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The Week In Context: NOVEMBER 19TH, 2016

MUST READS OF THE WEEK

WHEN THE DEVIL ENTERS

Father Amorth has been busy. Following William Friedkin’s excellent article a couple of weeks’ back on his visit to see the priest exorcise a woman, he appears again in this typically excellent piece by The Atavist. House fires plague this Italian town so not only comes the investigators and the exorcist, but the scientists too.

REVENGE OF THE FORGOTTEN CLASS

Alec MacGillis
ProPublica
For all the backlash and the talk of surviving this newly calibrated world where fear and bitterness lead elections and our countries there has been little real analysis in the wake of last Tuesday’s election. Bucking that trend and within just a day or two after the dust settled Alex MacGillis reflects on the working class rebellion.

 

CAN YOUR CITY CHANGE YOUR MIND?

This provides a nice follow up to an earlier recommendation, Charlie Robin Jones’ piece on smart cities. Beginning with the sad but unsurprising stat that Americans spend 90% of their time indoors, this piece looks to Bentham’s Panopticon and the design of prisons, hospitals and public space to show how we need a neuroscience-informed architecture.

 

THE NEW INTELLECTUALS

Discover – Something by a publisher new to Cureditor this week
Evan R Goldstein
The Chronicle of Higher Education

Great to see Bhaskar Sunkara (Jacobin magazine) and Jon Baskin (The Point) included in this profile of how a “renaissance in cultural journalism” is occurring due to the fact the likes of Bhaskar and Jon are pursuing careers outside of academia. Some excellent points made about the fragility and self-worth of those within both industries.

HOT TOPIC

LOSING YOURSELF

You lock the smartphone and satnav away and resist the busybodies eager to give you directions when it's the last thing you need, and yet you find it's almost impossible to lose yourself, unless of course that reliable technology fails you – this week we ask what that does to the brain and how creative do we need to be to be adrift? The first piece in particular explores that nicely and the rest are fascinating anecdotes on the theme.

IS YOUR GPS SCRAMBLING YOUR BRAIN?

“Here was a sympathetic character who personified a defining ­aspect of the modern human condition” A great telling of the time an Icelandic man drove hours out of his way because of a misspelling by Expedia, his GPS wasn’t to know.

LISTEN: LOSING YOURSELF

A superb listen from the Short Cuts team at Falling Tree Productions sees short vignettes about losing oneself, geographically and psychologically. There is an incredible account by a man who had a heart attack, defining the experience as ‘spectacular’ and ‘profoundly beautiful’ for that for once in his life he lost control and needed people.

WHAT DRIVES THE NEW BREED OF URBAN EXPLORER?

“Once you start going into these spaces and understanding the city in a different way, it’s very hard to fall back into normal rhythms.” This could easily be the tag line for the apathetic reaction to our new understanding of our “post-truth” reality. It’s not, it’s about the Urbex scene but there are interesting connections.

LOSING MYSELF: DRAWING DEMENTIA

An innovative Venice Biennale installation that aimed to document the changes to spatial perception brought on by dementia. The designers capture the sense of an immediate and disorienting outlook rather than bigger picture viewpoints of a place or building, and how architectural plans rarely give this point-of-view perspective.

MOST POPULAR

A few of the most popular recommendations on Cureditor this week.

WHEN THE DEVIL ENTERS

Father Amorth has been busy. Following William Friedkin’s excellent article a couple of weeks’ back on his visit to see the priest exorcise a woman, he appears again in this typically excellent piece by The Atavist. House fires plague this Italian town so not only comes the investigators and the exorcist, but the scientists too.


 

THE ALLURING LEGACY OF LOUISE BROOKS

“I don’t want to play a part where I race around a funny man all the time. And I won’t.” The words of silent film star, Louise Brooks via our recent guest curator, Pamela Hutchinson. Pamela does a great job at showing Brooks’ determination in not falling victim to studios’ sexist impressions of a “biddable starlet”.


 

NEOLIBERALISM: THE DEEP STORY THAT LIES BENEATH DONALD TRUMP'S TRIUMPH

I’ve been trying to find the thoughtful analysis amongst the shaming and blaming surrounding President elect, Donald Trump. This by the environmentalist, George Monbiot has been trending heavily and calls on what we know empirically about our own unselfishness to inform our politics.

CAN SMART CITIES BE FUN CITIES?

032c’s Charlie Robin Jones pens an excellent article for White Noise dreaming up a fully-connected smart city that constantly knows what we’re up to. He sees a world “predicated on the idea of the world outside the home as unsafe”, where we retreat to our smart- televisions, phones and assistants, because what do they know about us?

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