Inside Facebook’s “cult-like” workplace, where dissent is discouraged and employees pretend to be happy all the time. How secrecy fuels Facebook paranoia. Social media is rotting democracy from within: How social platforms enable far-right politicians’ campaigns to undermine democracy. An anti-Facebook manifesto, by an early Facebook investor: Tom Bissell reviews Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe by Roger McNamee. Megathread of Facebook’s terrible, horrible, no-good eternity. Mark Zuckerberg gives the best-case scenario for Facebook — here’s the worst case. The facts about Facebook: Zuckerberg wants to redefine “transparency, choice and control” — let's not give him consent.

Most Americans don’t know how much Facebook knows about them. We should be able to take Facebook to court: A privacy violation is a real harm. Facebook won’t fix itself: Facebook keeps saying it will do better — then doesn’t. This time, Facebook is not apologizing for the latest scandal. Facebook posts record $6.9 billion profit despite privacy scandals. A simple, yet radical solution to solve Facebook’s problems. “It’s crucial to break up Facebook”: Asher Schechter interviews Tim Wu, author of The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age.


Wolfgang Streeck (Max Planck): Taking Back Control? The Future of Western Democratic Capitalism. From New Jersey Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Heather Perez reviews The Jersey Shore: The Past, Present and Future of a National Treasure by Dominick Mazzagetti. The polar vortex is bringing life-threatening wind chills — but are cold snaps deadlier than heat waves? Midwest temperature change is no match for these seven major temperature swings in history. Workers missed two paychecks during the government shutdown — that would be an emergency for many Americans (and more and more). Harry Brighouse on Erik Olin Wright, the thinker and the person (and more). Europe needs to show Britain the door: Continuing British membership in the European Union would be poisonous. Here’s why the attack on Jussie Smollett is so devastating for the Black queer community.

Political moderation needs to be saved from the madness of Howard Schultz: An egomaniacal billionaire is the opposite of everything good about moderate thinking (and more and more). Meet Maurice Duverger, the dead Frenchman who proved that Howard Schultz is an arrogant twit (and more). Brian Beutler on Howard Schultz and the plutocrat revolt. Should billionaires even exist? Turns out Americans actually do want to tax the rich. Meet the folk hero of Davos: Dylan Matthews interviews Rutger Bregman, author of Utopia for Realists, who told the rich to stop dodging taxes. Our fundamental fiscal problem isn’t too much spending — it’s not enough revenue. When it comes to the 2020 election, Wall Street can’t have it all.


As a deep freeze grips the US, Chicago will be colder than parts of Antarctica. Jennifer Francis on how frigid polar vortex blasts are connected to global warming. Here’s how global warming leads to colder winters in the Northeast (and more). Extremes of weather: One of the greatest symptoms of climate change. The planet has seen sudden warming before — it wiped out almost everything. Across America, climate change is already disrupting lives. Americans are worried about climate change — but don’t want to pay much to fix it. Billionaires are the leading cause of climate change: As the world faces environmental disaster on a biblical scale, it’s important to remember exactly who brought us here. In the face of climate apocalypse, the rich have been devising escape plans — what happens when they opt out of democratic preparation for emergencies? Climate action must now focus on the global rich and their corporations.

If you can’t deny it, downplay it: How capitalists talk about climate change. A science journal funded by Peter Thiel is running articles dismissing climate change and evolution. Many Americans think that climate-change deniers “get what they deserve” when disasters strike. “Innovation”: David Roberts on the latest GOP smokescreen on climate change policy. A coal baron’s takeover of the EPA is nearly complete: Andrew Wheeler used to lobby for Murray Energy — now he’s making its CEO’s deregulatory dreams a reality. Trump used the polar vortex to mock global warming — this map shows how wrong he is. NOAA seems to be fact checking Trump: Is it trolling, if scientists who know what they’re talking about do it?


