Interesting stuff

  1. Higher education faces a financial reckoning with charging a lot for little. Related: The notion of education for education’s sake no longer carries any weight
  2. Really living off the grid changes your timing
  3. Air conditioning is reinforcing climate change, but it isn’t really needed.
  4. Trump’s behavior reflects his upbringing as a spoiled brat. Related: Historians on why Trump is America’s worst president ever
  5. A very Canadian reflection on the passport. Related: Citizenship used to be about community; now it’s mostly about rents 
  6. Heavily monopolized markets make a joke of consumer choice
  7. The museum of whale penises raises many questions
  8. Myths about the Black Death, Middle Ages and Renaissance
  9. What’s wrong with WhatsApp?

As any frequent user of WhatsApp or a closed Facebook group will recognise, the moral anxiety associated with groups is rather different. If the worry in an open network is of being judged by some outside observer, be it one’s boss or an extended family member, in a closed group it is of saying something that goes against the codes that anchor the group’s identity. Groups can rapidly become dominated by a certain tone or worldview that is uncomfortable to challenge and nigh-impossible to dislodge. WhatsApp is a machine for generating feelings of faux pas, as comments linger in a group’s feed, waiting for a response.

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Author: David Zetland

I'm a political-economist from California who now lives in Amsterdam.

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