Each Friday we compile a list of interesting links and articles our editors find from across the web. Here’s what’s catching our eye this week.
Robert Fischell, inventor extraordinaire, claims to have created a device capable of eliminating chronic pain:
If the body is a house, the nervous system is its electrical wiring. The network, which has millions of entry points throughout the body, communicates in electrical pulses. A finger prick shoots a series through a long axon to the spine — the pathway that all pain signals must pass — until they strike the brain. The higher the frequency of the nerve’s signal to the brain, the greater the pain.
Some recommended reading for the release of David Foster Wallace biopic, The End of the Tour:
So you’re really excited to see Segel put How I Met Your Mother behind him at last, but you’re harboring a dark secret: You’ve never read anything by David Foster Wallace. You lie and say you “found Infinite Jest and The Pale King positively resplendent.” You say things like, “I admire Wallace’s fiction, but I much prefer his essays.” It’s alright. Everyone does it. Lying about having read David Foster Wallace is an American tradition. Like making up words to describe wine.
On the difficulty of attributing quotes:
Great quotations seem to find their way to famous names. Nigel Rees, host of the BBC radio show Quote . . . Unquote, coined the term “Churchillian drift” to explain the phenomenon. (Winston Churchill is a quote magnet in Britain.) Rees offers an example from earlier this year, when the U.S. Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp of Maya Angelou with the quote: “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” The quotation has long been attributed to Angelou, but the original quote belongs to a relatively unknown writer, Joan Walsh Anglund.
On the unseen consequences of cheap food:
Does what you eat really matter? Duke professor Norman Wirzba thinks so. He explains, “The cheap food that we enjoy comes with a very heavy price—for the farmers, for the migrant workers, for the fields, the waters, the animals. Everybody’s paying it, except us.” Wirzba believes that the way Christians eat is, at its heart, a matter of justice.
Is it really “lonely at the top“?
Being alone is not the same as feeling alone. You can have thousands of friends and feel lonely, or have only a single friend and feel connected. The separation from others — in stature, rank or responsibility — that power confers does not translate into loneliness. In fact, power has the opposite effect on its possessors, alleviating the need to belong and making them feel less alone.
Is there anything in baseball that isn’t sponsored anymore?
If I’m listening to the broadcast, I now note that the lineup is sponsored, the setting of the defensive personnel is sponsored, the out-of-town scoreboard is sponsored, that a double play is now a Chick-fil-A double play, that the standings are sponsored, and that the Denny’s Home Run Inning (if a Pirate homers somebody wins something at Denny’s), though chosen at random, always seems to include three scheduled hitters who don’t have 10 homers among them, lifetime.
An interview with sociologist Joe Feagin on systemic racism in America:
Prejudice is much less than half the story. Because prejudice is only one part of the larger white racial frame that is central to rationalizing and maintaining systemic racism, one can be less racially prejudiced and still operate out of many other aspects of that dominant frame. That white racial frame includes not only racist prejudices and stereotypes of conventional analyses, but also racist ideologies, narratives, images and emotions, as well as individual and group inclinations to discriminate shaped by the other features. Additionally, all whites, no matter what their racial prejudices and other racial framings entail, benefit from many racial privileges routinely granted by this country’s major institutions to whites.
Hate for Kanye West continues to grow, at home and abroad:
When publications are using common tropes utilized by white people when confronted by a non-deferential black person, telling West to mind his manners, and David Crosby feels the need to call West “dumb as a post” in a tweet, their true sentiments start to ooze out. West’s personality hasn’t changed much in the last decade, but the public’s resentment toward him has increased tenfold. And the louder it gets, the more its true intention reveals itself.
Joshua Oppenheimer’s new film, ‘The Look of Silence’, examines the victims of the Indonesian genocide:
The conversations are civil but startling. One man shows off an elaborate homemade comic book called Dew of Blood that describes the optometrist’s brother being castrated and dumped in a river. Another man threatens the optometrist’s life — not directly, but in the soft language of someone for whom violence has become part of a bureaucratic routine. “It’s a dirty job …” At one point, the optometrist’s uncle admits he worked as a prison guard where the optometrist’s brother was held.
Carol P. Christ argues that Barth’s view of the relationship between man and woman is integral to his understanding of the relationship between God and humanity.
When I tried to explain to the men who were ignoring my mind why they were doing it, they erased me again. “No one thinks that way anymore,” they replied. With that simple statement, they killed three birds with one stone. They excused the history of male dominance in theology; they refused to look at their current attitudes; and they made me feel stupid.