paper trail

Facebook reaffirms the importance of friends and family; Lena Dunham disses Kanye West

Alvin Toffler

Facebook announced that it would rejigger the algorithm of its most lucrative product. The News Feed, recently in the news itself after its editors were accused of behind-the-scenes tinkering and liberal bias, will privilege content that has been re-posted—i.e. pasted in afresh—by friends and family in your social network, over links supplied by publishers and news sites.

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, now a pundit for CNN, is said to have forfeited a $1.2 million book deal with HarperCollins when he refused to divulge the specifics of a nondisclosure agreement he signed to work for Trump. Lewandowski would seem to be a born multitasker, or else a cynic with an exit strategy: he began shopping his book idea, an insider’s take on election season drama, while still employed by Trump and juggling the duties of the campaign—mostly manhandling the press, literally and figuratively.

Jezebel’s Jia Tolentino takes on #BeckyWithTheBadGrades, aka Abigail Fisher, the disgruntled white student whose complaint was dismissed by the Supreme Court in last week’s ruling upholding affirmative action. Tolentino writes, “Years ago, I helped Abigail Fishers get into college in Texas. . . . Specifically, and ominously for my later life, I taught them to write a convincing personal essay—a task that generally requires identifying some insight, usually gained over some period of growth. And growth often depends on hardship, a thing that none of these 18-year-olds had experienced in a structural sense over the course of their white young lives. Because of the significant disconnect involved in this premise, I always ended up rewriting their essays in the end.” In hindsight, the gig makes Tolentino feel guilty, and her essay delves into thorny legal and ethical territory with energy and candor. Tolentino’s tone, less aggrieved than Fisher’s, is still tetchy. For good reason: “I was salutatorian at my high school; I had perfect SATs. I was a cheerleader, the editor of our yearbook, cast in every musical, an officer in every club. And still, when I got into colleges, I felt lucky. I never felt like I’d simply gotten what I deserved. . . . I have never had a case for any sort of admission . . . because even when I opened my Texas acceptance letter I knew some Abigail Fisher would think that if anyone was coasting on race here, it was me.”

Lena Dunham thinks Kanye’s “Naked”—his new video streaming (for a fee) on Tidal, featuring nude wax figures of celebrities including Donald Trump, Amber Rose, Kim Kardashian West, Taylor Swift, and Bill Cosby lying in bed together—is distasteful. “Now I have to see the prone, unconscious, waxy bodies of famous women, twisted like they've been drugged and chucked aside at a rager?” she asked rhetorically in a post on Facebook. Dunham is no stranger to baring it all on camera. “It didn't occur to me that in the first season, TV critics and people on the Internet would be seeing this,” she | |said| a few months ago, of the nudity in her HBO show Girls. “Now, for better or worse, when I take my clothes off, I already can hear the din of the reaction.”

The world’s oldest library, at the al-Qarawiyyin University in Fez, Morocco, reopened to the public after four years of renovations overseen by the architect Aziza Chaouni.

Alvin Toffler, who “foresaw the development of cloning, the popularity and influence of personal computers and the invention of the internet, cable television and telecommuting” in his best-selling book Future Shock, died at the age of 87.