All posts tagged: kind of work

Take Crossword Puzzles Seriously – The Atlantic

Take Crossword Puzzles Seriously – The Atlantic

This past December, I threw a party to celebrate a major milestone in my life: the 1,000th day of my New York Times crossword-solving streak. My friends, none of them fellow cruciverbalists, poured in wearing their black-and-white best, armed with outsize praise for my presumed intelligence: How smart I must be to complete the Times puzzle every day! Their comments affirmed that the crossword—and particularly the Times one—carries a certain mystique. For 1,000 consecutive days, I had passed this bourgeois aptitude test, proving my linguistic and cultural acumen in my guests’ eyes. Since its invention in 1913, the modern American crossword puzzle has undergone something of a reputational shift, from frivolous distraction to status symbol. In reality, the crossword is many things: a site of play, a cultural forum, a daily pleasure. And, because it traffics in language—the stuff people use to form identity, signal belonging, and ostracize others—it’s also a political entity. The writer and crossword constructor Anna Shechtman knows that casting such a pastime as political might sound ridiculous. As she writes in …

Take Crossword Puzzles Seriously – The Atlantic

Take Crossword Puzzles Seriously – The Atlantic

This past December, I threw a party to celebrate a major milestone in my life: the 1,000th day of my New York Times crossword-solving streak. My friends, none of them fellow cruciverbalists, poured in wearing their black-and-white best, armed with outsize praise for my presumed intelligence: How smart I must be to complete the Times puzzle every day! Their comments affirmed that the crossword—and particularly the Times one—carries a certain mystique. For 1,000 consecutive days, I had passed this bourgeois aptitude test, proving my linguistic and cultural acumen in my guests’ eyes. Since its invention in 1913, the modern American crossword puzzle has undergone something of a reputational shift, from frivolous distraction to status symbol. In reality, the crossword is many things: a site of play, a cultural forum, a daily pleasure. And, because it traffics in language—the stuff people use to form identity, signal belonging, and ostracize others—it’s also a political entity. The writer and crossword constructor Anna Shechtman knows that casting such a pastime as political might sound ridiculous. As she writes in …

Elon Musk’s Latest Target Hits Back

Elon Musk’s Latest Target Hits Back

Over the past few days, hundreds of thousands of posts on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, have lambasted a Jewish organization that many people are only vaguely aware of: the Anti-Defamation League. The #BanTheADL campaign, started by overt white nationalists and later boosted by Elon Musk himself, accuses the Jewish civil-rights group of seeking to censor the site’s users, intimidate its advertisers, and generally abrogate American freedoms in service of a sinister liberal agenda. I’m pretty familiar with the ADL. Like many reporters and subject-matter experts on anti-Semitism, I’ve spoken at some of the organization’s events. I haven’t always agreed with its approach, whether on social-media moderation or Israel. But though the ADL doesn’t get everything right, it has a better batting average than most organizations in this difficult space. In any case, as I wrote earlier this week, none of what is happening to the group today has much to do with the specific policies it advocates, whatever their merits. Rather, the ADL is being scapegoated on Twitter for the platform’s own …