Beating wife & kids – my god given right!

Scripture and Russian tradition, the church said, regard “the reasonable and loving use of physical punishment as an essential part of the rights given to parents by God himself”.

Why Russia is about to decriminalise wife-beating, January 28, 2017 at 12:03PM

I know a vast proportion of population back in India would completely agree with the Russian duma on this, with religious and societal permission.

I remember an aunt who used to be regularly beaten by her husband, and her mom refused to interfere because it was ‘between her and her husband’. Her husband, and his family, burnt her to death a few years after since she didn’t get sufficient dowry.

The grand aunt was one of the strongest, most independent women I’d known till then. Her daughter’s murder broke her. Yet, she refused to accept that she should’ve intervened. She only regretted not choosing a better husband in the first place.

Not surprising then, that women led the Russian wife-beating law, or that women voted for Trump in large numbers, or that women are big supporters of some of the most women-oppressing societal norms in India.

The risk of a ideological war

A lesson from the cold war:

Russia teaches us a very important lesson: losing an ideological war without a fight will ruin you as a nation. The fight is the American way. When we stop fighting for our ideals abroad, we stop fighting for them at home.

Putin’s Real Long Game, January 27, 2017 at 02:59AM

Fashion – Premier league manager edition

He eschews both the traditional options for Premier League managers on the sideline — tracksuit to convey dynamism, business suit to project authority — in favor, usually, of a turtleneck, skinny jeans and sneakers.

Pep Guardiola: A Continental Success and English Soccer’s Measuring Stick, January 24, 2017 at 11:38AM

Asking the wrong questions

This isn’t exactly an uncommon observation – lots of people have pointed out that vintage sci-fi has plenty of rocket ships but all the pilots are men – 1950s society but with robots. Meanwhile, the interstellar liners have paper tickets, that you queue up to buy. With fundamental technology change, we don’t so much get our predictions wrong as make predictions about the wrong things.

Asking the wrong questions, January 24, 2017 at 12:08PM

Austerity Britain

… local authorities have been forced to embark on an epic economy drive. Their spending on public services will be 22% lower this year than in 2010.

Joe Anderson, the mayor of Liverpool, says that, even if he closed all 19 libraries in the city and its nine sports centres, stopped maintaining its 140 parks, halted all highway repairs and street cleaning and switched off 50,000 streetlights, he would save only £68m—which is £22m short of what he must cut by 2020. So there will have to be a further 10% reduction in the social-care budget, he says.

Britain’s local councils face financial crisis, January 28, 2017 at 12:33PM

In other news, firms are already planing to move their European employees and businesses out of Britain. And not just any employees:

… the prize is a share of the 1.1m people who work in financial services in Britain (rising to 2.2m if jobs in supporting industries are included). These workers pay 12% of Britain’s taxes and generate an annual trade surplus of £55bn ($69bn).

Firms consider upping sticks from Brexit-bound Britain, as foreign capitals mount a charm offensive, January 27, 2017 at 11:44PM

Since we’re coping so well with the deep, enforced austerity, the government decided the best course of action was to give the economy another jolt with a hard Brexit. Who needs social services and functioning economies when knee-capping your own economy will win you votes?

Ephemerality – the cure to decline in sharing

Snapchat was offering young people the kind of experience that Instagram was not: A low-pressure way to share photos and videos that don’t stick around online

Stories, in particular, was a change targeting the pressure around sharing that Instagram executives had noticed in late 2015. Stories disappear after 24 hours, meaning the bar for what qualifies as “post-worthy” is usually much lower on Stories than what you’ll find in your feed. It’s a lot of the same stuff — food shots, sunsets, selfies — just less manicured.

Stratechery Daily Update 2017-01-25, January 25, 2017 at 11:51PM