Subscriber Writing, November 2022
Please forgive the delay.
Here are links to writing by subscribers for the months of October/November, presented in the order in which I received them. If I’ve missed someone entirely, please let me know and I’ll be sure to include you next month; if I’ve misformatted something, comment and I will fix it on the website. Those of you who formatted your submissions in the way I asked are the real MVPs. Please note that while I tried to remember every email sent to the wrong address, I disavow any responsibility if I missed yours! I always find cool stuff to read in these, so please click around at whatever you might fancy. Try someone whose stuff you haven’t tried before.
A book-length analysis of a classic manga about a young Japanese lesbian and the friend she loves.
Nick Russo, The White Dead Dawn
A critique of Joan Didion’s “wagon-train morality”
Fionn Murray, 419
A straight-laced quantity surveyor's first attempt to buy drugs does not go entirely according to plan.
Michelle Jia, When Freedom Kills
A personal-critical essay on the dangerous American obsession with independence.
Sasha Breger Bush, IPEwithSBB
IPEwithSBB covers economies, markets, wealth, power and politics, with new articles every week.
T. S. Eliot’s masterpiece is a hundred years old, and it has never stopped spreading misery and death.
Zack Morris the Elder, The Greatest YouTube Video Ever Made.
Remembering the source and the summit of YouTube's dazzle and grandeur.
Hal Johnson, Apprentice Academy: Sorcerers
If you know a tween would-be sorcerer, why not pre-order this book and watch them be happy in several months? So chock full of genuine mythological lore that it's practically educational!
Nick Coccoma, Cycle of Sin: The Godfather at 50.
This piece of film criticism celebrates the golden jubilee of The Godfather (1972) by analyzing the characters, motifs, and style in light of its Catholic worldview.
CT Liotta, Thoughts from a Train
On a train crossing the rice paddies of Indonesia, I contrast the scenes from my window of a developing nation with the "cultural conversation" of the West.
Samantha Hedges, Cultural Currents Intertwined to Fire Maitland Jones, Jr.
The worst impulses of therapeutic culture and student-centered learning, the denial of human nature, and a misunderstanding of what education is for lower the bar for excellence and end careers.
Benjamin J. Smith, SHOCKTOBER: Halloween (1978)
Part of a series on classic horror films, this piece examines John Carpenter's Halloween and its terror at the void in the American soul.
Christopher J Feola, About that time I got banned from the Pacific Rim
Ever been asked to leave a club and never return? A city? A state? Ever been declared persona non grata and been thrown out of a country? I wrote a story that so enraged the Pentagon that they banned me from the Pacific Rim. They also chiseled my name off the newsroom wall. They also fired my publisher, which is a lot less funny. Though very little of it was funny at the time.
Thomas Reilly, When psychotic symptoms are not psychosis,
Exploring the boundaries between normality and mental disorder.
Arnold Kling, Markets Fail. . .and Libertarianism Still Works
A common argument for technocracy is a swindle.
T.J. Elliott, Myers-Briggs Antipathy: Maybe It’s Just My Personality
A 5 Part Series on why mst personality tests -- and especially MBTI variations -- fail and we should focus and support instead those that are tests for learning and change.
Amod Lele, The 1502 project
How did African-American history begin? Not the way you think.
Rebecca Eydeland, When Walls Become Doorways
An exploration of artists who were shaped by transforming illness, including sudden or chronic illness, and who persisted against all odds to produce their art. Goya, Rembrandt, Proust, Khalo, Smith, Renoir, and more.
An argument that AI and HR stand for the same thing: they optimize on preening over substance; they automate away all interiority; and they alienate us from our agency.
Josh off the Press - This is no longer John Roberts Supreme Court
On the eve of the 2022 midterm elections, (which means control of who appoints our judges) have a look at my piece from early summer, highlighting how the Supreme Court has moved from a very conservative court to a radical right-wing court.
Mark Newheiser, The Turing Olympics
A sci-fi short story about a competition where computers impersonate humans, structured as a mix of text conversations and narrative.
Rick Sunday, The Mouse Is in the House
A dreamy story about a man named Mouse, the Grateful Dead, and a local dive bar called Rocky’s Nuthouse in West Yellowstone, Montana.
Yassine Meskhout, Slavery In Video Games
Why so many strategy video game developers prefer to pretend slavery never existed.
Infovores, Is the Book of Mormon Straussian?
Surprising evidence, for a bizarre claim.
Erica Etelson, Covid and the Negotiation of Public Space
Until we get better at negotiating the contested use of shared spaces, our society will remain sick long after we've recovered from Covid.
David K. Stone, Ranch Housekeeping Tip #79
A humorous look at the unseen trials of house husbandry.
Piers Eaton, The 'Social' Question
I went through the use of the term 'social justice' in journals to show when it changed from being about material issues to identity ones, and a little on why I think it matters.
