The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Josh Clark

The Commons Call to Revise Private Property Rights In Utne Reader, David Bollier writes an introduction to his book on the Commons, which calls for a movement toward a more collective understanding of how we view ownership of land and resources.

Evidence of Hobbling, Torture Discovered at Ancient Massacre Site in Colorado On Western Digs, Blake De Pastino writes about recent interpretation of an enormous cache of bone fragments that concludes systematic and gruesome torture took place at a site outside Durango, Colorado around 800 CE.

Dock Ellis On Snopes, one of the Mikkelsons writes about Dock Ellis, pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1970s who, among other things, pitched a no-hitter under the influence of LSD.

Who killed autopsies? On Overcoming Bias, Robin Hanson writes about why autopsies have declined in American hospitals from 50% to less than 5% over the last 45 years.

Vancouver's shelter benches show up London's 'anti-homeless' spikes as how not to deal with rough sleepers In the Independent, Adam Withnall writes about a Vancouver homeless outreach organization that has installed bus stop benches that convert into crude shelters from inclement weather.

An Unreasonable Car On Good, Joshua Neuman writes about Ralph Nader and his groundbreaking (and world-changing) 1965 book Unsafe At Any Speed.

We Now Can Edit Our Genes, But Should We? In Pacific Standard, Michael White writes about new techniques that allow geneticists to edit and correct the genetic information (and thus, the genetic expression) of living human beings.

Semantic satiation An entry on Wikipedia covers the phenomenon where a word seems to lose its meaning or appear somehow different after quick repeated exposure to it.

Covering the Cops In a 1986 profile in the New Yorker (found via Longform), Calvin Trillin writes about Edna Buchanan, a fascinating crime beat reporter for the Miami Herald.

A Thing I Love: Lazlo Toth On Medium, Ken Norton writes briefly about one of his early loves: The pseudonymous comedian Lazlo Toth.

The Secret Entrance to the Knickerbocker Hotel On Atlas Obscura, contributors write about a defunct door in a Manhattan subway stop that used to lead to the bar of the Knickerbocker Hotel in the early 20th century.

Becoming Jessica Fletcher: Celebrating Murder, She Wrote On The Toast, Kate Racculia writes an essay about her early role model, the fictional character Jessica Fletcher, after whom she's ended up modeling her own character.