Friday 12 May 2017

Links 12/5/17


South Korea (and South Korea's President) are growing more concerned about American politics than North Korean ones. 

Watch out for gerrymandering now that the director of the US Census Bureau has stepped back. 

Masha Gessen on Russia's mafia state: 
Autocratic power requires the degradation of moral authority because moral authority is the only thing you can’t buy and you can’t come by through your title. You earn it, or you don’t. And what makes it even more confusing is that you can’t set out to earn more moral authority. It’s almost an externality of consistent and very long-term moral behavior. And that’s why it’s such a threat to autocratic power. It wields power through instruments that are inaccessible to autocrats. Moral authority can’t be bought, captured, or declared. 
World Policy Journal: Stay Outraged. A Conversation with Masha Gessen, May 2017
A few ways in which Russia is struggling.

What does it mean to have a European Identity? How does having spent time in other European countries affect people's conception of a European Identity? (as mentioned previously, I've thought a whole lot about this since living in a country with no borders to other countries). 

Some incredible highlights from a talk that poet Claudia Rankine gave at BAM. 
There’s a phrase called “moral injury.” Does anybody know that phrase, moral injury? It’s a phrase they use for the military, and it’s when a soldier goes into war, goes into battle—and the things that they’re forced to do, the things that they’re forced to see, don’t line up with who they are as human beings. And so they experience a break in themselves. That’s what’s called the moral injury: their moral idea of how they are in the world has been broken, and they’ve become broken because of it. I almost wish that we didn’t have the capacity to stave that off, as citizens. That it didn’t have to be that we went to a war zone to get there. That we could understand as human beings that certain things should not be acceptable. That they don’t line up with us as human beings. Not as women, or white people, or black people, or Asian people, or Hispanics, or whatever—as human beings. And that when we are confronted with that, at that moment, does he have a birth certificate for example, at that moment, not this moment, that moment, that we would have understood that that was a moral injury. 
Literary Hub: Claudia Rankine: "I Think We Need to Be Frightened", May 11, 2017

Pop Culture: 

Is the Gig economy working? This article traces the gig economy in a very interesting way, from niche to niche.

Longreads on Locol's argument that a good cup of coffee shouldn't cost more than $1.

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