Around the Web

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Check out these recent articles from around the web:

How Social Isolation Is Killing Us by Dhruv Khullar: “A great paradox of our hyper-connected digital age is that we seem to be drifting apart. Increasingly, however, research confirms our deepest intuition: Human connection lies at the heart of human well-being. It’s up to all of us — doctors, patients, neighborhoods and communities — to maintain bonds where they’re fading, and create ones where they haven’t existed.”

The Spiritual Crisis of the Modern Economy by Victor Tan Chen: “The modern economy privileges the well-educated and highly-skilled, while giving them an excuse to denigrate the people at the bottom (both white and nonwhite) as lazy, untalented, uneducated, and unsophisticated. In a society focused on meritocratic, materialistic success, many well-off Americans from across the political spectrum scorn the white working class in particular for holding onto religious superstitions and politically incorrect views, and pity them for working lousy jobs at dollar stores and fast-food restaurants that the better-off rarely set foot in. And when other sources of meaning are hard to come by, those who struggle in the modern economy can lose their sense of self-worth.”

Liberal Democracy Endangered by EJ Dionne: “The CIA’s finding that Vladimir Putin’s Russia actively intervened in our election to help Donald Trump explains why many of us are not simply disappointed or unhappy that Trump won. We are genuinely alarmed. And Trump’s cavalier response to these fears only deepens them.”

Aleppo’s fall is Obama’s failure by Leon Wieseltier: “As a direct or indirect consequence of our refusal to respond forcefully to the Syrian crisis, we have beheld secular tyranny, religious tyranny, genocide, chemical warfare, barrel bombs and cluster bombs, the torture and murder of children, the displacement of 11 million people, the destabilization of Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, the ascendancy of Iran in the region, the emergence of Russia as a global power, the diminishment of the American position in the world, the refugee crisis in Europe, the resurgence of fascism in Europe and a significant new threat to the security of the United States. It is amazing how much doing nothing can do, especially when it is we who do nothing.”

The GOP is at its peak, but conservatism has hit rock bottom by Michael Gerson: “This is not the political force that has recently taken over the Republican Party — with a plurality in the presidential primaries and a narrow victory in November. That has been the result of extreme polarization, not a turn toward enduring values. The movement is authoritarian in theory, apocalyptic in mood, prone to conspiracy theories and personal abuse, and dismissive of ethical standards. The president-elect seems to offer equal chances of constitutional crisis and utter, debilitating incompetence.”

Millennials aren’t lazy, they’re workaholics by Katie Johnston: “The millennial generation, the first to grow up with smartphones in their hands, is often stereotyped as lazy and entitled. But workplace experts say workaholics are common among 19-to-35-year-olds, perhaps more so than among older members of Generation X and baby boomers.”

When Mothers Can’t Afford Unpaid Leave by Amber and David Lapp: “But maternity leave is a luxury that many working American mothers cannot afford as Tonya and her working-class peers pointed out in a recent focus group we conducted. Though legally Tonya had a right to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, taking that time off would have been financial suicide for a family living paycheck to paycheck. In part, because of stories like Tonya’s, all of the participants (mostly Trump supporters) said they wanted the Trump administration and Congress to consider passing some form of paid parental leave.”

The Actual War on Christians by Samuel Tadros: “During Mass this past Sunday, an Islamic State suicide bomber made his way inside St. Peter and St. Paul’s Coptic Church in Cairo and detonated his bomb, leaving 25 people, mostly women, dead. The bombing, the deadliest since the 2010 New Year’s Eve bombing of the Two Saints Church in Alexandria, drew swift condemnations from governments around the world. But as much as such attacks remind the world of the plight of Copts, it is their daily encounter with discrimination and persecution that poses the greatest threat to their future.”

How Russia Wins an Election by Clint Watts and Andrew Weisburd: “The Kremlin’s canny operatives didn’t change votes; they won them, influencing voters to choose Russia’s preferred outcome by pushing stolen information at just the right time—through slanted, or outright false stories on social media.”

The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S. by NY Times: “What started as an information-gathering operation, intelligence officials believe, ultimately morphed into an effort to harm one candidate, Hillary Clinton, and tip the election to her opponent, Donald J. Trump.”

The Grand Inquisitor, the Good Samaritan, and the Benedict Option by Caleb Bernacchio: “Where Dreher has seen the Benedict Option as a means of distinguishing orthodox believers from liberal Christians and secular society, more generally, Francis maintains that Christians must primarily be distinguished by acts of mercy. In practice this means building communities that are not isolated from the rest of society but which are instead linked through bonds of solidarity even to people with radically different beliefs.”

Ayn Rand and Corporate Tax Cuts Won’t Mend the Economy by John Cassidy: “It seems unlikely, therefore, that giving big tax breaks to major corporations will do much to raise capital spending and growth, although it could give another boost to the stock market, in the short term, anyway. Indeed, this may help explain why the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen by more than sixteen hundred points since the election and is now flirting with the twenty-thousand level. For big investors like Dalio, the Trump honeymoon is continuing. For everyone else, a large dose of skepticism is in order.”