Jennifer Mnookin (UCLA): The Uncertain Future of Forensic Science. U.S. intel chief disputes Trump on North Korea and ISIS (and more). The real wall isn’t at the border — it’s everywhere, and we’re fighting against the wrong one. Kamala Harris and the Democrats’ Medicare-for-all litmus test (and more). How to build a Medicare-for-all plan, explained by Jacob Hacker, somebody who’s thought about it for 20 years. Has Trump peddled bogus claims about the border because of a movie? Beth Braverman on how to future-proof your print magazines. Henry Farrell on the material power of ideas and knowledge. How sexism threatens peace in Afghanistan. When it comes to hungry Americans, we’ve lost our heart. Venezuela is how “illiberal democracy” ends. The Venezuela calumny: If screaming about a failing petrostate is all you have, you’ve lost the argument.

Taxing the superrich is an idea whose time has come — again. How Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax could save America. What is the purpose of raising taxes on the wealthy? AOC’s 70 percent tax on the rich isn’t about revenue, it's about decreasing inequality. Howard Schultz blames Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for his decision to run as independent (and more). Why billionaires with big egos now dream of being president. Dear billionaires: Stop running for president. Why Trump wants Howard Schultz to run for president, briefly explained. Has Howard Schultz really thought this through? Josh Marshall on Howard Schultz and his anti-Democratic Party campaign. Thread: “let's treat this as a teachable moment about what centrism means in America today”. Run, Howard, Run: A failed 2020 bid by the former Starbucks CEO would prove that Americans aren’t clamoring for a centrist businessman as president. Only Howard Schultz and a few others could do what Schultz is doing — and that’s the way in which “politics is broken”. “That is a perfect Beltway media tweet”.


From CJR, the digital winter turns apocalyptic (and more). Thread: “For those who aren’t quite sure why these media layoffs keep happening, or think ‘it’s the internet!’ or ‘people don’t pay to subscribe,’ there’s a lot more going on”. Did we just experience the hardest decade in journalism? Local newspapers have already been gutted — there’s nothing left to cut. Cancel in protest, or stay with a local newspaper that’s being strip-mined for profits? A fresh look at the rise of nonprofit journalism — and the issues that remain. Does journalism have a future? In an era of social media and fake news, journalists who have survived the print plunge have new foes to face. What Jill Abramson gets wrong about the future of journalism: Josephine Livingstone reviews Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts by Jill Abramson.

How journalism can win back public trust: Julia Belluz interviews Alan Rusbridger, author of Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now. In the era of fake news, a cottage industry of startups is competing to turn media credibility into a booming business — do we really want that? Facebook and Google need to start paying journalists what they owe us. Regulating Facebook and Google won’t save journalism: It will help — but the industry needs much more to survive.


Luciano Floridi (Oxford): Semantic Capital: Its Nature, Value, and Curation. Kelsey Ables on a magazine’s unlikely rebirth in Sri Lanka. Howard Schultz might reelect Trump because he doesn’t understand how politics works: “It is entirely possible that the course of American history will turn on Howard Schultz’s egomaniacal ignorance” (and more and more and more). Why CEOs tend to make bad politicians. Martin Longman: “A Howard Schultz candidacy doesn’t frighten me”. Family behind OxyContin maker engineered opioid crisis, Massachusetts AG says. When solid progressives like Vaughn Stewart find themselves in office, they need help if they’re going to resist corporate lobbyists and be effective.

Congo just had its first peaceful transfer of power in 60 years. The shutdown cost the US economy $3 billion that isn’t coming back. This is how to end government shutdowns forever. Trump’s complaint to White House guests: Obama watched too much TV. A US-Taliban peace deal may be on the way — but it could easily fall apart. Afghan women fear peace with Taliban may mean war on them. In the new progressives vs. Davos, round one goes to the Left. Are we past peak Davos? Wall Street is scared shitless about Bernie and Liz 2020. Hollywood’s obsession with cartels: It would be nice to see Latinos living regular lives — not stereotype-fueled fantasies — onscreen.


