Interesting stuff from the week - June 28th.

What happens when being an outsider is in? This article in the Hedgehog Review explores that idea:

It is herds of people busily declaring that they are not part of the herd. Whether you’re a Satanist or an alt-right activist, you sign up for a total lifestyle package that includes a limited menu of approved ideas, clothing styles, and other badges you can choose from to express your individuality.

I've been thinking a lot about humanity's tendency towards forming tribes, and the good and bad ways this manifests itself:

1. How much of the (seemingly) increased fractionation in society is driven by "outsider status" being desirable. As soon as a group gets to entrenched, it's members will either insist that they are truly outsiders, or break off to find a smaller group that has better "outsider status." 

2. Does the internet and social media make it harder for the lone outsiders to exist? In the past, a true outsider may have come into contact with few or no others who had similar ideas or beliefs. Thanks to the internet and social media, even pretty obscure, niche groups of people can find each other and form groups. What is the broader implications of this? Maybe the flat-earther, finding nobody who agrees with them in real life, would give up on the idea. If you're more likely to hold onto a belief if you can find other people who believe it, and if the internet makes find those people easier, are people holding beliefs they might otherwise not?  

The entire article is worth your time: In with the Out Crowd: Contrarians, Alone and Together

This Guardian profile on David Lynch proved controversial. Most of the clamor focusing around his comments on Donald Trump: 

He could go down as one of the greatest presidents in history because he has disrupted the thing so much. No one is able to counter this guy in an intelligent way.” While Trump may not be doing a good job himself, Lynch thinks, he is opening up a space where other outsiders might.

Unfortunately the "greatest president in history" segment got passed around and placed out-of-context in headlines everywhere. Liberals and conservatives alike seemed to ignore the "could" and the fact that Lynch doesn't think Trump is doing a good job. This lead to both Conservatives wrongly touting Lynch's support of the president, and liberals shaming Lynch for the same.

This culminated in Trump tweeting about Lynch, and Lynch responding"You are causing suffering and division."

Most of the profile covered information about Lynch I already knew, but the most interesting bit to me was the revelation that he's maybe only watched one film in the last year. 

“Um,” he finally says. “I saw my son Austin’s movie [Gray House, a documentary] last year and I really liked it. I don’t think I’ve seen any other films.”

The entire profile is worth reading if you haven't yet.