Journal 94

Tonya Harding at the Portland International Airport returning from the 1994 Olympic Games in Norway

This week — Wired dedicates an issue to free speech in the new information age, a look at how Travis Kalanick lost his job, an analysis of the Trump administration’s approach to the justice system, and the story of the women who took on the Calabrian Mafia. 
If you only read one thing — The New York Times on Tonya Harding is worth the time.


Tonya Harding Would Like Her Apology Now // The New York Times // Life

An eloquent profile of Tonya Harding, the former professional ice skater caught up in a scandal at the time of the 1994 Winter Olympics, and subject of the new Oscar contender I, Tonya. The piece encompasses poignant reflections on survival, life after infamy, and subjective views of the truth.

It’s the (Democracy-Poisoning) Golden Age of Free Speech // Wired // Society

A special issue of Wired contains several strong pieces looking at the complex freedom of speech trade-offs required in the new information era. Pieces include — the web infrastructure company Cloudflare being embroiled in a free speech debate when offering services to far-right extremists, Reddit as a case study for civil discourse online, a startup making smartphone-neutralising pouches, six stories of censorship, and a look at a database of extremists called Whack-a-Mole. (our favourite piece —

The Fall of Travis Kalanick Was a Lot Weirder and Darker Than You Thought // Bloomberg Businessweek // Business

A behind the scenes account of Travis Kalanick’s defenestration from his role as Uber’s CEO. The piece provides insights into the delicate power balance between executives and their company boards. Recent events do though help to put Kalanick’s “fall” in context — an investment in Uber by Japanese firm Softbank has recently been agreed, netting him an estimated $1.4bn.

Why Trump’s War on the Deep State Is Failing — So Far // Lawfare // Politics

An assessment of the Trump administration’s assault on the Justice department, “the least tyrant-proof part of the government”, by a Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution.

The Women Who Took on the Mafia // The New Yorker // Crime

The tale of the prosecutor and witnesses who took on the corrosive power of the ’Ndrangheta.


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