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Long Reads for the Long Weekend

“Rather than a neat evolutionary line,” writes Florence Hazrat, “imagine punctuation developing as a rhizome, a horizontal mesh of practices, explorations and loosely understood conventions whose overlapping branches sometimes do the same thing but look different.”

Turns out Francis Fukuyama was right all along, argues Aris Roussinos: “Where Huntington and Kaplan predicted the threat to the Western liberal order coming from outside its cultural borders,” he writes, “Fukuyama discerned the weak points from within, predicting, with startling accuracy, our current moment.”

Speaking of “weak points within,” Graeme Wood has some thoughts on Vicky Osterweil’s In Defense of Looting: A Riotous History of Uncivil Action. “Easily my favorite line in the book,” he notes, “was written not by the author but by her publisher, right under the copyright notice: ‘The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book without permission is a theft of the author’s intellectual property,’ it says. ‘Thank you for your support of the author’s rights.'”

Christopher Bray reminds us that now has no objective meaning: “If you’re talking to a friend across the room, you see him not as he is at this precise point in time but as he was a moment ago — to be precise, at that moment when the light you are seeing bounce off him began travelling from him towards you. However infinitesimally different, that is, your ‘now’ is his ‘then.'”



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