Commonplace Reading - Issue #12
Well, hello again. Apologies for the near-three month break.
In case you've forgotten what this e-mail is about, it's a weekly dose of good, interesting or provoking reading from around the interwebs. It's not about the practice of journalism - as my blog is. It's about the fruits of journalism.
This is an even more temporally diverse set of links than normal - some of them have been sitting in my queue for months. But I guarantee that every one is worth is still worth your time - it doesn't alway have to be news, just new to you.
Journalism and creativity
How The New York Times used its archives to make the past a (virtual) reality
I tend to go on quite a lot about how publishers could make better use of their archives. This is a pretty extreme example of what can be done.
A Look Back At The World's Sexiest Job: Confessions of a 1970s Car Journalist
The man who inspired Jeremy Clarkson on hanging out with Enzo Ferrari and borrowing cars from Pink Floyd. Basically, all modern journalism is dull compared to this.
Why Excessive Consumption Limits your Creativity
I'm guilty of this - spending too much time research when I should be writing. I"m on holiday right now, and, unlike most people, I'm using the time to create rather than reading. And I'm enjoying it.
Legendary Rock Climber Alex Honnold Gets Put Into an MRI, and the Results Are Surprising
Extreme sports means extreme brain - or rather a massively diminished ability to feel fear.
A Psychologist Analyzes Donald Trump’s Personality
This will not reassure you about him.
Intellectuals are Freaks
Intellectuals are quite literally not like everyone else. And might have significant problems understanding everyone else. Sobering in the age of Brexit and Trump.
I created Godwin's Law in 1990, but it wasn't a prediction - it was a warning
The law should be a reminder that frivolous invocations of Nazis, or the Holocaust, are a kind of forgetting.
Smartphones won’t make your kids dumb. We think.
Provisional science is provisional. But probably what we wanted to hear.
Did Jesus Have a Wife?
A great piece of long-form investigation, as a journalist obsessively picks at a story of a discovered ancient manuscript that just seems too good to be true.