The Horror That Became Cargo-Shorts-Gate, and 4 Other Stories You Should Read

Here’s what you missed while not watching the Olympics because, really, who still watches the Olympics in 2016?

Vice: My Journey Inside the Incredible ‘Wall Street Journal’ Article About Cargo Shorts and the Women Who Hate Them

Selected by Joe Lazauskas, editor-in-chief

It’s August, the season for editorial experiments that are equal parts fun and lazy. In September, we’ll all go back to reporting. But for now, it’s time to try new things with minimal effort.

Case in point: Vice Senior Editor Harry Cheadle live-blogging his experience reading The Wall Street Journal’s infamous cargo shorts article. It may sound like an insanely stupid format, but it works. We should all troll each other more by live-blogging articles—especially in the branded content world. Imagine live-blogging this native ad for Pepsi on The Daily Beast about “pioneers in printing.” Why does this exist? No idea! But by live-blogging it, we might just find out.

The New York Times: China, Not Silicon Valley, Is Cutting Edge in Mobile Tech

Selected by Dillon Baker, associate editor

I’ve read plenty of articles about how dominant chat apps are in China, but none have gone as in depth as this one on the historical mechanisms behind why that is.

Interestingly, despite the headline, the article suggests that the conditions that fostered chat apps’ rise are unique to China: a lack of PCs, a lack of an entrenched banking system, and so on. Where China has reached with chat apps is what Silicon Valley wants, but there’s reason to be skeptical it’ll actually get there.

Mother Jones: The US Government Is Literally Arming the World, and Nobody’s Even Talking About It

Selected by Yardain Amron, editorial intern

We Americans are aware in the back of our minds that the United States likes things that go boom. There’s that stat that liberals casually throw out in conversation about how our military budget is more than that of the next eight countries combined. Yet for some reason, the media doesn’t give our love of weapons much coverage. This story does a great job overviewing the United States’s weapons landscape, the intersection between government and private contractors, the massive and lengthy international deals made with foreign countries, and how chronic global turmoil benefits all the powerful players involved. It’s a great toe-dip into the complex and covert American weapons industry.

The Guardian: From killing machines to agents of hope: the future of drones in Africa

Selected by Nico Willson, editorial intern

This is a fascinating piece about the evolution of drone technology and setting the framework for legislation regarding drones in Rwanda. Due to poor infrastructure, medical goods cannot reach the country’s isolated regions, so the government is heavily pushing drones to reach them. Silicon Valley-based startups are moving into Africa to test their products due to the lesser regulation and government subsidies. Rwanda may not have extensive infrastructure, but will it set the precedent for drone legislation?

Bitch Media: Between a Boss and a Hard Place: Why More Women Are Freelancing

Selected by Erin Nelson, marketing editor

A satisfying reminder that freelancing is not just about sipping lattes in a Wi-Fi-friendly cafe, Bitch Media’s article proves that it can be a real bitch. With a never-ending roster of eager contract employees, companies lack incentive to create a friendly work environment that values temporary workers, and inequity between classes and ethnicities mimics the traditional nine-to-five world.

Yet Sarah Grey also points out that female freelancers outpace male freelancers by $10 per week, have the flexibility to set their own hours—to care for children and manage health demands—and have the freedom to say no to ludicrous clients or undervalued projects. And while freelancing maybe be less about the spirit of entrepreneurship than it is a bargain for corporations, for Grey, it’s a path she’s willing to walk to buck her boss.

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