In the News 04.08.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


In the News 04.08.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 04.08.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 04.08.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Not Fuzz

The phone rang: a call from an unknown number. Through a window near my cubicle, I could see a blood orange sunset falling over the Pacific Ocean. It was a Friday evening in June2014, and I was working late in the newsroom of the Santa Monica Daily Press. The newspaper’s op-ed page had recently become a virtual war zone for local residents and commercial developers at odds over building projects in the beachfront city. As my desk phone pealed, I decided that I didn’t want to risk getting dragged into yet another debate about the semantic decision to use “city owned land” instead of “resident owned land” in our copy. I didn’t answer. The ringing stopped.

After a brief silence, it started up again. This time I grabbed the receiver, planning to keep whatever conversation transpired as short as possible. A frantic voice was on the other end. The caller, a man, wanted to talk about a developer, but not in the manner I’d feared.

Read the rest of this article at: The Atavist Magazine


Q&A: Louis Theroux on interviewing controversial subjects


Jesse: How would you characterize what it is that you do? Because it’s a very specific thing, and you’ve been doing it for quite a while.

Louis: I go among people who are in some way involved in lifestyles or belief systems that are outside the mainstream, but also have a profound moral dimension to them where their view is often questionable, controversial, sometimes hateful, and I attempt to build relationships with them and get to know them ideally over a period of days or even weeks. I make documentaries in which you see those relationships develop.


Jesse: Do you remember the first time that you were with one of these groups of people? Was there a moment when you thought, “This is a thing that should be my thing that I do”?

Louis: I do know that when I first got hired on a TV show in 1994, I was 23 and Michael Moore had the TV show TV Nation, which was just gearing up. I went along for an interview having no TV experience and he thought, “Well, there’s something in this bespectacled, skinny, and slightly sallow kind of shambolic figure who will make an interesting contrast with the wild and woolly outer reaches of American culture.” And the first story he sent me on, at the time was literally, because the magazine I’d been working for as a journalist was Spymagazine. It had gone belly up, and I was temping in the publishing industry, doing proofreading and fact-checking. He called me up and said, after the interview, “You know I’m going to send you off and, get ready, you’re leaving tomorrow.” And the story was about religious groups that think the end of the world is around the corner. Millennialist cults and sects. I remember thinking, “Well, I have no qualifications to do this. I’m very afraid of doing this because I feel profoundly unqualified, but I am very excited to speak to these people and maybe that curiosity will carry me through.”

Read the rest of this article at: Columbia Journalism Review


Shop the Tuscany Tote in Midnight
at Belgrave Crescent &

Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?

One day last summer, around noon, I called Athena, a 13-year-old who lives in Houston, Texas. She answered her phone—she’s had an iPhone since she was 11—sounding as if she’d just woken up. We chatted about her favorite songs and TV shows, and I asked her what she likes to do with her friends. “We go to the mall,” she said. “Do your parents drop you off?,” I asked, recalling my own middle-school days, in the 1980s, when I’d enjoy a few parent-free hours shopping with my friends. “No—I go with my family,” she replied. “We’ll go with my mom and brothers and walk a little behind them. I just have to tell my mom where we’re going. I have to check in every hour or every 30 minutes.”

Those mall trips are infrequent—about once a month. More often, Athena and her friends spend time together on their phones, unchaperoned. Unlike the teens of my generation, who might have spent an evening tying up the family landline with gossip, they talk on Snapchat, the smartphone app that allows users to send pictures and videos that quickly disappear. They make sure to keep up their Snapstreaks, which show how many days in a row they have Snapchatted with each other. Sometimes they save screenshots of particularly ridiculous pictures of friends. “It’s good blackmail,” Athena said. (Because she’s a minor, I’m not using her real name.) She told me she’d spent most of the summer hanging out alone in her room with her phone. That’s just the way her generation is, she said. “We didn’t have a choice to know any life without iPads or iPhones. I think we like our phones more than we like actual people.”

Read the rest of this article at: The Atlantic

In the News 04.08.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Is Amazon Getting Too Big?

Amazon’s general counsel, David Zapolsky, had a lot on his mind last month when he and four members of his legal team visited the offices of New America, a liberal-leaning think tank in Washington. The retail juggernaut was days from announcing its $13.8 billion purchase of Whole Foods, a deal that would not only roil the grocery industry but also trigger a government antitrust investigation into the strategies and practices of the “Everything Store.” And, as Zapolsky was no doubt aware, no organization had been more dogged in raising those concerns than New America — and, in particular, a 28-year-old law student named Lina Khan.

Earlier this year, the Yale Law Journal published a 24,000-word “note” by Khan titled “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox.” The article laid out with remarkable clarity and sophistication why American antitrust law has evolved to the point that it is no longer equipped to deal with tech giants such as, which has made itself as essential to commerce in the 21st century as the railroads, telephone systems and computer hardware makers were in the 20th.

It’s not just Amazon, however, that animates concerns about competition and market power, and Khan is not the only one who is worrying. The same issues lie behind the European Union’s recent $2.7 billion fine against Google for favoring its own services in the search results it presents to its users. They are also at the heart of the long-running battle in the telecom industry over net neutrality and the ability of cable companies and Internet service providers to give favorable treatment to their own content. They are implicated in complaints that Facebook has aided the rise of “fake news” while draining readers and revenue from legitimate news media. They even emerge in debates over the corrupting role of corporate money in politics, the decline in entrepreneurship, the slowdown in corporate investment and the rise of income inequality.

Read the rest of this article at: The Washington Post

How Britain Fell Out of Love With The Free Market


Twelve years ago, shortly after winning his third consecutive general election, Tony Blair gave the Labour party a brief lecture on economics. “There is no mystery about what works,” he said, crisply, speaking from a podium printed with the slogan “Securing Britain’s Future” at the party conference in Brighton. “An open, liberal economy prepared constantly to change to remain competitive.”

Blair rounded on critics of modern capitalism: “I hear people say we have to stop and debate globalisation. You might as well debate whether autumn should follow summer. They’re not debating it in China and India.” He went on: “The temptation is … to think we protect a workforce by regulation, a company by government subsidy, an industry by tariffs. It doesn’t work today.” Britain should not “cling on to the European social model of the past”.

Most of his conference speech was vigorously applauded. But the passage on economics was received with solemn looks and silence. There was no heckling, as there had been when previous Labour leaders and chancellors delivered what they saw as home truths about the economy. Instead, there was a sense of resignation in the hall: an acceptance by a party of the left that the right had won the economic argument.

In the early years of the 21st century, the inevitability of an ever more competitive, deregulated, internationally orientated market economy, to which both government and society were subordinate – a doctrine often called neoliberalism – was accepted right across the mainstream of British politics: from the Thatcherites who still dominated the Conservative party; to the increasingly pro-business Liberal Democrats, who would soon form a coalition government with the Tories; to the Scottish National party, whose then leader Alex Salmond praised Ireland and Iceland for their low corporate taxes; to the Blair cabinet itself, where, I was told by a senior Labour figure in 2001, “You won’t find a single member with anything critical to say about capitalism.” It was assumed by the main parties that most voters felt the same way.

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M. // Top images: @candiceperrin; @georgiannalane; @vivaluxuryblog