Journal 137 — an abandoned town, Vancouver’s influx of Chinese cash, the British Army’s information warfare, a sailing expedition, & Facebook’s defence

The abandoned town of Cisco, Utah

This week — restoring life to an abandoned town, Vancouver’s response to a huge influx of Chinese cash, the British Army’s information warfare brigade, and a sailing expedition that ended in tragedy.

If you only read one thing — The New York Times investigation into Facebook’s response to recent scandals is worth the time.


Delay, Deny and Deflect: How Facebook’s Leaders Fought Through Crisis | The New York Times | Business

A revelatory piece alleging that while Mark Zuckerberg was on a meticulously publicised apology tour, other Facebook executives were busy working to discredit the company’s critics.

The pioneer of ruin | High Country News | Life

A fine story about a woman on a single-handed mission to occupy the quasi-abandoned town of Cisco, Utah. The story has echoes of post-apocalyptic fiction, evoking as it does the sense of life outside the reach of law enforcement and typical societal structures.

The City That Had Too Much Money | Bloomberg | Society

A piece examining the influx of Chinese cash into Vancouver, and how difficult it is to resist the tidal wave of capital.

Inside the British Army’s secret information warfare machine | Wired | Politics

A look at the British Army’s 77th Brigade and their forays into narrative digital campaigns designed to promote British interests and discredit foes — running the gamut from ‘white’ campaigns operating in plain sight to promote positive news stories, to ‘grey’ and even “black’ operations.

My Father’s SOS — From the Middle of the Sea | Outside | Life

The author writes movingly about her father, who had a lifetime ambition to sail the world in search of adventure. He achieved his dream as a 71 year old, only for tragedy to strike, first indicated by an SOS message indicating pirates had boarded his boat.


Thank you for reading the one hundred and thirty-seventh edition of Journal, a weekly circular of writing worth reading. We’d really appreciate you sharing Journal with people you think would like it.

Journal email edition |

Journal WhatsApp edition |

Journal website |