Issue #66: March 10–16, 2019

In this week’s MRN we (1) summarize a week that included unusual Republican defiance of Trump and a horrific terrorist attack against Muslims in New Zealand; (2) scan the white nationalist manifesto posted by the terrorist in search of clues about how to defeat his cause; (3) offer links to background reading on things ranging from Beto O’Rourke’s undergraduate years to CIA-sponsored psychology research to the new Captain Marvel movie; (4) in our News You Can Use section, offer guidance on how to listen to views you hate with some measure of equanimity.

–Robert Wright

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Issue #65: March 3–9, 2019

In this week’s MRN we: (1) dissect the Ilhan Omar controversy and offer tips for talking about Israel-related matters; (2) assess MRN’s progress toward total world domination; (3) concisely summarize a medium-intensity and medium-weirdness week; (4) offer background links on subjects ranging from climate-change couch potatoes to white-collar robots to Buddhist nationalism to Trump-Fox symbiosis; plus a map (a literal map) of America’s ideological intolerance.

–Robert Wright

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Issue #64: Feb 24–Mar 2, 2019

In this week’s MRN we (1) capture in fewer than 200 words just about everything you need to know about Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony; (2) tersely outline a whole bigthink progressive foreign policy; (3) see an MRN reader use real-life experience to highlight the pros and cons of social media; (4) brag about the brisk growth of an MRN discussion group that resides inside a meditation app; (5) offer background links on subjects ranging from “workism” to smartphone detox to CRISPR critters to a Ugandan social media tax aimed at reducing gossip.

–Robert Wright

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Issue #63: Feb 17–23, 2019

In this week’s MRN we: (1) Ask what Jesus would say about the Jussie Smollett case and related not-what-they-at-first-seem-to-be phenomena; (2) summarize a week that included yet another unsettling revelation about Facebook and yet another Democratic presidential candidate; (3) steer you toward background material ranging from an interactive map of hate groups to a revolt by some peacenik Microsoft workers; (4) steer you toward a meditation app that now features an MRN messaging group!

–Robert Wright

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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