Tag Archives: Slate

The Hedgehog’s Array: July 31, 2015

hedgehog array logo_FLAT_72dpi[3]Noteworthy reads from the last week:

“Terry Castle: The Anti-Paglia,” Helen Andrews
“Like Paglia, Castle’s entrée into the literary tradition of sexual inversion was a teenage fascination with Oscar Wilde—she dreamed of being ‘male, dandified, and in some sort of filial relationship to various 1890s Decadents.’ Unlike Paglia, her grown-up persona is less flamboyant, more Jamesian.”

“Bedeviled by Books in Translation,” Michael Robbins
“As most translators’ prefaces attest, every translation, unless it’s a crib, negotiates in its own way the problem of how to achieve two contradictory desiderata: to be faithful to the original, and to create a work of art in the new language.”

“Masks,” Jake Orbison
“But looking back years later on the word’s full legacy, confessional’s greatest shortcoming is in its implication not for the poets of the past but for those to come. If all of us have taken our clothes off, where do we go from here?”

“Saigon Summer,” Sarah Mansfield Taber
“One summer evening in Saigon in 1974, we were invited to dinner at the home of another U.S. embassy employee, probably a covert operative like my father.”

“Mutually Assured Content,” John Herrman
“But for everyone else—the papers and magazines that became sites, the sites that became blogs, the blogs that became generalist news organizations—accepting the platform bargain is accepting that most of what they did before is legacy and burden. Most magazines never truly figured out the web, and never will.”

Hedgehogs abroad:

“Uber and the Lawlessness of ‘Sharing Economy’ Corporates,” Frank Pasquale and Siva Vaidhyanathan
“One could make a strong argument that France would benefit from more taxi drivers and more competition. But that’s for the people of France to decide through their elected representatives. The spirit of Silicon Valley should not dictate policy for the rest of the world.”

“Checked Out,” Siva Vaidhyanathan
“The Library of Congress, like all the majestic libraries that connect our nation to its history and future, is a temple to the Enlightenment. But it’s more than that.”

Our intern recommends:

“Fitted,” Moira Weigel
“Like confession and therapy, activity trackers promise to improve us by confronting us with who we are when we are not paying attention. The difference is that they produce clarity constantly, in real time.”

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The Hedgehog’s Array: July 10, 2015

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Noteworthy reads from the last week:

“Serious Bill-Paying Skillage,” Laura Hudson
Armada is for everyone who wants…a book-length love letter of cultural hyperlinks that refer you elsewhere but contain no meaningful content themselves.”

“College Ratings and the Idea of the Liberal Arts,” Nicholas Tampio
“Is there a purpose to college other than making money? Can one make this argument without sounding like a dreamer?”

“Sacred Inwardness,” Marilynne Robinson
“Perhaps the real lack of faith in modern society comes down to a lack of reverence for humankind, for those around us, about whom we might consider it providential that we can know nothing—in these great matters that sometimes involve feigning or concealment, that are beyond ordinary thought and conventional experience, and that can in any case be minutely incremental, since God really does have all the time in the world.”

“The Man Who Saw America,” Nicholas Dawidoff
“Sixty years ago, at the height of his powers, Frank left New York in a secondhand Ford and began the epic yearlong road trip that would become ‘The Americans,’ a photographic survey of the inner life of the country that Peter Schjeldahl, art critic at The New Yorker, considers ‘one of the basic American masterpieces of any medium.’”

“Who, What, Where, When, Weird,” Daniel Engber
“For at least a century, the genre of weird news has been driven by a pair of rival spirits—two theories of weirdness that co-exist but never jibe. First there are the satirists, the weirdness hunters who put their quarry in a circus cage: They point us at the characters they’ve nabbed so we can laugh at them together. Then there are the weirdness conservationists, the ones who see their subjects as members of a beautiful exotic species.”

“Why Murder Philosophers?,” Costica Bradatan and Richard Marshall
“Failure reveals just how close we always are to not being at all. When you experience failure, should you pay enough attention, you can see the cracks in the fabric of being. And how, from behind, nothingness itself stares at you.”

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The Hedgehog’s Array: June 19, 2015

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Noteworthy reads from the last week:

“A Living Landmark,” Jamelle Bouie
“The attack on Emanuel AME sits in a long history of violence against black churches.”

“The Internet Accused Alice Goffman of Faking Details In Her Study of a Black Neighborhood. I Went to Philadelphia to Check,” Jesse Singal
“Alice Goffman conducted some amazing ethnographic research, and her book is almost entirely true, not to mention quite important. Alice Goffman is going to have a really hard time defending herself from her fiercest critics.”

“First Thoughts on Laudato Si’,” Alan Jacobs
“For Maritain, any true humanism must incorporate the ‘vertical dimension’ of our relationship with God; Francis is clearly saying, with a similar logic, that any valid (any whole and healthy) ecology or model of ‘creation care’ must incorporate our relationships with one another and with God. Thus one cannot think of what’s good for the environment without also thinking of what’s good for human culture.”

