The New Republic

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Down With Slack

Salesforce is paying $28 billion to purchase Slack,  the intraoffice texting service that has turned the American workplace into a dystopian micro-Twitterverse. Sold as a tool to improve communication and promote teamwork, Slack has in fact made office life miserable, especially during the Covid-19 lockdown.Created in Febuary of 2014, Slack was...

The Tangled Legacy of James Beard

The quest for authenticity is perhaps the central obsession of modern food culture. Food today is a vehicle not only for sustenance or pleasure, but for a certain type of truth—for tastes and sensations that are true to their place and the experience of their creators. It would be a mistake to regard this quest as novel. In 1654, Nicolas de Bonnefons,...

An Epidemic of Arrogance on the Supreme Court

Earlier this year, Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote one of the finest opinions in the Supreme Court’s recent history. His majority ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma recognized that a large swath of that state is still tribal land. It displayed the moral and legal clarity that Americans expect from the high court. Gorsuch and four other justices rejected arguments...

We Need More Than Antitrust Law to Tackle Big Tech

The frightening power of Big Tech is one of the few issues Democrats and Republicans still agree on, even if they don’t agree on the specifics. Conservatives often claim to be victims of a type of social media censorship that doesn’t exist, while Democrats tend to focus on corporate power and monopoly. But amid the faintest outlines of bipartisan consensus,...

The Mdiedia Is Finally Tuning Trump Out

On Wednesday, for 46 minutes, President Trump gave perhaps the most deranged speech of his political career—which means it was arguably the most deranged speech of any presidency since a drunk Andrew Johnson made a shamefaced Abraham Lincoln sit through his slurry vice presidential inaugural address. “This election was rigged. Everybody knows it,” Trump...

Why We Love the Monolith

On Monday, airborne sheep surveyors in San Juan County, Utah, observed a three-sided, 11-foot-tall reflective metal object nestled in the orange rock. After the Bureau of Land Management issued an official press release on the pillar, complete with alien jokes, the objet became affectionately known on social media as “the monolith.” This is a misnomer,...

Monetizing the Final Frontier

On May 30, in the midst of a world-threatening pandemic and a surge of protests for racial justice, President Donald Trump arranged a photo op that harked back to the confident heyday of the Cold War American consensus. He flew down to Florida to gaze at the heavens.The skies were blue over the storied NASA launch-ground of Cape Canaveral in mid-eastern...

Welcome to the New Era of Cops Driving Teslas

Elon Musk isn’t known for being a practical, by-the-book guy. At different points, the newly minted second-richest person on earth has started a company to implant computer chips into human brains, championed the colonization of Mars, and gotten himself sued for calling a British rescue diver a “pedo guy.” His daughter with musician Grimes is named...

The Predictable, Preventable Mess of Reopening Schools in Indian Country

In August, as families across the country prepared for the new school year, Smithsonian magazine spoke to more than a dozen anonymous tribal citizens about remote learning, public health protocols, and the rest of the fraught exercise of learning in a pandemic. A grandma from Oregon, who was also a former Bureau of Indian Affairs I.T. specialist, said...

Joe Biden’s Cabinet Is a Lost Cause for the Left

Few portions of political discourse are as predictably shallow as presidential Cabinet discourse. Who should run the Department of Transportation? An affable also-ran in the Democratic primary who once said something about trains? A moderate politician or a businessman who might bring the country together from their perch at the agency that handles...

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