Good morning, Quartz readers!
If Donald Trump loses on Nov. 8, a great many people in both America and elsewhere will breathe a huge sigh of relief. But the truth is there won’t be that much to be relieved about.
In the US, Trump’s influence will linger. His campaign showed that a politician can spew outright lies and blatant hate-speech and still retain support. Others will follow his example, and even moderates will be less afraid of the truth-o-meter. That will intensify social media’s echo-chamber effect and further shrink America’s capacity for serious political debate.
Trump also convinced lots of voters (who admittedly didn’t need much convincing) that American judges are biased, the media tell only lies, elections are rigged, and no branch of government is to be trusted. Whether the Republican party falls apart in the wake of Trump’s defeat or is rejuvenated, it will have this alienated, angry bloc of voters to contend with. If he wants it, the unofficial role of Republican kingmaker will be Trump’s for the taking.
Outside the US, too, Trumpist attitudes have been taking root, perhaps buoyed by his success. Xenophobia is sweeping Europe, as evidenced by the Brexit vote, the proliferation of new border fences, and the gains by far-right leaders in a variety of national elections. World trade is slowing and protectionism is on the rise.
No matter who wins, then, the next president will take office in an increasingly Trumpian world. That is perhaps the Donald’s true victory: that ideas that a year ago seemed beyond the pale are now increasingly accepted as a normal part of politics.—Gideon Lichfield
FIVE THINGS ON QUARTZ WE ESPECIALLY LIKED
The fake ideology that became a global bogeyman. Ana Campoy explains how, in reaction to the rise of women’s and LGBT rights, conservatives around the world have united against something called “gender ideology.” It doesn’t really exist, but it’s proved an effective tool for dressing old prejudices in more politically acceptable clothing and blocking progressive social agendas (and even the Colombian peace process).
Oslo’s “slow space.” A series of public art projects in the Norwegian capital aim to counter the tendency of a city to create frenetically packed environments. Cassie Werber visits a grove for trees that will be turned into books 100 years hence, an opera house that’s also a meditation spot, and other places where urban time has been slowed right down.
The election that Facebook flipped. In Hong Kong’s recent ballots, much of the campaigning and voter registration took place on Facebook instead of through traditional media channels, lending an unexpected boost to young and pro-democracy candidates. Vivienne Chow and Heather Timmons report on the power of the platform toupend political expectations.
A peek inside the world’s youngest democracy. One year ago, Aung San Suu Kyi resoundingly won Myanmar’s first openly contested polls since 1990, ending a half century of military rule. Progress since has been slow and tedious. Devjyot Ghoshal reports from Myanmar and asks: Does the iconic former political prisonerhave the skill and stamina to transform the country?
How DeafBlind Americans are reinventing language. In the last few years, people who can neither see nor hear have spontaneously created a new form of sign language that uses the “listener’s” as well as the speaker’s body to get concepts across. Katherine Ellen Foley and Nushmia Khan show how pro-tactile sign language (video) is opening up a new world of communication.
Algorithms are here, there, and everywhere. Algorithms are invisible engines that increasingly govern our lives, filtering everything from the news we see to the job applications that land on an employer’s desk. Join Quartz in London on November 16 to find out why it’s important to understand how algorithms and AI affect us. Sign up for the free event here.
FIVE THINGS ELSEWHERE THAT MADE US SMARTER
Is democracy really that great? Plato thought it was a terrible idea. Most voters, he argued, are too stupid or unreliable to make good decisions, so we should instead be ruled by well-educated philosopher kings. In the New Yorker, Caleb Crain outlines the works of contemporary philosophers who have updated Plato’s argument.
The self-destruction of Deutsche Bank. The 146-year-old bank is so large and so precarious it’s deemed the single biggest systemic risk to global finance. How did it get that way? Der Spiegel’s account, based on interviews with current and former senior managers, paintsan uncompromising picture of hubris, greed, and failed leadership over decades.
The rebranding of Europe’s far right. The rise of the continent’s nationalist parties isn’t merely down to growing resentment of foreigners; it’s because those parties have smartly dropped the old symbols of extremism and adopted many of the far left’s own causes and methods. Sasha Polakow-Suransky in the Guardian’s Long Readdelves into their strategies.
How McDonald’s got its start. The McDonald brothers went through several failed enterprises before opening their precision-designed fast-food assembly line, and at first, customers hated it. What’s more, the franchise model that made the golden arches global started as an afterthought. Lisa Napoli tells the story in a new book excerpt on Smithsonian.com.
Are movies dead? There seem to be about as many opinions as there are people in the movie industry, judging by this (somewhat epic) survey by The Ringer’s Sean Fennessey. Between the explosion of good TV, the long tail of streaming services, the proliferation of new technology, and the capricious demands of Hollywood, all anyone can agree on is that it’s complicated.
Our best wishes for a relaxing but thought-filled weekend. Please send any news, comments, slow space ideas, and early McDonald’s designs to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.