What you need to know about the mess in Venezuela. Here are the 3 big shifts in Venezuela that you probably missed — and will change what comes next. Venezuela is in a major political crisis — here are 5 scenarios for what could happen next (and more). The Venezuelan opposition’s high-stakes assault on Maduro: Will Guaidó’s gamble pay off? Here's how Venezuela can achieve a peaceful resolution to the crisis. Four reasons it’ll be hard to offer Maduro a golden parachute (and one reason to try anyway). As West turns on him, Venezuela’s Maduro flexes military muscle. Venezuela’s suicide: Moises Naim and Francisco Toro on lessons from a failed state. Norway is far more socialist than Venezuela.

Inside the Trump administration’s diplomatic intervention in Venezuela. On Venezuela, Rubio assumes U.S. role of Ouster in Chief. Don’t read too much into Trump’s Venezuela policy. Who is Nicolas Maduro’s biggest ally? You, the American driver.


Victoria Dobrynskaya and Julia Kishilova (HSE): LEGO: The Toy of Smart Investors (“We find that LEGO investments outperform large stocks, bonds, gold and other alternative investments”). What is the Indigenous Peoples Movement? GOP moves to block anyone from running a 2020 primary challenge against Trump. Remembering the Holocaust in an era of rising anti-Semitism. “Get me Roger Stone”: What to make of the “Dirty Trickster’s” indictment (and more). Julian Sanchez on Mueller’s real target in the Roger Stone indictment. Why are Democrats freaking out about “electability”? Bernie Sanders has some unfinished business. Ex–Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz could get Trump re-elected.

Right-wing media split over Trump’s shutdown decision: Did he cave or was it a master stroke? Sickouts and strike threats stopped the government shutdown (and more). The government is reopened (for now) — but the recovery process may take a while (and more). End of shutdown still leaves contract workers hanging. How the shutdown reordered American life. The Equal Rights Amendment is not dead yet. The hidden automation agenda of the Davos elite: In public, executives wring their hands over automation’s negative consequences for workers — in private, they talk about how they are racing to automate. Elizabeth Warren to propose spreading the wealth around. AI finds traces of a lost species in human DNA.


Evan Selinger (RIT) and Brett M. Frischmann (Villanova): 21st Century Techno-Social Engineering. What 2018 looked like fifty years ago: A book of technology predictions makes distressing reading at the end of a year that, a golden anniversary ago, looked positively thrilling. A 1970s essay predicted Silicon Valley’s high-minded tyranny. John Naughton reviews The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power by Shoshana Zuboff (and more). Big Tech loves disruption, when they’re doing the disruption. Why do we keep praising Silicon Valley for reinventing the wheel? Kashmir Hill on life without the tech giants. The age of tech is over.

Sundar Pichai of Google: “Technology doesn’t solve humanity’s problems”. The big-data makeover of humanity could be a recipe for disaster: Steve Paulson interviews Yuval Noah Harari, author of 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. The futurist philosopher Yuval Noah Harari thinks Silicon Valley is an engine of dystopian ruin — so why do the digital elite adore him so?


Priya S. Gupta (Southwestern): New York’s Bid for Amazon HQ2. Middle-class shame will decide where America is headed. Sen. Warren’s plan to tax the ultrawealthy is a smart idea whose time has come (and more and more). AOC thinks concentrated wealth is incompatible with democracy — so did our founders. Want to pass Medicare for All? Fix American democracy first. Medicare For All looks good in new poll, but there’s a big asterisk. The strike isn’t just for wages anymore — it’s for “the common good” (and more). Mitch McConnell got everything he wanted — but at what cost? A commons problem: Public resources won’t be adequately protected by those with private interests.

Intellectual humility: Brian Resnick on why it’s so hard to see our own ignorance, and what to do about it. Aviation unions release dire warning that system could collapse at any time (and more). It’s not a shutdown, it’s a lockout and a shakedown of federal workers (and more). America is facing a government workforce crisis far bigger than the shutdown — and it’s putting the nation in danger. Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen on the consequences of the shutdown nobody is talking about (and more and more). Everything we know about BuzzFeed’s Michael Cohen scoop, and why Mueller shot it down. From the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a new abnormal: It is still 2 minutes to midnight.

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