How Not to Offend →
by Marshall McLuhan Closely related to the combination of moral fervor and know-how is the cult of hygiene. If it is a duty to buy those appliances which free the body from toil and thus enable housewives not to hate their husbands, equally urgent is the duty to “be dainty and fresh.”
The Myth of Prodigy →
by Eric Wargo Judging from his boyish appearance and his voracious curiosity, it’s easy to imagine Malcolm Gladwell as some sort of child prodigy. And he was. But not in the way you would imagine.
Are Black People Cooler Than White People? →
by Donnell Alexander The question of whether black people are cooler than white people is a dumb one, and one that I imagine a lot of people will find offensive. But we know what we’re talking about, right?
Peyton's Place →
by John Jeremiah Sullivan When John Jeremiah Sullivan and his wife leveraged everything they had to buy a big brick neo-Colonial in Wilmington, North Carolina (the Hollywood of the South!), their realtor made an irresistible proposal: By allowing a popular teen TV show to film at the house a few days a month, they could pretty much get the mortgage covered. What came next was a journey into a...
Anthrax Redux →
by Noah Shachtman (via Alice Gregory) It’s been 10 years since the deadliest biological terror attack in US history launched a manhunt that ruined one scientist’s reputation and saw a second driven to suicide, yet nagging problems remain. Problems that add up to an unsettling reality: Despite the FBI’s assurances, it’s not at all certain that the government could have ever convicted Ivins of a...
The Deep End →
by Wells Tower (via Alice Gregory) This man, apparently, is drowning. He’s a large fellow, sagging listlessly a few feet below the surface of the water, which, in the glare of the morning sun, is the pure hue of old Coke-bottle glass.
The Embarrassment of Riches →
by Pamela Haag I will never have a face-to-face conversation with a friend about the things that I write here - I have more money than anyone I know.
The Best of Technology Writing →
2006, 2007 and 2008 Anyone with an interest in science and technology should check out the Best of Technology Writing series, published by the University of Michigan Press. Click through to access the three free online editions, which include over 50 great articles and essays. Over the past few weeks we’ve been featuring our favourite articles from the collection, you can find them all...
Disneyland with the Death Penalty →
by William Gibson (via afflictor.com) “It’s like an entire country run by Jeffrey Katzenberg,” the producer said, “under the motto ‘Be happy or I’ll kill you.”
All You Can Hold For Five Bucks →
by Joseph Mitchell (via afflictor.com) The New York State steak dinner, or “beefsteak,” is a form of gluttony as stylized and regional as the riverbank fish fry, the hot-rock clambake, or the Texas barbeque.
Quantum Leap →
by Peter Schwarz (via afflictor.com) Brain prosthetics. Telepathy. Punctual flights. A futurist’s vision of where quantum computers will take us.
by Stewart Brand (via afflictor.com) Right now, hundreds of computer technicians are locked in life-or-Death space combat computer-projected onto cathode ray tube display screens, for hours at a time, ruining their eyes, numbing their fingers in frenzied mashing of control buttons, joyously slaying their friend and wasting their employers’ valuable computer time. Something basic is going...
The Zombie Hunters →
by Evan Ratliff One afternoon this spring, a half dozen young computer engineers sat in the headquarters of Prolexic, an Internet-security company in Hollywood, Florida, puzzling over an attack on one of the company’s clients, a penile-enhancement business called MensNiche.com.
An Essay in Unitard Theory →
by Michael Chabon …and all that I needed to effect the change was to fasten a terry-cloth beach towel around my neck…
What if He's Right? →
by Tom Wolfe (via Afflictor) Suppose he is what he sounds like, the most important thinker since Newton, Darwin, Freud and Einstein. What if he’s right?
Inside Dope →
by David Grann The Note is a kind of Skull and Bones for the political class, written in a runic argot that is often incomprehensible to outsiders.
What Would Jesus Do? →
by Walter Kirn Christian bands rock like Americans play soccer: skillfully but somehow not convincingly. Or maybe it’s the power of suggestion that makes the stuff seem counterfeit to me.
Never Forget →
by Michael Paterniti In 1975, in Cambodia, there was a regime so evil that it created an antisociety where torture was currency and music, books, and love were abolished. This regime ruled for four years and murdered nearly 2 million of its citizens, a quarter of the population. The perversion was so extreme, the acts so savage, that three decades later, the country still finds itself reeling.
The New Mecca →
by George Saunders A guided tour through steroidal capitalism, world revolution, and the finest hotel rooms money can buy.
The Muse of the Coyote Ugly Saloon →
by Elizabeth Gilbert I gave a lot of good counsel at the Coyote Ugly Saloon. I certainly gave a lot of advice to men who’d fallen in love with their bartenders. It was a perennial problem. It was, after all, pretty much the whole point of the place.