News 12.09.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


News 12.09.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 12.09.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 12.09.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

For seven decades, Elizabeth II gave Britain a constant, even as her kingdom was transformed.

The first Elizabethan era ended on March 24, 1603, when 69-year-old Queen Elizabeth I died in her sleep at Richmond Palace. “This morning, about three o’clock, her Majesty departed from this life, mildly like a lamb, easily like a ripe apple from the tree,” the lawyer John Manningham wrote in his diary. Elizabeth I’s 45-year reign was a “golden age,” a course of events that no one would have predicted at her birth. She had survived her mother’s execution, her half-sister’s jealousy, her cousin Mary’s plotting, and the antagonism of Europe’s great Catholic powers.

The death of Queen Elizabeth II today ends the second Elizabethan era. The past 70 years might not feel golden, but they were an age. She steered the monarchy from the world of aristocracy and deference in which she was born, through the social liberation of the swinging 1960s and the bitter divisions of the ’80s and onward into a new millennium; past a Scottish-independence referendum that would have broken apart 300 years of the union; past Brexit, which sundered her kingdom from the European Union; to her final days in a world of smartphones and Instagram. Even as the world changed around her, she remained in place. Like the North Star in the night sky, she was a fixed point, something by which to orient yourself.

Read the rest of this article at: The Atlantic

News 12.09.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 12.09.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

An era of remarkable prosperity has ended.

Brad DeLong felt confident that the story started in 1870.

The polymath economist was writing a book on economic modernity—about how humans transitioned from eking out an existence on our small planet to building a kind of utopia on it—and he saw an inflection point centuries after the emergence of capitalism and decades after the advent of manufacturing at scale. “The Industrial Revolution is good. The Industrial Revolution is huge,” he explained to me recently, sitting on the back porch of his wood-clad Colonial Revival in Berkeley, California. But “as of 1870, things have not really changed that much for most people.” Soon after that, though—after the development of the vertically integrated corporation, the industrial research lab, modern communication devices, and modular shipping technologies—“everything changes in a generation, and then changes again, and again, and again, and again.” Global growth increases fourfold. The world breaks out of near-universal agrarian poverty. Modernity takes hold.

DeLong had begun working on this story in 1994. He had produced hundreds of thousands of words, then hundreds of thousands more, updating the text as academic economics and the world itself changed. He kept writing, for years, for decades, for so long that he ended up writing for roughly 5 percent of the time capitalism itself has existed. The problem wasn’t figuring out how the story started. The problem was knowing when it ended.

In time, he decided that the era that had begun in 1870 ended in 2010, shortly after productivity growth and GDP growth had collapsed, as inequality was strangling economic vibrancy around the world and revanchist political populism was on the rise. With a bit more writing, he finished Slouching Towards Utopia, one of this year’s most anticipated economics books, to be published on Tuesday. His long-gestating examination of what he calls the “long 20th century” is sweeping and detailed, learned and accessible, familiar and strange—a definitive look at how we arrived at such material splendor and how it failed to deliver all that it seemed to promise. His decision to end the story in 2010, and thus to finish his book, holds a message for all of us: Despite its problems and iniquities, the economic era Americans just lived through was miraculous. And now it is over.

Read the rest of this article at:The Atlantic 

The demographic shift from cities to suburbs illuminates many stories: of families moving to opportunity, of inequality replicating itself when they get there, and of the people left behind.

Where did all the Black people go? If you live in an urban neighborhood and don’t spend your free time looking at the U.S. census, you might ask yourself this question, puzzled by the dissonance between the evidence of your eyes and your vague sense that most Black people live in cities, right?

In the U.S., the terms inner city and urban have long been code words for Black areas. They are used to evoke the stereotype of a Black underclass, confined to public-housing units or low-income housing, entrenching the belief that this population is somehow inherently meant for city life while also denigrating city life as dirty, crowded, and utterly undesirable. During the 2016 presidential debates, for instance, then-candidate Donald Trump repeatedly referred to African Americans living in “the inner cities.” When asked about the nation’s racial divide or being a president to “all the people in the United States,” he repeatedly evoked the stereotype that Black people largely live in inner cities wracked by crime.

Read the rest of this article at: The Atlantic

News 12.09.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


News 12.09.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


You were a girl who wanted to choose your own adventures. Which is to say, you were a girl who never had adventures. You always followed the rules. But, when you ate an entire sleeve of graham crackers and sank into the couch with a Choose Your Own Adventure book, you got to imagine that you were getting into trouble in outer space, or in the future, or under the sea. You got to make choices every few pages: Do you ask the ghost about her intentions, or run away? Do you rebel against the alien overlords, or blindly obey them?

