Things of Interest

Internet Fun TIme

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For the U.S. to rally Sunni tribal leaders and Kurds, Washington is going to have to promise them independence from Baghdad, virtually everyone outside of the Obama administration argues. The administration needs to accept that the Iraq drawn up by the British a century ago no longer exists. Fractured by the American invasion, warring tribes, sectarian extremists and Iran’s encroachments, it’s hardly more than lines on a map now. “They’re not going to die fighting for a fake notion of Iraq,” says Skinner. “They are not buying into that notion of Iraq anymore.”
How to Beat the Islamic State

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In one recent piece, Paul Mason said the Economist’s “most livable city” list, with its heavy emphasis on Australia, Canada and Scandinavia, feels as though it was compiled by “a terrified, monogamous young couple dressed head to toe in Uniqlo or Gap”. He hits on an important point: “most influential” or “most livable” aren’t objective descriptions, but judgments, based heavily on what kinds of demographic groups you view as ideal city residents.
The big problem with ‘coolest city’ lists | Cities | theguardian.com