Maggie Doherty reviews ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ by J.D. Vance, ‘The Recovering’ by Leslie Jamison, ‘How to Murder Your Life’ by Cat Marnell, ‘Everything I Know about Love’ by Dolly Alderton, ‘This Will Be My Undoing’ by Morgan Jerkins, ‘Kid
This isn’t to say that millennials are simply interested in propping up the status quo. On the contrary, they seek to remake these institutions in their own image. Jerkins tells her fellow black women writers that ‘we have the responsibility to bring other black women to the forefront of the culture we’ve helped to create and sustain.’ Jamison discusses the failure of the War on Drugs and the ways that racism pervades rehab programmes and the criminal justice system. Vance would like more kids like him to make it to college, though he sees the obstacles as personal, not structural – and so argues that ‘there is no government that can fix these problems for us.’
culture  memoir  millenial  society  book 
16 days ago
The scourge of honey fraud - Bee’s needs
America’s taste for honey is nectar for con men
business  honey  bee  fraud 
16 days ago
Steven Mithen reviews ‘Who We Are and How We Got Here’ by David Reich · LRB 13 September 2018
In another case, there were concerns when ancient DNA data indicated that an influx of people described initially by Reich as ‘West Eurasians’ into South Asia had made a major contribution to historical and present-day Indian populations. The suggestion that the cultural achievements of South Asia might be partly attributable to western Eurasians was considered politically unacceptable by Indian archaeologists.
dna  genetics  history 
16 days ago
The Man Who Captures Criminals for the D.E.A. by Playing Them | The New Yorker
Spyros Enotiades is an actor for hire who specializes in the role of cartel boss, middleman, or money manager in sting operations.
drug  story  crime  us 
16 days ago
Loneliness is a serious public-health problem - All the lonely people
The lonely are not just sadder; they are unhealthier and die younger. What can be done?
loneliness  society  psychology  social 
16 days ago
It has the world’s best schools, but Singapore wants better - Room for improvement
The government wants pupils not just to ace exams, but also to be creative
school  education  singapore 
16 days ago
Disputes over goodwill can seem arcane - Schumpeter
Total goodwill for all listed firms worldwide is $8trn, according to Bloomberg. That compares to $14trn of physical assets. Dry? Yes. Irrelevant? Far from it.
finance  money  stock  value  virtual 
16 days ago
Mission implausible - Bartleby
McDonald’s is admirably succinct: “to be our customers’ favourite place and way to eat and drink”. Visa, with economical elegance, says its vision is “to be the best way to pay and be paid for everyone, everywhere.” And Walmart talks of “saving people money so they can live better”.
pr  corporate  bullshit 
16 days ago
Black voices, white voices: the cost of accents - Johnson
Sounding black has a profound impact on Americans’ lives
society  class  language  accent  us  black 
16 days ago
Ten years after the financial crisis - Global economy
A big part of the problem was a failure of political leadership. European politicians initially dismissed the crisis as an American problem, generated on Wall Street, even though Europe’s banks also had balance sheets stuffed with dodgy loans. Perhaps the most dangerous failure, though, lies in the unwillingness to deal with problems which lie at the heart of the system and persist today. The finance sector, which caused the crisis, looks remarkably unaltered.
book  crash  crisis  debt  finance  europe 
16 days ago
Wear glasses. Earn more - Appropriate technology
The rise in productivity for those with glasses was the largest caused by a medical intervention that has ever been shown in such a trial (others have been of mosquito nets and micronutrients).
poverty  aid  civilization  survival 
16 days ago
In Paligenosis, Adult Cells Turn Fetal to Heal Wounds | Quanta Magazine
Unfortunately, experts posit that cancer — which is “basically a disease of chronic inflammation,” Buczacki said — can develop when something goes awry during this regenerative process.
biology  health  cancer  cell 
17 days ago
How a Notorious Gangster Was Exposed by His Own Sister | The New Yorker
But a recent confidential report by the Dutch police, which leaked to the press, suggested that official figures don’t reflect the actual volume of crime in the country. The police estimated that millions of minor thefts and other violations go unreported every year, because victims conclude that crime is an inevitable nuisance or that the authorities are unlikely to apprehend the perpetrators. There is also a fair amount of serious crime. According to a Europol report, as much as half the cocaine that enters Europe passes through the port of Rotterdam.
crime  netherland  story  book  family 
22 days ago
What Termites Can Teach Us | The New Yorker
Roboticists are fascinated by their “swarm intelligence,” biologists by their ability to turn grass into energy. But can humans replicate their achievements?
