The Big Story\n\nSearch and rescue teams were still digging through debris looking for survivors Thursday after a 12-story apartment building partially collapsed at around 1:30 in the morning in an area just north of Miami Beach. One person has been declared dead so far, and at least 35 residents were rescued from the building, with two pulled from the rubble. But that leaves 99 residents of the 136-unit condo building in Surfside, near Miami Beach, still unaccounted for. Some of the missing residents might not have been at home when the building collapsed, authorities said Thursday. At a news conference Thursday afternoon Miami-Dade County officials offered no indication of what caused the collapse but provided updates on the grim state of ongoing rescue efforts. Rescue dogs began searching through the rubble at 2 a.m., according to Surfside Mayor Charles W. Burkett, who was not hopeful about their chances of locating additional survivors. “Apparently, when the building came down, it pancaked,” Burkett said at the news conference. “So there’s just not a lot of voids that they’re finding or seeing from the outside.” In today’s Back Pages: A Paradoxical IndividualismThe RestIn his big crime speech on Wednesday, President Biden doubled down on gun control as the key to address surging levels of violent crime in the United States. While crime is largely a local matter for the political leaders in big cities where it’s spiking, Biden’s focus on gun restrictions and assault weapon bans—despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of violent crime in the United States is committed with handguns—effectively skirted the issue of policing that has roiled the Democratic Party over the past year.\n\nThe largest healthcare union in the United States is leading the opposition to mandatory vaccinations. George Gresham, president of 1199SEIU, said this week that while he has encouraged his union’s members to get vaccinated, they “have the right to make their own decisions about their own health.” The pledge to fight vaccine mandates comes as hospitals across the country—including New York-Presbyterian earlier this month—are requiring employees to receive COVID-19 vaccines. Joining the 1199 is the New York State Nurses Association, which put out a statement last week saying that it “strongly opposes the mandatory vaccination of healthcare providers for COVID-19.”\nRead more here: https://gothamist.com/news/americas-largest-health-care-union-vows-to-fight-mandatory-covid-19-vaccines\n\nGilad Shalit, the former Israeli soldier who was taken hostage by Hamas and held in captivity for five years, got married last night in a small ceremony in central Israel. Now 34, Shalit’s wedding comes 10 years after Israel secured his release in 2011 in a controversial prisoner swap.\n\nA new paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences finds—no surprise—that the most viral posts on social media are those that rally a group to attack a common enemy. The paper’s authors found the out-group language was strongly tied to “angry” reactions and “consistently emerged as the strongest predictor of shares and retweets” on sites such as Twitter and Facebook.\n\nTime to announce the winners in yesterday’s game of Guess that obviously non-antisemitic, totally innocent thing someone just happens to have in common with David Duke! If you guessed using ‘Zio’ as an epithet for Israelis, congratulations!In the never-ending mission to eliminate harm and injustice from the world by policing language, administrators at Brandeis University (only $59,000 a year!) published a list of “oppressive” language for students to avoid. The list includes dangerous phrases such as “rule of thumb” and “trigger warning” (could remind someone of guns).\n"Trigger Warning" is itself now "violent language" https://t.co/Wlin3whhF9 pic.twitter.com/aZqtLvDEYP— Wesley Yang (@wesyang) June 24, 2021\n\nThe strange, sad saga of Britney Spears led the former Disney star and ’90s pop idol to court yesterday, where she pleaded by phone with a judge to lift the conservatorship that gives her father control over her finances. “I’m not happy. I can’t sleep. I’m so angry. It’s insane. And I’m depressed. I cry every day,” Spears recounted how her father, Jaime Spears, had forced her to tour when she was sick and prevented her from seeing a doctor to remove a birth control device—effectively preventing her from having more children. “I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive,” Spears told the judge. “It’s my wish and my dream for all of this to end.”\n\nJohn McAfee, famous first for his Norton Antivirus software and later for his lifestyle as an attention-seeking international outlaw, was found dead inside his Spanish prison cell Wednesday, in an apparent suicide. McAfee’s death came shortly after Spain’s high court ruled that he would be extradited to the United States to face tax evasion charges.The Back PagesSomeone calling themselves @Heghoulian tweeted something insightful today.We have a paradoxical sort of individualism now, where everything that matters - money, job etc - is your sole responsibility, yet you have no freedom. You’re absolutely on your own, but the eye of society is always on you. It’s a highly organised & policed individualism.\n\n— Heghoulian (@Heghoulian) June 24, 2021It’s a precarious individualism, as the tweeter observes, theoretically open to infinite possibilities of self-definition, yet always monitored and surveilled. Maybe it’s too much to say that a person living in the United States has no freedom, but the point is that while the range of choices may appear to be as limitless as the internet, they are controlled and choreographed by the algorithms that guide your user clicks and advertising experiences within the simulation of freedom online.\n\nThis reminds me of something I read in Michael Brendan Dougherty’s excellent memoir, “My Father Left Me Ireland”:\nTo empower me and my generation, everyone pretended that there were no insurmountable obstacles in the way of our finding our true selves. But this gave us the sense that every misfortune or setback was entirely self-authored. Assured there was no judgement from without, our desires and expectations made us pitiless judges of our own lives.\nA half generation ago, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when I was coming of age, this freedom of total self-authorship was exhilarating but crushing. If all the freedom was yours and identity was just a matter of self-invention, then whose fault was it if you weren’t a rich, beautiful artist with a fascinating life, the kind you’d want to watch a movie of. The price of being modern is that you can’t blame the church or the village for your own supposed shortcomings and limitations. You own them.\n\nOn top of that, now there’s the additional burden of feeling constantly watched and policed, herded into place within an invisible collective. But this kind of individualism, thankfully, appears to have reached a dead end. Real freedom and real individualism requires accepting limitations—the insurmountable obstacles Dougherty mentions—as well as obligations. Communities provide those. The internet does not.