All posts tagged: last month

The War at Stanford – The Atlantic

The War at Stanford – The Atlantic

[ad_1] O ne of the section leaders for my computer-science class, Hamza El Boudali, believes that President Joe Biden should be killed. “I’m not calling for a civilian to do it, but I think a military should,” the 23-year-old Stanford University student told a small group of protesters last month. “I’d be happy if Biden was dead.” He thinks that Stanford is complicit in what he calls the genocide of Palestinians, and that Biden is not only complicit but responsible for it. “I’m not calling for a vigilante to do it,” he later clarified, “but I’m saying he is guilty of mass murder and should be treated in the same way that a terrorist with darker skin would be (and we all know terrorists with dark skin are typically bombed and drone striked by American planes).” El Boudali has also said that he believes that Hamas’s October 7 attack was a justifiable act of resistance, and that he would actually prefer Hamas rule America in place of its current government (though he clarified later that …

The meaning of trees in a warming world

The meaning of trees in a warming world

[ad_1] This is an edition of Time-Travel Thursdays, a journey through The Atlantic’s archives to contextualize the present and surface delightful treasures. Sign up here. Trees can seem like timeless beings. Many a giant sequoia has racked up three millennia on this Earth. A pine in California’s White Mountains is estimated to be nearly 5,000 years old. A colony of aspens in Utah may well have originated during the Stone Age, and to this day, its leaves glitter gold in the autumn sun. A tree’s life span, undisturbed by axe or fire, is utterly divorced from the scales on which human affairs operate. And yet, throughout history, people have seen themselves reflected in trees. One of those people was James Russell Lowell, a poet who served as The Atlantic’s first-ever editor. “I care not how men trace their ancestry / To ape or Adam; let them please their whim; / But I in June am midway to believe / A tree among my far progenitors,” Lowell wrote in The Atlantic’s June 1868 issue. He even …

How America got scammed – The Atlantic

How America got scammed – 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. People are more susceptible to scams than they may think—and Americans are losing more money to fraud than ever. First, here are three new stories from The Atlantic: Falling for Fraud Americans passed a discomfiting benchmark last year: For the first time, they lost a collective $10 billion to fraud, according to data that the Federal Trade Commission released last month. Taking advantage of social isolation and unmet needs, scammers are using ever more sophisticated methods to tailor their grifts and blanket Americans with requests for money, gift cards, cryptocurrency, and personal information. Scammers often bring up sensitive topics such as romance, immigration, and finances to rile victims into a state of heightened emotion. This simple, devastating approach can make people act less rational than they would otherwise. The schemes can target specific insecurities: For people who are …

Wargaming for Democracy – The Atlantic

Wargaming for Democracy – The Atlantic

[ad_1] It’s January 21, 2025, the first full day of the second Trump administration. Members of a right-wing paramilitary group, deputized by the president to patrol the border, have killed a migrant family. Video of the incident sparks outrage, sending local protesters swarming to ICE detention centers. Left-wing pro-immigrant groups begin arriving in border states to reinforce the protests, setting off clashes. In response, the Democratic governors of New Mexico and Arizona mobilize National Guard units, ordering them to disperse the paramilitaries. But these groups, having been deputized by the president, are recognized under Articles I and II of the Constitution as legal militias. The commander of the New Mexico National Guard refuses orders from the governor, saying that migrants pose the true threat, not patriotic Americans defending their homes. The governor summarily relieves him of command. On his way out the door, the general pledges to “continue to follow the lawful commands of POTUS.” Last month, at one site in Washington, D.C., and another in Palo Alto, California, the advocacy group Veterans for Responsible …

War-Gaming for Democracy – The Atlantic

War-Gaming for Democracy – The Atlantic

[ad_1] It’s January 21, 2025, the first full day of the second Trump administration. Members of a right-wing paramilitary group, deputized by the president to patrol the border, have killed a migrant family. Video of the incident sparks outrage, sending local protesters swarming to ICE detention centers. Left-wing pro-immigrant groups begin arriving in border states to reinforce the protests, setting off clashes. In response, the Democratic governors of New Mexico and Arizona mobilize National Guard units, ordering them to disperse the paramilitaries. But these groups, having been deputized by the president, are recognized under Articles I and II of the Constitution as legal militias. The commander of the New Mexico National Guard refuses orders from the governor, saying that migrants pose the true threat, not patriotic Americans defending their homes. The governor summarily relieves him of command. On his way out the door, the general pledges to “continue to follow the lawful commands of POTUS.” Last month, at one site in Washington, D.C., and another in Palo Alto, California, the advocacy group Veterans for Responsible …

