Essays worth reading

Earthly delights: gardening in a time of crisis

Lost elysium of the Cambridge Backs: One of Britain’s most celebrated views will soon be dramatically changed It would seem the “wildflower meadow” gardening fad is going to replace the manicured lawns at Cambridge.

For the full life experience, put down all devices and walk

A review of Martha Nussbaum’s The Cosmopolitan Tradition

Belief is better: Robert Frost’s correspondence on teaching, writing and having fun

George Orwell and women

What Freud got right: We might do a better job of living together if we believed that we are meant to do so

The woman in black: The last judicial duel in France hinged on whether a woman could be believed

Shakespeare and Classical Antiquity

How China built a Twitter propaganda machine then let it loose on coronavirus – I don’t usually get into ProPublica pieces because they have such a mindless progressive bent now (the site was much more intellectually rigorous in the throes of the financial crisis), but this article is fascinating, if only for the topic. It would seem China is at the ready to hack thousands of Twitter accounts established by real citizens within western democracies and hijack them for their propagandist purposes. I think this year is going to get very interesting as we get closer to the election.

For the life of me, I do not understand why people get their news from Twitter (or the corporate media, which just prints the garbage they read on Twitter now rather than chasing actual stories). Foreign governments have troll armies. Political campaigns have troll armies. PACs have troll armies. If you read social media purely for political content, there is a 100% chance you are arguing with professional trolls and watching your life melt away. You are living in a literal version of Plato’s cave.

‘The ACLU would not take the Skokie case today’: Ira Glasser says the organisation he once led has retreated from the fight for free speech

Escape Route: How cars changed the lives of black Americans

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