The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Josh Clark

Reality Denial: Steven Pinker's Apologetics for Western Imperial Violence On The Public Intellectuals Project, Edward S Herman and David Peterson deconstruct and demolish Steven Pinker's assertion that war and conflict is in decline, ostensibly as a byproduct of the dominance of the capitalist democracy.

Higher Education and Student Debt: Why is Education So Expensive? In Pluck Magazine, Anna Victoria reviews a book that explains the increase in the cost of higher education is a direct result of a deliberate attempt to destroy it.

Drool In The New Yorker, Michael Specter writes about the life work of Ivan Pavlov, the famous Russian/Soviet physiologist who sought to explain the workings of the brain through the products of outward behavior.

It's Incredibly Rare For A Grand Jury To Do What Ferguson's Just Did On FiveThirtyEight, Ben Casselman writes about the statistics associated with grand juries and their probability to indict citizens and police.

On the Trail of An Ancient Mystery In the New York Times, John Markoff writes about a recent adjustment to the date of manufacture of an astonishingly accurate ancient astronomical machine, the Antikythera Mechanism.

The Real Mr. Difficult, or Why Cthulu Threatens to Destroy the Canon, Self-Interested Literary Essayists, and the Universe Itself. Finally. In the Los Angeles Review of Books, Nick Mamatas argues that H.P. Lovecraft is actually a deliberate, brilliant writer whose genre of choice leads to his easy dismissal as a hack.

How Not To Get Away With Murder In D Magazine, Michael J. Mooney writes about an attempted hit carried out by a staggeringly inept group of villains.

Asian Americans and the 'model minority' myth In the Los Angeles Times, Ellen D Wu writes about the persistent myth of Asians as a 'model minority' held up for other races, namely blacks, to aspire to in the 1960s.

Why Do We Wish On the Turkey's Wishbone? In Mental Floss, Matt Soniak writes about the origin of an ancient superstition.

When Hunter S Thompson Ran for Sheriff of Aspen In The Atlantic Sophie Gilbert writes about Hunter Thompson's close bid for sheriff of the Colorado town in 1971.

Medical advances mask epidemic of violence by cutting murder rate In a 2002 article in the British Medical Journal, Roger Dobson writes about a deceptive change in statistics.

The Old House At Home In a 1940 article in The New Yorker, Joseph Mitchell sketches a portrait of New York's oldest bar and its occupants.

Study: Loneliness Isn't A Symptom, It's A Disease On Forbes, David DiSalvo writes about recent research that found the lonely brain is physically different.

Inside Monopoly's Secret War Against the Third Reich On EuroGamer, Christian Donlan writes about the secret contract the European maker of Monopoly had to smuggle escape tools into POW camps during WWII.

GM's hit and run: How a lawyer, auto mechanic and engineer blew open the worse auto scandal in history In Pando Daily, Adam L Penenberg writes about the fascinating building of the case against GM's corporate neglect that led to the deaths of scores of people.

In the Eye of the Giant: An informative guide on how to stop being a prat and how to properly prepare yourself before you venture into the occult On Reddit's No Sleep forum, AntiquesDealer provides a brief overview of the basic steps one should take before engaging in supernatural rituals.

My Great-Great-Grandfather and an American Tragedy In the Wall Street Journal, Michael Allen investigates his ancestor's participation in the slaughter of Native Americans at Sand Creek.

Backwards and Forwards with the Atomic Priesthood On Alluvium, Dennis Duncan writes about how ancient knowledge can best be encoded to ensure its survival for the presentation to generations thousands of years into the future.

Excerpts from Expert Judgment on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant In a paper on the Dept of Energy site, a group of researchers propose some ideas for creating a landscape that could signal to humans 10,000 years into the future that they should stay away.

Why You Shouldn't Trust Your Cat In The Atlantic, Gwynn Guilford writes about findings that cats aren't as domesticated as dogs.