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CURATIOMAGAZINE

December 29, 2016
10 MINUTE READ

The Eternal Easter Egg

Truth Seekers have spent the past three years trading theories, studying strange signs around San Andreas, investigating paranormal phenomena, and poring over «Grand Theft Auto V»’s data, resource, and script files in a relentless quest to solve the so-called Chiliad Mystery…

Richard Moss, arstechnica.com

5 MINUTE READ

Friends With A Killer

It is my first job. I am sixteen, physically underdeveloped, socially awkward and perpetually terrified. I am intimidated by truck drivers, by Mike, my muscular Ayn Rand-loving manager, and by my co-workers, more than one of which makes promises to smash my fucking face in…

Martin Wallace, thewalrus.ca

9 MINUTE READ

Dividends Of Sin

Money and morality have long been awkward co-travellers in the history of civilization – an entanglement that extends back to the earliest appearance of currency. «Pure greed and pure generosity are complementary concepts,» the American anthropologist David Graeber observes…

John Lorinc, thewalrus.ca

4 MINUTE READ

Penguins Are Jerks

Female emperor penguins that have lost their own brood frequently «adopt» unattended chicks. If there are none available, things get violent. Fights break out as mobs of broody mothers struggle with each other to steal a chick from another penguin family…

Zaria Gorvett, bbc.com

12 MINUTE READ

In Praise Of Rubber

Rubber has played a largely hidden role in global history for more than 150 years. You say you want an industrial revolution? If so, you need three raw materials: iron, to make steel for machinery; fossil fuels, to power that machinery; and rubber, to protect and connect all the moving parts…

Charles Mann, nationalgeographic.com

5 MINUTE READ

Handbags And Feminism

It was only towards the end of the 19th century that handbags as we know them first came into being. The first ones were derived from late-18th-century reticules – prettily embroidered pouches for carrying essentials. But not money; only the men had real earning power…

Sally Feldman, newhumanist.org.uk

2 MINUTE READ

Absent Doctors

Researchers obtained records of heart patients who had a critical event during a time when hospitals were at full staff, but heart specialists were likely to be out of town. Unexpectedly, they found that the patients did significantly better when the relevant specialists were unavailable…

John Timmer, arstechnica.com

3 MINUTE READ

Old Beliefs Die Hard

When experts are wrong, it’s often because they’re experts on an earlier version of the world. Is it possible to avoid that? To some extent, yes. I spent almost a decade investing in early stage startups, and protecting myself against obsolete beliefs was exactly what I had to do…

Paul Graham, paulgraham.com

4 MINUTE READ

Dividends Are Wrong

Dividends are terrible. Bad for the economy, bad for business, and surprisingly unfavorable to investors. A barbarous relic of a less financially sophisticated era, they’re also indelibly coated with misleading rhetoric that perpetuates sloppy thinking about business, profits, and investment…

Matthew Yglesias, slate.com

3 MINUTE READ

The «Thought Leader»

The Thought Leader is sort of a highflying, good-doing yacht-to-yacht concept peddler. Each year, he gets to speak at the Clinton Global Initiative, where successful people gather to express compassion for those not invited. He doesn’t have students, but he does have clients…

David Brooks, nytimes.com

2 MINUTE READ

36 Days To Comedy

A research team led by Peter McGraw concludes that, at some specific point in the days and weeks after a horrible event, there is a «sweet spot» when we’re particularly likely to find humor in the darkness. Transforming tragedy into comedy requires time – not too little, yet not too much…

Tom Jacobs, psmag.com

December 28, 2016
8 MINUTE READ

User Bias

Neuroscience researchers have shown that cognitive bias is deeply rooted in the structure of our brains; unlikely to go away for a very, very long time. So whether you consider it a bug or a feature, cognitive bias is and always will be part of what makes us human…

Alvin Hsia, medium.com

4 MINUTE READ

That Was Sparta

How did Sparta emerge into the power that it did? A curious group of geographical and political circumstances created the city-state’s legendary military culture and propelled its expansion. But its explosive growth contained a hidden demographic time bomb which would contribute to its eclipse…

Robert Beckhusen, warisboring.com

12 MINUTE READ

Gargoyles As CCTV

It seems to be such a contemporary issue: the mass surveillance of the global population by corporations and government bureaucracies that has transcended all pretense of democratic accountability. But those who see in all this something eerily futuristic may have it backward…

Amanda Power, laphamsquarterly.org

2 MINUTE READ

A Nuclear Inversion

In 1955, the Soviet Union tested a bomb designated RDS-37 at a missile testing site in northeast Kazakhstan. The bomb’s power had been scaled down for the test, but a relatively rare weather phenomenon gave it an unexpected, and destructive, increase in power…

Esther Inglis-Arkell, gizmodo.com

5 MINUTE READ

Super-Likeable

We all love characters who are good at what they’re doing. Nobody wants to root for someone who screws up constantly or walks into traps we can see a mile away. But at the same time, it can be hard to love someone who’s too perfect. So how do you make us believe in, and love, a major badass?

Charlie Jane Anders, gizmodo.com

13 MINUTE READ

Musings On Steven Seagal

I don’t think you understand my love of Steven Seagal. It’s not in an admiration way. Like, I love the fact that when Seagal tries to do good it’s just him being brutal and a complete asshole. I love the way that Seagal fails to be who he wants to be…

Eric Thurm, avclub.com

4 MINUTE READ

Dual-Use Satellites

Russia, China, and the United States are developing «dual use» space technologies. One use is peaceful. The other isn’t. Identifying space weapons has become a psychological game: Experts must infer the intentions of the nation launching space objects…

Jane C. Hu, slate.com

5 MINUTE READ

The Cringe Years

Teenagers, you have a right to live your life, but at least do so with the knowledge that you’re bringing down the general quality of the world by being the way you are. I’ll offer some basic suggestions that will help you minimize the amount of embarrassment you’re causing to our species…

Tim Urban, waitbutwhy.com

3 MINUTE READ

On «Ironic Effects»

This is what psychologists call an «ironic effect»: it’s not just that we fail in our best efforts, but that we fail because of our best efforts. The depressingly popular field of «positive thinking» is one long litany of ironic effects, as trying too hard to be happy makes people miserable…

Oliver Burkeman, theguardian.com

4 MINUTE READ

Faking Job References

According to William Schmidt, deceiving hiring managers isn’t particularly difficult. Almost half of the reference inquires he gets are from third-party firms hired to do the initial round of vetting for a company. These types of outsourced inquires typically follow a standardized script…

Aaron Sankin, dailydot.com

4 MINUTE READ

Why Diamonds Are Forever

You see, diamonds have no resale value, so, when you get one, it really is yours forever. Unless you want to take a big financial loss. Part of this is because they actually have no intrinsic value. While there are diamonds that are «investment quality» – you probably don’t own one…

Robyn Pennacchia, deathandtaxesmag.com