The Drama Kings of Tech

The Drama Kings of Tech

[ad_1] One Tuesday last month, Mark Zuckerberg uploaded a video to Instagram, but not to his Stories, where it would quickly disappear. This one was a keeper. He put it right on his permanent grid. It shows Zuckerberg sitting on his living-room couch in comfy pants and a dark T-shirt, while his friend Kenny records him through Meta’s mixed-reality headset. Zuckerberg proceeds to rattle off a three-and-a-half-minute critique of Apple’s new mixed-reality headset, the Vision Pro. His tone is surprisingly combative. At certain points, he sounds like a forum post come to life. “Some fanboys get upset” when people question Apple, he says, but his company’s much cheaper headset is not only a better value; it is a better product, “period.” CEOs of the world’s most valuable companies don’t often star in this kind of video. It reminded me of a commercial that a car-dealership owner might make about a rival. I don’t mean to moralize. Marketing is a matter of taste, and Zuckerberg is entitled to his. I mention this video only because it’s …

What Really Makes People Feel Safe on the Subway

What Really Makes People Feel Safe on the Subway

[ad_1] New York Governor Kathy Hochul unfurled a subway “safety” plan last week. It included assigning 750 National Guard and 250 state police and Metropolitan Transit Authority officers to the subway—in addition to the 1,000 NYPD officers the mayor added in February—to check riders’ bags. The governor insisted that her plan is designed to protect New Yorkers and keep them riding the trains. “My No. 1 priority is the safety of all New Yorkers,” she said. “Downstate,” she said, “does not function without a healthy subway system that people have confidence in—I have to do this for them.” As a lifelong subway rider here in “downstate,” I can tell from her plan that the governor has only a limited understanding of what we need in the way of “a healthy subway system.” I immigrated to the city in 1994 at age 7, and have been taking the subway—largely on my own from the very beginning—in the three decades since. I rode through the late 1990s, when the transit system saw an all-time high in recorded …

Are Social-Media Companies Ready for Another January 6?

Are Social-Media Companies Ready for Another January 6?

[ad_1] In January, Donald Trump laid out in stark terms what consequences await America if charges against him for conspiring to overturn the 2020 election wind up interfering with his presidential victory in 2024. “It’ll be bedlam in the country,” he told reporters after an appeals-court hearing. Just before a reporter began asking if he would rule out violence from his supporters, Trump walked away. This would be a shocking display from a presidential candidate—except the presidential candidate was Donald Trump. In the three years since the January 6 insurrection, when Trump supporters went to the U.S. Capitol armed with zip ties, tasers, and guns, echoing his false claims that the 2020 election had been stolen, Trump has repeatedly hinted at the possibility of further political violence. He has also come to embrace the rioters. In tandem, there has been a rise in threats against public officials. In August, Reuters reported that political violence in the United States is seeing its biggest and most sustained rise since the 1970s. And a January report from the …

‘Shōgun’ Is Challenging Hollywood’s Most Revered Stereotype

‘Shōgun’ Is Challenging Hollywood’s Most Revered Stereotype

[ad_1] Most American audiences have probably never seen Hiroyuki Sanada without a sword in his hand. The illustrious Japanese actor has, since making his international film debut in 2003’s The Last Samurai, practically cornered the Hollywood market on playing yakuza bosses and samurai warriors. Look, there he is, facing off against Hawkeye. There he goes, defending John Wick. And, oh, who’s that guy Brad Pitt just brushed past aboard a bullet train? Sanada, again with a blade. It’s no surprise, then, that he wields a pair of katanas in his newest role as the star of FX’s Shōgun. “It’s in my DNA,” Sanada told me last month, grinning as he recounted his decades-long career of playing samurai. But his latest character, the imposing Lord Yoshii Toranaga, is possibly the actor’s most demanding one yet in Hollywood. Modeled after Tokugawa Ieyasu, the real-life figure who helped unify Japan, Toranaga is clever but stubborn, intimidating but warm—as dramatic a departure for Sanada as the show itself is for American television. An adaptation of James Clavell’s 1975 novel, …

Jack Antonoff’s Music Is Modern Because It’s Retro

Jack Antonoff’s Music Is Modern Because It’s Retro

[ad_1] The song that has most influenced pop music of the past decade might be one released in 1984: Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire.” With a rhythm that was twitchy but not quite danceable, with desperate vocals and cooling puddles of reverb, “I’m on Fire” was ballad and banger, confessional and slick, embodied and ghostly. Springsteen sang of being trapped on the edge of catharsis, and the music seemed to want to suspend time. A lot of Taylor Swift’s recent songs contain traces of “I’m on Fire,” either in their specific production choices or in their general mood. So do the songs of Lana Del Rey, the 1975, Lorde, and many other artists who’ve worked with the producer and songwriter Jack Antonoff. Last month at the Grammys, Antonoff won his third consecutive Producer of the Year, Non-Classical award. Today his band, Bleachers, put out a self-titled album that might be the ultimate manifestation of what’s made him important: the yearning, in the 2010s and 2020s, to slow, stop, and even reverse the clock. Many commentators …