In the News 09.01.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
Tuesday 10th January, 2017
How ‘Sherlock of the Library’ Cracked the Case of Shakespeare’s Identity
Deep in the Folger Library, in Washington DC, Heather Wolfe says that studying Shakespeare makes an ideal preparation for the onset of Trump’s America. You can see her point: Shakespeare would have revelled in the mad excesses, the sinister vanities and the pervasive stench of cronyism and corruption surrounding the president-elect as America makes the painful transition from Barack Obama.
Dr Wolfe is a willowy, bright-eyed manuscript scholar, a paleographer specialising in Elizabethan England who in certain moods of candour might put you in mind of Portia or perhaps Cordelia. She’s also a Shakespeare detective who, last year, made the career-defining discovery that is going to transform our understanding of Shakespeare’s biography. In the simplest terms, Wolfe delivered the coup de grace to the wild-eyed army of conspiracy theorists, including Vanessa Redgrave and Derek Jacobi, who contest the authenticity, even the existence, of the playwright known to contemporaries as Master Will Shakespeare.
Tim Wu: ‘The Internet is Like the Classic Story of the Party That Went Sour’
Tim Wu is a law professor at Columbia University. His specialities include competition, copyright and telecommunications law. So far, so conventional. But Wu is an unconventional academic. For one thing, he ran for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governorship of New York (and won 40% of the popular vote, though not the primary election). For another, he served for a time in the office of New York’s attorney general, specialising in issues involving technology, consumer protection and ensuring fair competition among online companies. “If I have a life mission,” he said once, “it is to fight bullies. I like standing up for the little guy and I think that’s what the state attorney general’s office does.”
As I said, no ordinary academic. But it gets better. Wu is also the guy who coined the phrase “net neutrality”, which has turned out to be a key concept in debates about regulation of the internet. He was for a time a senior adviser to the Federal Trade Commission, America’s main consumer protection agency. And somehow, in the middle of all this activity, he writes books that make a big impact.
Martin Wolf: The Long and Painful Journey to World Disorder
It is not true that humanity cannot learn from history. It can and, in the case of the lessons of the dark period between 1914 and 1945, the west did. But it seems to have forgotten those lessons. We are living, once again, in an era of strident nationalism and xenophobia. The hopes of a brave new world of progress, harmony and democracy, raised by the market opening of the 1980s and the collapse of Soviet communism between 1989 and 1991, have turned into ashes. What lies ahead for the US, creator and guarantor of the postwar liberal order, soon to be governed by a president who repudiates permanent alliances, embraces protectionism and admires despots? What lies ahead for a battered EU, contemplating the rise of “illiberal democracy” in the east, Brexit and the possibility of Marine Le Pen’s election to the French presidency? What lies ahead now that Vladimir Putin’s irredentist Russia exerts increasing influence on the world and China has announced that Xi Jinping is not first among equals but a “core leader”? The contemporary global economic and political system originated as a reaction against the disasters of the first half of the 20th century. The latter, in turn, were caused by the unprecedented, but highly uneven, economic progress of the 19th century.
Read the rest of this article at Pacific Standard
With gilt chandeliers 50 feet overhead and long strips of fabric draped over the windows, the theater looked like something out of a Stanley Kubrick film. The makeshift curtains ballooned in thermal updrafts above the radiators, creating rippling pockets of shadow around the edges of the room. On stage a band was tearing through a Cheap Trick tune, but the drummer hadn’t learned his part yet and the guitarist stopped strumming to stomp out the rhythm, his boots echoing in the cavernous, empty room.
Normally, Richard would be up there too, on auxiliary percussion, but he took the night off to tell me the story of how he came to Fort Lyon and got clean. Richard is 54 years old and had been sober for seven months, one of his longer stretches — discounting the six-year stint he did in prison. “But that was forced sobriety,” he said. He was making a choice now.
He was trying to tell me about losing his daughter but his voice kept getting drowned out by the amplified hair metal, so we exited the theater and stepped into the icy Colorado air. Somewhere beyond the women’s dorms, we heard coyotes chattering in the dark. Richard (who asked that I not use his last name, as did several others in this story) walked with a stiff splay-footed gait on account of his toes having been amputated last winter, frostbitten casualties of a drunken blackout in the snow.
Read the rest of this article at The Economist
Trump Urges Spy Agencies To Lay Off Russia and Focus On The Treat Posed By Actresses
NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report)—In an emergency meeting at Trump Tower on Monday morning, President-elect Donald J. Trump urged the heads of the nation’s intelligence agencies to “stop picking on Russia” and instead focus on “the very real threat” posed by Hollywood actresses.
Calling the recent allegations against Russia a “witch hunt,” Trump told the intelligence chiefs that their investigations of Russian President Vladimir Putin were distracting them from “America’s real enemy, actresses.”
Growing increasingly irate, he laid out a series of proposals for dealing with what he called a “scourge,” including mandatory registration of actresses and a temporary ban on actresses entering the country.
Additionally, he said that the flow of actresses could be “cut off at the source” by having F.B.I. agents infiltrate improv classes.
“Nothing should be taken off the table,” Trump reportedly said.
Read the rest of this article at The New Yorker