“Our Failed Food Movement,” James McWilliams
“In so far as the Food Movement’s goal has been to reduce the impact of factory farming, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that the reform effort—at least in the way it articulates and pursues its mission—isn’t working.”

“Kid Chocolate,” Brin-Jonathan Butler
“Trejo is one of the oldest boxing gyms in Cuba; it’s outdoor, and every great champion the country has produced has passed through and was forged in the open air. Different sets of the same mildly sinister women who look like the Macbeth witches guard the entrance from tourists and procure a toll for entry, snapshots, or stories.”

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The Hedgehog’s Array: May 1, 2015

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Noteworthy reads from the last week:

“David Simon on Baltimore’s Anguish,” Bill Keller
“The mass arrests made clear, we can lock up anybody, we don’t have to figure out who’s committing crimes, we don’t have to investigate anything, we just gather all the bodies—everybody goes to jail.”

“Frontiers of the Stuplime,” Katy Waldman
“There’s something wonderful about this dogged insistence on having nothing whatsoever to show for your time in class, especially given the cultural rage for productivity. And the seminar courts a drifting boredom that is seductive in its challenge to the cult of mindfulness. But: With the approval of the UPenn English Department, Goldsmith’s crafted a creative writing course that fails to generate any writing, one that to some extent paints basic college benefits like insight, growth, and learning as passé fantasies of the old guard.”

“On Intellectual Genealogies,” Matthew Schmitz
“Paul begat Augustine.”

“The Strange Afterlife of Edgar Allan Poe’s Hair,” Elon Green
“In the 166 years since his death, locks attributed to Poe have turned up in a number of places and collections, private and public.”

“The Eternal Return of BuzzFeed,” Adrienne LaFrance and Robinson Meyer
“In their respective eras, Time, USA Today, and MTV were all revolutionary. Each of those three companies had a different set of innovations, a different rise, a different fall—and each offers a different way of understanding BuzzFeed.”

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The Hedgehog’s Array: April 3, 2015

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Noteworthy reads from the last week:

“My Quantified Email Self Experiment: A Failure,” Paul Ford
“Before this experiment, I would have told you that I used to be very passive and conflict-resistant, and that it took a long time to get my back up — but now I’m much more willing to stand up for my ideas. But no, that’s entirely wrong, too. According to my archive I was constantly in some fight or another over email. I apparently have three inches of plate in my skull. And in fact, because I believed, and have believed for so long, that I once was passive but am no longer, I think I tend to be even more likely to be passive-aggressively aggrieved than the typical person.”

“The Overdose,” Bob Wachter
“The clinicians involved in Pablo’s case that day — physicians, nurses and pharmacists—all made small errors or had mistaken judgments that contributed to their patient’s extraordinary overdose. Yet it was the computer systems, and the awkward and sometimes unsafe ways that they interact with busy and fallible human beings, that ultimately were to blame. And the biggest culprit may well have been the hospital’s incessant electronic alerts.”

“Equipment for Living,” Michael Robbins
“But I take it that our having to ask ourselves what poems and pop songs are for, and our compulsion to suggest answers, is a good thing—that it’s the fields that are certain of their purpose and their standing that lend themselves most to reified thinking.”

“This Portentous Composition: Swan Lake’s Place in Soviet Politics,” Amelia Schonbek
“Why Swan Lake? It may seem like a random artistic choice, but to anyone who lived in the former USSR, it made perfect sense.”

“Were We Too Hard on Jonah Lehrer?,” Daniel Engber
“Here’s the truth about Jonah Lehrer: His career has not been destroyed, nor has he apologized for the full extent of his mistakes. This master storyteller did not wander in the wilderness and find some inner peace. He disappeared into the bushes, licked his wounds, and re-emerged with another, even more bewitching tale—the story of his own redemption.”

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The Hedgehog’s Array: December 19, 2014

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Noteworthy reads from the last week:

“The Year of Outrage,” Slate Staff
“Following the news in 2014 is a bit like flying a kite in flat country during tornado season. Every so often, a whirlwind of outrage touches down, sowing destruction and chaos before disappearing into the sky.”

“How ‘The Interview’ Handled the Assassination of Kim Jong-Un,” Richard Brody
“The threat posed by ‘The Interview’ to the real Kim Jong-un isn’t just that it holds him up to ridicule, but that it could subject him to ridicule at home—not least, by dramatizing that prospect.”

“Host in the Shell,” Sara Black McCulloch
“Sometimes our immune systems lie to us. Autoimmune disorders attack the nonthreatening self, destroying vital body tissue, as with rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and Graves’ disease. Like even the best intelligence agencies, our immune systems sometimes fail to recognize when the self becomes a threat, the body a double agent: the cancer is coming from inside the house, at least where the house is flesh, and the immune system doesn’t see its cells as foreign.”

“The Art of Arrival,” Rebecca Solnit
“She had lived there in a house she had built herself with the beloved for whom she had left her first husband in the 1960s, and she lived there long after he had died, serene, with the air of someone who has truly arrived, not restless for other places, for life to change, for company or bustle or entertainment.”

