Oui Stand Together

"France is at war. We are not in a war of civilizations. These assassins don't represent a civilization. We are at war with jihadist terrorism which threatens the whole of the world and not only France." So said French President François Hollande as he called for a global coalition to fight ISIS in the wake of Friday's horrific attacks in Paris. "The faces of the dead, of the injured, of their families, haunt my mind. This memory feeds my unwavering resolution." (Liberté, égalité, fraternité, sécurité.)

+ "ISIL is the face of evil." President Obama gave a press conference on ISIS during the G20 meeting in Turkey, after apparently making some progress with Vladimir Putin regarding a political transition in Syria.

+ Hollande said the terrorist acts were "planned in Syria, organized in Belgium, perpetrated on our soil with French complicity." A fierce manhunt is underway in France and Belgium as authorities search for Salah Abdeslam, who is believed to have taken part in the attacks; and Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the 27-year-old Belgian man currently believed to have plotted the mass murder.

+ WaPo on Molenbeek; the Belgian neighborhood indelibly linked to jihad.


What We’re Up Against

Most of the time, reducing a geopolitical war to a battle between good and evil is an oversimplification. Occasionally it's not. In this moment, we need to oblige those willing to die for an evil cause, but also give options to those willing to live another way. The brewing global war is between fundamentalism and sanity. You can kill terrorists. But you need another strategy against the fundamentalism. Here's a must-read Graeme Wood piece in The Atlantic to help us understand what we're up against: What ISIS Really Wants. "We'll need to get acquainted with the Islamic State's intellectual genealogy if we are to react in a way that will not strengthen it, but instead help it self-immolate in its own excessive zeal."

+ NYT: Beirut, also the site of deadly attacks, feels forgotten. It's not just Beirut. ISIS has killed or enslaved thousands of people in Iraq and Syria, and has extended the reach of its violence. This is what a year of Islamic State terror looks like.

+ Jeffrey Goldberg: Crimes jihadists will sentence you to death for.


Exactly Wrong

A growing number of state leaders have responded to the Paris attacks by insisting that they will not allow any Syrian refugees to enter. Here's Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in a letter to President Obama: "Neither you nor any federal official can guarantee that Syrian refugees will not be part of any terroristic activity." He's right. The Syrian refugees are all part of a terrorist activity. They are its victims.

+ Obama responded to those who have suggested closing state borders to Syrians (or only opening them to Christians): "The people who are fleeing Syria are the most harmed by terrorism; they are the most vulnerable as a consequence of civil war and strife." To understand Syrians' life on the run, you have to consider the remarkable civilian death toll in what used to be their country.

+ Harleen Gambhir on the Islamic State's trap for Europe: "The group hopes frequent, devastating attacks in its name will provoke overreactions by European governments against innocent Muslims, thereby alienating and radicalizing Muslim communities throughout the continent."

+ The Daily Beast: ISIS targeted Muslims in Paris. (To get ISIS, you have to get this.)


Wade Back into The Row

ProPublica: "The U.S. Supreme Court ... accepted what could be its most important abortion case in a generation. The central issue in Whole Woman's Health v. Cole is the extent to which states (in this case, Texas) can go in adopting restrictions." Here'a a reading list related to the case.


Barbied Wire

Nick Bostrom has earned a lot of readers and several big name believers when it comes to his concerns about artificial intelligence. He essentially argues "that true artificial intelligence, if it is realized, might pose a danger that exceeds every previous threat from technology -- even nuclear weapons -- and that if its development is not managed carefully humanity risks engineering its own extinction." The New Yorker's Raffi Khatchadourian on The Doomsday Invention.

+ "Now imagine that that doll was not only recording every one of your most intimate conversations and curious questions but learning how to respond to you." Is Hello Barbie every parent's worst nightmare? (Barbie could reach the Singularity and she still wouldn't have a chance to survive a conversation with my 7 year-old daughter.)


Face Off

"It floats in a bowl of icy, hemodynamic preserving solution, paused midway on its journey from one operating room to another, from a 26-year-old Brooklyn bike mechanic who'd been declared brain-dead 48 hours earlier to a 41-year-old Mississippi fireman whose face had burned off in a blaze 14 years ago." From NY Mag: How One Man's Face Became Another Man's Face.


Ronda’s Bull

"A bullfight, as Hemingway put it, is not a contest but a tragedy. The odds are stacked against the bull and the more aggressively he fights, the more he will exhaust himself. But once he slows, he's dead. Not many predicted that Ronda Rousey would suffer the same fate." Vice on How Holly Holm killed queen Ronda Rousey. It will be interesting to see how the media reacts to the fall of the only female UFC fighter most of us had ever heard of.

+ ESPN is already in the midst of laying off a lot of name brand-name talking heads because its future is in live sports. Even highlights could be in danger as Millennials tend to look first to YouTube and Facebook when they want sports content.


Driving Force

I've often wondered what will happen when everyone becomes an Uber driver and there's no one left who needs a ride. With their latest app update, Uber could be moving us one step closer to that eventuality.


Hello Again, Hello

As Billboard names 21 the greatest album of all time, and cash registers everywhere await the release of the follow-up album, The New Yorker examines the singularity of Adele's soul.


Bottom of the News

"Inside an inconspicuous-looking storefront on a tree-lined street in Portland, Oregon, Samantha Hess prepares to cuddle with a stranger." Priceonomics takes you inside the world of for-profit cuddling.

+ Syndicated via Kottke: Watch as skier Ian McIntosh hits an unexpected trench on one of his first turns down an extremely steep mountain and tumbles 1600 feet in less than a minute. Actually, don't just watch...put your headphones on and listen. (This looks like it might be a black diamond run.)

+ If the Standard Chartered Bangkok half marathon seemed a little longer than a half-marathon, it's because it was.