Defense against the Dark Arts

I’ve just been reading Carole Cadwalladr’s excellent journalism on the subject of Robert Mercer, Cambridge Analytica, and the Brexit and Trump votes. You can see the articles here and here. They’re chilling, and upsetting, and important. At some level, what Cambridge Analytica is doing is something familiar: propaganda. It’s different in two respects, though: one, …

Great American Institutions

This country likes to talk at length about how much it values democracy, as a core concept. For a long time, I’ve said that this strikes me as strange, when two out of three of our major cultural institutions are (mostly) based around (substantial) autocracy. That is, while we pursue democratic government, we maintain autocratic …