biology  animal  society  robotics 
22 days ago
What Personality Tests Really Deliver | The New Yorker
They’re a two-billion-dollar industry. But are assessments like the Myers-Briggs more self-help than science?
psychology  test  mbti  hoax 
22 days ago
How E-Commerce Is Transforming Rural China | The New Yorker
JD.com is expanding its consumer base with drone delivery and local recruits who can exploit villages’ tight-knit social networks to drum up business.
china  internet  commerce  society  luxury 
22 days ago
Genetic science is attempting to predict our fates. GWAS, explained. - Vox
In 2007, there were 240 papers that mentioned GWAS, according to the PubMed database. In 2017, more than 3,800 were published.
genetics  health  medicine  data 
26 days ago
Opinion | The Bitter Regrets of a Useless Chinese Daughter - The New York Times
Whether I choose to go back home and take care of her or stay in the United States and keep reaching for my dream, sooner or later, I will regret either choice. I will scold myself for not having enough courage to take the other path.
china  family  children 
26 days ago
Polarization in Poland: A Warning From Europe - The Atlantic
The authoritarian state, or even the semi-authoritarian state—the one-party state, the illiberal state—offers that promise: that the nation will be ruled by the best people, the deserving people, the members of the party, the believers in the Medium-Size Lie.
democracy  poland  politics  hungary  europe 
26 days ago
Preventing Muscle Loss as We Age - The New York Times
Sarcopenia, a decline in skeletal muscle in older people, contributes to loss of independence.
aging  exercise  health 
26 days ago
The Real Cost of the 2008 Financial Crisis | The New Yorker
According to the Basel report, asset managers now control nearly a hundred and sixty trillion dollars, more than the worldwide holdings of the banking industry. During a market sell-off, the report warned, some of these firms could face pressures—such as a surge of investors eager to cash out—that would lead to a downward spiral. A recent McKinsey study showed that in the past ten years the amount of outstanding corporate debt has tripled across the world. In the United States, the study noted, almost two-thirds of non-financial debt is rated as junk or one notch above junk. Roughly three trillion dollars of this questionable credit is set to mature in the next five years. If the economy falters, or if interest rates rise sharply, many corporations may find themselves in the position of new mortgage holders a decade ago—unable to repay or roll over their debts.
finance  politics  debt  crash  bubble 
26 days ago
Academic Activists Send a Published Paper Down the Memory Hole - Quillette
Educators must practice what we preach and lead by example. In this way, we can help to foster intellectual curiosity and the discovery of fresh reasoning so compelling that it causes even the most sceptical to change their minds. But this necessarily requires us to reject censorship and open ourselves to the civil discussion of sensitive topics such as gender differences, and the variability hypothesis in particular.
academia  feminism  gender  science 
26 days ago
How WhatsApp Destroyed A Village
In July, residents of a rural Indian town saw rumors of child kidnappers on WhatsApp. Then they beat five strangers to death.
india  culture  media  hoax  meme  internet  murder 
26 days ago
How a shampoo bottle is saving young lives - Health care
A doctor in Bangladesh has found a simple way to treat infant pneumonia
infant  pneumonia  health  india  children 
27 days ago
The global smartphone supply chain needs an upgrade - iSupply
Its vulnerabilities are smartphone saturation, weak firms and protectionism
business  technology  mobile 
27 days ago
People say they hate traffic jams, but are oddly tolerant of them - The slow and the furious
In the most congested cities, talking about traffic jams becomes an obsession; ending them seems not to
traffic  city  time  waste 
27 days ago
Tariq Ali reviews ‘Ants among Elephants’ by Sujatha Gidla · LRB 30 August 2018
According to recent estimates by India’s National Crime Records Bureau, every 16 minutes a crime is committed by caste Hindus against an untouchable – or Dalit, as they prefer to be called. The figures are horrific: every month 52 Dalits are killed and six kidnapped; every week almost thirty Dalit women are raped by caste Hindus. This will be a serious underestimate. Most victims of caste violence don’t report the crime for fear of reprisals, notably death by burning.
book  caste  india  democracy 
27 days ago
Ian Jack reviews ‘Auntie’s War’ by Edward Stourton · LRB 30 August 2018
The BBC of the 1940s was not – not even remotely – either of those things in the sense we use the terms now.
history  war  media  manipulation  uk 
27 days ago
Stephen Sedley reviews ‘The Conservative Human Rights Revolution’ by Marco Duranti · LRB 30 August 2018
Duranti notes that Churchill, tellingly, was in these years confining his advocacy to ‘fundamental personal rights’, not only avoiding but on occasion deleting references to human rights.
