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The Chicago Letter and Its Aftermath

Those tasked with writing letters to incoming freshmen frequently wonder if anyone reads them. John Ellison, dean of students at the University of Chicago, need not worry. His letter to new students has been read and scrutinised not only by Chicago students but by professors and pundits nationwide. “Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called trigger warnings, we do not cancel...

5 contemporary strategies that help improve your rankings

Improving your rankings isn’t as simple as it used to be. As businesses have become more invested in SEO, search ranking algorithms have grown smarter and more sophisticated. The result is that many techniques that used to be acceptable are now considered the grey hat or black hat — and in some cases, can even earn you a traffic-throttling Google penalty. Still, the challenge remains: We need links, we...

Google Deletes Dennis Cooper’s Blog, Erasing Years of Artistic Output

On June 27, when writer Dennis Cooper tried to access his blog—hosted by Blogger since 2002—he discovered that Google had deleted his fourteen-year project along with his Gmail account. Since then, readers have been greeted with a message simply stating, “Sorry, the blog at denniscooper-theweaklings.blogspot.com has been removed. This address is not available for new blogs.” Cooper is not certain whether...

No politics please! (Unless it’s anti-Russian politics)

If there were prizes going for hypocrisy, then the International Paralympic Committee would surely be strong contenders for the gold medal. The IPC has slammed Belarus after its team committed the crime of – wait for it – holding up a Russian flag at the Paralympics opening ceremony in Rio. The official who carried the flag, a Mr. Andrey Fomochkin, has had his accreditation rescinded. The IPC said...

China’s netizens love sharing live video of themselves

MOST days Wang Liu broadcasts himself live for five hours, and sometimes all night. While he talks on camera about his life or hums a tune or dances, viewers watching on their phones write messages that pop up on his screen. Occasionally a bright icon flashes, meaning a fan has paid money to send him a virtual sticker as a tip. An 18-year-old university student, Mr Wang (or “boylove” to his fans) is part...

Q&A with Ian McEwan: The art of writing, the writer’s life

Ian McEwan was ranked by the Times of London among the 50 greatest British writers since 1945. His novels, including Amsterdam, which won the 1998 Man Booker Prize, and Atonement, a 2001 novel made into a 2007 Oscar-winning movie, have attracted a large worldwide audience. McEwan visits the Free Library on Wednesday for a conversation about his new novel, Nutshell. The book is based on the story ofHamlet,...

500 Words That Describe What It Feels Like to Lose Your Mother

It sucks. It is sad. It is lonely. It is heartbreaking. It is life-changing. It is painful. It is tragic. It is pathetic. It is devastating. It is depressing… It is just so damn bad. You feel as if your life will never go on. There is a void that can never be filled, because there is no other love in this world like the love of a mother. There is so much that she has missed and will miss. It rips you up...

Index changes may drive interest in Reits

Once a niche investment, real estate investment trusts (REITs) have seen enormous growth in recent years, and the flow of money into the sector may be about to accelerate. Earlier this month, global equity indices were reconfigured. Since it was established by MSCI and Standard & Poors in 1999, the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) has consisted of 10 sectors. Now there are 11. Real estate,...

Markets start to face the prospect of a Trump victory

STOCKMARKETS have tended to perform a lot better under Democratic than Republican Presidents. A 2013 paper found the S&P 500 had delivered a return more than five percentage points a year higher under the former party than the latter (since 1948). Growth of GDP, employment, real wages, profits and productivity were all better under the Democrats as well. Despite that trend, investors are generally assumed...