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The Electric Typewriter

The Electric Typewriter

Great articles and essays by the world's best journalists and writers.
16th May

The Birth of The New Journalism - God knows I didn’t have anything new in mind, much less anything literary, when I took my first newspaper job…

The Last American Hero Is Junior Johnson. Yes! - Ten o'clock Sunday morning in the hills of North Carolina. Cars, miles of cars, in every direction, millions of cars…

The Me Decade - The new alchemical dream is: changing one’s personality—remaking, remodeling, elevating, and polishing one’s very self … and observing, studying, and doting on it. (Me!)

Radical Chic: That Party at Lenny’s - I’ve never met a Panther—this is a first for me!

The Secret Vice - Real buttonholes. That’s it! A man can take his thumb and forefinger and unbutton his sleeve at the wrist because this kind of suit has real buttonholes there

What if He’s Right? - Suppose he is what he sounds like, the most important thinker since Newton, Darwin, Freud, Einstein, and Pavlov what if he is right?

The Tinkerings of Robert Noyce - Grinnell Iowa: the last town in America that people would have figured to become the starting point of a bolt into the future that would create the very substructure of life in the year 2000 and beyond

Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers - They sat back and waited for you to come rolling in with your certified angry militants, your guaranteed frustrated ghetto youth, looking like a bunch of wild men

Sorry, But Your Soul Just Died - Brain imaging was invented for medical diagnosis. But its far greater importance is that it may very well confirm, in ways too precise to be disputed, theories about the mind, the self, the soul, and free will

One Giant Leap to Nowhere - The space program, the greatest, grandest, most Promethean quest in the history of the world, died in infancy at 10:56 p.m. New York time on July 20, 1969

Pell-Mell - The American idea was born at approximately 5 p.m. on Friday, December 2, 1803…

The Rich Have Feelings, Too - I feel like boffing some bimbos in the Caribbean. Anybody like to come along?

Stalking the Billion-footed Beast - A Literary Manifesto for the New Social Novel  

4th May

This Army of AI Robots Will Feed the World by Amanda Little - And it could do it while eliminating herbicides, replenishing topsoil, and reducing carbon consumption. If all goes to plan

The Robots Are Coming by John Lanchester - Whole categories of work will be transformed by the power of computing, and in particular by the impact of robots…

Our Automated Future by Elizabeth Kolbert - How long will it be before you lose your job to a robot?

The Great A.I. Awakening by Gideon Lewis-Kraus - How Google used artificial intelligence to transform Google Translate, one of its more popular services — and how machine learning is poised to reinvent computing itself

Will Robocars Kick Humans Off City Streets? by Ian Bogost - Self-driving cars could encourage policies that end public access to America’s roads

18th Apr

David Dobbs, one of our favourite science writers, has written a fascinating new article on an experimental approach to treating depression and the complexities of the clinical trial process:

Why a ‘Lifesaving’ Depression Treatment Didn’t Pass Clinical Trials … but could still be a groundbreaking therapy

Plus ten more excellent articles he wrote in the past:

Restless Genes - The compulsion to see what lies beyond that far ridge or that ocean is a defining part of human identity and success.

The Science of Success - Genes that create dysfunction in unfavorable contexts can also enhance function in favorable contexts (plus The Orchid Hypothes is A-bloom - a 2013 piece that expands on the theme explored in this article).

The Social Life of Genes - Inside the new social science of genetics.

Die, Selfish Gene, Die - The selfish gene is one of the most successful science metaphors ever invented. Unfortunately, it’s wrong.

Beautiful Brains - Moody. Impulsive. Maddening. Why do teenagers act the way they do? Viewed through the eyes of evolution, their most exasperating traits may be the key to success as adults.

The Gregarious Brain - What a rare genetic disorder can teach us about our brains.

A Depression Switch? - On a new, experimental surgery for treatment-resistant depression that involves planting electrodes in the center of the brain.

Kill Whitey. It’s the Right Thing to Do. - The trolley problem is a staple of moral psychology studies in which you ask someone to decide under what conditions it’s morally permissible to kill one person to save others…

The Tight Collar - The science of choking under pressure .

Free Science, One Paper at a Time - Librarians at the University of California system balked when the Nature Publishing Group raised the price of the scores of journals the huge library system subscribes to over $17,000 per journal. The librarians objected that it was ludicrous for universities to fund research and then pay to read it…

My Mother’s Lover - From her deathbed, the author’s mother revealed a secret she had kept for 60 years: her true love was not his father, but a man named Angus Zahrt. On his ensuing search for the full story.

6th Apr

We asked Pat Joseph, editor of California Magazine to pick some of his favourite stories from the magazine over the years. Here’s what he chose:

The Starship or the Canoe  by Kenneth Brower - Where will our future adaptations be–down here or out there?

Song of Herself by Bridget Huber - An Interview with Ursula K. Le Guin About Growing Up in Berkeley

The Other Side of War by Tresor Bunker - “When your friends die, you never actually know what happens to them.”

The Teeming Metropolis of You by Brendan Buhler - Each of us is a colonized country, a host of multitudes, a reservoir of biodiversity

Splitsville by Vicki Haddock - California has withstood more than 200 secession attempts since it became a state

The Good, the Bad and the Robot by Coby McDonald - Experts are trying to make machines be ‘moral’

Death to the Fascist Insect by By Michael Taylor - Nothing symbolizes the violent radicalism of the ’70s like the SLA and its abduction of Patty Hearst

The Free Agent by Pat Joseph - Joe Kapp was the Curt Flood of the NFL. How come no one remembers?

Into the Deep Freeze by Chris A. Smith - What kind of person gets cryonically preserved?

Clifford Stoll in Four Dimensions by Martin Snapp - How a Berkeley eccentric beat the Russians, doused dot-com euphoria, and became a leading manufacturer of totally useless, wonderful objects

23rd Mar

The Accidental Get Away Driver - How one man drove right into the center of a daring and dangerous crime

Recognition - How a travesty led to criminal-justice innovation in Texas 

The Truth about Suicide Bombers - Are they religious fanatics? Deluded ideologues? New research suggests something more mundane: They just want to commit suicide. 

Midwestern Nice Paul Kix - A tribute to a sincere and suffocating way of life 

The Shocking Truth - At the Judge Rotenberg Center, students who misbehave receive electric shocks powerful enough to sear their skin… 

And make sure you check out Kix’s new book The Saboteur, a fast-paced thriller that’s better than fiction!

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