What I'm reading

A City Plans For War (Emma Shaw Crane, Public Books):

Urban planning’s promise of an improved city of the future is especially bright in postconflict cities, where planning is expected to bring not only the usual modernist improvements—development, growth—but also peace. Yet in postconflict Beirut, planners, developers, and architects, instead of designing for a peaceful city, plan for the war yet to come.

It's time to let Canberra picturesquely decay (Ian Warden, Canberra Times):

When Australians, in their endearingly muddleheaded and inarticulate way, complain that there is something “artificial” about their nation’s capital, one of the things they mean (without being able to put a muddleheaded finger on it) is that Canberra has no ruins.

Conspiracy Theories (David Runciman, TLS):

...for the conspiracy theorist the absence of truth can only be explained by some sinister forces having decided to conceal it. And of course that is a conspiracy theory that many liberals find hard to resist. Why did people vote for Brexit? Because the ignorant voters were misled by nefarious forces. The same with the election of Trump. What are those forces? Take your pick...

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