Thomas Parker, My Robert A. Heinlein Problem
Is Robert A. Heinlein the embodiment of golden age greatness, the all-wise Father of modern science fiction, the fountain from which everything flows, or is he an embarrassing example of all that’s wrong with the genre, too white, too male, too American, a regressive relic best disowned and discarded? How about both?
J.R. Leonard, We Can't Change Us, until Us Changes We
Some thoughts on learning lessons and broken feedback loops.
Dan Poorman, On the Soullessness of 'Halloween Ends'
This long-form essay/review examines the concept of "soullessness" and the slow death of culture through the lens of the new film, Halloween Ends (2022), and the slasher franchise at large.
Mari, the Happy Wanderer, Pretty Little Critters: Spiders, Disgust, and Curiosity
Featuring fun facts and photos, this essay offers suggestions for how to understand and even appreciate our fellow living beings.
Bob Bradley, The Enwakenment Process
This is the introduction to a book, as yet unwritten. It's about sleep, waking, and the Enwakenment.
Andrew Zaleski, America Isn't Ready for the Lanternfly Invasion
A bizarre pest from Asia, worse than the stink bug, is spreading fast and putting billions of dollars' worth of resources at risk.
We apply the sort of risk analysis mathematics used in determining floodplain risks to show that the chances of violent revolution in the United States in your lifetime are actually quite high.
Erik Hoel, Karens and the Nature of Evil
How the Karen meme instantiated itself in my life in a very real way, taking the form of a car chase followed by a police report.
Jake Seliger, The death of literary culture/
Literary institutions are themselves falling apart in the social-media age.
Joe Mayall, Imperial Sundown
Stranded on a deserted Pacific island, a ragtag WW2 squad is hunted by a sword-wielding Japanese officer and his war hounds.
Nigel, A life without internet
I want to unplug from everything and truly let go of my always-online, twitter-infested, goddamn cell phone, but for the moment all I'm willing to do is write about it.
Alex Olshonsky, Postmodern Malaise, aka When Meaning Doesn't Matter
Whether Burning Man, Lizzo playing Alexander Hamilton's flute, or astrology, we cannot agree upon anything because we, as a collective, no longer have any shared sense of meaning.
T Scott, Christianists Rising
We’re not taking the new Christian Nationalists seriously enough.
Connor Collins, The Acclimation to Super-low Latency
More people becoming more impatient is a big deal.
Adam Whybray, Reflections on the Work of Edgar Allan Poe
This is a short piece for Halloween introducing readers to some Poe adaptations, especially two by Czech Surrealist Jan Švankmajer, followed by some thoughts on humour in Poe's short stories.
Sarah Shermyen, On Getting Older and My Voice
A reflection on not dreading aging or change in the midst of massive change before a birthday.
I’m coming around to the possibility that my brain doesn’t like me much.
Why NIH should do more experiments
Michelle Federico, The Antisemitism Behind Conspiracy Theories
An introduction to structural antisemitism as an anti-modernist, regressive critique of capitalism, describing the history of its emergence, the ways it lives on through popular conspiracy theories to this day, and why blaming specific groups of people (yes, even the billionaires) for a complex, all-consuming mess of an economic system isn't going to help us create a better society for all.
Klaus, Mediocrity In Labor
How hiring incentives can cause everyone to kinda suck at their jobs.
Exploring the history of how – and why – we've sold contact sports to kids for generations, obvious risks be damned.
The left has won cultural power without diminishing the right's political power, so now both the right and the left think they're losing, and politics and culture are both just getting worse.
Barrett Hathcock, How to gig outside
How to play live music outside and remain semi-comfortable
Resident Contrarian, On Unfalsifiable Internal State Claims, Politeness, and Broadly Applied Principles
An article about responding to claims of unusual but unfalsifiable internal experiences
Brent Hartinger, The "Chosen Family" Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be
The concept of the "family of choice" hasn't lived up to the hype. Leaving America and traveling the world helped me understand why.
Spencer Brooks, Considering the New York Bagel
An essay on the New York bagel—one of humanity's great achievements.
Sarah, Eclogue: Las Vegas
A poem written in a city about which too much has probably already been said.
John Fawkes, The case against fixed exercise programs
Research shows, and my personal experience supports, that workouts (weight training that is) can be more effective and motivating if they prescribe movement patterns while giving you the freedom to choose which exact exercises you do.
Edward J. Rathke, Sing, Behemoth, Sing.
A horror novel that's one part Deadwood and two parts Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Stephen Skolnick, Welcome to the Jungle
There's a very real possibility that the cure for depression, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis and more has literally been inside us all along, and we've literally been flushing it down the toilet.
David Blobau, Truth, Lies, and... College Admissions
This post uses Mackenzie Fierceton's story to bring to light the lack of transparency from colleges.