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Friday, January 8, 2016

How We Learn Fairness, by Maria Konnikova, New Yorker

And yet, for humans, an aversion to getting less is just one aspect of unfairness. Unlike other animals, we sometimes balk at receiving more than other people. Technically speaking, we experience “advantageous-inequity aversion.” In some situations, we’ll even give up something good because it’s more than someone else is getting. In those moments, we seek to insure that the distribution of goods remains fair. We don’t want the long end of the stick, either.

Dark Books, by Tara Isabella Burton, Aeon

What’s more wholesome than reading? Yet books wield a dangerous power: the best erode self, infecting readers with ideas

Love Me Back By Merritt Tierce Review – Going To Extremes, by Sandra Newman, The Guardian

It is also heartening to read an American novel that takes working-class life seriously. Here, the world of waiting tables is an arena large enough for tragedy and glory, and Tierce is not documenting the lives of its people from the viewpoint of an anthropologist, but singing them as their Homer.

The Power Of Documentaries On The Oscar Trail, by Cara Buckley, New York Times

Kirby Dick’s Oscar-nominated “The Invisible War” (2012), about sexual assault in the military, led to a House hearing on the matter. After the release of Louie Psihoyos’s Oscar winner, “The Cove” (2009), about the slaughter of dolphins in Japan, the number of dolphins and porpoises killed there fell by 17,000 a year. And “An Inconvenient Truth,” the 2006 film starring Al Gore that won two Oscars, thrust global warming into the public conversation — and look how well we heeded him! (Insert sad emoticon here.)

All of which, for the Bagger, raises a question: What onus, if any, falls on the Academy to spotlight documentaries that might bring about a measure of justice? Should substance trump style, or is it folly to assume they’re mutually exclusive?

War, by Hedd Wyn (translated from the Welsh by Michael Ratcliffe)