Reading List for July 28, 2017

This Is How Your Fear and Outrage Are Being Sold Tobias Rose-Stockwell clearly and concisely spells out the basics of the attention economy, where our viewpoints are bought and sold whenever we’re on the internet, and we have no idea it’s going on.

Pulling Teeth: Ovarian Teratomas and the Myth of Vagina Dentata On the University College London blog, Gemma Angel writes about the origin of mythical vaginas that bite and the hero quests to tame them or be emasculated, which may or may not be based on real-life cystic teratomas that grew teeth.

The Psychological Explanation for When You Feel Like You’re Being Watched Susie Neilson covers some pretty good explanations from science; none of them are fully satisfactory.

How Mad Magazine Informed America’s Cultural Critique Matthew Wills writes about the advent of Mad Magazine, which was apparently threatening enough to intellectual publications of the time that they took aim against it (and lost).

The First Light of Trinity Alex Wellerstein unearths some firsthand accounts of the first detonation of a nuclear bomb and writes about the event beautifully. (Speaking of the Trinity test, have you ever seen the documentary The Atomic Cafe? If not, you really should.)

This Article Will Make You Want to Wash Your Hands In The Guardian, Bee Wilson writes about the difficult balance that must be maintained when using the provocation of disgust in the service of public health.

Cookie Jar A short story by Stephen King.

What is Neoliberalism? In a kind of unnecessarily thick conversation with author Wendy Brown, Dissent Magazine comes up with an interesting overview of what defines the currently dominant global ideology and why it should make your blood boil.

The Summer of Misreading Thucydides In The Atlantic, Kori Schake gleefully writes about all of the irony that is lost on the Trump camp through their championing of a classical Greek historian they’ve adopted as a mascot.

Art, Commerce and Zamfir Tedium goes into the 1980s heyday of direct-sales marketing albums to people who were uncomfortable with visiting the record store.

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