[ by Charles Cameron — continuing from Metaphors, more — which has become seriously overloaded and is listing to port ]
This one’s from Cass R. Sunstein, It Can Happen Here, in the LRB:
What matters are “we anonymous others” who are not just “pawns in the chess game,” because the “most powerful dictators, ministers, and generals are powerless against the simultaneous mass decisions taken individually and almost unconsciously by the population at large.”
That’s worth reading and (critically) pondering in its entirety — partly because Sunsttein’s a writer worth pondering (I was particularluy taken with his exploration of Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures), but also because the comparison of developments leading up to Nazi Germany and events here in Trumpian USA is both a significant topic and one that is all too easily and often marred by hyperbole, and therefore demands deliberative elucidation in long form, rather than brash assertiveness or denial in short.
Okay, now here’s a doozy.
I’m more used to questioning “prophetic” explanations of earthquakes and the like as literal acts of God, but some seismologists in Mexico have an altogether more engaging explanation:
Late Sunday morning, seismic sensors in Mexico City detected what was reported to be a small earthquake. But it was triggered in an “artificial manner,” according to the group monitoring the gauges.
“Possibly because of mass jumping,” said the group, the Institute of Geologic and Atmospheric Investigations in Mexico, which said that at least two of its sensors picked up the activity.
The cause of that mass jumping? Moments before, the Mexican men’s national soccer team had scored a goal against powerhouse Germany in their group-stage match in the World Cup in Moscow.
I’ve heard of the idea that soldiers marching across a bridge might cause it to collapse — but an entire earthquake? I stand impressed..
Ourob, New Yorker:
Bell Pottinger’s work in South Africa included the covert dissemination of articles, cartoons, blog posts, and tweets implying that the Guptas’ opponents were upholding a racist system. As the brothers’ influence over Zuma’s government fell under increasing scrutiny, Bell Pottinger’s tactics were exposed. More details of the Oakbay account became public, including revelations about the inflammatory economic-emancipation campaign. Soon, one of the world’s savviest reputation-management companies became embroiled in a reputational scandal. Bell Pottinger could not contain the uproar, and, in September, 2017, it collapsed.
Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan:
[Coming 8/31] When CIA analyst Jack Ryan stumbles upon a suspicious series of bank transfers his search for answers pulls him from the safety of his desk job and catapults him into a deadly game of cat and mouse throughout Europe and the Middle East, with a rising terrorist figurehead preparing for a massive attack against the US and her allies.
Ah, yes, “a deadly game of cat and mouse”.
I’ll add more good or odd ones as they occur..