Longreads: Satan in Poughkeepsie, Science of Boredom, Woody Guthrie & Old Man Trump, Wile E. Coyote Explains The World

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Ich befülle schon seit ein paar Wochen einen Channel in Niu.ws, einem Mobile-Service für kuratierte Longreads und Zeugs. Meinen NC-Channel findet man hier, die Links poste ich ab sofort auch hier, immer wenn ein paar zusammengekommen sind (demnächst dann irgendwie automatisch per RSS, daran bastel ich aber grade noch).

Why boredom is anything but boring: „There is no universally accepted definition of boredom. But whatever it is, researchers argue, it is not simply another name for depression or apathy. It seems to be a specific mental state that people find unpleasant — a lack of stimulation that leaves them craving relief, with a host of behavioural, medical and social consequences.“

How Wile E. Coyote Explains The World: „A joke has structure. It has a central rule. Setup, punchline. The setup produces a tensed, expectant state; the punchline resolves the tension with a surprise. If the elements of the joke are not arranged into a setup and a punchline, it is not a joke. It is just a statement.“

satanDevil Music: A History of the Occult in Rock & Roll: „From The Beatles and the Stones to Led Zep, Alice Cooper and Black Sabbath, how the dark arts cast a spell on popular music“.

Possessed by a mask: „Every human culture has used masks for ritual disinhibition, shaming and play. Is being online the ultimate masquerade?“

Satan in Poughkeepsie: „Anton Lavey exposed the show business of religion when he founded the Church of Satan. Half a century later, its high priest holds afternoon tea in suburban New York.“

Is it still possible to get away with a heist? „The Hatton Garden raid was meticulous in its planning, dazzling in its complexity – yet still the burglars were caught. In this interconnected age, is the Hollywood-style heist now a thing of the past?“

Woody Guthrie, ‘Old Man Trump’ and a real estate empire’s racist foundations: „In December 1950, Woody Guthrie signed his name to the lease of a new apartment in Brooklyn. Even now, over half a century later, that uninspiring document prompts a double-take.“

The Neurologist Who Hacked His Brain—And Almost Lost His Mind

Kennedy was himself once a famous neurologist. In the late 1990s he made global headlines for implanting several wire electrodes in the brain of a paralyzed man and then teaching the locked-in patient to control a computer cursor with his mind. Kennedy called his patient the world’s “first cyborg,” and the press hailed his feat as the first time a person had ever communicated through a brain-computer interface. From then on, Kennedy dedicated his life to the dream of building more and better cyborgs and developing a way to fully digitize a person’s thoughts.

Now it was the summer of 2014, and Kennedy had decided that the only way to advance his project was to make it personal. For his next breakthrough, he would tap into a healthy human brain. His own.

In Search of the Novel’s First Sentence: A Secret History

When Charlotte Brontë wrote Jane Eyre in 1847, first sentences still weren’t important, and even so she wrote, “There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.”

Now we laud this and many other great sentences, but no reviewer at the time thought anything of Brontë’s choice. No one in America was excited, four years later, about Melville’s classic opener to Moby Dick. Nobody had a thing to say about the wonderful beginning to Pride and Prejudice. Nobody was bothered by the pedestrian beginning to The Scarlet Letter, or in love with the beginnings of Middlemarch or A Tale of Two Cities, or unimpressed by that of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. When we celebrate first sentences today, we do so as though they’re an essential feature of the novel. They’re considered as much a part of its form as an envoi is to a sestina, as a battle is to an epic, as a setup is to a joke. But the beloved first sentence is the product of dramatic changes one hundred and fifty years into the novel’s history. There are ample studies of the rise of the novel, but the move that would become the novel’s calling card has virtually no critical history.

Tags: Cartoons Comedy Literature Longreads Masks Neuroscience Occultism Satan


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