It’s time for another Weekly Reader, where I post an amalgamation of interesting news and views, which you can read at your leisure. Got a link of your own? Give a shout out in the comments!
Mourning And Instagramming The Death Of A Pet (from NPR-you are warned, as this deals with the death. Tread lightly; it may be upsetting.): “The love for a pet is universal. #100daysofisis is a celebration of their companionship. But it’s also more than that. Gannaway spent two years documenting a family coping with a mother’s terminal illness, which won her the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography. That story showed her firsthand that we often don’t talk about death and end-of-life care. Working on Isis’ series felt similar, and Instagram seemed like the perfect platform for a photojournalist to tell a personal story.”
The Secret Authoritarian History of Science Fiction (from Vice): “But in reality, such antics should come as little surprise. This strain of conservative reactionary thought actually dates back to a much older and nastier mentality stretching all the way back to sci-fi’s roots, to the views and activism of some of its major legends, whose names grace its awards and anthologies.”
Whose Story (and Country) Is This? (from Lit Hub): “PBS added a little note at the end of the bubble quiz, “The introduction has been edited to clarify Charles Murray’s expertise, which focuses on white American culture.” They don’t mention that he’s the author of the notorious Bell Curve or explain why someone widely considered racist was welcomed onto a publicly funded program. Perhaps the actual problem is that white Christian suburban, small-town, and rural America includes too many people who want to live in a bubble and think they’re entitled to, and that all of us who are not like them are menaces and intrusions who needs to be cleared out of the way.”
New study finds it’s harder to turn off a robot when it’s begging for its life (from the Verge and no, I wouldn’t turn the poor little thing off!): “When quizzed about their actions, participants who refused to turn the robot off gave a number of reasons for doing so. Some said they were surprised by the pleas; others, that they were scared they were doing something wrong. But the most common response was simply that the robot said it didn’t want to be switched off, so who were they to disagree?”
GROWING UP JOBS (from Vanity Fair): “I see now that we were at cross-purposes. For him, I was a blot on a spectacular ascent, as our story did not fit with the narrative of greatness and virtue he might have wanted for himself. My existence ruined his streak. For me, it was the opposite: the closer I was to him, the less I would feel ashamed; he was part of the world, and he would accelerate me into the light.”
The Last Slave Ship Survivor Gave an Interview in the 1930s. It Just Surfaced (from History.com): “Roughly 60 years after the abolition of slavery, anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston made an incredible connection: She located the last surviving captive of the last slave ship to bring Africans to the United States.”
16 Things I Learned From Having Sex With Trans Men (from the Advocate and definitely NSFW): “In time, she softened. She said hey to me. Then she graduated and disappeared. A few years later, I learned that she transitioned. Dae found his truth, came out as transgender and found his queer family in a city not far from there. We are still friends today. While our journeys are different, we both more or less found the things we needed — the right words to call ourselves, the chosen families we belonged in — at the same time. Dae has become a remarkably handsome man, and in many ways, he was my first sign that others were out there — back when I simply knew I was “other” and that was all I had. ”
Donald Trump Asked, “What Do You Have to Lose?” This Illinois Town Found Out. (from Mother Jones): “The US Department of Housing and Urban Development had been debating what to do with public housing in Cairo for seven years and two presidential administrations, since federal inspections first uncovered grift, decay, and racial discrimination at the Alexander County Housing Authority. The mostly black residents of McBride and Elmwood, a sister project nearly two dozen blocks north that housed about 80 families, lived in squalor, while the white housing authority brass, under Executive Director James Wilson, blew public funds on boozy Vegas getaways and prioritized maintenance of the predominantly white high-rise across town. In the final year of the Obama administration, HUD placed the housing authority under receivership, but it left the future of Cairo’s public housing unresolved.”
That’s all for this edition, as I think I may have gone over a bit. Stop by again next Thursday, for another serving of Cream of Information Soup, served by yours truly. Until then, happy reading!