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Eliezer Yudkowsky | LessWrong | 24th October 2021
Peter Singer asked whether we are bound to save a child drowning in shallow water close by. For 50 years, everybody confronted with that question replied: "Yes". The argument here is not quite for "No", but it leads to a slippery slope — "Let me think about that". If you, the observer, are wearing costly new clothes, can you take 15 seconds to strip them off before jumping in? A minute? (1,400 words)
Ulli Lust | Popula | 17th February 2019
I don't think we have recommended a comic strip on The Browser before, but more out of habit than principle. This one held and rewarded my attention just as much as an equivalent short story might have done, so I thought, why not? See what you think. The story tells of an autograph-hunter who may or may not be a scammer. Set in Germany, and translated from a German original (70 frames)
Lucinda Rosenfeld | LitHub | 1st November 2021
The leading ladies of literature are almost universally attractive; one must look long and hard to find a plain woman in a starring role. Balzac's 1846 novel Cousin Bette might be the only 19C novel about an ugly woman. Beauty is, as Toni Morrison put it, one of the "most destructive ideas in the history of human thought", yet even present day fiction so rarely interrogates it (1,828 words)
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Podcast: I Can’t Believe It’s Pink Margarine | 99% Invisible. Margarine is yellow now, like butter; but in some parts of the US and Canada it had to be dyed white or pink well into the 20th century, owing to lawsuits and lobbying by a dairy industry determined to spoil margarine's appeal as a cheap butter substitute (26m 32s)
"To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it"
— G. K. Chesterton