It’s Not Fun – It’s Fantasy

People have this strange tendency for self-destruction, to imagine their worst fears on endless loop and lash out at loved ones and subscribe to email newsletters they don’t actually want to read. This isn’t having one too many at happy hour or putting off work for an extra hour of sleep. People, all people, do things that don’t feel good in the moment or pay off in the long run. It’s one of the mysteries that makes humanity both compelling and maddening.

What I am trying to say is, I cannot comprehend why we all keep playing fantasy football.

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The One Big Idea Trap

In May, the academic journal Gender, Place & Culture published a study of sexual misconduct in Portland dog parks. The authors argued that dog parks are rape-condoning spaces, and the actions of their canine visitors offer valuable insight for how men can be trained out of their own abusive behavior. The paper was titled “Human reactions to rape culture and queer performativity at urban dog parks in Portland, Oregon” – catchy, right? –  and the “data” in the study was based on a year spent watching dogs hump each other.

If you’re thinking “you’ve got to be kidding me,” I have good news and bad news.

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Hate Speech and Hard Choices

In The Matrix, Morpheus offers Neo an iconic choice. Take the blue pill, and Neo can wake up in bed, wrapped in the security of the life he has always known. Take the red pill, and Neo would give up life as he knows it, embracing a new truth and the uncertainty that comes with it. Refusing to pick a pill would be as much a decision as red or blue. Neo had no choice – he had to choose.

A similarly decisive moment arrived this week for a cadre of social media and tech giants. After months of mounting pressure, Facebook, Apple, YouTube and Spotify made their choice and banned Alex Jones from their platforms.

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