All posts tagged: good deal

The Disorienting Beauty of ‘Africa & Byzantium’

The Disorienting Beauty of ‘Africa & Byzantium’

[ad_1] Viewed benignly, the encyclopedic art museum is a great public library of things, illuminating the brilliant variety and shared impulses of our species, and promoting intercultural understanding and admiration. Viewed less benignly, it has been cast as the well-spoken child of imperialist shopaholics and kleptomaniacs who appropriated the art of other people to tell flattering tales about themselves. Explore the March 2024 Issue Check out more from this issue and find your next story to read. View More Museums have long contested this characterization on grounds both pragmatic (their ability to protect and care for the world’s treasures) and high-minded—the belief that convening things from everywhere enables them to tell a sweeping, global story about what it is to be human. The 2002 “Declaration on the Importance and Value of Universal Museums,” signed by the directors of 18 world-famous institutions, put the claim succinctly: “Museums serve not just the citizens of one nation but the people of every nation.” It’s a fine sentiment, but the fact that every one of those 18 museums is …

Where Have All the Original Action Movies Gone?

Where Have All the Original Action Movies Gone?

[ad_1] Matthew Vaughn’s Argylle borrows from a lot of very recent spy-thriller history. Apple TV+ January 31, 2024, 2:35 PM ET I have to give some credit to Matthew Vaughn’s new film, Argylle, for one thing: It is not—repeat, not—based on anything. An action movie with a reported near–$200 million budget and no connection to any preexisting intellectual property should be thrilling, a glorious throwback to the days when big films could just be about people punching and shooting each other without referencing some other storytelling universe. But it’s been curious to watch the public perception of Argylle, which is being marketed as a mystery film, in the lead-up to its release. Surely this movie couldn’t be just another guns-blazing spy thriller? What is the twist at the heart of Argylle? Did Taylor Swift secretly write it? I will leave many of the movie’s largest plot swerves to be discovered by viewers, though I can at least say that Swift seemingly has no involvement. But the meta-narratives around Argylle are quite telling, indicating how unusual …

We’ve Been Thinking About America’s Trust Collapse All Wrong

We’ve Been Thinking About America’s Trust Collapse All Wrong

[ad_1] Americans don’t trust one another, and they don’t trust the government. This mistrust is so pervasive that it can feel natural, but it isn’t. Profound distrust has risen within my lifetime; it is intensifying, and it threatens to make democracy impossible. Many readers will say, “Of course I don’t trust the candidate who tried to steal the last election, or the party that supports him!” And they would be right to do so. Election denialism, political violence, and a willingness to resort to anticonstitutional measures to take or hold power are all acute threats to democracy, and they are concentrated in Donald Trump’s Republican Party. But there are also chronic threats to democracy. They are not limited to one party, let alone one leader. They affect us all, and they make the acute threats more dangerous and harder to overcome. To have any hope of rebuilding democratic trust, we will need two things that have been neglected for decades in American life. One is civic virtue—serious and respectful engagement in the hard work of …

What Taylor Swift knows – The Atlantic

What Taylor Swift knows – The Atlantic

[ad_1] This is an edition of The Atlantic Daily, a newsletter that guides you through the biggest stories of the day, helps you discover new ideas, and recommends the best in culture. Sign up for it here. One week ago, Taylor Swift’s concert film, The Eras Tour, opened in theaters across the country. Within days, it had become the most successful concert film of all time, grossing more than $90 million in North America on its first weekend. I spoke with my colleague David Sims, who covers culture for The Atlantic, about what the success of the movie says about the future of movie theaters, and what made right now such a good time for Swift to release it. First, here are three new stories from The Atlantic: Hard to Repeat Lora Kelley: There has been a lot of dire news about the future of movie theaters in recent years. Are blockbuster theatrical releases for movies such as Barbie and The Eras Tour a sign that theaters are on the up again? David Sims: These …

The Smartest Man Who Ever Lived

The Smartest Man Who Ever Lived

[ad_1] If the most dangerous invention to emerge from World War II was the atomic bomb, the computer now seems to be running a close second, thanks to recent developments in artificial intelligence. Neither the bomb nor the computer can be credited to, or blamed on, any single scientist. But if you trace the stories of these two inventions back far enough, they turn out to intersect in the figure of John von Neumann, the Hungarian-born polymath sometimes described as the smartest man who ever lived. Though he is less famous today than some of his contemporaries—Albert Einstein, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Richard Feynman—many of them regarded him as the most impressive of all. Hans Bethe, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1967, remarked: “I have sometimes wondered whether a brain like von Neumann’s does not indicate a species superior to that of man.” Explore the November 2023 Issue Check out more from this issue and find your next story to read. View More Born in Budapest in 1903, von Neumann came to the …

Airlines Are Just Banks Now

Airlines Are Just Banks Now

[ad_1] Last week, Delta Air Lines announced changes to its SkyMiles program that will make accruing status and taking advantage of perks much harder. Instead of relying on a combination of dollars spent and miles traveled in the air, Delta will grant status based on a single metric—dollars spent—and raise the amount of spending required to get it. In short, SkyMiles is no longer a frequent-flier program; it’s a big-spender program. These changes are so drastic that one of the reporters at the preeminent travel-rewards website The Points Guy declared that he’s going to “stop chasing airline status.” When even the points insiders are sick of playing the mileage game, something has clearly gone wrong. In fact, frequent-flier programs are a symptom of a much deeper rot in the American air-travel industry. And although getting mad at airlines is perfectly reasonable, the blame ultimately lies with Congress. From the late 1930s through the ’70s, the federal government regulated airlines as a public utility. The Civil Aeronautics Board decided which airlines could fly what routes and …

Saudi-Israel Normalization Is a Good Thing, but Not at Any Price

Saudi-Israel Normalization Is a Good Thing, but Not at Any Price

[ad_1] Over the past several weeks, Israeli and American officials have teased a possible deal to normalize relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. Such an agreement has the potential to be a diplomatic triumph: Successive U.S. administrations, going back decades and from both parties, have considered the security of both Israel and the Arabian Peninsula to be vital interests that Americans would fight and die for if necessary. A deal that advances both objectives by normalizing relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia would be—should be—greeted with much fanfare and near-universal approval in Washington. Precisely because they will come under pressure to celebrate any deal that’s announced, however, U.S. policy makers need to be clear about what is and is not a “win.” Congress in particular should be prepared to ask hard questions about any deal. A deal that commits the United States to an undiminished or even a growing presence in the region, whether in the form of troop numbers or policy attention, is a bad deal. So is one that rests on any Saudi …

Did Francesca Gino and Dan Ariely Fabricate Data for the Same Study?

Did Francesca Gino and Dan Ariely Fabricate Data for the Same Study?

[ad_1] Two years ago, an influential 2012 study of dishonesty co-authored by the social psychologist and best-selling author Dan Ariely came under scrutiny. A group of scientists argued in their blog that some of the underlying data—describing the numbers of miles that a car-insurance company’s customers reported having driven—had been faked, “beyond any shadow of a doubt.” The academic paper featuring that study, which described three separate experiments and included five co-authors in all, was retracted not long after. At the time, Ariely said that the figures in question had been shared with him by the insurance company, and that he had no idea they might be wrong: “I can see why it is tempting to think that I had something to do with creating the data in a fraudulent way,” he told BuzzFeed, “… but I didn’t.” Had the doctoring been done by someone from the insurer, as Ariely implied? There didn’t seem to be a way to dispute that contention, and the company itself wasn’t saying much. Then last week, NPR’s Planet Money …