Wild Times, 36
July 23, 2018
1 – The Man Who Cracked the Lottery – Reid Forgrave @ The New York Times
"When the Iowa attorney general’s office began investigating an unclaimed lottery ticket worth millions, an incredible string of unlikely winners came to light - and a trail that pointed to an inside job."
2 – After Authenticity – Toby Shorin for Subpixel Space
“If your garage craft beer brand didn’t make it big, at least you could learn to code and join a startup. Unfortunately, when your new WeWork office displays the same hand-lettered signage as your neighborhood coffee shop, has the same brick walls as your fast casual farm-to-table lunch spot, and advocates the same “do what you love” message celebrity entrepreneurs have told you since grade school, it becomes impossible to think outside of authenticity politics.”
3 – Tony – David Simon
"The long, lanky, exquisitely sad-faced visage of a road-worn Bourdain sitting on the broken pavement in a South American alley – Buenos Aires or maybe Montevideo, there is no way to be sure when twenty episodes are consumed at once — his back to a stone wall, arms crossed above his knees, watching children play at rag-tag soccer with a deflated ball. And with the older men, he is sharing Siete y Tres, the backstreet concoction of cheap red wine and Coca-Cola. And all this imagery with his narration — his exquisite writing so weighted with love for other worlds and their peoples – just washing over another delicate moment. 'This guy is so fucking real,' I remember telling my son. 'This guy,' Ethan replied, correcting me, 'might be the absolute coolest person on the entire planet.'"
4 – Art is a waste of time – or so Effective Altruism claims – Rhys Southan @ Aeon
"An idea often paraphrased in EA circles is that it doesn’t matter who does something – what matters is that it gets done. And though artists often pride themselves on the uniqueness of their individuality, it doesn’t follow that they have something uniquely valuable to offer society. On the contrary, says Diego Caleiro, director of the Brazil-based Institute for Ethics, Rationality and the Future of Humanity, most of them are ‘counterfactually replaceable’: one artist is as pretty much as useful as the next. And of course, the supply is plentiful."
5 – I’m Not Black, I’m Kanye – Ta-Nehisi Coates @ The Atlantic
"In his visit with West, the rapper T.I. was stunned to find that West, despite his endorsement of Trump, had never heard of the travel ban. 'He don’t know the things that we know because he’s removed himself from society to a point where it don’t reach him,' T.I. said. West calls his struggle the right to be a 'free thinker,' and he is, indeed, championing a kind of freedom—a white freedom, freedom without consequence, freedom without criticism, freedom to be proud and ignorant; freedom to profit off a people in one moment and abandon them in the next; a Stand Your Ground freedom, freedom without responsibility, without hard memory; a Monticello without slavery, a Confederate freedom, the freedom of John C. Calhoun, not the freedom of Harriet Tubman, which calls you to risk your own; not the freedom of Nat Turner, which calls you to give even more, but a conqueror’s freedom, freedom of the strong built on antipathy or indifference to the weak, the freedom of rape buttons, pussy grabbers, and fuck you anyway, bitch; freedom of oil and invisible wars, the freedom of suburbs drawn with red lines, the white freedom of Calabasas."
6 – Enemy Bodies – Tom Thor Buchanan for Real Life
"Fitness, a concept as nebulous and flexible as its parent category, “health,” allows us to think of our bodies as projects, sites of investment. For those who experience work as sedentary and abstract, it’s a place to channel the capacity for physical labor, make it seem valuable and productive. Considered positively, it’s a way to reclaim the energy typically spent in service of others; less positively, it brings the mind-set and language of capitalism into our bodies. “Serious” working out separates itself from the recreational by mirroring the accumulative language of the market, requiring one to think in terms of gains, plateaus, metrics, and goals: the lingua franca of the capitalism. Exercise becomes serious when it’s treated as a process of transformation or a mode of self-production, a constant effort to generate physical capital and measurable growth, not to mention the value that accrues to attaining ideals of conventional attractiveness."