Wednesday, September 26

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Death on the Path to Enlightenment

Westerners’ spiritual quests in India gone wrong.

Longform Podcast #8: Gideon Lewis-Kraus

Gideon Lewis-Kraus is the author of A Sense of Direction.

"My best friend, who is a fiction writer, she once said to me that she saw a lot of the things I was doing as 'wring tenderness from absurdity.' That wouldn't have occurred to me to put it that way, but that does seem to me [what] I like to do ... I am someone who can very easily be dismissive, or even contemptuous. And one of the things I like about reporting a story, particularly reporting a story that is ultimately, counterintuitively, positive, is that it gives me a chance to work through that, and be the more tender, sympathetic person that I would like to be in real life."


Show notes:

  1. GideonLK.com
  2. Lewis-Kraus on Longform
  3. A Sense of Direction on Amazon
  4. "In Search of the Living, Purring, Singing Heart of the Online Cat-Industrial Complex" (Wired • Aug 2012)
  5. "Tokeville: On the Frontiers of Federalism and Dope" (Harper's • Dec 2009)
  6. "The Last Book Party" (Harper's • Mar 2009)
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The Great New England Vampire Panic

How a group of farmers came to believe that their relatives were returning from the grave.

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Errol Morris, Forensic Epistemologist

A conversation on the “bedeviling sorts of indeterminacies one encounters the deeper one drills.”

Tuesday, September 25

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Inside China's Star-Making Machine

On China’s pop music charm offensive.

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The League of Dangerous Mapmakers

“Redistricting today has become the most insidious practice in American politics—a way, as the opportunistic machinations following the 2010 census make evident, for our elected leaders to entrench themselves in 435 impregnable garrisons from which they can maintain political power while avoiding demographic realities.”

Monday, September 24

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No Evidence of Disease

Stephanie had cancer, until she didn’t.

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Portrait of the Artist as a Postman

A profile of Kermit Oliver, a reclusive, critically acclaimed artist who designs scarves for Hermès and works nights at the Waco post office.

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Kurt Cobain: The Rolling Stone Interview

An interview with Cobain a few months after the release of In Utero.