Reading List for December 1, 2017

The Last Invention of Man In an excerpt published on Nautilus, Max Tegmark writes an engaging narrative of how the first superintelligent AI comes into existence and sets about taking over the world.

The Cecil Hotel/Stay On Main and the Death of Elisa Lam Real Life Is Horror writes about the most reasonable (and, comparatively, mundane) explanation for how the 21-year-old tourist wound up drowned in a water tank atop a down-at-the-heels Los Angeles hotel.


Did the CIA Give Iran the Bomb? In a 2006 excerpt published in The Guardian, James Risen writes about Operation Merlin, a CIA plan to get fundamentally flawed blueprints for a nuclear weapon to Iran, which seems to have backfired big time.

In the Land of Vendettas That Go On Forever In VQR, Amanda Petrusich writes about the millennia-old tradition of blood oaths in Albania, that can ruin a family’ life for decades as they wait in sequestration to be murdered. The article also works as a bizarre travelogue.

The Unimaginable, Infamous Case of Pam Hupp In St Louis  Magazine, Jeannette Cooperman writes about a true crime case that centered on a pathological friend.

What Lies Beneath On Aeon, Ted Scheimann takes a brief tour of the history of archaeological fraud, from the medieval religious relics to a Japanese archaeologist disgraced at the turn of the millennium.

Learning to Farm 12,000 Years Ago Changed Our Bodies On Modern Notion, Alexandra Ossola writes about a few of the ways our physiology was changed for the worse once we domesticated crops and became sedentary.

The Case Against Hugs In the Washington Post, Veronica Toney writes about all of the very good reasons why hugging should not become a ready replacement for handshakes.

Yes, Die Hard Is a Christmas Movie – Stop Debating It In LA Weekly, Art Tavana makes a pretty good attempt at settling an exceedingly dumb debate over whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie, and appears to go mad during the course of his essay.


I’m always looking for things to read. If you know an interesting article, send it to me at

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