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Money and Power

Stephen Curry and the Spirit of History

Stephen Curry and the Spirit of History

Most gratifying is how he did it

Rather than height or leaping ability, Curry creates spatial advantages by simply shooting from farther away than ever before. To prevent taller defenders from closing the distance, he speeds up his shot and increases the arc without losing efficiency, simulating the play of someone much bigger and bouncier than himself. He has collected an arsenal of different shooting forms: going left or right, backward or forward, shooting over or underneath defenders, off one leg or two, spotting up or off the dribble. It only works because of the dexterity and control of his fingertips, providing airtight ball handling abilities and freakish accuracy.

What’s Disgusting? Union-Busting!

What’s Disgusting? Union-Busting!

A rally at Amazon’s LDJ5 facility

We pedaled in single file, hugging the curb to avoid the trucks. And there was the rally! The spring clothes were bright, the air loud with hip-hop. Some women were selling fruit. Drivers were honking support. The ALU’s logo, three fists thrusting up from an open box, snatched the alienated mojo from the huge boxlike buildings stuffed with billions of smaller boxes and transformed it into solidarity and joy.

Lab-Leak Theory and the “Asiatic” Form

Lab-Leak Theory and the “Asiatic” Form

What is missing is a motive

I could not direct you to the key evidence that exonerates the Wuhan Institute, and it might not exist. But this is also the crucial point. There are too many lacunae in the lab-leak explanation for the theory to stand on its own: proponents must fill the gaps with their own projections and beliefs.

Walk Away Like a Boss

Walk Away Like a Boss

Postcard from the cryptosphere

How tragic, I thought, to reduce life to a procession of microtransactions or contracts. How naive to believe that some agreed-upon set of values could be formalized into code, or that the problems of politics could be made irrelevant by computation.

New Left Review

New Left Review

Who did neoliberalism?

The extent to which the iconic movements of the ’60s United States fed on existing liberalism and fed into neoliberalism is, however, all the more reason not to isolate the New Left as a singular cataclysm that destabilized the New Deal order. Far from a gently humming machine that could have kept operating indefinitely were it not for the intervention of a new generation of radicals, the United States’ simulacrum of social democracy was a fragile assemblage of competing intellectual tendencies and political coalition partners that was always threatening to fall apart.

Rust

Rust

The largest oil spill in Arctic history

On May 29, 2020, the largest fuel storage tank at Norilsk Heat and Power Plant No. 3 (HPP-3) burst at the bottom and spewed 6.5 million gallons of diesel fuel into the Daldykan River. From there it seeped into the Ambarnaya River, Lake Pyasino, the Pyasina River, and finally into the Kara Sea. It was the largest oil spill in Arctic history.

Digital Rocks

Digital Rocks

How Hollywood killed celluloid

Eventually DCI scrubbed celluloid film almost entirely from the film industry, ushering in the most significant technological shift since the introduction of sound. The digital revolution transformed nearly every aspect of filmmaking for Hollywood and independent filmmakers. This revolution was invisible, and it was designed to be that way. Its success depended on audiences never noticing at all.

Border Crises

Border Crises

Five decades of ordinary bipartisan anti-immigrant politics

In May 2018, as Trump’s family separation policy became a major scandal, former Obama speechwriter and “Pod Save America” host Jon Favreau tweeted a photo of two migrant girls sleeping on the floor of a cage. “Look at these pictures. This is happening right now, and the only debate that matters is how we force our government to get these kids back to their families as fast as humanly possible.” As a number of his replies pointed out, the photos were actually from 2014, when his boss was still President. As with Biden’s response to the recent assault on Haitians, Favreau was fixated on the image.

Whiffing, Fast and Slow

Whiffing, Fast and Slow

Is baseball boring?

Something rekindled; baseball seemed all of a sudden a dramatic sport, filled with intellectual intrigue: the chess-like plots of the pitcher-batter duels, the way individual specializations harmonized with collective effort. I became the wearer of a White Sox hat, the austere black and white a sort of neighborhood camouflage, and then also an Astros hat, a commemoration of my years lived in Houston, the US’s most interesting and comfortless city. There was no better way to close out my day than by traveling to the Reddit thread with all the baseball streams. Or so it seemed until I watched Craig Kimbrel pitch and grew worried that what everyone else thought might in fact be true.