Posts tagged "New Yorker"


From The New Yorker

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Another Week Ends: Overrated Successes, Disappointing Babies, Nostalgia for Human Error, Impossible Repayment and Technocrat Baseball

Another Week Ends: Overrated Successes, Disappointing Babies, Nostalgia for Human Error, Impossible Repayment and Technocrat Baseball

1. William Deresiewicz’s clickbaity “Don’t Send Your Kid to the Ivy League” draws in high-achievers and their parents to, well, pull the rug out from under them. Apologies for the lengthy quotes, but it’s very good, ht MB:

These enviable youngsters appear to be the winners in the race we have made of childhood. But the reality is very different, as I have witnessed in many of my own students and heard from the hundreds of young people whom I have spoken with on campuses or who have written to me over the last few years. Our system of elite education manufactures…

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On Being a Finalist in The New Yorker’s Cartoon Caption Contest

On Being a Finalist in The New Yorker’s Cartoon Caption Contest

I recently received some of the most exciting news of my life: I am a finalist in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest this week, Oct. 21 to Oct. 27. This is kind of a big deal. So I am shamelessly begging you to go to newyorker.com/humor/caption to vote for your favorite caption (hopefully mine, please) in Contest #399 by Sunday. This isn’t just a self-promoting plug though. Since I have your attention, I am going to take the opportunity to say a few words about this famously cool albeit geeky contest whose devotees have included the likes of film critic Roger…

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From The New Yorker

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From the New Yorker

In Praise of Guilty Pleasures

In Praise of Guilty Pleasures

I brought two books with me on vacation last week: the new collection of Jonathan Franzen essays and the new Dark Tower prequel by Stephen King. One guess as to which one I read. That’s right: both books stayed shut as I inhaled 20 or so Batman comics on my iPad and caught up on Beach Boys message boards. Guilty pleasures in other words. So upon returning to the world of ‘serious’ reading I was pleasantly surprised to discover a wonderful little piece in The New Yorker last week by critic Arthur Krystal, tracing the history and appeal of literary…

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From The New Yorker

And if you’re in need of some extra comic relief – and who isn’t – Jack Handey’s (of Deep Thoughts fame) “Alexander the Great” should do the trick.

Infuriating Altruism and the Evolution of a Good Samaritan: E.O. Wilson’s Theory of Everything

Infuriating Altruism and the Evolution of a Good Samaritan: E.O. Wilson’s Theory of Everything

A few months ago, The Atlantic published a piece called “E.O. Wilson’s Theory of Everything”. The title caught my eye, but I’ll just come right out and say it: the piece was dense and confusing – or maybe it was the theory itself, I’m not sure. You could tell there was something significant being said, but what exactly required more brainpower than us non-evolutionary biologists usually care to casually expend on a pop-science article. Enter Jonah Lehrer, who profiled Wilson (and the waves he’s currently making) for The New Yorker this past week. The issue at hand is altruism, which…

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From The New Yorker

Boring Addicts and Portugese Drug Law

Boring Addicts and Portugese Drug Law

In Michael Specter’s recent New Yorker piece (Full article only available to subscribers or on the iPad app, sadly. But a great read.), he traces the history of Portugal’s attempts to deal with rampant drug addiction. After a 1974 coup ended an authoritarian rule, Portugal opened up to the world. A side effect was a massive influx in drugs and a rise in drug trafficking. By the 1980s, drug addiction in Portugal exploded. By 1999, 1% of the population was addicted to heroin alone. HIV spread rapidly; eventually, Portugal had the highest rate of drug-related AIDS deaths in the EU….

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Grace in Motherdom: Honesty and the World Book Encyclopedia

Grace in Motherdom: Honesty and the World Book Encyclopedia

As if yesterday’s post didn’t create swells enough of its own, Mothers Who Rock week continues with this gem from Patti Smith in the October 10 issue of The New Yorker. A beautiful picture of grace in practice, a story about inspired and disordered yearnings, basic guilt, the God-like authority of the parent, and indelibility of childhood lessons. It does a great job illuminating the inseparable relationship between love and honesty–a love that is fulfilled in full knowledge of our deepest (and most depraved) secrets, secrets that often have to be pulled out from under us, and goes there with…

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From The New Yorker