Best Of The Web
“Billionaires are all around us, but do we ever stop and notice them? We pass through their habitats and provide them the tax nourishment that biologists say is necessary for their survival. But simply increasing their wealth is not the same as understanding the importance of even a single-digit billionaire in the complex web of life. Take a moment and examine a video of a billionaire. Seen from up close, the delicate striations on the belly of Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin (to pick one example) reveal mini-universes. Nature, wearing its hat as the free market, has made him, and every billionaire, unique.
Observing billionaires in situ takes patience. Only a few of us will ever get to watch a billionaire feeding. If you are lucky enough to see a billionaire behind his enormous desk masticating his eccentric diet of choice while you sit quietly in front him, hungry and unfed—a condition the billionaire seems to require in order to accept your presence—you will have four minutes to make your pitch. Avoid sudden movements that might startle the billionaire, for if that happens he will signal to the others and they will hurry off shrieking through the penthouse canopy. Billionaires are notoriously shy and often take on an ordinary appearance to escape detection, even masking themselves in khaki such as anybody might wear. Thus the observer must exert extra caution in identifying them.
Formerly, billionaires were so plentiful in Western trout streams that, it was said, you could walk from bank to bank on their hats and never wet your feet. And once, historians claim, the endless flights of billionaires darkened the skies above Long Island until their cackling drowned out ordinary conversation. Fortunately, those bygone days are still here. Thanks to increased public awareness, billionaires remain plentiful and provide a vital resource. Today the fate of global ecosystems often depends on nature’s own life preserver, the billionaire.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"With many other countries already studying the Asian playbook, the United States and Europe could benefit from doing the same."
"Trump's cursing is one of the most straightforward parts of his appeal... Trump is not the only politician whose profanity has stood him in good stead."
"‘If we get all of this because Netanyahu wants to make Trump happy, that’s fine with us,’ says local council rep in Golan Heights as plans ramp up for ‘new’ neighborhood honoring U.S. president..."
"...there is something worth paying attention to in this latest petition from fans keen to have a creative work made the way that they want it. The comments on the petition are instructive."
"The sunny job numbers and steady growth hide the fact that most people think the economy works only for people in power."
"Like many other Americans, I now wear AirPods all day at my desk to combat the awful tyranny of the open office. Since they don’t cancel noise, they provide me with writing music..."
"The logic of attributing mental states to nonhuman animals is complicated. We cannot use deductive inference, because there are no general rules..."
"As the canon of English literature slowly, gradually opens itself up to books by women and authors of color, Modern Library and Penguin Classics have just launched two new series..."
"Egalitarian couples assume their progressive ideology will carry the day. Sociologists know that it doesn’t.... sharing child care is associated with valuing gender equality..."
"Business Booms for Sephardic Food: Women are leading the way as small businesses bring traditional recipes to the commercial marketplace..."
"With most animal populations, the niches that encase the populations are of constant size. Animal societies growing in a given niche have dynamics neatly fitted by equations with a constant limit or ceiling."
"Now some 200,000 Jews live in Germany, a nation of 82 million people, and many are increasingly fearful.... 85 percent of respondents in Germany characterized anti-Semitism as a “very big” or “fairly big” problem..."