Read a new Future Tense Fiction story from Maureen McHugh.



Greetings, future tensors,

This week we released “The Starfish Girl,” the first installment in our Future Tense Fiction sports series. In it, Maureen McHugh tells us the story of Jinky Mendoza, an American gymnast and Olympic hopeful who suffers from a crippling spinal fracture. Mendoza is recovering thanks to a “radical new medical procedure”: allowing doctors to insert starfish DNA into its cells. Although the invertebrate’s genes help its body repair its own limbs and return to the arena, the procedure raises questions from the International Olympic Committee. Did therapy give him an unfair and inhuman competitive advantage? Should she be allowed to compete? In an answer essay, sports historian and former professional athlete Victoria Jackson weighs in on the enormous moral authority we place on sports officials who answer these kinds of questions. (Spoiler: They don’t always keep science – or what’s right for all competitors – in mind.)

Lately, Facebook has also struggled with its moral authority in deciding who it will and will not include on its powerful platform. Last week, Mark Zuckerberg drew criticism when he said Holocaust deniers don’t necessarily need to be removed from Facebook because he doesn’t think “they are intentionally wrong.” But as Johannes Breit, a moderator of the popular AskHistorians subreddit, argues, deniers don’t just inadvertently “get it wrong”. Instead, they “distort, downplay, or outright deny historical facts” intentionally in an attempt to normalize Nazi ideas. This behavior led AskHistorians mods to ban racism, anti-Semitism and Nazism outright in the forum. And, writes Breit, Facebook should follow suit.

Other things we read as a flash flood warning interrupted our Netflix and cooled down:

Exempt Internet: New study indicates television may have played a bigger role in Trump’s election than the Internet, says Will Oremus.

Vulnerable Votes: The recent refusal of House Republicans to grant funds to states to secure their electoral systems “is akin to leaving a giant security hole in the power grid,” writes April Glaser.

Antitrust Whack-a-mole: Although the EU may have fined Google a record $ 5 billion last week, Dipayan Ghosh claims that by focusing on one big player, it is neglecting the practices of industry that harm consumers.

Captive Markets: In prisons, private companies selling digital products like music, tablets and video calls to incarcerated people are greeted with huge potential markets and little regulation.

Paralyzing Cyber ​​Attacks: The US intelligence chief recently warned of the growing threat of a “crippling cyber attack on our critical infrastructure”. Joséphine Wolff explains what her warning means.


Join Slate Editor-in-Chief Julia Turner for the latest installment of our “My Favorite Movie” series. She will host a free screening of Network at DC’s Landmark Theaters E Street Cinema tonight, Wednesday, July 25 at 6:30 p.m. RSVP here.

Working in the dark,

Mia armstrong

For the future

The future is a partnership between Slate, New America and Arizona State University.

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