Sexism is the least evil thing about Uber

The outrage over Susan Fowler's account of rampant, unchecked sexual harassment and gender discrimination at Uber is a perfect storm of woke sex crime hysteria and corporate lean-in logic. It plays on liberal feminism's tendency for sensationalizing sexual misconduct at the expense of structural inequality and plays to its newly minted role as the handmaiden of technocratic neoliberalism. The fact that media outlets from The New York Times to USA Today are tripping over their dicks to pick up the story—its built-in viral potential—should be a dead giveaway that you are being duped.

On Moravia’s Male Delusion and Female Pain

Alberto Moravia’s book The Conformist (1951), which was made into the internationally acclaimed and historically significant Bernardo Bertolucci film of the same name (1970), is often described as a psychological sketch of the fascist personality. Aside from being an excellent (and topical!) primer on the rise and fall of fascism, it is, like everything else Moravia, really about the imperiled identity of modern manhood. Although Moravia’s other novels—Conjugal Love (1949), Contempt (1954), Boredom (1960)—are less ambitious in both their scale and scope, preferring to retread the turf of bourgeois psychodrama, they also take as their subject the existential hysteria of an ambitious but blinkered anti-hero struggling in vain to escape his mediocrity.

A Tale of Two Cynics

Years ago, in 2013, I went to see the internet and technology critic Evgeny Morozov give a talk at MoMA PS1 with a guy named David Auerbach, who describes himself as a writer and software engineer, but in practice amounted to something like a Silicon Valley mouthpiece. At the time, Morozov had just published his second book, To Save Everything, Click Here, a takedown of what he called "solutionism," the Valley's basic organizational ethos that identifies problems as problems on the basis of whether or not they can be "solved" (and which has trickled down into the cultural vulgate as "there's an app for that").

In defense of Phyllis Schlafly (sort of)

Ever since her death yesterday, I’ve been straining to understand the outpouring of almost unequivocal hatred against Phyllis Schlafly. As a useful civilian corrective for the inevitable downplaying of her misdeeds in official media coverage, the avalanche of funny tweets and subversive obits is entertaining for sure. But is it really that redemptive?

A history of the surname Khachiyan (and Kardashian)

A while ago, my sister dug up a trove of information about Armenian naming conventions on some obscure .ru domains. The below is an excerpt from what looks to be an older source like a book or similar document found on a Russian website dedicated to “paranormal activity, dream interpretation, and lost civilizations” that I translated into English three years ago now.