Opinion | Steal This Book? There’s a Price

One day not long ago in a college class I was teaching, some of my students couldn’t find the page I was talking about in the reading. And it dawned on me: There was only one required text in the class, an anthology of writing about the natural world called “American Earth.” And they were reading pirated copies — versions […]

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Eoghan Harris: 'Real republicans respect rights of Irish Northern Protestants'

Last Monday we reluctantly realised that there would be no decent deal on the backstop without the consent of the majority of Northern Protestants. I say, decent deal, because a substantial number of stupid people, many with academic degrees, are hoping Boris Johnson will betray the unionists. I say ‘Northern Protestants’ because the word ‘unionist’ unlocks some primitive sectarian reflex […]

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Opinion | How My Boyfriend Made Me Fall in Love With Gaming

When my boyfriend moved into my shoe-box one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn, he brought along three uninvited friends: his Xbox 360, his PlayStation 4 and the Nintendo Wii. Within a week, he insisted on buying a second television in order to game at his leisure, and avoid badgering from me. In fairness, I was the stereotypical video game-phobic girlfriend. Growing up […]

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Opinion | Margaret Atwood’s Dystopia, and Ours

After Donald Trump’s election, sales of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Margaret Atwood’s canonical 1985 novel of theocratic totalitarianism, spiked, along with other dystopian classics like George Orwell’s “1984.” Atwood’s book takes place in a world where a clique of Christian fundamentalists have overthrown the United States government and instituted the rigidly patriarchal Republic of Gilead. Environmental calamity has left many people […]

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Opinion | Assisted Living: Is It the Right Choice?

To the Editor: Re “How Not to Grow Old in America” (Sunday Review, Sept. 1): Geeta Anand is dismayed by poor options for elder care. Fair enough. As with families, some assisted living facilities are dysfunctional, but that doesn’t mean we should ditch them altogether. Ms. Anand prefers to help older people stay home longer, which works well for some […]

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Brexit, Democratic Debate, Edward Snowden: Your Friday Briefing

(Want to get this briefing by email? Here’s the sign-up.) Good morning. We’re covering a potential way forward for the Irish backstop, highlights from the Democratic presidential debates in the U.S. and what fuels Jane Goodall at 85. What will Brexit do to Ireland? Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s efforts to answer the million-dollar question behind Brexit negotiations could determine whether […]

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Opinion | So Far, Trump Is Winning the Democratic Debates

Julián Castro framed the debate almost perfectly in his opening statement: The 2020 election will be won or lost in a handful of states, starting with Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and maybe a few others like Arizona, where I live. So the question for Democrats remains what it has been all along: Who can beat President Trump in those states? […]

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Opinion | The Meritocracy Is Ripping America Apart

There are at least two kinds of meritocracy in America right now. Exclusive meritocracy exists at the super-elite universities and at the industries that draw the bulk of their employees from them — Wall Street, Big Law, medicine and tech. And then there is the more open meritocracy that exists almost everywhere else. In the exclusive meritocracy, prestige is defined […]

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