This was the late eighties in Los Angeles. You binged on these books, pulling tattered sun-bleached copies from your bookshelf: four, five, six in the course of a single afternoon. All over the country, all over the world, other kids were pulling these books from their bookshelves, too. The series has sold more than two hundred and seventy million copies since its launch, in 1979. It’s the fourth-best-selling children’s-book series of all time. Its popularity peaked in the eighties, but the franchise still sells about a million books a year.

In “The Cave of Time,” the first book in the series, you discover a time-travelling cave whose tunnels carry you to Colonial Massachusetts, where you become a soap-maker’s apprentice; or to the Titanic, where your attempts to warn the captain are futile; or even to a version of the year 2022 that does not look much like our version of 2022 (more bike trails). The stated desire of your character (to return to your own time) is at odds with the actual desire of a reader (to have as many adventures as possible). You want to die in the jaws of a T. rex, or change the course of history by eating a sandwich. The warning at the beginning of the book tells you, “Remember—you cannot go back!” But of course you can go back, and you will. After the first few books, the warnings stop saying “You cannot go back!” They understand that going back is the point—not the making but the re-making of choices, the revocability of it all. In childhood, you get to take things back. It’s a small compensation for having very little power in the first place.

Choose books invited kids to exercise some agency, as they rattled around in these cages of limited possibility: millions of seven-year-olds who would someday become thirty-five-year-olds remembering with an aching nostalgia this early sense of freedom; this faith that, after every death, there would always be a do-over.

Read the rest of this article at: The New Yorker

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News 12.09.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Put-in-Bay, a village on an island off the northern coast of Ohio, is sometimes called the Key West of the Midwest. In the winter, the population is roughly three hundred, nearly all white. In the summer, hundreds of thousands of tourists arrive by ferry or private plane to drink at the island’s fifty-two bars. Men celebrating bachelor parties go around in golf carts, carrying inflatable naked women. The police chief told me that he’s known as “the guy who pulls people over and deflates the blow-up dolls.”

In July, 2020, Arica Waters, the only Black female cop on the island, was invited to a pool party. She was twenty-seven and had been hired five weeks before, as a seasonal employee without benefits. She was ebullient and quick to make friends. “Some people say, ‘Oh, Waters is a flirt,’ ” she told me, “but that’s just my personality. I’m a friendly person. I give out compliments. I like to hype people up.” Meri LeBlanc, a bouncer on the island, said that Waters was open about her sexual desires, freely expressing her attraction to women and men. “She wasn’t plain,” she said. “She wasn’t the square cut of what they thought a police officer should be.”

The party was hosted by Jeremy Berman, a detective in the department, who had a house on a private road overlooking Lake Erie. Berman’s wife and young son were there, but he seemed to be paying extra attention to Waters, who wore a long yellow sundress. In a text message to a friend, Waters wrote, “The rich ass dude definitely has a thing for me lolol.”

As they were sitting by the pool, Waters told Berman, who was close with members of the village’s government, that she was hoping to get a full-time job in the department. Berman offered to put in a good word. “I think she would be fantastic for a full-time position,” he texted the mayor from the party. “She’s got the perfect disposition.” (The mayor responded, “Noted. Little interaction I’ve had with her it makes sense.”)

Berman’s house was next to the island’s airport, a small runway in a field near the water. When Waters and another guest said that they had never been in a private plane, Berman called a friend who runs an aviation business. Within fifteen minutes, a helicopter had landed near the pool. Berman handed Waters three hundred-dollar bills to give to the pilot.

“I’m in a helicopter holy crap,” Waters texted her mother from the air. She told her mom that the trip—a lap around the island—had been arranged by “the rich cop.”

“I don’t get it,” her mom, who lived in Cleveland, responded.

“He also just texted the mayor and told her to hire me full time,” Waters wrote. “He just said he has noticed my abilities.”

When the ride was over, Berman and Waters sat in his neighbor’s hot tub, drinking. She had several mixed drinks and then took off her bikini top. At dusk, the party migrated to a bar. Waters rode with Berman in his golf cart, but, instead of going to the bar, they stopped at an empty apartment owned by one of Berman’s friends. They quickly had sex, and then Berman drove home to his family and Waters went to the bar alone.

Read the rest of this article at: The New Yorker

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.