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  • Malfunctioning Sex Robot Wonderful, long, long essay by Patricia Lockwood on the experience of reading her way through the entire oeuvre of John Updike. As good as David Foster Wallace, and that’s saying something.
  • The Museum of Neoliberalism Truly wonderful. I only wish its subject was a thing of the past.
  • Facebook Claims We’re ‘Clickbait.’ And It Won’t Explain Why. Seems that Facebook sometimes accuses fact-checking sites with producing clickbait. But when they ask for an explanation… well, you can guess the rest. This is what unaccountable power looks like.
  • With no laws to stop them, defense firms are on track to make killer robots a reality As far as anyone knows, militaries have not yet deployed killer robots on the battlefield. But the Dutch NGO Pax has identified at least 30 arms manufacturers that don’t have policies against developing these kinds of weapons systems, and are reportedly doing so at a rate that is outpacing regulation. The problem is — as one of my graduate students has shown — that getting an international arms-control treaty to control the technology looks difficult in the current climate.

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Footnote A reader writes that my claim that “everything we thought we knew about German (and Japanese military and industrial might is wrong” applies only to those who haven’t read Adam Tooze’s * The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy*. I stand corrected.

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