Features

A History of Rivers

Think of how it must feel to lose everything you’ve ever worked for to the showy unpredictability of a nature growing over the millennia. No one is ever safe.

What Machines Know: Surveillance Anxiety and Digitizing the World

Mass surveillance and predictive policing are all the rage. And in the act of performing identity online, ordinary people help make the world more machine-readable. Why do we play along?

Like a Boss

Is the bossless office egalitarian, or does it simply camouflage inequalities and portend the further erosion of organized labor?

The Hostage Situation

Bossnappings are a symbolically potent tactic in the arsenal of labor militancy, especially now that workers are increasingly required to identify with their management.

Albert Murray and the Americas

It’s appropriate that at the end of Murray’s century, when life is particularly low, dirty, and shameful, to have him remind us to pull it together and stomp.

Flexibility, the art of adapting, and the necessity of continuous creation: A Talk on Jazz

This music helps us to free ourselves from conformity, which is just a form of stagnation and snobbery, thus always guiding us toward the future.

Lore & Peace: What Tolstoy Can Teach Us About Bowe Bergdahl

Long before Bowe Bergdahl dreamed of military battle, Leo Tolstoy was writing about the seductive nature of war stories and their ability to lure young men to gruesome and early deaths.

The Mall Lives

The so-called great neighborhoods of America’s cities are food courts.

Syntax Errors

She explained how each of his tweets was actually a message to her. Where the man was talking about the movie he’d seen, he was talking about Hannah, and where his dog had done something funny, he also was talking about Hannah.

Praying in the Outer Sunset

There’s a discipline to both religious faith and drug addiction: to maintain either of them you have to ritualize your own frustration. You have to continually hold out hope, see yourself disappointed, and offer your hope up again.