Reading List for April 7, 2017

How Ex-Spy Christopher Steele Compiled His Explosive Trump-Russia Dossier A lengthy but quickish recounting of the old hand who spilled the beans about possible blackmail material the Russians have on the American president, a dossier which is still yet to be fully verified.

The Pee-Wee Herman Store at JCPenney and Existential Dread On Retroist, a brief but agonized essay on a 1989 TV ad.

Ancient Bones Reveal Girl’s Tough Life in Early Americas Nature publishes a short article about the 12,000 year old skeleton of an adolescent girl discovered in an underwater cave in Mexico.

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Invisible Manipulators of Your Mind In the New York Review of Books, Tamsin Shaw justifiably worries about the world of behavioral economics which seeks to “nudge” people toward making the “correct” decision in their lives and is populated with organizations that unfacetiously use chilling names such as the Institute of Decision Making . There are all sorts of things wrong with behavioral economics and it is little more than a rehash of old Bernaysian PR techniques, but what makes them particularly concerning is that this time around they are being married with social media, a tool that can exploit human behavior to an exquisite degree.

Will Robots Displace Humans as Motorized Vehicles Ousted Horses? The Economist discusses the outcomes of roboticization of the workplace. If the fate of horses is any instructor, we should be worried about being made into glue.

Stranger Things: The Rise and Fall of UFOs and Life on the Moon John Crowley traces the popular phenomena of Ufology and the retro future anticipation of living in moon colonies through two books.

The #PepsiLivesMattter Ad Turning a Protest March into Coachella Is Exactly Why White People Must Be Stopped Damon Young provides an assessment of exactly what was wrong with Pepsi’s recent and now infamous ad.

Naughty Words On Aeon, philosopher Rebecca Roache grinds down as only a philosopher can into what exactly makes expletives offensive and brings to light such gems from abroad that translate into English as ‘Motherfucker, I’m gonna fuck you up as fuck’ and ‘Fuck your ancestors to the 18th generation’.

Explorers Find Diseased-Cursed City of the Monkey God and Nearly Lose their Faces to Flesh-Eating Parasite What a headline.

Why My ‘Spinal Tap’ Lawsuit Affects All Creators In Rolling Stone, Harry Shearer writes an essay about being screwed out of royalties and how his experience is the norm among creators in Europe and the US.

Cult Move Blogging: Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954) John Kenneth Muir makes a pretty good case that the classic, fully non-scary horror film was a lot better than you remember.

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