Yuval Noah Harari, Football, Tunnels, Peru, Dewey

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Humans Are A Post-Truth Species

Yuval Noah Harari | Observer | 5th August 2018

“If you blame Facebook, Trump or Putin for ushering in a new and frightening era of post-truth, remind yourself that centuries ago millions of Christians locked themselves inside a self-reinforcing mythological bubble, never daring to question the factual veracity of the Bible, while millions of Muslims put their unquestioning faith in the Qur’an. For millennia, much of what passed for ‘news’ and ‘facts’ in human social networks were stories about miracles, angels, demons and witches” (3,500 words)

In Praise Of Defensive Football

Yonatan Raz Portugali | Popula | 10th July 2018

A chance encounter with a professional footballer changes a fan’s view of the game. “I discovered the enormous gap between the emotional way that supporters see football, and the language and concepts with which the players and coaches themselves understand the game. Every match that we spoke about split into two totally different games. While I talked about willpower, battle, and abstract psychological motives, he spoke about territory, movement, and concrete tactical challenges” (2,100 words)

Mapping The Earth Beneath Us

Bradley Garrett | Guardian | 10th August 2018

Dig now. Private property rights that used to extend to the centre of the Earth are getting drastically curtailed. The ground deep beneath major cities is getting so congested with tunnels, cables, fallout shelters and mega-basements that it will need to be mapped as closely as the surface. “Governments and criminals who wish to keep their underground infrastructure under wraps may find it difficult to do so. We have little virtual privacy left; within decades, all spatial privacy may evaporate, too” (2,080 words)

Tale Of A Peruvian Maoist

Frank Beyer | Imperial And Global Forum | 18th July 2018

In 1965 a Peruvian philosophy professor called Abimael Guzman travelled to Maoist China, learned insurrection and bomb-making, and returned home to wreak havoc. “To complete Peru’s proletarian revolution, Guzman said, a million people would have to die in a people’s war in which the state had to be destroyed and rebuilt”. What followed was almost two decades of terrorism in which Guzman and his Shining Path guerillas killed tens of thousands while achieving nothing (1,350 words)

Bad Dewey

Maria O’Hara | Goldsmiths Library | 4th July 2018

The Dewey decimal system for classifying books builds on a 19th-century world view, not always for the better. “LGBT groups first made it into the system in 1932 under ‘abnormal psychology’. By 1989 they had been moved to ‘social problems’. Where are they now? The good news is that they are found in section 306.7 – ‘sexual orientation, transgenderism, intersexuality’. The bad news is that 306.7 sandwiches them between prostitution and child trafficking on one side, fetishes and BDSM on the other” (815 words)

Video of the day The Art Of Storytelling

What to expect:

Malcolm Gladwell talks about the relative merits of podcasting and writing (32′ 27″)

Thought for the day

The seed is waiting to flourish, while the tree is waiting to die
Hope Jahren

Podcast Rukmini Callimachi | Longform

“Caliphate” podcast host Rukmini Callimachi talks about covering ISIS for The New York Times
(1h 40m)

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