In the News 28.07.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


In the News 28.07.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 28.07.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 28.07.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Justin Trudeau: The North Star

Let’s begin by synchronizing our watches. We are in the Eastern time zone.

The legislative session is over, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is about to give his wrap-up press conference. The reporters trudge into the gallery, grumbling, as reporters like to do, about traffic and editors. Someone gives the “10 seconds” signal, and Trudeau strides to the podium. He gives a nod and starts ticking off his accomplishments. The first is self-praise for cutting taxes on the middle class and raising them on the one percent. “We’ve given nine out of 10 families more money each month to help with the costs of raising their kids,” Trudeau says.

It’s strange to witness: He speaks in a modulated, indoor voice. His dark hair is a color found in nature. At home, there is a glamorous wife and three photogenic children, still not old enough to warm his seat at next week’s G-20 summit or be involved in an espionage scandal.

Read the rest of this article at: RollingStone

In the News 28.07.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

How Work Changed to Make us all Passionate Quitters

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In the early 1990s, career advice in the United States changed. A new social philosophy, neoliberalism, was transforming society, including the nature of employment, and career counsellors and business writers had to respond. The Soviet Union had recently collapsed, and much as communist thinkers had tried to apply Marxist ideas to every aspect of life, triumphant US economic intellectuals raced to implement the ultra-individualist ideals of Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman and other members of the Mont Pelerin Society, far and wide. In doing so for work, they developed a metaphor – that every person should think of herself as a business, the CEO of Me, Inc. The metaphor took off, and has had profound implications for how workplaces are run, how people understand their jobs, and how they plan careers, which increasingly revolve around quitting.

Hayek (1899­-1992) was an influential Austrian economist who operated from the core conviction that markets provided the best means to order the world. Today, many people share this conviction, and that is in part because of the influence of Hayek and his cohort. At the time that Hayek and his circle began making their arguments, it was an eccentric and minority position. For Hayek and the Mount Pelerin group, the centralised economic planning that characterised both communism and fascism was a recipe for disaster. Hayek held that humans are too flawed to successfully undertake the planning of a complex modern economy. A single human being, or even group of human beings, could never competently handle the informational complexities of modern economic systems. Given humans’ limitations in the face of modern economic complexity, freeing the market to organise large-scale production and distribution was the best possible course.

Read the rest of this article at: aeon


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Inside Cuba’s D.I.Y. Internet Revolution

You’ll be sitting in the magnificently beautiful ruin of Havana, surrounded by decaying stonework and pastel-colored Detroit rolling iron, and you’ll be ignoring it all to swipe down on your Facebook feed like a cocaine addict licking his snort mirror—which you are, of course: a depraved cokehead trying to get a hit. And you’ll scroll over the same content you swiped over 15 minutes ago, pretending that it might have refreshed and that it might provide the dopa­mine rush your brain is demanding. Yet it does not refresh. It will not refresh.

Your fix will come in the form of a small green scratch-off card, almost like a lottery ticket and usually costing a quarter of the average weekly Cuban wage. Some quick work with a coin will reveal two horribly long strings of numbers, and along with a hunched-over clutch of other addicts, you’ll enter the numbers into the password page of ETECSA, Cuba’s government-run telecommunications monopoly, whose design aesthetics are solidly 1997. And then … nothing. Your phone will fail to connect, or its signal will quickly fade, since your chosen hot spot, like most of the city’s hot spots, is overwhelmed by demand. (The government claims there are 60 hot spots in Havana, up from a handful a few years ago. That’s one for every 35,000 Habaneros.) You’ll try again for a secure connection.

Read the rest of this article at: Wired


The New Rules For Making It In Hollywood

The Next Big Star Will Be Very Small-2b

For a young actor in 2017, the good news is it’s never been easier to get a job. There are now a million options—as long as you’re cool with getting “famous” on go90. Or Crackle. Or Freeform. The list of platforms keeps growing, while the screens keep shrinking. Zach Baron reports on a generation of would-be stars navigating an era of glorious upheaval—when that next phone call might be from Netflix. (But it’s probably from Seeso.)

Beau Mirchoff is currently filming a movie called Party Boat. “It’s about a party boat,” he says. Beau is 28, with a puffy, amiable head of hair and mischievous eyes. He’s been acting professionally since he was 14. In 2006, he was in Scary Movie 4—that was kind of his big break. Later, he had a five-year run on MTV’s high school sitcom Awkward. He acted opposite David Duchovny on Aquarius, for NBC, and opposite Selena Gomez, when they were both younger, in Disney’s The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex.

 He paces in his trailer on the Party Boat set down in Atlanta, where rain has been wreaking havoc with the shooting schedule. Party Boat is being made by a company called Crackle. Beau is the first guy to tell you he didn’t entirely know what Crackle was a year ago. Well—he knew it was the thing Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee was on. He loves that show, he says.

Read the rest of this article at: GQ

Is The World Really Better Than Ever?


By the end of last year, anyone who had been paying even passing attention to the news headlines was highly likely to conclude that everything was terrible, and that the only attitude that made sense was one of profound pessimism – tempered, perhaps, by cynical humour, on the principle that if the world is going to hell in a handbasket, one may as well try to enjoy the ride. Naturally, Brexitand the election of Donald Trump loomed largest for many. But you didn’t need to be a remainer or a critic of Trump’s to feel depressed by the carnage in Syria; by the deaths of thousands of migrants in the Mediterranean; by North Korean missile tests, the spread of the zika virus, or terror attacks in Nice, Belgium, Florida, Pakistan and elsewhere – nor by the spectre of catastrophic climate change, lurking behind everything else. (And all that’s before even considering the string of deaths of beloved celebrities that seemed like a calculated attempt, on 2016’s part, to rub salt in the wound: in the space of a few months, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Carrie Fisher and George Michael, to name only a handful, were all gone.) And few of the headlines so far in 2017 – Grenfell tower, the Manchester and London attacks, Brexit chaos, and 24/7 Trump – provide any reason to take a sunnier view.

Yet one group of increasingly prominent commentators has seemed uniquely immune to the gloom. In December, in an article headlined “Never forget that we live in the best of times”, the Times columnist Philip Collins provided an end-of-year summary of reasons to be cheerful: during 2016, he noted, the proportion of the world’s population living in extreme poverty had fallen below 10% for the first time; global carbon emissions from fossil fuels had failed to rise for the third year running; the death penalty had been ruled illegal in more than half of all countries – and giant pandas had been removed from the endangered species list.

In the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof declared that by many measures, “2016 was the best year in the history of humanity”, with falling global inequality, child mortality roughly half what it had been as recently as 1990, and 300,000 more people gaining access to electricity each day. Throughout 2016 and into 2017, alongside Collins at the Times, the author and former Northern Rock chairman Matt Ridley – the title of whose book The Rational Optimist makes his inclinations plain – kept up his weekly output of ebullient columns celebrating the promise of artificial intelligence, free trade and fracking. By the time the professional contrarian Brendan O’Neill delivered his own version of the argument, in the Spectator (“Nothing better sums up the aloofness of the chattering class … than their blathering about 2016 being the worst year ever”) the viewpoint was becoming sufficiently well-entrenched that O’Neill seemed in danger of forfeiting his contrarianism.

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M. // Top images: @sothentheysayblog; @latavolalinen; @freckledlondoner