Comments: Week of November 25, 2019

1 New York’s “Future Issue” examined the events of 2019 that provide a window into what life might look like ten years from now (“Today in 2029,” November 11–24). CNET’s Scott Stein wrote, “I really enjoyed browsing through @NYMag’s Future Weirdness issue. The next decade, though, will be nearly impossible to predict from events of the past year. I think it’ll be a lot weirder.” @mishraGkabeta added, “A very Orwellian picture painted here. Societal changes are slow. 2009 isn’t very different from 2019, and 2029 probably won’t be much different from 2019 … Good article for a time capsule.” Other readers glommed on to specific forecasts. @charlottejee tweeted, “Love the way this predicts we’ll drink Champagne from England in 2029. Darling, some of us are doing that already.” Commenter rdibelka responded to one chef’s predictions that we’d be eating fried frogs’ legs in a decade: “I can’t say there was that big of a jump from 2009, or even 1999. This seems more reasonable for 30-50 years; and it’s near impossible to predict anything that far in the future. That being said, I’d smash those frog legs.” Howard Jay Meyer noted how prescient one entry — that you will have to win a lottery to see St. Mark’s Basilica — was: “Who would have imagined that when you went to press two weeks ago Venice would be underwater last week with the threat of further flooding this week?” And Tess Malone asked, “Anyone else have an anxiety attack reading the Future issue? Cool!”

2 As part of the special issue, Lane Brown predicted “There Will Be No Turning Back on Facial Recognition” (November 11–24). The Bronx Defenders, a public-defense nonprofit, wrote, “Facial recognition is widely used by law enforcement and dangerously trusted with too much confidence. One of our clients couldn’t get his case dismissed due to the prosecutor’s ‘undying faith that the software doesn’t get it wrong,’ despite all evidence.” The Wall Street Journal’s Leigh Kamping-Carder wrote, “None of this stuff is exactly new, and yet I found this … piece on facial recognition haunting. I can’t stop thinking about it — about how, no matter what you do and what precautions you take, tech will swallow you into its bottomless maw.” Others were more resigned to the future of facial recognition. @joelmarkwitt wrote, “We should all start living as if the world is watching our every move and knows our identity. Don’t fight it. Just live out loud and be the same in public and private. Only way around this technology is radical transparency.”

3 Irin Carmon explored the future of self-managed abortion (“We’ll Perform Abortions at Home,” November 11–24). Daniel Grossman, a physician and public-health researcher interviewed for the article, wrote, “A few years ago, people laughed at me for the idea of demedicalizing abortion. And now I have a grant that is supporting research to build the evidence base to explore whether this is possible.” Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, responded, “Irin Carmon writes of a post-Roe future in which clinics would close en masse and patients would need to travel hundreds of miles to a clinic or self-manage their abortion. That is not a looming future; it is our current reality. Today, nearly 90 percent of U.S. counties are without a single abortion provider, and six states are down to their last abortion clinic. As clinics shutter, one major avenue for expanding access is telemedicine, which can be used to legally prescribe a medication abortion to women who can’t reach a clinic. Many states enthusiastically support telemedicine as a way to expand health care but ban abortion providers from using it. There are a number of lawsuits currently challenging telemedicine bans on abortion care, and we are already seeing progress. Fourteen states now allow abortion providers to use telemedicine, extending access possibilities for women hundreds of miles away. We must use this tool and every tool we can to regain lost ground.”

4 For the issue’s Look Book,” New York visited the Aperture Foundation for the release of Antwaun Sargent’s photography book, The New Black Vanguard (November 11–24). Fellow attendees attested to the partygoers’ good taste, with @HairflipMeghan writing, “Can confirm that the crowd was extremely hip (and the gallery was extremely crowded).” @adgelet added, “I attended this event and got to see the incredible fashion firsthand. (I wore an Express jumpsuit bc I wanted everyone to know I am from New Jersey.)” Patricia.carr commented, “Each and every look was exciting, interesting, and so creative that I spent quite a bit of time scrolling through this twice!” WNYC’s Rebecca Carroll wrote, “This entire Look Book is magic.”

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*This article appears in the November 11, 2019, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!


Comments: Week of November 25, 2019