Slate Plus

A Song of Fire and More Fire

The Slate Plus Digest for Aug. 11.

Yep, this week pretty much.


While Gabe is off this week enjoying the “Happiest Place on Earth,” we here in other not-so-happy places on Earth compiled the best of what to read this week.

From Slate

Fire, you say? In his response to the reports that North Korea now has a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can be mounted on a missile, President Trump warned that more threats will be met with “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” Turns out, he’s just taking a line from North Korean propaganda. Should we actually look to Kim Jong-un to be the sane one here?

Last weekend, Silicon Valley Twitter was aflame with reports of a manifesto critical of diversity policies making the rounds inside Google, written by one of its software engineers. By Monday evening, the author of the memo was fired. But April Glaser explains why it won’t be that easy to get rid of sexist and racist culture in the industry, and Chanda Prescod-Weinstein explores how “science” led to the sort of problematic thinking in the memo in the first place.

Fire also took out the Lannister army this week on Game of Thrones, as Dany finally unleashed a dragon named Drogon in battle. A military strategist breaks down why the victory wasn’t as decisive as it looked, and Sam Adams spells out why these characters still aren’t ready to face their biggest threat: the White Walkers.

The final rose: This season of The Bachelorette—the first to feature a black lead—concluded this week. Robin M. Boylorn expresses her disappointment and heartbreak.

Not From Slate

From the Archives

Last year—back when nuclear war was an interesting plot device and not an existential threat hanging over us all—Sam Adams wrote about the political impact of The Day After, the still terrifying nuclear war movie that allegedly scared Ronald Reagan into toning down his Cold War rhetoric. Broadcast on ABC at the height of Cold War tensions, the fictionalized account of a nuclear strike on Kansas was intended by director Nicholas Meyer not so much as a piece of entertainment but as a nuclear deterrent. It worked.

Is it time for a new version of The Day After? We hear TV is one of the best ways to get through to Trump.

Thank you for your Slate Plus membership, which helps make our journalism possible. Gabe will be back next week.

Chau and Rachel