ll remind people that their rents are astronomical, that they can’t afford a house, that they haven’t had a decent pay rise for years, that their business is struggling and that their savings income has shrunk to nothing. The solution, then, is not to talk about economics. As Philips Stephens says, Johnson wants to frame the election in terms of nationalism, xenophobia and “people vs parliament.” This is why Fiona Bruce was so quick to silence Emily Thornberry when she started to mention food banks; the Tories don’t want to talk about the economy. Their best hope is to shift the debate onto cultural and identity politics.

But in the end this strategy will hit a wall. Or so it would seem at the latest general election here i Denmark. But creating much havoc before the end.

In a series of analyses published recently in the American Journal of Political Science, the three researchers found that people’s moral codes don’t cause or predict their political ideology; instead, people’s ideology appears to predict their answers on the moral-foundations questionnaire. As Peter Hatemi, one of the study’s authors and a political-science professor at Pennsylvania State University, puts it: “We will switch our moral compass depending on how it fits with what we believe politically.”

Buy the plane ticket, quit the job, plan the trip, wander into the unknown, open your heart, take the leap.

Yeah right.

And we all know the tune of that dog whistle.

But the core of his work—both writing and activism—has always been after something else: a reckoning with the wrongs of history and identity. He does not want to celebrate an earlier age; instead, like Morris and his peers, Berry wants to come to terms with it in the service of a clear-eyed present and a changed future. “I am forced, against all my hopes and inclinations,” he writes in “A Native Hill,” a 1969 essay, “to regard the history of my people here as the progress of the doom of what I value most in the world: the life and health of the earth, the peacefulness of human communities and households.” Centered on a walk across a slope where Berry’s ancestors and others like them drove out the original inhabitants, the essay confronts how his people worked the land, sometimes with enslaved labor, and left behind a denuded hillside that has shed topsoil into the Kentucky and Ohio rivers. “And so here, in the place I love more than any other,” he observes, “and where I have chosen among all other places to live my life, I am more painfully divided within myself than I could be in any other place.”

The dystopian doomsday scenarios about overpopulation, from Malthus to Paul Ehrlich have not materialised. Many who remain committed to such a view tell us it is still just only a matter of time. They were purposefully resorted to exaggeration and even fabrication to bolster their arguments. Socialists have been rebutting the alarmists since the 19th Century. Those environmentalists who focus upon zero population growth will find instead of overpopulation, the world’s problem is underpopulation, first in the affluent West, and then most likely the rest of the developing world. One reason there has been a drop in fertility levels is that the death rate among infants and children went down, and therefore couples voluntarily stopped having large families. They’re still relatively poor, yet they began limiting the number of children. Reduce the mortality rate and population growth ceases. Only nations with high immigration or those which can make the switch from a youth economy to an old person’s economy will survive.

Interview with author of Super Pumped, an expose of Uber's chaotic inner circle:

I haven’t read too many start-up histories but Super Pumped is the only one I’ve read that has a significant amount of violence. Uber drivers are pressured to keep driving in adversarial conditions and subsequently murdered. Medallion owners whose prices are undercut by Uber regularly commit suicide. On rare occasions, passengers are assaulted by drivers who slipped through Uber’s lax background checks. Do you think it’s fair to say that Travis Kalanick has a body count?

Tearing Down the Myth of the Rural White Voter:

Lenz: It’s just like being in a family. I grew up with seven brothers and sisters, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you can love someone and be deeply angry at them at the same time. This is a key tension in America: You can love this place and still be pissed at it.

This is a very personal thing for me. I was married to somebody who voted and pushed for policies that I believed were hurting America. The people in my churches, who have loved me through some really difficult times, were also the people I heard saying very homophobic things and hurting others. I love this place where I live, but I also want it to be better.


Markus Klinko reveals never-before-seen photos of David Bowie, taken for Heathen album


“Drunkenness and debauchery!”: Peter Dench captures events of English gentility