The Atlantic on how ISIS spread in the Middle East.
A portrait of a Hungarian city:
There are many reasons for Hungary’s embrace of right-wing politics, but chief among them is economic failure. When the Cold War ended, Hungary, which had long enjoyed an unusual measure of autonomy, was the ex-Soviet state best positioned to make the transition to democracy and capitalism. Things have not worked out as expected. Poland, once much poorer, now has a higher GDP per capita than Hungary and is Eastern Europe’s economic powerhouse. The population has steadily declined and is now at about 9.8 million down from about 10.4 million when the Berlin Wall came down. Hungarians are voting with their feet. Those who remain behind vote their disillusion.
Foreign Policy: Shuttered Factories and Rants Against the Roma, October 29, 2015
Tanzania will use solar power to light up its homes and to meet its growing energy demand, an issue across the continent.
A Brookings analysis on why Africa's growth is slowing.
The New Yorker on alternatives to microcredit.
A short documentary about Paris' so-called No-go zones, which are actually "the places to be".
Star Trek is coming back but all I care about is if Sisko is still stuck in the wormhole WE HAVE TO KNOW (and I would be very happy if there was an insurmountable firewall between the new movie franchise and the TV show).
I've read a lot of excellent books this month, among them Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts (interviews here and here and here), Carrie Brownstein's Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl (which is A LOT, and perfectly timed, a love song to Corin and Janet, a portrait of struggling between togetherness and aloneness, creating as an individual and as a group, and more than all of that, stylistically beautiful - interviews here and here), Chinelo Okparanta's Under the Udala Trees (interviews here and here) and Margo Jefferson's Negroland (interviews here and here and here).
On writing, being an artist, choosing to have or not to have children and not making that the most important question, and happiness:
We are constantly given one-size-fits-all recipes, but those recipes fail, often and hard. Nevertheless, we are given them again. And again and again. They become prisons and punishments; the prison of the imagination traps many in the prison of a life that is correctly aligned with the recipes and yet is entirely miserable.
The problem may be a literary one: we are given a single story line about what makes a good life, even though not a few who follow that story line have bad lives. We speak as though there is one good plot with one happy outcome, while the myriad forms a life can take flower — and wither — all around us.
Harper's Magazine: The Mother of All Questions, November 5, 2015How Pantone became a global authority on colour.