This is a rough list of things I like to think about when I’m not doing real work. By posting articles here, I’m not saying I entirely agree with them – only that they are well-written approaches to the subject matter that raise interesting points. I was pleased to learn that Walter Benjamin’s “Arcades” is similarly organized, with a logic that is clearly only apparent to the author but (kind of) makes sense as an agglomerate. I’m trying to write an article about each section to say why they’re fascinating… TBC.
What we do with our bodies (living and dead) (but mostly dead)
Imgur – Bodies left on Everest
The Toast – Considering a Possible Human Head
Buzzfeed – eBay just nixed its human skull market
The Age – The Big Sleep
Minnesota Post – There Will Be Blood
The Guardian – Where in the world is it illegal to die?
Nautilus – The Curious Case of the Bog Bodies
The Atlantic – The Doctors Whose Patients Are Already Dead
New Republic – Who Owns the Dead?
Lapham’s Quarterly – A Brief History of Medical Cannibalism
Nautilus – Love, Death, and Other Forgotten Traditions
Finance Degree Center – How Much Is Your Body Worth on the Black Market?
Evolution of cognition; experiences of truth and reality; dreams
The Atlantic – Inside the artificial universe that creates itself
Business Insider – 20 Cognitive Biases
New Statesman – This won’t hurt a bit: the cultural history of pain
The Atlantic – Did Neanderthals Have Souls?
Jumping to conclusions in paleoanthropology; imagining ancient times; anatomically modern human-neanderthal sex
John Hawks – Why I’m skeptical about Lucy in the skyfall
NYT – Who Apes Whom?
Scientific American – Artistic Depictions of Dinosaurs Have Undergone Two Revolutions
Utah News – The Pyrophilic Primate
Scientific American – I am Innately Aggressive, Not Innately Warlike
Huffington Post – The Dangers of Kennewick Man’s DNA
Uncontacted tribes and modern societal absconders
New Yorker – An Isolated Tribe Emerges from the Rainforest
Sapiens – The Myth of the Virgin Rainforest
Uncommon modern diseases and treatment paradigms
Buzzfeed – Is empty nose syndrome real?
Slate – Refugees of the Modern World
The Guardian – Green Bank: the town that banned Wi-Fi
Vice – The Cure Culture
Campus debates about trigger warnings; professorial responsibilities
Pacific Standard – Do we need trigger warnings for depictions of drug use?
The Atlantic – How Trigger Warnings Silence Religious Students
The Atlantic – The Coddling of the American Mind
The Atlantic – Concept Creep: How Americans Became So Sensitive to Harm
The concepts of genius and personality
Longreads – Who gets to be a genius?
Pacific Standard – We are all confident idiots
Morality, effective altruism, and the trolley-car problem
Boston Review – The Logic of Effective Altruism
The Atlantic – The Greatest Good
Aeon – Homes for the Homeless
Radiolab – Playing God
Utilitarian – Shopping at the Genetic Supermarket
Current Affairs – The Trolley Problem Will Tell You Nothing Useful About Morality
MIT News – Driverless cars: Who gets protected?
Stanford Encyclopedia – The Repugnant Conclusion
Human female anatomy and childbirth (Why are all of these titles phrased as questions?)
American Scientist – Why is Human Childbirth so Painful?
Scientific American – Do animals know where babies come from?
Slate – Is a Surrogate a Mother?
Personal DNA Testing: Positives and Pitfalls
The Atlantic – The False Promise of DNA Testing
Transforming drug policy; psychedelics in modern culture
New Yorker – The Trip Treatment
Washington Post – Carly Fiorina accidentally said something really smart about weed
Nautilus – A Vaccine for Depression?
New Yorker – The Drug of Choice for the Age of Kale
New Yorker – Altered States (by Oliver Sacks, one of my favorite humans)
All history as alt-history
New Yorker – The Underground Railroad’s Troubling Allure
The Verge – How natural are nature documentaries?
Imperialism and poverty tourism
But is it art?
Sapiens – Graffiti Bombing in U.S. National Parks
Running, yoga, and the science of sports (that I practice)
Washington Post – Why kids should go barefoot more (and probably adults, too)
Harvard Mag – Run Barefoot, says Dan Lieberman
The Atlantic – Why One Neuroscientist Started Blasting His Core
Other really good articles
Idle Words – Shuffleboard at McMurdo
New Yorker – Recall of the Wild
New Yorker – Polar Express
Harper’s – The Radioactive Boy Scout
The Awl – The Shoes Under the Art World
Nautilus – Postcards from the Edge of Consciousness
The Baffler – Despair Fatigue
The Atlantic – The Oliver Sacks Reading List
Current Affairs – Why You Hate Contemporary Architecture
Just some fun videos
Vimeo – The colors of feelings
YouTube – 1980 World Disco Finals