Menu +

What I’m Reading: May 2017 – Internationalism, Media, Black Market, and International Music


Wow. I am super late with this. But since I have been doing this for over a year, I can’t stop now. As a matter of fact, I’ve thought about doing this more often with less links. I think that might be a good idea. We’ll see.

Anyway, on to the articles I found most interesting in May.

Is American Internationalism Dead? Reading the National Mood in the Age of Trump – 5/16/2017, War On the Rocks

Starting with something heavy on the social sciences tip. Writer Hal Brands discusses America’s attitudes towards internationalism, especially with the statement made by electing Donald Trump. Brands details the history of US internationalism, then looks at whether or not Donald Trump’s election is a break from generations of US international involvement.

Overall, this is a really good article. However, I would be interested in deep-diving into his polling numbers – especially in regards to support to international involvement. Is support heavier in cities and on the coasts? What do farmers in Iowa think of NATO? Questions like that need to be answered before making a statement about what Americans believe.

Life and death of the knowledge industry – 5/17/2017, PeterHarling Blog

Another really long read, but a good read. This article discusses trends in media consumption in the last 20 years or so. It discusses the trials and tribulations of a freelance economy that discourages in-depth knowledge, whether due to lack of compensation or lack of attention. The media model has changed – whether in the mainstream media or academic writing. The end of the article asks for examples of how companies have best blended in-depth research with quick consumption. The lack of methods, best practices, or examples keeps the article in the realm of theory and not as practical as it should be.

Conservatism Isn’t The New Punk Rock. Shitposting Is. – 5/31/2017,

This article, by K Thor Jensen, takes an interesting look at counterculture. It details the basic philosophy of conservatism, the idea of status quo and maintaining power, and states how there is no way conservatism could ever be “punk” – which is a power-challenging vehicle. However, Jensen states the obnoxious media habit of “shitposting”, otherwise known as “knowingly contributing low quality, off-topic, or ill intentioned posts” that is much more akin to punk. Punk is untuned guitars, off-beat drumming, poor production, and purposeful flaunting of convention. That is not conservatism. If anything, conservatism is the new old school NY hip-hop – a standard rhythm and beat and bemoaning of anyone going counter to that as “not hip-hop”.

Cybercriminals Regularly Battle it Out on the Dark Web – 5/30/2017,

This is a scary article, although not entirely unexpected. According to, the same actions cybercriminals use against corporations, governments, and other targets, they also use against other cybercriminals. This is probably just poking to prevent domination, just as gorillas in the wild do. But this also probably assists development and evolution, making them tougher amongst themselves and even more difficult to stop for authorities and cybersecurity personnel.

Seeing Security from the Other Side of the Window – 5/3/2017,

An interesting plea to the security world to see their profession from a business perspective. Security does not have the same ROI as manufacturing or supply. Unless they have detail on the threat and their psychology.

Corruption, Terrorism, And Mafia: The Global Black Market For Oil – 5/12/2017,

This is more graphic than article, but still a great look at how illegal oil sales and trade funds other illegal activity throughout the world. Illegal oil transfers are a bigger business than some of the biggest oil businesses in the world. We can only imagine how these efforts will slow, if they even will, with the future advancement of alternate power sources.

Among First Nations Youth, Hip-Hop Is a Tool for Self-Expression and Cultural Preservation – 5/17/2017,

I am fan of articles on global music. I think music is one of the best ways societies have to communicate their frustrations. This article discusses the use of hip-hop in Native American communities in Canada. Called “First People”, the native tribes of Canada face struggle and poverty. Many youth have turned to music to express their frustrations and hopes for the future.

Bangladesh: Where Heavy Metal Dies at the Doorstep – 5/14/2017,

On the other hand, there are places where music is prohibited by the government. According to, a metal festival featuring Brazilian metal band Krisiun was cancelled by authorities after Krisiun made the international flight. Of course, the situation became finger-pointing with each side blaming the other, and in the end the fans got shafted.

“It Was Like True, True Disdain for Each Other” – 5/15/2017, The Ringer

To end, a little sports. A look back at the New York Knicks and Miami Heat rivalry in the late 1990s. This is one of the rivalries that got me heavily into Knicks basketball, which helped me make friends in the military. Reflecting and reading interviews about it was an awesome blast from the past.