Wild Times, 28
February 2, 2017
1 – Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich – Evan Osnos @ The New Yorker
"How did a preoccupation with the apocalypse come to flourish in Silicon Valley, a place known, to the point of cliché, for unstinting confidence in its ability to change the world for the better?"
2 – Trial Balloon for a Coup? – by Yonatan Zunger
"That is to say, the administration is testing the extent to which the DHS (and other executive agencies) can act and ignore orders from the other branches of government. This is as serious as it can possibly get: all of the arguments about whether order X or Y is unconstitutional mean nothing if elements of the government are executing them and the courts are being ignored."
3 – What “Things Going Wrong” Can Look Like – by Yonatan Zunger
"For foreign-born Muslims and Latinos who are undocumented, related to someone undocumented, or who might be confused for undocumented, I’d say that the red flag is up, and it’s time to consider exit strategies with a 6-month window. US-born Muslims, Latinos who have more stability inside the country, and Jews have a somewhat longer time horizon available, but I’d start quietly thinking about options for when things change. Advice for the black and trans communities is simpler, because everyone already knows it: Organize! The advantage there is in numbers and shared strength, and in community. That’s also good advice for all of the other groups: even if you’re thinking about your exit strategy, you have very good reason to make common cause, and for everyone to work and pull together. That’s the thing that has a chance of preventing all of this, and of saving the most lives when that fails."
4 – Apocalypse Whatever – Tara Isabella Burton @ Real Life Mag
"Kierkegaard’s ironist came of age in the an era of increasing technological production, urbanization, secularization, and — ultimately — alienation. Shitposters have come of age in an era no less turbulent. They too live in a time of economic uncertainty and spiritual apathy in which foundational myths about the self and its role in the cosmos seem to have been rendered obsolete. To fill the void, the ironist and the shitposter both create a self-image characterized by the freedom to say and do anything, beholden to nothing and to nobody — a freedom that finds expression through transgression, saying things (racist, sexist, etc.) “nobody else” will say — except, of course, for the shitposters. This is how the stories the “alt-right” tells about itself take on a religious quality. They are predicated on a desire for a meaningful narrative of the world that allows for participation."
5 – White House Considers Deporting Legal Immigrants for Being Poor – Eric Levitz @ NY Mag
"More radically, the order would subject visa holders who are already in the U.S. to deportation, if they use public benefits above a certain threshold. And — just in case that isn’t enough to keep non-wealthy foreigners away from our shores — the order would require the friend or family member who sponsored the deported immigrant to reimburse the federal government for the cost of the benefits he or she used."
6 – Get Ready for the First Shocks of Trump’s Disaster Capitalism – Naomi Klein @ The Intercept
"Even more striking was the company that FEMA paid $5.2 million to perform the crucial role of building a base camp for emergency workers in St. Bernard Parish, a suburb of New Orleans. The camp construction fell behind schedule and was never completed. When the contractor was investigated, it emerged that the company, Lighthouse Disaster Relief, was actually a religious group. “About the closest thing I have done to this is just organize a youth camp with my church,” confessed Lighthouse’s director, Pastor Gary Heldreth."
7 – The Real Story Of 2016 – Nate Silver @ FiveThirtyEight
8 – Will Mark Zuckerberg Be Our Next President? – Nick Bilton @ Vanity Fair
"Increasingly, a number of influential people in Silicon Valley seem to think that Mark Zuckerberg will likely run for president of the United States one day. And some people, including myself, believe that he could indeed win. “He wants to be emperor” is a phrase that has become common among people who have known him over the years."