Elon Musk


The best thing I’ve read this week: breaking pool rules, the optimism of glass, the shitty trade-off of exertion for reward — Ellena Savage on swimming.

From Vidal versus Buckley to academics with Twitter accounts: the life and death (and zombie-like afterlife?) of the public intellectual.

Is this Kafkaesque list of things described – often wrongly, or with little provocation – as “Kafkaesque” actually all that Kafkaesque? Get your inner insect on and have a look.

And BREAKING: major shock as literary journalists revealed to just make shit up.


Luke Pearson onbelligerently well-meaning white people” and the pointlessness of Reconciliation Week. Over in the US, how an economics seminar for US judges turned them to the right (was that all it took?). 

In news you won’t believe, a French media figure told a female journalist “you’ve got big breasts. You’re my type of woman. I’m going to make you orgasm all night.” Now he’s suing her for revealing it.

I had no interest in the Tolkien-but-with-zombies-and-even-more-misogyny show but this piece is very good at explaining the difference between sociological and psychological storytelling and why the former matters.

And sorry folks, but what’s left of collective culture is Star Wars, Marvel, Game of Thrones, et al — and the mega-companies like Disney that now control global content. Heh, at least our dystopia will have good special effects.


“In Los Angeles, pro-Nazi patrons greeted the appearances of the swastika in The Mortal Storm with rowdy applause.” Hollywood fought Nazis before America did (and before the Soviets did — as Western communists demonstrated at the time). More evidence for why Twitter is a garbage bin of a platform: it is thinking about whether leaving white supremacists on Twitter is a good thing — while banning accounts critical of China.

If you’ve been to Pointe du Hoc in Normandy, you’ll know how remarkable the D-Day assault on the jagged headland by US Army Rangers must have been. Now a British military collector is claiming the assault was pointless and the real battle should have been a few miles down the road — and it looks like he might be right.

Pointe du Hoc
Pointe du Hoc. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

 And there are still people who argue there are too many people — and they claim they’re being censored by political correctness. 


A while back, Side View noted data that the US Inland Revenue Service was focusing its auditing efforts on poorer Americans rather than wealthy Americans who could litigate their way out of paying their taxes. Well, it’s getting worse: the IRS admits it is rapidly cutting audits of the wealthy.

Oh and hey look, America is waging war on its young people just like we are. And a new victims’ rights law in the US is creating major problems in jurisdictions that have embraced it — including protecting perpetrators.

Plus, white men, individualism, guns and lack of health services: the suicide epidemic of America’s west.


Just short of a super-Earth: the strange gap in the types of exo-planets we’re discovering around other stars. In other news about the cosmos, Elon Musk’s space vandalism is going to harm serious astronomy.

On the subject of rich people trashing science, a new study allows us to meet the funders of the billion-dollar US climate denialism industry (hint: far-right billionaires).

Telephone companies in developing countries are under pressure to hand customers’ phone data, without their consent, to paternalist foreign aid agencies despite no evidence of benefits.

And just for fun: They Have Already Landed part 59 — more US Navy pilots talk about (in fact, complain about) UFOs.



  • Want another reason to hate banks? The war against cash is just beginning
  • Can France and Italy, which have been punching on since the far right got elected in Rome, manage a fresh start?
  • A neuroscientist attempts, and fails, to justify why he’s OK with hurting animals in his general research experiments.
  • Flying Heap of Crap Watch is back! The F35C is “not in a particularly good place” and the US Navy is less than enthusiastic about the plane, which is more than 300% over-budget, preferring to keep buying the older Super Hornet.
  • And did we mention it’s a cybersecurity nightmare (for us, not the enemy)?


A couple of years ago, I decided to adopt older pets and am now the proud owner of an 11-year-old rescue greyhound and a 13-year-old Persian cat. While more people are working out the quiet joys of senior pets, it’s a different story for farm animals, most of whom never make it to middle age. A new photography collection shows us rescued farm animals in old age and they’re beautiful. 

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey