The Verge welcomes Elon Musk to his new role: "Twitter is a disaster clown car company that is successful despite itself, and there is no possible way to grow users and revenue without making a series of enormous compromises that will ultimately destroy your reputation and possibly cause grievous damage to your other companies." And this: "The essential truth of every social network is that the product *is* content moderation, and everyone hates the people who decide how content moderation works."
In Ephesus, an ancient Greek city in Asia Minor, archaeologists have unearthed a Byzantine shopping district violently destroyed around 615 AD, burying lots of great stuff in the ruins.
The inevitable result of violent protest in a democratic society: "Bitterness over looting and destruction that followed the police shooting of Jacob Blake could help tip a governor’s race in the direction of Republicans." (NY Times)
Ghost stories and history at Flagler College.
A lovely Tarot deck from 1789.
Large collection of historical comet images.
Book covers, 1820-1914.
"How the Pre-Raphaelites became Obsessed with the Wombat." Now, I ask you, did anyone out there know the Pre-Raphaelites were obsessed with wombats? Don't tell me you've never learned anything from this blog. Consider: "A remarkable drawing of Jane Morris and the wombat in the British Museum illustrates the degree to which lover and pet merged in Rossetti’s mind as objects of sanctification."
Plastic recycling is a myth: no more than 5% of the plastic collected for "recycling" in the US is ever recycled. Which is actually a good thing, since with current technology it takes so much energy. The obsession of some people with recycling products like glass and plastic, instead of just burying them, is one of the irrational exuberances of the environmental movement.
At The Atlantic, David Frum covers the latest history wars blow-up, which started when the president of the American Historical Association decided to post a little essay about whether historians are too involved with the present and not enough with the past.
The story of the Ely Copper War, one of the many stand-offs between workers and militia in nineteenth-century America. This one ended peacefully, partly because when the militiamen saw how hungry the miners and their families were they forgot about fighting and starting sharing out their food.
Ezra Klein touted his podcast interview with Pippa Norris as offering "a powerful theory of why the far right is thriving across the globe." But this turns out to be the obvious theory, which is that social and cultural change since 1960 have just been too fast for many (mostly older) people, and the new right wing politics is the reaction against all that change. (NY Times, Google podcasts) One interesting point concerns the appeal of "transgressive," obnoxious, bullying leaders: many people feel cowed by the views of the established majority, so that they can no longer say what they think, so they find it appealing when people come along who refuse to be cowed, who refuse to be bound by any rules or norms that keep them from speaking their minds. If you want democracy, stop making people afraid.
Early Saturday morning, Ukraine attacked Russia's naval base at Sevastopol in Crimea using a combination of aerial and naval drones. Summary of what was known about the attack on Saturday evening here. (Update: no visible damage to the Admiral Makarov, although some observers think its steering may have been damaged, and only a little damage to the rudder or screws of a modern ship can require drydocking.)
Short video showing a Russian helicopter shot down by Ukrainian MANPADS.
Finns respond to Russian media reports that they are freezing due to Russia's energy embargo.
Of the first 89 recently mobilized Russians known to have died – known by name, that is – 23 died during training. "The causes of their deaths vary: physical altercations, alcohol, drugs, suicide, and accidents."
Thread summarizing an article on one group of mobilized Russians who were sent to the front with minimal training, suffered badly from artillery fire, and were led to the rear by their only surviving officer. Now they are being threatened with court martial and some say they are ready to go to jail rather than back to the front.
Message to Russians from Ukrainian soldiers, 2 minute video.
Summary of the military situation by a western expert just returned from a tour of Ukraine.