To read the rest of the review, visit Entropy.
Miles Klee is a male Lydia Davis on a cyberpunk acid trip. These are stories, but the density, compression, precision, imagery, and rhythm of his language often feel like something else.
To listen to the full program, visit ABC.
The conflict that’s taking place in Syria now began with protests in the city of Daraa in March of 2011 when some young students had written some anti-government graffiti on the walls. Some of those young people were then apprehended and tortured. Their parents and other people in Daraa thought that torturing children was a little too much, even for a dictatorship.
To read the rest of the excerpt, visit Motherboard.
In other words, what if Silicon Valley got back to it psychedelic roots? Only this time instead of company founders and spiritually inclined engineers dropping acid, Silicon Valley tried to figure out how to recreate the psychedelic state in silicon? The purpose of this would be no different from why psychiatry gave LSD to patients recovering from addiction in the 1960’s, or why Leary held acid parties: to achieve spiritual awakening. This is in the same spirit as Bostrom’s call to arms that we begin to already now think of ways to make future AI systems safe and beneficial.
To view the rest of the list, visit Flavorwire.
Is this book nonfiction, really? I don’t know. Either way, its truths are hard to ignore. A paranoiac tale of heroin addiction, the unrelenting intensity of needless state surveillance, and, ultimately, friendship, Chameleo might be the funniest — and in some ways the saddest — book of the year.
To read the rest of the review, visit Broken Pencil Magazine.
A Narco History, co-authored by novelist Carmen Boullosa and Nobel Prize-winning professor Mike Wallace, continues in this tradition by presenting a meticulously-researched, fascinating and deeply troubling history of the Mexican drug trade, and how the country has been all but immobilized by corruption and ghastly violence. Opening with a harrowing rundown of the circumstances surrounding the 43 students murdered in Guerro last September, Bollosa and Wallace trace the roots of the drug war back to the seven-year rule of the tyrannical Instituional Revolutionary Party, and assign the greatest blame to former Mexican president Felipe Calderon, whose six years in office marked the bloodiest in the country’s history, with over 100,000 people killed. They also cite the United States’ deep-seated responsbility, including the ongoing flow of arms between the two countries even as the U.S. government hypocritically extols the importance of the “war on drugs.” This is a expertly well-written primer on how the drug trade can fracture an already poor country and it’s a stoic-as-death reminder of our own culpability.
To read the rest of the article, visit The Intercept.
These international attacks, as well as the oppression and terror that ISIS has inflicted on large parts of Syria and Iraq, do not call for a response. They do not call for revenge. They do not call for gestures of the kind that British Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to ram through Parliament in Westminster. They do not call for Europe and the U.S. to deny shelter to refugees who are fleeing from ISIS terror that the world ignored when it was confined to Syria. They do not call for further erosion of privacy and other rights.
To read the rest of the review, visit Warscapes.
Glass, formerly the chief Middle East correspondent for ABC News and a veteran of Lebanon’s kidnapping heyday (he spent sixty-two days as a hostage in 1987), cuts none of the parties to the current Syrian war much slack. He establishes that the government’s murderous response to protesters in Dera’a was initially to blame for “escalat[ing] and radicaliz[ing]” demonstrations throughout Syria, and pulls no punches when it comes to highlighting the brutality of the state: “President Assad’s counter-insurgency strategy has appeared to involve targeting the civilian population and medical facilities in rebel areas, in order to deprive the armed opposition of its support.”
To read the rest of the review, visit Princeton Alumni blog.
“My goal is to bring this atrocious social problem that kills upwards of a quarter of a million people per year to the attention of the public,” Lieber says in an email. “Like Ralph Nader, I think people have a right to be free from physical mayhem caused by businesses, including health care.”
To read the rest of the interview, visit Full-Stop.
Full Stop: From your popular blog Hate The Future (may it rest in peace) to the novel Ivyland to several stories in True False you have a distinct taste for dystopia—perhaps dystopia’s a bad word, but it sounds better than “sad stories about a future that’s kind of terrible.” Does this come from a place of fear? Entertainment? Shock and awe? Miles Klee: Maybe dread? The future’s where we’re all gonna end up someday, man. I also enjoy thinking about the things that will happen when I’m already dead.
To read the rest of the review, visit Roy Christopher's blog.
Robert Guffey’s friend Dion has the continuity of his consciousness severely corrupted. Dion’s reality is already shaky at best, so Guffey sets out to document and investigate the odd goings on around Dion. Quoting Theodore Sturgeon, Guffey says, “Always ask the next question.” Chameleo turns on this very fulcrum: It is a series of next questions asked not necessarily until the questions are answered, but until all of the possibilities are exhausted.
To read the rest of the article, visit The Strangest.
To promote my forthcoming book, The Strangest, in which the narrator cannot leave the house without running it by social media first, I decided to hand over my free will for 48 hours to social media and do whatever they wanted. It turns out they wanted me blonde.
To read the rest of the review, visit The Nation.
Gulf Labor has now produced The Gulf: High Culture/Hard Labor (OR Books; Paper $20), which recounts its activism during the last five years. In 2011, artists, curators, and writers affiliated with the group signed up for Gulf Labor’s boycott of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. In New York, they projected messages on the museum’s outer walls, dropped fliers inside, and pasted their own work on its walls alongside exhibitions. At the Venice Biennale, they assailed the Guggenheim site by boat. With the group’s 52 Weeks campaign, which was launched in October 2013 and is documented in The Gulf, artists created works—mostly video and print materials—to support the campaign, sharing them online over the course of a year. Many of the pieces draw their power from simple juxtaposition. Of salaries, as mentioned above; of square footage (the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi’s 322,917 square feet to the 182 square feet of a windowless dorm room for 10 workers); of the grandiose design of the museum to the punishing mathematics of the workers’ debts, pay, and work hours. In a digital collage entitled 2015: Grand Opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Janet Koenig simply Photoshops workers into the lobby of the museum they have built, where they look terribly out of place but also possibly like a brilliant installation.
To read the rest of the excerpt, visit AlterNet.
By the end of the twentieth century, the health-care industry was avid about getting its arms around the problem of error. The news about accidents among the rich and poor, famous and obscure was alarming the public and undermining its confidence in the profession. Malpractice claims were on the rise; so were monetary payouts. Insurers, hospitals, and physicians pushed back with “tort reform” designed to award and divert litigation. Since lawsuits often arose from treatment, “quality of care” initiatives grew as a method of preventing cases. All of these issues focused researchers on two problems. First, how should medical errors be defined? Second, how many of them were there?
To read the rest of the review, visit New York Magazine.
Bubbling intra-left conflict over Hillary Clinton has washed over the internet, with the most recent fracas concerning the cover art for a new anti-Hillary book by left-wing writer Doug Henwood. The book, which will be published in January, is an expansion of Henwood’s anti-Hillary broadside for Harper's in 2014. Its cover is a noirish painting of Hillary, arm raised, gun pointed at readers, under the title My Turn: Hillary Clinton Targets the Presidency.
To read the rest of the article, visit Refinery 29.
The painting, if we may say, is kind of amazing.