Train Fragments

There are moments on trains where you do not feel part of the world, frictionless and floating. You glide, powered by one simple push forward, your wheels spinning without gripping onto anything.

The Romance Isn’t Dead (Or, Playing the Shakespearean Video Game)

Time provides a second chance; it lets us play again.

This Week in Sports: In Praise of Hack-a-Drummond

Would anyone watch basketball if it had no ethical component — i.e., if it were without mistakes, without some intimation of the fact that the players are as fragile as we are? Could our excitement for the game withstand a lack of blunderers, choke-artists, and scapegoats? Would there be such a thing as a game if no one ever missed?


Blood you can wash off. But not whiteness. It’s underneath the blood.

Beached Reading

When we try to flip through any one of the volumes lining the desert island’s shore, we find that its pages have been bleached by sun and surf.

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.