How Herpes Became a Sexual Boogeyman


376f3684-f16c-4f9d-bba0-ff242c29dc9e

If herpes is such a minor deal, why does it come with such a pervasive stigma? In the first half of the 20th century, genital herpes was not on the public radar, and it wasn’t even recognized as a discrete type of herpes infection until the 1960s. But by the 1980s, it was slapped on the cover of Time with headlines like “Herpes: The New Sexual Leprosy.” What happened in the intervening years shows how a public sex panic is made. What’s still happening—herpes shame, fear, and confusion even now—shows how that panic can morph and persist. One of the oddest subplots of the stigma’s endurance has to do with who’s been falsely blamed for making herpes a boogeyman in the first place: drug companies.

The complete article

L.V. Anderson — Slate

Image source

How Stephen Hawking Reclaimed His Voice—and Helped Others Do the Same


njpus24ncqkx5e1d7iijcw12kw0rmehqudtuzq13ohr

His success serves as a powerful example of how people and machines can work symbiotically to unleash human potential. We can empower people across the entire range of abilities to express their creativity and engage in intellectual pursuits. While humans have always used tools and technologies to enhance their abilities, new developments in areas like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and human-machine symbiosis can advance this goal far more effectively, more efficiently, and faster. This increases accessibility to people across the ability spectrum and geographical boundaries.

The complete article

SETHURAMAN PANCHANATHAN — Slate

Image source

The Family Man


48930594-cached

Now, that Trump has been thoroughly analyzed by all kinds of newspapers and news channels, the focus is shifting to his son-in-law Jared Kushner. What kind of person is he? How does he decide? Where do his loyalties lie?

He grew up in a fiercely loyal clan that flourished in large part because it understood that city councilmen and big-league developers made good bedfellows. Sometimes that coziness went too far: In 2005, Charles Kushner pleaded guilty to 18 counts of illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion, and witness tampering. (He’d attempted to blackmail his sister by hiring a prostitute to seduce his brother-in-law, who was planning to deliver incriminating evidence to a judge in federal district court.) Charles was dealt a two-year prison sentence, just more than half of which he served. Jared, then in his mid-20s, traveled to Alabama every week to see his father in federal prison.

The complete article

Katy Waldman — Slate

Image source