GOOD

The Red Scare

Osama bin Laden is dead, but the awkward, nonspecific system for measuring our collective fear remains.


The paranoiac genius of the old Homeland Security Advisory System, which was phased out in April, wasn’t in the color scheme. It was in the box size. The five boxes were of equal proportion, stacked on top of each other. The eye, accustomed to reading charts and graphs, registered a steady shift in the level of alert, from a pastoral green at the bottom to a flaming red on top. That had an effect on the orderly mind. Each elevation in the terror alert told it to be 20 percent more afraid.

Now consider the baseline that the advisory adopted. A full 80 percent of the boxes indicated you were likely to die. Even pastoral green, “Low,” said the risk of a terrorist attack was slim but not impossible. Above green was “Guarded,” which, despite its calm blue hue, meant there was a “General Risk” that Osama bin Laden would touch you. Not for one day in the nine-year existence of the Homeland Security Advisory System did the government drop to a blue alert.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

Too Big to Fail

Mayoral control of schools in the nation's biggest districts.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

Every three months, GOOD releases our quarterly magazine, which examines a given theme through our unique lens. Recent editions have covered topics like the impending global water crisis, the future of transportation, and the amazing rebuilding of New Orleans. This quarter's issue is about energy, and we'll be rolling out a variety of stories all month. You can subscribe to GOOD here.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

Every three months, GOOD releases our quarterly magazine, which examines a given theme through our unique lens. Recent editions have covered topics like the impending global water crisis, the future of transportation, and the amazing rebuilding of New Orleans. This quarter's issue is about energy, and we'll be rolling out a variety of stories all month. You can subscribe to GOOD here.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

Every three months, GOOD releases our quarterly magazine, which examines a given theme through our unique lens. Recent editions have covered topics like the impending global water crisis, the future of transportation, and the amazing rebuilding of New Orleans. This quarter's issue is about energy, and we'll be rolling out a variety of stories all month. You can subscribe to GOOD here.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

Five Ideas: Keith Scharwath

My name is Keith Scharwath and I’m a designer, illustrator and art director based in Los Angeles.

Five Ideas is a collection of work from GOOD's favorite artists, illustrators, and designers. Some of the of the work you've probably seen, some of it has never been published. Each week, we'll showcase five pieces of work that tell a short story about our most creative friends.

My name is Keith Scharwath and I’m a designer, illustrator and art director based in Los Angeles. I was trained as a graphic designer but I’ve been able to incorporate some of my other loves—drawing, painting, and photography—into my work. I was lucky enough to be invited to guest art direct the latest issue of GOOD, the Neighborhoods Issue, which just hit newsstands.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles