The Problem With Men Explaining Things. Plus, The Best Of The Web This Week

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The best of the Web this week includes an explanation of “mansplaining,” an amazing art project in China, 61 things you didn’t know about hoboes, five tricks Facebook uses when dealing with your privacy, and more. Enjoy!

Arts and Culture

The Problem With Men Explaining Things / Rebecca Solnit / Mother Jones
This piece floored me. You should read it, especially if you’re a man. Or a woman.

Obituary: Neil Armstrong / The Economist
An amazing man and story: “The original landing area turned out to be full of large boulders. … By the time he found his spot, there was only 25 seconds of fuel left in the thanks.”

61 Things I Learned At The National Hobo Convention / Matt Stopera / BuzzFeed
A wonderful story, animated by curiosity and genuine interest. Lots of gems, including: “6. When a hobo dies, they are said to have ‘caught the Westbound.'”

Green Pedestrian Crossing In China Creates Leaves From Footprints / Christopher Jobson / Colossal
Art and advocacy meet in this clever and beautiful campaign.

Politics and World Affairs

I’m Right, You’re Wrong And Other Political Truths / Ramesh Ponnuru / Bloomberg
Finally, something people from both parties can all agree on!

Fear Of A Black President / Ta-Nehisi Coates / The Atlantic
A searching and sobering consideration of race relations in America, and of the poignant mixture of disappointment and pride Coates finds in Obama and his administration.

What I Learned At Bain Capital / Mitt Romney / The Wall Street Journal
Romney makes the case for how his business experience has equipped him to turn around the economy.

So, Mitt, What Do You Really Believe? / The Economist
Ouch: “A businessman without a credible plan to fix a problem stops being a credible businessman. So does a businessman who tells you one thing at breakfast and the opposite at supper.” (via Maurice)

The Reality Of Trying To Shrink Government / Lawrence Summers / The Washington Post
Important perspective: “For structural reasons, even preserving the amount of government functions that predated the financial crisis will require substantial increases in the share of U.S. economy devoted to the public sector.”

Business and Economics

The Cheapest Generation / Derek Thompson and Jordan Weissman / The Atlantic
Car and home ownership are down significantly among millennials, with many interesting explanations and implications. One insight: “young people prize ‘access over ownership.'”

The Acqui-Hire Scourge: Whatever Happened To Failure In The Valley? / Sarah Lacy / PandoDaily
Interesting and well-argued piece. “Everyone loves to say that Silicon Valley’s great strength is an acceptance of failure.” But widespread acquisitions may be undermining this.

The Case For Spending A Little More Sometimes / Carl Richards / The New York Times
Simple advice: Avoid the temptation of cheap and disposable, and invest in things that are worth owning for the long haul.

Tootsie’s Secret Empire / Ben Kesling / The Wall Street Journal
A fun story on the candy company’s secretive, and aging, CEO. Plus, this great lede: “How many licks does it take to get to the center of Tootsie Roll Industries? No one really knows.”

Smart Service Design Needs A New Language For Anonymity / Jan Chipcase / Co.Design
Some interesting nuggets on the value, and dangers, of personal recognition in customer service. (via @dbkahn)

Science and Technology

Digital Scarcity / Tuhin Kumar
Soon enough, digital “… will replace physical as the primary dimension in which we spend our time. … We need to find a better way to tell others what is worth their time.”

5 Design Tricks Facebook Uses To Affect Your Privacy Decisions / Avi Charkham / TechCrunch
Side-by-side comparisons show a concerted effort to make it less clear what permissions you’re granting.

Apple V. Samsung Verdict Is In: $1 Billion Loss For Samsung / Joe Mullin / Ars Technica
Interesting context: “Apple’s ultimate target is Google,” whose Android operating system so enraged Steve Jobs that he promised “thermonuclear war.”

The Worldfalls / Oliver Morton / Heliophage
A short, vivid mental image that will change the way you think about energy, from the author of a book on photosynthesis called “Eating the Sun.”

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