politics  europe  uk  rights 
27 days ago
Natasha Wheatley reviews ‘The Habsburg Empire’ by Pieter Judson · LRB 30 August 2018
Future historians might adapt those techniques that Zahra (and Judson himself) developed to combat nationalist historiography and write of ‘imperial indifference’ instead.
history  austria  hungary 
27 days ago
Adam Shatz reviews ‘Bibi’ by Anshel Pfeffer · LRB 30 August 2018
Backed by Trump and Evangelical Zionists, Netanyahu’s Israel doesn’t need the Jews, at least not the politically unreliable ones in the diaspora.
book  israel  politics 
27 days ago
Probiotics labelled 'quite useless' - BBC News
A group of scientists in Israel claim foods that are packed with good bacteria - called probiotics - are almost useless.
health  medicine  probiotic 
27 days ago
How Indian Americans Came to Run Half of All U.S. Motels
Starting in the 1940s, Indian immigrants built a hospitality industry that their children and grandchildren have turned into an empire.
hotel  indian  us  industry 
27 days ago
Alan Rusbridger: who broke the news? | News | The Guardian
The former editor-in-chief of the Guardian looks back on two decades that changed journalism for ever.
politics  news  journalism 
27 days ago
I lost my son to the opioid crisis and nothing can bring him back
This epidemic does not discriminate. Overcoming addiction isn’t merely a matter of willpower. "Hitting bottom" is not the answer. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) holds promise but is no cure-all.
drug  addiction  opiates 
27 days ago
BBC - Future - Are forgotten crops the future of food?
Just four crops - wheat, maize, rice and soybean - provide two-thirds of the world’s food supply. But scientists in Malaysia are trying to change that by reviving crops that have been relegated to the sidelines.
agriculture  food 
28 days ago
Hyperuniformity Found in Birds, Math and Physics | Quanta Magazine
Scientists are exploring a mysterious pattern, found in birds’ eyes, boxes of marbles and other surprising places, that is neither regular nor random.
math  physics  system  vision 
28 days ago
In Mysterious Pattern, Math and Nature Converge | Quanta Magazine
All complex correlated systems, from Arctic melt ponds to the Internet, appear to be governed by the same math as a random matrix.
math  physics  system 
28 days ago
Malcolm Bull reviews ‘Age of Anger’ by Pankaj Mishra · LRB 2 August 2018
This is surely the true nature of the injustice experienced by the declining classes of the rich world who no longer have anything to trade, and it is not necessarily a trivial one.
society  emotion  anger 
4 weeks ago
Richard J. Evans reviews ‘Hitler’s Monsters’ by Eric Kurlander · LRB 2 August 2018
To be sure, Kurlander does expose the deep irrationality at the heart of the Nazi regime. The ‘cold science’ Hitler claimed to espouse was itself a pseudo-science, for he was referring in fact to the murderous absurdities of ‘racial hygiene’ and racial theory on which the Nazi movement and its policies were based. Yet Kurlander’s claim that ‘the Nazis drew upon a wide variety of occult practices to gain power, shape propaganda … and pursue their dreams of a racial utopian empire’ does not stand up to close scrutiny. The reality was more prosaic.
nazi  history  book  occult 
4 weeks ago
Information overload is nothing new | 1843
o you fret about staying on top of a deluge of information? Don’t worry, says Tom Standage, Leibniz felt the same.
information  book 
4 weeks ago
How the internet has changed dating - Meet markets
Better algorithms, business models and data could have even more people finding partners
society  love  family  sex  technology  culture  dating 
4 weeks ago
Governments need better ways to manage migration - Crossing continents
Migrants can make the world more prosperous, but voters need convincing
immigration  society  economy 
4 weeks ago
Anti-vax fears drive a measles outbreak in Europe - Vaccination falters
Immunity rates in parts of Europe are lower than in some African countries
health  vaccination  europe  africa 
4 weeks ago
Ferdinand Mount reviews ‘A Certain Idea of France’ by Julian Jackson · LRB 2 August 2018
"if de Gaulle had been listened to, it is likely that the events of May in which miraculously no one died would have degenerated into a bloodbath."
france  politics  book 
4 weeks ago
“I was lucky”: the hidden past of a London housekeeper | 1843
Aisha left her family to go and work for a stranger halfway across the world. Her employer, Moni Mohsin, tells her extraordinary story.
migration  women  work  slavery  servant  family 
4 weeks ago
Paul Singer, Doomsday Investor | The New Yorker
The head of Elliott Management has developed a uniquely adversarial, and immensely profitable, way of doing business.
finance  investment  politics  capitalism 
4 weeks ago
How a hacker network turned stolen press releases into $100 million - The Verge
In all, the case would later be described by the FBI as the largest known computer hacking and securities fraud in the world. The combined total of profits made public by the SEC stands at over $100 million, but that represents only a fraction of the money authorities believe was made off the stolen press releases.
