Life hacks: Even though you can’t always see the effects, computer code has played a monumental role in shaping the modern world. These little, inscrutable lines of programming language are responsible for the creation of everything from the first distributed video game to chatrooms to JPEGs. For this week’s cover story, a collection of writers, scientists, and historians came together to write about the 36 most consequential lines of code ever written, including the first one-line virus, the pop-up window, and even Facebook’s like button.
War of the words: Tonight’s Democratic debate, the fourth of the election cycle, will be the biggest primary debate in history. But even though the stage with be crowded with 12 (!) hopefuls, there are two very clear front-runners who will dominate the stage—and that isn’t likely to change no matter what happens tonight. Jim Newell tells you what you should expect from the Dem debate and its aftermath.
Victory within reach? Hong Kong’s protests are still ongoing, ramping up in tension and violence, and, thanks to incidents like China’s feud with the NBA, gaining more international attention. And while Hong Kong’s government has satisfied one of the protesters’ original demands, it’s also cracking down further on dissent. The city’s position makes compromise highly unlikely, so how will this uprising end, and what will the aftermath spell for both Hong Kong’s and China’s future? Yvonne Chiu takes a look at all the ways the definitive political protest of the year could shake out.
Betrayal: Trump’s worst foreign policy act to date isn’t directly related to Iran or North Korea—according to Fred Kaplan, it’s his disloyalty to the Syrian Kurds. For not only did the U.S. troop withdrawal leave an important ally susceptible to slaughter and prove to the world that American partnerships mean nothing—it was all done on purpose, by a man who couldn’t care less about our standing in the world.
You Nazty spy,