Your scary survey for this month shows that Americans haven’t got any goddamn idea what’s in their own constitution.
By now this is ancient history but Mattis’s viral address to a small group of soldiers somewhere in MENA was disturbing. It doesn’t do to have the military thinking of itself as the last bastion of civic virtues against a citizenry that’s lost its national mind.
“… the implicit social contract between educated elites and laypeople—in which professionals were rewarded for their expertise and, in turn, were expected to spread the benefits of their knowledge—is fraying. Americans live increasingly separate lives based on education and wealth, part of a decades-long Big Sort. What is qualitatively different today is that ordinary citizens seem increasingly confident in their views, but no more competent than they were 30 or 40 years ago. A significant number of laypeople now believe, for no reason but self-affirmation, that they know better than experts in almost every field.” Now go read Ortega y Gasset too.
Marcy Wheeler’s got some theories about the Hutchins indictment.
Damon Linker expects a major offensive on the Culture War’s college campus front. Unfortunately I think he’s probably right.
The democratization of intelligence capabilities formerly reserved for state-level actors and the impending destruction of old categories of conflict is my perpetual hobby horse and here’s a good account from Vice of where we stand at the moment.
Rafia Zakaria in the Baffler on the jihadi personal essay.
From January, grassroots social media disinformation in South Sudan takes advantage of an information-poor environment to incite ethnic hatred. It’s not clear how lessons learned in Sudan can be extrapolated to more sophisticated contexts.
Maciej Cegłowski tells a stupid tale of a stupid person at Channel 4, who noticed that Amazon suggests sulfur and charcoal if you buy saltpeter and inferred from this that mad bombers are buying mad bombing supplies in numbers sufficient to influence the algorithm, and extrapolates this into a broader stupid tale about journalism and incentives.
We all heard about the Cajun Navy, but behind them was an army of dispatchers on cell phones and laptops all over the country.
“… across much of the Catholic world, young traditionalists are competing against old progressives.” I’m not Catholic so I have little to say about the particularly Catholic features of this phenomenon, but it seems to fit into the larger trend of traditionalist movements driven by milennials.
Donors trying to steer the output of think tanks is nothing new but Google’s attack on New America is uniquely sinister when taken together with their stranglehold on information access.
Conor Friedersdorf wrote the only good thing about the kneeling football players.