“When We Speak of Nationality, What Do We Mean?,” Taiye Selasi
“There was nothing, it seemed, in the idea of Italy—in the notion of the nation—capable of overriding the realities of language, class and color. Returning to Berlin, my latest home, I couldn’t shake the thought: When we speak of nationality, then, what do we actually mean?”

“How the Essay Was Won And Where It Got Us,” Tobias Carroll
“The essay, as a form, can inspire introspection and make the familiar seem revitalized, or entirely strange.”

“Automation for the People?,” Christine Rosen
“Modern automation also appears to be erasing jobs from our lives. Although technology-induced joblessness has stoked fear since angry Luddites smashed the first mechanized looms, Carr persuasively argues that this time things really are different….”

“Athens on the Midway: Defending Leo Strauss,” Gary Rosen
“What, then, makes Strauss so compelling? What explains the allure of Straussian teachers and teaching? Many of the same things, I suspect, that have made Strauss and the Straussians so inviting a target for their critics inside and outside the academy.”

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The Hedgehog’s Array: November 21, 2014

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Noteworthy reads from last week:

“A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA” Sabrina Rubin Erdely
“… at UVA, rapes are kept quiet, both by students – who brush off sexual assaults as regrettable but inevitable casualties of their cherished party culture – and by an administration that critics say is less concerned with protecting students than it is with protecting its own reputation from scandal.”

“Either One: the Video Game that Tries to Simulate Dementia” Michael Thomsen
“The game casts the player as an employee of a futuristic memory-retrieval company called the Ether Institute of Telepathic Medicine. Your job is to dive into the mind of Jean Thompson, a sixty-nine-year-old woman diagnosed with dementia, and retrieve a series of lost memories.”

“Why It’s So Hard for Millennials to Find a Place to Live and Work” Derek Thompson
“The paradox of the American Dream: The best cities to get ahead are often the most expensive places to live, and the most affordable places to live can be the worst cities to get ahead.”

“Gross Violations” Carol Hay
“Disgust is often used as a tool of persuasion. But are gut feelings ever a reliable guide in questions of right and wrong?”

“What Happened the Last Time Republicans Has a Majority This Huge?” Josh Zeitz
“Since last week, many Republicans have been feeling singularly nostalgic for November 1928, and with good reason. It’s the last time that the party won such commanding majorities in the House of Representatives while also dominating the Senate.”

“The New ‘Normal Barbie’ Comes With an Average Woman’s Proportions—And Cellulite Sticker Accessories” Laura Stampler
“A lot of toys makes kids go into fantasy, but why don’t they show real life is cool?”

“Distribution Isn’t Outdated” James Mumford
“G.K. Chesterton offers a non-statist vision for economic and social change that’s still relevant in the age of the iPhone.”

“Why Independent Bookstores Are More Than Just Places to Buys Books” David Rosenberg
“They’re a meeting place away from the often segregated, homogenous world of social media.”

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The Hedgehog’s Array: October 31, 2014

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Noteworthy reads from last week:

“What Will it Take to Get Electricity to the World’s Poor?” David Roberts
“Choices made in those parts of the world today, at the front end of growth, will influence the course of global energy and carbon emissions for decades to come.”

“Against the Grain,” Michael Specter
“How could gluten, present in a staple food that has sustained humanity for thousands of years, have suddenly become so threatening?”

“Jewish History is Not Just About the Holocaust. Finally, a Museum Gets That.” James McAuley
“The last thing Poland needs is a Holocaust museum…The whole country is a Holocaust museum.”

“Shrinking Prisons: Good Crime-Fighting and Good Government,” Eric Schnurer
“Corrections is the ultimate human service—and it can be done more cheaply and more effectively without locking so many people up.”

“2014 Midterms: The 27 Candidates to Watch,” Colin Daileda
“They are politicians whose presence and ideas have a chance to redefine how we view politics in America, and you may soon be hearing their names a lot more.”

“Pope Francis’ Progressive Statement on Evolution is Not Actually a Departure From the Catholic Church,” Miriam Krule
“Like many modern approaches to religion that embrace theistic evolution, Francis’ statements endorse evolution by enforcing God’s role in it.”

And some Halloween-themed ones for good measure:

“The Uncanny Power of Weird Fiction,” Jeff Vandermeer
“Here, in what is actually our infancy of understanding the world—this era in which we think we are older than we are—it is cathartic to seek out and tell stories that do not seek to reconcile the illogical, the contradictory, and often instinctual way in which human beings perceive the world, but instead accentuate these elements as a way of showing us as we truly are.”

“The Struggle of Being Asian-American for Halloween,” Steve Haruch
“As I was trying to figure out what to be for Halloween this year, I had a recollection of my mom using eyebrow pencil to draw a Fu Manchu-style mustache on my face as part of a costume when I was a kid.”

“Halloween: Everything that’s wrong with America?,” Adam Kotsko
“Halloween has…become the most striking symbol of the white middle class’s arrested development, its perpetual adolescence.”

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