Missing Ink

A German worker gets a job in Siberia; aware of how all mail will be read by the censors, he tells his friends: ‘Let’s establish a code: if a letter you get from me is written in ordinary blue ink, it’s true; if it’s written in red ink, it’s false.’ After a month, his friends get the first letter, written in blue ink: ‘Everything is … Continue reading Missing Ink

A Compulsive Need to Scroll Through a Facebook Newsfeed

Al Jazeera English: “There are macho men and then there’s Vladimir Putin.” … Earth shared “When you say goodnight to your date and let out a fart you’ve been holding in all night” … “Huel is made from rice, peas, seeds, oats and coconut (and more) plus all 26 essential vitamins and minerals. Purchase your 5kg protein powder now and have a chance at winning … Continue reading A Compulsive Need to Scroll Through a Facebook Newsfeed

Philosophy of Humor, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

First published Tue Nov 20, 2012; substantive revision Wed Sep 28, 2016 Although most people value humor, philosophers have said little about it, and what they have said is largely critical. Three traditional theories of laughter and humor are examined, along with the theory that humor evolved from mock-aggressive play in apes. Understanding humor as play helps counter the traditional objections to it and reveals … Continue reading Philosophy of Humor, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas -A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream

From The RS Archives Issue 95: November 11, 1971 We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. I remember saying something like “I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should drive. …” And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and … Continue reading Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas -A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream

Why We Curse | What the F***? Steve Pinker

First printed in TNR in October 2007 Fucking became the subject of congressional debate in 2003, after NBC broadcast the Golden Globe Awards. Bono, lead singer of the mega-band U2, was accepting a prize on behalf of the group and in his euphoria exclaimed, “This is really, really, fucking brilliant” on the air. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which is charged with monitoring the nation’s airwaves … Continue reading Why We Curse | What the F***? Steve Pinker

How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read, by Pierre Bayard (2008)

Excerpted from How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read  Ways of Reading: Books You Don’t Know (in which the reader will see, as demonstrated by a character of Musil’s, that reading any particular book is a waste of time compared to keeping our perspective about books overall) There is more than one way not to read, the most radical of which is not to open … Continue reading How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read, by Pierre Bayard (2008)

Why Women Aren’t Funny, Christopher Hitchens

BE YOUR GENDER WHAT IT MAY, you will certainly have heard the following from a female friend who is enumerating the charms of a new (male) squeeze: “He’s really quite cute, and he’s kind to my friends, and he knows all kinds of stuff, and he’s so funny …” (If you yourself are a guy, and you know the man in question, you will often have … Continue reading Why Women Aren’t Funny, Christopher Hitchens