Weekly Roundup and Musk and Moderation
Weekly Roundup, Sunday May 1, 2022

Weekly Roundup and Musk and Moderation

Claire Lehmann
Claire Lehmann
6 min read


Dear Quilletters,

This week, don't miss Jim Rutt's excellent essay Musk and Moderation, which gives practical advice to Musk on how best to moderate discussion forums with the aim of fostering free speech. Rutt is a veteran of the Internet Age with over 40 years' experience moderating online communities and designing community software.

In World Affairs, Croatian historian Tomislav Kardum, provides a penetrating account of the historical influence of Stalinism on contemporary Russian culture. And John Lloyd delivers an essential analysis of the recent French election results.

We also have in-depth stories on topics as diverse as criminals exploiting new gender self-identification rules, the safety of nuclear energy, and wealth inequality all of which are essential reading.

Thank you for your ongoing support.
Until next week,
Claire

Free Speech

Musk and Moderation
Reports that Twitter has accepted Elon Musk’s offer to buy the company for $54.20 a share have provoked much handwringing about his attitudes to free speech, especially with respect to possible changes in the social media platform’s moderation policies. So far, the discussion has been a largely

Wealth Inequality

Serfing the Future?
Land ownership has shaped civilizations from their beginnings, with a constant interplay between great powers—the aristocracy, the state, the Church, the emperor—and those below them. History has oscillated between periods of greater dispersion of ownership, and those that favored greater concentrat…
Piketty’s Progress
A review of A Brief History of Equality by Thomas Piketty, Belknap Press, 288 pages (April 2022) As I write this, the city of Rotterdam is considering a request to dismantle one of its historic bridges to grant Jeff Bezos’s super-yacht (too monstrous for normal ports) safe passage to

Energy

How We Can Get Clean Energy—Is Nuclear Power Safe?
Editor’s note: this is the second in a three-part series on how we can get clean energy. Part I explains the relationship between Fuel and Human Progress, Part II answers the question “Is Nuclear Power Safe?” and Part III provides an answer to “What Needs to Be Done?” A lot

World Affairs

A Fracture Revealed, Not Healed
As the scale of her defeat in the Presidential election was announced, Marine Le Pen, leader of the Rassemblement National (RN), was quick to gloss it. “Millions of our compatriots,” she declared (in a speech that must have been prepared for weeks), “have chosen the national camp and change,” and
Putinism and the Stalinist Legacy
From the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, justifications offered for Moscow’s aggression must have struck most non-Russian observers as unrealistic, to say the least. Many observers were incredulous that any educated Russian could possibly believe Putin’s claim that Ukraine required “denazifica…
The Dangers of Western Complacency
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has revived the Western alliance. After years of drift and self-doubt, the West has been reminded of its historic and institutional uniqueness by seeing the contrast between the atavistic revanchism of Vladimir Putin and the heroism of Ukraine’s defenders. Once again, ou…
Macron Will Have to Do
As we approach the denouement of France’s two-stage presidential election, it becomes clear that the race has been a missed opportunity to consolidate opinion in France, and perhaps Europe, against the malevolent rule of Vladimir Putin. This may not greatly trouble the conscience of Emmanuel Macron,…

Education and Culture

Hidden in Plain Sight: Putting Tech Before Teaching
In my second year as a high school teacher, my school district rolled out its “iPad Initiative.” Each of our district’s five high schools issued an iPad to every student. Within a few years, students at the middle school and the elementary level would have them, as well. Like
Quillette Podcast #187: Rob Montz on Harvard University’s Campaign Against One of Its Most Famous (and Politically Incorrect) Black Professors
Quillette podcast host Jonathan Kay speaks with documentary filmmaker Rob Montz about self-made education expert Roland G. Fryer Jr.—who bucked Harvard’s progressive party line on race and education, and then got targeted with dubious harassment claims.
The Liberal Arts Are the Future
Most great scientists and inventors have some background in the liberal arts.
Like Spiders in a Pot: the Contemporary Significance of Balzac
“In this time, party hatred was far more bitter than in our day.… In those almost forgotten days the same theatre could scarcely hold certain Royalist and Liberal journalists; the most malignant provocation was offered, glances were like pistol-shots, the least spark produced an explosion of quarrel…
‎27 Rouge: A Quillette Podcast: V: A Quiet Revolution on Apple Podcasts
‎Show 27 Rouge: A Quillette Podcast, Ep V: A Quiet Revolution - Apr 21, 2022

Gender Wars

If You Care About Trans Rights, Don’t Let Predators Pick Their Pronouns
Some men are re-identifying as men immediately upon release from women’s prisons.
Gender-Transition Decisions Should Be Made by Families, Not the State
This month, the New York Times ran a two-part podcast series titled When Texas Went After Transgender Care, detailing that state’s effort to ban “elective procedures for gender transitioning, including reassignment surgeries that can cause sterilization, mastectomies, removals of otherwise healthy b…

From Around the Web

Growing younger: Radical insights into ageing could help us reverse it
New insight into how we age suggests it may be driven by a failure to switch off the forces that build our bodies. If true, it could lead to a deeper understanding of ageing – and the possibility of slowing it
The Elondrop
Build the political support necessary to free Twitter with the largest airdrop in history.
Musk’s Free Speech Crusade | City Journal
Ending Big Tech censorship at Twitter will be trickier than it sounds, but it’s worth the struggle.
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Claire Lehmann

Claire Lehmann is the founding editor of Quillette.