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Police Reform Is Not Hopeless

Most Americans want to see the police reformed. A Gallup poll conducted in May, two years after the murder of George Floyd, found that 50 percent of adults favored “major changes” to policing, 39 percent wanted “minor changes,” and only 11 percent thought no changes were required. Despite this general consensus and a patchwork of recent policy shifts...

1.5 Degrees Was Never the End of the World

Sign up for The Weekly Planet, The Atlantic’s newsletter about living through climate change, here.How hot is too hot for planet Earth? For years, there’s been a consensus in the climate movement: no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. The figure comes from the Paris Agreement, a climate treaty ratified in 2016, and world leaders...

The James Dickey I Knew

If you asked 10 Americans, “Who was James Dickey?,” my guess is that half would shrug, four would identify him as the author of the novel and movie Deliverance, and the tenth might venture, “Didn’t he read a poem at Jimmy Carter’s inauguration?” or “Wasn’t he our poet laureate back in the 1960s?”  My theoretical estimate would, I think, depress James...

A New Way to Read Gatsby

Of all the books in the 10th-grade curriculum, the class set of The Great Gatsby was what we teachers most coveted. Short enough to cover in one quarter, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel was also packed with symbolism—Dr. Eckleburg’s eyes on the billboard, the green light at the end of the dock, the cars, the music. And it was weighty enough to support multiple...

Republicans Need to Stop Being Jerks

Let’s say you’re a politician in a close race and your opponent suffers a stroke. What do you do?If you are Mehmet Oz running as a Republican for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, what you do is mock your opponent’s affliction. In August, the Oz campaign released a list of “concessions” it would offer to the Democrat John Fetterman in a candidates’ debate,...

How Memphis’s Policing Strategy Went So Wrong

This is an edition of The Atlantic Daily, a newsletter that guides you through the biggest stories of the day, helps you discover new ideas, and recommends the best in culture. Sign up for it here.The Atlantic staff writer David A. Graham has been thinking and writing about Memphis’s policing crisis for several months now. This past weekend, he went...

Outdoor Dining Is Doomed

These days, strolling through downtown New York City, where I live, is like picking your way through the aftermath of a party. In many ways, it is exactly that: The limp string lights, trash-strewn puddles, and splintering plywood are all relics of the raucous celebration known as outdoor dining.These wooden “streeteries” and the makeshift tables lining...

ChatGPT Resembles a Slice of the Human Brain

Language is commonly understood to be the “stuff” of thought. People “talk it out” and “speak their mind,” follow “trains of thought” or “streams of consciousness.” Some of the pinnacles of human creation—music, geometry, computer programming—are framed as metaphorical languages. The underlying assumption is that the brain processes the world and our...

J. Kenji López-Alt Thinks You’ll Be Fine With an Induction Stove

Gas stoves are a new front in the culture wars. This month, an errant comment from a bureaucrat caused a full-blown conservative panic over whether such stoves would be banned, eventually prompting a White House statement that effectively walked the whole thing back.Amid all this posturing, a more practical concern is getting lost: How much does gas...

The Existential Wonder of Space

Illustrations by Daniele CastellanoOf all the moons in the solar system, Saturn’s largest satellite might be the most extraordinary. Titan is enveloped in a thick, hazy atmosphere, and liquid methane rains gently from its sky, tugged downward by a fraction of the gravity we feel on Earth. The methane forms rivers, lakes, and small seas on Titan’s surface....

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