Note: I'll be on the road tomorrow. Back at you on Friday.
For obvious reasons, we've all been focused on the role of government in our lives. But for most Americans, the people who maintain the real power over their lives are in the boardroom, not the war room. The New Republic's Miya Tokumitsu takes a look at the United States of Work: "Employers may subject our bodies to drug tests; monitor our speech both on and off the job; require us to answer questionnaires about our exercise habits, off-hours alcohol consumption, and childbearing intentions; and rifle through our belongings. If the state held such sweeping powers ... we would probably not consider ourselves free men and women." (I work for myself. So when it seems like I'm being self-deprecating, I'm actually sticking it to the man.)
For four years, "they'll be asked to wear a heart-tracking watch that follows their pulse and movements in real time and will undergo a detailed workup of x-rays and heart scans, in addition to having their genomes deciphered and their blood tested in so-called liquid biopsies, which might be able to catch cancer early." A Google spinoff is looking for 10,000 volunteers to help them get better at finding the predictors of disease. (Companies that we once viewed as search engines and social networks are dramatically expanding their visions, and the role they hope to play in our lives...)
"Anti-Americanism, once a staple of Mexican politics, has largely faded. The flow of migrants from Mexico to the U.S. has, more or less, abated. Economic ties have fostered greater intimacy between intelligence services and security agencies, which are today deeply enmeshed in each other's business. While the economic benefits of nafta are less impressive than the architects of the deal promised, the geostrategic benefits of integration are far more important than anyone could have anticipated." Mexico has been a constant rhetorical foil for the current administration. But does America have something to lose by antagonizing its neighbor to the south? In The Atlantic, Franklin Foer makes the case that the bully is underestimating the victim: Mexico's Revenge.
BA BYE O'REILLY
"Now the big questions are how the exit will look and who will replace him." According to NY Mag's Gabriel Sherman (and others), Fox News decided Bill O'Reilly has to go. Interesting that a guy known for being a tough-guy TV personality is on vacation abroad as the heat is pointed in his direction. And as I type, the NYT confirms: O'Reilly is out. (Odd thought: O'Reilly replaces Spicer as Press Sec.)
+ "Halfway through the second official day of his 10-day civil custody trial, Alex Jones reclined in his chair and mopped sweat from his brow while watching a shirtless, pantsless version of himself hawk male vitality supplements on a courtroom television screen. It was hardly the most outlandish moment of the afternoon." Buzzfeed's Charlie Warzel: Alex Jones And The Dark New Media Are On Trial In Texas.
THE FOOD NETWORK
"Day to day, they struggle to do business against a host of challenges: byzantine city codes and regulations on street vending, exorbitant fines for small violations (like setting up an inch too close to the curb) and the occasional rage of brick-and-mortar businesses or residents. Not to mention the weather, the whims of transit and foot traffic, and the trials of standing for hours, often alone, with no real shelter or private space." The NYT provides an interesting backstory on a group of people who are a integral part of the story of NYC: A Day in the Life of a Food Vendor. (This story is best read with the smell of grilling onions and peppers in the background.)
THE AARON OF HIS WAYS
"Convicted killer and former New England Patriots star Aaron J. Hernandez hanged himself inside his cell at the state's maximum security prison in Shirley early Wednesday, in an apparent suicide five days after he was acquitted of two additional murders." Hernandez' suicide comes on the same day his former team is headed to the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl victory.
"For perspective, Ossoff got 92,390 votes. If he had rustled up 3,700 more, he would have won outright." In the most-watched local Georgia election of all time, the GOP gets a wake-up call, but the Dems fall short of disabling the snooze button. And both sides will store up their tweets and funding for the June runoff.
Some of the biggest flops of the first Internet boom were over-valued online pet supply companies. Well, times have changed. And it turns out that those companies weren't wrong, they were just too early. PetSmart just bought a company called Chewy for $3.35 billion in the largest e-commerce acquisition ever. (Upon hearing the news, my dogs went crazy and my cats didn't give a shit.)
CONNECTING THE ERSATZ
"The problem with connecting everyone on the planet is that a lot of people are a-holes. The issue with giving just anyone the ability to live broadcast to a billion people is that someone will use it to shoot up a school. You have to plan for these things. You have to build for the reality we live in, not the one we hope to create." Mat Honan: Climbing Out Of Facebook's Reality Hole.
BOTTOM OF THE NEWS
"When Chris Rock streams to Facebook Live or the Edge wants in on the farm-to-table space, Abe Burns is their man." From Bloomberg: The Celebrity Techsplainer of Beverly Hills. (Next time my mom wants tech support, I'm giving her this guy's number.)
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