The Great Debate

from Jack Shafer:

GamerGate: We now know what evil lurks in the heart of man – or trolls

By Jack Shafer
October 17, 2014

A girl dressed in costume plays a video game at the PAX East gaming conference in Boston

For the purposes of this column, all you need to know about "GamerGate" is that it has earned writer Anita Sarkeesian, game entrepreneur Brianna Wu, and developer Zoe Quinn violent threats from anonymous Internet sources (here's coverage in the New York TimesReason, the Washington PostVoxHuffington Post, the Guardian, and Gawker, if you want to know more).

from Stories I’d like to see:

Hospital turns to PR to fight Ebola

By Steven Brill
October 16, 2014

A general view of the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas

This New York Times story on Thursday outlines the damage done to the  reputation of  Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas as a result of its mistakes in dealing with Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan. The hospital, the Times reports, has now “hired Burson-Marsteller, the global public-relations firm, to help tell its side.”

As the midterm elections near, it’s unclear who can vote

By Ari Melber
October 17, 2014

Poll worker Catherine Smith looks over a voter ID at the Cottageville Municipal Complex during the U.S. presidential election in Cottageville

With less than three weeks until the midterm elections, the rules for voter ID keep changing — and many key races hang in the balance.

Joining Islamic State is about ‘sex and aggression,’ not religion

By Arie W. Kruglanski
October 16, 2014

Militant Islamist fighter waving a flag, cheers as he takes part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province

It is easy to look to religion for an explanation of why young men — and some women — become radicalized. But it is psychology, not theology, that offers the best tools for understanding radicalization — and how best to undo it.

from Anatole Kaletsky:

Why markets ignore good news from U.S. to focus on bad news from Europe

By Anatole Kaletsky
October 16, 2014

A trader watches the screen at his terminal on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York

What’s spooking the markets?

One thing we can say for sure is that it is not the slightly weaker-than-expected retail sales that triggered the mayhem on Wall Street on Wednesday morning. Most U.S. economic data have actually been quite strong in the month since Wall Street peaked on Sept. 19.

Is Ebola the real ‘World War Z?’ (Spoiler alert: It’s not)

By Max Brooks
October 16, 2014

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In 2006, I released a novel about a global zombie plague that drives humanity to the brink of extinction. While the zombies may have been fake, I tried to anchor the human response (political-military-economic-cultural) in reality. I studied the history of pandemics, natural disasters and industrialized warfare. I interviewed doctors, soldiers, journalists and someone who “has never gotten a check from the CIA” in an attempt to illustrate the fragile global systems that shield our species from the abyss. As a result, I’ve been repeatedly asked if the current outbreak of Ebola is the real-life incarnation of my novel. As much as any author would love to crow about how “I predicted this!”, this time, I’m happy to say, my fictional plague could not be more different from the truth.

What to expect from Apple’s product launch event today

By Chris Morris
October 15, 2014

Local resident Andreas Gibson celebrates with employees outside the Fifth Avenue Apple store after being the first to exit with an iPhone 6 in hand on the first day of sales in Manhattan, New York

After the widely acclaimed introduction of the iPhone 6, Apple Watch and Apple Pay a month ago, Tim Cook is ready to take a victory lap. But the energy surrounding this week’s expected roll out of a new slate of iPads and new MacBook and iMac models is significantly lower than that of a month ago.

Lessons on stopping epidemics from Kazan’s ‘Panic in the Streets’

By Molly Haskell
October 15, 2014

The Ebola news has made me think about Elia Kazan’s crackling and moody Panic in the Streets, a 1950 thriller about a deadly bacterium that has entered New Orleans and threatens to spread. On a recent re-viewing, it definitely left me quavering — and gave me a nightmare chill I hadn’t experienced on previous occasions.

‘In Putin’s mind, Ukraine is not a nation’

By Jason Fields
October 14, 2014

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How dangerous is Vladimir Putin?

Reuters Editor-at-Large Sir Harold Evans moderated a panel of experts searching for answers to that question at a Newsmaker event hosted at the company’s Times Square offices in New York on Oct. 14. The panel was comprised of New Yorker Editor David Remnick, author of the award winning Lenin’s Tomb, former chess champion and Russian opposition leader Garry Kasparov, Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen and Roger Altman, who served in the Treasury Department under presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, and is currently chairman of investment advisory firm Evercore.

View from Dallas, Texas: The city isn’t taking Ebola seriously enough

By Lauren Silva Laughlin
October 14, 2014

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DALLAS, Texas — I woke up to an early text from a close neighbor Sunday morning: “Did you get an emergency call from the city?” she asked. Dallas residents in the “M Streets” area were receiving reverse 911 calls about a nurse who lived on the 5700 block of Marquita, a street just four blocks south and four blocks west of the quiet block of McCommas, where I reside with my husband and two young children. The latest international health crisis patient – the first person to contract the disease on American soil – was a neighbor. Ebola was literally at my doorstep.