Things I liked, Thursday
Periodical reminder that for all the discussions about the decline of white working-class communities, few things trump the hardship of blacks in the rural South: Harpers with tremendous reporting on a TB outbreak in Alabama.
Nicola Twilley, in the New Yorker, on sensory substitution: "What is seeing, after all, if your tongue can do it? Is a person who perceives visual information via the auditory system experiencing sight, sound, or an unprecedented hybrid of the two? ... Some argue that vision is defined by the organ that absorbs the information: anything that does not enter through the eye is not vision, and thus Erik Weihenmayer is feeling, rather than seeing, the rock wall in front of him. Striem-Amit, on the other hand, is one of many neuroscientists who favor a definition of vision that is determined by the source of the stimulus: vision is any processing of information that comes from reflected rays of light."
Bryan Stevenson on the Ezra Klein Show: "The true evil of American slavery was the narrative we created to justify it. ... The North won the Civil War, but the South won the narrative war. There was no actual accountability. There was no reckoning. ... The failure of that transition means that even today, we're dealing with a narrative of racial difference. ... If there were Hitler statutes all over Germany, I couldn't go there. ... I would not able to make peace with the nation that was still comfortable with the era of German history where Nazis were responsible for the death of millions of Jewish people. ... we don't talk about slavery. We don't talk about lynching. Worse, we've created the counter-narrative that says we have nothing about which we should be ashamed. Our past is romantic and glorious. In my state of Alabama, Jefferson Davis's birthday is a state holiday. ... I think we have to increase our shame"
FT Alphachat with Jeremy Adelman on the life and ideas of Albert Hirschman.
This American Life on Putin's ascent to power, his approval ratings and disinformation.
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