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For those who want to play by the rules, who speak wistfully of college and a career, the path out of poverty — let alone toward the stable, satisfying, and fairly remunerated work they crave and deserve — is blocked by prejudice, debt, insecurity, and, for many men of color, incarceration.

Astra Taylor, “The Prison-Educational Complex”


This essay appears in Volume 6 of The New Inquiry Magazine. Support TNI. Subscribe for $2. 

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It starts with the simple questions: Can I afford not to own a cell phone? Would I still be employable if I didn’t own one? Would I still know what is happening and get invited to parties? The next year, it’s owning a smart phone. Or being on Facebook. Or getting an iPad for the children. None of this is about being aspirational. It’s about keeping up, an imperative sharpened by the economic crisis. So we cut expenses, but not when it comes to technology. Perhaps we eat out less, or travel less. But the cell phone — which by now has become a smartphone — stays. And the thing about smartphones is that in order to be fully functional they need to know where they are — that is to say, where we are. This knowledge defines them. It is what makes them smart.

Giovanni Tiso, “Under Our Skins”

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SUBJECT: UAV Naming & Branding Protocols

FROM: [Author] & [Co-Author], MARKETING DEPARTMENT

1. [REDACTED], chief of R&D, reports that [COMPANY]‘s development of new unmanned Aerial Vehicles has proceeded according to initial timeline.

2. Head of JSOC materiel acquisitions has expressed interest in two UAV prototypes for deployment in successor to Project Avocado. Recommend push on all.

Jacob Silverman, “By Any Other Name”

This piece appears in The New Inquiry Magazine, No. 6: Game of Drones. Subscribe today for $2 and get Issue No. 7: Cops.