The Slate Plus Digest with reading recommendations from Slate and around the internet.

From Tomorrowland to Fantasyland, in the Slate Plus Digest

From Tomorrowland to Fantasyland, in the Slate Plus Digest

Slate Plus
Your all-access pass
Oct. 6 2017 4:01 PM

From Tomorrowland to Fantasyland

The Slate Plus Digest for Oct. 6.

Some treats with your links.


This afternoon Leon Neyfakh wrote a post in our Facebook group about covering breaking news, illuminating his process with his characteristic humility and candor. Read it and let us know what you think. He has some questions for you at the end.

Gabriel Roth Gabriel Roth

Gabriel Roth is a Slate senior editor and the editorial director of Slate Plus.

From Slate

This excerpt from Kurt Andersen’s Fantasyland explains how the NRA won. For a case study, take a look at the group’s sly statement on bump stocks like the one used by the Las Vegas shooter.

Tom Petty, RIP. Don’t miss this reminiscence from Petty’s biographer Warren Zanes, or Chris Molanphy’s assessment of his surprisingly genre-spanning career.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor has a knack for simple, devastating questions—as shown in the gerrymandering case now before the Supreme Court.

The latest role for college professors, especially untenured adjuncts: unofficial therapists to increasingly troubled students.

And the only tribute you need to read to literature Nobelist Kazuo Ishiguro is this one, from, uh, Mike Francesa.

Also, we wrapped up our series the Future of the Future this week—a look at the practice of prediction and how it’s changing. A sampling:

  • How should we value our descendants’ quality of life? The answers we give in this arcane debate turn out to be a big deal.
  • In 1955, Disneyland’s Tomorrowland pointed to a utopian future. Between then and now, it turned into kitsch.
  • Strategist Peter W. Singer spends his time trying to predict the threats the military will face in the future. Read his interview with Isaac Chotiner.
  • Thanks to A.I., computer predictions can become self-fulfilling, in ways both small (autocorrect) and frighteningly large.
  • How fast do computers have to be to predict the future? Really fast. They might be here sooner than you think.

Not From Slate

Ways to be ruined in this country, Part 1: This Rachel Aviv story on how “legal guardians” can take over the lives of the elderly without their consent.

Ways to be ruined in this country, Part 2: This investigation into court-ordered rehab programs that are “little more than lucrative work camps for private industry.”

Why Facebook and Google keep failing us: “It’s no longer good enough to shrug off the problems in the system simply because it has computers in the decision loop.” Good thing those companies are, increasingly, bigger and more powerful than governments.

BuzzFeed News got hold of a bunch of emails from inside alt-right content factory Breitbart. It’s like picking up a rock and looking at what’s underneath.

Classic “give ’em enough rope and they’ll hang themselves” profile of Rupi Kaur, author of the best-selling adult book in the U.S. so far this year.

That’s it for now. We hope you enjoy the long weekend, if you are fortunate enough to have a long weekend. Thanks for your Slate Plus membership, which makes our journalism possible. See you next week!

Gabriel Roth
Editorial director, Slate Plus

P.S. We want to hear from you! Let us know what you think of Slate and Slate Plus by filling out our member survey.