Weekend Reading

  • Philosophy shrugged: ignoring Ayn Rand won’t make her go away
    Philosophers love to hate Ayn Rand. It’s trendy to scoff at any mention of her. One philosopher told me that: ‘No one needs to be exposed to that monster.’ Many propose that she’s not a philosopher at all and should not be taken seriously. The problem is that people are taking her seriously.
    Academic arguments aside, if it works for you, it can’t be all that bad. Can it?

  • Disposable America
    A straw is a simple thing. It’s a tube, a conveyance mechanism for liquid. The defining characteristic of the straw is the emptiness inside it. This is the stuff of tragedy, and America.
    As we ban plastic ones, look at the staggering impact such a simple impact can have.

  • A new way to love: in praise of polyamory
    I have never enjoyed typical monogamy. It makes me think of dowries and possessive prairie voles who mate for life, and historically all monogamous relationship models have owned women in some way, with marriage there for financial purposes and the ownership of property.
    An old article that I missed at the time (mentioned on Guilty Feminist podcast episode I listened to last week)

  • Apple Is Figuring Out What’s Next
    Apple used this year’s WWDC to demonstrate a number of areas in which it is playing offense. This isn’t a company content with letting others control the user experience found with its devices. However, one of the major takeaways from the WWDC keynote was found with something not announced on stage.
    One thing Apple has done well recently, NOT reacting to the ‘latest thing’.

  • How Rorschach’s inkblots turned personality testing into an art.
    Just after April Fools’ Day in 1922, Hermann Rorschach, a psychologist who used a collection of symmetrical inkblots to treat patients with manic depression and schizophrenia, died of appendicitis in Herisau, Switzerland, at the age of 37.
    And definitely the best character in Watchmen

  • The Brexit Short: How Hedge Funds Used Private Polls to Make Millions
    Private polls—and a timely ‘concession’ from the face of Leave—allowed the funds to make millions off the pound’s collapse. After the dramatic intro, Boulton jumped straight in with a huge exclusive, declaring he had “breaking news.
    I don’t do much politics here but this is a doozy. Well done Brexiters, we’ve been played.

  • The Neuroscience of Pain
    On a foggy February morning in Oxford, England, I arrived at the John Radcliffe Hospital, a shiplike nineteen-seventies complex moored on a hill east of the city center, for the express purpose of being hurt.
    Pain isn’t always bad, but it’s always different.

  • Joe and the Whale
    The day Joe Howlett died dawned perfectly.
    You really should live your best life.

  • Why Women Don’t Code
    Ever since Google fired James Damore for “advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace,” those of us working in tech have been trying to figure out what we can and cannot say on the subject of diversity.
    There is a lot of change still required!

  • When It Comes to Sunscreen, the SPF Isn’t as Crucial as You Think
    Buying sunscreen can be a daunting process. What do all the numbers mean?
    Timely with record temperatures up here in Glasgow this past week.

  • The next time you think about doing a bit of working class tourism and dressing up in ‘poorface’, read this
    Every now and again, a minor celebrity or institution will announce that they are “challenging themselves” to “be poor for a day” in order to raise awareness of the plight of people living in poverty in the UK.
    The ever wonderful Jack. They know the reality of this.

  • Going Through The Emotions
    It’s the Instagram filter from hell. It’s the Snapchat face-swap of your worst nightmares. Cognitive distortions are the mental filters that we put on situations, experiences, ourselves and other people that make everything seem less than enjoyable.
    As I get older I seem to be getting angrier, at least my music choices are. Sleaford Mods then.

  • Where Is Barack Obama?
    Barack Obama was six months into his post–White House life when Donald Trump found a new way to grab his attention.
    Remember Obama? There is a reason he’s quiet.

  • The life of a stock photo model
    The Distracted Boyfriend meme, based on a stock photograph of a man looking on at another woman while his partner watches in disgust, has been a phenomenon. There’s now another backstory to the woman’s life.
    It just gets better as you scroll!! hahaha

  • The truth about gaming disorder, from Fortnite to World of Warcraft
    Gaming disorder may be a newly recognised condition, but disordered gaming is anything but new. In 2010, a Korean couple was arrested for fatal child neglect spurred by an obsession with Prius Online.
    Always wary of articles that state ‘the truth’ but yeah, this seems pretty on the nose.

  • Read This Article!!!
    How many exclamation points does it take to exclaim something? One, a human of sound mind and a decent grasp of punctuation might say. The exclamation point denotes exclamation. That is its point. One should suffice. But, on the internet, it often doesn’t. Not anymore.
    Guilty! As charged!!

  • Science Finds Exactly the Right Amount of Coffee You Should Drink a Day
    A team of German researchers, led by the molecular biologists Judith Haendeler and Joachim Altschmied, thinks it has discovered clues about how coffee works its caffeine-fueled magic on our heart health and how much caffeine we should drink each day to see the best benefits.
    Science is never wrong!!

  • The Dunning-Kruger Effect: we are all confident idiots
    In a lesson for TED-Ed, David Dunning explains the Dunning-Kruger Effect, a cognitive bias in which people with lesser abilities tend to rate themselves as more proficient than they are.
    And everyone, EVERYONE, suffers from it (also this is the second time I’ve heard this term in a week aka Baader-Meinhoff)

  • Scientists Have Identified 6 Types of Disgust
    You probably have a pretty good sense of what’s gross. Creepy crawlies, bodily fluids, and gas station egg salad all fit the bill.
    Excuse me while I barf in this bin.

  • Learn the “HALT” Method to Control Your Impulses
    Definitely need to give this a try, as both an emotionally compulsive shopper and eater!

  • Why Rich Kids Are So Good at the Marshmallow Test
    The marshmallow test is one of the most famous pieces of social-science research: Put a marshmallow in front of a child, tell her that she can have a second one if she can go 15 minutes without eating the first one, and then leave the room.
    Science is never wrong… except when it is.

  • Tropical Forests Suffered 2nd-Worst Loss Of Trees On Record Last Year
    Last year marked another record year of loss for tropical forests. About 39 million acres of tree cover disappeared in 2017 – an area the size of Bangladesh – according to data released Wednesday by the World Resources Institute.
    This isn’t even ‘news’ these days. We are killing the planet and no-one cares.

  • Winners of the 2018 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
    The winning images have been selected from this year’s edition of the National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year competition, with the Grand Prize being awarded to Reiko Takahashi for her image of a humpback whale calf swimming near Japan’s Kumejima Island.
    Reasons to work harder to save our planet. Wow.

  • A baby was treated with a nap and a bottle of formula. His parents received an $18,000 bill.
    On the first morning of Jang Yeo-im’s vacation to San Francisco in 2016, her eight-month-old son Park Jeong-whan fell off the bed in the family’s hotel room and hit his head. There was no blood, but the baby was inconsolable.
    Yes, it’s a story about the US medical system. But that’s what we are headed for in the UK.

  • Neat Experiment Suggests Crows Are Even Better Tool-Makers Than We Thought
    New research shows that crows can recreate tools from memory, a capacity previously thought impossible for birds. Crows are super smart—we knew that already. In addition to understanding causality and analogies, they can remember human faces, plan ahead, and hide their food from others.
    OK, so now we have to mindful of robots AND crows. Yikes.