finance  hacking 
4 weeks ago
Flüchtlinge: Migrationsdebatte verhindert Fortschritt - Kommentar - SPIEGEL ONLINE
Es gibt keine europäischen Mitbewerber, keine gemeinsamen digitalen Initiativen, kaum Regulierung - Europa ist ein Absatzmarkt, kein kreatives Zentrum.
europe  germany  society  economy  bullshit 
4 weeks ago
Who Are We? Examining the State of German Identity - SPIEGEL ONLINE
Integration and immigration are extremely controversial issues in the Germany of today. What do they say about the state of German identity? A handful of new books add fuel to the already blazing fire.
germany  society  book 
5 weeks ago
Phone Numbers Were Never Meant as ID. Now We’re All At Risk | WIRED
If it’s not a secret, then you can’t use it as an authenticator.
surveillance  privacy  data  crime 
5 weeks ago
Your Inner Mind Is a Work of Imagination
Nick Chater argues our brain is a storyteller, not a reporter from an inner world.
brain  psychology  emotion  story  unconscious 
6 weeks ago
Universal Method to Sort Complex Information Found | Quanta Magazine
The nearest neighbor problem asks where a new point fits into an existing data set. A few researchers set out to prove that there was no universal way to solve it. Instead, they found such a way.
computers  data  programming 
6 weeks ago
Teenager Finds Classical Alternative to Quantum Recommendation Algorithm | Quanta Magazine
18-year-old Ewin Tang has proven that classical computers can solve the “recommendation problem” nearly as fast as quantum computers. The result eliminates one of the best examples of quantum speedup.
computers  data  programming 
6 weeks ago
Amsterdam Tries to Limit Impact of Tourism - SPIEGEL ONLINE
In recent years, it has become increasingly clear that Amsterdam, a city of 850,000, is unable to cope with the 18 million tourists who visit each year. City planners are experimenting with ways of limiting their numbers.
tourism  netherland  amsterdam  civic  business 
6 weeks ago
Design case history: the Commodore 64
The 'world's greatest' video-game chips became the basis for the world's most popular personal computer.
technology  design  case  commodore 
6 weeks ago
Fast Food Nation: Inside India's Growing Crisis - SPIEGEL ONLINE
Prem is one of an estimated 70 to 80 million people in India who suffer from diabetes.
india  diabetes  food 
6 weeks ago
Michael Hudson: Argentina Gets Biggest IMF Loan in History | naked capitalism
The madness of this was spelled out over 2000 years ago. In Book I of Plato’s Republic you have Socrates arguing against the idea that all debts should be paid. He asks, what if you borrow a weapon from a crazy person, and he asks for it back. Should you give him a weapon if he’s likely to hurt people?
imf  argentina  debt  wealth  finance 
6 weeks ago
The Peculiar Math That Could Underlie the Laws of Nature | WIRED
Cohl Furey, a mathematical physicist at the University of Cambridge, is finding links between the Standard Model of particle physics and the octonions, numbers whose multiplication rules are encoded in a triangular diagram called the Fano plane.
math  physics  research 
6 weeks ago
A combined analysis of genetically correlated traits identifies 187 loci and a role for neurogenesis and myelination in intelligence | Molecular Psychiatry
We found evidence that neurogenesis and myelination—as well as genes expressed in the synapse, and those involved in the regulation of the nervous system—may explain some of the biological differences in intelligence.
gene  inheritance  intelligence 
6 weeks ago
To Remember, the Brain Must Actively Forget | Quanta Magazine
Researchers find evidence that neural systems actively remove memories, which suggests that forgetting may be the default mode of the brain.
biology  brain  health  memory  psychology 
6 weeks ago
The World Economy Runs on GPS. It Needs a Backup Plan - Bloomberg
The small satellite network, which keeps global computer systems from freaking out, is shockingly vulnerable to all kinds of interference.
gps  hacking  technology  location  military 
6 weeks ago
Skim reading is the new normal. The effect on society is profound | Maryanne Wolf | Opinion | The Guardian
When the reading brain skims texts, we don’t have time to grasp complexity, to understand another’s feelings or to perceive beauty. We need a new literacy for the digital age
brain  children  digital  education  reading 
6 weeks ago
Evaluating the replicability of social science experiments in Nature and Science between 2010 and 2015 | Nature Human Behaviour
We find that peer beliefs of replicability are strongly related to replicability, suggesting that the research community could predict which results would replicate and that failures to replicate were not the result of chance alone.
science  reproducability  social 
6 weeks ago
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