‘THE ROMANCE OF BELIEVING IN JUSTICE’: ON ARUNDHATI ROY’S NEW BOOK OF ESSAYS


Roy shows that, while resistance is often dangerous and hopeless, it can also be joyful. There’s something gorgeous and seductive about Roy’s depiction of life among the “comrades,” the Maoist guerrillas in the Dandakaranya Forest who resist the Indian government’s violent attempts to convert their land into mines. These “strange, beautiful children with their curious arsenal” walk for days to reach a communal spot to dance together, right under the noses of the police and the murderous Salwa Judum. She doesn’t flinch from describing the diseases and violence she found among the Maoists, and certainly doesn’t advocate that everyone drop their lives to walk in the forest alongside these rebels. “It’s not an alternative yet,” she writes of the guerillas’ approach. “But it certainly has created the possibilities for an alternative.”

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Rebecca Stoner — Pacific Standard

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A Doctor’s Emergency


How do we take care of people who care for us?

Chang, one of Breen’s Central Park West mourners, had been working with her for several years when she brought up clinician burnout. An emergency physician with a doctorate in psychology, Chang regularly worked under Breen’s direction at the Allen Hospital. He also studies how stress plays out in hospital environments. Breen theorized that if groups of doctors, nurses, and technicians at the Allen worked together in consistent teams—instead of different permutations of coworkers for different cases—their well-being would improve. “Her personal belief was that we’re stronger together,” said Chang. When Breen implemented the team-based care plan in the ER, she worked with Chang and two other colleagues to study the outcome. Breen’s intuition was correct: Working together reduced burnout.

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Maureen O’Connor – Vanity Fair

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The best book in the world


Robert Macfarlane’s Landmarks

There’s just one problem when you’re trying to convince other people that the best book in the world is a book about nature. The problem is that a lot of people don’t like nature. Or it’s not that they dislike it. It’s that they don’t think about it any more than they think about stamp collecting or subatomic physics. No one will fly into a rage if you say you’re on the trail of the British Guiana 1-Cent Magenta or the Baden 9 Kreuzer Error Stamp, just as they’re not like to start throwing the furniture through a window if someone starts geeking out over the fact that beryllium emits electrically neutral radiation when bombarded with alpha particles. Scockers, whelms: it’s all East Anglian to them.

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Eric Lauterbach — The Smart Set

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The true story of the 18th century’s greatest femme fatale


If Robert Perreau was telling the truth⁠⁠—if he had, indeed, been taken for a rube by his conniving sister-in-law⁠⁠—then he would hardly have been the first. From a young age, Margaret Caroline Rudd had an almost supernatural ability to manipulate those around her, especially when it came to men. Her opinion of the opposite sex was no doubt cemented in her formative years, after she was expelled from boarding school at the tender age of 13 for so-called “illicit relations” with a staff member. Social mores of the time placed blame firmly upon the victim, at least if the victim were female, and local gossip could barely keep up with the flirtations and affairs that supposedly followed. At 17, Caroline ran off with an English soldier whose regiment was stationed near her small Irish hometown, but his commanding officer promptly sent her home again. Undeterred, she continued courting military men⁠⁠—who offered both a secure income, and an escape from the drudgery of rural life⁠⁠—until she won the heart of another young soldier named Valentine Rudd. Ten days after meeting, the two were married.

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Jennifer Lee Noonan — Damn Interesting

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How to reduce the mental trauma of covid-19


For many, the pandemic is merely an annoyance. But some groups face a particular risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (ptsd), the symptoms of which include nightmares, flashbacks and feelings of guilt, anxiety or isolation. The most vulnerable are those who have been very ill, or lost relatives, as well as victims of previous traumas (such as refugees), and those with front-line jobs, such as doctors and nurses. In Spain nearly a sixth of those infected are health-care workers, and most of them show signs of ptsd. In Bangladesh, where the incomes of poor people briefly fell by 80% when lockdowns were tight, 86% of people in one poll reported covid-19-related stress.

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The Economist

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Here’s What Critics Are Saying About Tenet


A new movie related post after a long time.

“Don’t try to understand it, feel it,” a cryptic scientist (Clémence Poésy) counsels the Protagonist early on, and whether Nolan intends it or not, this feels like solid advice for the viewer too. “Tenet” is not in itself that difficult to understand: It’s more convoluted than it is complex, wider than it is deep, and there’s more linearity to its form than you might guess, though it offers some elegantly executed structural figure-eights along the way.

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Marissa Martinelli — Slate

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Universities shouldn’t just treat mental illness – they should help prevent it too


The rise in mental illness among students reflects a broader trend across society. Long-term mental health issues in children and young people are up sixfold in England since 1995, and they more than doubled in Scotland between 2003 and 2014. Exactly what’s behind the increase isn’t clear, though “studies have looked at the impact of social media, or lack of sleep caused by electronic devices, as well as the effects of an uncertain job market, personal debt or constricted public services,” writes Samira Shackle in the Guardian. In England and Wales, suicide is the leading cause of death between the ages of 20 and 34.

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Anna Lewis — Mosaic

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Are Economists Ideologically Biased?


It is hard to imagine that the biased reactions we find in our study only emerge in a low-stakes environment, such as our experiment, without spilling over to other areas of academic life. After all, as we discussed at the beginning, there already exists growing evidence which suggests that the political leanings and the personal values of economists influence different aspects of their academic lives. It is also not a long stretch to imagine that such ideological biases impede economists’ engagement with alternative views, narrow the pedagogy, and delineate biased research parameters. We believe that recognizing their own biases, especially when there exists evidence suggesting that they could operate through implicit or unconscious modes, is the first step for economists who strive to be objective and ideology-free. This is also consistent with the standard to which most economists in our study hold themselves. To echo the words of Alice Rivlin in her 1987 American Economic Association presidential address, “economists need to be more careful to sort out, for ourselves and others, what we really know from our ideological biases.”

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Mohsen Javdani & Ha-Joon Chang — Evonomics

The Pandemic Is a Disaster for Artists


Unemployment is particularly high for performing artists, of whom 27.4 percent report being unemployed, roughly twice the fraction of non-performing artists (14.5 percent) and higher even than those working in retail (18 percent). By contrast, at 11.4 percent, the unemployment rate for architects, librarians, and archivists is about the same as for the rest of the economy. The difference is likely due, at least in part, to the fact that performing artists are much more likely to be self-employed. But it also may be that performing artists have more trouble earning money by working from home, whereas designers, writers, and even visual artists may be able to continue working, publishing, or selling their art remotely.

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James V. MarroneSusan A. ResetarDaniel Schwam – RAND

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A Horse’s Remorse


Most radically, there was the show’s obsessive circling around its accumulated past, whose visual summary might be the whiteboards in one of the final episodes (“Sunk Cost and All That”) on which BoJack, together with Todd, Diane, and Princess Carolyn, tries to list all his many crimes and misdemeanors. That kind of unruly frame-breaking isn’t necessarily something you might associate with poignancy or sincerity. But it was this continued backtracking attention to its own making that finally allowed BoJack Horseman to end up showing that cartoon might be the most truthful model of our landscape. A person, you might conclude, is also an outline infested by other selves, a vehicle for mournful self-criticism and recomposition. We’re all fantastical now, it seemed to argue, in the multicolored digital light.

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Adam Thirlwell — The New York Review of Books

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