The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Josh Clark

Man of the Future. Alex Mar, writing in the June 2013 edition of The Believer, chronicles the life of FM 2030, one of the founders of the transhumanist movement. While FM was perhaps the most enthusiastic and publicly-visible proponent of transhumanism, he was cast aside by the movement's adherents in favor of leading thinkers who were also doers.

Our Radical Future: Cults, Utopias and Rebellions of the 1890s. In The Awl, author Jacob Mikanowski makes an excellent parallel between the collapse of the Gilded Age and our own as he profiles a few of the outbreaks of religious fervor in the 1890s that historians have long attributed to the famine and class disparity of the era. Mikanowski pays particular attention to one utopian group in Brazil that may have been the real thing, but was brutally erased by the state.

Accidental Rewilding. George Monbiot writes on Aeon about some places in the world -- forests and jungle -- that have come to thrive once more following the collapse of human civilization in the area thanks to things like genocide, war and outbreaks of disease. Monbiot makes a strong case that as climate change continues, the earth will see a lot more of it.

How to Make War on Patent Trolls. In the New Yorker, tech industry writer Tim Wu discusses the laws that are in place to prevent patent trolls from functioning, and how and why they are simply not enforced.

Silent War. Michael Joseph Gross writes in the current issue of Vanity Fair about the other secret war going on under the purview of the Obama administration, the cyberwar with Iran. Gross contrasts the extremely closed-mouth tack the White House has taken with even admitting there are cyber attacks being carried out across the Internet, with the very public defense of the drone program.