Five Reads: Living Through Hell
What follows is our roundup of five of the most compelling stories discovered over the last few days. Look for this column every week in this space.
John McCain’s Prison Perseverance
There was no shortage of stories about John McCain this week, but one of the most compelling was written by the Senator himself, and first published in U.S. News and World Report in 1973. His vivid account of what he lived through during his more than five years in a North Vietnamese prison of war camp gives painful, powerful insight into faith, courage and perseverance.
Is Nuance Dead?
In a thoughtful essay titled “Nuance: A Love Story” on Medium, Meghan Daum explores what she calls “My affair with the intellectual dark web.” She takes parallel looks at the end of her marriage and her own break with rigid ideas of political thought and cultural comment that leave little room for discussion or dissent.
A Kinder, Gentler Twitter?
The tension between freedom of speech and protection from hateful groups and trolls remains intense. In Esquire, Luke O’Neil revisits Twitter competitor Mastodon, which has terminated access for alt-right groups. Will this raise the relatively new platform’s profile? Can there be a better way to police social media?
The Academics of Technology and Social Justice
In Wired, Susan Crawford makes a strong case that Universities should start exploring these issues and more at an academic level by adding courses in Public Interest Technology. “In an era in which data is everything, the risks to core democratic principles — equity, fairness, support for the most vulnerable, delivery of effective government services — caused by technological illiteracy in policymakers, and policy illiteracy in computer scientists, are staggering,” she writes.
Who Wants an Early Bird Worm Anyway?
Maybe “late to bed, late to rise” isn’t so terrible after all. Lifelong night owl Alex Williams examines the science behind the idea that morning people are more successful and finds hope for anyone who finds getting up before dawn miserable.
Hugh Forrest serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW, the world’s most unique gathering of creative professionals. He also tries to write at least four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts often cover tech-related trends; other times they focus on books, pop culture, sports and other current events.