Issue #43: A message from Robert Wright

Hi, remember me? The guy who, in collaboration with some other people, was bringing you the Mindful Resistance Newsletter each week until we decided to take an inexcusably long summer break? Well, we’re still on the inexcusable break. But we’re gearing up for a return of the newsletter sometime in September, and I wanted to bring you up to date on our plans. I also wanted to give you the option of weighing in on a quasi-important question.

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Issue #42: May 27–Jun 2, 2018

Note: This is the final issue of the newsletter before our long summer break. As for how we’ll spend the break: Well, we’ll mainly be doing this. But when we’re not doing that, we’ll engage in searing self-assessment—reflecting on the newsletter’s shortcomings and pondering new directions it could take. For elaboration on all this—on the length of the break, the reasons for the self-assessment, and so on, see LOCAL NEWS, below. Meanwhile, if you want to aid in the assessment and you haven’t yet taken our five-question reader survey, please do.

–Robert Wright

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Issue #41: May 20–May 26, 2018

Note: After next week’s issue, the newsletter will go on an extended summer vacation. Next week I’ll elaborate on what “extended” means. And this week (see “Mailroom” section, below) I ruminate a bit on why we’re taking a long break. As for how we’ll spend the break: Well, in addition to lying in hammocks sipping mint juleps, we plan to spend some time thinking about how to improve the newsletter. You can help us do that by taking this very short survey.

–Robert Wright

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Issue #40: May 13–May 19, 2018

This week saw the first ever—in the entire history of humankind—virtual meetup of MRN readers. See the Local News section, below, for details about how you can join a future meetup—or, if you’re camera-shy, details about how you can interact via text with MRN readers. (Either way, the portal is a comments page we just created.) As for the week’s less momentous events: They’re crisply summarized in TWIT, as usual, and we also offer the usual semi-meticulously curated selection of background links, plus a bit of News You Can Use. And, right after TWIT, there’s a piece I wrote in which I use “new atheist” Sam Harris as a case study in the psychology of tribalism.

–Robert Wright

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Issue #39: May 6–May 12, 2018

This is a slightly aberrant issue of MRN. Most of the usual elements are here—background links, some News You Can Use, a reader email that is duly pondered. But there’s no The Week In Trump, owing to a family obligation that kept me out of action Friday. In lieu of TWIT, we begin with my take on the most momentous development of the week, and on what kept it from being what I think it should have been: the most intensely discussed development of the week.

–Robert Wright

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Issue #38: Apr 29–May 5, 2018

In this issue of MRN, we begin with our usual attempt to separate the week’s signals from its noise (and we persevere in the face of an even-finer-than-usual intertwining of the two!) and end with a suggestion for the activist-inclined who oppose torture. In between, you’ll find links to background readings plus a few words about meditation apps plus one reader’s possibly seminal aspiration to launch the first-ever virtual meetup of MRN readers.

–Robert Wright

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Issue #37: Apr 22–Apr 28, 2018

We open this week’s newsletter with a solemn appeal (seriously!): If you value MRN highly, then this week please click on one of the social media icons scattered through the newsletter and share either the whole newsletter or some subsection of it with your friends and/or followers on Facebook or Twitter. Our circulation has reached a thoroughly respectable 8,300, but subscription growth has slowed lately. That’s not shocking, since I haven’t had occasion lately to promote the newsletter to any big audiences. But since that condition could persist for awhile, we’d like to find out if there’s enough reader commitment to generate much of what people in the newsletter biz call “organic” growth. So if you really like MRN—or for that matter if you just like the word “organic”—and you spend much time on social media, please consider spending a sliver of it on MRN’s behalf. But if you’re an online introvert, that’s fine too; we value all our readers.

–Robert Wright

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Issue #36: Apr 8–Apr 14, 2018

Note: Due to foreseen circumstances, the newsletter won’t be published next week. But this past week had about 1.9 weeks’ worth of Trump-related news, so why don’t we call it even? Below you’ll find the usual stuff—TWIT, links, News You Can Use—plus my critique of the Steven Pinker book Enlightenment Now and the first known example of the Mindful Resistance Newsletter (and Project) getting serious attention from a philosopher! As for how you’ll spend your time next week, with no MRN to ponder: You can ponder the future of MRN and email us with any suggestions: feedback@mindfulresistance.net. We’ll be back on April 28.

–Robert Wright

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Issue #35: Apr 1–Apr 7, 2018

What do EPA administrator Scott Pruitt and now-famous high-end troll Kevin Williamson have in common? No, they haven’t both been fired (yet). They’re both featured in this week’s newsletter! Along with lots of Trump-related news, lots of background links, some reader emails, and some news you can use (or not, as you see fit).

–Robert Wright

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Issue #34: Mar 25–Mar 31, 2018

In this week’s newsletter we summarize a medium-intensity week of Trump-related news, then respond to some reader emails and share some reader-provided ideas (and our first-ever reader-authored koan!). Then lots of background links. But first, on this Easter/Passover weekend, we’d like to remind you of one of the most inspiring proverbs in the entire Judeo-Christian tradition: always use conveniently located Facebook and Twitter icons to spread the word about mindfulness-related newsletters.

–Robert Wright

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