Brexit Has Brought Britain to a Standstill


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Is this a temporary grief?

Brexit may have been a demonstration of the wider country’s frustration at not having its voice heard, but the result is even more centralization of power in London. “Almost all the work of Parliament is built around Brexit,” says Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat leader who served as business secretary in Cameron’s five-year coalition government. “Big decisions that should be grappled with are all being put on hold because they are difficult and are going to involve some friction between ministers.”

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Jess Shankleman, Alex Morales & Suzi Ring — Bloomberg Businessweek

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How Oscar Wilde’s life imitates his art


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Wilde made his own life into a tragic, exquisite, grotesquely gorgeous work of art. That was his legacy to the 21st century. Nowadays Wilde’s queerness is being embraced with open arms. In 2017, he was among 50,000 gay men posthumously pardoned by the Ministry of Justice for sexual acts that are no longer illegal. Everywhere you turn these days, there seems to be another shrine to Oscar going up somewhere, whether it’s the Oscar Wilde Barand Oscar Wilde Temple in New York, or the Irish hotels set to open in London and Edinburgh. Wilde’s works, once considered to have a corrupting influence, are now taught in schools around the globe. He has become gay history’s Christ figure. The relics of his martyrdom have become attractions, sites of pilgrimage.

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Michele Mendelssohn — OUPblog

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Thomas Piketty: Capital in the twenty-first century


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Piketty presents himself as politically engagé, so it would be natural to cut to the chase and announce my view of whether he is a good guy or a bad guy, a comrade or an enemy.  That impulse is all the stronger because his title is a deliberate allusion to Marx’s great work, Das Kapital.  The title, after all, is CAPITAL in the Twenty-First Century, not Capital in the Twenty-First Century.  But I shall resist the temptation, because it would be a mistake.  There is a great deal to learn from this book whether or not one situates oneself where Piketty does on the ideological spectrum [as I do not], and that must be the focus of my attention in the first part of this discussion.

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Robert Paul Wolff — 3:AM Magazine

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How Iceland Dealt with a Volcanic Financial Meltdown


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Iceland was unique in that they handed over jail terms to bankers.

Gylfason believes that when a country goes through a major economic shock, in addition to getting its financial house in order – which Iceland successfully accomplished at the behest of the IMF — it also needs to clean up its act in the judicial and political realms. “We have a mixed picture here,” he says. “Thirty-nine bankers were awarded prison sentences by the Supreme Court of Iceland, to the tune of 2.5 years on average. This means the amount of prison time in man-years that the Supreme Court handed out is close to 100.” He admits some critics have alleged that “the small fry were sentenced, while the big fish got away. This raises sensitive questions about equality before the law. But we will know more once the Supreme Court hands out its last sentences in 2019.”

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Knowledge@Wharton

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Don’t Be a Patsy: An Open Letter to Jordan B. Peterson


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I have read the book and I liked it. Here is a not a so good letter.

I want to explain why I took my video down, beyond its more obvious flaws: pretension, sloppy thinking, witlessness. I came across a couple of YouTube videos of Peterson on Fox and Friends, Fox News’ morning show. They are very difficult to watch. They flatter him, fawn over his credentials, and he smiles and looks as comfortable as Jordan Peterson ever looks. But what he fails to realise is that they have him on because they know if they push the right buttons he will say exactly what they want him to say. To use parlance Peterson won’t like, they ‘trigger’ him. All you have to do is show Peterson a left-wing ideologue, preferably a college professor, and watch him go. ‘The post-modernists this’, ‘the Marxists that’. It happens every time. But that’s not real the problem. We’re all susceptible to a bit of flattery; we all have triggers. It’s that for years Fox News has broken one of Peterson’s 12 rules, and to my mind, his cardinal rule, and he doesn’t call them on it. He plays along.

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Neil Griffiths — Review 31

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The Constant Consumer


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We have become an active consumer all through the day thanks to technology.

In light of Amazon’s all-encompassing ambitions, the strategy behind several of the company’s most important product initiatives — Alexa, Amazon Prime, physical retail stores (including Amazon Go and Whole Foods), and Amazon Key — becomes clearer. These products seek to redefine what being a customer means by immersing us more completely within the Amazon universe. Formerly, being a customer was a role one assumed upon physically entering a store or ordering something from a company. Amazon promises to create a newer type of environment, a hybrid of the digital and the physical, that lets us permanently inhabit that role: the world as Everything Store, which we’re always inside.

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Drew Austin — Real Life

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Minorities Who ‘Whiten’ Job Resumes Get More Interviews


They found minorities were half as likely to whiten their resumes when applying for jobs with employers who said they care about diversity. One black student explained in an interview that with each resume she sent out, she weighed whether to include her involvement in a black student organization: “If the employer is known for like trying to employ more people of color and having like a diversity outreach program, then I would include it because in that sense they’re trying to broaden their employees, but if they’re not actively trying to reach out to other people of other races, then no, I wouldn’t include it.”

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