Future Tense Newsletter: We Need More Low-Stakes Rules for Internet Conduct

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We need more rules on the internet.
I’m not talking about regulation or liability or online civility or anything important and big-picture like that.
I’m talking about the absolute least consequential parts of the internet possible. Specifically, things like when to send a Slack or text and when to send an email.
To me, the rule there is obvious: Send a Slack for a time-sensitive question or for chitchat.

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Carrie Severino: Clarence Thomas’ 30 years of fearlessness, foresight on the Supreme Court

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People in public life often like to depict themselves as fearless. Few of them live up to the hype. The truly fearless tend not to advertise it, but let their deeds speak for themselves. And they are rare. Justice Clarence Thomas is in that select category.  
Thirty years have passed since his confirmation to the Supreme Court, and he has amassed a record as the court’s staunchest defender of constitutional originalism or interpreting the Constitution according to its original meaning.

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Carrie Severino: Clarence Thomas’ 30 years of fearlessness, foresight on the Supreme Court

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
People in public life often like to depict themselves as fearless. Few of them live up to the hype. The truly fearless tend not to advertise it, but let their deeds speak for themselves. And they are rare. Justice Clarence Thomas is in that select category.  
Thirty years have passed since his confirmation to the Supreme Court, and he has amassed a record as the court’s staunchest defender of constitutional originalism or interpreting the Constitution according to its original meaning.

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U.S. Snubs Biodiversity Summit

Ahead of the COP26 conference in Glasgow, activists are urging President Joe Biden not to send climate envoy John Kerry to the United Nations talks empty-handed. Less attention has gone to another global meeting on the environment, which kicked off this week.
Countries are meeting virtually for the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the precursor to an in-person meeting in Kunming, China, which will take place next spring.

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Biden Just Handed a Bone to Big Almond

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To fill the post of chief agricultural negotiator at the United States Trade Representative’s office, the Biden administration dipped into California’s hot, dusty, drought-plagued San Joaquin Valley and plucked out an almond-industry lobbyist.

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The Radicalization of Clarence Thomas

In 1992, an electrician named Robert Joiner sued Monsanto, the immense and powerful agrochemical corporation that had, for many years, manufactured the toxic chemical compounds polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs. For more than a decade, Joiner had worked in a Georgia utilities plant, which used dielectric fluid containing PCBs as a coolant. As he tinkered with the machinery, the fluid splashed into his eyes and mouth; sometimes, he was forced to plunge his arms and hands directly into the fluid to make repairs.

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Here’s How Biden’s New Executive Order Could Shake Up Big Ag

President Joe Biden signs an executive order aimed at promoting competition in the economy, with antitust stalwart Lina Khan, chair of the Federal Trade Commission, directly to his left. Evan Vucci/AP Photo

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Last Friday, President Joe Biden released a sweeping executive order on “Promoting Competition in the American Economy,” aimed at taking on massive corporations that dominate multiple marketplaces. Much of the focus of this trustbusting has been on tech.

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The End of the Veiled Prophet

The Veiled Prophet as illustrated in an 1878 edition of the Missouri Republican. (Public Domain)

After 140 years, 2021 might be the end of the Veiled Prophet in public life. For 40 years, St. Louisans have celebrated the Fourth of July downtown at the VP Fair (renamed Fair St. Louis in 1992.) The accompanying Veiled Prophet parade, in which a daughter of a local aristocrat rides in a float alongside a man whose identity is obscured by an elaborate veiled headdress, has been a staple of summer in St. Louis for generations.

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How big business exploits small business

Major corporations really want you to know how much they care about small businesses — as long as those small businesses don’t compete with them or cause them too much trouble.
During the pandemic, big companies were sure to draw attention to the ways they were supporting the little guy. Facebook highlighted all sorts of ways it says it helps small business and warned that regulations for the social media giant would actually come at a cost to the little guy. Uber, likewise, emphasized its help to restaurants.

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Mumford & Sons’ Banjoist Traded Rock Stardom for the Allure of Owning the Libs

Winston Marshall risked it all last week. The man is probably the single most successful banjo player in history; he joined Mumford & Sons in 2007 as a 20-year-old, self-proclaimed trustafarian, just as the world was subsumed by a beguiling stadium-folk mania, and together, the British foursome made gobs of money by superimposing a Creed-ish veneer onto classic dust-bowl blues. (Their first record, Sigh No More, sold 3.2 million copies, nearly unprecedented for a debut.)

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But Marshall, now 33 and no worse for wear, threw all of that away.

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