Reading List for March 30, 2018

Is It O.K. To Be a Luddite? In a 1984 essay in the New York Times Books section, Thomas Pynchon writes about the real origin of the term Luddite and wonders if perhaps with the advent of nuclear weapons, being wary of technology might not be such a bad idea.

The Pied Piper of Hamelin: A Medieval Mass Abduction? The authors of write about a dark, mysterious event that seems to have actually taken place in the little Bavarian town of Hamelin in 1284, which gave rise to the legend of the pied (clad in multicolor clothes) piper.


You and the Atom Bomb In an extraordinarily prescient 1945 essay on the coming polarization of the post-atomic world, George Orwell also basically coins the term “cold war.”

The Mark of a Masterpiece In a 2010 article in the New Yorker, David Grann writes about the utterly unscientific but extremely powerful world of art connoisseurship and an upstart who uses fingerprint analysis to verify the provenance of unknown works by masters.

Harvard and the Making of the Unabomber In a 2000 article in The Atlantic, Alston Chase, former classmate and biographer of Ted Kaczynski, considers the evidence that suggests the man known as the Unabomber was not mentally ill.

The Murder House On Medium Jeff Maysh writes about a legendary house that was abandoned after a Christmastime murder-suicide in 1959 and left intact to sit as a creepy time capsule for decades, wrapped presents and all.


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

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