What I Read, 2nd Ed

Posted on May 24, 2012 in Everyday Life

Recent pieces that caught my fancy:

Naomi Alderman argues that “zombies are all the things that will not lie down and die, the truth we cannot repress, the thing that will rise up until it overwhelms us all. Whatever you want to forget is stumbling, dead-eyed and open-mouthed towards you.”

Is it enough to describe complex sociotechnical systems, or should there be a new and prescriptive field of study?

The space between memory and invention, writes Mavis Gallant, creates fiction that “resists analysis, all but the most shallow and humdrum, and cannot be tested or measured or, really, classified and contained.”

A story of the extraordinary medical and scientific research that ultimately gave Dallas Weins a new face.

In a country where all prisoners will someday be released, Halden high-security prison is Norway’s new model for rehabilitation instead of punishment.

Samuel Fromartz travels to Paris to learn how baguettes are being made to sing again.

“What can be learned from the Unabomber?” David Skrbina’s correspondence with Ted Kaczynski revives the philosophical question of whether a person’s ideas can be separated from their actions.

First domesticated for cockfighting instead of eating, how chicken became the most “ubiquitous food of our era, crossing multiple cultural boundaries with ease.”

On “thin places,” or those wondrous locales, both sacred and profane, that “offer glimpses not of heaven but of earth as it really is, unencumbered. Unmasked.”