The death of the city

“The skyscrapers and office buildings in the city centers that used to be our most valued real estate have become places people avoid out of fear of infection,” Bloom said. “I don’t see people growing comfortable with packed subway trains and elevators, and firms aren’t going to want to open and close every time there’s a wave.” “It’s the fear of the virus that keeps people at home,” said Sven Smit, senior partner at McKinsey & Company and co-chair of the McKinsey Global Institute. He added that while it was too early to be certain the shift would stick, “the tendency [for longer-term change] is there.”

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The Canadian Psychologist Beating American Pundits at Their Own Game


The rise of Jordan Peterson.

If you’re struggling to understand what the appeal of a once-obscure psychologist from rural Alberta is, and why his legions of young, mostly male acolytes gobble up his every word, you’re not alone. Gallons of digitalink have been spilled attempting to parse the subject, with voices like David Brooks breathlessly declaring ours the “Jordan Peterson moment.” For all the perplexity surrounding his rise, however, there’s a simple explanation for his popularity. Peterson’s writing and lectures, on the surface level, are full of not-too-tough love and legitimately useful life advice; “Stand up straight with your shoulders back” and “Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street” are the titles of two chapters in 12 Rules for Life, top-line exhortations he uses to explain his views on dignity and the importance of life’s small pleasures.

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Brexit: A managed surrender


Britain is the weaker party in this divorce.

London had to accept that EU nationals who settle in Britain during the interim period will have the same right to remain indefinitely as current residents. It has also swallowed, at least provisionally, the Commission’s fallback position for keeping Northern Ireland inside the EU’s single market if Britain cannot come up with a credible alternative to avoid a hard customs border with the Republic of Ireland.

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Paul Taylor — Politico

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Why was the media so wrong in its prediction?


Today’s needull looks at recent changes that have happened in the media industry and tries to find the reason why was the media completely clueless about the US election results. What is the reality behind groupthink?

The answer to the press’ myopia lies elsewhere, and nobody has produced a better argument for how the national media missed the Trump story than FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver, who pointed out that the ideological clustering in top newsrooms led to groupthink. “As of 2013, only 7 percent of [journalists] identified as Republicans,” Silver wrote in March, chiding the press for its political homogeneity. Just after the election, presidential strategist Steve Bannon savaged the press on the same point but with a heartier vocabulary. “The media bubble is the ultimate symbol of what’s wrong with this country,” Bannon said. “It’s just a circle of people talking to themselves who have no fucking idea what’s going on.”

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Jack Shafer & Tucker DohertyPolitico

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How Trump’s Syria strikes play into Putin’s hand


It is difficult to make sense of any of the geo-conflicts that are happening around the globe. Every article seems to be with its own agenda. Here is a piece from Politico.

Dragging the U.S. into another conflict in the region is a dream scenario for the Kremlin. Brinkmanship is where Putin has always excelled. He has faced far worse dilemmas than many of his Western colleagues — home-grown terrorism or the Chechen war, for example — and is far more confident. He is also way more cynical.

Trump being paraded as the Kremlin’s friend was deeply awkward for the Kremlin. The political regime in Russia is existentially dependent on the U.S. being openly hostile to it. In the aftermath of Russia’s occupation of Crimea, Putin’s approval rating soared from just over 60 percent to almost 90 percent, but support has started to evaporate since. In recent weeks, Russians have visibly warmed to the idea of street protests and opposition leader Alexei Navalny. On the eve of presidential elections in 2018, this is a big problem for the Kremlin. This conflict could be the ideal way to shore up domestic support.

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Leonid Ragozin — Politico

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The TV Interview That Haunts Hillary Clinton


Now, as she gets closer to the presidency than any woman ever has, she is struggling with unfavorable ratings that would be historically high if it weren’t for her opponent’s being even higher. There are substantive reasons, as with any politician with a long public record, but underlying them are the same frictions that came to the fore in that 60 Minutes interview—sentiments that, fair or not, have grown only more pronounced with Clinton’s perennial, awkward and generally unsuccessful efforts to re-introduce herself, to redefine herself.

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Michael Kruse — POLITICO

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