Magazine March 11, 2019, Issue

Ode to a Bagman

(Marcos Brindicci/Reuters)
On the necessity of debt collection

Black Mirror is a Twilight Zone–ish British sci-fi series that often explores the unintended social consequences of technology. One of its most famous episodes, “Nosedive,” is set in a near-future dystopia in which a crude social-media rating (one to five stars, calculated down to several decimal points) determines a person’s socioeconomic status like a kind of metastatic credit score: Lacie, the protagonist, is losing her home and wants to move into a new apartment, but she cannot afford the rent unless she raises her social score enough to qualify for a discounted “influencers” rate. In the world of “Nosedive,” it

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In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


Back from the Brink

Steven F. Hayward reviews The Brink: President Reagan and the Nuclear War Scare of 1983, by Marc Ambinder, 1983: Reagan, Andropov, and a World on the Brink, by Taylor Downing, ...


The Week

The Week

We are surprised that no one has hit upon the obvious solution to the Jussie Smollett mystery: Brett Kavanaugh did it.


“Sometimes, sometimes the highway opens up. Among the present passes as we go…”


The Latest

Rat Patrol

Rat Patrol

Illegal leaks of classified information should be treated as a serious offense. But they would be easier to prevent if less information were classified.