Listened to Hurtling Toward Catastrophe from On the Media | WNYC Studios

A vehicle burns at Baghdad International Airport following an airstrike in Baghdad on Friday. The Pentagon said the U.S. operation killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force.

After the US military assassinated an Iranian military general, war propaganda kicked into overdrive. On this week’s On the Media, how news consumers can cut through the misleading claims and dangerous frames. Plus, how Generation Z is interpreting the geopolitical crisis through memes. And, how apocalyptic thinking is a near-constant through history. 

1. Nathan Robinson [@NathanJRobinson], editor of Current Affairs, on the most suspect tropes in war coverage. Listen.

2. Lee Fang [@lhfang], investigative journalist at The Intercept, on the pundits with unacknowledged conflicts of interest. Listen.

3. Ian Bogost [@ibogost], contributing writer at The Atlantic, on memes. Listen.

4. Dan Carlin [@HardcoreHistory], host of "Hardcore History," on apocalyptic moments throughout human history. Listen.

Brooke Gladstone speaking with Ian Bogost [@ibogost], contributing writer at The Atlantic, on #​WorldWar3 memes:

34:29 IB: That’s the pattern that we will see recur. Not necessarily with respect to warfare.  But whatever the next thing is. And there certainly will be a next thing.
34:37 BG: You wrote that the end of the world could be a “dark but deviously appealing fantasy”, and you were talking about your own experience as a GenX-er during the cold war. What seems soothing about the apocalypse back then?
34:54 IB: The idea that you live at the end of history is incredibly comforting. Even if you don’t know everything that happened in the past. There will be none who follow you. You’ve seen it all either personally or historically. You haven’t missed anything in the project that is human kind.
35:12 BG: That’s FOMO taken to the n-degree, isn’t it?
35:15 IB: Right, I mean the fear of annihilation is a particularly piquant version of the fear of death. It’s about not seeing what comes next for your progeny–for humanity at large. It makes sense to me that there would be some comfort even if it’s a perverse comfort in everyone being together at the end.

Sounds exactly like the same sort of historical apocalyptic “Repent now for the end is at hand” sort of philosophy that a 30 year old Jesus was espousing two millennia ago. And look what happened to that idea. 

Makes me wonder who the Paul of Tarses TikTok is going to be for the next two millennia?

Read Black and white and RSS by Giles Turnbull (gilest.org)
Black and white and RSS is an RSS feed of black and white photographs, updating throughout June 2019. There is no associated website. You can only see the photos if you use an RSS feed reader and subscribe to the feed.
This is certainly a cool looking experiment Giles Turnbull is attempting. I’m almost half tempted to hide my actual website and just make my content available via RSS, h-feed, or JSON-feed.

Sometimes for as much time and effort as I put into making my site look the way I want it, I often worry that it’s all for naught as I suspect many of my readers are just reading it in a feed reader or interfaces like Pocket or Instapaper that are stripping away all my CSS and reformatting it in some vanilla way for simpler reading.

I remember reading about Instagrammers making their accounts private as a means of getting more people to subscribe to them for the fear of missing out on their content. Maybe stopping posts to your site, but simply maintaining a feed could be the IndieWeb equivalent of this?


Hat tip: Jason McIntosh.

👓 Why I stopped using feeds | Manu Moreale

Read Why I stopped using feeds by Manuel Moreale (manuelmoreale.com)
I’m a fan of feeds. Whether is a curated RSS feed, a nice Twitter account or a great newsletter. All these are great tools to stay always up to date with things I care about and don’t miss out on “important news”.
While this seems like an interesting take on doing things, I view my feeds in my feed reader much the same way as I view the recordings on my DVR. They’re there waiting for the day or time I feel like visiting a particular channel and catching up. I definitely don’t look at it like a queue of things I might either miss out on or that I have to consume. They’re just there when I care to dip in and read a bit.

👓 Reading, Anxiety, Possibility | Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Read Reading, Anxiety, Possibility by Kathleen FitzpatrickKathleen Fitzpatrick (Kathleen Fitzpatrick)
Every so often you come across That Book, the exact thing you need to read, and a lot of the time it’s something that you might not have run into before and that you certainly had no idea you neede…

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia

dismissing pleasure in reading (whether as illicit, or unserious, or whathaveyou) opens space for anxiety to become one’s dominant reading affect, and particularly “anxiety about whether we’re reading the right stuff, or reading for the right reasons, or reading in the right way.”