Who wrote this amazing, mysterious book satirizing tech startup culture?

A mysterious little book called Iterating Grace is floating around San Francisco right now. At least a dozen people have received the book in the mail—or in my case, by secret hand-delivery to my house. (Which is a little creepy.) The artifact itself consists of a 2,001-word story interspersed with hand-drawn recreations of tweets by venture capitalists and startup people like Chris Sacca, Paul Graham, Brad Feld, Sam Altman, and others.

Sue Macy Books

I first came across Susan B. Anthony’s declaration that bicycling “has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world” way back in 1995, when I was doing the research for my book, Winning Ways. Years later, while working on Bylines, my biography of reporter Nellie Bly, I learned that Anthony had said those astonishing words in a candid interview with Bly in 1896. I had always been intrigued by Anthony’s impression of the importance of the bicycle, and I was equally curious about t

Our Ugly History of Segregated Swimming

On Friday a group of black teenagers went to a community pool in McKinney, Texas. They were there for a pool party, advertised on social media. At some point, not long after they arrived, nearby residents—who were white—began to harass the swimmers. When one woman told the teens to “ go back to Section 8 housing ,” a fight broke out. Another resident called the police, who—according to one witness—began to arrest the black teenagers, ignoring the white swimmers in the group. When one bystander—

India's 1947 Partition And The 'Deadly Legacy' That Persists To This Day

India's 1947 Partition And The 'Deadly Legacy' That Persists To This Day Mahatma Gandhi, who used passive resistance in the fight for Indian independence, is known worldwide as a symbol of peace. But Americans know much less about the violence that erupted when the British pulled out of India in 1947. After Muslim leaders demanded their own state, Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs attacked each other in riots and massacres. In his new book, Midnight's Furies, Nisid Hajari explores the partition that c

How ClickHole Became the Best Thing on the Internet

No judgment, but you waste a lot of time on the internet, right? Which means sometime in the past year or so, something like this happened: You’re on Facebook, and you see that a friend has shared an interesting-looking article, such as a map of the United States with the headline “We Can Determine Which State You’re From Just From the Way You Answer This One Simple Question.” Wait, you think, is this that New York Times dialect map—the one you read already? Or did someone make an even better ve

A picturesque tour along the Ganges

In 1807, a British officer serving in Bengal  took a tour along the Ganga and produced a book  to “give a correct sketch of the history and manners of that wonderful empire”. Calcutta, the capital not only of Bengal but of all India, being the seat of government and residence of the governor-general and council, has been so much talked of, and so often described, that nothing new or interesting concerning it can be offered to the reader. A traveller, therefore, who visits Bengal from curiosity

Why Doctors Who Want Abortion Training Can't Always Find It

Last spring, I attended a conference for pro-choice medical students outside of St. Louis, and there I met the doctor who helped fill the void left by George Tiller. Tiller, who ran a clinic in Wichita, Kansas, was one of only a handful of physicians in the U.S. who provided abortions late in pregnancy. In 2009, he was murdered in his church by an anti-abortion extremist. When I heard that everyone at the conference would get to meet the physician who helped bring abortion services back to Wichi

LRB · Chris Lehmann · The Candidates: Scott, Rick, Ted, Marco and Jeb

It is a cliché of American electioneering for candidates to advertise their humble beginnings and unstinting ascent in the face of adversity. Even George W. Bush, with his Andover and Skull-and-Bones East Coast Brahmin pedigree, offered up his own version of the log cabin myth, alluding to his drunken youth and subsequent soul-saving entry into the evangelical fold, and taking self-deprecating potshots at his tricky time as part-owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team. The message was that thes

Gag Orders

IN EARLY JULY 2014, the comedians Tanmay Bhat, Gursimran Khamba, Ashish Shakya and Rohan Joshi approached Only Much Louder, or OML, an artist-management agency and events organiser, with their most ambitious idea yet. The Mumbai-based quartet—collectively All India Bakchod, or AIB—already had a substantial fan following, primarily on the strength of their 40 or so YouTube videos and podcasts. They told OML that they wanted to organise a roast: a form of insult comedy, in which a celebrity is inv

AP Exclusive: Abortions declining in nearly all states

Abortions have declined in states where new laws make it harder to have them — but they've also waned in states where abortion rights are protected, an Associated Press survey finds. Nearly everywhere, in red states and blue, abortions are down since 2010. Explanations vary. Abortion-rights advocates attribute it to expanded access to effective contraceptives and a drop in unintended pregnancies. Some foes of abortion say there has been a shift in societal attitudes, with more women choosing to

Tim Hunt apologises for comments on his 'trouble' with female scientists

The Nobel laureate Tim Hunt has apologised for comments he made about female scientists. Hunt had told a conference he had a reputation for being a chauvinist, before saying: “Let me tell you about my trouble with girls. Three things happen when they are in the lab. You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticise them, they cry.” The 72-year-old, who was awarded the Nobel prize in physiology or medicine in 2001, also said he was in favour of single-sex labs, whi

Food flavor safety system a ‘black box’

Ingredients created by food companies flavor what Americans eat each day — everything from juice drinks and potato chips to ice cream and canned soups. They give Cheetos their addictive cheesy taste and help distinguish Jolly Ranchers from other fruit-flavored candies. But the organization responsible for the safety of most “natural” and “artificial” flavors that end up in foods and beverages isn’t part of the U.S. government. Rather, the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association — a secreti

We’re all climate change deniers at heart | Oliver Burkeman

At yesterday’s summit in Bavaria, the G7 leading industrial nations agreed to phase out fossil fuels by the end of the century. It’s easy to be cynical about these things, but these official goals really matter. And one big reason is this: in the absence of intergovernmental action, we are hopelessly ill-equipped to deal with this problem as individuals. In fact, if a cabal of evil psychologists had gathered in a secret undersea base to concoct a crisis humanity would be hopelessly ill-equipped

Why E-Commerce Can Be a Big Pain for India’s Deliverymen

One morning, Ashok Kumar hoisted a huge, 110-pound pack jammed with books, cellphones, bluejeans and other items onto his back and cinched the shoulder straps. Then he donned a helmet, climbed onto a motorcycle and, balancing precariously, headed out into the traffic-clogged streets of the Indian capital for his daily rounds. Mr. Kumar and thousands of men like him fan out across the crowded cities of the world’s second-most-populous nation every day—foot soldiers on the front lines

Bhadels of Goa

The Bhadels of Goa are women porters who work in the south Goan city of Margao. The occupation has been handed down generations through women in the family – either daughters or daughters-in-law. Nobody from the younger generation has taken up the occupation. “Our daughters are not interested in this work, they have studied a little, so want to work in offices", said Maria Borges.  There are currently only a dozen or so bhadels working in Margao market, all are over 50 years in age.
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