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CURATIOMAGAZINE

September 27, 2016
6 MINUTE READ

The Mobility Myth

There is a hardcore version, a meritocratic zero-sum version of social mobility in which my rise requires your fall. In the competition for the best jobs, my children’s victory means the defeat of yours. That is what social mobility really means and that is why nobody really means it…

Philip Collins, prospectmagazine.co.uk

6 MINUTE READ

A Rage For Perfection

Tennis is basically a conservative sport. With its arcane scoring system, stuffy dress code, and clubby rituals, it’s also elitist. John McEnroe’s genius was to reduce pretense and pomp to trigonometry and physics. And then slice the cantaloupe with the delicacy and precision of a hand surgeon…

James McWilliams, psmag.com

September 26, 2016
7 MINUTE READ

The Maillard Reaction

In order to understand Maillard reactions, it’s best to compare its effects with that of a commonly used term to describe browning in cooked foods. Though we usually refer to browning as the result of caramelization, that term is actually defined as the pyrolysis, or decomposition, of sugar…

Michael Laiskonis, luckypeach.com

9 MINUTE READ

The Making Of Lemmings

If a young electronics engineer named David Jones hadn’t lost his job at the Timex plant in Dundee in 1988, videogame history would have been different. Already a keen programmer, Jones used his £3000 redundancy cheque to invest in a top-of-the-range Amiga 1000…

Rich Stanton, readonlymemory.vg

4 MINUTE READ

Everything Is Toxic

Health-scare stories draw their special power from the fact that we go through the days denying our mortality. There’s no way out. Unable to avoid this tragic condition, we lash out against our fates by making a villain out of the one thing that is doing its part to keep us alive: food…

Jim Windolf, nytimes.com

4 MINUTE READ

Applied Applied Psychology

In my social psychology class, I pose an extra credit question where students choose between having two points or six points added onto their final term paper grade, with the stipulation that if more than 10% of the class chooses six points, no one gets any points…

Dylan Selterman, qz.com

1 MINUTE READ

Insider Or Outsider

Outsiders can say whatever they want. But people on the inside don’t listen to them. Insiders, however, get lots of access and a chance to push their ideas. Powerful people listen to what they have to say. But insiders also understand one unbreakable rule: They don’t criticize other insiders…

Ben Casnocha, bencasnocha.com

4 MINUTE READ

Imitate Different

We are obsessed with creating narratives that do not exist, especially when those narratives support our outlook. If we believe that all successful entrepreneurs take naps once a day, we’ll surely remember every biography that mentions how Mark Zuckerberg loves his 2 p.m. siesta…

Sean Blanda, 99u.com

1 MINUTE READ

Being Right In The End

Jeff Bezos stopped by our office yesterday and spent about 90 minutes with us talking product strategy. Before he left, he spent about 45 minutes taking general Q&A from everyone at the office. During one of his answers, he shared an enlightened observation about people who are right a lot…

Jason Fried, signalvnoise.com

6 MINUTE READ

Curse Of Knowledge

As anyone with an inbox can attest, misused language abounds, and misunderstanding follows. Much of this misunderstanding flows from the «Curse of Knowledge» – the writer’s difficulty in conceiving what it’s like for readers not to know something he knows…

Gary Stephen Ross, the walrus.ca

15 MINUTE READ

The Pixar Theory

Several months ago, I watched a video that introduced the idea that all of the Pixar movies actually exist within the same universe. Since then, I’ve obsessed over this concept, working to complete The Pixar Theory, a working narrative that ties the Pixar movies into one cohesive timeline…

Jon Negroni, jonnegroni.com

2 MINUTE READ

Sticks And Stones

Why are there crushed stones alongside railroad tracks? This is a good question with an interesting answer. The crushed stones are what is known as ballast. Their purpose is to hold the wooden cross ties in place, which in turn hold the rails in place…

David Rose, slate.com

2 MINUTE READ

What War Brought

Empires arise in response to the pressure of warfare between small states, and war also drove the formation of complex social institutions such as religions and bureaucracies, a study suggests. The institutions would have helped to maintain stability in large early societies…

Laura Spinney, nature.com