Issue #62: Feb 10–16, 2019

In this week’s MRN, we (1) examine the Trump administration’s use of suffering as a policy tool; (2) ask whether we should welcome our new robot overlords; (3) try to get you to eagerly await the publication of our guide to using social media mindfully; (4) declare this issue’s summary of the week’s news an emergency summary of the week’s news; (5) offer background links on things ranging from the famously nefarious Elliot Abrams to the “slow internet” lifestyle to the death (on Mars) of Opportunity.

–Robert Wright

Continue reading

Issue #61: Feb 3–9, 2019

In this week’s newsletter we: (1) watch presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard get pilloried for thinking clinically about foreign policy; (2) explore a cognitive bias that discourages such thinking; (3) search for inoffensive synonyms for “tribalism”; (4) announce an MRN hiring initiative; (5) steer you to background reading on things ranging from the Green New Deal to a visit with Davos plutocrats; (6) offer our usual summary of the week’s news—including a summary of the Jeff Bezos story that doesn’t involve a single body-part-related pun!

–Robert Wright

Continue reading

Issue #60: Jan 27–Feb 2, 2019

In this week’s MRN we (1) gripe about the American media’s coverage of America’s role in the Venezuela crisis; (2) ponder whether calling American politics “tribal” is racist; (3) summarize a week that included lots of news on the international relations front—plus, of course, on the Starbucks front; (4) steer you to background reading on things ranging from Cory Booker to St. Ignatius of Loyola to some elephant seals that took advantage of the government shutdown to acquire real estate; (5) and, needless to say, laud our Patrons.

–Robert Wright

Continue reading

Issue #59: Jan 20–26, 2019

In this week’s MRN we (1) find the missing link between last weekend’s Covington Catholic High School brouhaha and the 1951 Princeton-Dartmouth football game brouhaha; (2) say nice things about WhatsApp’s new approach to dampening emotional contagion; (3) say nice things about MRN Patreon patrons; (4) summarize a week that included a Trump capitulation, a Roger Stone indictment, and yet more new Democratic presidential candidates; (5) offer background links on things ranging from a new online brainwashing service to the dubious past of Elliot Abrams, newly appointed US envoy to Venezuela.

–Robert Wright

Continue reading

Issue #58: Jan 13–19, 2019

In this week’s MRN, we (1) ponder the question: to impeach or not to impeach? (2) put Trump and Trumpism in cosmic perspective; (3) shower love and gratitude on our inaugural Patreon supporters; (4) provide links to background reading on subjects ranging from presidential hopefuls Bernie, Kirsten, and Julian to Trump’s new plan to put weapons in space; (5) pithily summarize a medium-level-weirdness week.

–Robert Wright

Continue reading

Issue #57: Jan 6–12, 2019

In this week’s MRN, we: (1) finally end the long drumroll and launch our Patreon crowdfunding campaign; (2) find some modestly encouraging and surprisingly global takeaways in the documentary Searching for Sugar Man; (3) laud MRN readers who passed our astronomy crypto-test; (4) summarize the week’s turbulence, confusion, and belligerence in a remarkably even tone; (5) offer links to background reading on subjects ranging from mindfulness to Marxism to, more prosaically, the government shutdown.  

–Robert Wright

Continue reading

Issue #56: Dec 23–Jan 5, 2019

In this week’s MRN, we: (1) Do some more humblebragging to pave the way for next week’s launch of our Patreon crowdfunding campaign; (2) compare and contrast Trump and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; (3) try to heighten your signal-to-noise ratio with our terse summary of the week’s news; (4) offer background links to pieces on subjects ranging from intellectual humility to “social justice warriors” to CIA-supported atrocities to Elizabeth Warren’s foreign policy vision to mindfulness research to technologies of the future. Plus: an op-ed by…Anthony Scaramucci!

–Robert Wright

Continue reading

Issue #55: Dec 16–Dec 22, 2018

In this holiday double-issue of MRN we: (1) explain why so many people disapprove of Trump’s decision to withdraw ground troops from Syria; (2) continue the meticulously orchestrated public relations campaign surrounding our impending Patreon launch; (3) explain how mindfulness can help you cope with annoying relatives during the holidays; (4) succinctly summarize a week that was action-packed even by Trump-era standards; (5) steer you to background readings on things ranging from criminal justice reform to the oldest known record of a border dispute; (6) offer the holiday edition of News You Can Use. [Note: No newsletter next week, as the MRN team will be working 24/7 formulating New Year’s resolutions.]

–Robert Wright

Continue reading

Issue #54: Dec 9–Dec 15, 2018

In this week’s MRN we bring you: (1) some good news about anger; (2) some bad news about anger; (3) more drum roll about our coming Patreon launch (Do you feel the momentum?); (4) a guide to books about political violence and how to avoid or resolve it; (5) the usual crisp summary of the week’s important events; (6) background reading on things ranging from dubious meditation studies to young Unabomber groupies. Plus: News You Can Use, especially if you’re American.

–Robert Wright

Continue reading

Issue #52: Nov 25–Dec 1, 2018

In this week’s MRN we offer: the world’s most concise summary of the week’s Mueller news; the tragic story of a senator who got lots of mind-altering retweets; a prediction about the next few days of reflections on the late George H.W. Bush; thoughts on mindful genetic engineering; background links on, oh, everything; and, finally, the guidance some of you have been awaiting with admirable patience: how to unsubscribe from this newsletter.

–Robert Wright

Continue reading