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What, oh, what could be the subtle factors driving residents of the U.S. to enlist in ISIS? The New York Times offers a study of the diverse factors behind would-be ISIS terrorists:

What the Americans Drawn to ISIS Had in Common

The nearly 100 United States residents accused of trying to help the Islamic State share certain characteristics that may have made them more susceptible to radicalization, according to a report from the Center on National Security at Fordham Law.

- U.S. citizens [vs.] Permanent residents, refugees or other …

- At least a quarter of them expressed a desire for martyrdom. …

- Many were strongly influenced by al-Baghdadi or al-Awlaki. …

- Many lived with their parents, some of whom tried to intervene. …

- Many used social media to become involved with the Islamic State. …

- Some of them sought links to ISIS through marriage. …

On the other hand, what percentage of the Islamic State’s recruits were Islamic just doesn’t seem to come up. Why would you ask about that? What are you? An Islamophobe?

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From the New York Times:

MacArthur ‘Genius Grant’ Winners for 2015 Are Announced

Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of the best-selling nonfiction book “Between the World and Me,” was at home in his Paris apartment when the call came.

“I wished I could be cool,”** Mr. Coates said in a telephone interview. “But you just can’t be cool.”

These three were among the 24 people selected as 2015 fellows of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The fellowships, which have come to be known as “genius grants,” come with a stipend of $625,000 over five years — no strings attached. …

Correction: September 29, 2015

An earlier version of a capsule summary for this article misspelled the given name of one of the winners of this year’s MacArthur fellowships. He is Ta-Nehisi Coates, not Ta-Nehesi.

When it rains, it pours: The New York Times misspelling his name should give Mr. Coates’ enough material for yet another memoir about how oppressed he is by people who think they are white. This flagrant example of insensitivity to black bodies’ creative spelling would furnish a worthy follow-up to his current bestseller about how an Upper West Side woman on an escalator once racistishly said “Come on!” to his son for blocking the exit. ***

* From TV Tropes:

Arkham’s Razor

… A trope mostly in comedic works where, when given multiple explanations for an event, the oddest one is most likely to be true. The inverse of Occam’s Razor. As such, it can be summarized as “When you hear hoofbeats; think zebras, not horses.” The name is a take off of Occam’s Razor, combined with Arkham, which refers to the fictional Massachusetts town in the works of HP Lovecraft, and also to the fictional insane asylum in Batman comic books. Thus, the term “Arkham” is closely tied to the idea of madness or surprise.

** TNC will never be cool. His dweebiness is his essential quality.

*** I know it sounds like I’m trying to pull your leg, but I’m not making this up: TNC really did just get $625,000 for his body being a Genius.

My jokes are next week’s news.

Dave Pinsen wonders whether TNC’s future Nobel Prize will be in Literature or Peace or both. I’d say: Physics. After all, he’s the world’s leading expert on black bodies.

Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.

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